Summary: One of the common laments I have heard over the more than fifty-five years as a Baptist pastor is: “Sometimes I don’t feel saved.”
"SOMETIMES I DON’T FEEL SAVED”
“And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. The one who has the Son has life. The one who doesn’t have the Son of God does not have life. I have written these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.” I John 5:11-13 (HCSB)
One of the common laments I have heard over the more than fifty-five years in the pastorate is: “Sometimes I don’t feel saved.” Thanks be to God we are saved by grace through faith and not by feeling. John wrote the words of our text so that we might know we have eternal life. The Holy Spirit witnesses to the four great aspects of our salvation. Our salvation involves:
ACCEPTING THE FACTS OF THE GOSPEL
Believing the facts: "After that He appeared to Peter, then to the other apostles. After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep; then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles; and last of all, He appeared to me also." I Corinthians 15:5-8.
The great truths of the Gospel are confirmed facts of history: His virgin birth; His sinless nature; His atoning death; His bodily resurrection and His ascension back to heaven.
From the facts of the Gospel, we are able to establish these great truths:
2. “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.” I Tim 3:9
3. God has given us eternal life and this life is in His Son. “He who believes in the Son has everlasting life, and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” John 3:36
4. Salvation can only be had through the blood of Jesus: “You were not redeemed by corruptible things, like silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.” I Peter 1:18-19
EXPERIENCING SAVING FAITH AS A BORN-AGAIN BELIEVER
After accepting the facts of the Gospel, you must act upon that Truth. The Bible says that we must do the following things:
1. Recognize our need of salvation: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23. “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23.
2. Repent of our sins: “Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out.” Acts 3:19.
3. Professing our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ: "The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus [literally: "Jesus as Lord"] and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved." Romans 10:8-9.
ALSO: “Now, I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which you are saved.” I Corinthians 15:1-2a.
When we have done the things God’s Word says for us to do “We will be saved.” It does not say we will “feel saved” but that “we will be saved”. You will not receive a printed, signed and sealed “New Birth Certificate” but you have something far more reliable…you have the Word of God on that!
EVIDENCES THAT WE HAVE BEEN GIVEN ETERNAL LIFE
1. The witness of the Holy Spirit in our heart. “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.” Romans 8:16.
It is very important to understand that the Spirit bears witness with our spirit, not with our body (the flesh). Paul told the Corinthian Christians that they were “still carnal” (I Corinthians 3:3). When a Christian becomes carnal-minded, many doubts will arise in his mind including the doubting of one’s salvation. Indeed, the carnal mind is the devil’s workplace. Don’t give space to the adversary; keep your eyes on the Lord Jesus and your thoughts upon the promises of God and doubt will find no place to take root.
2. The witness of a changed life. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” II Corinthians 5:17.
As Christians, we may not be all that we ought to be, but praise be to God, we are not what we used to be! Yes, in Christ, all things have become new!