Chapter 18 Of the Assurance of Grace and Salvation 1.

Although temporary believers, and other unregenerate men, may vainly deceive themselves with false hopes, and carnal presumptions, of being in the favour of God, and the state of salvation, which hope of theirs shall perish;

Job 8:13 Job 8:14

So are the paths of all that forget God; and the hypocrite's hope shall perish: Whose hope shall be cut off, and whose trust shall be a spider's web.

Matthew 7:22 Matthew 7:23

Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

yet such as truly believe in the Lord Jesus, and love Him in sincerity endeavouring to walk in all good conscience before Him, may in this life be certainly assured, that they are in the state of grace, and may rejoice in the hope of the glory of God,

I John And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. 2:3

I John We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that 3:14 loveth not his brother abideth in death. I John Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal 3:15 life abiding in him. I John Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to 3:16 lay down our lives for the brethren. I John But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his 3:17 bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? I John My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. 3:18 I John And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him. 3:19 1jo 3:20 For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. I John Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. 3:21

I John 3:22 I John 3:23 I John 3:24

And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight. And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment. And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.

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

which hope shall never make them ashamed.

Romans 5:2 Romans 5:3 Romans 5:4 Romans 5:5

By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

2. This certainty is not a bare conjectural and probable persuasion, grounded upon a fallible hope, but an infallible assurance of faith,

Hebrews 6:11 Hebrews 6:12

And we desire that every one of you do show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end: That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

Hebrews 6:17 Hebrews 6:18 Hebrews

Wherein God, willing more abundantly to show unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which

6:19 Hebrews 6:20

entereth into that within the veil; Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.

founded on the blood and righteousness of Christ revealed in the Gospel;

Hebrews 6:17 Hebrews 6:18 Hebrews 6:19 Hebrews 6:20

Wherein God, willing more abundantly to show unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.

and also upon the inward evidence of those graces of the Spirit unto which promises are made,

II Peter 1:1 II Peter 1:2 II Peter 1:3 II Peter 1:4

Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ: Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. II Peter And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; 1:5 II Peter And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; 1:6 II Peter And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. 1:7 II Peter For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren 1:8 nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. II Peter But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that 1:9 he was purged from his old sins. II Peter Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for 1:10 if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:

II Peter For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom 1:11 of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

and on the testimony of the Spirit of adoption, witnessing with our spirits, that we are the children of God;

Romans 8:15 Romans 8:16 Romans 8:17

For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

and, as a fruit thereof keeping the heart both humble and holy.

I John 3:1 I John 3:2 I John 3:3

Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

3. This infallible assurance doth not so belong to the essence of faith, but that a true believer may wait long, and conflict with many difficulties, before he be a partaker of it;

Isaiah 50:10

Who is among you that feareth the LORD, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the LORD, and stay upon his God.

Psalm 88:1 Psalm

A Song or Psalm for the sons of Korah, to the chief Musician upon Mahalath Leannoth, Maschil of Heman the Ezrahite. O LORD God of my salvation, I have cried day and night before thee: Let my prayer come before thee: incline thine ear unto my cry;

88:2 Psalm 88:3 Psalm 88:4 Psalm 88:5 Psalm 88:6 Psalm 88:7 Psalm 88:8 Psalm 88:9 Psalm 88:10 Psalm 88:11 Psalm 88:12 Psalm 88:13 Psalm 88:14 Psalm 88:15 Psalm 88:16 Psalm 88:17 Psalm 88:18

For my soul is full of troubles: and my life draweth nigh unto the grave. I am counted with them that go down into the pit: I am as a man that hath no strength: Free among the dead, like the slain that lie in the grave, whom thou rememberest no more: and they are cut off from thy hand. Thou hast laid me in the lowest pit, in darkness, in the deeps. Thy wrath lieth hard upon me, and thou hast afflicted me with all thy waves. Selah. Thou hast put away mine acquaintance far from me; thou hast made me an abomination unto them: I am shut up, and I cannot come forth. Mine eye mourneth by reason of affliction: LORD, I have called daily upon thee, I have stretched out my hands unto thee. Wilt thou show wonders to the dead? shall the dead arise and praise thee? Selah. Shall thy lovingkindness be declared in the grave? or thy faithfulness in destruction? Shall thy wonders be known in the dark? and thy righteousness in the land of forgetfulness? But unto thee have I cried, O LORD; and in the morning shall my prayer prevent thee. LORD, why castest thou off my soul? why hidest thou thy face from me? I am afflicted and ready to die from my youth up: while I suffer thy terrors I am distracted. Thy fierce wrath goeth over me; thy terrors have cut me off. They came round about me daily like water; they compassed me about together. Lover and friend hast thou put far from me, and mine acquaintance into darkness.

Psalm 77:1 Psalm 77:2 Psalm 77:3 Psalm 77:4 Psalm 77:5 Psalm 77:6

To the chief Musician, to Jeduthun, A Psalm of Asaph. I cried unto God with my voice, even unto God with my voice; and he gave ear unto me. In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord: my sore ran in the night, and ceased not: my soul refused to be comforted. I remembered God, and was troubled: I complained, and my spirit was overwhelmed. Selah. Thou holdest mine eyes waking: I am so troubled that I cannot speak. I have considered the days of old, the years of ancient times. I call to remembrance my song in the night: I commune with mine own heart: and my spirit made diligent search.

