How Do I Know I’m Saved?
“Are you saved? Are you sure?”
These questions are sometimes used to scare people into signing up for works-based insurance. They also trigger salvation-anxiety. Yet the questions are legitimate.
In scripture we are exhorted to examine ourselves to see whether we are in the faith (2 Cor 13:5). This does not mean we should search ourselves for sin to see if we are still saved. “For don’t you know that Christ is in you?”
But how do you know that Christ is in you? What is the proof of the pudding? Is it spiritual fruit, moral behavior or what? Is it even possible to know for sure if you are saved?
Many Christians don’t know with 100 percent certainty. If you ask them whether they have an assurance of their salvation they say, “I believe I am saved,” which is wonderful because this is totally a faith thing. But believing is different from knowing. If you don’t know you are saved you may think, “I have to believe and keep on believing,” while privately wondering, What if I stop believing?
Others might say, “I have confessed, therefore I’m saved,” which is also fine because that’s scriptural (Rom 10:9). But deep inside they might wonder, What if I confessed wrong? What if I un-confess?
Please understand that I am not questioning scripture or your faith. I’m asking a simple question: How do you know you are saved?
This is a BIG DEAL because if you don’t know you’ll be susceptible to these lies of religion; “To make your salvation sure you need to turn from sin, confess every last one, keep short accounts, have a daily quiet time, and attend every church meeting.”
Yeah, right. Believe that and you’ll end up worn out and fallen from grace.
Faith is being certain
When I was a child I didn’t know for sure if I was saved. Sure, I had confessed and believed, but my immature mind was so riddled with doubt that rededicating my life to Christ was a regular event. With an unholy fear I’d respond to altar calls and say the sinner’s prayer again and again.
I did none of this to get saved but because I wasn’t sure if I was saved. And since faith is being sure (see Heb 11:1), my uncertainty only made me worry more. It’s a vicious cycle that can only be broken by having a confident assurance of your salvation.
So let me ask you again: How do you know if you are saved?
You may say, “I just know” or “I know in my heart what my brain can’t explain,” and I totally relate. But how do you know?
Some will point to supernatural experiences of which I’ve had plenty. Camilla and I would be dead but for divine intervention, and I thank God for all the miraculous stories he’s given me. But not everyone has these sorts of stories and those who do may forget them.
An evangelical points to his good confession and a charismatic points to her spiritual experience, but both might wonder how do I know that I’m saved?
A crisis of faith
I have had a life-time of walking with the Lord. He has told me things I could not know and turned me from dangers unseen. I routinely see evidence of his hand in my life. (Just yesterday my two-year-old daughter was in a terrible household accident and walked away largely unscathed. I haven’t stopped saying “Thank you, Jesus.”)
I have experienced God’s supernatural comfort when I was in the pit of despair. He has resurrected dead dreams and brought me to a land flowing with milk and honey. Because of his grace I am at rest in a restless world. This is normal Christian living for the one who believes that God is good and his face shines upon them.
Yet despite all this, there was a time when I wondered if I hadn’t made the whole thing up.
“What if I imagined it? What if it was nothing more than a ‘spiritual experience’?”
In my case these were absurd questions – I had seen so much. But for a new believer who has seen little of the Lord’s goodness, they are valid questions. You get saved on Sunday but by Wednesday you’re wondering if it was real.
“What has changed? How do I know I’m saved? Where’s the proof?”
During my crisis of faith, I was plagued by these questions. I forgot my stories, I ignored the evidence, and a lie began to take root in my mind. What if none of this was real? What if I’m not actually saved?
Faith is not blind
In desperation I took my questions to the Lord. Straightaway, he brought the following verse to mind:
Therefore I want you to know that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus be cursed,” and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit. (1 Cor 12:3)
As I read that scripture I began to converse with myself.
“Can you say ‘Jesus is Lord’?”
“Of course I can, because he is. Jesus is Lord!”
“How do you know that?”
“I don’t know. I just do.”
“But how could you know that?”
“I guess the Holy Spirit showed me.”
“Why did he do that?”
“Because he loves me and lives in me.”
“Then you must be the temple of the Holy Spirit! You must be saved.”
“That I am. I know it.”
As the truth of God’s Word was revealed to me, the scales of doubt fell from my eyes. I got so excited that I began to shout “Jesus is Lord” again and again. I didn’t do it out of a fearful sense of I’d-better-say-the-magic-words. I did it because the Holy Spirit was using the truth to dislodge a lie. I said it with conviction and the result was peace and joy and a total assurance of my salvation.
Look again at Paul’s words: “Therefore, I want you to know…” There are many scriptures about believing, but this one is about knowing. In the Bible there’s no such thing as blind faith. Biblical faith is believing and knowing:
- Peter said, “We have come to believe and know that you are the Holy One of God” (John 6:69)
- John wrote so that you may “believe in the Son of God and know that you have eternal life” (1 John 5:13)
- Paul spoke of those “who believe and know the truth” (1 Tim 4:3)
Perhaps you believe you are saved but you don’t know that you are saved. The good news is you can know and the Spirit of wisdom and understanding wants you to know. Ask him to help you know and he will.
I appreciate that in this age of uncertainty, doubt is chic. And I further appreciate the terrible damage inflicted by religious ideologues who are certain of their faith. This is not about that. This is about knowing and trusting Jesus. It’s a cliche, but know Jesus and you’ll know peace, and peace is better than fear and anxiety.
Since that day when the Lord spoke to me I have never wavered, never had a second’s doubt. For a natural worrier, this is not normal. I once was worried, but now I am fully persuaded. I was once anxious, but now I am at peace.
All this is to the glory of our heavenly Father who wants us to know that we are his and that no one can snatch us from his hand.
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The Holy Spirit uses truth to dislodge lies.
Believe and know.
Good day to you, i recently started going to a new church,the pastor is still young and i’m sure he is sincere….however,he said to the congregation if a Christian is outside of God’s will(busy with sin) and you die before having the opportunity to ask God’s forgiveness,you’ll go to hell. I know its not true,and it upset me so much that people are mislead,i just knew I had to persuade him not to believe and preach that lie again. He said he can prove it from Scriptures. Unfortunately i did not save all your previous articles,and would like to ask you to send one that will prove to him that what he believes is not true,that our salvation does not depend on us when we are hid in Christ. Regards and God bless- Annelene.
I’m afraid that if he is convinced in his mind, then none of my articles will prove anything other than I am a heretic and you are a troublemaker. But for your own benefit, I encourage you to check out my series on eternal security. You can find it in the Archives>Subject Index.
Paul i am so thankfull and excited about Grace mesage from your website and books that i have read in Ukraine nh motherkand and read now in Poland where i live now. Also i often see Andrew Farley and Joseph Prince and i began so zealious for Grace message. I open many for me as never in my 26 years of been saved ! Also i still have a some questions about a man in Korinth that slept with his mather in law. As i many listened from grace teachers that true believers doesn’t continious in sin .Does it mean that such persone could die in his unrepantance and go to Heaven ?Joseph Prince said that saved people and under grace will not be led into sin. What does it mean to be handled to satan ? Thank you !God bless you !
Ask a few question to at least get him thinking.
Question #1: Do the words eternal and everlasting regarding salvation mean just that or are they fluffy poetic wording God threw in there while meaning something else?
Question #2: How does Hebrews 9:24-26 fit in with your belief that unconfessed sin sends you to hell?
