Faith, In Christ, salvation, The Good News

Are You Saved and Assured of Your Salvation?

I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one (John 10:28-30 NIV).

Picture by dotlizard (Karen Kelly) @ Rgbstock

Revelation That Leads to Salvation

All people, everywhere, experience revelation from God about Himself. “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse” (Rom. 1:20). Some receive clearer revelation than others. Jesus said, “If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin” (John 15:22). Sadly, because people are sinful, they tend to marginalize God or completely negate Him, suppressing what He reveals (Rom. 1:18-20).

Some people experience a dramatic encounter with God on their life’s journey that brings them to salvation. Consequently, it is easy for them to know the moment that they have become a “new creation” (2 Cor. 5:17). For many others, salvation is not a clearly identifiable point in time. However, even though they cannot pinpoint when it happened (and may even misidentify the timing), the miracle of their behavioural change makes them know that at some point they must have been “born again” (John 3:16). They might not even know these terms, but, if explained to them, they will identify with them.

Salvation Examination

Many other people who have believed in God and His Son, have ended up falling away. This is because they never fully understood. Instead, they believed in their own notion about God and His salvation. Consequently, they had never come to be justified by God and born again.

Paul told the members of the Corinthian church, “Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you–unless, of course, you fail the test?” (2 Cor. 13:5). From his words, we can deduce that merely thinking that you’re in the faith is no real evidence of actually being in it. However, being spiritually joined to Christ, so that He lives within you, is Paul’s definition of whether or not someone is truly in the faith.

Evidence of Salvation

God’s word has a range of evidence that can help a person identify whether or not they been saved from spiritual death to eternal life. Here are just three of them:

  • An inner witness. One evidence that you’re actually in the faith, with Christ dwelling within you, is an inner knowing. Paul writes, “The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children” (Rom. 8:16).
  • A supernaturally changed life. Another witness to true salvation is a supernaturally changed life. This is because Love Himself has joined Himself to that person. Jesus said, “…whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a fount of water springing up to eternal life” (John 4:14).
  • A witnessing life. There’s an overflow about God and His goodness that comes from the mouths of those who are saved. This is because God, and what He has done to save us, really is good news. After all, Jesus said, “Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them” (John 7:38).

Caveats Concerning Salvation

Not all Christians excel in all of the above evidence. That said, to live their new life to the full, they ought to grow in each of them. Also, although the fruit of a person’s life is usually the clearest evidence of salvation (or the lack thereof), many loving, generous, and pleasant people are unsaved. Conversely, there are many saved folk who are caught up in selfishness, worldliness, and sin. Consequently, we don’t always know who has been saved, therefore, we must not simply assume that someone is or isn’t.

On another note, not everyone who has been saved has understood that biblical faith gives assurance of salvation. Consequently, despite being justified by God, these folk may, at times, because of sin and feelings of unworthiness, feel unsaved.

Assurance of Salvation

God has gone to great lengths to lead people to a faith that saves and to assure them of their salvation. For example, the apostle John says in his gospel, “…these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name” (John 20:31). Then, in a letter to believers, John says, “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life” (1 John 5:13). God clearly wanted people to believe and, having believed, be assured of their salvation.

Assurance of one’s salvation is often found on the journey of discipleship. For, even after someone is saved, they will continue to receive revelation about their salvation. Consider what Paul had prayed for the Christians in Ephesus: “[I always pray] that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may grant you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation [that gives you a deep and personal and intimate insight] into the true knowledge of Him [for we know the Father through the Son]. And [I pray] that the eyes of your heart [the very center and core of your being] may be enlightened [flooded with light by the Holy Spirit], so that you will know and cherish the hope [the divine guarantee, the confident expectation] to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints (God’s people), and [so that you will begin to know] what the immeasurable and unlimited and surpassing greatness of His [active, spiritual] power is in us who believe” (Eph. 1:17-19a, Amplified Bible).

Are You Saved?

All people have sinned against God, nevertheless, because of His great love for the world, He offers salvation as a free gift to everyone who repents and receives Jesus as Lord of their life. For He sent His Son, Jesus, to live a perfect life and take our sins upon Himself so that we could be acquitted. Having risen from the dead and ascended into heaven, Jesus offers mercy and new life to all who humble themselves and come to Him.

Rob Morley

In Christ, Life in the Spirit, The Law

The Christian and God’s Moral Law

The Law
photo by Alex Bruda

Under the Law

In the Bible, ‘the law’ often refers to the covenant that God made with Israel, which Christians know as the Old Covenant. It required of them, amongst other things, to keep God’s moral law. It is especially in this regard that Paul called it a ministry of condemnation (see Gal. 3:10). For, though it was good, in that it highlighted God’s perfect moral law (see Rom. 7:12), it pointed out the error of those who were ‘under’ it, thereby condemning them.

