Chapter XXIV is entitled Personal Assurance That One is Among The Elect. Boettner concludes this chapter with the following:
“We cannot say that every true Christian has this assurance; for it can only properly arise from a knowledge of one’s own moral resources and strength, and the one who underestimates himself may innocently be without it. The Christian may at times become very discouraged because of weak faith, but this does not prove him to be among the non-elect” (p. 312).
Since faith IS assurance Boettner is saying that NOT every true Christian has faith. No surprise there — that’s in line with many Reformed Confessions, including The Wicked Westminster Confession of Faith. Boettner accurately points to the source of this lack of assurance: The underestimation of one’s own established righteousness (Romans 10:1-4). In Boettner’s scheme, a more accurate estimation of one’s own established righteousness ought to result in assurance of one’s acceptance with God. What the apostle Paul called “ignorant zeal” (Romans 10:3), Boettner calls “weak faith.” This person’s ignorant zeal does NOT prove they are “among the non-elect,” but since Paul prayed for their salvation, it DOES prove they are presently unregenerate.
“When faith is strengthened and erroneous views of salvation are cleared up, it is the privilege and duty of every Christian to know himself saved, and to escape that fear of apostasy which must constantly haunt every consistent Arminian so long as he continues in this life. Hence, while assurance is desirable and easily obtainable for any one who has made some progress in the Christian way, it cannot always be made the test of a true Christian” (p. 312).
It is NOT “When faith is strengthened” since said person has no faith. Rather, Boettner’s teaching is that a person knows himself “saved” when ignorant zeal is strengthened by means of a “proper knowledge” and “correct view” of one’s own righteousness (cf. Romans 10:3). Boettner’s teaching is that if a person would seek to establish their own righteousness in a “more orthodox way,” then assurance of acceptance with God “is desirable and easily obtainable.” Perhaps many self-righteous-navel-gazing Puritans would take exception to Boettner’s lofty view of mans’ own established righteousness (though this self-righteousness-establishing and assurance-gaining is solely due to the “gracious enabling” of the spirit of antichrist who worketh in the sons of disobedience).
“Through the Scriptures God repeatedly gives us the promises that those who come to Him in Christ shall in no wise be cast out, that whosoever will may take of the water of life without money and without price, and that he who asks shall receive. The grounds for our assurance, then, are both within us and without us. If, therefore, any true believer lacks the assurance that he is forever safe among God’s people, the fault is in himself and not in the plan of salvation, or in the Scriptures” (p. 312).
Boettner believes that it’s possible for a “true believer” to believe that being “forever safe” is conditioned on the work of the sinner. Those who base part of their assurance within them are basing part of their assurance of acceptance before God within them. They are ADDING TO the atoning blood and imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ as the ONLY ground of acceptance with God. They are debtors to do the whole law (Galatians 5:3) since they are attempting to take of the water of life with the CONDITIONAL NON-MERITORIOUS MONEY they say was freely and “graciously” given to them (cf. Romans 4:4, 11:6). And once they THINK they are in possession of the gift of Christ’s imputed righteousness (cf. Romans 5:15-19, 6:23), they seek to maintain assurance of this (alleged) possession by the “gracious means” of establishing their own righteousness:
“For being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, they did not submit to the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of Law for righteousness to everyone that believes” (Romans 10:3-4).
Boettner is a wicked madman who encourages people to obtain assurance of being submitted to the righteousness of God by seeking to establish their own righteousness. Since faith IS assurance, then assurance that one is submitted to the righteousness of God revealed in the gospel comes by believing that Christ is the end of law for righteousness; that Christ’s righteousness is the SOLE ground of acceptance with God. Assurance is based on the work of Christ ALONE.
Most of professing Christendom consents against the Apostles about salvation being conditioned on the work of Jesus Christ ALONE. They do NOT scruple about the necessity of some antichristian ADDITION to His saving work. Instead they bicker over exactly WHAT ought they to ADD, HOW MUCH, and the precise nature of the “gracious assistance” needed to establish their own righteousness and to put God in their debt (cf. Romans 10:1-4; 11:6). Next Page (41)