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What the scriptures say about
Make sure or certain, convince
Also see Belief, Confidence, Faith, Hope, Pledge, Trust
Easton's Bible Dictionary | Charles Buck Dictionary | International Standard Bible Encyclopedia | Thompson Chain Reference
Also see: Bible Topics; King James Version Dictionary

ASSURANCE in scriptures [BibleGateway Search]

Cross Reference Bible links
But be assured today that the Lord your God is the one who goes across ahead of you like a devouring fire. (Deuteronomy 9:3)
Joshua 2:14 | Job 36:36 | Luke 4:25
Acts 2:36 | Hebrews 10:22-23
Now faith is assurance of things hoped for, proof of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1)

ASSURANCE [Easton's Bible Dictionary]

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" (Hebrews 10:22) is a fulness of faith in God which leaves no room for doubt. The "full assurance of understanding" (Colossians 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" (Hebrews 6:11) is a sure and well-grounded expectation of eternal glory (2 Timothy 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 (Hebrews 6:18), on the inward evidence of Christian graces, and on the testimony of the Spirit of adoption (Romans 8:16). That such a certainty may be attained appears from the testimony of Scripture (Romans 8:16; 1 John 2:3; 3:14), from the command to seek after it (Hebrews 6:11; 2 Peter 1:10), and from the fact that it has been attained (2 Timothy 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 (Hebrews 10:22; 2 Peter 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 [Charles Buck Theological Dictionary]
is the firm persuasion we have of the certainty of any thing, or a certain expectation of something future. Assurance of the Understanding is a well-grounded knowledge of divine things founded on God's word. Colossians 2:2.

Assurance of Faith does not relate to our personal interest in Christ, but consists in a firm belief of the revelation that God has given us of Christ in his word, with an entire dependence on him. Hebrews 10:22.

Assurance of Hope is a firm expectation that God will grant us the complete enjoyment of what he has promised. Hebrews 6:11 . The doctrine of assurance, 1: e. the belief that we have an interest in the divine favour, has afforded matter for dispute among divines. Some have asserted that it is not to be obtained in the present state, allowing that persons may be in a hopeful way to salvation, but that they have no real or absolute assurance of it: but this is clearly refuted by facts as well as by Scripture. That it is to be obtained is evident, for we have reason to believe many persons have actually obtained it. Job 19:25. Psalms 17:15. 2 Timothy 1:12. The Scriptures exhort us to obtain it, 2 Corinthians 13:5. Hebrews 6:11. 1 Thessalonians 5:21. The Holy Spirit is said to bear witness of it, Romans 8:16. The exercise of the Christian graces is considered as a proof of it, 1 John 3:14. 1 John 2:3. We must, however, guard against presumption; for a mere persuasion that Christ is ours is no proof that he is so.

We must have evidence before we can have genuine assurance. It is necessary to observe also, that it is not a duty imposed upon all mankind, so that every one, in whatsoever state he may be, ought to be fully persuaded of his salvation. "We do not affirm, " says Saurin, "that Christians of whose sincerity there may be some doubt have a right to assurance; that backsliders, as such, ought to persuade themselves that they shall be saved; nor do we say that Christians who have arrived to the highest degree of holiness, can be persuaded of the certainty of their salvation in every period of their lives; nor, if left to their own efforts can they enjoy it; but believers, supported by the Divine aid, who walk in all good conscience before him, these only have ground to expect this privilege." Some divines have maintained that assurance is included in the very essence of faith, so that a man cannot have faith without assurance; but we must distinguish between assurance and justifying faith. The apostle, indeed, speaks of the full assurance of faith; but then this is a full and firm persuasion of what the Gospel reveals; whereas the assurance we are speaking of relates to our personal interest in Christ, and is an effect of this faith, and not faith itself.

Faith in Christ certainly includes some idea of assurance; for, except we be assured that he is the Saviour, we shall never go to or rely upon him as such: but faith in Christ does not imply an assurance of our interest in him; for there may be faith long before the assurance of personal interest commences. The confounding of these ideas has been the cause of presumption on the one hand, and despair on the other. When men have been taught that faith consists in believing that Christ died for them, and been assured that, if they can only believe so, all is well; and that then they are immediately pardoned and justified, the consequence has been, that the bold and self- conceited have soon wrought themselves up to such a persuasion, without any ground for it, to their own deception; whilst the dejected, humble, and poor in spirit, not being able to work themselves to such a pitch of confidence, have concluded that they have not the faith of God's elect, and must inevitably be lost. The means to attain assurance are not those of an extraordinary kind, as some people imagine; such as are ordinary; self-examination, humble and constant prayer, consulting the sacred oracles, Christian communication, attendance on the divine ordinances, and perseverance in the path of duty; without which all our assurance is but presumption, and our profession but hypocrisy.

Assurance may be lost for a season through bodily diseases which depress the spirits, unwatchfulness, falling into sin, manifold temptations, worldy cares, and neglect of private duty. He, therefore, who would wish to enjoy this privilege, let him cultivate communion with God, exercise a watchful spirit against God, exercise a watchful spirit against his spiritual enemies, and give himself unreservedly to Him whose he is, and whom he professes to serve.

See Saurin's Ser. vol. 3: ser. 10. Eng. edition;
Case's Sermons, ser. 13;
Lambert's Sermon John 9:35;
Hervey's Theron and Aspasia, dialogue 17;
Howe's Works, vol. 1: p. 342, 348;
Brooks Burgess, Roberts, Baxter, Polhill, and Davye on Assurance;
Horae Sol. vol. 2: p. 269.



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 Tit 3:4-5 the King James Version) but on the highpriesthood and atoning sacrifice of Christ (Heb 10:21-22; compare Heb 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" (2Ti 1:12) -- a word which, oft-repeated in 1 Jn 1:1-13, 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

ASSURANCE [Thompson Chain Reference]
# Spiritual

    * Colossians 2:2
    * 1 Thessalonians 1:5
    * 2 Timothy 1:12
    * Hebrews 10:22
    * 1 John 2:3
    * 1 John 3:19
    * 1 John 4:13
    * 1 John 5:10
    Adoption into God's Family
    SEE Adoption
    SEE Knowledge
    SEE Delayed Blessings
    SEE Promises, Divine 

# Bearing Witness to the Spiritual Adoption of Believers

    * (by Holy Spirit)
    * Romans 8:16
    * Galatians 4:6
    * 1 John 3:24
    * 1 John 4:13
    * 1 John 5:6
    SEE Spiritual; Adoption 

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