assurance of grace, assurance of salvation, baptist catechism, catechisms, confessing baptist, keach catechism, london baptist confession, perseverance of the saints, preservation of the saints, reformed baptist, salvation, soteriology, westminster larger catechism
In this section of the Baptist Larger Catechism, we address Ch. 17-18 in the 1689 London Baptist Confession on perseverance of the saints and the assurance of grace and salvation. This section consists of an expansion of question 40 in the Baptist Catechism and the Keach Catechism with additional questions regarding Christian assurance. These additional questions why true believers cannot totally fall from the state of grace (Q. 73), how believers receive assurance of their salvation (Q. 74), and what factors influence a Christian’s sense of assurance (Q. 75). These additional questions are similar to questions 79-81 in the Westminster Larger Catechism.
As before, feel free to comment on the additional questions added and the expanded questions below.
Q. 72: What are the benefits which in this life do accompany or flow from justification, adoption, and sanctification?
A: The benefits which in this life do accompany or flow from justification, adoption, and sanctification are the first-fruits of communion with Christ mainly in the form of interest in the glory Christ fully possesses,1 and, as a down payment on this communion, the elect enjoy an assurance of God’s love,2 peace of conscience, joy in the Holy Spirit, increase of grace, and hope of glory.3
Q. 73: Can true believers fall from their state of grace?
A: True believers, because of God’s unchangeable love,1 His decree and covenant to grant them perseverance,2 their inseparable union with Christ,3 His continual intercession for them,4 and the presence of His Spirit and seed of God abiding in them,5 can neither totally nor finally fall out of their state of grace,6 but are preserved by the power of God through faith unto salvation.7
7. 1 Peter 1:5
Q. 74: Can true believers be infallibly assured that they will remain in a state of grace?
A: True believers who endeavor to walk in good conscience before Him,1 may, without extraordinary revelation, be infallibly assured that they are and will remain in a state of grace, persevering to salvation.2 This assurance comes from faith grounded on the truth of God’s promises and from the Spirit, who gives believers spiritual insight into their own hearts, to which these promises are directed.3 The Spirit also testifies with their spirits that they are the children of God.4
Q. 75: Are all true believers at all times assured of their salvation?
A: Since the assurance of grace and salvation is not essential to faith, true believers may have to wait long before they obtain it,1 and once they have obtained it, their assurance may be weakened and interrupted from being afflicted by all kinds of psychological problems, sins, temptations, and from losing the sense of God’s favor.2 However, the Holy Spirit keeps believers from complete despair by never allowing them to be without an inner sense of His presence and support.3