Plus, if we have to continually be mindful of confession, then it makes confession the root of slavation instead of Jesus work through the cross. Confession was never meant to be an extolling of our list of offenses, it was meant to be an acknowledgement of shortcoming and our need for Christ. If you believe Jesus is Lord, you will confess it with your mouth. I confess daily, not so much my transgressions but my continual need for the Holy Spirit to work in me and renew my mind so that I can walk by faith, not by sight and walk in Spirit and in truth, not by the flesh. People commit acts of sinfulness quite often without realizing it. The Holy Spirit might nudge us to remind us of our identity in Christ and say, “That’s not who you are!” He doesn’t rub our noses in our messes to shame or condemn us. Day to day confession for maintaining salvation is ridiculous and unbiblical. It’s like a parent withholding love, support, and protection from a naughty child until they make it right, which is wrong on so many levels. Yes there may be consequences, but that is the difference between discipline and punishment. Discipline is to train for the sake of their own good and brings correction. Jesus was perfect for us, we are clothed in his righteousness. Having ro constantly confess takes the spotlight off Jesus and puts the focus on our performance and pursuit of perfection that we can never attain via our own effort.
If it is so and we go to hell just because we didn’t have enough time to confess our sins or we forgot to confess some sins, than Christianity is merely a lottery. And still nothing depends on us….cause we always sin even in our best days. It doesn’t depend on us either way.
Amen, to the word of grace and truth, I hear coming from you, Brandon Petrowski. Amen.
Many have been wounded in trying to negotiate the relevance of the admonishment to confess. By so doing we have become less capable of the true confession, because it becomes more difficult to be in touch with the influence of the Holy Spirit.
Too many hands in the pot here, spoils the food. Let us all pray for spiritual emancipation right here. God is able to help us in our quest for deliverance from any bondage, both the bold and obvious bondage, and the covert and subtle bondage, such as this one: confession of sin/of wrongs. The wretched suggestion of such an idea to confess, is that, presently, one is not or no longer a saved child of God until after such confession has been made. This wrong causes FAITH TO STAGNATE. IT IMPEDES PROGRESS. IT DRIES UP THE BONES WITH INCREASED SADNESS AND INSECURITY OF SOUL, MIND, AND BODY. IT IS AN INSIDIOUS SPIRITUAL LEPROSY OF A DISEASE, especially when coming from a culture or from a home that is deeply infested with this BAD ORIENTATION/TRAINING/TEACHING.
PRAYER: Dear God, Let Your Perfect Spirit lead us into true confession and away from the bad confession. Cleanse us from the bad effects of this falsehood and great misunderstanding regarding the principle of CONFESSION. Heal us. Restore us, in Jesus Name, I pray. Amen.
What you have reported is of the truth, as Ephesians 2:8-10 bears witness. It states, “For by Grace are you saved, though faith…”
Watch this piece now: “AND THAT NOT OF YOURSELVES.” This is not based on anything from SELF, be it confession, penance, or what not. The Word clearly says, “And that NOT of YOURSELVES.” IT IS THE GIFT OF GOD.”
“NOT of WORKS, less any man should BOAST.” So, not anything from SELF; not anything from WORKS; only by GRACE.
Where does WORKS come in? At verse 10. “For ye are the WORKMANSHIP of God, created in Christ Jesus unto GOOD WORKS, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in THEM”
God must make certain that we are saved first before we can BEAR good works. GOOD WORKS is a FRUIT of a saved child of God. God is not interested in the fruits of UNRIGHTEOUSNESS, works while not being SAVED, in order to be SAVED.
You would only eat a real mango, right; not a fake mango. Well, one has to be a mango tree first, before one can BEAR mangoes.
Likewise, one has to be (BORN AGAIN) saved first before one can do good works. Good works can’t save me. But being saved can/will make me do GOOD WORKS.
Mangoes can’t make the tree that bears them. The tree makes/BEARS mangoes.
A pastor challenged me in a small group regarding my claim that we didn’t need to continually confess our sins to remain saved. So I printed up this list and gave it to him – hoping he’d see that by the time a person finished the list, they’d need to start all over again. Unfortunately, he received it as a good resource to help him track his confessions…
Oh no, that’s both funny and sad. That’s a long list!
Michael that’s awesome. The Sin List. Only 667 possibilities.
This is a key question a lot of Christian’s ask and here you simplified and ended the argument. Nice piece
I liked this article, thanks 🙂
How many of us have met street evangelists (and not wanting to tar them all with the same brush) who, on hearing that we are already ‘saved’, then interrogate us to make sure that we are indeed ‘saved’ according to their criteria? I think it risible, I’m afraid. They take themselves altogether too seriously 😉
Jesus might say, “Leave them alone, if they are not against us they are for us.” Their preaching nay not be for you, but for someone else who is willfully practicing sin of vicious kinds, murder, rape, robbery, etc. For Jesus sake, we would of course, show Christian courtesy to these street preachers.
Hi Berris-Dale Joseph,
What is willful sin?
How is it different from other sin?
Yep, Berris-Dale Joseph, I’m with you on that. I’m not saying street evangelists should not be out there preaching; they should. They are fulfilling their calling. What I meant was that it seems that even me already being saved isn’t good enough for them; they have like an atuo-preach ‘bot’ mode that means they have to sell you something you have alreay bought. Not al of them, of course; indeed I have two dear friends who are street evangelists 🙂
No one can say that Jesus is Lord without the Holy Spirit, this wonderful verse i use both to myself and others to establish us in his grace. I often add another of Jesus words mentioned twice in John 6, “No one can come to me, unless pulled near by my father in heaven”.
This two verses both show you that you are indeed saved and sealed with the holy spirit, not only that, but also that God who has seen your whole life from the start to the end and knows everything about you WANTS YOU near to him..
Btw Im fighting a very hard fight of faith now as several people in my family is very sick, and faith is leaving them, pray for me today to be a light in these times!
Believe and we will be saved. I’m glad you shared this. Many doubt their conversion and religion reinforces their doubts and uncertainty by preaching the heresy of Lordship Salvation. Jesus finished the work and we need only believe it and receive it.
Believe and we will be saved, indeed. Well said. The problem comes when Religion adds in lots of baggage on top of that beautiful simpliclty.
This is an excellent teaching we all need to know our assurance of salvation..! Thank You .
Jesus is Lord!
1 Cor. 2:12 opens the door for many things we should KNOW, especially salvation.
“we have received the Spirit who is from God so that we would KNOW the things that have been freely given to us by God.
This article gives good insight from many different positions where people are at in their walk. Going forward is the key!
One thing I really enjoyed from Job is when he says, “one thing I KNOW is that my Redeemer lives!!!” Active knowledge of redemption is is so vital in experiencing our salvation and confidence therein.
Allow your heart to be persuaded. Strong’s definition of faith is persuasion. Ask Him to persuade you of His love and goodness. When you accepted Him, he made you one with Him. That is a done deal.
Good definition, LJP. Unfortunately, many interpret faith as hoping, as in “I sure hope it’s true” which is another one of saying “I’m not sure it is.” Yes, may we all be persuaded in our hearts because there is no other way to find rest.
Yes, may we all enjoy His rest! Thank you for always provoking fruitful thought and conversation on what we believe. You are a blessing.
Another great post!
I am thinking about becoming a Patreon. I think if there is an area of ministry I should be working in, it is this area that is so critical to our happiness in Jesus Christ.
This is not even Christianity 101. It is basic Christianity. If you and I don’t have it right, here, we cannot advance in the Christian journey. This is a spiritual no-brainer. I mean, and I really mean to stress this: no one can make any progress in one’s Christian profession without KNOWING that one is saved by God’s GRACE.
Anyone still on such a dismal road is on a road to Nowhere. Get off that road of darkness and onto the road of Light, and Truth, and KNOWLEDGE.
YES, brother, sister, you can KNOW that you are saved. If God KNOWS those who are His, according to 2 Timothy 2:19, then that clearly tells us, that those that are God’s properties, should KNOW, yea, MUST KNOW, that they belong to God.
