Assurance of Salvation (Video 1)
Quite a few years ago, I was in a meeting of church pastors and leaders. The leader of the meeting asked for a secret poll of how certain we were that we were saved. 1 would indicate we weren’t very sure at all, and 10 would indicate we were totally sure of our salvation. We wrote our number on a small sheet of paper, anonymously, and passed them in.
Out of about 100 people, most of which were pastors, the most frequent number was a 6, which is what I wrote. Only 4 who wrote 10, and only 4 wrote 9, and only 2 or 3 who wrote 1. Most wrote 5, 6 or 7. This tells you most people’s assurance of their salvation is not very high. And, over the past 20 years, I’ve observed, and have even asked people this question about salvation. Results have been much the same. Today I would write a 10. Maybe even a 10 plus. The gospel gives us so much assurance.
Salvation, or being born again, is the most important aspect of the gospel. After all, we can’t get to heaven without being saved, can we? Oh, I know there is the universalist who believes everyone goes to heaven when they die, and there is the other end who believes there is no heaven. But the Bible is clear we must be born again, which means being saved by trusting in the finished work of Jesus.
Most people have lingering doubts about their salvation. The thought is, “What else must I do to be sure that I’m saved, and will have eternal life with God?” This was the question the rich young ruler asked Jesus: “What must I do to be saved?” Because the man was living by the law, his focus was on what he DID. Jesus gave him an answer based on the law, and listed a few commandments.
But in gospel reality, it is not keeping certain commandments that gets us saved, and born again, and into eternal life with God in heaven. The gospel is clear: it is by God’s grace that we are saved, through our faith, and even our faith is one of God’s gifts to us. Salvation is not by our works, or by what we DO, so none of us can claim any credit for it (Eph 2:8-9).
Paul goes so far as to say that God chose us in himself before the foundation of the world (Eph 1:4). Now, that’s a pretty long time ago, isn’t it? He says the same thing in another place, by saying salvation is not because of our works, but according to God’s grace, before the world began (II Tim 1:9).
You see, our salvation is not dependent upon us doing anything at all. It’s dependent on us believing God, and trusting him enough to simply live life in the reality he declares to be true. This is what the gospel does for us: it declares the reality of God that we are simply meant to believe and live. The gospel is meant to straighten out our thinking, and transform our thoughts. This is what this coaching session 2, on salvation, will do for you if you will simply have ears to hear gospel truth.