Assurance and faith, a package deal?

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David Heesen

Puritan Board Freshman
I have written an article entitled "Assurance and faith, a package deal?" in which I assert that modern zealots confuse the two and lump them together. Imagine my disappointment when last month I heard this statement in a sermon--"The Bible says that if you're saved you'll know it."

Chapter and verse?

I initiated a dialogue with the author of that statement, culminating in my final summation: Better to make your way to heaven singing “am I a soldier of the cross?,” then to make your way to hell singing “blessed assurance, Jesus is mine.”

The reply I got was: "I would agree with your comment regarding the two hymns you mentioned. However, "Am I a Soldier of the Cross?" does not address salvation. It addresses service to the Lord."

So, I pose the question to this forum: Is "Am I a Soldier of the Cross?" addressing salvation or service? :think:
Am I a soldier of the cross,
A follower of the Lamb,
And shall I fear to own His cause,
Or blush to speak His Name?

Must I be carried to the skies
On flowery beds of ease,
While others fought to win the prize,
And sailed through bloody seas?

Are there no foes for me to face?
Must I not stem the flood?
Is this vile world a friend to grace,
To help me on to God?

Sure I must fight if I would reign;
Increase my courage, Lord.
I’ll bear the toil, endure the pain,
Supported by Thy Word.

Thy saints in all this glorious war
Shall conquer, though they die;
They see the triumph from afar,
By faith’s discerning eye.

When that illustrious day shall rise,
And all Thy armies shine
In robes of victory through the skies,
The glory shall be Thine.

Isaac Watts
I'm gonna have to say that the emphasis IS indeed on service and not on wondering whether the soldier is saved. That's probably not what you wanted to hear, is it?
Obviously, I haven't read your article, and I didn't hear the conversation. But the matter is worth following up on. What is the nature of the division you want to put between faith and assurance? How would you define assurance? Are you talking about infallible assurance, or some level of assurance? I'm only asking because of Heb. 11:1 -- Faith is the hypostasis (assurance, foundation, support, confidence) of things hoped for, the elegchos (conviction) of unseen matters.

While I do not believe that infallible assurance is of the essence of faith, I wouldn't want to say that faith and assurance aren't a package deal without some qualification.
You might be interested in reading this brief article by Joel Beeke, showing continuity and development on this topic between the early Reformed (Calvin) and later orthodoxy (e.g., Comrie).
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