WHAT IS THE FOUNDATION?
The first thing to know and believe is that the Bible is inspired by God:
“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, v17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2Timothy 3:16-17)
“Knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, v21 for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” (2Peter 1:20-21) Although men spoke and wrote the Bible no Old Testament book was written by men giving their private interpretation about God’s matters. They spoke/wrote only as moved by the Holy Spirit. So the Holy Spirit was the big part in all of these writings and men were the small part.
As the Bible is God’s inspired Word therefore it is always the reliable foundation on which to place your faith.
DOES GOD SAY THAT A PERSON CAN KNOW THAT THEY ARE SAVED?
The receiving of eternal life is part of salvation. “That whoever believes in Him should not perish (meaning go to hell) but have eternal life.” (John 3:15)
“These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.” (1John 5:13)
Therefore a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ as their Saviour, can know that he/she is saved.
HOW DOES A PERSON GET SAVED?
WHO PAID THE PRICE FOR OUR SINS?
“For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, v4 and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.” (1Corinthians 15:3-4)
“… but now, once at the end (fulfilment) of the ages He (Christ v24) has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.” (Hebrews 9:26)
“But this man (Christ as shown by v7 & 9) after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down at the right hand of God.” (Hebrews 10:12)
The infinite (i.e. limitless) God judged His infinite Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, on the cross for all our sins.
HAS CHRIST DIED FOR ALL THE SINS OF AN INDIVIDUAL?
(God v12) “… having forgiven you all trespasses.” (Colossians 2:13)
“And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32)
DID THE LORD JESUS DIE FOR EVERYONE IN THE WORLD’S SINS?
“And He Himself (Jesus Christ v1) is the propitiation (the One Who has paid the price) for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the whole world.” (1John 2:2)
As the world has about 7 billion people in it and say that each person only sinned, on average, ten times during the day (and it would no doubt be more than that) then there would be seventy billion sins for Christ to take the punishment just for one day. What about the sins in the last week, or month, or year or century? This shows that the sacrifice of Christ on the cross was truly great and wonderful.
WHAT IS FAITH/BELIEF?
Faith involves mental agreement to the facts and trust in the facts.
An example is: “And (Abraham v16) being fully convinced that what He (God v20) had promised He was also able to perform.” (Romans 4:21). God had promised something to Abraham that was naturally impossible but Abraham believed God that He was able to do it.
“For I (the apostle Paul v1) am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.” (Romans 1:16)
“And he (the prison keeper v27) brought them (Paul and Silas v25) out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” v31 So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved.” (Acts 16:30-31)
Faith takes account of, or considers, God and His Word, never of myself and circumstances.
WILL EVERYONE IN THE WORLD BELIEVE IN CHRIST AS THEIR SAVIOUR?
“But as many as received Him (Christ as seen from v9-10), to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.” (John 1:12)
So sadly not everyone one will believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation.
SO HOW DOES A PERSON KNOW THAT HE/SHE IS SAVED?
(Jesus said v25) “But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep, as I said to you. v27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. v28 And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish (meaning go to hell); neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. v 29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand.” (John 10:26-29)
The moment that a person trusts in the Lord Jesus Christ as their Saviour they have double security. Both the Lord Jesus and God the Father have grasped us firmly in their hands. There is no one, neither the devil, demons, powerful presidents on earth nor even yourself, who can take God’s gift of eternal life away from you.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)
If a person were to be promised eternal life, but then have it taken away, it was never “eternal” to begin with. However as the Bible is God’s Word therefore the eternal security promises are true.
“And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. v12 He who has the Son (as Saviour) has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.” (1John 5:11-12)
Eternal life is found by trusting in the Lord Jesus. As seen in John 1:12 above when a person trusts in the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour, He comes to live in them. You might not feel any different but that is what God says happens. So if you have the Lord Jesus as Saviour you therefore have eternal life.
“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Romans 5:1)
Due to our sins people do not have peace with God. But once people have trusted in Christ as Saviour they are made right with God (justified) and have peace with Him.
“For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:26)
“Beloved, now we are children of God.” (1John 3:2)
At the moment you trust in the Lord Jesus you become a child of God and God becomes your spiritual Father.
“Who (“you” Christians v4) are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” (1Peter 1:5)
To start with believers could not save themselves because they are sinners which means they can never do good works that can save them. Also, after faith, they cannot keep themselves saved. It is not their faith that keeps them but they are “kept by the power of God”. “In the last time” means for the believers, i.e. Christians, when the Lord Jesus comes to the air He will take them home to heaven (1Thessalonians 4:13-18).
When a person is saved they will have a different attitude to God’s Word, the Bible.
“Your word is very pure; Therefore Your servant loves it.” (Psalm 119:140)
“As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby (or by it).” (1Peter 2:2)
“Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You!” (Psalm 119:11)
They will realise that the Bible is the truth and will want to grow in learning it.
Believers will want to be obedient to God’s Word.
“Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. v4 He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” (1John 2:3-4)
Instead of doing the wrong things of the world the believer knows that he should not and will obey God’s Word.
WILL THE BELIEVER IN CHRIST NOW BE PERFECT?
“For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.” (Galatians 5:17)
No. There is constant conflict in the believer’s life between their eternal life (and the Holy Spirit, that dwells in the believers from the moment that they trust in Christ), and the sinful nature that is still there and that God calls the “flesh”.
WHAT ABOUT SALVATION AND FEELINGS?
Many people doubt their salvation because of their feelings or the lack of them. The Bible has much to say about salvation, but nothing to say about “feeling saved.” We live in a feeling-oriented society and sadly Christians can think of salvation in terms of their feelings. However feelings are unreliable and our emotions are untrustworthy because they are up and down. They can be affected by the simplest circumstances e.g. a headache, a cloudy day, a thoughtless word from a friend, which can make us feel discouraged and doubt things. Such people can then question their salvation and relationship with God. “Do I really love God?” “Does He really love me?” “Am I good enough?” However do our circumstances change God? No is the obvious answer. So what we need to do is stop thinking about ourselves and our feelings and instead focus on God’s truth which is in the Bible.
Every believer has occasional doubts. Whether or not you have doubts is not what determines whether you are a Christian. The fact that “God is faithful” (1Corinthians 1:9) is what matters because He keeps His Word.
Faith takes account of, or considers, God and His Word, never of myself and circumstances.
“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13)
Instead of doubting God wants us to live with confidence! We can have the assurance from God’s own Word that our salvation is sure.