My Salvation and Don't Feel Saved”
By David J. Stewart
“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” —Romans 10:13
Many people experience doubts about their salvation. This is quite common. I myself experienced doubts about my salvation for 7-years after I was saved. Looking back, I now realize that the reason why I feared was because I was ignorant of the Scriptures. As the years passed and I became diligent in studying the Word of God, especially the work of the Old Testament highpriest and the Book of Hebrews, the Lord gave me the sweet assurance of my salvation.
I'd like to share with you several heartwarming truths which the Holy Spirit has taught me over the years, that I am confident will burn your heart with joy and help give you the peaceful assurance that you so desire.
The Blood Sacrifice of Christ
The word “atonement” is an Old Testament word, which means “to cover.” Jesus DIDN'T atone for mankind's sins, He took them away completely, washing them away with His precious blood. Hebrews 10:4 reads, “For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.” The blood of bulls and goats in the Old Testament only temporarily COVERED the sins of the people; but could not save them. However, Hebrews 9:12 states, “Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.” Jesus Himself, BY HIS OWN BLOOD, entered into the heavenly Holy Place to appear before the Father and obtain eternal redemption for us. Jesus applied His blood to the heavenly Mercyseat, just as the Old Testament highpriest had to apply the lamb's blood the mercyseat in the holy of holies. Amen!
Hebrews 9:23 states, “It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.” The Old Testament tabernacle, holy place, mercyseat and work of the highpriest were all PATTERNS of the things in Heaven. According to Hebrews 4:15-16, Jesus is our heavenly Highpriest . . . “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” Unworthily, every believer has a right to boldly approach God's throne of grace because of the precious blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Jesus paid it all.
There is great peace and assurance in understanding that our sins were WASHED AWAY by Jesus blood at salvation— “...and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin” (1st John 1:7). And again in Revelation 1:5 we are told, “And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood.” It is the blood sacrifice of Jesus that saves us; and not our own self-righteousness.
So many believers doubt their salvation—wondering if they prayed the correct prayer or they had enough faith or they were sincere enough—but the Bible tells us we are saved by the precious blood of Jesus . . . “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot” (1st Peter 1:18,19). Our part is simply to believe.
Oh, listen my friend—I don't care what sins you've committed or how far you've gone from God—you may still come to Jesus for forgiveness and salvation. Christ died for the UNGODLY . . . “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.” Isaiah 1:18 plainly states: “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” The Hebrew word for "crimson" is interesting. It refers to a worm used to make clothing dye. Thus, God is saying that although your life may be permanently stained with sin, He can cleanse you as white as wool. This is the power of Jesus' redeeming blood that cleanses our sins away, “...These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” Amen!
Just Enough Faith
“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” —Romans 10:13
God is a promise making and promise keeping God. The Bible contains over 7,000 promises from God—some conditional and others unconditional. God promises in Romans 10:13 that anyone who calls (Greek: epikaleomai, “to appeal unto”) the Lord Jesus Christ SHALL BE SAVED. If we simply come to Jesus to be saved, we will be saved. . . “him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out” (John 6:37). All that God requires for salvation is “just enough” faith, i.e., just enough faith to obey the Gospel by calling upon the name of Jesus for salvation. How much faith do you need to be saved? ... JUST ENOUGH!
God does NOT require a certain degree of faith to be saved. God only requires faith. If you have JUST ENOUGH faith to obey the Scriptures by placing your faith in Christ Jesus to forgive your sins, then you will be saved . . . “To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.”
Now, optimism is NOT faith. As an illustration, consider a chair. Let's say that the chair looks fairly sturdy, but it's difficult to tell if it's reliable enough to stand on. You may say you believe that the chair can hold you up and support your weight, but that's only optimism. You haven't actually placed your faith in that chair until you stand upon it, free of any external support or help. It matters not how much DOUBT you may have in that chair—if you place your faith in that chair by standing upon it, it is no less than 100% trust. This is the same with the Lord.
It matters not how much doubt you may have in the Scriptures or the Lord—if you call upon the name of Jesus to forgive your sins, you have placed 100% trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. It would be mere optimism to say that you believe in Jesus Christ (James 2:19); but it is no less than 100% faith if you personally call upon the Lord in your heart, believing that He is the Son of God and the Savior, and you rely upon His blood sacrifice to wash away your sins. No amount of doubt can keep you from getting saved if you BELIEVE . . . “He that believeth on him is not condemned...”
