The following book review was provided by Angie Stanley. You can find more of Angie’s reviews and writings at In the Meantime.
Assured, by Greg Gilbert
Struggling with doubts about one’s salvation is quite commonplace among believers. Indeed, if we are honest, I think many of us would agree that we have asked ourselves the question: “Am I truly saved?”
As a teenager, I had several conversations with my mom about my assurance of salvation. While I don’t remember all the details of those often-late-night conversations, I do remember my mom pointing me back to Scripture and reminding me of what God says. Even now as an adult, there are still occasional moments of doubt.
Assured: Discover Grace, Let Go of Guilt, and Rest in Your Salvation by Greg Gilbert is a helpful little discussion about how to deal with these moments of doubt. Its goal is to drive us back to Scripture and remind us of what our salvation truly rests on.
Four Sources of Assurance
The majority of the book centers around a discussion of four sources for our assurance: the Gospel of Jesus Christ, God’s promises, the Holy Spirit, and the fruits of obedience in our lives. It is important to note that these sources of assurance fit into different categories concerning how they function. Concerning the gospel and God’s promises, Gilbert categorizes them as driving sources of assurance, the Holy Spirit is a supernatural source of assurance, and the fruits of obedience are a confirming source of assurance. I found this categorization to be a very helpful evaluation.
The chapter covering the gospel of Christ and how that guarantees our assurance of salvation is perhaps the most powerful chapter of the book. Gilbert discusses passages of Scripture such as Hebrews 10:19-22 and Romans 5:1-2, 6-8 to address what exactly Christ’s death on the cross accomplished for us.
In the same chapter, Gilbert also addresses the question of faith–what if our faith isn’t strong enough or the right kind of faith? This particular question is the very question that has nagged at my heart over the years. I found Gilbert’s practical response to these questions to be helpful in reminding me that my salvation does not depend on what I have done but on what Christ has done!
If you don’t read anything else in the book, read at least the first two chapters!
Considerations to keep in mind
After covering these difference sources for our assurance in the first part of the book, the last three chapters discuss some specific considerations to keep in mind: mistakes we make in evaluating our good works, a besetting sin that continues to plague us, and some of the “trees” of the forest that we tend to focus on when we should instead be focusing on the magnificent view of the “forest” of God’s promises and the gospel.
Who might benefit from this book?I believe several different groups of people will find Assured to be helpful:
- Maybe you’re constantly wondering if you are indeed a Christian. Assured will help you evaluate why you might be having these nagging doubts.
- Perhaps you’re confident and resting in your salvation. Assured will renew your awe and wonder at the extent of what Christ has done to guarantee your salvation until the day you are face to face with Christ Himself!
- Perhaps you’re in a ministry where you teach, mentor, or even counsel other believers. I believe Assured could prove to be a helpful resource to have on hand as you serve other believers.
Assured is a powerful little book that will lift your eyes to the Savior and cause you to rejoice in the marvelous gift of salvation that He has given us!