The Full Assurance of Salvation
The most important question in life: If I die today is heaven my eternal home?
I. The Principle of Inner Knowing
A. The Bible makes it clear that any man can possess an inner knowing, or a full assurance, that he will go to heaven at the moment of physical death:
1. 1 Corinthians 2:12-13
2. 2 Corinthians 4:16-5:8
3. Ephesians 1:15-19
4. 2 Timothy 1:6-12
5. 1 John 5:11-13
6. Romans 8:31-39
Note: Please observe the use of the word "know" in the first five passages above.
This word indicates the believer can come to a place of understanding and assurance where he fully recognizes the present possession of eternal life and the absolute trustworthiness of Jesus Christ. This "inner knowing" is a persuasion or conviction of heart that produces the full assurance demonstrated by the Apostle Paul in Romans chapter eight.
B. Full assurance means one comes to a proper understanding of the salvation provided by the Lord Jesus Christ resulting in the settled, inner conviction the believer possesses eternal life and will never perish. Such assurance brings the joy of knowing moment by moment you belong to the Lord and heaven is where you are going immediately after physical death.
II. Assurance Follows a Genuine Salvation Experience
A. The basic reason most people have no assurance lies in the simple fact they never have experienced salvation. The born-again experience produces assurance of salvation in the heart.
B. The wonderful promises of Christ and the Bible doctrine of salvation by faith alone and by grace alone belong only to those with a genuine salvation experience.
C. Poor living makes for poor assurance. A disobedient Christian life does not produce full assurance in the heart.
III. The Words of Eternal Life
Note: The promises of the Savior are essential if a true believer is to come to the full assurance of salvation. There is no higher authority than the Lord Jesus Christ. His words concerning eternal life can never change and will never pass away. (John 6:66-69)
A. John 3:15-18
B. John 4:13-14
C. John 5:24
D. John 6:35-40, 47
E. John 10:9-11, 27-29
F. John 11:25-26
G. John 14:6; 20:30-31
H. 1 John 5:11-13
Note: The clear teaching of the Lord Jesus Christ states eternal life is the "present possession" of every believer. Those who come to God with a personal trust in Jesus as their Savior now possess eternal life. He that has the Son has life. Once embraced this truth enables the believer to live out his daily Christian life with a wonderful, settled assurance deep in the heart. Since eternal life is a present possession of the believer there is no doubt the moment he departs this body he will be home with the Lord (2 Cor. 5:8).
IV. Established in Grace
A. Romans 1:16-17; 4:16
Note: Salvation is by faith alone in the Lord Jesus Christ that it might be offered by grace alone. God extends unmerited favor (grace) toward all those who will believe upon his Son. The just (those cleared of their guilt and declared righteous in the sight of God) live by faith. It is by faith alone that it might be wholly granted by God’s grace alone! To enjoy full assurance a believer must run the whole race by grace (Heb. 12:1-2). Can you accept the fact that you are saved this moment by the unchanging grace of God apart from all your works and spiritual growth as a believer?
B. Romans 3:19-28
Note: Memorize Romans 3:24
C. Romans 4:1-25
Note: (Taken from "The King James Bible Commentary") The noun faith occurs ten times in this chapter and the corresponding verb believe occurs six times. Together the idea of believing faith is found no less than sixteen times in Romans 4. The words count, reckon, or impute, all of which mean to charge to one’s account, occur eleven times in Romans 4. The word righteousness occurs in one of its forms eight times in this chapter and the corresponding verb justified occurs in one of its forms three times. Together the idea of righteousness is found no less than eleven times in Romans 4. It is significant that, apart from the common words of language, these three words occur so frequently. The application of Romans 4 is simple: faith imputes righteousness. There isn’t a thing anyone can do to become clothed with God’s righteousness except have faith in Jesus Christ as his Savior from sin.
D. Acts 15:1-11
Note: After we accept Christ and trust him as our Savior, must we then add to that faith some measure of obedience in order to be accepted in the sight of God? If there is a level of obedience sufficient to justify you in the sight of God, then the cross of Christ was unnecessary.
E. Romans 5:1-11
Note: We have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand. The "much more" verses of this chapter (verses 9, 10, & 11) drive home the point of full assurance.
F. Romans 6:1-23
Note: This chapter sets forth the right attitude a true believer is to have toward sin. This chapter is only necessary because salvation is indeed by pure grace. If salvation is partly by grace and partly by works there would be no danger of a true believer abusing grace or developing a wrong attitude toward sin. If salvation is partly by works, then the professed believer would be constantly attempting to keep himself by self-effort, or personal faithfulness. If that were the case, there would be no need to sound any kind of warning about abusing the grace of God. Furthermore, this chapter sets forth the truth that as servants of righteousness true believers give testimony to the reality of saving faith. True believers acknowledge moral righteousness and pursue the will of God in their personal walk. They do so as they follow the Spirit (Romans 8:12-14). However, such behavior only testifies to the reality of saving faith—it is in no way the means by which God saves or keeps the believer.
G. Romans 7:1-25
Note: The central truth of this chapter states every true believer is "dead" to the law by the body of Christ. Consequently, our failures to keep the law do not bring us back into condemnation in the sight of God. Understanding this truth is essential to gaining a full assurance of the salvation provided for us in Christ.
H. Romans 8:1-39
Note: This whole chapter is "shouting ground" for every believer