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View Poll Results: What is Assurance?

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  • Faith ALONE IS Assurance.

    22 91.67%
  • Faith AND works produce Assurance.

    2 8.33%
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Thread: What is Assurance?

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    Question What is Assurance?

    A) Faith ALONE IS Assurance.
    OR
    B) Faith AND works produce Assurance.
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    Re: What is Assurance?

    2 Cor 11:17, (KJV), That which I speak, I speak it not after the Lord, but as it were foolishly, in this confidence of boasting.

    Heb 3:14, (KJV), For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;

    Heb 11:1, (KJV), Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. ---- (or in other words - FAITH IS THE ASSURANCE of things HAVING BEEN HOPED)

    Here's a good article from the standard bearer...
    http://www.prca.org/standard_bearer/....htm#Editorial:

    Faith is assurance.

    Faith is assurance of personal salvation.

    Faith is assurance that the one who, from the heart, believes the gospel is saved now, has been saved from eternity in the decree of election, and will be preserved unto everlasting salvation.

    Faith is absolute certainty of personal salvation, the only kind of certainty that is certain. A certainty that is not absolutely certain is, in fact, uncertainty, that is, doubt. Such “certainty” is worthless.

    Assurance belongs to the essence, or very nature, of faith. Assurance is what faith is.

    That assurance belongs to faith’s nature is the fundamental truth about assurance. Where this is preached, as an important aspect of the gospel, the congregation will be blessed with assurance, young and old, weak and strong.

    Where preachers deny that faith is assurance, congregations will be full of doubters—doubters who profess to believe the gospel. Many who profess to believe the gospel will live and die in the terror that they may be lost and damned. This is both a dreadful condition and an insult to the gospel.

    In addition, the worship, the preaching, the doctrine, and the Christian life of the members will be adapted to the prevailing doubt in the congregation. Worship will become a merely formal seeking after God, for doubters can neither pray, nor sing, nor read Scripture rightly, nor hear preaching properly, nor use the sacraments, nor, for that matter, even give in a God-glorifying way. Preaching in the church of Christ will become an offering of Christ to the doubters, who are regarded, with some right, as unconverted. Or it will be a beating down of the miserable doubters even further. The church’s doctrine will emphasize the doubting sinner and his experience, rather than God and His glorious salvation. The life of the many doubting members of the congregation will be an anxious introspection, whether they may find some sign of salvation, and a strenuous exertion to perform good works, to prove to themselves that they are saved.

    Make no mistake: that faith is assurance is a fundamental truth. It is fundamental, not only for the certainty of salvation of all God’s believing people, but also for the gospel, the church, and the Christian life. This stands in the nature of the case. The truth that assurance belongs to the nature of faith is the truth about faith. And faith is the bond of union with Christ, the means of salvation, and the source of all Christian life, activity, and experience.

    To go wrong with regard to faith is to ruin everything.

    The issue is not whether a believer can doubt. The issue is not whether the odd believer can doubt for a long time. The issue is not even whether all believers struggle with doubt on occasion.

    But the issue is whether faith is assurance and, with this, whether assurance is normal in every believer from the moment he first believes and whether the heavenly Father wills the assurance of all His children.


    Q. 21 of the Heidelberg Catechism is the definitive statement on the issue, whether assurance belongs to the essence of faith or is merely the well-being of faith.
    On all who subscribe the “Three Forms of Unity” as their creeds, Q. 21 is binding. No Reformed preacher may deny that assurance belongs to the nature of faith. No Reformed member may challenge this, perhaps because he is attracted, foolishly, to the Puritan teaching denying that assurance is of the essence of faith. No Reformed church may countenance any teaching to the contrary.

    No one who has the Catechism as his confession may explain Q. 21 away by saying that its teaching is theoretical and ideal (that is, that assurance belongs to the faith only of God’s favored few, and then only after many years of doubt). Q. 21 describes the actual, living, breathing, knowing, trusting faith of every one to whom God gives faith.

    No one who has the Catechism as his confession may explain Q. 21 away by saying that its teaching is theoretical and ideal (that is, that assurance belongs to the faith only of God’s favored few, and then only after many years of doubt). Q. 21 describes the actual, living, breathing, knowing, trusting faith of every one to whom God gives faith.

    Faith is not lack of assurance, that is, doubt. It is not 90% lack of assurance, that is, doubt. It is not 1/100th% lack of assurance, that is, doubt. Faith is certainty. It is absolute certainty. It is as certain as is the promise of God upon which faith depends. It is as certain as is the Holy Spirit who works the assurance.

    The certainty of faith is the truth and faithfulness of the gracious God revealed in the gospel of the cross of Jesus Christ. Therefore, great sinners, with vile natures, utterly unworthy of the least of God’s blessings, who believe are absolutely certain of their justification and salvation. Therefore also, it is no mark of piety to doubt one’s salvation, “because I am such a great sinner.” On the contrary, such doubt is wicked unbelief and sinful discounting of the infinite worth and value of the death of the Son of God.

    Every other description of faith in the “Three Forms of Unity” agrees with Q. 21, that faith is assurance. There are innumerable other descriptions of faith, implicit as well as explicit. Among the explicit descriptions of faith as assurance is the well-known Q. 1 of the Catechism, explained earlier in this series on assurance; Article 20 of the Belgic Confession, which has every believer confidently declaring that God laid “our” iniquities upon Christ, poured forth His mercy and goodness on “us,” gave His Son unto death for “us,” and raised Christ for “our” justification, so that “we” might obtain immortality and life eternal; and the Canons, 5/11, which confesses “the full assurance of faith” with reference to perseverance. The Canons acknowledge here that the believer is not “always sensible” of this full assurance. But “full assurance” belongs to faith.
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    Re: What is Assurance?

