If anyone had cause to be discouraged, it was Fanny J. Crosby. As an infant, she was accidentally blinded by a doctor’s mustard poultice applied to her eyes. Her father passed away while she was a small child. Fanny married at the age of 38 and her only child died in infancy. After 25 years of marriage she was widowed. Fanny lived her remaining 32 years of life alone. Yet, she wrote over 7,000 hymns in her lifetime, including “Blessed Assurance.”
In First John (with its 5 chapters, 105 verses, and 2,523 words), John reminds us that our assurance is in Christ. The child of God has assurance in light of our continued walk with Christ. We must walk in the light, as Christ is in the light (1:6-8). We are assured that the “blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses [i.e., keeps on cleansing] us from all sin.” We confess our sins to have forgiveness of those iniquities (1:9-10).
It is imperative that we avoid willful sin in our daily walk, but if we sin, we know that we have Christ as our Advocate (2:1-2). We are to “keep His commandments” (2:3-6). Failure to keep His commandments shows that we do not love Him. It is important that we “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world” (2:15-17—KJV). All sin in this world has always come and will always come through three avenues of temptation:
Lust of the flesh,
Lust of the eyes and,
The pride of life. John tells us that if “anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”
Life on earth is brief and fleeting, so we must make sure that we abide in Him (2:26-27).
Then, after all of this, John states: “And by this we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him” (3:19). Note the word, know! This section of Holy Writ culminates in the words of First John 3:24, “And by this we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.” This is the crowning statement of knowing that our “blessed assurance” is in Christ!
Perfect submission, all is at rest;
I in my Savior am happy and blest;
Watching and waiting, looking above,
Filled with His goodness, lost in His love.
Paul preached in the Areopagus warning, “He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead” (Acts 17:31). Therefore, “let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith” (Heb. 10:22).
This “blessed assurance” is reserved for those who are “in Christ” (Eph. 1:3). Are you “in Christ”?