The law was unable to save those who were ‘under’ it from the penalty of their past, present and future sins. Nor could it save them from their sinful nature or enable them to keep its requirements (see Rom. 8:3). It essentially pointed out human sin and sinfulness, and to their desperate need for another way. The Bible puts it like this: ‘Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith’ (Gal. 3:24).

The same principle is also true for those not ‘under the law’ (i.e. those not part of the Old Covenant). This is because, ‘They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them’ (Rom. 2:15 NIV).

In Christ

In contrast, Christians (Jews and Gentiles who believe in Christ) are in a new covenant with God. And, though we also seek to fulfil God’s moral law (see 1 John 5:3), we don’t do this by being ‘under the law’ (i.e. under the Old Covenant), but by being in Christ. We no longer try in our own strength to satisfy the law’s requirements in order to please God or avoid His punishment. Instead, the good news is that Jesus’ substitutionary sacrifice satisfies all that the moral law of God requires of us, justifying us (see 2 Cor. 5:21). Furthermore, His life in us enables us to keep His commandments (see Php. 2:13 & Rom. 6:4). This is especially true when we as a matter of lifestyle ask God to empower us by His Spirit and when we walk in step with His Spirit (see Eph. 5:18 & Gal. 5:25).

‘Therefore, my brothers, you also died to the Law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit to God’ (Rom. 7:4).

Rob Morley

In Christ

From Dark Past to Profound Purpose

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Photo by JAZ1111 http://www.rgbstock.com/user/jaz1111

Who You Were to Who You Are

The Old Testament exodus narrative helps us to understand our own past and, more importantly, our purpose as believers today.

Old Testament Type

The Old Testament contains many types of our own reality. Consider these scriptures:

Now therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples, for all the earth is mine; and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. (Ex 19:5-6).

But the LORD has taken you and brought you out of the iron furnace, out of Egypt, to be a people of his own inheritance, as you are (having been obedient?) this day (Deut 4:20).

The ‘if’ shows that being God’s people in the Old Testament was conditional.

New Testament Reality

Consider how these New Testament scriptures use the imagery and terms of the Old Testament to help us understand our own reality in Christ:

you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ ( 1 Pet 2:5).

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light (1 Pet 2:9).

Faith in Christ, that produces obedience, is the only condition to being God’s people. Have you come out of spiritual darkness and become one of God’s own? Have you discovered your profound purpose? Do you need a Reorientation Miracle to help you see the light?

Rob Morley

In Christ

Bound Again Christians

Bound Again?
Bound Again?

Christians in Bondage

As Christians, we teach on the wonderful truth of the freedom that’s found in Christ, yet, our lives often tell a different story. It appears to me that we’re often just as enslaved to wrong ideas, evil systems, traditions of men and even false religion as anyone else.

Any freedom that we have in Christ gets smothered by the nonsense that we think. Rather than experiencing freedom as a lifestyle, we’re left with only moments of knowing real freedom.

Captured in our Minds

Captured by thoughts that we haven’t renewed and by the negative influences from the world around us, we’re unable to access the freedom that Christ has given. Strongholds of thought so pervade our thinking that even scripture gets wrongly interpreted to slot in with our deep or current views on life.

“As a man thinks in his heart, so is he” aptly describes the fragility that people have to their thought life. Enslaved by wrong thinking, we become what we think.

Slavery that will Free You

Paradoxically, it’s by becoming a slave to Christ that we are completely freed. It’s therefore sadly ironic that Christians are, in some ways, often more enslaved than even before. Imagine the wasted sacrifice! Christ died to set us free and we create more bondage.

Sure, we are freed from the wrath of God and His judgment on sinners, but aren’t we also liberated from so much more – from sin, Satan and this world?

Bound Again

”Do not love the world or the things in the world” is pretty plain to understand, but often so untrue of our hearts. And, sadly, when we let our hearts run off after these desires, God’s word says of us that “If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in him”.

The Bondage of Religion

We were warned by Jesus to “beware of the leaven of the Pharisees”, yet we’ve become masters of speaking of freedom while baking with the leaven. You see, the solution to the things that easily entangle us is not in a religion which promises that if we keep the rules we will be blessed. Because we can’t!

Yet, don’t we put this on one another by the way we judge, rather than pray; scoff in our minds, rather than help; and by generally making anyone not making the grade feel unwelcome?

Bound for Freedom

Knowing that we are unable to keep His commandments, God’s solution was to give us a new life and join us to Christ, so that He can live His life through us. It’s here, in Him, that we can know true freedom.

Now that we are bound to Christ in spirit, let’s remain bound in heart and mind also. For, it’s only in this way that we will experience true freedom in all areas of our lives. Perhaps, by remembering what it means to be a slave, we can discover all the freedom Jesus has for us!

Jesus says, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:29-30).

One way or another we are all slaves. Who or what are you a slave to?

Rob Morley