    Assurance is faith. So one would ask how can we be sure that we are children of God? Well do you say because of my works? Or do you say because of what Christ has done for me, because of knowledge of who Christ is, our faith. Works has NO PART in assurance.. just like it has no part in salvation. Let me point out a few verses:

    Col 2:2, (NASB), that their hearts may be encouraged, having been knit together in love, and attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God's mystery, that is, Christ Himself

    -their hearts are encouraged.. they have assurance BECAUSE of understanding. Where is works in that verse?

    Gal 3:7, (NASB), Therefore, be sure that it is those who are of faith who are sons of Abraham.

    - one can have assurance.. be sure about who are sons of Abraham by faith. FAITH ALONE. Is there works in that verse?

    2 Tim 1:5, (NASB), For I am mindful of the sincere faith within you, which first dwelt in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am sure that it is in you as well.
    - this person was sure of the faith of these people.. faith only, he didn't say I am sure of your works for God, or anything they did.. but faith alone.

    Heb 6:19, (NASB), This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil

    - our hope is sure and steadfast. Not works but the hope of what Christ has done for us, the Gospel. Hope is an anchor for our soul, our hope is sure and steadfast.

    The bible also makes it clear to our assurance because of what it says...

    Gal 3:26, (NASB), For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.

    We can be assured we are sons of God through what?? OUR FAITH IN CHRIST JESUS. Where is works in this verse?

    Well you get my point.. many of these verses talk about faith.. talk about understanding.. talk about our justification.. what we KNOW to be our assurance, our faith to be our assurance. It is not by works. If anything maybe works can add something.. but we are FULLY ASSURED BY OUR FAITH BY OUR UNDERSTANDING. For our understanding and our faith never wavers in God, we are always believing in what Christ did and who God is, our works can waver.. our works don't bring any assurance because one day we may do many good things and another day many bad things. ONLY Christ is our full assurance, can bring any comfort of being assured that we are children of God. Only Gods Word can bring assurance that we are His by what it tells us about Truth about understanding. Assurance has nothing to do with works. I am assured that I am a child of God BECAUSE of my faith, because of the understanding of the Gospel that God gave me. Because of the faith in Christ that God gave me I can be assured that I'll go to Heaven.

    Oh and I've never been any more sure of my response here. hehe

    Just thought I'd share some verses and thoughts.. seems most people choose faith alone maybe a few of these verses will be new.. maybe not. Take care,
    Mary

    Oh here's some more verses I found:
    Gal 5:5, (NASB), For we through the Spirit, by faith, are waiting for the hope of righteousness.
    Gal 6:10, (NASB), So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.
    Eph 2:8, (NASB), For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;
    Acts 26:18, (NASB), to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me.'
    Rom 3:28, (NASB), For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law.
    Rom 5:2, (NASB), through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God.
    1 Cor 16:13, (NASB), Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.
    2 Cor 13:5, (NASB), Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you unless indeed you fail the test?

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    Re: What is Assurance?