This makes logical sense, though salvation does not deal in logic. It has to do with God’s Word. In order for you and I to benefit from this blessed KNOWLEDGE requires the help of God, which help you and I can ask the Lord for, just as Pastor Paul did ask, and received.
I believe he, Dr. And Pastor Paul Ellis did really receive his help from the Lord. Your story is convincing, Sir. I have to say that.
What about the JW’s, Mormons, and Catholics who say that ‘Jesus is Lord.’ These are not believing Jesus is God in the flesh, and/or are into ‘works’ salvation. To be saved by grace, it must be without works (Rom 4.4-5) and (Eph 2.8-9) and Jesus is God (John 1.1,14).
I copied and pasted this from my journal
😇 ❤️ I Am Lord forever! ❤️ 😇
The Lord spoke to me yesterday 17th Sept. 2015 About 11 am.
I had been reading and must have dozed off, as I awoke I heard a voice saying;
I AM Lord forever!
It was profoundly loud and clear! I know I had been dreaming, it was slipping away as I awoke, then the voice came, I thought someone was in the room, who said that?
I Immediately looked around, nobody else just me, I was home alone.
These thoughts followed:
He is Lord now!
He is not only going to reign on earth for a thousand years one day, He is Reigning now, right now!
There is no break in it, He is Lord now!
He IS Lord NOW and forever!
He is already Lord of all, it will NEVER be any other way.
He is in Abba, Father, you are in Him, He is in you, and all who believe in Jesus. John 14:20
Thank you for sharing, Anne.
Love this Ann. I am a dreamer too. May share one day.
I’m so glad to hear, Paul, how God protected your 2- year-old daughter from being harmed in the household accident. When I was 12, I accompanied my mother (who owned a janitorial business) to a residence she was cleaning. Inside the home, there was a sliding glass door that led to a den/television room (it was open when I had last noticed it). Well, the owner of the house had an adorable toy poodle and we started to play one of our usual games of chase, with me running after the dog. Unbeknownst to me, though, my mother had just polished the glass door and closed it, leaving it open a crack. It was enough for the dog to squeeze through, but with me distractedly going full speed ahead, I didn’t notice it was closed, and I burst right through the glass and collapsed to the floor. I was taken to the emergency room, and all I had was a scratch on my toe. The doctor said that in all the many similar cases he had seen, nobody had ever got off that well. “It just doesn’t happen,” he remarked. Even then God was with me, and I praise Him for my salvation (soul and body) and for the assuredness of it. Amen!
Dear Paul Ellis,
Many Christians especially in Uganda who have embraced the gospel of grace believe that their spirits are eternally saved and one with the Lord but are not sure whether their souls and bodies are saved and therefore they go from church to church seeking for deliverance of their souls and bodies.
What is your comment on this?/How should such Christians be helped to settle?
I know this is a common teaching, that we are only one-third saved, but I don’t buy it. You’re either in the kingdom or you’re not, there’s no middle ground. The problem is not that one-third or two-thirds of you is unsaved. The problem is we have not yet learned to walk in the new way of the spirit. We need to renew our minds and walk in our Christ-given identity.
I would tell these people that in Christ, we start our race at the finish line. I would tell them that the old man or old self has been crucified, and no longer lives. More here and here.
Excellent post! Like you, I was saved long before I *knew* I was saved. What nailed it for me was understanding that if you have the Holy Spirit, you are saved, but if you don’t have the Holy Spirit, you are not saved. Jesus told Nicodemus that you can’t see the Spirit directly, but can detect His presence by the side effects He produces. The problem I see most new believers have is that they don’t know what those side effects are, and some of them seem quite counterintuitive. For instance, an INCREASE in the intensity of *temptation* after salvation is incorrectly seen as a sign of not being saved, when it actually is a side effect of the increase in the spiritual sensitivity of the believer after being indwelt by the Holy Spirit: your spiritual “radio” has been upgraded so you can hear the voice of the Spirit better, but it is pulling in channels it didn’t before. If you are painfully aware of some pet sins and temptations, you may find yourself no longer having certain temptations and sins, but they aren’t the ones YOU think should be solved first, so I warn people that the Spirit will have a different list of what has to change and in what order, so be open to ANYTHING that is an observable improvement.
And progress will be held up if you don’t accept: the latest challenge for me is that the Spirit wants me to have peace about the situations around me, but I keep thinking that worrying is “being an adult”, while enjoying that “Peace that passes all understanding” is “being irresponsible.” Silly me!
Thank you for sharing this. I fully agree. There was a time in my life when I truly believe Satan was tormenting me, trying to get me to believe I wasn’t saved. I would constantly battle with one aspect of my faith and be bombarded with doubts and worries and then when I finally found peace with a topic the next day another thought plagued me. I would sit by my computer sitting there googling my biblical issues for hours and hours and it would rob hours of my life. I ended up realizing that the reason why I am being tormented by worries was probably because Satan saw something in me he wanted to take away from me. I was worth battling over. That was proof to me that I indeed had the Spirit and was being tempted away
Hi Leandra, I’m like you, I was saved long before I new I was saved.
I wonder how you knew that you had received the holy spirit?
Do you think you can be saved without knowing you have received the Holy Spirit?
What do you think Paul, about the JW’s, Mormons and Catholics who all claim that ‘Jesus is Lord.’ Do they get into the Kingdom of God?
You’ll have to ask the One on the door. The Shepherd knows his sheep.
The JWs do not believe in the deity of Jesus. They do believe he is the Son of God, but they don’t believe he is actually god. They put him more on the level of first among angels. That is a rough description but basically what it comez down to. Mormons tend to have works based mindsets and believe that any of us can become gods by performing well and being allowed to share in God’s deity by virtue of being joint heirs with Christ, so they may say Jesus is Lord, but they think we can all become coLords as well. I won’t presume to guess what that means for their salvation, but the JW and Mormon views don’t jive with Scripture. Catholics are harder to describe because they are increasingly moving toward a faith based mindset, but many of them still have a works mindset and whem you see salvation coming by your own efforts, it’s hard to jive that with Jesus being Lord. Again, I don’t presume how that works for them and don’t know their hearts. Only God knows their fates.
Sound word, indeed. We are impelled by the goodness of God to do what the apostle Paul admonishes, that even if an Angel from glory comes down here and start to preach another gospel, to believe him not. We MUST take a stand and fight the good fight of faith. Again, this is a fight, a spiritual fight. A fight is a fight. Both parties better get serious about it, for the moment one party starts to pity the other, without true surrender the enemy shows no mercy–because our enemy has mo mercy. But we are on the side of Jesus, the All powerful side. Rebuke, then; exhort, so long as you do it.Jesus’ Way. No other Name given under heaven by whom we can be SAVED.
Sweet post Saint Paul. When our hearts are “Fully Assured” that God’s view and opinion is true and trustworthy . . . . there is no wavering. This is faith.
Warren (South Carolina, USA)
awesome teaching Mr Paul. Glory be to God. i have question about the verse in Hebrews 11:1 about faith as a substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. my question is: what are we hoping for? n what evidence do we have, of things not seen?
I thank the Lord for the questions you tackle. I grew up in Church most all my life, learned to think and get a lot from the bible but didn’t learn to really ask the to really question anything. We were always trying to make the scriptures for our doctrine and in many ways missed what was said and two who and why. Didn’t really understand the new covenant from old when it came to the scriptures. I remember as a young boy thinking I had to get all my sins that day forgiven before I went to sleep that night or if Jesus came I would wake up left behind. I remember a lot of talk about saved and unsaved and remember thinking it could be switched it seemed at any given moment. I remember when the church or some started teaching more on being born again and what that meant. I couldn’t always deplane how someone could be saved and sin but I knew you could be. As I started to understand being born of God through through Jesus and not looking at it as saved or unsaved I started to realize the you could not be born again of the spirit and in born again. I started to get settled in my salvation…still could not understand really the imperfect or sin part but that came latter. I was never taught about the finished work of Jesus and what that meant…praise God my faith or believing became more secure as it was based on his finished work and not mine un finished work. I stopped having faith in my faith and started having faith in his.
