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The Blessing of Full Assurance
AUTHOR: Spurgeon, C.H.
PUBLISHED ON: April 7, 2003
DOC SOURCE: CCN
PUBLISHED IN: Sermons

                The Blessing of Full Assurance
                        May 13th, 1888
                              by
                        C. H. SPURGEON
                               

      “These things have I written unto you that believe
      on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know
      that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe
      on the name of the Son of God.”-1 John 5:13.

    John wrote to believers-“These things have I written
    unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God.”
    It is worthy of note that all the epistles are so
    written. They are not letters to everybody, they are
    letters to those who are called to be saints. It ought
    to strike some of you with awe when you open the Bible
    and think how large a part of it is not directed at
    you. You may read it, and God’s Holy Spirit may
    graciously bless it to you, but it is not directed to
    you. You are reading another man’s letter: thank God
    that you are permitted to read it, but long to be
    numbered with those to whom it is directed. Thank God
    much more if any part of it should be used of the Holy
    Ghost for your salvation. The fact that the Holy Spirit
    speaks to the churches and to believers in Christ
    should make you bow the knee and cry to God to put you
    among the children, that this Book may become your Book
    from beginning to end, that you may read its precious
    promises as made to you. This solemn thought may not
    have struck some of you: let it impress you now.

    We do not wonder that certain men do not receive the
    epistles, for they were not written to them. Why should
    they cavil at words which are addressed to men of
    another sort from themselves? Yet we do not marvel, for
    we knew it would be so. Here is a will, and you begin
    to read it; but you do not find it interesting: it is
    full of words and terms which you do not take the
    trouble to understand, because they have no relation to
    yourself; but should you, in reading that will, come
    upon a clause in which an estate is left to you, I
    warrant you that the nature of the whole document will
    seem changed to you. You will be anxious now to
    understand the terms, and to make sure of the clauses,
    and you will even wish to remember every word of the
    clause which refers to yourself. O dear friends, may
    you read the Testament of our Lord Jesus Christ as a
    testament of love to yourselves, and then you will
    prize it beyond all the writings of the sages.

    This leads me to make the second remark, that as these
    things are written to believers, believers ought
    especially to make themselves acquainted with them, and
    to search into their meaning and intent. John says,
    “These things have I written to you that believe on the
    name of the Son of God.” Do not, I beseech you, neglect
    to read what the Holy Ghost has taken care to write to
    you. It is not merely John that writes. John is
    inspired of the Lord, and these things are written to
    you by the Spirit of God. Give earnest heed to every
    single word of what God has sent as his own epistle to
    your hearts. Value the Scriptures. Luther said that “he
    would not be in paradise, if he might , without the
    Word of the Lord; but with the Word he could live in
    hell itself.” He said at another time that “he would
    not take all the world for one leaf of the Bible.” The
    Scriptures are everything to the Christian-his meat and
    his drink. The saint can say, “O how I love thy law!”
    If we cannot say so, something is wrong with us. If we
    have lost our relish for Holy Scripture, we are out of
    condition, and need to pray for spiritual health.

    This much is the porch of my sermon, let us now enter
    more fully into our subject, noticing, first, that John
    wrote with a special purpose; and then going on to
    assert, secondly, that this purpose we ought to follow
    up.

    I. First, JOHN WROTE WITH A SPECIAL PURPOSE. Men do not
    write well unless they have some end in writing. To sit
    down with paper and ink before you, and so much space
    to fill up, will ensure very poor writing. John knew
    what he was at. His intent and aim were clear to his
    own mind, and he tells us what they were.

    According to the text the beloved apostle had one clear
    purpose which branched out into three.

    To begin with, John wrote that we might enjoy the full
    assurance of our salvation. “These things have I
    written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of
    God, that ye may know that ye have eternal life.”