    I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith; henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day; and not to me only, but unto all them also that love His appearing.” (2 Tim 4:7-8) AN assured hope, such as Paul expresses in 2 Timothy 4:6-8, is a true and Scriptural thing. I would lay it down fully and broadly, that a true Christian, a converted man, may reach that comfortable degree of faith in Christ, that in general he shall feel entirely confident as to the pardon and safety of his soul, — shall seldom be troubled with doubts, — seldom be distracted with hesitation, — seldom be distressed by anxious questionings, — and, in short, though vexed by many an inward conflict with sin, shall look forward to death without trembling, and to judgment without dismay.
    The vast majority of the worldly oppose the doctrine of assurance. That they cannot receive it is certainly no marvel. But there are also some true believers who reject assurance, or shrink from it as a doctrine fraught with danger. They think it borders on presumption. They seem to think it a proper humility never to be confident, and to live in a certain degree of doubt. This is to be regretted, and does much harm.
    Presumption, says Adams, “is joined with looseness of life; persuasion with a tender conscience: that dares sin because it is sure; this dares not for fear of losing assurance. Persuasion will not sin, because it cost her Savior so dear; presumption will sin, because grace does abound. Humility is the way to heaven. They that are proudly secure of their going to heaven, do not so often come thither as they that are afraid of going to hell.
    I frankly allow there are some presumptuous persons who profess to feel a confidence for which they have no Scriptural warrant. There always are some people who think well of themselves when God thinks ill, just as there are some who think ill of themselves when God thinks well. There always will be such. There never yet was a Scriptural truth without abuses and counterfeits. God’s election, man’s impotence, salvation by grace, all are alike abused. There will be fanatics and enthusiasts as long as the world stands. But, for all this, assurance is a real, sober, and true thing; and God’s children must not let themselves be driven from the use of a truth, merely because it is abused.
    Reader, you may be sure that Paul was the last man in the world to build his assurance on anything of his own. He could write himself down “chief of sinners” (1 Tim 1:15), had a deep sense of his own guilt and corruption. But then he had a still deeper sense of the length and breadth of Christ’s righteousness imputed to him. He, who would cry, “O wretched man that I am!” (Rom 7:24), had a clear view of the fountain of evil within his heart. But then he had a still clearer view of that other Fountain which removes all sin and uncleanness. He, who thought himself “less than the least of all saints” (Eph 3:8), had a lively and abiding feeling of his own weakness, but he had a still livelier feeling that Christ’s promise, “My sheep shall perish” (John 10:28), could not be broken. Paul knew, if ever man did, that he was a poor, frail bark, floating on a stormy ocean. He saw, if any did, the rolling waves and roaring tempest by which he was surrounded. But then he looked away from self to Jesus, and was not afraid. He remembered that anchor within the veil, which is both sure and steadfast; — he remembered the word, and work, and constant intercession of Him that loved him and gave Himself for him. And this it was, and nothing else, that enabled him to say so boldly, “A crown is laid up for me, and the Lord shall give it to me”; and to conclude so surely, “The Lord will preserve me: I shall never be confounded.”
    I may not dwell longer on this part of the subject. I pass on to the second thing, viz., that a believer may never arrive at this assured hope, which Paul expresses, and yet be saved.
    I grant this most freely. I do not dispute it for a moment. I would not desire to make one contrite heart sad that God has not made sad, or to discourage one fainting child of God, or to leave the impression that men have no part or lot in Christ, except they feel assurance.
    A person may have saving faith in Christ, and yet never enjoy an assured hope, like the Apostle Paul. To believe and have a glimmering hope of acceptance is one thing; to have joy and peace in our believing, and abound in hope, is quite another. I think this ought never to be forgotten. I do not shrink from saying, that by grace a man may have sufficient faith to flee to Christ; sufficient faith really to lay hold on Him, really to trust in Him, — really to be a child of God, — really to be saved; and yet to his last day be never free from much anxiety, doubt and fear.
    “A letter,” says an old writer, “may be written, which is not sealed; so grace may be written in the heart, yet the Spirit may not set the seal of assurance to it.”
    A man may be a babe in Christ’s family; think as a babe, speak as a babe; and though saved, never enjoy a lively hope, or know the real privileges of his inheritance.
    Reader, do not mistake my meaning, while you hear me dwell strongly on assurance. Do not do me the injustice to say, I told you none were saved except such as could say with Paul, “I know and am persuaded . . . there is a crown laid up for me.” I do not say so. I tell you nothing of the kind.
    Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ a man must have, beyond all question, if he is to be saved. I know no other way of access to the Father. I see no intimation of mercy, excepting through Christ. A man must feel his sins and lost estate, must come to Jesus for pardon and salvation, must rest his hope on Him, and on Him alone. But if he only has faith to do this, however weak and feeble that faith may be, I will engage, from Scripture warrants, he shall not miss heaven.
    Never, never let us curtail the freeness of the glorious Gospel, or clip its fair proportions. Never let us make the gate more strait and the way more narrow than pride and love of sin have made it already. The Lord Jesus is very pitiful, and of tender mercy. He does not regard the quantity of faith, but the quality. He does not measure its degree, but its truth. He will not break any bruised reed, nor quench any smoking flax. He will never let it be said that any perished at the foot of the cross. “Him that cometh unto Me,” He says, “I will in no wise cast out” (John 6:37).
    Yes, reader, though a man’s faith be no bigger than a grain of mustard seed, if it only brings him to Christ, and enables him to touch the hem of His garment, he shall be saved, saved as surely as the oldest saint in paradise; saved as completely and eternally as Peter, or John, or Paul. There are degrees in our sanctification. In our justification there are none. What is written, is written, and shall never fail: “Whosoever believeth on Him,” — not whosoever has a strong and mighty faith, but, “Whosoever believeth on Him shall not be ashamed” (Rom 10:11).
    But all this time, I would have you take notice, the poor soul may have no full assurance of his pardon and acceptance with God. He may be troubled with fear upon fear, and doubt upon doubt. He may have many a question, and many an anxiety, — many a struggle, and many a misgiving, — clouds and darkness, storm and tempest to the very end.
    I will affirm, I repeat, that bare simple faith in Christ shall save a man, though he may never attain to assurance; but I will not affirm it shall bring him to heaven with strong and abounding consolations. I will affirm it shall land him safely in harbor; but I will not affirm that he shall enter that harbor in full sail, confident and rejoicing. I shall not be surprised if he reaches his desired haven weather-beaten and tempest-tossed, scarcely realizing his own safety, till he opens his eyes in glory.
    Reader, I believe it is of great importance to keep in view the distinction between faith and assurance. It explains things which an inquirer in religion sometimes finds hard to understand.
    Faith, let us remember, is the root, and assurance is the flower. Doubtless, you can never have the flower without the root; but it is no less certain you may have the root and not the flower.
    Faith is that poor trembling woman who came behind Jesus in the press and touched the hem of His garment (Mark 5:27). Assurance is Stephenstanding calmly in the midst of his murderers, and saving, “I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God!”
    Faith is the penitent thief, crying, “Lord, remember me” (Luke23:42). Assurance is Job, sitting in the dust, covered with sores, and saying, “I know that my Redeemer liveth” (Job 19:25). “Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him” (Job 13:15).
    Faith is Peter’s drowning cry, as he began to sink: Lord, save me” (Matt 14:30). Assurance is that same Peter declaring before the Councilin after times, “This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other; for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved”(Acts 4:11-12).
    Faith is the anxious, trembling voice, “Lord, I believe; help Thou mine unbelief” (Mark 9:24). Assurance is the confident challenge, Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect? . . . Who is he that condemneth?” (Rom 8:33,34). Faith is Saul praying in the house of Judas at Damascus, sorrowful, blind, and alone (Acts 9:11). Assurance is Paul, the aged prisoner, looking calmly into the grave, and saying, “I know whom I have believed . . . There is a crown laid up for me” (2 Tim 1:12, 4:8).
    Faith is life. How great the blessing! Who can tell the gulf between life and death? And yet life may be weak, sickly, unhealthy, painful, trying, anxious, worn, burdensome, joyless, smileless to the very end.
    Assurance is more than life. It is health, strength, power, vigor, activity, energy, manliness, beauty.
    Reader, it is not a question of saved or not saved that lies before us, but of privilege or no privilege. It is not a question of peace or no peace, but of great peace or little peace. It is not a question between the wanderers of this world and the school of Christ: it is one that belongs only to the school: — it is between the first form and the last.
    He that has faith does well. Happy should I be, if I thought all readers of this article had it. Blessed, thrice blessed are they that believe. They are safe. They are washed. They are justified. They are beyond the power of hell. Satan, with all his malice, shall never pluck them out of Christ’s hand.
    But he that has assurance does far better, — sees more, feels more, knows more, enjoys more, has more days like those spoken of in Deuteronomy 11:21, even “as the days of heaven upon the earth.

    J C Ryle
    But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
    GALATIANS 5:22

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    Re: What is Assurance?

