Assurance of Salvation
I am amazed when talking to professing Christians, how many of them lack the assurance of salvation.
If you examine their faith you will find that they say they believe that Jesus is the Christ and that He died on the cross to pay the price of their sin. They believe that He rose from the dead and that He will return one day.
However there is some lack of assurance that they will definitely go to be with the Lord when they die.
The hope that they speak of does not seem to reflect what the Bible sees as hope.
The word, as it is used in the scripture is confident hope, not a hope that is uncertain.
Whilst the statement used in the Church of England funeral service is a truth, there are no verses in the Bible that quote it.
UNTO Almighty God we commend the soul of our brother departed, and we commit his body to the ground; earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust; in sure and certain hope of the Resurrection unto eternal life, through our Lord Jesus Christ, at whose coming in glorious majesty to judge the world, the earth and the sea shall give up their dead; and the corruptible bodies of those who sleep in him shall be changed, and made like unto his own glorious body; according to the mighty working whereby he is able to subdue all things unto himself.
However this is a true statement.
In the same way that the word “Trinity” is not found in the scriptures, yet the teaching of the Triune God is taught throughout the scriptures.
Also there are no direct words in the Bible that say that Jesus is God but we know that the teaching of the deity of Jesus Christ is supported by many, many scriptures.
So it is with “hope”. When the Bible refers to “hope”, it is referring to a certain hope, a sure hope, a confidence.
Hope: Greek: El Pece (Elpis) To anticipate – Confident.
Our faith in Jesus Christ comes from the Word of God, this is the foundation of our faith.
1 Corinthians 3:11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
Ephesians 2:20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;
2 Timothy 2:19 Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his.
We believe that the Bible teaches salvation by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone.
Eph 2:8 By grace are ye saved through faith and not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast.
Because our faith is in Jesus Christ, we can know for sure that what He says is absolutely certain.
Our certainty is based on what the scriptures say. If we believe that the Bible is the inherent and infallible word of God, then we can depend on the truth of the words that are written there.
God says what He means and means what He says.
Karl Barth was at Rockefeller Chapel on the campus of the University of Chicago, during his lecture tour of the U.S. in 1962. After his lecture, during the Q & A time, a student asked Barth if he could summarize his whole life’s work in theology in a sentence. Barth allegedly said something like “Yes, I can. In the words of a song I learned at my mother’s knee: “Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.”
So, how can I know that I am saved, How can I know that I will go to heaven one day.
A great book of scripture in the Bible is the first letter of John.
I believe that in this letter the word know is used 26 times. It is a great letter of assurance to a Christian, concerning salvation.
1 John 5:13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.
Also Job could write:
Job 19:25"As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, And at the last He will take His stand on the earth.
We can have confidence in what is written.
The word “know” used in scripture: Greek: Ginosko (To Know absolutely) ( To be Sure)
Strongs concordance: Verb,G1097, ginosko signifies to be taking in knowledge, to come to know, recognize, understand," or "to understand completely,"
e.g., Mark 13:28 - Mark 13:29; John 13:12; John 15:18; John 21:17; 2 Corinthians 8:9; Hebrews 10:34; 1 John 2:5; 1 John 4:2, 1 John 4:6 (twice), 1 John 4:7, 1 John 4:13; 1 John 5:2, 1 John 5:20;
Certainty, in Scripture.
1 Thess 4:13.But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
Both “shall” and “will” here are used as declarative sentences.
When you use the word “shall,” there is an implication of power and authority between the two parties. There is a kind of certainty.
Both are verbs, but their root word indicates the intensity and quality of action. “Shall” came from the word “sculan,” which indicates force or intense compliance.
1 John 5:12-13 He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.
This is not “may have”, “maybe”, “possibly” but this is “certainty”.
A person who is 100 percent sure uses the verb be, as in, "I am saved."
modals may, might, or could; as in “I may have eternal life” “ I might have eternal life” “ I could have eternal life”.
Where the definite statement is “He has eternal life” I have eternal life” “ I know I have eternal life”.
“ I am saved” “I have been saved” “ I will be saved” “ I shall be saved”.
John 5:24 "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.
John 6:47 "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life.
Romans 10:9 - That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
In other words, if you do this then this is guaranteed.
We are not reading “may have”, “ might have”, “could have”. We are reading here, definite, certainties, surety.” I am” “has”, “have” “shalt be”.
When we are born again of the Spirit of God, when we are saved, we are given the Spirit of guarantee.
Ephesians 1: 13 And in Him you were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, having heard and believed the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation.
14 The Spirit is the pledge of our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession, to the praise of His glory.
Once we believe the Gospel and put our faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, we are given the gift of eternal life.
1 John 5: 11 And this is that testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.
12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.
13 I have written these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life
John 10:29 "My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand.
This eternal life is certain, we can trust God, God’s word is the truth and we can depend on it.
Romans 8: 38 Neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
John 11.25, 26 I am the resurrection and the life, saith the Lord: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.
These are just a few of the many scriptures that speak of the certainty of
trusting in the word of God.
Is this arrogance or presumptive?
We are not being arrogant or presumptuous when we declare that “we are saved” and that “we know for sure” that we are children of God. We are simply trusting in what God has declared in His word.
What we ought to do is walk in this knowledge and live the kind of life that shows to the world that we are children of God.
2 Corinthians 13:5 Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Can’t you see for yourselves that Jesus Christ is in you — unless you actually fail the test?
So how do you ”know”?
Do you believe?
Ask yourself if you affirm the Scripture's record of the person and work of Jesus Christ.
Do you believe that He is God manifest in the flesh?
Do you believe that God saves sinners solely through the merits of Jesus Christ's obedient life and substitutionary death on the cross? (a substitute in your place)
Do you believe that He died for you and He took your sin and paid the price to redeem you? (to purchase your salvation)
Have you repented of your sin (agreed with God concerning your sin).
Have you asked God to forgive your sin.
1 John 1:8 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
10 If we say we have not sinned, we make Him out to be a liar, and His word is not in us.…
Do you believe that God raised Jesus from the dead, that His resurrection guarantees that you can have eternal life?
If you can say yes to these things, then you don’t have to trust in your feelings or experiences, trust the word of God and what it says.
Take heart if these things are true in your life, and trust God to continue to work out His salvation in your life.