A term exceptionally rich in spiritual meaning. It signifies the joyous, unwavering confidence of an intelligent faith; the security of a fearless trust. The original words have to do with the heart of vital religion. baTach, "trust"; 'aman, "to prop," "to support," hence to confide in, to trust. Jesus repeatedly used this word "amen" to express the trustworthiness and abiding certainty of his sayings. pistis, "faith"; plerophoria, "full assurance." The confidence of faith is based, not on "works of righteousness which we have done" (compare
Titus 3:4,5 the King James Version) but on the highpriesthood and atoning sacrifice of Christ.
(Hebrews 10:21,22; compare Hebrews 10:19, "boldness to enter .... by the blood of Jesus," the King James Version). Assurance is the soul's apprehension of its complete emancipation from the power of evil and from consequent judgment, through the atoning grace of Christ. It is the exact opposite of self-confidence, being a joyous appropriation and experience of the fullness of Christ--a glad sense of security, freedom and eternal life in Him. This doctrine is of immeasurable importance to the life of the church and of the individual believer, as a life of spiritual doubt and uncertainty contradicts the ideal of liberty in Christ Jesus which is the natural and necessary fruitage of "the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit .... shed on us abundantly, through Jesus Christ our Saviour." Paul unhesitatingly said, "I know" (2 Timothy 1:12)--a word which, oft-repeated in 1 Jn, furnishes the groundwork of glad assurance that runs through the entire epistle. For the classic passage on "full assurance" see Colossians 2:1-10.
Dwight M. Pratt