    Hello everyone. I am a long time 'peruser' of Pnet, but have never contributed to discussions until now. Thank you for allowing me to silently participate in the forum.

    I followed the earlier thread about assurance and am glad the discussion has been resurrected.

    I prefer the word "security" in the place of "assurance", as to not equivocate. Heb 11:1 teaches assurance/evidence of God's truth, which is spiritual and unseen. Whereas John teaches evidences for personal security. John teaches that works are the proof of God's truth being imparted. Faith is the evidence of objective truth. Works are the proof of subjective grace.

    Please provide an answer for II Peter 1:9? The context is provided:

    2Pe 1:2 May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. 2Pe 1:3 His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, 2Pe 1:4 by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. 2Pe 1:5 For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, 2Pe 1:6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, 2Pe 1:7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. 2Pe 1:8 For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 2Pe 1:9 For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. 2Pe 1:10 Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to make your calling and election sure, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. 2Pe 1:11 For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 2Pe 1:12 Therefore I intend always to remind you of these qualities, though you know them and are established in the truth that you have.

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    Re: What is Assurance?

    Quote Originally Posted by Berean View Post
    Hello everyone. I am a long time 'peruser' of Pnet, but have never contributed to discussions until now. Thank you for allowing me to silently participate in the forum.

    I followed the earlier thread about assurance and am glad the discussion has been resurrected.

    I prefer the word "security" in the place of "assurance", as to not equivocate. Heb 11:1 teaches assurance/evidence of God's truth, which is spiritual and unseen. Whereas John teaches evidences for personal security. John teaches that works are the proof of God's truth being imparted. Faith is the evidence of objective truth. Works are the proof of subjective grace.

    Please provide an answer for II Peter 1:9? The context is provided:

    2Pe 1:2 May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. 2Pe 1:3 His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, 2Pe 1:4 by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. 2Pe 1:5 For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, 2Pe 1:6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, 2Pe 1:7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. 2Pe 1:8 For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 2Pe 1:9 For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. 2Pe 1:10 Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to make your calling and election sure, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. 2Pe 1:11 For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 2Pe 1:12 Therefore I intend always to remind you of these qualities, though you know them and are established in the truth that you have.
    Not to downplay good works (all believers will walk in them), and I'm not a pastor, but if you look at verse 2, Peter says that ALL THINGS have been given to us that pertain to life and godliness--so the obvious question is: what can we "do" to add to that? Again, if you look at verse 8, what is Peter saying that these qualities are good for: to prevent us from being ineffective or unfruitful in the KNOWLEDGE of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    When someone mentions good works as a means of assurance (subjective or objective) the passages in Matthew come to mind where Christ is separating the sheep from the goats. The sheep have no idea what good works they did-- while the goats were bragging about em. I use to be a fruit inspector myself; I am thankful the Holy Spirit has seen fit to point my eyes to Christ and Christ alone as my assurance--though at times the doubts do come--and always when I start looking at my navel.

    When works become a standard (for anything), presumption isn't very far behind. Just my 2 cents--hope it's worth it.

    1Co 2:2 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.

    Gal 6:14 But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.

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    Re: What is Assurance?

    I left a church over this very question. Their answer was "B."
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    Re: What is Assurance?

    Joe, you need to vote!
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    Re: What is Assurance?

    Quote Originally Posted by lionovjudah View Post
    I would lay it down fully and broadly, that a true Christian, a converted man, may reach that comfortable degree of faith in Christ, that in general he shall feel entirely confident as to the pardon and safety of his soul, — shall seldom be troubled with doubts, — seldom be distracted with hesitation, — seldom be distressed by anxious questionings, — and, in short, though vexed by many an inward conflict with sin, shall look forward to death without trembling, and to judgment without dismay.


    I may not dwell longer on this part of the subject. I pass on to the second thing, viz., that a believer may never arrive at this assured hope, which Paul expresses, and yet be saved.

    A person may have saving faith in Christ, and yet never enjoy an assured hope, like the Apostle Paul.

    A man may be a babe in Christ’s family; think as a babe, speak as a babe; and though saved, never enjoy a lively hope, or know the real privileges of his inheritance.

    But all this time, I would have you take notice, the poor soul may have no full assurance of his pardon and acceptance with God. He may be troubled with fear upon fear, and doubt upon doubt. He may have many a question, and many an anxiety, — many a struggle, and many a misgiving, — clouds and darkness, storm and tempest to the very end.

    He that has faith does well. Happy should I be, if I thought all readers of this article had it. Blessed, thrice blessed are they that believe. They are safe. They are washed. They are justified. They are beyond the power of hell. Satan, with all his malice, shall never pluck them out of Christ’s hand.
    But he that has assurance does far better, — sees more, feels more, knows more, enjoys more, has more days like those spoken of in Deuteronomy 11:21, even “as the days of heaven upon the earth.

    J C Ryle
    I wanted to focus on a few things this author says. I completely disagree with what is said here. Though some things in the article were good some were off. For instance JC Ryle says " A person may have saving faith in Christ, and yet never enjoy an assured hope, like the Apostle Paul. " I dont think that is true at all. That is what happens when one basis assurance on works and faith, if assurance was based on faith alone all believers would be assured of their position in Christ, their hope. Because their hope rests in Jesus and nothing within' themselves. I do believe that ALL children of God who have saving faith in Christ, will enjoy an assured hope. Assurance comes by faith, by knowledge of what Christ did for us, who we are in Christ.. all the wonderful promises of the Bible. Sometimes people may doubt but in every believers heart, least I know my own.. I am well aware of the Truths of God and my place as a child of His. Because I dont rely upon myself, or any good works to assure me of that but on CHRIST ALONE.

