Theological Structures that Damage/Destroy Our Assurance of Salvation

Written by, Roger Nicole,
Taken from an article written for Ligonier Ministries,
and The Confessing Baptist.

imagesThe privilege of assurance…

…which is secured by the work of Christ for His own and which is properly undergirded in the Reformed faith, is damaged or even destroyed in certain other theological structures.

I. When justification by faith alone is not duly proclaimed and the good works of the believer are presented as participating in the ground on the basis of which salvation is secured, the. assurance of faith receives a fatal blow…

II. This problem also burdens the Arminian view. In keeping with Arminian principles, a believer may properly say, “I am saved now,” for by virtue of the work of Christ God confers salvation to any and all who repent and believe. Yet this blessing is not a basis for complete confidence that a change of disposition may occur…

III. There are, of course, other systems of thought that undermine assurance in a still more fundamental way. For instance, those which deny the reality of life beyond the grave have no place for salvation, let alone assurance. Those also which think of salvation in social rather than individual terms do not consider assurance.

IV. Those, which expect that ultimately all rational creatures, or at least all members of the human race, will be saved extend assurance to all, but in this process emasculate the Gospel and depart from the clear teaching of Scripture as it has been well understood over the centuries.

In the Reformed doctrine assurance is grounded in the adequacy of the work of Christ, our mediator and covenant head, in the testimony of the Holy Spirit who witnesses with our spirit that we are children of God (Rom. 8:16), and in the persistent purpose of God who has begun a good work in the believer and will carry it to completion until the day of Christ (Phil. 1:6).