Assurance of personal salvation comes only through trusting and believing – that is, through trusting to the death of Christ, as the only way of salvation, and believing God’s word when He says that all who so do have eternal life. This, and this only, is the sure ground of assurance. God cannot lie. Christ has not died in vain. His death is the finished salvation of all who trust in Him.
You may, however, say: “Are there no after-experiences?” Yes;
the first after-experience is satisfaction that you have found the sure way of peace, of deliverance, of salvation. You rest there. You want nothing more to make your salvation more secure. You have God’s own word to rest upon, God’s own salvation provided for you, and you are content.
But you may again say: “Am I not to be better?” No; not before salvation; but after salvation you will be both better and worse in your own consciousness. You are sure to be worse, because you will be sure to learn more clearly, and more constantly, how far short you come of all spiritual goodness, and how much deeper is the corrupt principle of your natural heart, than you had ever imagined could be possible. All your discovered badness does not, however, alter your salvation in Christ. It is only clearer evidence that your salvation must be, as indeed it is, all of grace.
You will also be better in your own consciousness, inasmuch as you will be conscious that you have a more healthy appetite; for you
will be sure to hunger after Christ. You will want to hear more about Christ, and think more about Him. You will want to rejoice in Him, and to please Him in your daily walk.
You will also find that sin, however it may strive within, has not that mastery over you it once had, because of your relationship to Christ, who gives you strength against it; and because of the new nature you possess, through the Holy Spirit’s gracious work, which gives you an increasing dislike to it.
All this, however, does not in the least make your salvation from the wrath to come in any way more perfect. It is perfect to start with, else your salvation would be of works, and not of grace alone.
Carefully consider the following statements of the Gospel of God’s grace concerning all sinners who truly trust in the Lord Jesus for salvation.
It states that such sinners are already “justified from all things” Acts 13.39, and that their salvation is already accomplished by His death in their stead Eph. 1.7, 2.8; Col. 1.12-14; 2 Tim. 1.9; and therefore there is now no condemnation to them Rom. 8.1; and that before Christ ascended, their sins were removed and judicially purged by His blood Heb. 1.3; Rev. 1.5; and that they shall never perish, neither shall any pluck them out of the hands of Christ, nor out of the hands of His Father John 10.28,29; and that they already possess everlasting life John 3.36, and are already complete in Christ Col. 2.12, and fully accepted in the beloved Eph. 1.6; and that it is their privilege now to rejoice as God’s reconciled children, and in the assurance that they shall one day be with Him in glory Rom. 8.15-17, 30 to the end; 1 John 3.1.