    I believe EVERY person can have FULL ASSURANCE of his pardon and acceptance with God. I completely disagree with this JC Ryle guy on this point. And if Joe is affirming this article I disagree with him too. If someone was a new believer I would tell them that they can have FULL ASSURANCE they are saved and children of God BECAUSE OF WHAT CHRIST DID. Because they know the Truth, they know Christ and all He did for them... this knowing of God, this confessing and believing in Him is their assurance. Faith is their assurance that they are saved.. and a child of God. It doesn't depend upon their works, their own self, being good or not, what they do.. nothing about them and EVERYTHING ABOUT CHRIST!

    Don't people get the picture yet? Its ALL WHAT CHRIST DID FOR US and nothing that we do, no works.. not even the good works. Course God works all things in us, we do according to His plan.. good and bad, but the good works God does in us is not our assurance. Our assurance is Christ, His Works and His Faith. HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH US! All doctrines, all anything... has to do with Christ alone and what God does.

    Works is only evidence of our faith.. works is just there.. it has nothing to do with us being saved or us having assurance of our salvation. Christ alone.. Faith alone.

    Sorry if I sound passionate... maybe 'cause I am on this subject? haha just let it go.. sometimes I get that way. I totally understand with those who are still trying to figure this out, I'm not upset at anyone not even this author JC Ryle. Just passionate about what i believe in... just like I'm sure JC Ryle is and anyone else. (see above in my previous posts for Scriptural reference that backs up my thinking here)

    Mary
    A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold. - Wisdom

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    Re: What is Assurance?

    Quote Originally Posted by MCoving View Post
    I wanted to focus on a few things this author says. I completely disagree with what is said here. Though some things in the article were good some were off. For instance JC Ryle says " A person may have saving faith in Christ, and yet never enjoy an assured hope, like the Apostle Paul. " I dont think that is true at all. That is what happens when one basis assurance on works and faith, if assurance was based on faith alone all believers would be assured of their position in Christ, their hope. Because their hope rests in Jesus and nothing within' themselves. I do believe that ALL children of God who have saving faith in Christ, will enjoy an assured hope. Assurance comes by faith, by knowledge of what Christ did for us, who we are in Christ.. all the wonderful promises of the Bible. Sometimes people may doubt but in every believers heart, least I know my own.. I am well aware of the Truths of God and my place as a child of His. Because I dont rely upon myself, or any good works to assure me of that but on CHRIST ALONE.

    I believe EVERY person can have FULL ASSURANCE of his pardon and acceptance with God. I completely disagree with this JC Ryle guy on this point. And if Joe is affirming this article I disagree with him too. If someone was a new believer I would tell them that they can have FULL ASSURANCE they are saved and children of God BECAUSE OF WHAT CHRIST DID. Because they know the Truth, they know Christ and all He did for them... this knowing of God, this confessing and believing in Him is their assurance. Faith is their assurance that they are saved.. and a child of God. It doesn't depend upon their works, their own self, being good or not, what they do.. nothing about them and EVERYTHING ABOUT CHRIST!

    Don't people get the picture yet? Its ALL WHAT CHRIST DID FOR US and nothing that we do, no works.. not even the good works. Course God works all things in us, we do according to His plan.. good and bad, but the good works God does in us is not our assurance. Our assurance is Christ, His Works and His Faith. HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH US! All doctrines, all anything... has to do with Christ alone and what God does.

    Works is only evidence of our faith.. works is just there.. it has nothing to do with us being saved or us having assurance of our salvation. Christ alone.. Faith alone.

    Sorry if I sound passionate... maybe 'cause I am on this subject? haha just let it go.. sometimes I get that way. I totally understand with those who are still trying to figure this out, I'm not upset at anyone not even this author JC Ryle. Just passionate about what i believe in... just like I'm sure JC Ryle is and anyone else. (see above in my previous posts for Scriptural reference that backs up my thinking here)

    Mary

    Mary, the article is exactly correct. It is written for one as yourself. With the inundating amount of crying you have shown on this forum about your woes and life, you have proved the article. You have repeatedly "wondered" if you are a child of God. This is not assurance. You have repeatedly questioned your lot in the blood of Christ because of your sins, this is not assurance. The myriad of examples in your posts gives evidence to a believer doubting his assurance.

    I state that scripture gives evidence of all circumstances. But not every single believer can infallibly be assured of their eternal salvation.

    In the first chapter of his First Epistle John says: “If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth”

    “He that saith, I know Him, and keepeth not His commandments is a liar and the truth is not in him”

    “There shall in no wise enter into it (the holy city) any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life . . . Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie” [Rev 21.27; 22. 14-15].

    Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven” [Matt 7.21].


    Dr. Lloyd-Jones, referring to Matthew 5.20, writes: ‘Our Lord is teaching that the proof of our having truly received the grace of God in Jesus Christ is that we are living a righteous life’

    ‘Let there be no mistake concerning this matter, you cannot be Christians if you thus defile yourselves; you cannot be children of God and live in filthy sin; it must not be — it cannot be, and God here, by the pen of the apostle Paul, excommunicates all who pretend to be members of his Church, and yet are guilty of the sin of fornication.’

    CHS said:

    ‘I dread the men who say, “We believe, and therefore are saved”, and do not live in holiness; for these divide Christ’s offices, setting up his priesthood and denying his kingship. Half a Christ is no Christ.


    But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
    GALATIANS 5:22

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    Re: What is Assurance?

    Quote Originally Posted by lionovjudah View Post
    CHS said:

    ‘I dread the men who say, “We believe, and therefore are saved”, and do not live in holiness; for these divide Christ’s offices, setting up his priesthood and denying his kingship. Half a Christ is no Christ.
    That statement is totally and positively anti-Christ. Only the elect WILL BELIEVE. To believe is to have eternal life. Those that deny it are anti-Gospel. I dread vipers like CHS.
    This is my signature.

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    Re: What is Assurance?

    I have not voted for the simple reason that "assurance" has not been properly defined in the poll and, as Berean pointed out, it is just waiting to be equivocated.

