28 July 2007


I found a great article a few days ago by Augustus Toplady on assurance. That's one of those issues we never seem to get right as Christians or even as Reformed Christians. We tend to not be confident because that would be arrogant and therefore presumptous or we continue to try to earn our salvation through works which offers some, although false, assurance. Take a moment to read a few quotes from Toplady's article, Assurance and Perseverance:

SOME would fain persuade us that it is impossible for us to receive knowledge of salvation by the remission of sin. Such a denial is very opposite to the usual tenor of God’s proceeding with His people in all ages. The best believers, and the strongest, may indeed have their occasional fainting fits of doubt and diffidence, as to their own particular interest in Christ; nor should I have any great opinion of that man’s faith who was to tell me that he never had any doubts at all. But still there are golden seasons when the soul is on the mount of communion with God; when the Spirit of His Son shines into our hearts, giving us boldness and access with confidence by the faith of Him. ...“But is it not enthusiasm to talk of holding intercourse with God, and of knowing ourselves to be objects of His special love?” No more enthusiastical (so we keep within Scripture-bounds) than it is for a favorite child to converse with his parents, and to know that they have a particular affection for him. Neither, in the strictest reason and nature of things, is it at all absurd to believe and expect that God can and does and will communicate His favor to His people, and manifest Himself to them as He does not to the world at large (John 14:21). ...I know some who have, for years together, been distressed with doubts and fears, without a single ray of spiritual comfort all the while. And yet I can no more doubt of their being true believers than I can question my own existence as a man. I am sure they are possessed not only of faith in its lowest degree, but of that which Christ Himself calls great faith (Matt 8:10); for they can at least say, Lord, I am not worthy that Thou shouldest come under my roof; but speak the word only, and Thy servant shall be healed. Faith is the eye of the soul, and the eye is said to see almost every object but itself; so that you may have real faith without being able to discern it. Nor will God despise the day of small things.—Little faith goes to heaven no less than great faith, though not so comfortably, yet altogether as surely. If you come merely as a sinner to Jesus, and throw yourself, at all events, for salvation on His blood and righteousness alone, and the grace and promise of God in Him, you are as truly a believer as the most triumphant saint that ever lived.

...Next I shall warn you against another limb of Arminianism totally contrary to sound doctrine; I mean that tenet which asserts the possibility of falling finally from a state of real grace. God does not give, and then take away. He does indeed frequently take away what He only lent; such as health, riches, friends, and other temporal comforts: but what He gives, He gives forever. In a way of grace, the gifts and calling of God are without repentance (Rom 11:29). He will never repent of bestowing them, and every attribute He has forbids Him to revoke them (Luke 10:42). In Hebrews 13:5, He says, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” And in John 10:27-28, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them and they follow Me; and I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish, neither shall any pluck them out of My hand.” ...As an excellent person somewhere observes, “Our own unbelief may occasionally tear the copies of the covenant given us by Christ, but unbelief cannot come at the covenant itself, Christ keeps the original deed in heaven with Himself, where it can never be lost.” ...Remember who it is that has made you to differ from others; and that a man can receive nothing except it be given him from heaven (John 3:27). Not unto us, therefore O Lord, not unto us, but to Thy name alone be the praise of every gift, and of every grace ascribed; for Thy loving mercy, and for Thy truth’s sake.

You can read more about Toplady here.

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