Chapter 18. Of the Assurance of Grace and Salvation

Read Chapter 18(Of the Assurance of Grace and Salvation) of the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith
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1. Although temporary believers and other unregenerate men, may vainly deceive themselves with false hopes and carnal presumptions of being in the favor of God and in a state of salvation, which hope of theirs shall perish;1yet 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,2which hope shall never make them ashamed.3

2. This certainty is not a bare conjectural and probable persuasion grounded upon a fallible hope, but an infallible assurance of faith,4founded on the blood and righteousness of Christ revealed in the Gospel;5and also upon the inward evidence of those graces of the Spirit unto which promises are made,6and on the testimony of the Spirit of adoption, witnessing with our spirits that we are the children of God;7and, as a fruit thereof, keeping the heart both humble and holy.8

3. This infallible assurance does not so belong to the essence of faith, but that a true believer may wait long, and struggle with many difficulties before he be partaker of it;9yet 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:10and therefore it is the duty of every one to give all diligence to make his 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;11-so far is it from inclining men to looseness.12

4. True believers may have the assurance of their salvation divers ways shaken, diminished, and intermitted; as by negligence in preserving of it,13by falling into some special sin which wounds the conscience and grieves the Spirit;14by some sudden or vehement temptation,15by God's withdrawing the light of his countenance, and suffering even such as fear him to walk in darkness and to have no light,16yet are they never destitute of the seed of God17and life of faith,18that 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,19and by the which, in the meantime, they are preserved from utter despair.20