    Each time this subject has been brought up, I have read John's 1st epistle all the way through, and I just did that again. Why? Because John's gospel was written "so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ" (John 20:31) and his 1st epistle written "TO YOU WHO BELIEVE...SO THAT you may know that you have eternal life" (1 John 5:13). Notice very carefully John's distinctions here.

    From an objective and genuine reading of 1st John, it seems apparent that good works provide SOME TYPE of evidence or assurance of a right belief in God and a true regeneration by the Spirit of God.
    1Jo 2:3-6 By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. (4) The one who says, "I have come to know Him," and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; (5) but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him: (6) the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.
    Really get in and look at what John is saying here. "By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments". Faith is believing in the revealed knowledge of God, and so we might rephrase this, "By this we know that we rightly [have faith/believe in Him], if we keep His commandments". He is laying out exactly what he states his purpose is for the epistle. It becomes easy to see why equivocating terms can ruin this discussion. Would it make sense for John to have said "By this we know that we rightly [have faith/believe in Him], that we have faith/believe in Him"? That would be an absurd statement!

    Here are some excerpts from John Gill on 1 John 2:3:
    ...where there is true knowledge of Christ, there is faith in him; and where there is faith in him, there is love to him, for faith works by love; and where there is love to him, there will be an observance of his commands; and this is here made the evidence of the true knowledge of him...
    ...the observance of which, though it cannot be with perfection, yet being in faith, and from love to God, and with a view to his glory, is an evidence of the true knowledge of him and of his will...
    ...without depending on them for life and salvation, is an argument and proof of the right knowledge of him...
    ...now let it be observed, that keeping of the commands of God, or Christ, is not the knowledge of either of them itself, for much may be done in an external way, yet neither God nor Christ be spiritually and savingly known; nor is it the cause of such knowledge, for that is owing to the Spirit and grace of God; but is an effect or consequence of spiritual knowledge, and so an evidence of it; hereby is not the knowledge itself, but the knowledge of that knowledge, that is, that it is true and genuine..
    The quote that has already been provided from 2 Pet. also seems to be saying this same thing. "If these qualities are yours", which is the supplying of good works in your faith (v5-7), then "they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ". The knowledge/faith that we have in Jesus Christ and His work can become unfruitful if good works do not accompany the belief. Notice that Peter is not saying that "faith becomes fruitless if we don't have faith" -- he is saying that faith becomes fruitless if we don't have the good works which are also provided by God (Eph 2:10, lest any should claim I say otherwise).

    More great Scripture from 1st John:

    1Jo 2:9-10 The one who says he is in the Light and yet hates his brother is in the darkness until now. (10) The one who loves his brother abides in the Light and there is no cause for stumbling in him.

    1Jo 2:29 If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone also who practices righteousness is born of Him.

    1Jo 3:7-9 Little children, make sure no one deceives you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous; (8) the one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil. (9) No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.

    1Jo 3:10 By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother.

    1Jo 3:14 We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love abides in death.

    1Jo 3:18-19 Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth. (19) We will know by this that we are of the truth, and will assure our heart before Him

    1Jo 4:12-13 No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us. (13) By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.
    Gal 6:14 But may it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

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    Re: What is Assurance?

    The true preaching of the gospel of salvation by grace alone always leads to the possibility of this charge being brought against it. There is no better test as to whether a man is really preaching the New Testament gospel than this, that some people might misunderstand it and mis-interpret it that it really amounts to this: that because you are saved by grace alone, it does not really matter at all WHAT you do, you can go on sinning all you like because it will redound all the more to the glory of grace. That is a very good test of gospel preaching... D.M. Lloyd Jones
    Joe, I believe that young believers always will have a liberteen tendency to dismiss sin in their lives after being in a legalistic system. It's like when a young child is first learning about boundaries, when they're told no they decide to go the other way. The difference is that now they can sin all they want and grace will abound. My belief is this continues to occur until the newbie understands that they have all in Christ and that "why would I want to sin to get this if God has already given me all things needed pertaining to life and Godliness?"
    Rom 6:1-7, (NASB)1 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase?
    2 May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?
    3 Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death?
    4 Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.
    5 For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection,
    6 knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin;
    7 for he who has died is freed from sin.
    Also you're CHS quote
    Originally Posted by lionovjudah
    CHS said:

    ‘I dread the men who say, “We believe, and therefore are saved”, and do not live in holiness; for these divide Christ’s offices, setting up his priesthood and denying his kingship. Half a Christ is no Christ.
    was really ridiculous in that Paul says:
    Rom 7:19-24, (NASB)19 For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want.
    20 But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me.
    21 I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good.
    22 For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man,
    23 but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members.
    24 Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death?
    Based on this, I think your CHS quote is erroneous. By the way I think that CHS isn't worth reading and that his conclusions very often lead to conditionalism and a god that isn't truly sovereign.
    Isaiah 45:7, (KJV), I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.

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    Re: What is Assurance?

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Gill View Post
    Joe, you need to vote!
    Brandan, I think we should make a policy that states: Please refrain from posting your comments until after you have voted on the poll.

    What's your opinion?
    Isaiah 45:7, (KJV), I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.

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    Re: What is Assurance?

    YES!!!!!!!!!!!
    I will speak for him..haha

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    Re: What is Assurance?

    I just reread my post above regarding Matthew and realized I wasn't very clear (still getting used to working nights and sleeping during the day). I just wanted to clarify that I conflated Christ's words regarding the goats bragging in Chapter 7 with Jesus' separation of the goats and sheep in chapter 25. Hope that makes the post a little clearer.

    In regard to following Christ's commands in 1John: are we to place our assurance in our own pitiful attempts to obey Christ's commands? When we cannot obey His commands explicitly, does not Christ say to believe in Him and His righteousness alone? Christ does say that the greatest command is to love the Lord and our neighbor as ourselves--and we miserably fail to do this daily. What is our relief? Mat 11:28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

    I will say again, when works become any sort of a standard, presumption is sure to follow. Our 'good' works still remain filthy rags apart from Christ's imputed righteousness.

