Email brought me a devotion that intended to provide Christians with the assurance that they were right with God. Unfortunately, it accomplished just the opposite.
Are you saved?
"Am I Really Saved?" the article's title asked. Then it offered, "10 Ways to Know for Sure." The ten indications that supposedly assure Christians they are saved were:
- Christians have a new outlook on life
- Christians have an aversion to sin
- Christians have an abundance of love
- Christians have a hunger for the Word
- Christians have an attachment to the Body of Christ
- Christians have a removal of shame
- Christians have a discovery of new gifts
- Christians have a new sense of intimacy with others
- Christians have a new sense of fellowship with other believers
- Christians have a yearning to proclaim Christ to others
The assurance is not in you
Will the ideal Christian life have these characteristics? Absolutely. But if I am attempting to find comfort that God loves me based on my aversion to sin or my abundant love for others or my yearning to proclaim Christ or any of these ten characteristics, all assurance disappears. Christians strive for these characteristics, but none of us achieves them.
Paul spoke for every believer, "I fail to do the good I want to do. Instead, the evil I do not want to do, that is what I keep doing" (Romans 7:19, EHV).
The assurance is in God's grace
And with Paul we find our assurance of forgiveness and unlimited love, not in ourselves, but in our God. Romans 7 continues, "What a miserable wretch I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? [Pay close attention to the answer to Paul's question.] I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord!" (Romans 7:24,25, EHV). Add to that, the guarantees of the next line Paul wrote, "So then, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus" (Romans 8:1, EHV).
We know there is no condemnation for us in God's courtroom because Jesus was condemned for us. We know there is only acceptance in our Father's arms because nothing is "able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 8:39). We know eternal life awaits us in heaven because we "are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus" (Romans 3:24).
Are you really saved? Never look to yourself to answer that question. Always look to the Son of God's death on the cross for you and the guarantees he grants you in this resurrection.