How Do I Know I’m Saved

How Do I Know I’m Saved

 

Perhaps you have already trusted Jesus Christ as your own Savior, yet . . . you’re not sure if what you did took hold in your life. God loves you and wants you to fully experience the peace and life that only He can give, including knowing without a doubt that you belong to Him. So, let’s start from the very beginning and review the steps you took when you turned your life over to God.

Being at peace with God is not automatic because human beings by nature are separated from God. The Bible says, “everyone has sinned and is far away from God’s saving presence” (Romans 3:23). Romans 6:23 adds: “sin pays its wage — death; but God’s free gift is eternal life in union with Christ Jesus our Lord.” Humanity has tried to bridge this separation in many ways — through good deeds or religious acts, for example — but none of these things are enough to close the gap between God and humans.

God’s love is the only way to bridge the gap of separation between God and humanity. When Jesus Christ died on the cross and rose from the grave, He paid the penalty for our sins. In the Bible, Jesus Christ says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one goes to the Father except by me” (John 14:6). It also says, “God loved the world so much that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him may not die but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

If we have surrendered our lives to Jesus Christ and accepted His death on the cross as payment for our personal sins, we now belong to Him. The Bible says this about those who received Jesus and believed in Him: “He gave them the right to become God’s children” (John 1:12).

Sinning doesn’t mean we lose our relationship wit God. If it did, then every little slip-up would put us in jeopardy and Christ’s death, which covers all our sins, would be useless. Nor does waking up one morning “not feeling saved” mean that we’re in spiritual danger. While feelings are a part of life, they are not an indicator of truth. Compare our relationship with God to a marriage. Any married couple will have to admit that sometimes they just don’t feel in love. Their feelings, however, don’t mean that they are no longer married.

Again, good deeds and religious acts don’t give you salvation. However, wanting to serve God and to change your actions are indicators that you belong to Him (see Galatians 5:22-24). The Bible strongly states that true believers have a clear desire to live in a way that honors the Lord: “If, then, we say that we have fellowship with Him, yet at the same time live in the darkness, we are lying both in our words and in our actions” (1 John 1:6). Jesus Christ gives us this promise, “ I give them eternal life, and they shall never die. No one can snatch them away from me” (John 10:28). If you know in your heart that you have committed your life to Christ but you doubt your salvation, look to God’s Word for assurance:

God accepts everyone who calls on His name (Acts 2:21; Rom. 10:13).

God will never push us away (John 6:37).

God’s love endures forever (Psalm 136).

We cannot be separated from God’s love (Romans 8:38-39).

© Starting Point Study Bible

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Forever Secure

Forever Secure

 

“I write these things…so you may know you have eternal life” 1 John 5:13

Many years ago after accepting Jesus Christ as my Savior, I learned an important verse found in Psalm 119:11 “I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” I have determined that this nugget of truth forms the foundation of a secure and unwavering Christian life.

Hiding God’s word in our hearts consists of earmarking those verses that calm, assure, build up, strengthen and encourage us and form the pathway to His peace. During spiritual attack and temptation, His word is our only hope. As Satan fires his condemning, lying, fiery darts, our shield of faith—forged from His word hidden in our hearts—extinguishes those lethal darts.

Jesus Christ did not die on the cross, freely shedding His own life’s blood for us, so our sins could be forgiven most of the time or, almost always. Our forgiveness is once and for all. We are eternally forgiven based on His death and resurrection, not on our worth or works. If you feel you are not totally forgiven, it is a lie from satan, not the truth. We cannot be plucked out of God’s hand.

John 10:27-29 ~“ My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from me, for my Father has given them to me, and he is more powerful than anyone else. No one can snatch them from the Father’s hand.”

John 11:25-26  ~ “Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

John 10:10-11 ~ “I came that [you] may have life, and have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.

1 Peter 1:3-5 ~ “All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation, and we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay. And through your faith, God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see.”

John 6:35-40 ~ “Jesus replied, I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. But you haven’t believed in me even though you have seen me. However, those the Father has given me will come to me, and I will never reject them. For I have come down from heaven to do the will of God who sent me, not to do my own will. And this is the will of God, that I should not lose even one of all those he has given me, but that I should raise them up at the last day. For it is my Father’s will that all who see his Son and believe in him should have eternal life. I will raise them up at the last day.”

1 John 4:4 ~ “But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world.”

Romans 8:38 ~ “And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.”

2 Corinthians 5:17 ~ “Anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!”

2 Corinthians 4:18 ~ “So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.”

God has a plan for our salvation and that plan cannot be thwarted by ANYONE, including you or me. Our salvation  is eternally secure in His hands, not based on our worth or performance. However, when we FEEL unworthy or depressed, we can call upon His Word that we’ve hidden in our heart or open the Bible to find those verses that renew our faith and encourage our souls.