Just in my 50a now and have gotten to know you over last year..have read most of your books and really love the questions and the way your books read. Love your heart. Blessing and favor on you.
Thanks Jonathan. Be blessed.
How do I know I’m saved?:
In two Bible text a direct answer to this question has been granted, hundreds of years ago, before we were born. Here goes:
2 Timothy 2:19 says, ” Nevertheless, the solid foundation of God stands sure, with this inscription: “The Lord KNOWS those that are His. And Everyone who bears the Name of the Lord must depart from wickedness.”
So, this is a solid foundation of truth, not anything SHAKY. God KNOWS those who belong to Him, that is, those who really have responded and are responding to His call. He actually KNOWS. He is not GUESSING here.
My question to you dear reader, is: if God KNOWS that I am His, and that you are His, should you and I not also KNOW that I am/you are/ His child?
Can you answer me? I wait for your answer. I refuse to move forward without an answer:
Ok, let me move on since I can’t wait. Isn’t this the plainest no-brainer you have ever encountered in your life?: If God KNOWS that I am His child, I am also supposed to KNOW that I am God’s child.
Now, I call this SPIRITUAL LOGIC 101. For even a baby understands this.
My second text is Romans 8:16, which states, “The Spirit of God Himself testifies with our spirit that WE ARE the CHILDREN of God.”
Pastor Paul Ellis I have done the homework assignment you threw out. Now Sir, what’s my grade on this?
Dear Paul Ellis
Thank you so much for the reply. I havent read any of your posts on spirit, soul and body and how salvation affects the spirit, soul and body. Do you have any?
I had never knew “crisis of faith” was a thing until I started hanging out with Reformed Presbyterians and Calvinists. I thought it was strange and a bit disturbing to be honest.
Around a decade back, I heard this teaching and it’s still on my mind. I think he was speaking about surrender. He gave a example- where a group of preachers were going on a mission.. However, one of them dropped out because they were going to some kind of very cold place and he doesn’t like chills. -“That’s his switch… God knows where your switches are…” He gave me this impression that God is searching for switches and always knows what you won’t give up.. and possibly throw you into hell.
My question is Is complete surrender needed for salvation? At that time, I was having trouble witnessing to people.. and specifically, I missed a ‘going to die’ woman with a big cancer. Being Spirit filled and Having received healing in my body myself recently (then) , I felt all the more guilty for missing it(Jam 4:17) and was ‘kind of’ separated from God ever since. What does it mean to have Jesus as Lord? When you miss it willingly, isn’t he not the Lord of you at the time? When you disobey, You’re outside his will and thus outside his lordship.. Isn’t it?
Hi Richard, I think the question is what is God like? What is His nature? Since Jesus represents what our Father is like, how did He treat His disciples? Did He shun any of them when they messed up? If God is our slave master then we should seriously consider what you were taught. If He is our loving Father, that stuff you were taught is way off.
Submission to The Holy Spirit is a thing you will do or not do depending on whether you love/respect God or not. When someone respects another it does not have anything to do with that person’s past sins. The worry about your salvation is works, which cannot save you. Only God’s mercy can save you. Forget everything. Just drop everything and focus on God/Jesus Christ. What you do after receiving something from God will be just what the mango tree does by just being a mango tree that was made by God, bear mangoes in season. You can’t make yourself good. That is like a mango tree trying to bear mangoes outside of the power that governs it. If the mango tree could bear fruit by itself then the mango tree would be God. The mango tree does not try. It is there to be operated on by the power of God. But you can talk and try and walk etc, unlike mango tree. But that does not mean you can make yourself holy by your own efforts. Love God. Fear God is the whole duty of man. Do you love God? Then if you do you will want to draw nearer to God. Drawing nearer to God is your main focus. Then some things will happen in your life as a result of you drawing closer to God.
The answer to your concern is rather simple: Is not following the will of God as communicated by the Holy Spirit a sin? If not, then there is freedom. If it is, then there is forgiveness. One must beware of putting the cart before the horse by demanding that someone love God as a duty rather than demonstrating love as a fruit of the Spirit: when the question was asked of of Which commandment was the greatest in THE LAW, Jesus’ response was not to quote one of The Big Ten, but the two commandments to love God supremely and your neighbor as yourself. The kicker is that they were commandments, and that a commanded Love is not true love. If there is anyone who wants the Truth, including truthfulness in love, it would be the Holy Spirit!…
My thinking is that your refusal was due to uncertainty about whether it WAS what the Spirit that was telling you to do. It was, since doing it would have been an exercise of love, one of the fruit of the Spirit. As a general rule, every *persistent* desire to do something for someone that expresses a Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:21-22) is safe to do, while wisdom is required to ensure that the *form* of the expression is safe to do for the recipient: It is always good to give money to the poor, but wisdom is required to discern the poor that the Spirit indicates should get your money. NEVER do anything that feeds a sin, either in yourself or in others. Our brains are built to consider every verbal proposal, but not every proposal is required to be obeyed or supported: that is what temptation is built on.
Pray for wisdom to better discern what is merely a passing pleasant thought planted by man, and a thought that represents the Spirit’s guidance. This takes time, practice, some trial-and-error, and definitely some growing and maturation: ignore the screamers who demand fruit a week after the seed is planted.
The power to love God is automatically predicated upon the initiative LOVE of God. God has already introduced His LOVE to sinful mankind. If anyone loves God, such love is always a responding love. To tell someone to love God is appropriate without running the risk of works. Even the text you quoted from Galatians 5:23 says, “Against such there is no law”. There is no law against love. You are making a law against my admonishment to love God, by suggesting the need of caution or review or examination first to see what quality of love I may mean. This is not necessary, as it is works. There is no need for redundancy, as such invites confusion. But we should learn to say Amen to the word of truth. Jesus says to His disciples, “If they are not against us, they are for us.” The inquirer had already registered his satisfaction with responses given earlier; why add any further, when proven satisfied, and when the word given is already sound, based on scripture? To some degree you are asking the person to engage in bad works. I am sharing the right way by telling them to rely on God, love God, go as near to God as possible. We should not over-try to avoid salvation by works, or that becomes salvation by works. I too, am a servant of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Paul moderates all the comments, so he thought my response to Richard’s comment (not yours) was complementary to yours, and thus allowed it to appear on this site.
My argument was equally based on scriptures, but because you seem to need the references (perhaps because they didn’t have the word “rest” or “resting” in them) here they are: Leviticus 19:18 and Deuteronomy 6:45 are the commandments that Jesus stated were the greatest in Matthew 22:34-40. The contempt for purchased love is given in Song of Solomon 8:6-7, so extending that same sentiment to a *commanded* love would only understate it. Finally, the supremacy of the ministry of the Spirit (which gives life and brings righteousness) over the ministry of condemnation written in tables of stone is given in 2 Corinthians 3. You state that it is okay to counsel someone to love based on the Old Covenant passages, but you denounce it as a work when someone follows my advice on how to discern whether an internal prompting to actually perform an act of love that originates from the Spirit that is in him and guides him unto all truth (1 Thess. 5:21; 1 John 4:1; Eph. 2:10; John 4:23; 16:12-15; 1 John 2:26-27;Hebrews 5:14)? And by implication, my telling them to listen to the Spirit as teaching works. I am not anti-nomian, but trans-nomian, asserting with Paul that Life in the Spirit and Walking in the Spirit fulfills the just requirement of the Law (Rom. 8:1-4). The Law cannot condemn the Fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:23), mainly because the Spirit producing that fruit is superior to the Law and produces superior results. Running to the old covenant to get people to love only helps pad the sermon at best, and is a retreat to weak and beggarly elements at worst.
