As we walk through life we have assurances of many things. We actually take our car insurance and home insurance to ease our conscience and let us know that no matter what we are assured, we will be fine if there is a problem. We search for colleges, homes and apartments, to find out where to go, what to do and where to live and when we understand those we are assured. However, I have ran across a great problem in the Body of Christ, while we may be assured of those things, we aren’t always assured of salvation. The truth is many of us either don’t believe we are saved or don’t feel like we are good enough to stay saved, but what’s the Bible say?
Salvation is a question that has plagued humanity, some people desire it and others hate it. Some people want it and some people obtain it and there is a difference between both. In the process of life we are always wondering what happens after death and what to do about it. Salvation is a topic that is vitally important to anyone’s spiritual life as a Christian, but at the same time it’s a topic that often hinders us because we don’t really have a full understanding.
In Romans the first chapter the Apostle Paul begins to build a case against man that says nothing we do can validate us in the sight of God, all of us have sinned and come short of Gods glory, all of us have strayed and gone away from the path of righteousness. Paul begins to prove to us that no matter how good we are whether morally or spiritually something still hinders us from full acceptance from God. In the fifth chapter of Romans he begins to explain that our justification and peace with God is based on our faith in Jesus Christ, not our works.
In chapter seven he explains the problem with sin and its nature. Sin is something that is deeper than an action, sin goes deep down into the heart and tries our motives. Jesus said whoever looks with lust commits adultery and nobody can tell when you look with lust except God. The fact that we have a sinful nature inside of us means when we desire to do the right thing, we have to battle the sinful nature inside of us. The wrong side of us.
When one side says, give a little extra to the Church this week and the other side says there’s a new Playstation game coming out. When the other side says delete the pornography and God has the ability to set you free, the other side says let’s just keep a few videos in a personal file on the computer. One side says don’t drink alcohol it’s not the will of God and one side says its ok doesn’t the Bible say Jesus drank wine?
He explains the struggle of trying to be holy and the fact that we can’t actually attain perfection in our mortal body due to sin and its reign our body. The same Paul who preached it’s by grace that we are saved through faith had trouble in his personal life, someone might say it was an anger problem. Paul was devoted to the service of God, he was serious about his call and passionate about his purpose.
Acts 15 describes the problem. In the process of a missionary journey John Mark was a little homesick and desired to go home and in the next opportunity for a missionary journey Barnabas wanted to take him with them again and Paul was irate, he was angered and separated from both of them, the Bible actually says there was a sharp disagreement and they parted ways. Paul wrote half of the New Testament yet he wasn’t perfect.
That same Paul was located on this road to Damascus on the way to kill and persecute Christians and try to stop the Church’s growth and God intervened in his life, right in the middle of doing all the wrong he could do Paul encounters the same God who he sought to destroy, Jesus Christ.
Paul tells us that even in our sin that grace abounded all the more. Even today I was up early in the morning and I was angry at certain things in my life, even angered at God for allowing it but I soon realized how blessed I am, how much God has done for me, how much He cares and how much He loves me. I was driving to Starbucks and I was explained to God how I was confused that I did all of that this morning and He still loves me and that very scripture was quoted to me, while I was in sin, living in sin, wallowing in sin and knowing nothing about God, grace, undeserved favor was surrounding me, covering me from certain things that would have taken my life, because God has a purpose.
God has a purpose for your life too. Paul the Apostle knew that God had something in mind when he was called on this very road to Damascus, He knew something had to be done. He was the one for the job, everything he knew and did was leading up to this moment, and that’s how it is with you. Paul said later on in Philippians 3 that he had not yet reached his goal and he was not perfect, but how Christ took hold of him and Paul desired to attain that very thing that God had in store for him, the work God had called him to do and that’s the same for you.
God has a work for you to do, but a necessary thing is to know you are saved. To know you aren’t saved by your works, by your deeds, by your offering, by your worship, by your praise, by your biblical knowledge, by your prophesy, by your aspirations to preach and proclaim the Gospel or any other thing that you may think of. All of these things are by products of salvation. Those will come after salvation.
