Title: Assured: Discover Grace, Let Go of Guilt, and Rest in Your Salvation
Author: Greg Gilbert
Genre: Christian Living/Spiritual Growth
Publishing: Mar 19, 2019 by Baker Books
About the Book:
Despite our professions of belief, our baptisms, and our membership in the church, many of us secretly wonder, Am I truly saved? We worry that our love for Jesus isn’t fervent enough (or isn’t as fervent as someone else’s). We worry that our faith isn’t strong enough. We struggle through the continuing presence of sin in our lives. All this steals the joy of our salvation and can lead us into a life characterized by legalism, perfectionism, and works righteousness–the very life Jesus freed us from at the cross!
But Greg Gilbert has a message for the anxious believer–be assured. Assured that your salvation experience was real. Assured that your sins–past, present, and future–are forgiven. Assured that everyone stumbles. Assured that Jesus is not your judge but your advocate. With deep compassion, Gilbert comforts readers, encouraging them to release their guilt, shame, and anxiety to rejoice in and follow hard after the One who set them free.
I found this to be an interesting and thought-provoking read. There is plenty of gleam from this regardless of where you are at personally when it comes to assurance of salvation. I know of people who have been going to church for years, were active in ministry, and showed a great amount of fruit, unable to sleep at night while wrestling over the assurance of their salvation. On the flip side, I’ve seen people who have almost never attended church, never picked up a Bible, and don’t appear to wrestle with their sin, proclaim that they have no doubts that they will be going to heaven. When it comes to salvation there is a healthy amount of self-examination that should be done, but our focus in that examination needs to be looking to Jesus and not anything of ourselves. Yes, there are evidences of faith, but they do not make or break it. At the end of the day the only way we can have salvation is through Jesus Christ our Savior. Regardless of where people are in their walk, there is something for everyone to learn from and meditate on.
Personally I found this to be both an encouraging and convicting read. It encourages the reader that Jesus desired us to find rest in him and assurance for our salvation as the scriptures affirm. At the same point, we are to realize that while works may be an evidence of faith, there is nothing we can do before or after we become a believer that could have any weight on that. It really resonated to me how this book worked through this.
I got a lot out of this book and found it useful not only for myself but also as a means to help others. As someone who works with the youth at church, it’s not uncommon to hear young teens talk about their struggles with assurance. This book provided many tools to help them work through those thoughts and help them to find rest in their relationship with Jesus instead of more anxiety. This is absolutely a study that I find to be worth the read.
*I received a copy of this book from Baker Books Publishing. Thoughts and opinions expressed are mine alone.