Part 7 of 22 –
Being Confident of Our Salvation
I was raised a Roman Catholic but soon grew to not believe in any religion. I would have been defined as agnostic. In the first several years after being saved, at age 23 in 1968, the Lord permitted me a grand tour of organized believing Christianity. I’ve personally witnessed and been involved with fundamentalist, evangelical, missionary, and independent Pentecostal churches. All of these claimed “salvation by grace through faith” but mostly practiced a kind of “bait and switch,” that pushed works to please God and be blessed by God. They kind of make God out to be an extortionist. In these churches the believer may be gloriously “saved by grace through faith,” but then they are soon switched to a “works” program to please God. They say; “Yes it’s wonderful that you are saved by grace,” but now you need to understand that “If you don’t do this, which you should do… or if you do the thing you should not do… God will not be pleased with you AND YOU WILL LOSE His blessing.” Or, some may even say… “…then you may not really be saved.” Having their grace relationship destroyed, the believer’s security is thereby destroyed.
This kind of influence, which is so common among so-called Bible believing churches, explains the sad situation of an acquaintance of Linda and mine who claims to be saved since she was 15 years old – and I believe she likely was and is saved. She says she received the Lord and believes the Bible, and yet she still says this concerning her destiny after death; “I hope I make it to heaven!” meaning she hopes her way of living will merit transport to heaven. She is one who likely was “graced” with salvation, but then switched and taught a “works” requirement to prove her salvation. Obviously, she is not trusting in Christ’s cross alone; she thinks she must merit or earn her salvation by being good enough. Paul would share this with her, taken from Col 2:11; “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him.” Since the fact is that we received our “salvation by grace through faith alone,” then likewise we are to continue our walk “by grace through faith in Him alone,” day by day. This is the simple truth according the Bible for this day of “the dispensation of the grace of God” (Eph 3:2).
Just as the Pharisees in Jesus’ day, the religionists today add to Paul’s words of “salvation by grace through a trusting faith, not of works”; they lay heavy burdens upon their adherents to do certain works in order to be right with God. Matthew 23:2, 4 (AMP) (Jesus said) The scribes and Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat [of authority]. 4They tie up heavy loads, hard to bear, and place them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves will not lift a finger to help bear them.
Often the religious doctrines they promote are “the commandments of men,” not God. Paul says we should ignore Jewish fables and the commandments of men because they lead us away from the truth… “Not giving heed to Jewish fables (mythic tales), and commandments of men, that turn from the truth.” (Titus 1:14)
At one time, under “The Law” dispensation that was given to
, the “works of the law” were required as a demonstration of one’s faith. Thus, James writes the following “to the twelve tribes (of Israel ) which are scattered abroad” (James 1:1) “… faith without works is dead” (James 2:26). But if we note the contrast between James’ “works” requirement with Paul’s words of grace to the Gentile members of “the body of Christ”; we see that “we are NOT UNDER THE LAW, but UNDER GRACE (Romans 6:14). “Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that THROUGH THIS MAN (Jesus) IS PREACHED UNTO YOU THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS, AND BY HIM ALL THAT BELIEVE ARE JUSTIFIED FROM ALL THINGS, FROM WHICH YE COULD NOT BE JUSTIFIED BY THE LAW OF MOSES” (Acts 13:38, 39). Israel
Most people suppose that the law and the Ten Commandments were given to mankind in general, while in fact they were given specifically to The Nation Israel alone (Deuteronomy 5:1-5). Most people suppose that the 613 Mosaic Laws and Ten Commandments were given to help us to do right. This is not true. The Bible clearly teaches that the law was given to show us that we are guilty as sinners. Thus, “the law,” even the natural law that came to mankind via the Tree of the Knowledge of Good & Evil, works to convince men of their need of God’s provision of Christ’s all-sufficient sacrificial death for us, to pay for our sins, saving us from perdition; and that we need Christ to come live His righteous “Spirit of life” in and through us, day by day.
I’m sure most people would love to know and be confident that they are secure in there relationship with God; that they are saved for eternity, to abide in His unconditional love and grace in heaven with Him. I want here to readdress the subject of the confidence the believer may have in knowing he is saved. The fact is that by faith Christians may be confident, having boldness and access to the Lord who now is close at hand – “in you.” “According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord: 12 In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of (ek, from and with) him.” (Eph 3:11-12)
The Apostle Paul succinctly summarizes the “means” of salvation as being received by grace through faith, apart from any requirement of good works or religious works. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9) Here below Paul gives us a summation of the short and simple “way” for one to “be saved.”
Rom 10:9-10 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe (trust) in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession (profession) is made unto salvation.
How shall we then “know” that we are saved? Jesus said a believer’s knowledge of the truth comes by the Spirit of Truth. “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth…” (John 16:13a). Twelve time Paul says believers should “know ye not,” ex., 1Cor 3:16, 6:15; he means believers should possess a certain, fixed, awareness of the truth of the things of the Lord that are theirs.
The Apostle Paul writes the believer’s at
telling them of the truth concerning there security, having a home “eternal in the heavens.” Corinth
“For WE KNOW that if our earthly house of this tabernacle (our body) were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.” (2Corinthians 5:1)
The word “know” here is the Greek “eido,” which means “to know by means of any of the senses.” Eido “knowing” could be by a physical sense-knowing, such as smell, touch, or taste, but here it refers to a spiritual sense-knowing that believers have by the indwelling Spirit of the Lord. Such knowledge comes to believers by the witness and revelation of the indwelling “Spirit of truth” which is “the Spirit of Christ” who is “the way the truth and the life.” “But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.” (1 Corinthians 2:10) This “knowing” is as a sixth intuitive sense within, which is gained by the indwelling Spirit from the moment of a believer’s salvation.
John writes to
’s scattered believers of the last days. “These things have I written unto you that believe (trust in) on the name of the Son of God; that YE MAY KNOW (eido, witness by our intuitive sense within) that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.” (1 John 5:13) Israel
Sadly, the fact is that many of the Christian church organizations and sects at large today do not offer such an assurance of salvation to their adherents. Erroneously, most Christian denominations today confuse, confound, and even shake the believers from that assurance by requiring some form of outward “immeasurable works” to count one as being saved; some then require “immeasurable works” so as to keep one saved after perhaps being “saved.” I say “immeasurable” because when they say you need to work for salvation or to keep your salvation, they cannot tell you just how much works is enough.
As we will see in a later installment of this series, the Roman Catholic erroneously offers Purgatory as an intermediate state of being between earth and heaven initial goal, where also … “unmeasurable” amounts penances of money to the church and works are required, thus nobody can tell you of a certain path for anyone to ever achieve Heaven. Thus, there is only insecurity among the adherents of almost all the Christian denominations; there followers are always striving by never arriving at the peace and rest of knowing they are okay.
I prefer Paul’s words the Ephesian believers written here below where he says God “hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence” (v8) such that have the knowledge of His eternal plan and “the mystery of His” (v9) - they are already fully blessed (v3) and secure… “In Christ.”
Ephesians 1:1-9 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at
, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus: 2 Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who HATH BLESSED US WITH ALL SPIRITUAL BLESSINGS IN HEAVENLY PLACES IN CHRIST: 4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: 5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein HE HATH MADE US ACCEPTED IN THE BELOVED. 7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; 8 Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; 9 HAVING MADE KNOWN UNTO US THE MYSTERY OF HIS WILL, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: Ephesus