Depravity and Assurance

This is the 1st of a series of 4 posts on the Assurance of Salvation.

Total Depravity.

What a pleasant way to begin!!
What a necessary way to begin.

Total Depravity does not mean you have done the worst things possible and you are the worst person.

No, Total Depravity is the fact that you are a sinner and unable to save yourself. 

Throughout Romans 1:18 - 3:20, Paul writes about the sinfulness of man.
Romans 1:18 - 32 focuses on the fact that Jews are sinners.
Romans 2:1 - 3:9 focuses on the sinfulness of Gentiles.
Romans 3:9 - 20 shows that everyone is a sinner.

So, isn't this post about assurance of salvation?

What is the connection between total depravity and assurance?

We are unable to have a right relationship with God in our strength.  Believers are united to Christ in God by the Holy Spirit.  God is the one who makes dead sinners alive and keeps them alive.  Perseverance of the saints is a fact because of what God has done.

We cannot save ourselves from our sin and we cannot keep ourselves safe.

We, the children of God, are called to respond to God's grace.  This response is in actions and passions.  Actions and passions give evidence that one's salvation is genuine.  Assurance of salvation requires two things: "sound theological instruction and clear practical guidance [through valleys of doubt]"  (Jeremiah Montgomery)

Paul Washer offers a helpful distinction between to doctrine of the perseverance of the saints - "When God has truly saved an individual, the same power of God that saved that individual keeps that individual to the end, keeps the individual from falling" and the doctrine of assurance - "How do you know you have believed?  How can you be sure that you have truly believed unto salvation?"

Question to guide us as we seek assurance
by Don Whitney

  1. Do you share the intimacies of the Christian life with other believers?
  2. Do you have a deep awareness of your sin against the Word and love of God?
  3. Do you live in conscious obedience to the Word of God?
  4. Do you despise the world and its ways?
  5. Do you long for the return of Jesus Christ and to be made like Him?
  6. Do you habitually do what is right more and sin less?
  7. Do you love Christians sacrificially and want to be with them?
  8. Do you discern the presence of the Holy Spirit within you?
  9. Do you enjoy listening to the doctrines of the apostles taught today?
  10. Do you believe what the Bible teaches about Jesus Christ

Resource List  (Each of these is available on Hoopla)

  • How Can I Be Sure I’m a Christian?  By Donald Whitney
  • 8 Ways Satan Tempts You to Question Your Salvation tinyurl.com/how-satan-tempts-you
  • Stop Asking Jesus Into Your Heart by J.D. Greaear
  • The Gospel’s Power and Message by Paul Washer
  • Gospel Assurance & Warnings by Paul Washer

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