555 Difficult Bible Questions Answered

334. How Can One Have Absolute Assurance of Forgiveness of Sin?

The absolute inward assurance of forgiveness is to be obtained by a perfect surrender of our lives to God. If this is done in prayer, and without one reservation, the Holy Ghost performs its part as surely as God's promises stand. There is an expansion, an uplifting, an inward illumination that ever after establishes an assurance of forgiveness of sin to the individual soul. It is "the Spirit witnessing with our spirit that we are the sons of God." This is the new birth. This assurance of God's forgiveness of sins is given in answer to prayer through Jesus, and is communicated to our souls by the Holy Spirit. The degree or clearness of this assurance is according to our faith. Doubts cloud this consciousness of God's favor. The Holy Spirit imparts to the believer an assurance of pardon and adoption into God's family. "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." "He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself." God "that cannot lie" says through the inspired apostle, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." When the conditions are fully met, faith springs up in the human heart, and to believe "that my sins are forgiven" is without effort, the same as to breathe. Some obtain "absolute inward assurance" of sins forgiven more readily than others. Some souls are most trustful. The doubting and despondent may never in this life have assurance "absolute," yet even these may possess "assurance." The first step to "absolute assurance" is to believe that it is not assurance that saves, but faith. We may not see the bridge over which the train is safely carrying us. So faith saves, though we may not feel safe. The second step is to trust oneself to Christ, as a child lets his father take him in his arms. The third step is to willingly do and bear whatever Christ imposes. Absolute conviction will be found in your own heart after you have questioned it and can truthfully say these words: "I believe in and love the Lord Jesus Christ, enough to lay down my life, if need be, for his sake. I love him well enough, to live as long as he wants me to, a life of idleness or of labor, a life in prison or a life of freedom, a life of suffering or a life free from all care, a life wholly 1 devoid of companionship, wealth, worldly pleasures and friends. I love him well enough to go down to my grave, if need be, branded by the world." When you can freely give such a pledge, then you will feel the blessed peace enter your heart, and God will come and talk with you.