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The Reader Responds Regarding Assurance of Salvation

Assurance of salvation

Recently a reader expressed her doubts and fears and asked how she could have assurance of salvation.

I wrote two answers — one giving my view of assurance, and the other answering her questions about specific Bible verses.

I was deeply encouraged by what she wrote in response, and (with her permission) am posting it here —

Her response

Hi Steve,

I was re-reading your posts and responses to the salvation question, and although I anticipated giving my response to you — I’m not sure if that is necessary anymore.

I’ve never had my questions answered in such a powerful, clear and helpful way, and at the same time, I’ve never been so challenged and convicted.

I feel like I’ve tried to base my assurance on something I’ve done in the past, whether “past” means 10 years ago, 10 days ago, or 10 minutes ago.  I’ve never based my assurance on what I’m doing right now.

As I’ve processed why this is the case, I’ve been convicted to discover that looking in the past to assure your future can be an escape and a “lazy way out.”

See, if I can assure myself based on something I did yesterday, I don’t necessarily have to do anything now.  It’s actually quite disgusting to write this, because it forces me to face the sinfulness that lingers inside of me… but I know it’s good for me!

I appreciated all your answers to the Scriptures I’ve wrestled with, but to be honest, my hang-ups with those verses have become almost irrelevant after being convicted of what I just shared with you.

I understand very clearly that I don’t need to figure out which of my past sins “disqualify” me from being considered a Christian because it just doesn’t matter.

What matters is that I’m trusting Jesus NOW despite what I did 10 years ago, 10 days ago or 10 minutes ago!  I understand that now.

Of course understanding and demonstrating are two different things… but at least I know where I need to go.

So much of my battle with this stems from my unwillingness to give in 100% to the Lord and his path for me.

You’re so right when you talk about the human race not wanting to bend our knee to God, but this is what he requires of us.  Again- I understand this, but it’s so difficult to make the jump — to just go for it … trusting that it will pay off!

With all this said, I just want to say “thank you” for your willingness to listen to the Lord’s leading as you answered these questions so powerfully.  I so appreciate your leadership in my life.

A Reader

Encouraged — and a question

I was deeply encouraged by her response.  I love her honesty, her responsiveness to God’s Word, and the way the Father is working in her heart.

But what she wrote raised one other question about assurance of salvation — which, Lord willing, I’ll write about in the next few days.

But before we sign off —

What are your thoughts on what she wrote?

Share them using the “leave a reply” box below — it will be helpful for others.

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Category: Stories about Other People, Strengthening Your Faith


10 Responses

  1. Bob says:

    Steve, my thoughts regarding the reader’s response above is that my assurance doesn’t come from what I’m doing now, or that I’m giving 100%. If that was the source of my assurance, I’d never have any. for me, the source of assurance is the work of Jesus on my behalf on the cross and what He has done in me as a result. He took me out of the kingdom of darkness and put me into His kingdom. He gave me understanding, opening my eyes to the truth and giving me faith in that truth. He made all things NEW (2cor 5:17). Now, no matter what I do, I know I’m safe and secure, secured by and IN Him, not by me! I tell people that we Christians are children of God. That means we are in His family. It’s like how my son, John, is in my family. He has my last name. No matter what he does, whether he acts in a manner that I consider “worthy” of that last name or not, he still HAS that last name. His actions don’t change that fact. The question for me is, is there enough evidence that I really AM in the family, that I AM that new creation. To answer that question I don’t tend to look at “fruit” in the sense of works for God as much as the things that have changed in me that were outside my ability to change, or fake. I.E. before I was a Christian and before God opened my eyes to my sinfulness, Jesus was a man-made myth. The Bible was nonsense, Christians were weak minded fruitcakes. There was nothing wrong with me or anyone else in the world. in other words, I was blind. As the song says, “I once was blind”. Now I look to Jesus and His FINISHED work because NOW I see! the Bible is alive! I want to be what he wants to make me into, like Him. I cannot rest in ongoing sin, eventually it starts to get to me. he never lets me rest in it like I did before I was a Christian. Anyway, that’s my two cents.


    • Steve Fuller says:

      Hi Bob,

      You are surely right that the basis for all assurance lies in the finished work of Christ. What a rock-solid, permanent, and unchanging foundation we have!

      At the same time, the question this reader raised was how she could know that she is connected to this finished work of Christ.

      I think the answer given in Scripture is — by faith alone in Christ alone.

      When we turn our hearts from everything else and trust Jesus Christ as Savior, Lord, and Treasure — at that moment we can have full assurance — because only believers look to Jesus Christ by faith.

      I think you say much the same thing when you talk about focusing on those things in you that can only be produced by God’s saving work.

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts, brother,


  2. Paul Walton says:

    “So much of my battle with this stems from my unwillingness to give in 100% to the Lord and his path for me.”

