Assurance -- By: Willard Maxwell Aldrich

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 114:456 (Oct 1957)
Article: Assurance
Author: Willard Maxwell Aldrich


Willard Maxwell Aldrich

[Willard M. Aldrich, Th.D., 1936, is President of Multnomah School of the Bible, Portland, Oregon, and Editor of The Doorstep Evangel.]

Assurance is the full confidence of personal salvation which is begotten in the heart of the believer in Jesus Christ through the Spirit of God. It is the result of the witness of the Spirit spoken of in Romans 8:16: “The Spirit himself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.” Assurance is the ability to say with the Apostle Paul “I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day” (2 Tim 1:12). In the words of the Apostle John, it is “confidence toward God” (1 John 3:21) and knowing “that ye have eternal life” (1 John 5:13).

Both in the human family and in the family of God assurance that we belong in the family and are secure in its love and esteem is basic to our well-being and normal personal development. Abnormal behavior in both families may frequently be traced to a basic sense of insecurity and to the consequent striving to win a place in them.

The Spirit’s Witness

The witness of the Spirit which results in assurance of salvation may be said to be twofold: (1) the presence of the Spirit in the heart as the witness, and (2) the things to which He bears testimony.

First of all, then, the very presence of the Spirit in the heart is ground for assurance of salvation. “If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his” (Rom 8:9), and, conversely, “Hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us” (1 John 3:24b).

In the second place, the Spirit of God bears testimony to the Word of God and to the walk of the believer. The promises of Scripture concerning salvation made real to the heart by the Spirit form the witness of the Word in the believer

himself (1 John 5:9–12). The evidence of a changed life is likewise taken by the Spirit of God to give assurance that the promised salvation has been personally appropriated. “As many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God” (Rom 8:14). As a result of searching his own spirit in sober self-appraisal, the Apostle Paul could assure himself, “...

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