1. Every believer should aim for full assurance of faith (Hebrews 10:22).
2. Assurance is not of the essence of saving faith. One may truly believe and yet lack assurance.
3. True Christians may sometimes doubt the truth of the gospel. Genuine believers may question whether they are truly saved.
4. The objective basis of assurance is that God accepts believers as righteous on the basis of the obedience, blood, resurrection and intercession of Christ. ‘It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns?’ (Romans 8:33-34).
5. We know that we are the children of God because we love him and keep his commandments. If we love God, we will love his people as our brothers and sisters (1 John 2:3, 5:2-3). We must, therefore examine ourselves to see whether we are in the faith.
6. The Holy Spirit gives believers assurance of salvation by enabling us to cry to God, ‘Abba Father’. He makes us consciously aware of our adoption into God’s family by pouring his love into our hearts. (Galatians 4:6, Romans 5:5).
7. The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirits that we are the children of God. (Romans 8:16). In ‘our spirits’ we may believe in Christ and be persuaded of the truth. We may be able to detect evidences of a transformed life as we reflect on our love for God and his people. Above the witness of our spirits, the Holy Spirit himself testifies that we are God’s children. This direct witness of the Spirit gives assurance at its fullest and deepest.
8. Assurance of salvation will bring forth great delight and gladness in the heart of the believer, so that we rejoice in Christ with inexpressible and glorious joy (1 Peter 1:8).
9. By sinful attitudes and actions, we grieve the Holy Spirit, by whom we were sealed until the day of redemption (Ephesians 4:30). This may lead to a loss of the witness of the Spirit and undermine the believer’s assurance. When this happens, we should ask God to forgive us for Christ’s sake and seek him until we know his fatherly smile again.
10. All Christians should pursue full assurance of salvation and be content with nothing less. The Puritan Thomas Goodwin boldly urged believers to ‘sue God for the witness of the Spirit’.
Guy Davies’ blog, from which this was taken with permission, is http://exiledpreacher.blogspot.co.uk