In the present climate of privilege in our culture, it is hard to convince people of their fallen condition and true need of a savior. Founded on a gospel of self-esteem, we have a cutlural construct that intentionally breeds a sense of each person truly deserving the best of everything. A desert which leaves countless numbers angry, frustrated and at a loss when they do not receive their perceived just due from life and everyone they encounter in it.
But there is also an opposite comdition that sometimes plagues those who have seen their sinfulness, need and lost condition. These are those who have fled to Jesus Christ for forgivness of their sins, and seek to live and walk as His – but who nonetheless are plagued with soul-ravaging doubt as to their newly minted Christian state. They have heard, believed and acted upon the good news of the Gospel of Christ’s substitutionary death. But they are also gripped by great fears that due to the remnants of indwelling sin, they are not truly saved after all. They lack the assurance of faith.
If this is you or someone you know, let me heartily recommend this slight but exceedingly rich little book by Loius Berkhof (1873-1957) – The Assurance of Faith.
Gently, tenderly and compassionately, in less than 70 pages total, this grand theologian walks the reader through a breif history of this vital question. He then goes on to a short but very sound Biblical discussion of what true assurance looks like, where it can be found, and how it can be cultivated.
Even if this isn’t an area you struggle with personally (not at the moment anyway) I believe you will find this very sweet book a refreshing and encouraging read.
Do yourself a favor and pick up a copy. One day, it WILL come in handy.