    Many who believe on the name of Jesus are not sure that
    they have eternal life; they only hope so. Occasionally
    they have assurance, but the joy is not abiding. They
    are like a minister I have heard of, who said he felt
    assured of his salvation, “except when the wind was in
    the east.” It is a wretched thing to be so subject to
    circumstances as many are. What is true when the wind
    is in the soft south or the reviving west is equally
    true when the wind is neither good for man nor beast.
    John would not have our assurance vary with the weather-
    glass, nor turn with the vane. He says, “These things
    have I written unto you, that ye may know that ye have
    eternal life.” He would have us certain that we are
    partakers of the new life, and so know it as to reap
    the golden fruit of such knowledge, and be filled with
    joy and peace through believing.

    I speak affectionately to the weaker ones, who cannot
    yet say that they know they have believed. I speak not
    to your condemnation, but to your consolation. Full
    assurance is not essential to salvation, but it is
    essential to satisfaction. May you get-may you get it
    at once; at any rate may you never be satisfied to live
    without it. You may have full assurance. You may have
    it without personal revelations: it is wrought in us by
    the Word of God. These things are written that you may
    have it; and we may be sure that the means used by the
    Spirit are equal to the effect which he desires. Under
    the guidance of the Spirit of God, John so wrote as to
    attain his end in writing. What, then, has he written
    with the design of making us know that we have eternal
    life? Go through the whole Epistle, and you will see
    that it all presses in that direction; but we shall not
    at this present have time to do more than glance
    through this chapter.

    He begins thus: “Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the
    Christ is born of God.” Do you believe that Jesus is
    the anointed of God? Is he so to you? Is he anointed as
    your prophet, priest, and king? Have you realized his
    anointing so as to put your trust in him? Do you
    receive Jesus as appointed of God to be the Mediator,
    the Propitiation for sin, the Saviour of men? If so,
    you are born of God. “How may I know this?” Brethern,
    our evidence is the witness of God himself as here
    recorded. We need no other witness. Suppose an angel
    were to tell you that you are born of God, would that
    be a more sure testimony than the infallible Scripture?
    If you believe that Jesus is the Christ, you are born
    of God. John has thus positively declared the truth,
    that you may know that you have eternal life. Can
    anything be more clear than this?

    The loving spirit of John leads him to say, “Every one
    that loveth him that begat, loveth him also that is
    begotten of him.” Do you love God? Do you love his Only-
    begotten Son? You can answer those two questions
    surely. I knew a dear Christian woman who would
    sometimes say, “I know that I love Jesus; but my fear
    is that he does not love me.” Her doubt used to make me
    smile, for it never could have occurred to me. If I
    love him, I know it is because he first loved me. Love
    to God in us is always the work of God’s love towards
    us. Jesus loved us, and gave himself for us, and
    therefore we love him in return. Love to Jesus is an
    effect which proves the existence of its cause. Do you
    love Jesus? Do you feel a delight in him? Is his name
    as music to your ear, and honey to your mouth? Do you
    love to hear him extolled? Ah, dear friends! I know
    that to many of you a sermon full of his dear name is
    as a royal banquent; and if there is no Christ in a
    discourse, it is empty, and vain, and void to you. Is
    it not so? If you do indeed love him that begat and him
    that is begotten of him, then this is one of the things
    that is written “that ye may know that ye have eternal
    life.”

    John goes on to give another evidence: “By this we know
    that we love the children of God, when we love God, and
    keep his commandments.” Do you love God? and do you
    love his children? Listen to another word from the same
    apostle: “We know that we have passed from death unto
    life, because we love the brethren.” That may appear to
    be a very small evidence; but I can assure you it has
    often been a great comfort to my soul. I know I love
    the brethern: I can say unto my Lord,

                “Is there a lamb among thy flock
                    I would disdain to feed?”

    I would gladly cheer and comfort the least of his
    people. Well, then, if I love the brethern, I love the
    Elder Brother. If I love the babes, I love the Father;
    and I know that I have passed from death unto life.
    Brethren, take this evidence home in all its force. It
    is conclusive: John has said, “We know that we have
    passed from death unto life, because we love the
    brethren”; and he would not have spoken so positively
    if it had not been even so. Brethren, never be content
    with sentimental comforts; set your feet firmly upon
    the rock of fact and truth. True Christian assurance is
    not a matter of guesswork, but of mathematical
    precision. It is capable of logical proof, and is no
    rhapsody or poetical fiction. We are told by the Holy
    Ghost that, if we love the brethren, we have passed
    from death to life. You can tell whether you love the
    brethren, as such, for their Master’s sake, and for the
    truth’s sake that is in them; and if you can truly say
    that you thus love them, then you may know that you
    have eternal life.

