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Christ More Excellent

On what do you base your assurance of salvation? If you are resting on the apparent works of grace in your life, your trust is misdirected. That is not to say that those works are no testimony at all, but that they are, at best, only a testimony to your faith. If we are to find real assurance, we must not look inward to signs that may be deceptive. We must look to the one true object of saving faith. Puritan and Westminster Divine Anthony Burgess (d. 1664) wrote:


We must take heed that we do not gaze upon ourselves to find graces in our own hearts as thereby we forget those Acts of Faith, whereby we close with Christ immediately, and rely upon him only for our justification. . . . The fear of this has made some cry down totally the use of signs, to evidence our Justification. And the truth is, it cannot be denied but many of the children of God, while they are studying and examining, whether grace be in their souls, that upon the discovery thereof, they may have comfortable persuasions of their Justification, are very much neglective of those choice and principle Acts of Faith, whereby we have an acquiescency or recumbency upon Christ for our Acceptation with God. This is as if old Jacob should so rejoice in the Chariot Joseph sent, whereby he knew that he was alive, that he should not desire to see Joseph himself. Thus while thou art so full of joy, to perceive grace in thee, thou forgettest to joy in Christ himself, who is more excellent than all thy graces.

Meet the Puritans (Reformation Heritage Books, 2006), 116.

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