The Overwhelming Assurance of Salvation
- Christian Living
- Dr Eliezer Gonzalez
- Eternal Life
- Kingdom of God
- New Testament
Aug 28, 2017 1784
Sometimes I don’t feel an overwhelming assurance of salvation. And sometimes I do. Feelings – whether mine or yours – are not a reliable guide to spiritual reality.
God, in the Bible, knowing how untrustworthy your feelings are, describes many times what I can only call an “overwhelming assurance of salvation.” Look at Jesus’ words in John 10:27–31. Can Jesus have been more definitive or categorical than this?
My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all[c]; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one (NIV).
Jesus seals this promise with the identifies of the Father and of the Son. He says that his Father “is greater than all” and he asserts: “I and the Father are one.” There is therefore nothing and no-one in the universe who can countermand the eternal life that Christ has given you. No one can snatch you out of his hand.
These words are categorical. They are absolute. If you listen to the voice of Jesus, and follow him, you have eternal life, and you will never perish.
The problem, however, is with my feelings! How do I, as a Christian, have this overwhelming and continuous assurance of salvation, when assurance, as we usually understand it, depends on my feelings. And we all know that our feelings are up and down depending on our mood, our successes or failures, and our weaknesses and sin. How do we deal with this?
What we must do is to break the connection, in our own minds, between our feelings and our assurance of salvation. We must understand that our assurance has nothing at all to do with our feelings, but it has only to do with the authority of God’s Word. Our assurance depends, alone, on God’s authority to save sinners, and not on my successes or failures, and certainly not on my feelings. Otherwise, what hope would there be for any of us?
How do we do this? How do we break the connection between our feelings and our assurance of salvation?
God will always fulfil his word no matter what your feelings may be
We have to understand that things like the love of God, forgiveness, and salvation are not feelings. They are facts. As facts, they are never the results of feelings. Certain feelings may or not result from the facts, but the feelings themselves never determine the facts. Here is an example. If you jump out of an airplane without a parachute, you might feel that you are flying free as a bird, but that feeling will never change the fact of the law of gravity.
The fact is that God has given his word. Your feelings have nothing at all to do with it. God will always fulfil his word despite your feelings.
We have a wrong view of how the life of faith really works. The great people of the Bible all went through dark and difficult times. Elijah, Isaiah, and John the Baptist all felt in different ways that their connection with God was gone, that they had been left all alone, and that they were failures.
When we know that our salvation is based on Christ’s performance, rather than on our feelings about our own performance; when it is based on his sure promise, rather than on our wavering faithfulness; when it is based on Christ’s glorious heights, rather than on our sad and tragic lows, then we will certainly know the overwhelming assurance of salvation in Christ. – Eliezer Gonzalez