The Road to Emmaus

The Road to Emmaus

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CARVAGGIO: SUPPER AT EMMAUS (1601)


Luke 24:19-32  ~New Living Translation (NLT)


“What things?” Jesus asked.

“The things that happened to Jesus, the man from Nazareth,” they said. “He was a prophet who did powerful miracles, and he was a mighty teacher in the eyes of God and all the people. But our leading priests and other religious leaders handed him over to be condemned to death, and they crucified him. We had hoped he was the Messiah who had come to rescue Israel. This all happened three days ago.

“Then some women from our group of his followers were at his tomb early this morning, and they came back with an amazing report. They said his body was missing, and they had seen angels who told them Jesus is alive! Some of our men ran out to see, and sure enough, his body was gone, just as the women had said.”

Then Jesus said to them, “You foolish people! You find it so hard to believe all that the prophets wrote in the Scriptures. Wasn’t it clearly predicted that the Messiah would have to suffer all these things before entering his glory?” Then Jesus took them through the writings of Moses and all the prophets, explaining from all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.

By this time they were nearing Emmaus and the end of their journey. Jesus acted as if he were going on, but they begged him, “Stay the night with us, since it is getting late.” So he went home with them. As they sat down to eat, he took the bread and blessed it. Then he broke it and gave it to them. Suddenly, their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And at that moment he disappeared!

They said to each other, “Didn’t our hearts burn within us as he talked with us on the road and explained the Scriptures to us?”

The Shield of Faith

The Shield of Faith

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“Hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil” Ephesians 6:16

This would probably go down as one of the most unusual funerals ever. Instead of the typical somber, ultra-quiet atmosphere, a piano, violin and cello played traditional hymns. And each person was greeted by an usher who not only guided them to a seat but handed out New Testaments as well.

Instead of the hushed whispering found at most funerals, this one was filled with light conversation, a few bits of laughter here and there and many, many smiling faces. The source of this totally un-funeral like attitude was a booklet, included with the New Testament given each person, which listed a series of humorous short stories from the man’s life.

Also, unlike any funeral anyone had attended, there was no casket up front. Instead, where a casket might rest, stood an old wooden cross, weathered and cracked. Against this cross, rested a shield; A tarnished, dented, discolored shield.

From the second row a little boy’s voice could be heard, “Grandpa, what is that metal thing leaning against the cross?”

“That was his shield of faith, son!”

Ephesians 6:10-18 The Whole Armor of God

Last of all I want to remind you that your strength must come from the Lord’s mighty power within you. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand safe against all strategies and tricks of Satan. For we are not fighting against people made of flesh and blood, but against persons without bodies—the evil rulers of the unseen world, those mighty satanic beings and great evil princes of darkness who rule this world; and against huge numbers of wicked spirits in the spirit world.

So use every piece of God’s armor to resist the enemy whenever he attacks, and when it is all over, you will still be standing up.

But to do this, you will need the strong belt of truth and the breastplate of God’s approval. Wear shoes that are able to speed you on as you preach the Good News of peace with God. In every battle you will need faith as your shield to stop the fiery arrows aimed at you by Satan. And you will need the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit—which is the Word of God.

Pray all the time. Ask God for anything in line with the Holy Spirit’s wishes. Plead with him, reminding him of your needs, and keep praying earnestly for all Christians everywhere.

1 Corinthians 16:13 Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong. And do everything with love.

Ephesians 1:19-23 I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms.Now he is far above any ruler or authority or power or leader or anything else—not only in this world but also in the world to come. God has put all things under the authority of Christ and has made him head over all things for the benefit of the church. And the church is his body; it is made full and complete by Christ, who fills all things everywhere with himself.

1 John 5:1-5 Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has become a child of God. And everyone who loves the Father loves his children, too. We know we love God’s children if we love God and obey his commandments. Loving God means keeping his commandments, and his commandments are not burdensome. For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith. And who can win this battle against the world? Only those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God.

Colossians 3:1-4 Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory.

God is our shield of faith. He gave it to us and assures our victories in this battle we call life. Since Jesus is the author and perfector of our faith, our job is to take up the shield daily, in preparation for battle. The fiery darts of satan can only be deflected by our shield of faith which we are responsible to carry.

Is your shield of faith dinged, dirty, dented and well-used? Or do you have it safely stored in the closet, shiny and bright, just in case you might need it some day?

Painting The Firewood

Painting The Firewood

 

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On that day, He will set the heavens on fire, and the elements will melt away in the flames. 2 Pet 3:12

During the snack break at the monthly Men’s Fellowship, one of the men called a few others to come see his new car in the parking lot. It was a mild summer evening with lots of light remaining. And there it was, a beautiful, silver Mercedes sedan, fresh from the showroom floor.

