“The righteous shall flourish…
like a cedar in Lebanon” (Psalm 92:12)


The righteous shall flourish…

like a cedar in Lebanon” (Psalm 92:12)

Assurance of Salvation

Have you ever felt uncertain of your salvation in Christ?  Probably all believers have been touched by this concern at some point in their Christian experience.  So can we know we are saved?  And if so, how can we really know our soul is safe in Jesus?  It’s an important question to consider, finding support in Paul’s instruction in II Cor. 13:5 to “examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith”.  By the way, notice that Paul did not say “whether you still be in the faith”.  To add a “still” there would imply a salvation that could be lost once received.  Thank God for that missing “still”!  Its absence is further quiet evidence of a salvation not founded upon our works, but upon Christ’s finished work on the cross.

Now to know with assurance that we are indeed saved we must find evidence to prove the reality of our salvation.  The primary evidence God gives us is His own faithfulness as revealed in His Word.  When God plainly declares His faithfulness we are not wise to doubt the certainty of it.  He has promised to save and keep every soul who puts their trust in Him.  How very prominent this promise of God;

  • “Blessed are all they that put their trust in Him” (Ps. 2:12).
  • “Blessed is the man that trusts in Him” (Ps. 34:8).
  • “Blessed is the man that makes the Lord his trust” (Ps. 40:4).
  • “O Lord of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in Thee” (Ps. 84:12).
  • “Whoso trusts in the LORD, happy is he” (Prov. 16:20).
  • “Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD and whose hope the LORD is” (Jer. 17:7).

When we have indeed put our trust in the Lord we must either believe Him to do as He said in blessing, or we must suppose Him to be unfaithful to His words.  The primary evidence that God will bless the one who trusts in Him is the testimony of Scripture, the record or reputation of God to do what He has said He will do.

Now perhaps you understand with all certainty that God is faithful and His words dependable, but you find uncertainty in yourself.  “Have I really believed in a way that has saved my soul?  Oh I would not doubt God, but I doubt myself.  I’m just not sure I have properly connected with Him”.  The only answer for such uncertainty is to settle it with Him now.  Bring it to certainty this moment once and for all.  We must acknowledge before Him our utter sinfulness, that we are completely without merit before Him, without any hope in ourselves.  We recognize that Jesus suffered and died for us, in our place.  And so we call to Him in simple sincerity, “Lord, if I have never genuinely put my trust in You, I do it now”.  We proceed according to His promise that “whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.  We then simply trust God for that promise, resting upon the rock-solid faithfulness of His Word.

We would like to find hard, tangible proof of our salvation.  But God tells us our faith is the very substance and evidence of unseen, hoped-for things.

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Heb. 11:1).

God calls us to honour Him by simply believing His promises.  And He expects our faith to be enough for us.

So we mark that moment of decision and understand the matter to be settled and final, and as real and solid as God’s own name.  And we thank Him for the salvation He has given, according to His sure promise.  We embrace His promise to embrace us, and we proceed as if it’s true, for it is true!  And when moments of doubt come to us again we remember that God has made promise to us, and God is true to His words.  To doubt this is to suggest Him a liar.

Think of Christ’s words in Jn. 6:37, “Him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out”.  If you have come to Him, putting your trust in Him for salvation, the only question we can ask is this; has he cast you out?  Oh it’s a key question, and one we must be very thoughtful in answering.  For of course it’s a question involving the truthfulness and trustworthiness of Jesus Christ.  To come to Him and doubt His keeping, when He has spoken such words, is to distrust God, again, making Him a liar.

The same is true for portions like Jn. 3:16 and 5:24, “. . . that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”  Since you have believed in Him has He given you everlasting life?  What did He say He would do?  The same for Rom. 10:13, “for whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”  When you called upon Him did He save you?  What did He say?  We can know we’re saved for the simple reason that He has spoken these words!  The written words of God become the official title deed or entrance certificate ensuring that the transaction is a done deal.

