True Biblical Assurance
Let’s dig through the scriptures to look at what directive the Bible gives.
1. Repent and Believe (Mark 1:15)
Mark 1:15 says, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” We see in this verse that Jesus is challenging his listeners to repent and believe. What does it mean to repent? It means that your mind and your thought processes are convinced that you are wrong and God is right. This can only happen when God is explained through sound doctrine to be holy, wrathful towards all sin, and completely just in his holiness and wrath. The truth is being heard and God, through the Holy Spirit, is using it to convince you of the truth of the Bible. The repentance and belief in Jesus happen almost simultaneously. Your faith is placed completely in Jesus to save you. When you repent and believe in Jesus you want to confess Jesus as Lord to others.
2. Confession (Romans 10:9-10)
We see two things in this text- belief and confession. We covered what belief is in the previous point; however, we still need to cover confession. Is it really repeating a prayer in which someone is leading a person? I want to give an emphatic NO. A confession is what bubbles up out of your repentance and faith. You will stand in front of anyone and declare that Jesus is your Lord unashamedly. Being a confessional Christian is to be a person who has been captivated by the mercy of God, found through Jesus, and no matter what they go through, they will confess Jesus as Lord. Confession is more about a lifestyle of proclamation rather than a onetime declaration.
3. Salvation Fruit Matthew 3:8, 7:20 & 2 Corinthians 13:5
This is the missing link to the majority of all evangelism efforts today, and it is our job as the body of Christ to switch people’s focus of assurance back to fruit examination instead of the sincerity of a prayer. In Matthews 3:8, we see John challenging his listeners to bear fruit in keeping with repentance. What does this mean? If someone is genuinely repentant, then his life will change to such an extent that there will be no doubt that God has changed his life. The proof of salvation is wrapped up in the changed life. What is the evidence of repentance in the person’s life? His actions, words, and deeds. Jesus states in Matthew 7:20, “So then, you will know them by their fruits.” When God takes up residence in a life, that person cannot be the same.
Finally, Paul states in 2 Corinthians 13:5 “Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you– unless indeed you fail the test?” People who doubt their faith should examine their own lives to see if they are in the faith. This type of examination is healthy for the body of believers and would purge out most of the false converts that hang on to the coat tails of sincerely praying a prayer.
Salvation is a gift that can only be given by God the Holy Spirit. We have seen that repentance and faith make a person confessional. With repentance, belief, and confession on your side, your life is full of fruit that proves your repentance, belief, and confession are truly sincere. I hope you don’t fail the test!