We see that a work of God’s Law, in which we are brought to a state of conviction of sin, should ideally precede the comfort that comes when we believe in the Lord Jesus and are saved. This is often overlooked in the ‘easy-believism’ approach adopted in many contemporary churches.
However, Jonathan Edwards points out that while true believers should experience these things in this order, we cannot base an assurance of salvation on the fact that we have. Like all other affections, these can be counterfeited by the Evil One, who wants us to be deceived and ultimately destroyed. We consider cases from Scripture where this was the case.
We are urged to examine ourselves in the light of this teaching and to seek the Lord for a true work of grace by His Holy Spirit.