Many Christians struggle with the question of assurance. They look at their deeds, actions, performance, thought life and ask, “Am I really a Christian?” Ebenezer Erskine gives 9 Marks of true faith, and they are all centred on Christ.
- The true bride of Christ has the bridegroom in great admiration; her esteem of him is such that she admires every thing in him and about him….when the bride think of the love he bore to her before the world was made; and how, in the fulness of time, he came and spent his blood for her redemption; how in time he drew her with the cords of love, conquered her enmity by shedding abroad his love upon her heart; she is just swallowed up with admiration…
- The true bride of Christ knows the voice of the Bridegroom, and is much delighted with the words of his mouth.
- Not only every word, but every thought of the Bridegroom, is a banquet unto the soul of the bride. “How precious are your thoughts to me, O God.”
- The true bride of Christ hates all his rivals. She is dead to the law her first husband, and is ready to say, “I, through the law, am dead to the law.” She is dead to sin, and crucifies the flesh, with the affections and lusts, though as dear as a right hand, or a right eye.
- The bride of Christ has much trust and confidence to put in the bridegroom, and by trusting in him is kept in perfect peace in believing.
- The bride of Christ has a great regard for his commands, and is ready to follow him whithersoever he goes.
- The true bride of Jesus holds fast to the testimony of Jesus in opposition to the devil, and the world, and all errors and corruptions that are cast out of hell in order to obscure his declarative glory.
- The bride of Christ is very fond to bring forth seed and serve him; and for this end she studies to bring him to her mother’s house, and the ordinances of his appointment. It is only his presence in the church that makes the word effectual for the conversion of sinners and the edification of saints…
- The bride of Christ longs sometimes for the consummation of the marriage at death, especially at the last judgement, when the collective body of Christ shall be fully made up, and when the bridegroom shall present his bride to his Father, “not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing.”