FANDOM


Assurance is a Protestant doctrine which states that the inner witness of the Holy Spirit allows the justified disciple to know that they are saved. Based on the writings of Augustine of Hippo, assurance is a key doctrine in Methodism, Lutheranism, and Calvinism.

St. Augustine Edit

See Augustine of Hippo

Lutheranism Edit

see Lutheranism

Calvinism Edit

Resources Edit

  • Blessed Assurance: A Defense of the Doctrine of Eternal Security by Steven Waterhouse (ISBN 097024181X)
  • Calvin and Scottish Theology: The Doctrine of Assurance by M. Charles Bell (ISBN 0905312473)

Wesley & Methodism Edit

John Wesley believed that all Christians have a faith which implies an assurance of God's forgiving love, and that one would feel that assurance, or the "witness of the Spirit". This understanding is grounded in Paul's affirmation, "...ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry Abba, Father. The same Spirit beareth witness with our spirits, that we are the children of God..." (Romans 8:15-16, Wesley's translation). This experience was mirrored for Wesley in his Aldersgate experience wherein he "knew" he was loved by God and that his sins were forgiven.

"I felt my heart strangely warmed. I felt I did trust in Christ, Christ alone for salvation, and an assurance was given me that He had taken my sin, even mine." - from Wesley's Journal

Early in his ministry Wesley had to defend his understanding of assurance. In 1738 Arthur Bedford had published a sermon in which he misquoted Wesley's teachings. Bedford had understood Wesley as saying that a Christian could be assured of persevering in a state of salvation, the Calvinist view.

In a letter dated September 28, 1738 Wesley wrote, "The assurance of which I alone speak I should not choose to call an assurance of salvation, but rather (with the Scriptures), the assurance of faith. . . . [This] is not the essence of faith, but a distinct gift of the Holy Ghost, whereby God shines upon his own work, and shows us that we are justified through faith in Christ...The 'full assurance of faith' (Hebrews 10.22) is 'neither more nor less than hope; or a conviction, wrought in us by the Holy Ghost, that we have a measure of the true faith in Christ..'"1

Resources Edit

Notes Edit

Note 1: The discussion of Wesley's understanding of assurance is a revision of information presented on the website "Days of Wesley", copyright 2004, Days of Wesley, Conrad Archer, Entry on Assurance.

Ad blocker interference detected!


Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.