There are MANY metaphors used in the scriptures to describe how God interacts with us, so it isn’t teaching works if I, or anyone else, relate better to the “metaphor” of Adoption, Inheritance, and the subsequent possession of the Holy Spirit by the Believer (Eph. 1:13-14), better than resting. While the Book of Hebrews urged Christians to strive to enter into the rest of God (Hebrews 3:12-4:11), the author ALSO chided them for getting stuck in their understanding of God and urged them to move on into maturity (Heb. 5:11-6:12).
I will leave it to others to compare my post to yours, read this response, and discern the motives behind the posting of both.
We should have no problem with the law because the law explains sin.
It is just that the law cannot save us from our sin any more than a looking glass can wash our faces from the dirt it shows there. We therefore need not pit the law against grace or with the Spirit as if they are at variance with one another. They are all resources of one God. They are on the same camp.
It is our misunderstanding of their individual and collective relevance that has been our trouble, unfortunately. But this need not be the case. Paul teaches honor for the law of God. He places law, simply, in its rightful place so that we may benefit from the abundant grace of God.
For once my face is soiled with dirt shown by the looking glass, it makes no sense for me to keep standing in front of it, just looking at the dirt I already discovered.
I then need to go to the water and find some soap to wash my face. I can then go back to the mirror just to check for cleanness.
The eyes do not argue with the mouth asking it, “Why can’t you SEE like us”? The mouth has its function. The eyes have their function. Grace has its function; and the law has its function.
We need a right relationship with them both, for they both have kissed each other.
Good morning Paul.. I am Jiggaz from Nigeria, not real name though lol. I so love your website since i discovered it a month ago. I love this your topic cos years back, i didn’t know i was saved cos i was having doubts and also because my pastor always tells us that as a Christian, if you are not on fire for the Lord, we will all go to hell. But thank God i discovered Joseph Prince last year and my life was radically transformed!! Since last month i discovered your site, i always post your articles on NAIRALAND, Nigeria’s biggest interactive website and one of the biggest online forums in Africa, with an over 1 million registered users and guest visits from over 25 countries. Your articles i post there, have an overrall reader visit of not less than 20,000 hits. People love your articles there but most self righteous Christians have called me an Antichrist cos of your articles lol. I always credit you with all the posts and put the link of your site at the bottom of the articles so that the readers will come here to read more. God bless you…. i love what you are doing.
Good to meet you, Jiggaz. You will be called a lot of names for preaching the gospel of grace, but you are helping to save lives! Be blessed.
This is why, Gerald Owens, we must keep on learning until we learn more and more to REST in Christ.
Consider the Lilies, Jesus says, “They toil not nor do they spin.” That is the way they grow, by not toiling nor spinning. They grow by resting in the power of God, the Husbandman. Yet, Solomon was not arrayed like one of those God-tended, God- husbanded lilies.
Solomon had loads of TOILING and SPINNING with the many wives and concubines he had, alone.
Only what is done from the REST of Christ, in God, is GOOD WORK(S).
The love of God comes with a package deal, and wisdom is in the package. Love being the greatest of all other fruits of the Spirit, gives rise to all others, including WISDOM.
Remember to REST in Jesus. When you rest in Him, He has your mind, heart, spirit, body—all of you. While resting and forgetting self, because you are resting and meditating on Christ, Christ energizes your whole life with whatever you need for good works.
All you need as the natural/spiritual catalyst is a proper appreciation for your Savior, Jesus Christ. The rest is honest and good living all predicated upon the power of God.
This is not my teaching. This is me sharing of the teaching of truth, which is founded in the Word of God. May the Spirit of God be your chief director, always. God bless you.
Thanks. I think you’re correct. This discerning is hard work. I’ve tried, always doubted and missed it- maybe willfully too.. In mean time, I was drifting so far away. I’m gonna try and lay off all the heavy work. Just seek him.. And let him change me, while still messing up in the real world. I don’t think there’s any other way- at least for me. In the past, I do remember doing something for another brother. That something-a very simple thing though, I never never would’ve ever done on my own.. While doing it, I remember thinking to myself “What am I doing?.. Man..This is awesome” – If there’s one good work, I’m sure of, it’s that Good work- that’s it’s of God. It flowed naturally.
However, In the mean time, People who meet me like that are probably gonna die. I don’t know why it didn’t flow naturally then or maybe it’s just me blocking the natural flow. Either way, I don’t think there’s anything I can do.. I’ll rather try and seek him, believing he’s still forgiving.
Thanks and God bless.
Some would claim that certainty is dangerous, and I would agree:
Therefore, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, it seemed good also to me to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the CERTAINTY of the things you have been taught. (Luke 1:3-4)
Thank you, Paul!
Thanks for your blessings. And may God continue to bless you, too. The truth is you are abundantly blessed by God’s already and proven gift, Jesus Christ.
Your inner sense is correct, we cannot do good naturally for we are born in sin, selfish. Any good we do naturally is due to God being with us. Don’t look to yourself for salvation in any way. It won’t work. The flesh, yes, your own flesh will fail you.
But yielding to the Spirit of God, as He is with you, always prompting you to make right/good/wise choices by your WILL, gets God operating in your life. Yes, we can WILL, meaning choose, which Captain we want or desire to direct/rule our lives.
Always remember to do the Christian Homework Jesus assigns every Christian: “Consider the Lilies of the field, how they GROW: they TOIL not, nor do they SPIN.”
Yet, a king in his glory is not more beautiful than the blooming Lilies. Again, our homework is to watch the Lilies, for Jesus says to do so. Have we taken His words lightly/for granted? If so, then that can explain why we still LABOR and are HEAVY LADEN.
Dear Berry Dale,
I might’ve completely misunderstood what you said, but,
Even this WILLING too, I think, should be left to God.
for it is God who works in you, both to WILL and to work for his good pleasure.
The first time, In prayer, I ever thought of giving up, it was too hard to even WILL. Then I gave up trying to give up and asked Jesus to help.. Then I remembered a episode from Dexter’s laboratory- where he had to eat vegetables, but hated it.. Then he used some kind of machine to change his taste buds of his tongue, so that vegetables are tasty to him…
If Dexter can do it, So can God.. And I had faith to ask him- He then kinda showed himself as Light, truth- Reality. And compared to his reality, everything else was just a illusion-even the things I see and I gave it all up-at least to my knowledge and then felt free, and also felt kind of sorry for God too,coz it was such a unfair exchange..(what I gave up was nothing and even then it was him working in me to change)
We need the Shepherd to find us and carry us.. Just consent to be saved. He’ll change us.We’re born again.. For what can a child do to be born?
If we really are born of Lion, We’ll eat all deers: It’s in our nature to do so. We have to just see our father, We’ll act like him naturally. God bless.
That is good. We may not need to think about it to much. See how this all piggy back to the REST Jesus speaks about? When we wake from resting we do what we do from that rest. The Will is all in there. But we can be bored thinking about some of these things too much. Its all good. Take it from the resting in Christ as a way of letting go. What you describe in my understanding is simply, REST.
The text you quoted, I would imagine, now establishes that unlike what some or even most people would claim to be DANGEROUS, is normal and good in the sight of God.
God’s ways determine what is normal from what is abnormal, not the ways of mankind.
It is not what I think, as a human being. It is what is RIGHT that matters. Taking this road less traveled by is what makes all the difference. Additionally, taking this road can make us unpopular; but, what do I really value, popularity or righteousness?
Popularity FEELS good; but God’s righteousness IS good. One can choose.
If Paul indicates to the Most Excellent Theophilus the CERTAINTY of the word of TRUTH, it means to me that the word of God is CERTAIN. Furthermore, this means that I could dismiss the notion that CERTAINTY is dangerous; since the word of God proves that CERTAINTY in “Holy Writ” is not DANGEROUS.
