Can we know for certain that we are saved, & possess eternal life? Is it important that we know if we will spend eternity with our Lord? How do we figure out if we are His? How does the knowledge of our Eternal State affect the way we live our lives? Chris Drew is pastor of Faith Presbyterian Church in Grand Forks, North Dakota. He joins me to discuss the Doctrine of Assurance of Salvation.
Outline of the Discussion
- The doctrine of Assurance is important because it tells us about God, and about how God saves us.
- It points us back to God to His unchangeable purpose in saving sinners for His own glory, which can give us hope and peace in a time of extreme stress and anxiety.
- Martin Lloyd-Jones was quoted as saying that the Doctrine of Assurance is the central topic of the New Testament.
- Roman Catholicism has a complete lack of assurance among those who are a part of it.
- Our default mode is Pelagian, and we fear God will turn away from us if we don’t do enough to keep ourselves saved. If we really believe that Christ is sufficient, then we know there is nothing more we can add to our salvation.
- The Doctrines of Grace teach us that God cannot be bought off. Everything is of His Grace, and such it cannot fail.
- Assurance drives our sanctification. It’s the difference between being Pelagian in our response to the Gospel and being grateful in our response to the Gospel.
- To struggle with sin is a sign of genuine salvation.
- The Perseverance (or Preservation) of the Saints is a preserving act of God. Understanding perseverance helps us to understand our assurance. (Chris reads from Chapter 17 of the Westminster Confession.)
- WCF 14.3: This faith is different in degrees, weak or strong; may be often and many ways assailed, and weakened, but gets the victory: growing up in many to the attainment of a full assurance, through Christ, who is both the author and finisher of our faith.
- There are other doctrines besides soteriology that are important for us to know if we are to properly live the Christian life and rest in God’s grace.
- We find our hope and rest in God’s unchangeable (immutable) nature.
- Fellowship with other believers demonstrates our position in Christ. (1 John 3:14)
- It can really shake our faith when we see others fall away from the faith. If it can happen to them, we worry that it can happen to us too.
- 1 John 2:3
- 1 John 3:14
- 1 John 5:13
- Romans 7:14-25
- John 17:1-5
- Ephesians 1:3-14
- Assurance and the Struggle with Sin (Romans 7:14-25) – Sermon by Phil Johnson
- Ryan Habbena: The Means of Grace
- Phil Johnson: Sola Fide
- Dr. James White: Sola Gratia & Sovereign Grace
- Dan Phillips: The World-Tilting Gospel
- George Alvarado: The Atonement
- Dan Phillips: What Faith Is and Does
- Allen Nelson: How Salvation Works
- Nate Pickowicz: The Five Solas
- Kofi Adu-Boahen: The Attributes of God