    Our apostle gives us this further evidence: “This is
    the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his
    commandments are not grievous.” Obedience is the grand
    test of love. If you are living after your own will,
    and pay no homage to God, you are none of his. If you
    never think of the Lord Jesus as your Master, and never
    recognize the claims of God, and never wish to be
    obedient to his will, you are not in possession of
    eternal life. If you desire to be obedient, and prove
    that desire by your actions, then you have the divine
    life within you. Judge yourselves. Is the tenor of your
    life obedience or disobedience? By the fruit you can
    test the root and the sap.

    But note, that this obedience must be cheerful and
    willing. No doubt some for a while obey the commands of
    God unwillingly. They do not like them, though they bow
    to them. They fret and grizzle because of the
    restraints of piety; and this proves that they are
    hypocrites. What you wish to do you practically are
    doing in the sight of God. If there could be such a
    thing as holiness forced upon a man, it would be
    unholiness. O my hearer, it may be that you cannot fall
    into a certain line of sin; but if you could, you
    would: your desires show what you really are. I have
    heard of Christian people, so called, going to sinful
    amusements, just, as they say, to enjoy a little
    pleasure. Ah well, we see where you are! Where your
    pleasure is, your heart is. If you enjoy the pleasures
    of the world, you are of the world, and with the world
    you will be condemned. If God’s commands are grievous
    to you, then you are a rebel at heart. Loyal subjects
    delight in the royal law. “His commandments are not
    grievous.” I said to one who came to join the church
    the other day, “I suppose you are not perfect”? and the
    reply was, “No, sir, I wish I might be.” I said, “And
    suppose you were”? “Oh, then,” she said, “that would be
    heaven to me.” So it would be to me. We delight in the
    law of God after the inward man. Oh, that we could
    perfectly obey in thought, and word, and deed! This is
    our view of heaven. Thus we sing of it:

                  “There shall we see his face,
                      And never, never sin;
              There from the rivers of his grace
                  Drink endless pleasures in.”

    We would scarce ask to be rid of sorrow, if we might be
    rid of sin. We would bear any burden cheerfully if we
    could live without spot we shall also be without grief.
    His commandments are not grievous, but they are ways of
    pleasantness and peace to us. Do you feel that you love
    the ways of God, that you desire holiness, and follow
    after it joyfully? Then, dear friends, you have eternal
    life, and these are the sure evidences of it.
    Obedience, holiness, delight in God never came into a
    human heart except from a heavenly hand. Wherever they
    are found they prove that the Lord has implanted
    eternal life, for they are much too precious to be
    buried away in a dead soul.

    John then proceeds to mention three witnesses. Now,
    dear hearers, do you know anything about these three
    witnesses? “There are three that bear witness in earth,
    the spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these
    three agree in one.” Do you know “the Spirit” ? Has the
    Spirit of God quickened you, changed you, illuminated
    you, sanctified you? Does the Spirit of God dwell in
    you? Do you feel his sacred impulses? Is he the essence
    of the new life within you? Do you know him as clothing
    you with his light and power? If so, you are alive unto
    God. Next, do you know “the water,” the purifying power
    of the death of Christ? Does the crucified Lord crucify
    your sins? Is the water applied to you to remove the
    power of sin? Do you now long to perfect holiness in
    the fear of God? This proves that you have eternal
    life. Do you also know “the blood”? This is a wretched
    age, in which men think little of the precious blood.
    My heart has well-nigh been broken, and my very flesh
    has been enfeebled, as I have thought upon the horrible
    things which have been spoken of late about the
    precious blood by men called Christian ministers. “O my
    soul, come not thou into their secret; unto their
    assembly, mine honour, be not thou united.” Beloved
    friends, do you know the power of the blood to take
    away sin, the power of the blood to speak peace to the
    conscience, the power of the blood to give access to
    the throne of grace? Do you know the quickening,
    restoring, cheering power of the precious blood of
    Christ which is set forth in the Lord’s Supper by the
    fruit of the vine? Then in the mouth of these three
    witnesses shall the fact of your having eternal life be
    fully established. If the Spirit of God be in you, he
    is the earnest of your eternal inheritance. If the
    water has washed you, then you are the Lord’s. Jesus
    said to Peter, “If I wash thee not, thou hast no part
    in me.” But ye are washed, and therefore the Lord’s. If
    the precious blood has cleansed you from the guilt of
    sin, you know that it has also purchased you from
    death, and it is to you the guarantee of eternal life.
    I pray that you may from this moment enjoy the combined
    light of these three lamps of God-“the spirit, and the
    water, and the blood,” and so have full assurance of
    faith.

