If you’re assured of your salvation in Christ; if you know you’re a child of God by grace, how can you stay strong in that assurance and knowledge? Or how can you grow in assurance? Christopher Love (d. 1651) gave some biblical answers to these questions in a sermon on 2 Peter 1:10: “Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election” (NIV). I’ve edited some of them and posted them below:
- Keep close to God in the duty of prayer. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete (John 16:24). Jesus’ words imply that if you keep close to God in the duty of prayer, your spirits shall be complete and full.
- Keep close to God in the duty of reading the Word often. By often reading the Word, you will often meet with promises and supports for your comforts. That is the reason men lessen in comforts, because they do not frequently read the Word; you cannot read a Chapter, but you will find there a prop for faith, and a prop for assurance. Keeping constant to the Word, that is the way to keep your assurance. “These things have I written to you that believe, that you might know that you have eternal life” (1 John 5:13). These things have I written, not only that you have life, but that you might know it. By reading the writings of John, John tells them they might better know they shall live for ever, and everlastingly be saved. Keep close to God in reading his written Word, and this will be of great use because there are promises scattered throughout the veins of Scripture. There is almost no Scripture you can read where there isn’t a promise or support for your faith one way or other.
- Keep close to God in constant and conscientious hearing of his Word. This is a great means to get assurance. …Live under the ministry of the Word, and that ministry will give much assurance of your salvation!
In summary, if you want to grow in assurance of salvation, pray for it, read the Word often, and regularly listen to it preached!
The above (edited) quotes are found on pages 191-193 of Christopher Love, A Treatise of Effectual Calling and Election, (Morgan, PA: Soli Deo Gloria Publications, 1998).
Covenant Presbyterian Church (OPC)
Hammond, WI, 54015