Should We Ever Look "in" for Assurance?

Many Reformed and Lutheran folks say no. The Bible says yes:

  • 1 John 2:5-6 "But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did" (NIV). How are we assured that we are in him? We must live as Jesus did. Seems pretty clear. 
  •  1 John 2:28 "And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming" (ESV). We are to abide in him so that we will have confidence (assurance) at his coming.
  • 1 John 3:18-19 "Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth. By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before him" (ESV). We will know (i.e. have assurance) that we are Christians by loving in deed and in truth and by this we reassure our hearts before him.
  • 2 Corinthians 13:5 "Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?--unless indeed you fail to meet the test!" In other words, look at yourselves! 
  • 2 Peter 1:9-10 "For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to make your calling and election sure, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall."  

Let's strive to follow the New Testament vision of the Christian Life, rather than reducing it to fit our preferred theological model.