    One thing more I would notice. Read the ninth verse:
    the apostle puts our faith and assurance on the ground
    that we receive “the witness of God.” If I believe that
    I am saved because of this, that, and the other, I may
    be mistaken: the only sure ground is “the witness of
    God.” The inmost heart of Christian faith is that we
    take God as his word; and we must accept that word, not
    because of the probabilities of its statements, nor
    because of the confirmatory evidence of science and
    philosophy, but simply and alone because the Lord has
    spoken it. Many professing Christians fall sadly short
    of this point. They dare to judge the Word instead of
    bowing before it. They do not sit at the Master’s feet,
    but become doctors themselves. I thank God that I
    believe everything that God has spoken, whether I am
    able to see its reason or not. To me the fact that the
    mouth of God hath spoken it stands in the place of all
    argument, either for or against. If Jehovah says so, so
    it is. Do you accept the witness of God? If not, you
    have made him a liar, and the truth is not in you; but
    if you have received “the witnesses of God,” then this
    is his witness, that “He hath given to us eternal life,
    and this life is in his Son.” I say again, if your
    faith stands in the wisdom of men, and is based upon
    the cleverness of a preacher, it will fail you; but if
    it stands on the sure Word of the Lord it will stand
    for ever, and this may be to you a special token that
    you have eternal life. I have said enough upon this
    subject; oh that God may bless it to you! May we be
    enabled, from what John has written, to gather beyond
    doubt that we have the life of God within our souls.

    Furthermore, John wrote that we might know our
    spiritual life to be eternal. Please notice this, for
    there are some of God’s children who have not yet
    learned this cheering lesson. The life of God in the
    soul is not transient, but abiding; not temporary but
    eternal. Some think that the life of God in the
    believer’s soul may die out; but how, then, could it be
    eternal? If it die it is not eternal life. If it be
    eternal life it cannot die. I know that modern
    deceivers deny that eternal means eternal, but you and
    I have not learned their way of pumping the meanings
    out of the words which the Holy Spirit uses. We believe
    that “eternal” means endless, and that if I have
    eternal life, I shall live eternally, Brethren, the
    Lord would have us know that we have eternal life.

    Learn, then, the doctrine of the eternality of life
    given in the new birth. It must be eternal life,
    because it is “the life of God.” We are born again of
    the Spirit of God by a living and incorruptible seed,
    which liveth and abideth for ever. We are said to be
    “made partakers of the divine nature.” Surely, this
    means, among other things, that we receive an undying
    life; for immortality is of the essence of the Life of
    God. His name is “I am that I am.” He hath life in
    himself, and the Son hath life in himself, and of this
    life we are the receivers. This was his purpose
    concerning his Son, that he might give eternal life to
    as many as the Father had given him. If it be the life
    of God which is in a believer-and certainly it is, for
    he hath begotten us again-then that life must be
    eternal. As children of God, we partake of his life,
    and as heirs of God, we inherit his eternity. “This is
    life eternal, that they might know thee the only true
    God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.”