Fear of the Unknown
During my years of doubt, I often wondered if I had enough faith. The thought of ending up in Hell if I weren't truly saved frightened me horribly, understandably. I recall searching through every Gospel tract I could get my hands on and asking the Lord to save me several dozen times over a 7-year period. I was a young believer, confused and scared.
I remember as a young boy going down into our dark basement. We had a freezer down there and my parents would send me down to get food. The ceiling light bulb fixture had a string that you had to pull to make the light come on. I remember moving my hands around in the dark and feeling for that little string. From the time I opened the door, peering into that dark abyss, until the time I could find that string to turn on the light was a very fearful experience let me tell you. I dreaded going down into that basement. Do you know why I was so scared? It was because I was UNCERTAIN of what might be lurking in the dark.
My fears were based upon what I could not see, and therefore worries filled my mind. I realized one day that my fears concerning salvation were caused by the exactly same thing—UNCERTAINTY of the unknown. I was ignorant of the Scriptures concerning salvation, which caused my mind to be filled with unnecessary fears and worries. As the years went by, and I learned more about salvation and what God expected of me, I began to realize increasingly that SALVATION IS OF THE LORD, and all my worries and doubts were rooted in my failure to comprehend that truth.
What if I Can't Remember the Time I was Saved?
I cannot remember the date, time, nor even the year I was saved. My best guess is that I was about 13-years old. I do remember the place—it was Sunday morning in church, and I remember that for the first time in my life that awkward morning, I experienced the conviction of the Holy Spirit. I recall the preacher saying that a person was not saved if they didn't have the Holy Spirit, and I cried out to Jesus that morning from my pew and asked Him to save me the best I knew how.
From that day until now, I have had the conviction of the Holy Spirit in my life. After I was saved, I began reading my Bible everyday. I recall my mother saying to me, “you've changed.” I stopped cursing my mother as I had done for years previous and began to seek God in my life. I hadn't told anyone about my conversion experience, not even my parents, and I struggled with the assurance of my salvation for several years, not fully understanding Biblical salvation.
I have the assurance and peace in my soul today that I am eternally saved, and that my name is written in Heaven. I do not look to past experiences or what was in my mind and heart back then, I look at what is in my heart today. I know that I am relying upon the Lord Jesus Christ for my salvation today. If I go to Hell, it will be Jesus fault because I am trusting upon Him 100%. But I know I will not be disappointed, for God has promised in Romans 10:11 that I will never be ashamed for believing upon the name of Jesus. My faith is solely in Jesus Christ, because of the literal blood that He shed for my sins to cleanse me and make me whole. I have faith in my heart today, and it matters not WHEN I was saved, because I know I AM SAVED.
I know I wasn't born saved, but I know I am saved today, so somewhere along the way I decided to trust upon Jesus to forgive my sins and become my personal Savior. It matters not when that time was. The important thing is that we are trusting Jesus today, and that we have repented of our unbelief and have acknowledged our guilt of sin for breaking God's commandments, and that we have trusted upon Jesus Christ to forgive those sins and save us. Salvation is simple—we are sorry sinners and Jesus is the sweet Savior. Salvation is receiving; NOT giving. Eternal life is a free gift (Romans 5:15; 6:23). Jesus paid for my sins so I wouldn't have to. This is God's divine justice.
The Curse of Lordship Salvation
The reason why many people are insecure about their salvation these days is because of the cursed teaching of Lordship Salvation, which teaches that believing on the Lord is insufficient by itself to save a lost sinner. The heresy of Lordship Salvation teaches that a person MUST surrender their life to Christ to be saved, making a commitment to cease from sinful living and to serve God with all their heart. That is a false gospel. The very reason why Jesus came to pay our sin debt is so that we wouldn't have to. Romans 4:5-6 tells us that salvation is WITHOUT WORKS, and that Christ's righteousness is imputed to the sinner by faith. Literally, a man's faith is COUNTED for righteousness (Romans 4:5).
Those who teach Lordship Salvation have perverted the Gospel, adding works to faith, and are in trouble with God. The very notion that a sinner must stop sinning to be saved is IMPOSSIBLE. Even the best Christians still commit sin, as evidenced by the Apostle Paul's daily struggle with sin (Romans 7:14-25). Some of the greatest Christians in the Bible, including king David who was called a man after God's own heart (1st Samuel 13:14), were also the biggest sinners. David commit adultery with Bathsheba, impregnated her, and then murdered her husband, Uriah, to hide the sin. God used David to write the Psalms. This degraded theology nowadays that mandates a changed life as a prerequisite to be saved is of the Devil. God saves us so He can change us.
