If I believed the basis of the assurance of my salvation depended upon the measure of my own works, how could I ever be assured of my salvation? Andrew Bonar shares his thoughts on this in the excerpts below:
“It is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul” (Lev. 17: 11).
“There I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy-seat” (Exod. 25: 22).
Is a sinner’s appeal to the blood of Jesus his only ground of acceptance? Yes, the one and only ground. The great thing that has created a difference between the soul now believing, and other souls still in sin is that the eye of the believing one has been fixed upon the atonement. Others see not the power of the blood, and so have no plea with God.
There is nothing else on which the Holy Ghost fixes a sinner’s eye, when it is He who is guiding us to God. The world sends us to qualities in ourselves and to efforts of our own; and Satan approves of the world’s way, as being a part of the way of death. But the Holy Ghost, who testifies of Christ, guides none to peace and salvation, but by fixing their eye on the blood alone. He never turns a sinner’s eye in on himself as a means of confidence, He never bids a sinner see his own character, and so draw encouragement. No! The Lord’s way ever has been to “glorify Christ,” in order to give confidence to a sinner.
The seven-times sprinkled blood on the mercy-seat is enough to give us boldness to draw near enough to give us full assurance. Believer! Why do you live with anything less than full assurance of your acceptance . . . .?
Are not souls often met with, inquiring the way of salvation, and perhaps, evidencing their sincerity with many tears, who say that as yet they have no comfort, but that they are trying all they can, and they hope soon to attain to it. May there not in all this be a looking, perhaps an unconscious looking, towards something else, for present acceptance and a present joyful assurance of salvation, besides the finished work of Christ? Is it not to be feared that a dimness of perception, in this respect, is the cause of much of the darkness and bondage in which many, even of the true children of God, are held so long? Is there not in this a practical denial that Christ’s work finished for sinners, and that finished work alone, is ground sufficient to warrant a believing sinner’s present hope and full assurance of salvation? … Is it not just a going about, in a more subtle form, to establish a righteousness of our own, and a refusing to submit ourselves to the righteousness of God? Is it not just the voice of the same deceiver who said of the terms of the old covenant, “Ye shall not surely die!” now saying of the terms of the new, “Ye shall not surely live?” (“The Mercy Seat”)