Dr. Willis Newman, Esmeralda Newman, bible-teaching-about.com
The Bible teaching about assurance of salvation delivers powerful hope.
I became a Christian in 1962 as a young man. As a boy, I was raised in a Christian home, went to a village Sunday school, and tried my best to live by the Ten Commandments.
But, I always fell short. I had no assurance of salvation. I read that sin would cause me to go to hell. Questions bombarded my young mind. Somewhere I got the idea that only if I confessed all my sins, would I go to heaven. Well, what if I forgot or overlooked some sin, went to bed and died in my sleep? Hell?
How bad does the sin have to be? If I hit my thumb with a hammer, and howled in anger, would I go to hell? When is something a mistake or a sin? How could I ever be sure if I was saved? Then I discovered girls. Hope evaporated!
My Ink Experience
A Sunday school teacher – may God bless her soul – told me that salvation was like putting drops of ink in a glass of water. Each drop was a sin. Depending on how black the water was when I died would determine whether I would go to heaven or hell.
When I got home that day, I poured a glass of water, and found an eye dropper and bottle of ink. After a few drops of ink in the glass, the whole thing turned black. Wow! Any hope of my getting to heaven vanished, because I had a lot of sins.
My assurance of salvation? Zero. I gave up on getting to heaven, and concluded that I may as well enjoy as much sin as I could in this life.
Later, I found out that Sunday school teacher was wrong – dead wrong. Here’s why. Poor soul. She didn’t know the Bible teaching about assurance of salvation either.
The Big Question
How can we ever be sure of our salvation? Many people lack assurance of salvation. Maybe you fall in that category. To find out how to be saved, click on my salvation essay.
Many believe they will never know if they are going to heaven or hell until they die and face the judgment of God – or, as some say until they face Saint Peter at the Golden Gate, whatever that is. The idea is that if their good works outweigh their bad works, then they can make heaven. This idea is contrary to the Bible teaching about salvation.
The Great News
The Bible teaching about the assurance of salvation is this: you can know in this life if you are saved, and where you are going when you die. Yes! The Apostle John clearly states, “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, in order that you may know that you have eternal life” (1 John 5:13). Now, that is something to get excited about!!
The Bible says that you can know now that you have eternal life – not wish or hope. You don’t have to die to know if you are going to heaven – you can know right now! How can you and I know for sure? Several reasons.
The Promises of God
John wrote, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16). This Bible teaching about God gives us enormous assurance of salvation.
Now, look at verse 18, “He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” (John 3:18).
There are two groups of people in this verse: the judged and the not judged. What is the only thing that distinguishes the two groups? Faith! It is not works, religion, effort, philosophy, baptism, divorce, adultery, murder, smoking, drinking, and church membership – only belief.
So, how can you and I know if we are saved? The Bible teaching about salvation says faith alone! God declared it. He promised salvation based on faith alone. We dare not call God a liar, since God cannot lie – and such an act is very risky (Titus 1:2)!
The Work of Christ
Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection on the cross fully paid the total penalty for the entire sins of all those who place their trust in Him for their salvation. We receive His provision as a free gift by faith, according to the Bible teaching about salvation (Ephesians 2:8, 9).
The writer of Hebrews states, “By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all…but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time…For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified” (Hebrews 10:10, 12, 14).
There is nothing more we can do to help pay for our sins. Christ paid the full penalty. His work covers all your past, present and future sins – if you have placed your trust in Him and His work. Isn’t that great news? No glass of water. No ink. He finished the task. According to the Bible teaching about assurance of salvation, we are saved.
The Nature of Eternal Life
The Bible teaching about our assurance of salvation is about eternal life – something that is perpetual, never ending and everlasting. By definition it is not intermittent, sporadic, come and go, have and lose, periodic, or a possibility. It is not a series of dots or dashes, but a straight, uninterrupted, constant, enduring line that is without end.
It is something we entirely possess to keep ceaselessly the minute we are born again - never to lose. The nature of eternal life is how we can have the assurance of salvation.
The Power of God
Our assurance of salvation is all about God, and not about our own goodness and will power to keep from sin. He keeps us.
Consider the words of Jesus, “And I give eternal life to them, and they shall never perish; and no one shall snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand” (John 10:28, 29).
The Bible teaching about salvation does not mean that a Christian is free to go sin as they wish. See my essay on the Christian and sin.
The Prayer and Advocacy of Jesus
Do you think Jesus got all His prayers answered? I do. And, He prayed, “Holy Father, keep them in Thy name” (John 17:11). Read the entire chapter to get the context.
John also said that when we sin, Jesus is our advocate pleading our case before the Father (1 John 2:1, 2). The Bible teaching about Jesus instructs that He is our lawyer, constantly reminding the Father that He has fully paid the penalty for our sin.
These facts powerfully add to our assurance of salvation. There is more evidence, and you will discover much as you do the following Bible study.
I hope that you will be greatly liberated regarding your assurance of salvation. Frankly, it was like a ton of lead rolling off my shoulders when I understood my position in Christ, and gained my assurance of salvation. No more glasses of inky water for me.
God bless you in your genuine study of the Bible.
Dr. Willis and Esmie Newman
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