    1Co 4:7 For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?

    When we look at our works for any sense of assurance, are we not glorying in ourselves instead of Christ? I believe so--it is human nature.

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    Re: What is Assurance?

    Quote Originally Posted by lionovjudah View Post
    Mary, the article is exactly correct. It is written for one as yourself. With the inundating amount of crying you have shown on this forum about your woes and life, you have proved the article. You have repeatedly "wondered" if you are a child of God. This is not assurance. You have repeatedly questioned your lot in the blood of Christ because of your sins, this is not assurance. The myriad of examples in your posts gives evidence to a believer doubting his assurance.
    This is so wrong Joe! Just because one cries out about their life, and their struggle against sin doesn't mean they are not assured that they are a child of God. Just like when you asked me how can I have peace when I'm distressed and unhappy. Well we have peace 'cause God gives that, we have assurance because God gives that. If I doubt even for a moment its wrong, and its usually because in my old church that I grew up in that they were all about DOING, legalistic stuff, self righteousness and armininian views. It's this very idea that assurance is good works and faith that can CAUSE one to doubt. This very false doctrine can send people into unassurance, into doubting because it is dependent upon a CERTAIN AMOUNT of good works, which so far anyone who believes in this still hasn't told me HOW MUCH good works one would need to see in their lives to be assured. So HOW MUCH? Anyone?? When someone thinks they have to know if they are saved or a child of God BECAUSE of the good works in their life, they do start to worry because we often see the sin more than we do the good works. We could start to worry about HOW MUCH good works one needs to see in their life to KNOW THEY ARE SAVED. This is so pathetic!

    Even if I doubt for a second because of the sin in my life, I am reminded by Gods Word that I am a child of God. I am reminded that ASSURANCE is NOT BASED UPON MY GOOD WORKS! That knowing I am saved has NOTHING to do with my works, and thus I can be reassured I am a child of God because I know that Christ has taken care of everything for me. I have Faith, I have understanding... I CAN RELY UPON GOD instead of my works.

    So no my crying out on the forum says NOTHING about assurance, except maybe I don't quite fully understand it yet, that it's NOT ABOUT WORKS BUT EVERYTHING ABOUT FAITH ALONE!!! Just like salvation is. And my crying out on the forum was more for help, I was coming to the only family I knew.. those who knew Christ to help me with this (to carry each others burdens, pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up, etc). And it was helpful, and I am beginning to turn from my old ways, my old self. So if I had to do it allover again... even though some have advised me not to.. I would. Because God used the people here to help me, to carry me when I fell, to be stern with me and tell me the truth, to bring encouragement, to SPUR ME ON TO GOOD DEEDS. If I hadn't said anything to anyone I would have had no one.. and no help.

    I hope this has been an adequate response and I didn't want anyone coming on the forum and not understanding really what has been going on in my life. If anyone wants to pm me about it they can, but for Joes remark he's way off.

    Take care,
    Mary
    A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold. - Wisdom

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    Re: What is Assurance?

    Quote Originally Posted by melted View Post
    I have not voted for the simple reason that "assurance" has not been properly defined in the poll and, as Berean pointed out, it is just waiting to be equivocated.
    How do you define it then? Because for me it seems assurance would be someone wanting to know they are assured that they are a child of God and going to Heaven. So how can someone know they are a child of God? You tell me.. if it is by works and what Christ did.. that is almost like asking how do we know we are saved? WELL WHAT IS SALVATION!! Is it what Christ did and works? Or is JUST CHRIST ALONE!!! To be assured then that one is saved is to know the true Gospel, to have Faith. Our assurance is in our salvation, which our salvation is by Christ alone. NOT WORKS!


    Quote Originally Posted by melted


    From an objective and genuine reading of 1st John, it seems apparent that good works provide SOME TYPE of evidence or assurance of a right belief in God and a true regeneration by the Spirit of God.
    1Jo 2:3-6 By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. (4) The one who says, "I have come to know Him," and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; (5) but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him: (6) the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.
    Really get in and look at what John is saying here. "By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments". Faith is believing in the revealed knowledge of God, and so we might rephrase this, "By this we know that we rightly [have faith/believe in Him], if we keep His commandments". He is laying out exactly what he states his purpose is for the epistle. It becomes easy to see why equivocating terms can ruin this discussion. Would it make sense for John to have said "By this we know that we rightly [have faith/believe in Him], that we have faith/believe in Him"? That would be an absurd statement!
    Oh this is great! Hey Kyle did you read on in 1 John? Because it tells us what Jesus commandment is! It tells us what was talked about in 1 John 2:3, what commandment was meant. Was it the Law, the commandments in the Law? Was it to love God and love on another? What is the commandment.. Well reading on, we find out...
    .... haha I really wanted to play a drum roll, you know like some climatic sound, leading up to that pivital point in a movie.... haha sorry just joking around..

    1 Jn 3:23, (NASB), This is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us.

    So there are many people who may say they know Jesus, I can think of about 1,000 of them in my old church, they say they know Jesus. BUT they don't believe in Jesus Christ, they believe in some false one. See we know we have come to know him because we believe in the name of Jesus Christ and love one another. And here obviously what is first is believing. Having the truth of who God is, many people can claim to know Him and have NO UNDERSTANDING, they are blind. In another place Jesus says the greatest commandment is to love God and love on another. We can be assured that we are 100% a child of God because of what God has done in us, because of what Christ has done, because of belief, of Faith.

    You are right in saying that good works is evidence of faith. Good works does bring some assurance but only AFTER believing, after Faith. Just like in the 1 John verse, believing is first and loving on another is after. But if one has the first commandment, believing they are 100% assured (this is key take it in.. think upon it) then because we KNOW THAT WE ARE SAVED BECAUSE OF WHAT CHRIST DID AND NOTHING WE DO we can be 100% assured we are His child. Good works only adds to that its like the sprinkles on the cake,. Our foundation is Christ alone, we stand on Christ, our assurance is our foundation. I can be fully assured my house will stand because of the foundation. The walls the building of it that can be good works sure, but my foundation my knowing FOR SURE that I am saved is because of my belief because of my Faith.

