Are You Sure You Are Saved?

 salvationMany years ago my father-in-law was one of two ministers who were conducting a funeral. The other minister made a startling statement to my Father-in-law. As they were making small talk before the funeral began, he said, “You know we just never know if we have done enough until we face God in judgment.” My father-in-law was a member of a church that believed in once saved always saved. He was amazed that someone could preach the good news of Jesus and fail to grasp the assurance that goes with the Christian life.
  1st John teaches many great truths. Among them is the concept of the assurance of one’s salvation. In 1st John 5:13 Scripture says, “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.” This passage is one of many that allows us to know without a doubt the condition of our souls at any given moment in time. I may not know what the future holds for my salvation but I can be assured where I stand at this present time. 1st John 1:7-10 is also a remarkable section of truth. In this section John by inspiration is telling us that so long as we continue to walk in Christ the blood of Christ cleanses us from our sin. The implication is overwhelming! He is telling us that even though we sin Christ takes care of that sin as long as we walk in Him. Perhaps part of the problem with many of us is found in the latter part of this chapter. In verse nine He says if we confess our sins He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins. Some have taken this to mean that before any sin can be forgiven it must be confessed before God. The implication of this misunderstanding is that without a confession the blood of Christ can’t cover the sin. The context isn’t telling us that we must confess each sin. The context is teaching that we must confess that we are sinners in the need of Christ’s blood. Both verse 8 and verse 10 tell us that if we claim we have not sinned we deceive ourselves and make Him a liar. It is implied by the context that He wants us to admit our sin and our need for His cleansing blood.
  We will address one additional text for this thought. In Romans 4:8 Scripture says, “Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will never count against him.” What a tremendous promise! According to Paul in this passage there is a man who commits sin yet the Lord never counts that sin against him! Never even lists the sin! Who is the man? He is the man who is walking in the light of the Lord.
What makes this great promise possible? If you are in Christ your salvation is made possible by your relationship with the Lord. This restoration of fellowship came about by the blood Jesus shed on the cross bound together with our acceptance and obedience of His commands.  So long as you continue to walk in Christ, God will declare you righteous. If salvation was in our hands we would never know if we had done enough. We would always wonder, is there some sin I need to make right? Forgiveness of sin is not in our hands. Our sins are covered by the blood of our Saviour. As a result the Lord declares us righteous. This makes it possible for me to know I am saved! Praise God for that assurance!

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4 Responses to Are You Sure You Are Saved?

  1. Wayne McDaniel says:

    Dell, This is a wonderful message of truth for everyone who trusts in Jesus to cover our lives with his. It is tragic that many in churches of Christ cannot believe that Jesus paid it all. Like you, I was raised hearing preaching that left the impression, “Once saved, never saved.” The assurance you have written of was also affirmed by Paul, “Confident of this very thing, that he who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Jesus Christ.” – Phil. 1:6. He closed
    1 Thes. affrirming God’s preservation of his people, saying,
    “Faithful is he that calls you, who will also do it.”-5:24 It is the notion that salvation is of US that begets conceit and understands nothing. Such people are “false brethren” (Gal.2:4), who have “a morbid interest in controversial questions and disputes about words, out of which arise envy, strife, abusive language, evil suspicions, and constant friction between men of depraved mind and deprived of the truth, who suppose godliness is a means of gain.”
    – 1 Tim.6:4-5 Everyone who trusts in Jesus gladly affirms with Paul, “For I know that in me, that is in my flesh, dwells no good thing;…”-Rom.7:18. We agree with James,”For in many things we all stumble.”-3:2 The difference between relying upon the little we know (and the less we do) and relying entirely upon Jesus — becomes clearer day by day.
    Jesus’ words in Matt. 24:24 teach us an important truth if we will think about them until his meaning becomes clear.
    Those who to distinguish themselves from others who rely upon Jesus, reveal they rely upon their own understanding.

  2. Don says:

    I think that for many in our fellowship, the insecurity concerning salvation is rooted in lack of grace and Spirit…concepts long misunderstood or not taught. They have heard for too long the concept of salvation by right doctrine and not grace. I have known many Christians who told me frankly, we never heard about grace from our pulpits when we were younger. The sad part is that the Law kills whether you are under the Old or New Covenant (Philippians 3, Galatians 2, etc)…we can only be saved by grace through faith. We must RESPOND to Jesus’ salvation…but it does not DEPEND upon us one iota. Take care, Don

  3. Jan says:

    I remember when I heard you preach this for the first time. I thought FINALLY I am hearing the truth from the pulpit! I had waited many years to hear it. Thank you for bringing out the fact that it’s not about me—-it’s ALL about Him!

  4. christina says:

    Dell,
    It’s not once saved, never saved. It’s not once saved always saved. We have to walk that straight and narrow path, once saved, don’t fall from the path grace that He asks us to walk. The thing to remember is that most that teach most saved, always saved, don’t believe in baptism, they believe say a prayer and no matter how you live your life, you’ll go to Heaven. I grew up with a lot of friends who went to those churches. They drank, and did a lot of things I would never consider doing, but they would say, I’m saved, I can do what I want. The path as you spoke of, is one that God put for us, covered by Jesus’ blood. If we remember why we are saved, then yes, we are saved. When we fall off that path, we are no longer saved until we reconnect with God. Thanks for the thoughts. (And if your father-n-law is like the rest of your in-laws that I know and love I can only imagine what was said later.) Christina

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