The men ooed and ahhed accordingly, looking over every detail, taking in the engineering marvel so sleek, shiny and magnificent. All of the men save one. Terrence seemed indifferent. He tried not to stand out. He didn’t want to ruin the moment. Too late!

The car’s owner asked, “Ok, Terrence, what’s the problem? Do I see a little jealousy or envy creeping in? I’m not bragging, you know. I’m just happy about the new car. I think you would be too if you were honest!”

Tension was filling the summer air now as the men waited for Terrence’s reply. And then it came. “I didn’t want to have this conversation right now, Todd but if you insist, and it seems you have, I’ll tell you what I was thinking.

“I’ve had a few new cars in my life and houses for that matter. I loved each of them…maybe a little too much considering what the Bible says about having idols instead of God and loving things instead of people. I always felt exactly as you do right now, Todd, I loved and admired my purchases. I wanted everyone to enjoy them with me. I felt special when I parked my car and people seemed to stare. I was taking it all in; Until one particular day.

“I was talking with a friend who never seemed to care about having new cars or houses. He was a solid Christian and I’d learned to really appreciate his solid Christ-like attitude. Just being around him caused me to examine my own walk with the Lord.

“We were talking about buying something when he said, ‘Since the Bible says it’s all going to burn one day, you could say we are just painting the firewood when we continue to focus on buying more things!’”

“That was a moment of truth for me. I visualized the earth and the heavens burning in a colossal fireball with all our “things” just adding to the fire. I finally had the right perspective about stuff, about owning more and better things…about painting the firewood, waiting for the great Biblical fireball to occur. I’ve seldom looked at owning newer and better or, for that matter, more things since then. I was set free!

“Of course I still get that glazed look from time to time when I see something amazing…like your new car. But I bring myself back to God’s reality and refuse to get all worked up about owning more stuff. I didn’t want to insult you, Todd but that is how I now live my life now—a little less firewood painting. By the way, another friend calls it, polishing the firewood. So, whichever mental picture works best for you, give it a try.”

2 Peter 3:10-13 The day of the Lord is surely coming, as unexpectedly as a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a terrible noise, and the heavenly bodies will disappear in fire, and the earth and everything on it will be burned up.

And so since everything around us is going to melt away, what holy, godly lives we should be living! You should look forward to that day and hurry it along—the day when God will set the heavens on fire, and the heavenly bodies will melt and disappear in flames. But we are looking forward to God’s promise of new heavens and a new earth afterwards, where there will be only goodness.

Isaiah 65:17 The Lord says, “I am making a new earth and new heavens. The events of the past will be completely forgotten.”

Revelation 21:1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth. The first heaven and the first earth disappeared, and the sea vanished.

1 Thess. 4:15-18 I can tell you this directly from the Lord: that we who are still living when the Lord returns will not rise to meet him ahead of those who are in their graves. For the Lord Himself will come down from heaven with a mighty shout and with the soul-stirring cry of the archangel and the great trumpet-call of God. And the believers who are dead will be the first to rise to meet the Lord. Then we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air and remain with him forever. So comfort and encourage each other with this news.

1 Thess. 5:1-2 When is all this going to happen? I really don’t need to say anything about that, dear brothers, for you know perfectly well that no one knows. That day of the Lord will come unexpectedly, like a thief in the night.

Huge Cloud of Witnesses

Huge Cloud of Witnesses

 

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Since we have such a huge cloud of witnesses watching us from the grandstands, let us strip off anything that slows us down or holds us back, and especially those sins that wrap themselves so tightly around our feet and trip us up; and let us run with patience the particular race that God has set before us.

Hebrews 12:1 TLB

God’s Merciful Plan

God’s Merciful Plan

 

God has told us his secret reason for sending Christ, a plan he decided on in mercy long ago; and this was his purpose: that when the time is ripe he will gather us all together from wherever we are—in heaven or on earth—to be with him in Christ forever. Moreover, because of what Christ has done, we have become gifts to God that he delights in, for as part of God’s sovereign plan we were chosen from the beginning to be his, and all things happen just as he decided long ago. God’s purpose in this was that we should praise God and give glory to him for doing these mighty things for us, who were the first to trust in Christ.

And because of what Christ did, all you others too, who heard the Good News about how to be saved, and trusted Christ, were marked as belonging to Christ by the Holy Spirit, who long ago had been promised to all of us Christians. His presence within us is God’s guarantee that he really will give us all that he promised; and the Spirit’s seal upon us means that God has already purchased us and that he guarantees to bring us to himself. This is just one more reason for us to praise our glorious God. Ephesians 1:9-14