    There is no negotiating the terms of surrender, a person who is at the mercy of a King cannot issue demands about the amount they are willing to surrender to Him. Jesus made this point very clear, we must forsake everything at the foot of the cross. He calls us to die to this world completely, we can take nothing with us into that grave, we leave this world with nothing in our hands, we don’t need to pack any bags for this journey.

    Jesus said to count the cost of following Him, like a builder does before construction, like a king who goes to war. Make sure you understand the cost involved, because if you start out on this quest but decide to turn back at some point, you become like salt that has lost it’s flavor, not even good for a dung heap. (pretty bad if a person would make dung worthless)

    It sounds like this person is counting the cost, which is what we are told to do, but he who forsakes that which he cannot keep, to gain what he cannot lose is no fool.

    • Steve Fuller says:

      You are right, Paul. Jesus calls us to count the cost — and it’s all or nothing.

      So what can we do when we struggle to surrender?

      The beauty of God’s mercy is that even a heart of surrender will be given to us by faith in Christ.

      When we turn to Him, confess our sins, ask for the work of the Spirit, and set our eyes on who He is as revealed in God’s Word — He will give us a taste of His all-satisfying glory so we gladly surrender all.

      What He commands — He also gives. What a Savior!

      Love you, brother,


  3. Bob says:

    Paul’s post above brings the crux of a matter to the surface for me. I have been struggling to come to full terms about the idea of our ability to surrender all. Jesus was pretty clear that, if someone wished to be His disciple he had to deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Him. To the rich young ruler who claimed to have kept the commandments, Jesus had a little bit more for him to do, knowing full well where the guy’s heart was regarding his riches. Eventually Jesus made the statement that men were to be perfect as the Heavenly Father was perfect. Isn’t that the cost of discipleship as well, that we must be perfect? And who can pay this cost?

    For me, these passages do one thing. They make it clear to me that I don’t have what it takes to be a disciple. That’s how I came to Jesus, as a poor, blind, worthless sinner. I had nothing to offer but this empty vessel. As a Christian, it is still how I approach Him, as a weak vessel in need of Him to fill me with His grace.

    When I sin, what does it show? That I am blind to the truth that HE is the Treasure, not whatever was tempting me. That sin is just another instance of me trying to find treasure in a pile of dung…so I am, at that moment, also poverty stricken. HE is the only one who is worthy to be a disciple, and it is HE who I appeal to for strength (HIS strength, not mine). I appeal to Him to make me a disciple by His grace. I counted the cost and realized I didn’t have the currency to pay the price, but He does. It’s only as I look to Him that I find power for this weak and fragile earthen vessel. Any time I have thought I was capable of counting the cost and paying the price, I quickly fall on my face.

    • Steve Fuller says:

      Well, said, Bob.

      Here’s how I have put together Jesus’ call for us to deny ourselves (Mark 8:34), and Jesus’ teaching that this is impossible for us to do (Luke 18:27).

      The key is what you stated above. We come to Jesus poor in spirit, crying “God be merciful to me a sinner,” recognizing that we cannot change ourselves.

      But as we confess our sins, ask Jesus to change our hearts, and look to Him by faith — He will supernaturally change us, show us His glory, and enable us to feel His love.

      As a result we will gladly turn from everything else to trust Jesus to satisfy us now and forever. We will need to keep fighting the fight of faith to continue in this — but as we keep turning to Jesus and relying on Him and His beautiful promises — He will again and again change us, free us, and satisfy us.

      What a glorious Savior!

  4. Anonymous says:

    “So much of my battle with this stems from my unwillingness to give in 100% to the Lord and his path for me.”
    Paul-brother, I am right beside you at the foot of the cross. A friend of mine once said,”we wake up in the flesh every morning.” (uggg you should see me in the morning) So I make it a point to spend time with God as I wake up, even though I dont really feel like it. And because God is so faithful, my spirit is awaken and my flesh is reminded that it too loves the Lord.
    My trouble comes later in the day, as I drift further and further from the awareness of God. I am realizing that I need several of these time outs with God throughout the day in order to maintain that awareness of how pleasing it is to be next to God. I do sometimes, I dont others. I skip the gym too, and eat junk sometimes. I dont believe that its about being 100%. I know that some of the scripture makes it seem that way, I just have never seen anyone do it, other than on a soap box. Jesus was the only one who lived it 100%! That is one of the many reasons you and I will lay any crown we get down at His feet. He is awesome! Bless you bro. And thank you Steve!!! I loved your response!

    • Steve Fuller says:

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.

      Your idea of time-outs with God throughout the day is excellent. I have also benefited from doing that, and am glad you passed it on here.

  5. Sarah says:

    I just found your blog recently, and I’ve NEVER found such clarity, understanding and comfort before. You truly are doing God’s work, and thank you so much for helping people come closer to Jesus.

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