    Beloved, our Lord Jesus Christ calls the life of his
    people eternal life. How often do I quote this text! It
    seems to lie on the tip of my tongue: “I give unto my
    sheep eternal life; and they shall never perish,
    neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” And
    again, “He that believeth in him hath everlasting
    life.” It is not temporary life, not life which at a
    certain period must grow old and die, but everlasting
    life. “It shall be in him a well of water springing up
    into everlasting life.” This is the life of Christ
    within the soul. “For ye are dead, and your life is hid
    with Christ in God.” “I live; yet not I, but Christ
    liveth in me.” “When Christ, who is our life, shall
    appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.”
    If our life is Christ’s life, we shall not die until
    Christ dies. If our life is hidden in him, it will
    never be discovered and destroyed until Christ himself
    is destroyed. Let us rest in this.

    Mark again how our Lord has put it: “Because I live, ye
    shall live also.” As long, then, as Jesus lives, his
    people must live, for the argument will always be the
    same, “Because I live, ye shall live also.” We are so
    one with Christ that while the head lives the members
    cannot die. We are so one Christ that the challenge is
    given, “Who shall separate us from the love of God,
    which is in Christ Jesus our Lord?” A list is added of
    things which may be supposed to separate, but we are
    told that they cannot do so, for “in all these things
    we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.”
    Is it not clear, then, that we are quickened with a
    life so heavenly and divine that we can never die? John
    tells us in this very chapter, “We know that whosoever
    is born of God sinneth not.” He does not go back to his
    old sin, he does not again come under the dominion of
    sin; but, “he that is begotten of God keepeth himself,
    and that wicked one toucheth him not.”

    Beloved, I entreat you to keep a hard and firm grip of
    this blessed doctrine of the perseverance of the
    saints. How earnestly do I long “that ye may know that
    ye have eternal life”! Away with your doctrine of being
    alive in Christ to-day and dead tomorrow. Poor,
    miserable doctrine that! Hold fast to eternal salvation
    through the eternal covenant carried out by eternal
    love unto eternal life; for the Spirit of God has
    written these things unto you that believe on the name
    of the Son of God, that ye may know that ye have
    eternal life.

    Once more, according to the Authorized text, though not
    according to the Revised Version, John desired the
    increase and confirmation of their faith. He says,
    “That ye might believe on the name of the Son of God.”
    John wrote to those who believed, that they might
    believe in a more emphatic sense. As our Saviour has
    come not only that we may have life, but that we may
    have it more abundantly, so does John write, that
    having faith we may have more of it. Come beloved,
    listen for a moment to this! You have the milk of
    faith, but God wills that you should have this cream of
    assurance! He would increase your faith. May you
    believe more extensively. Perhaps you do not believe
    all the truth, because you have not yet perceived it.
    There were members of the Corinthian church who had not
    believed in the resurrection of the dead, and there
    were Galatians who were very cloudy upon justification
    by faith. Many a Christian man is narrow in the range
    of his faith from ignorance of the Lord’s mind. Like
    certain tribes of Israel, they have conquered a scanty
    territory as yet, though all the land is theirs from
    Dan to Beersheba. John would have us push out our
    fences, and increase the enclosure of our faith. Let us
    believe all that God has revealed, for every truth is
    precious and practically useful. Perhaps your doctrinal
    belief has been poor and thin. Oh that the Lord would
    turn the water into wine! Many of you live upon milk,
    and yet your years qualify you to feed on meat. Why
    keep the babes’ diet? You that believe are exhorted to
    “go in and out, and find pasture”; range throughout the
    whole revelation of God.

    It will be well for you if your faith also increases
    intensively. Oh that you may more fully believe what
    you do believe! We need deeper insight and firmer
    conviction. We do not half believe, as yet, any of us.
    Many of you only skim the pools of truth. Blessed is
    the wing which brushes the surface of the river of
    life; but infinitely more blessed is it to plunge into
    the depths of it. This is John’s desire for you, that
    you would believe with all you heart, and soul, and
    strength.

    He would have you believe more constantly, so that you
    may say, “My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed:
    I will sing and give praise.” It is not always so with
    us. We are at times chicken-hearted. We play the man
    today, and the mouse tomorrow. Lord have mercy upon us:
    we are an inconsistent people, fickle as the wind. The
    Lord would have us abide always in him with strong and
    mighty confidence, being rooted and built up in him.