Educated and sophisticated people may like to balance things out, meaning a mingling of some good with some bad, but such balancing act is all bad.
He that comes to God MUST (because of honest conviction), BELIEVE that He IS. And that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6).
Dear Richard: God has given us the power to choose. We can choose by that power given. The only reason why we think we have to leave it up to God is that we think that we are doing the work, and that to will is a WORKS thing. But it is not. The Bible says, “It is God that works in you, both to WILL and to Do of His good pleasure.” Find this truth in the writings of the apostle Paul. I think it is in the book of Romans; if not, somewhere else.
You see Richard, this power to will or choose is a spiritual no-brainer, just as it is a no-brainer to choose something on a temporal, physical plane. For example, if someone gives you the option to choose either a bike for Christmas or a brand new BMW car, would you leave the choosing up to the person offering you the option? The person gave you the option predicated upon the established reality that you can and will be able to choose one or the other. The person expects you to do the choosing, or he/she would just give you a new BMW or a new bike. I am sure you would choose one or the other without realizing that it required some kind of WORKS to perform such a choice/decision.
Thus, when presented with the choice to serve God or Satan, we can, and SHOULD, make a choice. To not make a choice, means I have no value in them both. Value it is that dictates and activates CHOICE. .
Once again, Dear Sir:
Rest is the key to power. Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior reportedly communed with two old women from England, in the 1930’s, and shared with them the truth I indicated to you about REST. See the book, God Calling, edited by A.J. Russell.
It is in resting in Jesus that I will discern the promptings of the Holy Spirit, better. Jesus tells those two old women, “Force is born of rest.”
My speaking of rest is not meant to bespeak physical or spiritual laziness. But it is to indicate a requisition for power necessary to work the works of righteousness.
Jesus says, “My Father works hither, and I work.” They are the source of Rest; for Jesus says in Matthew 11:28 “come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden; and I will give you rest.”
Please note that this call is a call of mercy. He could have said, ” Depart from Me”. But after He has issued the COMMANDING invitation, COME UNTO ME”, He hastens to give us REST. Works, yea; even good works MUST come later.
Yes, LOVE can COMMAND.
Jesus continues, “Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me (verse 29). For I am meek and lowly in Heart; and ye shall find REST unto your souls.” Here is rest again, after good works. ” For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
Christ’s work method does not tire us; ours do.
I’m 48 years old and still have no assurance. Life just gets tougher and worse and still I don’t know if I am saved. I doubt I am.
“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved, you and your family” (Acts 16:31). Now, please go to the book of Ephesians 2:8-10. Read and digest the passage.
It is not hard to be saved. It is easier than your job, which you may love very much. Jesus paid the price for you. All you have to do is claim His Great and Excellent purchase made for you.
And if even you were the only person on planet earth God would have sent His only Begotten Son to be born, as He has been born, to live as He has lived an exemplary and sinless life, and to DIE for you, as He has done some 2K years ago.
It does not depend on one’s feelings of wretchedness or of righteousness. It depends only on the Righteous Truth of God. The most horrible sin is the sin of insult to God, by rejecting or refusing the PRECIOUS/PRICELESS gift of His Son.
To be too humble to accept God GREATEST gift is to be PROUD indeed. To see oneself through the Eyes of God, that you are worth more than earthly diamond, silver, and gold—that your worth in His estimation is intrinsically tied to the eternal value of His Son, Jesus Christ, is to be truly humbled.
Forget everything. Forget heaven and hell. Forget all the laws
Just seek him for who he is- believing he wants and is trying to have a relationship with you, even when you don’t feel it.Try to be with him. Believe in his goodness. Try Believing this for a month.
….and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out..
He’ll take care of you.
I’m tired of trying. It shouldn’t be so hard. But I’m also at a place in life where I’m miserable due to illness and money. I don’t have any reason to believe that the rest of my days are anything but more suffering. I can’t find it in my heart to love or trust God. In fact when I talk to people about this in the real world, my true feelings come out, the anger and despair and I end up basically cursing God. Can one behave like this and be a Christian? Even a Corinthian Christian?
Give up trying
Believe in his goodness even when circumstances say otherwise.
Speak words full of life..
Say:I’ll enjoy all my life because of Jesus. He took all my sufferings and my morning and has turned them to Joy. No matter what I feel, how the circumstances, He’s a Good gud God. I don’t understand why it happened, But HE is a Good God.. And he’s not the author of my pains. He loves me always. And yearns to protect me and shower his love upon me… And deliver me. He’s a Good God and he’ll never abandon me. For so he promised with his heart.
Speak it out.. faith comes by hearing(even hearing your own words)
Say it. Coz GSpeak words full of life..
Say I’ll enjoy all my life because of Jesus. He took all my sufferings and my morning and has turned them to Joy. No matter what I feel, how the circumstances, He’s a Good gud God. I don’t understand why it happened, But HE is a Good God.. And he’s not the author of my pains. He loves me always. And yearns to protect me and shower his love upon me… And deliver me. He’s a God and he’ll never abandon me. For so he promised with his heart.
Speak it out.. faith comes by hearing(even hearing your own words)
God loves you-Believe this one truth
What a blessing to hear. Thank you.
I agree! Believe and know! However the biblical definition Paul gives is different than what most Christians say it is. The biblical definition Paul gives is to have the Word of God work effectively through you (1thess 2:13). Jesus says those who have faith will DO as He did (john 14:12) . Faith isn’t a verbal profession, it is a way of life. Someone said earlier, believing isn’t hard… Jesus disagrees, Yeahua said BECAUSE the way was narrow, few find it! He described a gate AND a path for travelling. We see faith isn’t one time, but for life. Do we walk in the light as He is light, and only when we do that are we cleansed from All sin (1john 1:7). Don’t get caught up in half a truth, or OSAS, pre-trib, or abolishment of the Truth of God (the law, psalms 119), don’t lose your eternal soul.
Well Jesus said that He was the way, the truth, the light and the life. Nothing else is. Tradition says it is how we live. Yes accepting and submitting to Jesus as the ONLY way to salvation and eternal life is very difficult for the flesh because the unregenerate flesh wants to participate in it’s eternal life so it can then get puffed up about how it became worthy of salvation. Staying walking Jesus alone and not falling to traditions many pressures for looking to and worshipping self’s performance and contributions is very hard.
Faith is not just some quote we say. Faith is the deep seated conviction that what we have heard/read/seen is the truth. Without that conviction Christianity is just a club with rules and a lifestyle you follow to try and stay in it.
Those who do have faith in Jesus do as He said and walk in the light not buy, keep or prove anything. They behave that way because they HAVE faith in Him. It is not how we live that cleanses us from sin, that’s the flesh talking. Jesus is THE light. If a person misses that they will spend their lives looking to how they live for salvation, acceptance and eternal life instead of looking to Jesus and Jesus alone for everything.
Jesus fulfilled the Law Just as He fulfilled the Messianic prophesies. Any other interpretation is just the flesh playing with word definitions to keep itself the main focus of salvation and eternity.
How can we hope for what we currently have (Romans 8:24) ? We have been born again where we enter into the new covenant, are being saved (sanctified) and will be saved (when our race is over and we enter into Gods rest) .Can I add to the finish work of the cross?? Absolutely not. What is required of me? Faith. I tend to stay away from terms like “accept” Him as Lord and Savior. Very deceiving because preachers don’t explain what that actually means. Matthew 16:24 is what it means to “accept” Him.
The context of Romans 8:24 is not “we hope that we might maybe be saved” but of the redemption of our physical body. Our spirit has been redeemed but we still reside within sin effected bodies. We definitely need expectant hope to have our frail bodies redeemed from the curse.
