The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
~ Romans 8:16
And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.
~ Romans 8:23
Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
~ Romans 8:26
Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit.
~ 2 Corinthians 5:5
Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.
~ 1 John 4:13
And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him. For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.
~ 1 John 3:19-22
How Can We Know We Are Saved?, by Charles Haddon Spurgeon. The following contans an excerpt from Chapter Eleven, “The Great Change — Conversion”, of his Autobiography Diary, Letters and Records, Volume One — compiled by Spurgeon’s Wife and and His Private Secretary.
The Holy Spirit, who enabled me to believe, gave me peace through believing. I felt as sure that I was forgiven as before I felt sure of condemnation. I had been certain of my condemnation because the Word of God declared it, and my conscience bore witness to it; but when the Lord justified me, I was made equally certain by the same witnesses. The Word of the Lord in the Scripture saith, “He that believeth on Him is not condemned,” and my conscience bore witness that I believed, and that God in pardoning me was just. Thus I had the witness of the Holy Spirit and also of my own conscience, and these two agreed in one. That great and excellent man, Dr. Johnson, used to hold the opinion that no man ever could know that he was pardoned, — that there was no such thing as assurance of faith. Perhaps, if Dr. Johnson had studied his Bible a little more, and had had a little more of the enlightenment of the Spirit, he, too, might have come to know his own pardon. Certainly, he was no very reliable judge of theology, anymore than he was of porcelain, which he once attempted to make, and never succeeded. I think both in theology a porcelain his opinion is of very little value.
How can a man know that he is pardoned? There is a text which says, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.” I believe on the Lord Jesus Christ; is it irrational to believe that I am saved? “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life,” saith Christ, in John’s Gospel. I believe on Christ; am I absurd in believing that I have eternal life? I find the apostle Paul speaking by the Holy Ghost, and saying, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus. Being justified by faith, we have peace with God.” If I know that my trust is fixed on Jesus only, and that I have faith in Him, were it not ten thousand times more absurd for me not to be at peace, than for me to be filled with joy unspeakable? It is but taking God at His Word, when the soul knows, as a necessary consequence of its faith, that it is saved. I took Jesus as my Savior, and I was saved; and I can tell the reason why I took Him for my Savior. To my own humiliation, I must confess that I did it because I could not help it; I was shut up to it. That stern law-work had hammered me into such a condition that, if there had been fifty other saviors, I could not have thought of them, — I was driven to this One. I wanted a Divine Savior, I wanted One who was made a curse for me, to expiate my guilt. I wanted One who had died, for I deserved to die. I wanted One who had risen again, who was able by His life to make me live. I wanted the exact Savior that stood before me in the Word, revealed to my heart; and I could not help having Him. I could realize then the language of Rutherford when, being full of love to Christ, once upon a time, in the dungeon of Aberdeen, he said, “O my Lord, if there were a broad hell betwixt me and Thee, if I could not get at Thee except by wading through it, I would not think twice, but I would go through it all, if I might but embrace Thee, and call Thee mine!” Oh, how I loved Him! Passing all loves except His own, was that love which I felt for Him then. If, beside the door of the place in which I met with Him, there had been a stake of blazing faggots, I would have stood upon them without chains, glad to give my flesh, and blood, and bones, to be ashes that should testify my love to Him. Had He asked me then to give all my substance to the poor, I would have given all, and thought myself to be amazingly rich in having beggared myself for His name’s sake. Had He commanded me then to preach in the midst of all H foes, I could have said, —
“ There’s not a lamb in all Thy flock I would disdain to feed, There’s not a foe, before whose face I’d fear Thy cause to plead”. Has Jesus save me?I dare not speak with any hesitation…His Word is true, therefore I am saved. My evidence that I am saved does not lie in the fact that I preach, or that I do this or that. All my hope lies in this, that Jesus Christ came to save sinners. I am a sinner, I trust Him, then He came to save me, and I am saved; I live habitually in the enjoyment of this blessed fact, and it is long since I have doubted the truth of it, for I have His own Word to sustain my faith. It is a very surprising thing, — a thing to be marveled at most of all by those who enjoy it. I know that it is to me even to this day the greatest wonder that I ever hear of, that God should ever justify me.I feel myself to be a lump of unworthiness, a mass of corruption, and a heap of sin, apart from His almighty love; yet I know, by a full assurance, that I am justified by faith which is in Christ Jesus, and treated as if I had been perfectly just, and made an heir of God and a joint-heir with Christ; though by nature I must take my place among the most sinful. I, who am altogether undeserving, am treated as if I had been deserving. I am loved with as much love as if I had always been godly, whereas aforetime I was ungodly.
