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Assurance [EBD]

The resurrection of Jesus (Acts 17:31) is the "assurance" (Gr. pistis, generally rendered "faith") or pledge God has given that his revelation is true and worthy of acceptance. The "full assurance [Gr. plerophoria, 'full bearing'] of faith" (Heb. 10:22) is a fulness of faith in God which leaves no room for doubt. The "full assurance of understanding" (Col. 2:2) is an entire unwavering conviction of the truth of the declarations of Scripture, a joyful steadfastness on the part of any one of conviction that he has grasped the very truth. The "full assurance of hope" (Heb. 6:11) is a sure and well-grounded expectation of eternal glory (2 Tim. 4:7, 8). This assurance of hope is the assurance of a man's own particular salvation.

This infallible assurance, which believers may attain unto as to their own personal salvation, is founded on the truth of the promises (Heb. 6:18), on the inward evidence of Christian graces, and on the testimony of the Spirit of adoption (Rom. 8:16). That such a certainty may be attained appears from the testimony of Scripture (Rom. 8:16; 1 John 2:3; 3:14), from the command to seek after it (Heb. 6:11; 2 Pet. 1:10), and from the fact that it has been attained (2 Tim. 1:12; 4:7, 8; 1 John 2:3; 4:16).

This full assurance is not of the essence of saving faith. It is the result of faith, and posterior to it in the order of nature, and so frequently also in the order of time. True believers may be destitute of it. Trust itself is something different from the evidence that we do trust. Believers, moreover, are exhorted to go on to something beyond what they at present have when they are exhorted to seek the grace of full assurance (Heb. 10:22; 2 Pet. 1:5-10). The attainment of this grace is a duty, and is to be diligently sought.

"Genuine assurance naturally leads to a legitimate and abiding peace and joy, and to love and thankfulness to God; and these from the very laws of our being to greater buoyancy, strength, and cheerfulness in the practice of obedience in every department of duty."

This assurance may in various ways be shaken, diminished, and intermitted, but the principle out of which it springs can never be lost. (See FAITH.)

Assurance [NAVE]

Produced by faith, Eph. 3:12; 2 Tim. 1:12; Heb. 10:22.
Made full by hope, Heb. 6:11, 19.
Confirmed by love, 1 John 3:14, 19; 4:18.
Is the effect of righteousness, Isa. 32:17.
Is abundant in the understanding of the gospel, Col. 2:2; 1 Thess. 1:5.
Saints Privileged to Have, of their election, Psa. 4:3; 1 Thess. 1:4; their redemption, Job 19:25; their adoption, Rom. 8:16; 1 John 3:2; their salvation, Isa. 12:2; eternal life, 1 John 5:13; the unalienable love of God, Rom. 8:38, 39; union with God and Christ, 1 Cor. 6:15; 2 Cor. 13:5; Eph. 5:30; 1 John 2:5; 4:13; peace with God by Christ, Rom. 5:1; preservation, Psa. 3:6; 8; 27:3-5; 46:1-3; answers to prayer, 1 John 3:22; 5:14, 15; comfort in affliction, Psa. 73:26; Luke 4:18; 2 Cor. 4:8-10, 16-18; continuance in grace, Phil. 1:6; a support in death, Psa. 23:4; a glorious resurrection, Job 19:26; Psa. 17:15; Phil. 3:21; 1 John 3:2; a kingdom, Heb. 12:28; Rev. 5:10; a crown, 2 Tim. 4:7, 8; Jas. 1:12.
Saints give diligence to attain, 2 Pet. 1:10, 11; strive to maintain, Heb. 3:14, 18.
Confident hope in God restores, Psa. 42:11.
Exemplified: David, Psa. 23:4; 73:24-26; Paul, 2 Tim. 1:12; 4:18.
See: Faith.


ASSURANCE - a-shoor'-ans: A term exceptionally rich in spiritual meaning. It signifies the joyous, unwavering confidence of an intelligent faith; the security of a fearless trust. The original words have to do with the heart of vital religion. baTach, "trust"; 'aman, "to prop," "to support," hence to confide in, to trust. Jesus repeatedly used this word "amen" to express the trustworthiness and abiding certainty of his sayings. pistis, "faith"; plerophoria, "full assurance." The confidence of faith is based, not on "works of righteousness which we have done" (compare Titus 3:4,5 the King James Version) but on the highpriesthood and atoning sacrifice of Christ (Heb 10:21,22; compare 10:19, "boldness to enter .... by the blood of Jesus," the King James Version). Assurance is the soul's apprehension of its complete emancipation from the power of evil and from consequent judgment, through the atoning grace of Christ. It is the exact opposite of self-confidence, being a joyous appropriation and experience of the fullness of Christ--a glad sense of security, freedom and eternal life in Him. This doctrine is of immeasurable importance to the life of the church and of the individual believer, as a life of spiritual doubt and uncertainty contradicts the ideal of liberty in Christ Jesus which is the natural and necessary fruitage of "the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit .... shed on us abundantly, through Jesus Christ our Saviour." Paul unhesitatingly said, "I know" (2 Tim 1:12)--a word which, oft-repeated in 1 Jn, furnishes the groundwork of glad assurance that runs through the entire epistle. For the classic passage on "full assurance" see Col 2:1-10.

Dwight M. Pratt

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