God has already pre-destined good works for us to walk in, but first we have to know we are secure in Christ. There’s no way we can get past the trials and tribulations of life based on your works, but we can by our faith, the same faith that saved us is the same faith that can keep us in the times of struggles and hardships.
Your knowledge of your assured salvation is necessary to walk in the power of the Spirit. Your salvation isn’t based on perfection, but rather confession. It’s written that if we confess Jesus Christ as our LORD and believe in our heart we shall be saved in Romans 10. It’s a choice we have to make, don’t worry about your lifestyle, God will clean it up when you give Him your life, but that’s the choice you have to make.
Paul later understood by his own testimony that he describes in 1 Timothy’s first chapter that it was the fact that grace was the very thing that drew him to Christ and gave him a shot at a new life. That’s what gave me a shot and if you don’t know Jesus Christ, that’s what can give you a shot at a new life.
You may be struggling with a sin, a habit, an ego, sex, pride whatever it may be, but God can give you grace to overcome it. Grace is love in its purest form. Grace is unmerited favor. It’s doing something for someone who doesn’t even deserve it and every so often we should just bless someone randomly, you don’t have to buy them a car or a house or even find them a spouse, say a prayer, offer a ride, do something they didn’t expect, keep your ears open to what they enjoy and bless them, God might give you the opportunity to witness and win a person to Christ, saving their souls for Eternity. You know God does works in mysterious ways.
The truth is, we as believers in Jesus Christ can know we are saved according to the written and divinely inspired Word of God. John the Apostle wrote in his epistle that part of the whole purpose of it was so that we can know that we have eternal life, not guess, not a maybe or a if you do this, that we may know. If we don’t search the Word of God for our answers, we will end up listening to the wrong advice, the wrong teaching and false doctrine will creep into our hearts and lives, leaving us in confusion.
If you listen to the wrong people and accept the wrong teaching, you will have a problem wearing the armor of God: you might end up putting on:
The false Gospel of condemnation
The broken sword of false doctrine
Your belt of half-truth
The shoulder pads of self-righteousness
The shoes of separation from you and God
You don’t have a helmet of salvation to hold on too, because your helmet is conditional, it’s only on when you think you are morally and spiritually pure
And don’t forget The shield of works
Instead of putting on the whole armor and being able to keep it on by faith, instead of your works which vary daily based on your mood and ability.
The fact remains that in order to persevere in the Christian life, you knowledge of God has to start to go above your knowledge of sin and want for it. We have to learn how to let certain things go and embrace the things of God.
People don’t like salvation being eternally because they are self-righteous and prideful, they think they are saved because of what they do and if they see a brother or sister in Christ living in sin, they don’t pray for them, they question their salvation and get prideful thinking they are saved because they just witnessed last week or they just starved their flesh through fasting.
Salvation isn’t by works, so keeping salvation isn’t by works either. The truth is, if you could lose your salvation, it would have already been gone. Moses knew about a book that God had, in the process of Moses interceding for the children of Israel God wanted to wipe the children of Israel out, however, Moses said blot me out of your book and God said I won’t do that.
Flipping over to Luke’s Gospel the disciples ran back to Jesus excited about the fact that demons were subject to the name of Jesus. Jesus then teaches them that it’s not good to rejoice over that, because works are temporal, but salvation is eternal. Jesus said don’t rejoice in that, rejoice that your names are written in heaven. Why would Jesus say rejoice over that, if it was possible that you could lose it? That doesn’t make sense and it’s not the character of God.
Who gives gifts and takes it back? It wouldn’t be a gift, it would be a loan. The truth is, the reason why your salvation isn’t in your hands is because you aren’t in control at all, you aren’t even in your own hands.
God has to perform the good work that He desires in and through you and the more we resist the Holy Spirit the less fruit God receives from our life. You might have done something good for God, but God might not recognize it because of inward motives of pride and self-righteousness. The question isn't am I going to stay saved, the question is are you saved? So I ask you, are you saved?