Since I am now reading this series in order, I found it interesting how Sproul ended his last book (What Does It Mean To Be Born Again?) and began this book (Can I Be Sure I'm Saved?). The conclusion to his last book revealed that once we are saved through Christ alone, we cannot lose that salvation. Through a humble irony, Sproul introduces us in book #7 to the Sermon on the Mount. Here, Jesus warns that many will come to him on judgment day with a false confidence of their eternal security. So if we have been "born again" as thoroughly discussed in his last book, how can we be assured of our eternal salvation when presented with a passage such as the Sermon on the Mount?
In order to enlighten his audience to the possible snares that follow regeneration, he dissects the Parable of the Sower. Here we learn of four possible reactions people may have after hearing the Gospel. Although this passage seems to be a well-preached lesson throughout Christian circles, Sproul speaks to it with detail and insight that allows for an elevated perspective. He describes the four categories as follows: 1 - those who are saved and know; 2 - those who are saved and don't know; 3 - those who are unsaved and know; 4 - those who are unsaved and don't know.
He also addresses three misconceptions of salvation that are dominant within Christianity: Universalism, Sacerdotalism, and Legalism. Universalism is described as someone who believes all will be saved. Sacerdotalsim refers to the methods of the priesthood and sacraments (example: Roman Catholic Church). Legalism indicates one's belief that salvation is based on their own righteousness.
In his conclusion, Sproul explains in a profoundly simple statement that assurance of salvation is found through the work of the Holy Spirit. Following regeneration, one must seek maturity verified by the fruit of the Holy Spirit. He refers to Phil. 2:12, encouraging us to "work out [our] salvation with fear and trembling." Our affection - love and passion - for Christ will flourish and change our entire demeanor if we have truly experienced regeneration.
Since salvation is a concept that is questioned and surrounded by doubt all too often, this book is an easy, concise resource for understanding where you stand in the eyes of God.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher as part of their review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."