Receiving Assurance of Salvation
How, then, do we receive assurance? The Scripture declares that the Holy Spirit bears witness with our spirits that we are the children of God. This inner testimony of the Holy Spirit is as vital as it is complex. It can be subjected to severe distortions, being confused with subjectivism and self-delusion. The Spirit gives His testimony with the Word and through the Word, never against the Word or without the Word.
Since it is possible to have false assurance of salvation, it is all the more urgent that we seek the Spirit’s testimony in and through the Word. False assurance usually proceeds from a faulty understanding of salvation. If one fails to understand the necessary conditions for salvation, assurance would be at best a lucky guess.
Therefore, we insist that right doctrine is a crucial element in acquiring a sound basis for assurance. It may even be a necessary condition, though by no means a sufficient condition. Without sound doctrine we will have an inadequate understanding of salvation. However, having a sound understanding of salvation is no guarantee we have the salvation we so soundly understand.
Thank God for the testimony of His Spirit and His Word, which provide assurance of your salvation.
Passages for Further Study
- Philippians 2:12
- Romans 10:10
- Romans 1:16