If you have NEVER recognised Jesus as your personal Saviour then it is the most important thing you will ever do and we exhort you do so now. Click here for some guidance to help you make that first step of faith in Him. However, if you know that you have already taken this step in the past please read on…
From time to time we come across people who are worried that they’re “not really ‘saved’”. These are genuine believers, people who have recognised Jesus as having died to make atonement for their sins and invited Him into their lives. Their worry is palpable and causes them a lot of anxiety and yet they are people who care about pleasing God and serving him rightly. So why all this self-doubt, why the fear and anxiety about their salvation and their ‘worthiness’ to be a recipient of God’s Grace, love and mercy?
If this is something that you suffer from then this article is for you, so I hope you’re listening. Firstly, in a way, your anxieties and fears are evidence that you are a believer because they prove that you care deeply about God and your standing before Him. However, you are not supposed to stay there. Realising our weaknesses and need for a Saviour will help bring us to the cross of Jesus. Then we can receive, by faith, his forgiveness and peace.
“Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.” James 4:10
Secondly, being anxious that you’re not saved will not make you unsaved, but it will rob you of the blessings and benefits of knowing God’s peace and joy in your life.
One thing to always remember is that your salvation is not primarily about you; it’s about Jesus. It’s not about your strength and ability, it’s about His. That’s what the Bible means by ‘the wisdom of salvation through simple faith in Christ Jesus’ 2 Timothy 3:15. Your question shouldn’t be, ‘Am I saved?’, it should be ‘Is Jesus able to save me?’ And if the answer is ‘yes’, (and it most certainly is, “For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” Romans 8:13), then your fear is flawed, there is no question that Jesus, if you want Him to be, is your Saviour.
The Unpardonable Sin
It’s no surprise that someone who is struggling with this doubt is often also troubled by the following verses from Matthew 12:31-32 “And so I tell you, every kind of sin and slander can be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.”
So let’s have a look at what’s going on here. First of all, Jesus is talking to the religious leaders of his day who are accusing Him of using the power of the devil to heal the sick and cast out demons. This was their only option if they rejected the truth that Jesus was from God. If you are anxious that you may not be saved I think we can safely say that you don’t believe that Jesus was using the power of the devil (rather than the Holy Spirit).
Secondly, if you have committed some awful act of sin in the past, and most of us have, it may be that you feel this has disqualified you in some way. If not from heaven, then certainly from God’s blessings. You may know on some level that you are saved but feel that having committed this sin has excluded you from ever fully being used by God (for example, to heal the sick or receive revelation of His will).
I’m not going to make a list of sins here because that would not be helpful. But what may help you is knowing that most of the saints in the Bible, from both the Old and New Testament, did practically every bad thing we can think of. Moses was a murderer, King David was an adulterer, Rahab who is mentioned as a great hero of faith (in Hebrews) was a prostitute, the Apostle Paul (who wrote most of the New Testament) describes himself as the worst of sinners. If your past is bad then you are in good company with the saints – that’s why Jesus died for you!
No sin is beyond the redeeming work of Jesus. Thank Him, receive his forgiveness – repent and move on with thankfulness. The Holy Spirit brings conviction to bring you into repentance, forgiveness and closure – His aim is peace and life – let Him do this work in your heart and allow Him to bless you with the peace, love and joy God always meant for you to have.
In Colossians Paul exhorts the young churches:
“So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.”
Colossians 2:6-7 NIV
This is great advice. We come to Jesus with trust and a submitted heart and that is how we stay living in Him. We cultivate this relationship through reading the Bible (I recommend you spend some time in Ephesians) and being honest with God (praying!). Tell Him about your worries:
Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you Psalm 55:22
The enemy (the accuser) may whisper doubt and condemnation into your mind, but we know this is not from God as “there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1 NIV).
Jesus is all sufficient and all powerful to save and restore, and you belong to Him. So listen instead to the voice of the Holy Spirit in your heart that testifies that you are now a fully adopted child of God (Romans 8:16). Break all agreement with the enemy and live like a child of the King.