Summary: Where does assurance of salvation come from?
Can I KNOW I am Saved?
Recently, I became aware of a conversation which was going on within our church and it caused me to have some concern.
For years, I have sought to give instruction in sound theology and have tried to introduce deep theological principles which are important to the faith.
However, when I heard that this question was being discussed, it reminded me that sometimes we need to be reminded of the more basic truths.
The deep things are valuable; there is no doubt about that.
But the basics - the foundations - must also be ever laid before us to ensure that we all have a right understanding of them.
The question which came to me was this: “Can I KNOW that I am saved?”
While, on its face, that may seem like a simple question, in reality it is a question with quite a bit of depth.
And it is a question wherein there is NOT a lot of agreement within the community of faith.
Some say that certainty of salvation is IMPOSSIBLE and that it demonstrates a lack of humility.
Others say that certainty is absolutely NECESSARY and that a person should never ever have any doubt.
If you spend any time searching through resources about the subject of salvation and assurance, you will undoubtedly come across a myriad of different views on this subject.
In fact, you may even come across so-called “CHECKLISTS” of actions and attitudes which will accompany REAL and GENUINE Christianity.
The funny thing is that these lists are always different.
Some say there are 3 things every Christian will exhibit.
Others will whittle it down to only one thing.
In preparation for this message, I watched a video of 15 Things which accompany authentic Christianity.
And if we try to rely on such “checklists” we will inevitably begin to only focus on the areas wherein we fail, and they will often create within us a sense of spiritual and emotional exhaustion.
So this morning, we are going to examine the question, “CAN I KNOW I AM SAVED”, and we are going to do so WITHOUT any type of Checklists of “dos & don’ts”.
Instead, we are simply going to examine what the Bible says about salvation, about God’s role as provider and our role as recipient, and we are going to see how assurance naturally flows from understanding that truth.
READ: Romans 3:19-26
There are so many verses in the Bible which I could exegete on the subject of assurance in salvation.
In fact, there is an entire little book in the New Testament called 1 John which is dedicated to knowing we have eternal life.
It actually says, “These things have been written so that you may KNOW that you have eternal life.”
Yet, I have not chosen to examine one of the typical passages in regard to assurance.
I haven’t because I believe that the biggest danger that people have in regard to the assurance of salvation is that they try to find some magical measuring stick to compare themselves against and they inevitably come up short.
And what this leads to is a constant attitude of doubt and confusion.
NOTE: I need to make a point - we do need to evaluate ourselves.
We do need to take stock of our faith.
The last thing any of us would ever want to happen is to become one of the ones spoken of in Matthew 7, who stand before Christ and say, “LORD, LORD” and He reply, “Depart from me, I never knew you.”
So personal evaluation is not a bad thing.
It is a good and necessary thing.
We are told to evaluate ourselves prior to taking communion, so in this church, we are forced toward self-evaluation every single Lord’s Day.
But when it comes to our salvation, what we need to understand is that our assurance CANNOT come from within.
The more we examine ourselves...
The more we put ourselves under the microscope...
The more we will realize that we really are unworthy of salvation...
And if we are basing our assurance on OURSELVES... then we will live in perpetual doubt, worry and fear.
The Bible is clear that we are not supposed to live in worry, as this is the opposite of faith.
So what I want to show you from this text is that our assurance of salvation comes from God and not from within ourselves; because salvation BEGINS and ENDS with God.
Romans 3:19 Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God.
The apostle Paul is talking about the fact that the Law condemns everyone as sinners.