Faith and Assurance


Prayer:  Father, I pray that You might give me such a peaceful sense of assurance that I might never doubt that You own me; I am Yours both now and forever. I pray that I might let the promises of Your Word guide me during the dark times; I pray that my faith might grow each day in my walk with You.[1]  Amen.

Main Scripture: Read Hebrews 11:1a (NASB) and 1 John 5:11-13.

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for (Hebrews 11:1a, NASB).

And the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life (1 John 5:11-13).

Associated Scriptures:

…because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship.  And by him we cry, "Abba, Father." The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs — heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory (Romans 8:14-17).

The work of righteousness will be peace, and the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance forever (Isaiah 32:17, NKJV).

For this gospel I was appointed a herald, apostle, and teacher, and that is why I suffer these things. But I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to guard what has been entrusted to me until that day (2 Timothy 1:11-12, HCSB).

Correlative Quotes:

But if God in sheer grace assures me of his acceptance in advance, and I gladly embrace his assurance, then I can go on to do his will without always worrying whether I am doing it adequately or not.  In fact, to the end of the chapter I shall be an ‘unprofitable servant,’ but I know whom I have believed: ‘He owns me for his child; I can no longer fear.'”[2]- F. F. Bruce

We gain peace of heart only when we have the assurance that God is in control of all things.  This assurance comes only through His Word.[3] – Rick Warren

For when a man is saved, he is saved forever.  And no man is partly saved and partly lost.  No man is ever partly alive and partly dead.  No man is ever partly justified and partly condemned.  When we are saved, we are wholly saved, we are completely saved.  We are saved forever and forever!  And that salvation is an assurance to God in the finished work of Jesus our Lord.[4] – W. A. Criswell


Faith does not just feel confident that this is coming someday. Faith has spiritually laid hold of and perceived and tasted that it is real. And this means that faith has the substance or the nature of what is hoped for in it. Faith's enjoyment of the promise is a kind of substantial down payment of the reality coming.[5] John Piper

In the midst of a world filled with uneasiness and insecurity, assurance of a person's security in God is one of the hallmarks of the authentic Christian life. Such assurance is not based on human resources, abilities, or ingenuity, but on confidence in the caring power of God for believers.[6]

It is assurance that allows us to trust that what God has promised us will happen in the future.  We don’t have to worry about the future, God has that “handled” (a theological term meaning covered), but instead live for God in the present (Matthew 6:31-34).  We can concentrate on kingdom works and on the righteousness of God and He will take care of the future (Matthew 6:33).

We must concentrate on our spiritual lives, counting on the salvation that He gave us so freely.  This is the assurance on which our faith is based.  John 1:12-13 (NASB) tells us, “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, {even} to those who believe in His name, who were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”

  1. Not of blood” (vs. 13a): not according to a blood line. We are not saved by association. We are saved by the blood sacrifice or Jesus.  He has paid the price for our salvation on the cross with His blood.  In this specific case, John means, not according to the blood line of Abraham and Sarah.  Paul explains this concept in detail in Romans 4:13-14 where he writes, “It was not through law that Abraham and his offspring received the promise that he would be heir of the world, but through the righteousness that comes by faith.”  Faith alone saves us. 

Living in a Christian nation does not rescue us from the wrath of God.  Being born into a Christian home, the offspring of believers in Christ, does not make us Christians.  Attending a Christian church, being part of a congregation of believers, does not make us Christians.  No matter how long we stand in a garage, we will not become a car.

  1. Not of the will of the flesh” (vs. 13b): Not of our own will. We can’t earn it; salvation is a gift of God (Ephesians 2:8-10). We can’t save ourselves personally. 

We cannot purchase salvation ourselves by any sacrifice or by any amount of money.  John is referring to human sacrifice instead of Jesus’ sacrifice.  We cannot replace what Jesus has accomplished for us by the completion of some action that we take ourselves.  In 1 Peter 1:18-19 we are taught, “For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.”

No personal sacrifice is great enough, no good deeds are sufficient for us to earn salvation.  In the Old Testament, sacrifices were given for sin.  These sacrifices were not for the forgiveness of sin but as a temporary covering of sin (Hebrews 10:4).

I do believe that there was, now, watch this, there was some efficacy in the Old Testament sacrifices. They did not remove sin, but what did they do to sin? They covered it. There was a removal of temporal judgment. And there was an external fellowship with God that was maintained. And those sacrifices did that.[7] – John MacArthur

  1. Nor of the will of man” (vs. 13c): We can’t legislate it. We can’t be saved corporately.

We cannot be saved by the law of God.  The law was given to convict us of our sin not to save us from it.  Galatians 2:16 says, “know that a man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ.”

We can’t ritualize salvation.  Baptism will not save us; nor will the Lord’s Supper.  An act of obedience is not an act of salvation. 

We can’t construct salvation.  We can’t build a building that will save us.  Even the temple in all its glory could not save Israel.  The Holy of Holies was only available to the high priest and only once a year (Hebrews 9:7).

Idols cannot save us.  2 Corinthians 6:16 (NASB) say, “Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols?  For we are the temple of the living God, just as God said, ‘I will dwell in them and walk among them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.’”  The ark was important in saving Noah and his family.  However, it was actually Noah’s faith in the building of the ark that was responsible for his salvation.

  1. But of God” (vs. 13d): It was the plan of God. We can only be saved by grace through faith. It was the will of God: Ephesians 1:4-5 (NASB), “…just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him.  In love, He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will.”  Also in John 6:40 (NASB), “For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him, may have eternal life; and I Myself will raise him up on the last day."

It was the purpose of God: Ephesians 1:11 (NASB), “…also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will”

Summary Statement:

True Bible faith is not blind optimism or a manufactured "hope-so" feeling. Neither is it an intellectual assent to a doctrine. It is certainly not believing in spite of evidence! That would be superstition.  True Bible faith is confident obedience to Gods Word in spite of circumstances and consequences.[8] – Warren Wiersbe

I felt I did trust in Christ, Christ alone for salvation, and an assurance was given me that he had taken away my sins, even mine, and saved me from the law of sin and death.[9] – John Wesley

Lesson within the Lesson:

Why is heritage not enough for the Jews salvation and insufficient for us?  Review Romans 4:13-14.

Why is salvation not a function of our righteous actions?  Don’t humans do good deeds? See Isaiah 64:6.

The Law represents God’s rules.  If we meet the expectations and intent of the Law, why isn’t it enough to secure our salvation?  Read Galatians 3:11 and Romans 3:19-20.

If you are born into a family of believers and attend church regularly are you justified?  Explain.

[1] The Moody Church, © 2016 The Moody Church, All Rights Reserved,

[2] F. F. Bruce, The Epistle of Paul to the Romans, © 1963, Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, p. 102-3.

[3] Rick Warren, Rick Warren's Bible Study Methods: Twelve Ways You Can Unlock God's Word, © 1981, 2006 by Rick Warren, Zondervan, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 49530, p. 240.

[4] W. A. Criswell, Christian Assurance,

[5] John Piper, What Faith knows and Hopes for, By John Piper. ©2015 Desiring God Foundation. Website:,

[6]Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology, Assurance, © 2014 Bible Study Tools, All Rights Reserved,

[7] John MacArthur, Christ, the Living Sacrifice, © 2016 Grace to You, All Rights Reserved,

[8] Warren Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary. Copyright © 1989 by Chariot Victor Publishing, and imprint of Cook Communication Ministries. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

[9] John Wesley, Assurance Quotes, © 2001-2016 BrainyQuote,