by A. W. Pink
Question: "Can true believers be infallibly assured that they are in the estate of grace, and that they shall persevere therein unto salvation?
Answer: Such as truly believe in Christ, and endeavor to walk in all good conscience before Him (1 John 2:3), may, without extraordinary revelation, by faith grounded upon the truth of God's promises, and by the Spirit enabling them to discern in themselves those graces to which the promises of life are made (1 John 3:14, 18, 19, 21, 24; Hebrews 6:11-12, etc.), and bearing witness with their spirits that they are the children of God (Romans 8:16), be infallibly assured that they are in the estate of grace and shall persevere therein unto salvation (1 John 5:13; 2 Timothy 1:12)."
"Assurance is the believer's full conviction that, through the work of Christ alone, received by faith, he is in possession of a salvation in which he will be eternally kept. And this assurance rests only upon the Scripture promises to him who believes."
The careful reader will perceive a considerable difference of doctrine in the two quotations given above. The former us the product of the Puritans, the latter is a fair sample of what the boasted enlightenment of the twentieth century has brought forth. The one is extracted from the Westminster Confession of Faith (the doctrinal statement of the Presbyterians), the other is taken from the "Scofield Bible." In the one, the balance of Truth is helpfully preserved; in the second, the work and witness of the Holy Spirit is altogether ignored. This example is only one out of scores we could cite, which sadly illustrates how far we have gone backward. The answer given by the Puritans is calculated to lead to heart searchings; the definition (if such it may be called) of the popular dispensationalist is likely to bolster up the deluded. This brings us to consider, more definitely, the nature of assurance.
Table of Contents
2. Its Nature
3. Its Basis
4. Its Subjects
4. Its Attainment
5. Its Hindrances, Maintenance, and Fruit
6. Dialogue 1: Carnal Confidence 7. Dialogue 2: Humble Heart, Part 1
8. Dialogue 3: Humble Heart, Part 2
9. Dialogue 4: Fears