Psalm 77:7 Psalm 77:8 Psalm 77:9 Psalm 77:10 Psalm 77:11 Psalm 77:12

Will the Lord cast off for ever? and will he be favourable no more? Is his mercy clean gone for ever? doth his promise fail for evermore? Hath God forgotten to be gracious? hath he in anger shut up his tender mercies? Selah. And I said, This is my infirmity: but I will remember the years of the right hand of the most High. I will remember the works of the LORD: surely I will remember thy wonders of old. I will meditate also of all thy work, and talk of thy doings.

yet being enabled by the Spirit, to know the things which are freely given him of God, he may, without extraordinary revelation, in the right use of means attain thereunto;

I John 4:13 Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.

Hebrews 6:11 Hebrews 6:12

And we desire that every one of you do show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end: That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

and therefore it is the duty of every one to give all diligence to make their calling and election sure, that thereby his heart may be enlarged in peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, in love and thankfulness to God, and in strength and cheerfulness in the duties of obedience, the proper fruits of this assurance;

Romans 5:1 Romans 5:2

Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

Romans 5:3 Romans 5:4 Romans 5:5

And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

Romans Let not then your good be evil spoken of: 14:16 Romans For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in 14:17 the Holy Ghost.

Psalm 119:32 I will run the way of thy commandments, when thou shalt enlarge my heart.

so far is it from inclining men to looseness.

Romans 6:1 Romans 6:2

What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?

Titus 2:11 Titus 2:12 Titus 2:13 Titus 2:14

For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

4. True believers may have the assurance of their salvation divers ways shaken, diminished and intermitted; as by negligence in preserving of it,

Song of I sleep, but my heart waketh: it is the voice of my beloved that knocketh, saying, Solomon 5:2 Open to me, my sister, my love, my dove, my undefiled: for my head is filled with dew, and my locks with the drops of the night. Song of I have put off my coat; how shall I put it on? I have washed my feet; how shall I Solomon 5:3 defile them?

Song of I opened to my beloved; but my beloved had withdrawn himself, and was gone: my Solomon 5:6 soul failed when he spake: I sought him, but I could not find him; I called him, but he gave me no answer.

by falling into some special sin, which woundeth the conscience, and grieveth the Spirit;

Psalm 51:8 Psalm 51:9 Psalm 51:10 Psalm 51:11 Psalm 51:12 Psalm 51:13 Psalm 51:14

Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice. Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee. Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness.

by some sudden or vehement temptation;

Psalm 116:10 Psalm 116:11

I believed, therefore have I spoken: I was greatly afflicted: I said in my haste, All men are liars.

Psalm 77:4 Psalm 77:5 Psalm 77:6 Psalm 77:7 Psalm 77:8 Psalm 77:9

Thou holdest mine eyes waking: I am so troubled that I cannot speak. I have considered the days of old, the years of ancient times. I call to remembrance my song in the night: I commune with mine own heart: and my spirit made diligent search. Will the Lord cast off for ever? and will he be favourable no more? Is his mercy clean gone for ever? doth his promise fail for evermore? Hath God forgotten to be gracious? hath he in anger shut up his tender mercies? Selah.

Psalm 31:22

For I said in my haste, I am cut off from before thine eyes: nevertheless thou heardest the voice of my supplications when I cried unto thee.

by God's withdrawing the light of His countenance, and suffering even such as fear him to walk in darkness, and to have no light,

Psalm 30:7

LORD, by thy favour thou hast made my mountain to stand strong: thou didst hide thy face, and I was troubled.

yet are they never destitute of the seed of God

I John 3:9

Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.

and life of faith,

Luke 22:31 Luke 22:32

And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.

that love of Christ and the brethren, that sincerity of heart, and conscience of duty, out of which, by the operation of the Spirit, this assurance may in due time be revived;

Psalm 42:5 Psalm 42:6 Psalm 42:7 Psalm 42:8 Psalm 42:9 Psalm 42:10 Psalm 42:11

Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance. O my God, my soul is cast down within me: therefore will I remember thee from the land of Jordan, and of the Hermonites, from the hill Mizar. Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts: all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me. Yet the LORD will command his lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life. I will say unto God my rock, Why hast thou forgotten me? why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy? As with a sword in my bones, mine enemies reproach me; while they say daily unto me, Where is thy God? Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.

and by the which, in the meantime, they are preserved from utter despair.

Lamentations 3:26 Lamentations 3:27 Lamentations 3:28 Lamentations 3:29 Lamentations 3:30 Lamentations 3:31 Lamentations 3:32

It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD. It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth. He sitteth alone and keepeth silence, because he hath borne it upon him. He putteth his mouth in the dust; if so be there may be hope. He giveth his cheek to him that smiteth him: he is filled full with reproach. For the Lord will not cast off for ever: But though he cause grief, yet will he have compassion according to the multitude of his mercies.

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