God, who has accepted and saved us and given us eternal life, has given us also the assurance of our right relationship with him. The Holy Spirit is the seal and guarantee of our salvation and assures us of the truth of the gospel message and its effectiveness for us. Our new life, our determination to obey God, our break with the past and our new spiritual direction give evidence of our adoption into God's family (Romans 8:14-17). We can be assured because the Holy Spirit speaks to us and our lives have been changed (1 John 5:1-12).
Our confidence is based not on changing moods or feelings but on the word of God. When we accept the biblical promises of God concerning our justification and regeneration, and our acceptance into God's family, we base our trust on the faithfulness of God who has given his promise and who can be trusted (Psalm 138:7-8; Hebrews 10:19-23).
Assurance does not mean that we may never be troubled by doubt following our conversion or that we shall always be consciously aware of the work of the Spirit within us. However, at times when we do not feel consciously assured of our salvation we remember that an ongoing union with Christ depends on his work and not on our feelings (1 John 3:19-24).
Some people receive their assurance in a moment of intense experience; with others the assurance is quietly and slowly given. Such assurance must be affirmed daily by obedience and never are an excuse for carelessness or complacency. The changed, and changing, life is evidence for the work of grace within (2 Corinthians 13:5-7; Philippians 1:4-6).
It is God's will that his children should know they belong to his family and so continue on their way with confidence (Romans 8:35-39). The gospel call to salvation is to faith, not fear.