I only used the word accept in connection with accepting that Jesus alone is our only way to salvation and eternal life, not Jesus plus the stuff I do. I did not mean to imply the cheesy accept Jesus into your heart mantra which you are correct in saying that very few define what they mean by saying it.
Matthew 16:24 is about what we should do but that self focused passage really has nothing to do with accepting Jesus. Romans 10:9-11 says that for salvation and righteousness we only need to admit that Jesus is God and believe that He was raised from the dead.
Willful sinning comes when one has so resisted the Holy Spirit’s promptings to repent from a sinful course of action, but that person continually refused to yield to the promptings of the Holy Spirit, until that person begins to sin easily—without remorse. Such persons now can even plan to carry out sin on a certain date and goes out to accomplish it. Such a person has no more desire to do what is right, but only that which is wrong. That is willful sinning. Such a person is not one who is merely struggling with sin though on the other hand wanting to live a righteous life before God. This is a person who deliberately sins.
Read Romans 1:10-32; psalm 51:2. There are other texts that show a difference between willful sinning or iniquity and sinning by way of struggling with an interest of overcoming. I may get back to you with more.
Willful sin is to not believe in the atonment of Christ. All sin has been punished in Jesus at the cross. He could not die for unbelief in Him. Because you have to believe in the one who saved you.
The holy spirit does not convict you of sinful deeds. He convicts the world of unbelief in Christ’s sacrifice and the judgment thereof. He convicts us believers of our righteousness in Christ. He is our counseler who leads us into all truth: Jesus. A voice in your head showing you your shortcomings and making you feel guilty is not the Holy Spirit.
Romans 1:10-32 has nothing to do with a sinning believer. When we read romans further, the context clearly shows, that God dealt with sin on the cross. Our salvation has nothing to do with doing right or wrong. Wrong tree, bro. Our tree is Jesus, the tree of life. Our work is to believe in the one HE sent. Quoting Psalms 51 is a great reminder of thanking Jesus for what he has done for us already. This is an old covenant prayer fullfilled through the cross.
For 25 years I judged the salvation of others by applying verses in mark16. It’s all quite simple and as you’ll see very black and white.
Mk 16 states that believers will have signs following them, so it’s reasonable to say that without these signs wannabe Christians are in fact not saved. . .easy.
Mk16:17 Jesus said believers will have domination over all the works of darkness, they will heal the sick, and will speak in tongues.
Scriptures also states that if you don’t have the spirit of God you are none of his(rom8) And read Jesus telling the disciples to receive the holy Spirit. Acts 2 discribes 120 waiting until the holy Spirit was poured out, and that they didn’t stop waiting until they spoke in tongues. Cornelius had the same written about him and his family, they spoke in tongues. Therefore salvation was not gained until they spoke in tongues, plain and simple, you’re not saved until you receive the holy Spirit speaking in a new tongue.
I was quite satisfied with this logic because I spoke in tongues and others did not. So my “gospel” to the unsaved world was Acts 2:38, “repent and be baptized. . . and receive the holy spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues”. It’s all there in black and white, the disciples did it, Simon saw and heard it and wanted to buy it, Peter qualified Cornelius the gentile by it. And Jesus said believers will speak in tongues.
No one will argue with Jesus I hope.
I had entered a bubble where all questions were answered from a very shallow well of wisdom. I had replaced faith in Jesus with faith in spiritual gifts.
A very strange fire with pride as foundation.
Today I realise that just because all lions are cats, not all cats are lions.
It’s called inverse logic, and it’s propped up by “proof texting” and faith in the bubble. . . Not faith in Jesus victory.
Hi Paul. Since I received the revelation of true grace I have discovered that this has had many domino effects on my theology. I have had to rethink my views on guilt, confession, begging prayers, humility, law, tithing, communion and salvation to name a few. For me eternal security goes hand in hand with grace. My query is concerned with those who once believed but no longer have any faith or belief in God or Christ. Can such a one lose salvation since we are saved by believing and receiving by faith. I have tended to address this issue By understanding that I was saved solely by Christ’s choosing. I am predestined to be saved. My salvation is all of Christ’s graceful choosing yet somehow still reflects my free choice. Your comments appreciated 😊
This is a question that leads to a lot of cliched answers. Here’s mine: God doesn’t unchild his children. Jesus doesn’t believe in divorce.
I would add as someone who has personally struggled with keeping her faith is that the reason most people drop and walk away from God is not that they love sin or have suddenly lost their minds but because of bad theology or other issues that they simply could not find a healthy answer for. Even part of my problems stem from trust issues that developed by growing up under an emotionally abusive father. I think God who is full of mercy knows that it is not really Him we are rejecting or walking away from but lousy ideas about Him.
Thanks for your reply. Luv ya 😊
2 Deuteronomy 31:8, The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. “Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” .
I quite like the story of Cornelius & his household: they didn’t confess Jesus as Lord, didn’t ask Him to come into their hearts in prayer, didn’t really DO anything but heard about Him and the Spirit came upon all who heard (Acts 10:44). This is an example of what J.Prince calls unconscious faith when our eyes are totally on Jesus & we believe in our hearts without a conscious choice to. This has proved to be a remedy to me when the devil comes with the Q “how do you know you believe/saved”. 2 Tim 1:9 – God who HAS saved us, irrespective of our confession. He has already done it, 2000 years ago that happened, and when we see it through a revelation, we are saved. The Lord told me a couple of years ago, “Look at the substance not your faith”. When my eyes are on me, my faith, my confession, I begin to doubt because people may profess but not really mean it, have experiences but not mix with faith etc.
I read somewhere a while ago that Paul was asking Corinthians to examine themselves only because they were challenging his authority in Christ. If they found that they were in Christ, by that comparison they should have seen that he was in Christ too.
Here’s what “Grace New Testament Commentary” v2 on p819 says, “not to determine if they are truly justified … he is challenging them as believers in Jesus Christ to examine themselves to see if Christ’s abiding presence was manifested in them”.
In other words, he’s saying to them, you’re believers, Christ is in you, are you manifesting it? As in many other places he’s saying, you already ARE who God says you are, live like that, show it to the world.
Your testimony is good news for those who are saved, but to tell the lost that they were saved 2000 years ago is reckless. If they are lost, they need to get saved.
God’s grace is for all, but not all receive it. Those who refuse grace are as lost as lost can be. To claim the lost are saved is to diminish their lostness and cheapen the gift of salvation.
If you told someone dying of cancer that they were healed, they would not see their need for treatment. Far better to say that Jesus provided everything we need 2000 years ago; now receive his grace and be saved.
Hi Paul! Just a question for you. James 2:14-26 says that without works, faith is dead. Is looking at a person’s works and fruits and his intentions for doing so (assuming we know his intentions for his works), another means of seeing one truly has faith in Jesus? How then do we reconcile this verse with the fact that we are not saved by works?
Please check out the Archives > Scripture Index > James 2:14. Thanks.
Jesus said you must be born again meaning spiritually. So just as you cannot be unborn physically you cannot be unborn spiritually if you receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior.
When I doubt I was ever saved? I pray in the spirit. The spirit is the witness. I believe it is so helpful to have the holy spirit to build our faith, when we say “how can I be saved after I did that?’ Well, the question is not so much am I saved, but did I personally accept my salvation from the Lord Jesus. Once Eternally saved always. I personally benefit by praying in the spirit or speaking in tongues praising God and letting my spirit converse with my Abba. In those times of doubt He lets me know He is still with me (and in me). The spirit is the witness and the comforter. BYW. I am still falling a lot,, but I get get up twice as much.
IF a Christian is always doubting every time his flesh fails, wow. If you believe in once saved always, but doubt you ever were wow. You would be running to the altar every Sunday for sure. But there is a better way.