Last year we booked a week in January for our family at a place up on Sterkfontein dam.  Enquiries were made, availability was affirmed, and banking details were supplied to us.  We made our payment on the reference number given, and we were then issued a Guest Certificate.  On that certificate was written all of the details necessary to confirm upon our arrival that we were paid-up guests.  We were required to have that Guest Certificate with us when we arrived there.  And it was clearly stated on that certificate that only the person whose name was written on it would be able to occupy the cottage.  Now suppose we had begun to feel uncertain about our booking, and we phoned up there asking how we could know we had entrance for that week?  They of course would have pointed to that certificate as the written assurance that we had entrance there.  If we had asked for more significant or convincing proof they could not have given us anything more certain than what they had already written.  We were already holding in our hands the official document stating that we were in.  Nothing more was needed.  If we had perhaps suggested that we just didn’t really feel certain that we had entrance they might have cautiously asked if we had been to see our psychiatrist lately.

So it is with the Lord in the matter of salvation.  The statement of His Word is the Guest Certificate ensuring that we are in.  Nothing more is needed.  If we have fulfilled His entrance requirement, in coming to Jesus and believing in Him, then His Word certifies His acceptance.  Consider the words of I Jn. 5:13, “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life”.  Are you listening?  What He has written He expects to be assurance enough for us, so that we can know with certainty that we are saved.  Primary evidence!!  It is written!

“Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My words shall not pass away”

As well, how can we look upon what God has done on the cross of Christ and not recognize the reality of His love?  He who paid such a price as the precious blood of Christ to make salvation available to us, how could we think that He would not instantly receive any soul coming to Him?  It would defy all logic that He who has done so much already would not immediately receive every soul sincerely coming to Him.

So God’s Word, the eternal record of His saving grace, becomes the primary proof of His acceptance of the believer.  All other evidences that we might point to are of a secondary nature.

Let’s finish by briefly considering some of those other, secondary evidences of our salvation.  All of these relate more to our experience or feelings;

  • With our true salvation there is a new sense of relation to God as our Father (Rom. 8:15-16; Gal. 4:6). Jesus said no man knows “the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal Him” (Matt. 11:27).  In Jesus there is a revelation of the Father to us.  We have come to more than just a knowledge of God, but to a personal awareness of Him as our own Father.  In fact Jesus proclaimed that the very essence of eternal life is to “know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent” (Jn. 17:3).
  • With true salvation there are new emotions, desires, purposes, and direction. In Jesus there is a new sense of peace and joy and rest (Rom. 5:1-2; Heb. 4:3; I Pet. 1:8).  When the Ethiopian eunuch believed, he “went on his way rejoicing” (Acts 8:39).  What was that all about, unless there was a new sense of things settled in his heart?  James spoke of true faith bringing an evident change in us.  In fact he warned that faith without new works is dead, “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also” (James 2:26).  James of course was referring to the evidence of our faith before man.  In Jesus as well there is a new love for fellow believers.  John actually makes this a test of true salvation in I Jn. 3:14, saying, “we know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren.  He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.”
  • With true salvation there is a new ability to understand the Bible. II Cor. 3:18 – “with open [unveiled] face”.  16:13 – “The Spirit of truth . . . will guide you into all truth . . . and He will show you . . .”.  Lk. 24:45 – Jesus opened “their understanding, that they might understand the Scripture”.
  • With true salvation there is perhaps a sense of the Spirit dwelling within. What does John mean in I Jn. 4:13; 3:24?
  • With true salvation there is a sense of no longer being condemned (Jn. 3:18; Rom. 8:1). The burden of sin/guilt is removed, the load lifted?
  • And there is perhaps a sense of being accepted in the beloved (Eph. 1:6).

But again, such inward witnesses are secondary to the sure testimony of God’s words.  Every human witness falls to insignificance compared to God’s faithful witness.

“If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which He hath testified of His Son.  He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made Him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of His Son.  And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.  He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.  These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God” (I Jn. 5:9-13).

Our safety in Jesus is as sure as God’s Word.  The fact of salvation must never be confused with our imperfect, changeable feelings of assurance.


“Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart, and lean not unto your own understanding” (Ps. 3:5).