    He would have us trust courageously. Some can believe
    in a small way about small things. Oh for a boundless
    trust in the infinite God! We need more of a
    venturesome faith: the faith to do and dare. Often we
    see the way of power, but have not the faith which
    would be equal to it. See Peter walking on the sea! I
    do not advise any of you to try it, neither did our
    Lord advise Peter to do so: we do well enough if we
    walk uprightly on land. But when Peter had once taken a
    few steps on the sea, he ought to have known that his
    Lord could help him all the rest of the way; but alas!
    His faith failed, and he began to sink. He could have
    walked all the way to Jesus if he had believed right
    on. So is it with us: our faith is good enough for a
    spurt, but it lacks staying power. Oh, may God give us
    to believe, so that we may not only trip over a wave or
    two, but walk on the water to the end! If the Lord bids
    you, you may go through fire and not be burned, through
    the floods and not be drowned. Such a fearless,
    careless, conquering faith may the Lord work in us!

    We need also to have our faith increased in the sense
    of its becoming more practical. Some people have a fine
    new faith, as pretty as the bright poker in the
    parlour, and as useless. We want an everyday faith, not
    to look at, but to use. Brothers and sisters, we need
    faith for the kitchen and the pantry, as well as for
    the drawing-room and the conservatory. We need workshop
    faith, as well as prayer-meeting faith. We need faith
    as to the common things of life, and the trying things
    of death. We could do with less paint if we had more
    power. We need less varnish and more verity. God give
    to you that you may believe on the name of the Son of
    God with a sound, common-sense faith, which will be
    found wearable, and washable, and workable throughout
    life.

    We need to believe more joyfully. Oh what a blessed
    thing it is when you reach the rest and joy of faith!
    If we would truly believe the promise of God, and rest
    in the Lord’s certain fulfillment of it, we might be as
    happy as the angels. I notice how very early in the
    morning how the birds begin to sing: before the sun is
    up or even the first grey tints of morning light are
    visible, the little songsters are awake and singing.
    Too often we refuse to sing until the sun is more than
    up, and noon is near. Shame on us! Will we never trust
    our God? Will we never praise him for favours to come?
    Oh for a faith that can sing through the night and
    through the winter! Faith that can live on a promise is
    the faith of God’s elect. You will never enjoy heaven
    below until you believe without wavering. The Lord give
    you such faith.

    II. Thus I have gone through my first head, and taken
    nearly all the time. I must now come to push of pike,
    as the old soldiers used to say. We must drive our
    teaching home. THE PURPOSE WHICH JOHN HAD IN HIS MIND
    WE OUGHT TO FOLLOW UP. If he wished us to know that we
    have eternal life, brothers and sisters, let us try to
    know it. The Word of God was written for this purpose;
    let us use it for its proper end. The whole of these
    Scriptures were written that “we might believe that
    Jesus is the Christ, and that believing we might have
    life through his name.” This Book is written to you who
    believe, that you may know that you believe. Will you
    suffer your Bibles to be a failure to you? Will you
    live in perpetual questioning and doubt? If so, the
    Book has missed its mark for you. The Bible is sent
    that you may have full assurance of of your possession
    of eternal life; do not, therefore, dream that it will
    be presumptuous on your part to aspire to it. Our
    conscience tells us that we ought to seek full
    assurance of salvation. It cannot be right for us to be
    children of God, and not to know our own Father. How
    can we kneel down and say, “Our Father which art in
    heaven,” when we do not know whether he is our Father
    or not? Will not a life of doubt tend to be a life of
    falsehood? May we not be using language which is not
    true to our consciousness? Can you sing joyful hymns
    which you fear are not true to you? Will you join in
    worship when your heart does not know that God is your
    God? Until the spirit of adoption enables you to cry,
    “Abba, Father,” where is your love to God? Can you
    rest? Dare you rest, while it is a question whether you
    are saved or not? Can you go home to your dinner to-day
    and enjoy your meal, while there is a question about
    your soul’s eternal life? Oh, be not so foolhardy as to
    run risks on that matter! I pray you, make sure work
    for eternity. If you leave anything in uncertainty, let
    it concern your body or your estate, but not your soul.
    Conscience bids you seek to know that you have eternal
    life, for without this knowledge many duties will be
    impossible of performance. Many Scriptures which I
    cannot quote this morning stir you up to this duty. Are
    you not bidden to make your calling and election sure?
    Are you not a thousand times over exhorted to rejoice
    in the Lord, and to give thanks continually? But how
    can you rejoice, if the dark suspicion haunts you, that
    perhaps, after all, you have not the life of God? You
    must get this question settled, or you cannot rest in
    the Lord, and wait patiently for him. Come, brothers
    and sisters, I beseech you, as you would follow
    Scripture, and obey the Lord’s precepts, get the
    assurance without which you cannot obey them.

