If your early experience with the gospel of Christ includes modern evangelicalism, you may be wondering about assurance, or why doubt & uncertainty should often undermine one’s confidence in God. For many, the problem began when someone (well-meaning) told them that they are/were “saved”. Amidst Protestant trends & movements of the twentieth century, millions came to weekly anticipate being acknowledged – actively or passively – as one among the “saved” or “Christian”.

Why Does Assurance Matter?

Colossians 2:2 “..that their hearts may be consoled, being united in love, and to all the riches of the assurance of understanding, unto a realization of the secret of the God and Father of Christ

Hebrews 6:11 “..and we desire each one of you the same diligence to show forth, unto the full assurance of the hope unto the end

Hebrews 10:22 “Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.

The Hamster Wheel

For a system of religion to continue, there must be vital cause for adherents to return to a common point, and with regularity. In the Roman Catholic Church, people return sacramentally to acquire healing for the soul, as well as to regain the grace of God lost by sin(s). Protestant groups generally don’t hold a regular sacrament of confession or absolution. In addition to pulpit personalities, a means to keep people coming back to “our church” is to inform them that they have now received something intangible (Salvation), of which you or your team can help them come to better understand.

Indeed, the Salvation of God in Christ is both tangible and palpable. Yet, as if to skillfully shade this bit, a tier system (clergy-laity) has been perpetuated alongside double-speak teaching, such as, “yes, you are sanctified but sanctification is a process. See you next week.”

English Sozo Translation

From the New Testament now-extinct language, koine Greek, σοζο [sozo, Strongs #G4982] does not appear in past tense form. This word, σοζο, was sure to have been evoked when about getting someone back into a boat, after finding them in the water. It is close in use to the English word, rescue. One example from Ephesians 2:8 suggests a closer look: σεσωσμενοι, a Perfect Participle Passive Nominal form of “sozo”. Neither KJV nor Modern English can easily convey such a verb form, and consequently, many English Bible translators had opted to render it as a Past Participle. Even so, the Concordant Literal translation reads, “For in grace, through faith, are you saved, and this is not out of you; it is God's approach present”. Paul highlighting how people come to be saved [in grace] – not to assuring the Ephesians, or other readers, that they have been saved.

Are You Persuaded?

II Timothy 1:12 “For this cause I also suffer these things, nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.

Like Paul, do you have this assurance?
It is our confidence in God (not an affirmed assurance of salvation) which tells our story, and speaks to our hope in Him.

John Wycliffe had translated:
Romans 8:24 “But by hope we be made safe. For hope that is seen, is not hope; for who hopes for that thing, that he sees?”