Substitution, —Christ standing in the stead of man. If I understand the gospel, it is this: I deserve to be lost forever; the only reason why I should not be damned is, that Christ was punished in my stead, and there is no need to execute a sentence twice f sin. On the other hand, I know I cannot enter Heaven unless I have a perfect righteousness; I am absolutely certain I shall never have one of my own, for I find I sin everyday; but then Christ had a perfect righteousness, and He said, “There, poor sinner, take My garment, and put it on; you shall stand before God as if you were Christ, and I will stand before God as if I had been the sinner; I will suffer in the sinner’s stead, and you shall be rewarded for works which you did not do, but which I did for you.” I find it very convenient everyday to come to Christ as a sinner, as I came at the first. “You are no saint,” says the devil. Well, if I am not, I am a sinner, and Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners. Sink or swim, I go to Him; other hope I have none. By looking to Him, I received all the faith which inspired me with confidence in His grace; and the word that first drew my soul — “Look unto Me,” — still rings its clarion note in my ears. There I once found conversion, and there I shall ever find refreshing and renewal.
Let me bear my personal testimony of what I have seen, what my own ear have heard, and my own heart has tasted. First, Christ is the only-begotten of the Father. He is Divine to me, if He be human to all the world besides. He has done that for me which none but a God could do. He has subdued my stubborn will, melted a heart of adamant, broken a chain of steel, opened the gates of brass, and snapped the bars of iron. He hath turned me my mourning into laughter, and my desolation into joy; He hath led my captivity captive, and made my heart rejoice with joy unspeakable, and full of glory. Let others think as they will of Him, to me He must ever be the only-begotten of the Father: blessed be His holy name!
“ Oh, that I could now adore Him, Like the Heavenly host above, Who for ever bow before Him, And unceasing sing His love!
Happy songsters! When shall I your chorus join?”
Again, I bear my testimony that He is full of grace. Ah, had He not been, I should never have beheld His glory. I was full of sin to overflowing. I was condemned already, because I believed not upon Him. He drew me when wanted not to come, and though I struggled hard, He continued still to draw; and when at last I came to His mercy-seat, all trembling like a condemned culprit, He said, “Thy sins, which are many, are all forgiven thee: be of good cheer.” Let others despise Him; but I bear witness that He is full of grace.
Finally, I bear my witness that He is full of truth. True have His promises been; not one has failed. I have often doubted Him, for that I blush; He ha never failed me, in this I must rejoice. His promises have been yea and amen. I do but speak the testimony of every believer in Christ, though I pu it thus personally to make it the more forcible. I bear witness that never servant had such a Master as I have; never brother had such a Kinsman a He has been to me; never spouse had such a Husband as Christ has bee my soul; never sinner a better Savior; never soldier a better Captain; never mourner a better Comforter than Christ hath been to my spirit. I want non beside Him. In life, He is my life; and in death, He shall be the death of death; in poverty, Christ is my riches; in sickness, He makes my bed; in darkness, He is my Star; and in brightness, He is my Sun. By faith I understand that the blessed Son of God redeemed my soul with His own heart’s blood; and by sweet experience I know that He raised me up from the pit of dark despair, and set my feet on the rock. He died for me. This i the root of every satisfaction I have. He put all my transgressions away. H cleansed me with His precious blood; He covered me with His perfect righteousness; He wrapped me up in His own virtues. He has promised to keep me, while I abide in this world, from its temptations and snares; and when I depart from this world, He has already prepared for me a mansion in the Heaven of unfading bliss, and a crown of everlasting joy that shall never, never fade away. To me, then, the days or years of my mortal sojourn on this earth are of little moment. Nor is the manner of my decease of much consequence. Should foemen sentence me to martyrdom, or physicians declare that I must soon depart this life, it is all alike, — “ A few more rolling suns at most Shall land me on fair Canaan’s coast.