I know a lot of people who struggle with their faith. One of the major things that they struggle with is the authenticity of their salvation. I know that this is a topic of discussion for many people in the Christian community and there are opinions that fall on both sides of the argument. I absolutely stand on the position that we are once saved and always saved. There are a lot of verses that are used to make an argument on both sides of the debate, but this is one of those times that I don’t want to focus on the verses and lean on my heart. I want to be careful because I have tried to stay away from using my heart in making theological decisions and I have tried to make truth the cornerstone of my faith and of my ministry. With that being said, I acknowledge that the experience of our faith and the experience of truth plays a vital role in our relationship with God and our spiritual growth. Nonetheless, I think I am straying from my comfort zone, but maybe that’s a good thing.

Everything that we believe as Christians and ultimately our salvation is based on faith. The apostle Paul talked at length about the need for a trust of Jesus and of the saving work that He accomplished that cannot be explained empirically. I think that God made it this way on purpose. I think that He is a God of order and I also think that part of His order is the need for faith. I don’t think that it’s blind faith, but the need to trust totally when it’s not a decision that can necessarily be made totally by logical deduction is imperative. It came to the place where Paul just stated when questioned repeatedly by skeptics that I know that I know that I know. When it comes to salvation and whether we are saved, it does come to that place. At the same time, it is easy to see why some people struggle.

I want to offer some of my own logic based on truth but still from experience to relay my belief of irrevocable salvation. First, I don’t think that you can unring a bell. The sound and the power of the reverberation can never be reversed. Like our words and actions there can be an attempt to diminish or negate them, but the action itself lives on forever. I don’t think that it is possible to receive complete forgiveness for your sins, receive eternal life, have the Holy Spirit take up residence in your heart and have that in any way be reversible. I can’t imagine what that looks like and I don’t think that it happens. Ironically, feelings that i am using to justify eternal salvation can be used to feel that we have lost our salvation. This is where I will turn back to truth.

I think that there is this idea that when we are saved that the Christian life is just a bed of roses and all of life is just going to be great. I don’t think that this could be further from the truth. First, Jesus declared that they hated Him so they will hate us implying that salvation and a walk with Him will cause outside forces to attempt to make our life miserable. Now, we have the Holy Spirit to counteract that and while we can have joy we will still be persecuted in this world, Satan;s world. Second, while our destiny is secure our present and future are still enormously impacted by our past. Now, I know that God delivers us from past hurts and attitudes as He replenishes what the locusts have eaten, but in general that is not immediate and takes time as we are sanctified. I think that a major issue is when we see an incongruence with our destiny and our present actions. Glorification was never promised to us this side of heaven and when it is seen as a truth I can see why people question their faith. Just because our sins are forgiven doesn’t mean that we don’t sin any more.

Which brings us to another issue. After we are saved and have the Holy Spirit living inside of us it can feel, at times, that we sin more and feel worse about doing it. I don’t think that we sin more, but the presence of the Holy Spirit does make us more acutely aware when we do sin. Some people construe feelings of more sin as reality. Often, people will feel the need to get saved again or question their salvation all together when this occurs. This is where grace has to take over and we understand that we are more aware of our sin and that this awareness should drive us closer to the One who saves for healing. We must also understand that while God is conforming us into His likeness He does not hold the process against us. The only thing that God sees when He looks at us is His son. This is what allows us to be in His presence to benefit from the sanctifying process. Someone once said to me that a simple test of whether a person is really saved is found in the statement that dead men don’t wrestle. The simple premise is that the struggle between our old nature and the Holy Spirit creates awareness when we sin and an uneasiness about it. The same feelings that cause people to question their faith is the thing that assures it.



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