Q. 81. Are all true believers at all times assured of their present being in the estate of grace, and that they shall be saved?
A.81. Assurance of grace and salvation not being of the essence of faith, true believers may wait long before they obtain it; and, after the enjoyment thereof, may have it weakened and intermitted, through manifold distempers, sins, temptations, and desertions; yet are they never left without such a presence and support of the Spirit of God as keeps them from sinking into utter despair.
(Westminster Larger Catechism)
Do you remember having doubts about your faith? It feels like when we do have doubts about the Gospel that we aren’t really Christian. After all, Christians are supposed to have a Full assurance of their salvation, or are we?
I think catechism 81 makes it clear that Full assurance isn’t possible in our life. Basically meaning, we can’t have full assurance in our ability to have faith (Subjective), because of our sinful nature and our constant struggle of disbelieving. But we CAN have Full Assurance in trusting in the Gospel (objective), because the message of the Gospel is permanently set. It doesn’t matter whether we are fully sure ourselves whether we have the right amount of faith. The call that Gospel gives isn’t for us to look to ourselves and see if we have enough faith; the call is for us to simply believe and trust in the Gospel. The doubts in our lives will always be there, but we also have to understand that the Gospel will always be there also.
This is exactly why everyone should be running towards the church every Sunday to participate in the worship, so that our faith maybe strengthened by the Gospel. Christ is the only one who had the Full Assurance of his own Faith. Yet, at the Cross he lost his assurance and was crucified at the cross all so that sinners like us can have such small faith that would assure us so great a salvation. Friends, when we face our doubts, let us run towards this glorious good news that can only strengthen us in our moments of doubt.