    Listen, as I close, to this mass of reasons why each
    believer should seek to know that he has eternal life.
    Here they are. Assurance of your salvation will bring
    you “the peace of God, which passeth all
    understanding.” If you know that you are saved, you can
    sit down in poverty, or in sickness, or under slander,
    and feel perfectly content. Full assurance is the Koh-i-
    noor amongst the jewels wherewith the heavenly
    Bridegroom adorns his spouse. Assurance is a mountain
    of spices, a land that floweth with milk and honey. To
    be the assured possessor of eternal life is to find a
    paradise beneath the stars, where the mountains and the
    hills break forth before you into singing.

    Full assurance will sometimes overflow in cataracts of
    delight. Peace flows like a river, and here and there
    it leaps in cascades of ecstatic joy. There are seasons
    when the plant of peace is in flower, and then it sheds
    a perfume as of myrrh and cassia. Oh, the blessedness
    of the man who knows that he has eternal life!
    Sometimes in our room alone, when we have been enjoying
    this assurance, we have laughed outright, for we could
    not help it. If anybody had wondered why a man was
    laughing by himself alone, we could have explained that
    it was nothing ridiculous which had touched us, but our
    mouth was filled with laughter because the Lord had
    done great things for us, whereof we were glad. That
    religion which sets no sweatmeats on the table is a
    niggardly housekeeper. I do not wonder that some people
    give up their starveling religion: it is hardly worth
    the keeping. The child of God who knows that he has
    eternal life goes to school, be he has many a holiday;
    and he anticipates that day of home-going when he shall
    see the face of his Beloved for ever.

    Brethren, full assurance will give us the full result
    of the gospel. The gospel ought to make us holy; and so
    it will when we are in full possession of it. The
    gospel ought to make us separate from the world, the
    gospel ought to make us lead a heavenly life here
    below; and so it will if we drink deep draughts of it;
    but it we take only a sip of it now and again, we give
    it no chance of working out its design in us. Do not
    paddle about the margin of the water of life, but first
    wade in up to your knees, and then hasten to plunge
    into the waters to swim in. Beware of contentment with
    shallow grace. Prove what the grace of God can do for
    you by giving yourself up to its power.

    Full assurance gives a man a grateful zeal for the God
    he loves. These are the people that will go to the
    Congo for Jesus, for they know they are his. These are
    the people that will lay down their all for Christ, for
    Christ is theirs. These are the people that will bear
    scorn and shame and misrepresentation for the truth’s
    sake, for they know that they have eternal life. These
    are they that will keep on preaching and teaching,
    spending and working, for theirs is the kingdom of
    heaven, and they know it. Men will do little for what
    they doubt, and much for what they believe. If you have
    lost your title deeds, and you do not know whether your
    house is your own or not, you are not going to spend
    much in repairs and enlargements. When you know that
    heaven is yours, you are anxious to get ready for it.
    Full assurance finds fuel for zeal to feed upon.

    This also creates and sustains patience. When we know
    that we have eternal life, we do not fret about the
    trials of this passing life. I could point to the
    brethren here this morning, and I could mention sisters
    at home, who amaze me by their endurance of pain and
    weakness. This I know concerning them, that they never
    have a doubt about their interest in Christ; and for
    this cause they are able to surrender themselves into
    those dear hands which were pierced for them. They know
    that they are the Lord’s, and so they say, “Let him do
    what seemeth him good.” A blind child was in his
    father’s arms, and a stranger came into the room, and
    took him right away from his father. Yet he did not cry
    or complain. His father said to him, “Johnny, are you
    afraid? You do not know the person who has got hold of
    you.” “No, father,” he said, “I do not know who he is,
    but you do.” When pain gives us an awkward nip, and we
    do not know whether we shall live or die, when we are
    called to undergo a dangerous operation, and pass into
    unconciousness, then we can say, “I do not know where I
    am, but my Father knows, and I leave all with him.”
    Assurance makes us strong to suffer.

