Assurance of Faith
What is assurance of faith?
Assurance of faith is the conviction that one belongs to Christ through faith and will enjoy everlasting salvation.
"A person who has assurance not only believes in Christ's righteousness as his salvation but knows that he believes and that he is graciously chosen, loved, and forgiven by God the Father for the sake of Jesus, who has died for him and continues to pray for him in Heaven."
Dr. Joel Beeke
Such a person knows that the Holy Spirit has regenerated him and continues to sanctify him.
He believes the facts of the gospel and believes that these facts apply to him or her personally, and that all the blessings proclaimed in the gospel are his or hers. This is "full assurance of hope and faith.
2 that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God's mystery, which is Christ,3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.4 I say this in order that no one may delude you with plausible arguments.
It includes freedom from guilt of sin, joy in relationship with the triune God, and a sense of belonging to the family of God. Personal Assurance is known by fruits such as close fellowship with God, childlike trust, willing obedience, thirsting after God, unspeakable joy and peace, and a longing to glorify Him.
How important is this question of assurance? It is possible to be saved without assurance, but is unlikely you will be a healthy Christian without assurance. Your witness to Christ will be meager at best. To live a Christian life in a robust and blessed way, you need to have assurance of faith. Even the most assured child of God is still a poor and needy sinner.
30 He must increase, but I must decrease.
John 3;30 ESV
The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart and a contrite spirit and sigh for assurance. But to remain forever in such a condition is not desirable. If we lack assurance we should seek it diligently, by the light of God's Word, and with the help of His Spirit. Assurance is vital for our spiritual well-being.
5 For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue,[a] and virtue with knowledge, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, 7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. 8 For if these qualities[b] are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. 10 Therefore, brothers,[c] be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall.
2 Peter 1:5-10
As Christian s we should pursue a deeper, fuller, more satisfying, and more sanctified assurance of God's smile upon our lives.