    Here's another good verse:
    26 Jesus answered them and said, "Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled.27 "Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you, for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal."28 Therefore they said to Him, "What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?"29 Jesus answered and said to them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent."
    What is the work of God?? That you believe. So BOTH these two verses talk about the commandment, the work of God.. is that you believe. Our believing in God, our Faith is our assurance period. Works is only evidence of our foundation of our Faith. But it brings NO ASSURANCE. For again I say how much good works does one have to do to be 100% assured? NO ONE has yet to answer me. WHY? because they have no answer.. because the Bible doesn't speak of this. If assurance depends upon works, then there must be a certain amount.. but no where in the Bible does there speak of any certain amount of good works one should see in their life to be assured. So Kyle how do you know you're a child of God?? How much works do you attribute to that? HOW DO YOU KNOW ITS ENOUGH??!!! Maybe you shouldn't be so sure you're a child of God, maybe your good works isn't enough yet.. maybe instead of doing just 10 good things you need to do a million! (sorry just poking fun, not trying to be mean.. just triyng to open some eyes to this).

    I hope this helped explain things more.. and Kyle I did read 1 John, I kept reading and found out the commandment is to believe!!!

    Mary

    ps: please remember my first posts I am very passionate about this, kinda reading though this it may seem harsh or very I dont know maybe even arrogant. But that's not my point at all, I just believe that assurance is only faith soo... much! Just as much as I believe salvation is only by grace, by what God does and not works. Works has no part in either of these two things. And I will fight this to my death, so haha I'll try and not be as passionate next time. hehe
    A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold. - Wisdom

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    Re: What is Assurance?

    Hi Mary,

    You singled out "if we keep His commandments" and found that one of His commandments is believing, so you concluded that John's point is that, "By this we know that we have come to know Him, that we believe in Him". You then use this to dismiss the idea that works play *any* part in providing evidence that one's faith is God given and not a false faith. I think this is a fair representation of what you put forth.

    A couple of things:

    "Is it what Christ did and works? Or is JUST CHRIST ALONE!!!"

    This is a false dilemma setting up a straw man. Good works are a result of what Christ has done (Eph 2:10), so the separation of "CHRIST ALONE" from "what Christ did and works" is not valid. A person can most certainly confess that assurance of salvation is by what Christ alone has done and at the same time by faith and good works because they are results of what Christ alone has done. I hope you see that this specific objection is thus illogical.


    "Our foundation is Christ alone, we stand on Christ, our assurance is our foundation."

    Given the understanding that good works flow from the Lord Jesus Christ's finished work, statements such as this do not make a point for either side. Whether it is faith ALONE or whether works have some part does not deny that it is all of Christ and none apart from Him. To say so is to erect a straw man, such as the implication that I would confess that good works come from some place other than Christ alone.


    "This is His commandment, *that we believe* in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us."

    Absolutely! Do you notice that in addition to faith, that loving one another is mentioned as a commandment? So then is your confession now that assurance of salvation is provided by "faith and love for one's brother"? If that is the case, you no longer confess that assurance is by faith ALONE. You will now need to convince me that love is not a "good work", as I believe it is (notice that Paul lists it as a fruit of the Spirit in Gal 5:22). I believe this presents a problem for you.

    You also go on to say this, "You are right in saying that good works is evidence of faith. Good works does bring some assurance but only AFTER believing, after Faith". I certainly have no problem with this statement. The Bible is clear that faith is prior to good works (or, in other words, good works are a result of right believing). Are you sure about these statements that you have just made, because if you are, you are contradicting yourself given your previous statements concerning assurance being by faith ALONE. You also said this, "Good works only adds to that its like the sprinkles on the cake". Here again you are "sprinkling" on the good works. Are you sure about this statement? You contradict yourself again. Even with the "sprinkles", you still must then confess that BOTH faith and good works effect assurance *in some way*, not faith ALONE. You should either stick to faith ALONE, or admit that the Bible includes works in the ways in which God provides evidence of the true and real regeneration of a person.

    Berean drew some distinctions between faith being an apprehension of objective truth while works can help the subjective knowlegde that what you believe is true. I think there is much to think about in regards to that. This also seems to be the way John is speaking as he makes a distinction between writing a letter to help some believe (apprehend the truth about God and His work) and then writing a letter to believers to help them know that they have eternal life (that their belief is God given and right). I think profit may be seen in delving into what faith provides to the believer vs. what good works may provide to the believer. Do they work together? Does one always imply the other? Do the work against each other? If not assurance, what effect do Spirit provided good works have on the believer? Just some things I will be thinking about.
    Gal 6:14 But may it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

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    Re: What is Assurance?

    As a child I beleived what I was told about Jesus had no reason to doubt or any argument against just beleived what I was told. Also my mother firmly beleived in election that we wait on the Lord that it is He that will punish those who do us harm. Went to sea taking these things with me,had to they where in me. This should have been enough to give me assurance by faith. but it was not nearly enough, It seemingly pleased the Lord have the Holyspirit convince me of my sinfull state it was a time of tribulation for me, if that is the word to use. It was clear to me that I had to go to the Lord this Icalled and I called but no answer things got worse really bad. Holyspirit showed to me time and again a great white throne and books but not yet and a book. A lady I knew a little ,gave me one day a NewTestament in which she had written inside the cover------John 11.25 I am the resurrection and the life. He who beleives in Me,though he may die,he shall live. And she had signed it Jesus. This is when I received true faith in a blinking of an eye unspeakable joy. And it was the Lord of Lords who gave it to me John 3.27 Now you all know a little about who I am.

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