So I say to you, beware of the false doctrine of Lordship Salvation, and also of the hellish doctrine which teaches that salvation can be lost. Both of these heresies are rooted in WORKS SALVATION. If we cannot do good works to get saved, then how can we do bad works to get unsaved? It is impossible! The spiritual birth is as irreversible as the physical birth. The Scriptures plainly teach—If saved, always saved. The very notion that salvation can be lost places a heavy burden upon the believer to MAINTAIN a certain level of self-righteousness to keep salvation. This entirely negates the gift of God and the blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ. How can there be any assurance of salvation if one has to live in constant fear of “sinning too much?” The woeful hypocrisy of those teaching that salvation can be lost is their failure to realize just how sinful they themselves are. If salvation can be lost, then we all lost it a long time ago, because we are all vile sinners in the eyes of God.
All that God requires for salvation is that a person repent, i.e., owning before God that I am as vile as He has declared me to be in His holy Word, and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. The Gospel of John mentions the word “BELIEVE” 85-times, but never mentions the word “REPENT” even once. This is simply because the person who believes has repented, and the person who repents has believed. Repentance and faith are inseparable. Salvation is NOT a process. Repentance and faith are NOT two steps to salvation; but rather, two parts of the same step. Lordship Salvationists errantly separate the two parts, requiring lost sinners to cease from their sins, and then afterwards turning to Christ to be saved. That is a false gospel. A changed life is the FRUIT of genuine repentance; and NOT a part of saving-faith.
Few believers are aware of the dangers of the New International Version of the Bible [NIV]. The NIV teaches Lordship Salvation in Romans 10:9, mandating that one confess “Jesus is Lord” to be saved. The trustworthy King James Bible states something entirely different... “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus...” So you see, a corrupt bible brings forth corrupt fruit, just as Jesus warned in Matthew 7:17... “Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.” The NIV is evil and corrupt.
The Danger of Feelings
Some people “feel” that they are not saved anymore because of sin in their life. However, it is normal for a Christian to “feel” unsaved when they sin, because one cannot feel right if they don't live right. Howbeit, one's salvation is safe and secure in the redeeming power of Jesus' precious blood (1st Peter 1:18,19; Hebrews 9:12; 1st John 1:7; Revelation 1:5). We are not saved by good works; and it is of a certainty that we cannot be lost by bad works. Salvation is receiving; NOT giving. Romans 4:5 plainly states that salvation is without works, and comes only by faith in Jesus Christ Who justifieth the ungodly.
Our confidence in God should be based solely upon the promises contained within the Word of God. Our feelings may fail us, or even betray our faith; but our faith should remain stedfast on the written promises of God. As believers, let us be strong in the Lord, trusting upon the written Word of God instead of our personal feelings, and guard against placing God on trial as the heathen world does.
In John 5:39 Jesus commanded for us to... “SEARCH THE SCRIPTURES; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.” Our salvation is grounded in the promises of God's Word and we ought to look to the Word of God for assurance and peace concerning our salvation.
“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS; and all these things shall be added unto you.” —Matthew 6:33
The Bible teaches that we are saved by Christ's righteousness, i.e., the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ which God charges to our record at the time of salvation. Romans 4:5-6 tells us, “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works.” Amen! God imputes (to charge to one's account) the righteousness of Jesus Christ to the believer by faith. What a great God!
Many people battle with the assurance of their salvation because they are focusing on themselves rather than upon the Lord's work of redemption. We are NOT saved in even the slightest way by our own self-righteous efforts. Our salvation is of God, completely, and we have nothing to do with it other than to BELIEVE ON THE LORD JESUS CHRIST (Acts 16:31). It is not what we do for Christ that determines our eternal salvation; but rather, what Christ has done for us at Calvary.
We are saved by believing the gospel. 1st Corinthians 15:1-4 defines the gospel as Christ's DEATH, BURIAL and miraculous RESURRECTION from the dead three days later. Simply believe it oh sinner, making the gospel your hope for Heaven, and the work is done! John 6:28-29, “Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.”
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