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Certain and Sure

“The Theological Basis for Our Eternal Assurance” Galatians 4:1-7

Date:July 23, 2023
Author: Wayne J. Edwards



Many Christians could add the prefix “doubting” to their names, like “Doubting Thomas,” for they are plagued with doubts about their eternal salvation. Instead of being shouting Christians, they are doubting Christians, and Satan has silenced their witness for Christ.

Someone said, if you could have salvation and not know it, you could lose your salvation and not miss it. Beloved, I assure you of this: If you have salvation, you know it, and if you have salvation and know it, you can never lose it. So, if you are saved and you know it, say “Amen!”

We will explain this further in our Sunday, July 23 sermon, “Certain and Sure: The Theological Basis for Our Eternal Assurance.”

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Old Testament – Psalm 86:1-5
New Testament – 1 John 5:10-13

Certain and Sure
“The Theological Basis for Our Eternal Assurance”
Galatians 4:1-7

   The fact that most believers experience doubts about their eternal salvation is not all bad.

  • In 2 Corinthians 13:5, the Apostle Paul said we should constantly “Examine ourselves as to whether we are in the faith.” – are we daily dying to our wills and fully surrendering our lives unto the Lord so the Holy Spirit can work through us?

   Those who presume they are saved because they have no doubts about their eternal security may end up very sad.

  • In Matthew 7:21, Jesus said, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.”

   So, someone might ask if a believer can have the unquestionable assurance of their salvation, and the answer is YES!

  • In John 20:31, the Apostle said, “These are written that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through His name.”
  • In 1 John 5:13, the Apostle said, “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life.”

The common reasons many believers have doubts about their eternal salvation:

  • Some people wonder if the decision they made as a child was a genuine conversion experience.
    • In Matthew 19:14, Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.”
  • Some people have persistent guilt over their past sins.
    • In 1 John 1:9, the Apostle said, “God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us of all unrighteousness.”
  • Some people have a besetting sin they cannot overcome.
    • In Acts 2:38, the Apostle Peter said, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
  • Some people do not sense God is at work in them or through them.
    • In Matthew 7:17, Jesus said, “Every good tree bears fruit.”
    • In Titus 3:14, Paul wrote, “Let our people learn to devote themselves to good works, so as to help in times of urgent need, and not be unfruitful.”
    • In 2 Timothy 1:6, Paul said believers should ask the Holy Spirit to “stir up the gift of God which is in you.”
  • Spiritual disobedience – they know what the Word of God says about a particular attitude or action, but they continue to practice it or participate in it.
  • Spiritual inconsistency – they get ‘on fire’ for God after some event or experience, but in a few days, they have reverted to their old ways.
  • Spiritual narcissism – to justify their own sins, and their lack of spiritual growth, they become critical of the sins of others.
  • Spiritual idealism – believing once a person receives Christ as their Savior, they will never have any more problems. But when reality sets in, they begin to doubt their faith in Jesus Christ.
  • Spiritual ignorance – their misunderstanding of the theological basis for God’s gift of salvation and how it is received, applied, and manifested in and through a person’s life.


  • The very instant we are born again:
    • The eternal life of God’s Son awakened us to a new life.
    • The light of God’s truth exposed us to Satan’s lies.
    • The internal direction of our lives changed from selfishness to selflessness.
    • The outward goal of our lives changed from the pursuit of vain pleasure to the pursuit of righteousness.
    • Anything less is a religious experience but not a sufficient life transformation to assure one’s eternal salvation.
  • The Essential elements of the gospel:

The initial message of the gospel is one of judgment.

    • Romans 3:23, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
    • Romans 6:23 – “The wages of sin is death.”

The second message of the gospel is one of salvation.

    • Romans 3:23 – “All are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.”
    • Romans 6:23: “The free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
    • How can we be sure that Jesus is the God-sent Savior?
      • 1 Corinthians 15:3 – “Christ died for our sins.”
    • How can we be sure His death paid the wages of our sin?
      • 2 Corinthians 5:21 – “God made Jesus, who knew no sin, to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”
    • How do we know that God accepted the death of His Son for our sins?
      • Acts 13:30 – “God raised Him from the dead.”

“For by grace, you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.”
Ephesians 2:8-9

  • The Theological Basis for Our Eternal Assurance
    • In the Jewish culture, the father determines when his son stops being a child and becomes a man, giving him legal rights to his father’s inheritance. Until then, even though he is a son, he has no more rights than a slave. That child represents every human who is in bondage to the things of the world – we are slaves to sin with no hope of heaven.
    • Galatians 4:4 – God sent His Son to redeem us from our slavery to sin so that we might be adopted by the Father as His children, be given equal status with Jesus in God’s family, and equal status with Jesus as His heirs.
    • Verse 6-7 – “Abba” is the affectionate Aramaic name for the father of the family. When we receive Jesus Christ as our Savior, we are given access to the same intimacy with God the Father as God the Son, and we have the same right to call God our Father as Jesus called Him Father.
      • In Ephesians 1:3-13, Paul assured us, when we heard the gospel and trusted in Jesus Christ for our salvation, God removed us from Satan’s family and adopted us into His family. That adoption was sealed by the Holy Spirit.
    • Galatians 4:6 – “And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!”
  • The crucial question is, where is the evidence of the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives?
    • Is the Holy Spirit opening your mind to the Scriptures?
    • Is the Holy Spirit giving you leadership and direction?
    • Is the Holy Spirit comforting you in your troubles?
    • Is the Holy Spirit filling your heart with love, joy, peace, patience, and kindness?
    • Does the Holy Spirit inspire you to make melody in your heart unto the Lord and to worship Him in your spirit?
    • Does the Holy Spirit convict you when you sin?
  • In Romans 10:9-10, the Apostle Paul said, “If we confess Jesus Christ as Lord, we will be saved.”
  • However, in 1 Corinthians 12:3, the Apostle Paul said, “No one can say, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ except by the Holy Spirit.”
  • Do you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Holy Spirit led you to confess Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior?