To children of God, one of the great blessings from God is the assurance of the safety of our souls. Fanny J. Crosby wrote the following words to the old, familiar hymn:
Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!
O what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
Born of his Spirit, washed in His blood.
In fact, some Christians fail to understand this wonderful blessing as the word of God teaches. Such individuals believe that we go through life without really knowing whether we are in a saved condition or not. Fear and worry haunt them continually, but this should not be when we correctly understand this wonderful blessing.
Of all the books of the Bible, there is probably no greater book on the subject of assurance to the Christian than the book of First John. In this first inspired letter from the beloved apostle, we have no less than five reasons how we, as Christians, can have blessed assurance of our salvation.
First, we can have blessed assurance of our salvation when we walk in the light (1:7-10). Note the emphasis in the preposition “if” (John uses it four times in this passage to begin each statement). Therefore, by stating the condition, he gives the promised results. Consequently, the point is quite clear—as long as we are meeting the conditions, we can possess our blessed assurance of gaining the aforementioned promises. One might ask, “How do we know if we are walking in the light?” The entire book explains this, and this passage begins to clarify itself—if we are walking closely to the precepts of our Savior, recognizing our transgressions along the way and confessing them each and every time, then we are walking in the light.
Second, we can have blessed assurance of our salvation when we keep His commandments (2:3-5). Again, we can have full assurance as long as we are keeping the commandments. John stated, “…we do know that we know him” when we meet the declared conditions. This assured knowledge provides peace for the condition of our souls.
Third, we can have blessed assurance of our salvation when we love our brethren (2:9-11). Once more, here is another condition of blessed assurance—we can know the safety of our salvation if we truly love our brethren.
Fourth, we can have blessed assurance of our salvation when we do not commit willful sin (3:6-10). This difficult passage for some simply assures us that a true Christian is one who understands the will of God in his life and does not even desire to commit sin. While all will sin accidentally, there is a great distinction between this and one who commits willful sin.
Finally, we can have blessed assurance of our salvation when we believe on Jesus (5:10-13). In the closing words of this book, we find the most beautiful words of assurance for every Christian: “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” (5:13). If anyone doubts that one may know in full assurance the safety of our salvation, these words prove such blessed assurance exists.
As Christians, may we all quit riding the roller coaster ride of doubt and seek to possess the calm, soothing, peaceful and enjoyable journey of blessed assurance.