Assurance of our salvation must begin with Jesus, not us. If we base our assurance on our faithfulness to Jesus, then we will easily fall into doubt and despair. But if we base our assurance on Jesus’ faithfulness to us, then it changes the whole dynamic of how we view our security.
Yes, fruit matters, and I’m not saying that we shouldn’t be alarmed if we aren’t bearing any—we should! But what I’m arguing for is a right understanding of the priority that fruit-bearing has in assuring us of our salvation. It’s not primary; it’s secondary.
We love Him because He first loved us! Our fickle feelings toward Him do not change His feelings toward us. The fruit we bear in keeping with repentance is evidence that He has moved toward us, not us toward Him.
We hold onto Jesus, not as a man holds onto a ledge for dear life whose confidence is in the strength of his own grip, but as a child holds onto its mother when it’s afraid; safe, secure, and at peace, not because of how tightly he is holding onto her, but because how strongly she is holding onto him. There is a mutual gripping between us and Christ–we cling to Him and He holds us fast, but our sense of security comes from His power, not our own.
If Jesus can conquer sin, death, and the grave, then He can conquer your doubts, your failures, and your weaknesses. If the Word of His power is sufficient to hold the universe together, then the Word of His promise is sufficient to hold you faithful to the end. Trust Him.