I have been a Christian for almost forty years now, and yet there are still times when I doubt my salvation. Due to some significant issues that happened to me when I was very young, I have had an unhealthy fear of God rejecting me.
Then there are times when I totally ‘mess up’ by doing things completely wrong. I do not love God or other people in the way I should. I get irritated, wanting to do my own thing rather than considering other people's desires, not praying and praising the Lord or sharing my faith with others in the way I should. That is when the enemy taunts me with thoughts like “there’s no way you are saved, the way you behave”.
However, I am encouraged by Hebrews 4:14-16, ‘Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathise with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are-yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.’
Ephesians 1:13-14 is also encouraging. ‘And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession to the praise of his glory’. We are sealed securely in Christ, which is truly amazing.
It is wonderful to know that, once we have personally accepted Jesus as Lord and Saviour, we are justified and completely forgiven of all our sin, past, present, and future. No sin can ever stand between us and our loving Heavenly Father. Jesus stood in our place and took upon Himself all the punishment we so rightly deserved. Therefore, we are reconciled to Him forever. This is by no means an excuse to sin by presuming on God's grace. Any sincere Christian who has truly repented of their sin has a deep desire not to sin.
The only basis for our assurance is an implicit belief in Jesus Christ as our only hope of salvation. It doesn’t depend on how good I am or how much I achieve in life, how clever I am or anything else the world would regard as important.
The words of the hymn by Edward Mote encapsulate the gospel perfectly. ‘My hope is built on nothing less, than Jesus' blood and righteousness; no merit of my own I claim, but wholly trust in Jesus' name. On Christ, the solid rock, I stand - all other ground is sinking sand, all other ground is sinking sand’.
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