Gospel Assurance and Warnings by Paul Washer, Reformation Heritage Books
Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?-unless indeed you fail to meet the test! (2 Cor. 13:5)
I remember coming across this passage early on in my faith and wondering, “how do I test myself?” Have you ever asked yourself that question? Maybe you have wondered, “am I really a follower of Christ? How can I know if I am?” If you have struggled with these questions or like me wondering, how do I examine myself? This excellent book, Gospel Assurances and Warnings by Paul Washer will answer your questions.
Before I delve into the material of the book I want to make a couple of observations. This is my first experience reading a book by Paul Washer, so before I started reading I jumped on the web to find out more about him. There were mixed reviews of Paul Washer, from he was judgemental and teaches a works based salvation to this message is needed in churches today. So after reading a few articles I decided to listen to a couple of his sermons. Then I received this book in the mail and started reading it.
Although the message of the book is hard and can be an offense, it is only an offense because it is the Gospel and the Gospel is offensive. The Apostle Peter says this about Christ,
“A stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense.” (1 Pet. 2:8a)
Secondly, because we are dealing with tests or ways to examine ourselves to see if we really are followers of Christ, then in a sense it can be judgemental because that is what we are doing judging, testing and examining to see if we are in the faith. But the tone and spirit the book is written in, is out of love for the reader and the church. I didn’t see a holier than thou attitude come across in this book, but a love for Christ and the Gospel.
With that being said Paul Washer thoroughly answers the question, “how do I examine my self?” But before he does he addresses the dilemma that Churches are facing. Washer states there are people that have a profession of faith but “demonstrate little evidence of saving grace, yet walk with the greatest assurance of salvation and respond with the greatest offense to anyone that would question their confession.” Washer clearly points out that we have reduced the Gospel to a profession and a prayer without telling people there has to be a life that is changing or conforming to Christ . After stating the problem Washer issues the call to examine yourself to see if your profession is real.
Washer then leads us on a journey in the book of 1 John. The Apostle John wrote,
I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life.
Washer points out 1 John was written “so that those who had truly believed might possess full assurance that eternal life had been granted to them.” With this as his foundation Washer leads us on an exposition of 1 John drawing from it 12 tests that you can examine your life with to see if your profession is real. Sharing with us insights from the Word that can be life changing.
In part two of the book Gospel warnings, Washer delivers to us an excellent exposition of Mathew 7:13-27. He delivers to us warnings for “empty confessors.” Warnings for those that will stand before the judgement seat of Christ thinking they are believers but will hear those chilling words “Depart from me, I never knew you”.
Gospel Assurances and Warnings is a much needed book in the church today. It provides biblical tests so you may be able to examine your life and make your calling and election sure (1 Pet. 1:10). In reading this book, you discover your confession of faith is hallow and it drives you to repentance and faith, that to will make this book worth the read. I highly recommend this book and would encourage all believers to read it.
I received this book free from the publisher through the Cross Focused Reviews book review bloggers 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.”