Assurance of Salvation
Many Christians have difficulty with receiving assurance of their salvation. This has been a long time historical problem within Christianity. Christians can know and be assured of their eternal life and salvation. There is a small illustration about assurance that Campus Crusade for Christ has in the back of their booklet, “Four Spiritual Laws”. It is this: FACT, FAITH, FEELING. It is pictured as train cars.
The fact (objective reality) of Christ death and payment for our sins and resurrection from the dead is the fact on which we must concentrate.
Then we must put Faith second which attaches to the Fact. However, if we do not connect faith the the Fact we remain disconnected from God and His salvation.
We do not need Feeling to be saved, regenerated, justified, but if we know that we possess eternal life in Jesus Christ we certainly will feel better. True knowledge about the Fact will bring us assurance. When you feel unstable about your eternal life, just look at the FACT and Believe it, rest upon it fully. First John 5:13 clearly states that “…that ye may know that ye have eternal life…” 1 John 5:13 (KJV)
There are several reasons for lack of assurance. I will attempt to enumerate some of the primary causes.
1. The person is not truly saved and has trusted in something other than Jesus Christ alone for their salvation. The person may be connected with a church that does not teach clearly on the way of salvation. There are many such organizations in which the alleged church does not teach the true and simple plan of salvation.
2. The lack of biblical knowledge is also a major source of a lack of assurance of salvation. While God generally gives a person assurance of their salvation immediately at the time that they truly accept Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour, there are some people that this does not seem to be the case. Above all I believe that a lack of biblical knowledge is the major cause of a lack of assurance. This can be corrected by good biblical instruction.
3. The person’s background, family history, and other factors can inhibit a full assurance of salvation. A person that has a church background that emphases feelings and emotions may depend on their feelings which are misleading. A person with no previous religious Christian background will need to be taught clearly about the major aspects of Christianity. The person may not know what to expect regarding their assurance of salvation.
4. Generally speaking I question every person regarding their personal religious background to get a clear understanding of where they are as to their understanding of spiritual matters.
5. Unconfessed Sin in the life of a Christian and lack of spiritual growth will cause them to have a lack of assurance. Having an ongoing struggle with sin or certain sins will cause of Christian to have a lack of assurance.
5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; 6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; 7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. 8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.
2 Peter 1:5-9 (KJV)
6. Some people with emotional problems may have a lack of assurance of salvation because of their dysfunctional thinking.
7. Also, it must be remembered that people are not saved by perfect knowledge. A person can become a Christian with minimal knowledge of Jesus Christ. The Gospel (Good News) is a very simple matter. All a person must do to be saved (regenerated, justified etc. ) is to trust in Christ for the payment of their sins. The book of Romans is an excellent book to explain God’s total plan of salvation. When we say a person is “saved” we generally are talking about the initial aspect of salvation, regeneration and justification. Salvation covers the total life of the believers. Many Christians are never properly taught in all the areas of salvation. The word “salvation” basically means “deliverance”. But there are other aspects of salvation that a Christian should know about. These other aspects of salvation are necessary to equip the new believer and arm them to effectively live their new lives for the honor and glory of Jesus Christ.
8. The book of Romans is the book that clearly explains all these aspects of salvation. The basic terminology of Christian teachings is basic to a clear understanding and assurance of salvation. I plan to write a brief definition of all the theological words that are sections of doctrine in Romans chapters 1-8. Romans chapters 1-8 is primarily the doctrinal section of Romans. Below is a simple one word outline for the aspects of salvation as clearly explained in Romans:
A Brief Outline of the book of Romans
Condemnation 1:1-18 – 3:20
Sanctification 6:1- 8:9
Past Election of Israel 9
Present Salvation of Israel 10
Future Restoration of Israel 11