Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Book Review: Assured: Discover Grace, Let Go of Guilt, and Rest in Your Salvation by Greg Gilbert

I recently finished reading Greg Gilbert’s book
Assured: Discover Grace, Let Go of Guilt and Rest in Your Salvation. Though I don’t particularly struggle with assurance of salvation, I found this book tremendously encouraging. It would be a great resource for those who do struggle with assurance of salvation.
Gilbert divides the means of assurance into three main categories of assurance: driving sources of assurance, the supernatural source of assurance, and the confirming source of assurance. The two driving sources of assurance are the truths of the gospel and the promises of God. The very nature of the gospel roots our assurance in the finished work of Christ. The gospel promise of eternal life was never about our worthiness or our ability to do good works. As we grow in understanding the depth of our own spiritual poverty, we are forced to rely on Christ, not only to save us initially but to maintain our salvation. God also promises to save all who repent and believe in Christ, and He promises to keep all who come to Christ. These two assurances, the gospel, and God’s promises should make up the bedrock of our assurance.
After spending another chapter talking about the supernatural source of assurance, the witness of the Spirit, he then goes on to discuss lies we believe that undermine our assurance. He discusses 4 different lies.

• Jesus loves me, but the God the Father doesn’t really.

• God is fundamentally stingy and naturally against us.

• Jesus is merely the means to the greater end of God’s blessings.

• God has opened the door to salvation, but he largely indifferent to who walks through it.

Gilbert then discusses the last means of assurance, the confirming source of the fruits of obedience. He talks about the Scriptural support of this idea. Then he discusses six ways we can misuse this tool of evaluating our lives looking for fruit. He devotes a chapter to besetting sins and then ends the book by looking at three “pebbles” that we tend to focus on that undermine our assurance.

• We focus on ourselves rather than the gospel and God’s promises.

• We focus on the abstract rather than the concrete.

• We focus on our individual spiritual lives rather than the life of the church.

I highly recommend this book. Every believer would benefit from reading it, and it would be especially helpful for those who struggle with assurance of salvation.

Kim Anderson

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