But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost,
Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.
This means more than just saying “Lord, Lord” Jesus even said it was about knowing Him. his context is in the things that are “spiritual’ Praying in the spirit is a great weapon to assure ourselves we are saved. Once you have trusted in Jesus you were sealed by the holy spirit and the comforter came to live in you forever, not on condition.
To me what this is saying is you cannot ever curse the Lord that gave you the gift of Eternal life and the holy spirit, when you are speaking by the spirit, which is one part of the 9 parts of the manifestation of the spirit. Knowledge and wisdom is also part of it. Having a conversation with Abba, in the spirit can be done at any time anywhere and it always witnesses that you are one of His no matter what. The inner man is untouched and incorruptible. Our lives may be crap, but the holy spirit in us is always incorruptible seed. You are you Fathers kid!!!
I don’t know if anyone can see this; it’s an old thread but I’ll try anyway. I’ve actually posted on this thread, an I wasn’t very friendly. It’s the frustration I feel about this, my lack of assurance. I don’t know why I am so hard hearted; I don’t want to be this way. I fear that deep down I don’t want to admit I am a sinner who needs forgiveness, yet I often find myself asking forgiveness from God (and meaning it). But when it comes to resting in Christ I find resistance in my heart. Again, I don’t want to be this way; I want to be forgiven and live in God’s grace. Right now my faith is simply accepting that Christ satisfied the law’s demands on everyone, which includes me. I wish that I could really surrender to Christ and live in his love and grace. I want to do that, but something in me resists. I try to figure out why, but I still don’t know.
We can try to produce life in us or we can look to Jesus to produce life in us. When we try to do it, it actually produces death. We’ll keep on trying as long as we believe we can do something to produce life ourselves. In my life, I tried so hard to do it myself and I saw a lot of death being produced. Eventually, I determined it wasn’t working. I quit looking to myself because it absolutely didn’t work. We have to allow the source of life to produce His life in us. That’s what it means to rest – I’m no longer trying to produce life in me, I’m looking to Jesus to produce life in me. See yourself in and as the resurrected Jesus, that’s how your Heavenly Father sees you and that’s how you will start to see His life in you.
LJP you are telling the truth for sure. Religion taught us that just because we have been given eternal life for free, now it’s up to you to prove your worth to God. Makes for tired, discouraged, burnt out believers. We have not been encouraged to focus on that truth that we are precious, holy, acceptable to a Father who has always loved us and always will.
It is life giving to agree with God as to how He sees us.
Thanks for the reminder LJP.
Thanks for your response, Leanne.
Thank you for the responses, but my problem is knowing whether or not I am “in.” I don’t know if my faith is even real. And the longer this goes on (30 years now) the harder my heart gets.
If you want in, you are in. His faith will take care of the rest. He has it all covered. If you don’t want in, He will honor your choice. It sounds to me like you want in and you are in, but some bad teaching has filled you with doubt. Once your in, it’s a done deal for eternity. If you can forget about your faith and instead focus on His unwavering faithfulness towards you it will change your life.
I really wish I could believe this. My life however shows no marks of salvation. Not only is there an absence of virtue, but rather there is an abundance of the opposite. I have no love for my neighbor much less my enemies. I don’t obey Christ’s commands. I blaspheme and curse God under my breath constantly. And I have to admit I find it morally wrong to think I am on my way to heaven while decent, moral people aren’t. I can’t get passed that.
Hi Rob, take a look at the story of Mary and Martha. Martha was busy doing good works while Mary was resting at the feet of Jesus. Contrary to the opinion of much religious teaching, Jesus said Mary chose the good part and was doing the ONE thing that is needful. This resting is how we see the results (fruit) we are looking for. Well intentioned people have many suggestions about what seems to work for them, but typically it is their list that they have to check off before they will rest. The fruit is produced through the rest, not the list. Be careful not to get hung up on the fruit though, our focus is Jesus.
Rob, you have an enemy who would just love for you to listen to his whispers and fill you with doubt and darkness… urging you to holler at God and then condemning you when you do! That’s how he works, harsh judgement and condemnation as a payment for accepting his lies!
Paul has wonderful Grace posts on here, I read through his ones on Job yesterday…and he points out how the enemy lies to deceive us into thinking God is against us. Someone wrote in response to a post on Job, I wonder what Job’s story would have been if at the very start he said, ” HELP! I know You don’t do this stuff God.” And He doesn’t, we have the perfect image of God in Jesus.
We can ask for our Father’s help, and in the face of contradiction and being plagued by the enemies lies, we speak what God says about us (repent). We are holy, righteous, dearly loved children of the Living God, no matter how we ‘feel’. He is our very present help in trouble. Blessings.
I’ve asked God for help, and He said no. At least it seems that way. Year after year, prayer after prayer; no. I don’t get it. Why do other people have such good experiences with the gospel while it’s been nothing but torment for me? I thought it was good news. There’s just no way that I’m saved. I have no love for God, or anyone else. I sin with reckless abandon. My heart is hard and bitter. It should be better than this. I should be better. And God is silent. Maybe there just isn’t anyone there. Maybe the Calvinists are right and I’m simply not one of the elect. It shouldn’t be this hard!
Rob, I don’t know if you read my reply to you or if you were responding to someone else. God has already given us all that we need, now it is your chance to change your circumstances. Talk to the things in your life, yourself, that you want to change. Actually tell them to leave, as if they were people. I don’t think your heart is as hard as you say it is – why are you on this site, still looking for answers?
Rob, Even though you don’t feel like it, for the next three or so months, speak out loud against the things in your life that you want to change, in Jesus name. It has made an eternal difference for me. God’s blessings on you!
I’m not going to set myself up for more disappointment. If after 30 years God doesn’t want to help me, then why should he now? Maybe there is no God; I’m okay with that.
Ofcourse, it’s your choice.
I had a person tell me that I must give up a hobby I have to be saved . I enjoy weightlifting and fitness. I am willing to if that’s what God wants . But how do I know if I’m really willing? My question is do I give it up to be saved or give up whatever I need to . How does it work
Odis, Don’t listen to lies. The only thing you have to “do” to be saved, is to believe that Jesus is who he says he is and did what he said he did!
God doesn’t unchild his children. Jesus doesn’t believe in divorce. Ok I’m coming to see that Salvation is of the Lord so to take it back into our own hands would make us and not Him the Author of Eternal Salvation and thus make us greater than Him which would be absurd
Wow wow wow the lord is faithful and never leaves us. This has truly truly opened my eyes especially to guilt and not good enough like other Christians. When we try in our own flesh not to sin we are losers. Only Jesus can help us!!!
Thank you for this Paul. I have always struggled with whether I was truly saved or not. It would have me up at nights. I feel like over time my heart had become hardened to some degree concerning the things of God, just haven’t felt that closeness in a long time. I read the post on Facebook you posted today (“What exactly is the basis for your salvation?”) and had several questions answered by a gentleman and you left me this article to read. When I read this part….”Therefore I want you to know that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus be cursed,” and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit. (1 Cor 12:3)
As I read that scripture I began to converse with myself.
“Can you say ‘Jesus is Lord’?”……..
I was reading it all out loud, and when I said out loud “Jesus is Lord” I INSTANTLY started to uncontrollably cry and felt it so deep within!!! For the first time in a long time, I felt his presence!! JESUS IS LORD!!!!!!!!!! Thank you!!!! And Thank you Jesus!!!!!
That’s awesome, Mike. God is good. Thanks for sharing.
I once had a similar experience while reading Neil Anderson’s “Bondage Breaker”. I started laughing and crying at the same time as I received revelation of God as my Heavenly Father. The fact that you are concerned about the status of your salvation shows your sincerity, but it is nice to have peace and rest in the knowledge of eternal security.