Monday, February 18, 2013

How Do You Know That You are SAVED?

“For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.” (Romans 8:29, ESV)

“And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.” (I Corinthians 15:49, KJV)

“Sanctification is the evidence of reconciliation, proving that faith has truly apprehended Christ.” (Emphasis mine) (Valley of Vision, ed. by Arthur Bennett, p. 57)

Christlikeness is the ultimate aim of God for every person that God reconciles unto himself. This truth is borne out throughout the Scriptures but it particularly stands out in Philippians 1:6, “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”

How do you know that you are saved? This is probably the second most important question that you will ever need to answer. The most important question of course is, “What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is he?” (Matthew 22:42, ESV)

How do you know that you are saved?

If you say, “Because I asked Jesus into my heart” or because “I prayed the sinner’s prayer,” you may be relying on the wrong “proof” or “evidence.” The sinner’s prayer is not a guarantee that you have been reconciled to God and that you are saved.

We have absolutely no reason given to us to answer the question of “why did God unconditionally elect a certain number of people to be saved?” The best that we can do is to simply acknowledge his sovereignty and that fact that his decision was free and unfettered by any possible restriction. In other words, God did according to his own counsel, without asking any man, doing exactly as he pleased. (Ephesians 1:11)

We do know however, the purpose of why he unconditionally elected and then ensured their reconciliation. God eternally elected some to be saved, provided a sacrifice for them that appeased him, and then through his Holy Spirit applied that work to the souls of the elect in order to have a company from mankind conformed, συμμορφος (summorphos) – having the same form as another – to his dear son. For reasons unknown to all but God, God wanted a company or congregation of believers having the same form as his son, Jesus Christ.

Keep in mind that the vast majority of human beings are also relying on false “evidence” or proof of salvation. Merely relying on one’s lineage/nationality, church membership, baptism, first communion, good works, denominational ties, morality, and/or ET. Cetera will not result in salvation or reconciliation.

First of all, the idea of “asking Jesus into your heart” has absolutely no biblical basis at all. Today’s version of the so called “Sinner’s Prayer” has no scriptural basis either.

Secondly, much of what is “peddled” today as the gospel is a “gospel” that is fundamentally contrary to the gospel of the New Testament. The gospel has been perverted with the belief that in order to be saved one must “believe in”, “trust in”, “receive”, or “accept” Jesus as a personal savior. The problem with this ideology is that is robs the gospel of its true message of “repent”.

My purpose is not to shake the confidence of any true believer. I believe the above quote from the Valley of Vision is sufficient to offer comfort and confidence to believers. The evidence or proof of your salvation is in the fact that you are being made into the image of Christ.

My desire is to spend some time in the next several posts helping you to understand the importance of this question and how to answer with confident assurance.

How do you know you are saved?


Kansas Bob said...

A few more verses from Romans 8:

For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.

The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.

Gregg Metcalf said...

Great verses Bob! They are wonderful Scriptures that give us confidence to answer this question Biblically. Thank you.

Scott said...

Excellent. Looking forward to the rest.

Persis said...

Looking forward to your posts on this subject, Gregg.

Arlee Bird said...

This is the exact topic that the pastor at our church preached his sermon on this past Sunday. This can be a difficult one and as you say there can be much confusion among many of those who call themselves Christians.

Wrote By Rote
An A to Z Co-host blog

Gregg Metcalf said...

@ Lee - Well, you know what they say don't you? It is a difficult subject and will create controversy. It is sad that so many have been deceived.