Monday, October 21, 2019

Anonymous Asks (63)

“If I doubt my salvation, am I still saved?”

Doubts are a part of life. If you have never had them, you simply haven’t lived long enough yet.

To understand the answer to this question, it is necessary to consider how we were saved in the first place. Paul answers it very simply: “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

Put your trust in the resurrected Christ, then acknowledge his right to rule. Over the world. Over your life. In public. Not complicated. These are the beginnings of the salvation process.

Faith and Works

James complicates it a little (but not much) by pointing out that the reality of our belief is demonstrated by the way we live after making the public claim that Jesus is Lord. Good works are the evidence of true faith. If nothing about our lives changes, and we make no effort to do the things the word of God tells us to do and to stop doing the things it tells us displease the Lord, then we cannot have any confidence that we have truly believed, or that we really know Jesus as Lord at all. Good works do not save, alone or in combination with anything else. But genuine belief in the resurrected Christ inevitably produces good works. It cannot be helped.

Eternally Secure

Now, if we have truly trusted Christ, we are in a very safe place indeed. Jesus said, “This is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.” Those who truly believe are given by the Father to the Son, and these people, Jesus said, “I will never cast out.”

That should inspire a fair bit of confidence. Our salvation depends on the Father, who promises eternal life to believers, and the Son, who promises not to cast out those the Father has given him.

Faith in What?

Not everyone who comes to Christ understands this right away. A person can be truly saved without perfectly grasping the way in which his or her salvation has been accomplished.

Still, nowhere in the New Testament do we find even the slightest suggestion that our salvation depends on believing in our own salvation, or in our own ability to always do the right thing. If we are fixated on ourselves, we may well be saved, but we certainly won’t enjoy our salvation or feel confident in it.


  1. I see a contradiction here since it is indeed implied that good works save, just that it is so in combination with faith. As James says, both are required.

    Personally so I would go even a little farther and suggest (bet? too bad I could not collect on the other side 8-) that Christ will not turn down a person who has been good in their life and when they finally (perhaps even on or shortly after their deathbed) realize they were wrong.