    This, dear friends, will give you constant firmness in
    your confession of divine truth. You who do not know
    whether you are saved or not, I hope the Lord will keep
    you from denying the faith; but those who have a firm
    grip of it, these are the men who will never forsake
    it. A caviller in an omnibus said to a Christian man
    one day, “Why, you have nothing after all to rest upon.
    I can prove to you that your Scriptures are not
    authentic.” The humble Christian man replied, “Sir, I
    am not a learned man, and I cannot answer you
    questions; but I believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and
    I have experienced such a change in character, and I
    feel such a joy and peace through believing, that I
    wish you knew my Saviour, too.” The answer he received
    was a very unexpected one: the unbeliever said, “You
    have got me there; I cannot answer that.” Just so: we
    have got them there. If we know what has been wrought
    in us by grace, they cannot overcome us. The full-
    assurance man baffles the very devil. Satan is cunning
    enough, but those who know and are persuaded, are birds
    which he cannot take in the snares of hell. When you
    know that your Lord is able to keep that which you have
    committed to him until that day, then you are firm as a
    rock. God make you so.

    Dear brethren, this is the kind of thing that will
    enable you to bear a telling testimony for your Lord.
    It is of no use to stand up and preach things that may
    or may not be true. I am charged with being a dreadful
    dogmatist, and I am not anxious to excuse myself. When
    a man is not quite sure of a thing, he grows very
    liberal: anybody can be a liberal with money which he
    cannot claim to be his own. The broad-school man says,
    “I am not sure, and I do not suppose that you are sure,
    for indeed nothing is sure.” Does this sandy foundation
    suit you? I prefer rock. The things which I have spoken
    to you from my youth up have been such as I have tried
    and proved, and to me they wear an absolute certainty,
    confirmed by my personal experience. I have tried these
    things: they have saved me, and I cannot doubt them. I
    am a lost man if the gospel I have preached to you be
    not true; and I am content to bide the issue of the day
    of Judgement. I do not preach doubtingly, for I do not
    live doubtingly. I know what I have told you to be
    true; why should I speak as if I were not sure? If you
    want to make your own testimony tell in such a day as
    this, you must have something to say that you are sure
    about; and until you are sure about it I would advise
    you to hold you tongue. We do not require any more
    questionings; the market is overstocked. We need no
    more doubt, honest or dishonest; the air is dark with
    these horrible blacks.

    Brethren, if you know that you have eternal life, you
    are prepared to live, and equally prepared to die. How
    frequently do I stand at the bedside of our dying
    members! I am every now and then saying to myself, “I
    shall certainly meet with some faint-hearted one.
    Surely I shall come across some child of God who is
    dying in the dark.” But I have not met with any such.
    Brethren, a child of God may die in the dark. One said
    to old Mr. Dodd, the quaint old Puritan-“How sad that
    our brother should have passed away in the darkness! Do
    you doubt his safety?” “No,” said old Mr. Dodd, “no
    more than I doubt the safety of him who said, when he
    was dying, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken
    me?”” Full assurance, as we have said before, is not of
    the essence of salvation. Still, I beg of you to note
    this, that all along through these many years, in each
    case, when I have gone to visit any of our brethren and
    our sisters at death, I have always found them
    departing in sure and certain hope of seeing the face
    of their Lord in glory. I have often marvelled that
    this should be without exception, and I glory in it.
    Often have they said to me, “We have fed on such good
    food that we may well be strong in the Lord.” God grant
    that you may have this assurance, all of you! May
    sinners begin to believe in Jesus, and saints believe
    more firmly, for Christ’s sake! Amen.

Provided by:

Tony Capoccia
Bible Bulletin Board
internet: www.biblebb.com
Box 318
Columbus, NJ 08022
….online since 1986

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