A Brief Book Summary from Books At a Glance
By Jason Alligood
In this book Beeke explores an assurance of salvation that is grounded in what God has done and said.
Our interview with the author, Joel Beeke, can be heard here.
Table of Contents
1 Why Is Assurance of Faith Important?
2 Why Do Many Christians Lack Assurance?
3 Is Assurance of Faith Biblical and Normative?
4 Three Possibilities Concerning Assurance
5 Assurance from God’s Promises
6 Assurance from Evidence of Grace
7 Assurance from the Holy Spirit’s Witnessing Testimony
8 How to Cultivate Assurance
9 Assurance Lost and Removed
10 The Spirit’s Role in Assurance
11 Final Questions About Assurance
Chapter 1: Why Is Assurance of Faith Important?
The question of assurance is one that is common to every professing Christian. Many times, we base our assurance on what we feel instead of what is known and can be given as assurance from the Scriptures. We need a Biblical view of assurance.
The way in which we understand assurance is key to the living of our lives as Christians. Many people assure themselves in unbiblical ways such as a prayer prayed or regular church attendance. Many who profess faith never show the fruits of regeneration. This can lead to false assurance, which can lead either to sentimental emotion or dry intellectualism. True believers will be assured not by avoiding the struggle of assurance, but by partnering the struggle with the truth of Scripture and the evidences in one’s life for which the Scripture call. This can be summarized as a “longing for God and a corresponding hatred for sin…worked by the Holy Spirit in them.”
Seven evidences and realities of this sort of assurance are given:
- Peace with God and Joy in God
- Christian Service
- Communion with God
- Holiness to the Lord
- Need for Revival
- Countering Secularization
- Promotion of Biblical Doctrine
Chapter 2: Why Do Many Christians Lack Assurance?
There are eleven reasons some true believers lack assurance.
- “History and present experience with sin.”
- “False conceptions of God’s character of his gospel.” When we understand that salvation is of God and that our security is in Him and that He is for us and not against us, and that the Good News is that we can do nothing to earn reconciliation, our assurance is strengthened.
- “Lack of clarity of justification by faith.” Many conflate justification and sanctification, thinking that their good works are the grounds for reconciliation rather than seeing them of the fruit of God’s work in justification.
- A “lack of confessing Christ.” A lack of assurance can stem from one’s inhibition of acknowledging Christ in situations in which it might be costly.
- “Sin and backsliding.” If one is in a pattern of sin, even as a true believer, they cannot “experience high levels of assurance.” . . .
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Knowing and Growing in Assurance of Faith