Many will have no assurance of their salvation come the day of judgment because they have not walked in the strait and narrow path which leads to life everlasting (Mt 7:13,14). To have full assurance that we will be among the saved, we must “walk in the light”. “But if we walk in the light as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 Jn. 1:7). We should be careful not to read into this passage what it does not say, but we should accept what it does say. Notice that it does not say: “the blood of Jesus cleanses us unconditionally, or automatically.” Neither does it say that”if you walk in the light you do not sin.” In fact, it says the opposite! Nor does it say, “if the blood of Christ has cleansed us we are walking in the light.” Yes, we must be cleansed before we can have fellowship with God, but this verse does not say that. Does this mean that we can do what God’s word says and commit sin at the same time? No, it does not teach that either! But our manner of life can be “walking in the light,” and yet on occasions we may go contrary to that manner of life. John said that if we “keep on walking” in the light, the blood of Jesus “keeps on cleansing” us from our sins because we “keep on confessing” our sins. He is talking about our manner of life, our habitual practice.
The second thing involved in having assurance is the confession of sins. The Bible reveals two kinds of confession specific and generic. When Simon the sorcerer offered the apostles money to buy the power of the Holy Spirit, Peter told him to “repent of this your wickedness, and pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven” (Acts 8:22). Simon acknowledged his sin and asked Peter to pray for him. When we are aware of sins we should confess them before those who know about them and pray for forgiveness. We may also confess that we are sinners. The publican prayed, “God, be merciful to me a sinner” (Lk. 18:13). Jesus said that he “went down to his house justified.” I may not be aware of every sin that I commit, but I am aware that I am a sinner! When I confess the sins of which I am aware and that I am a sinner, that is all that is possible for me to do!
When a Christian’s manner of life is “walking in the truth,” and he confesses the sins of which he is aware and that he is a sinner, he should live with assurance. Men and women who gave up their lives for their faith, did so because they had assurance of victory! Paul was assured of his salvation when he wrote: “For I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day” (2 Tim 1:12). We have that same assurance today through God’s Word. God cannot lie, which he confirmed with his oath and his promise (Heb 6:16-18). Which hope we have as an anchor to our soul (v 19). If we obey the gospel of Christ, the same gospel which every Christian convert obeyed, and if we continue in the doctrine of Christ and his apostles, we can be fully assured that we will have victory in Jesus Christ (1 Cor 15:57).