Saturday, March 15, 2008

Assurance of Salvation

Not being sure about something makes us feel uneasy. Trivial stuff really doesn't matter, but when it comes to serious matters we need to make sure.

Our soul is the most valuable part of our being. Jesus pointed that out when He said, “What do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul?”(a) Our soul is eternal and if there is anything we need to be sure about, it is the destiny of our soul.

It seems odd, but many people give little or no attention to the security of this priceless possession. When we die it’s not all over, our soul continues to exist forever. Scripture clearly teaches about heaven (b) and hell (c) as real places, and our soul will spend eternity in one place or the other. There is no in between.

Everyone in his right mind wants to go to heaven. However, people have different ideas how to get there. The most common is if we do more good than bad we hopefully will make it. The problem with this approach is we can never be sure that we have done enough good, so there is always a doubt whether we’ll make it. And rightly so, because scripture says, salvation is not a reward for our good deeds.(d) Good works can never bring assurance of salvation!

Salvation is the free gift of God’s grace, which can only be received by faith. “God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God.”(e) On the basis of God’s grace we can know without a doubt that we will go to heaven when we die. We can be sure of our salvation! “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved.”(f)

As clear as that is, there still are people in church every Sunday who don’t have the assurance of salvation, simply because they go by the assumption that somehow they have to be good enough to go to heaven.

Dear friend, it is not faith and works that brings us assurance of salvation. It is confessing by faith what the Lord has done for us! We can’t add anything to the finished work of Christ. We must simply trust what God says in His word to have assurance of salvation. Good works are the by-product of salvation – it’s what we do because we are saved. As the Word says, “Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear.”(g) “God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.”(h)

Let’s Pray-
Thank you Jesus, for dying in our place and paying for all our sin.
And thank you Lord, that even the faith to believe that, is a free gift from you!!
Forgive our pride in thinking we could help you with it.
You are so gracious!!! We love you Lord.
Help us to serve you with all our heart because we are saved.

(a) Mark 8:36, (b) Matthew 18:10, 28:18, Mark 16:19,
(c) Matthew 7:13, Luke 2:15, 2 Peter 2:4, (d) Ephesians 2:9,
(e) Ephesians 2:8, (f) Romans 10:9-10, (g) Philippians 2:12,
(h) Ephesians 2:8-9

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