13 Mar 2005

How can know I am really saved without ever doubting again?

Submitted by theshovel
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I keep tripping from time to time over the salvation issue as it applies to me. Mostly it comes about from something I’ve been reading and as I’m learning to pass the fearful thoughts off now as coming from the enemy and bad teaching, lucidity eventually returns and I wonder how I could have ever doubted my salvation to begin with. I did finally come to see that salvation is a permanent thing and I gained great relief and freedom from that truth. —guest

The “salvation issue” is a fabrication of the religious mind. And no, I don’t mean salvation is make-believe, instead I refer to its having become an issue. You can’t help but trip over an issue because an issue is subject to the interpretation of legal argument. In other words, salvation as an issue will always be up for grabs to whoever presents the most binding case based upon Scriptural proof-texts. This is just as true today as has always been, even during the time when Jesus was confronted by the Scriptural authorities of that day. Salvation as reality is Christ - being as sure as Christ himself - so that when realized for what it is will find itself being testified to by the very same “Scriptures” that seemed to contradict it.

but then I came upon certain Scriptures that hit me with the fear that maybe I was never saved to begin with and I spend days walking around with a big question mark over my head and repeating the ‘sinner’s prayer for the umpteenth time to be sure! —guest

Countering the fear brought on by the religious mind with a formula may seem to help for time but a formula only feeds into the religious mentality with all its arguments and legalities. Yeah, I did the “sinner’s prayer” thing only once … and it was after I had been in Bible College for a semester. I remember it clearly because I had not “prayed the sinner’s prayer” when I first came in contact with what I thought to be the only true presentation of the gospel from that Bible College. Years before, in front of a televised Billy Graham crusade I vividly remember being impacted by the message so as to do the silent thing along with the crowds flocking the stage on my screen. Yeah, I was so self-conscious that I tried not to appear as if anything was going on inside me because my grandmother was sitting in the chair across from me to the left. Anyhow, when I “did” the invitation thing at my Bible College I was in full understanding that it was one of those just-in-case “accepting Jesus as your savior” things. Yeah, just in case God might hold me to a technicality of not having “done the one thing necessary”. Such is the religious formula. And that’s what you’re doing with each and every repetition of the “sinners-prayer”. We think to reassure God that we belong to him … as if maybe he is in question of the reality he brought about in Christ. Trying to get a handle on “good doctrine” is also another kind of formula, one by which we hope to assure ourselves that our “belief” is correct: aka the salvation issue. But while looking to make sure there are no Bible verses that contradict our belief that we are saved we find contradictions to our viewpoint. That’s what happens when we turn the Bible into some kind of manual or instruction book instead of recognizing that the letters were testimonials of this great salvation … which is Christ.

And then the thought hits me that maybe I’m not one of the ‘chosen’ and so it doesn’t matter how much I want to be saved or how many times I pray the ‘sinner’s prayer’ because if I’m not of the ‘chosen’ then there’s nothing I can do to change that no matter how much I want to and despair sets in. It’s a vicious circle I find myself within in between my sane bouts of ‘lucidity’, let me tell you. —guest

Yep, a vicious cycle! And it’s the very same despair as one who can’t find the door to the room they’re already in. :)

I should be over this by now and I’m wondering if there’s something seriously wrong with me. Is this normal for a Christian? Have you ever gone through these bouts of confusion like the one I find myself in right now? How can I get over this and know I am really saved without ever doubting again? Is that even possible? —guest

You ask if it’s normal for a Christian to go back and forth as you have and I’d have to say that even though the experiences of many seem so different they all pretty much share the same common causes. Don’t worry about judging yourself according to anyone else’s experience, instead let such things testify to the common struggle brought on by the mind of fleshly reasoning. See the confusion for what it is and it will dissipate. In 2 Corinthians 10:3-4 Paul stated, “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses.” As long as you and I try to war according to the flesh - by use of religious and doctrinal formulas - we will find the doubts and confusion that are inherent in the fleshly mind.

How can I get over this and know I am really saved without ever doubting again? Is that even possible? —guest

Is it even possible … that’s a good question. I say that because I’m pretty sure the question comes from the false hope of finding the right formula, the right frame of mind, the right belief system, the right answers, the right view of the Bible, etc that will finally bring an end to the struggle. If so, it’s not possible for there is no end to the doubting even with the best training … even though so many have claimed to get beyond it using their techniques. Who you truly are does not doubt despite the fact that your reasoning insists upon it. Thoughts? Love, Jim


I read what you wrote to me and have been chewing on it and digesting it and mulling it all over, and over again. I ought to have known better than to think you’d lay it all out for me very simply and say ever so plainly, “Yes, you are saved.” or “No, you are not saved and these are the reasons why, boom, boom, boom.”  :>) Although I’m new to your site, it hasn’t taken me long to see that you like to help people along in contemplating and thinking things out for themselves, but between you and me, there sure is a big part of me that was hoping and wishing you would have had an off kinda day and had been in such a rush that you would have made a hasty exception in my case. Hah! No such luck. :>) Well, thinking and contemplating never did hurt anybody, I guess, except for the occasional brain-overload headache. ;>)   You asked if I had any thoughts. Yes I do! And some more questions, too, if you can stand it. :>) Unfortunately, it’s in the wee hours of the morning here and my brain is not wanting to cooperate with me right now in forming the questions in a coherent manner. :>) It’s been in overload mode with all this mulling and chewing, if you must know! ;>) It wants to go to bed and get some rest, and so I’m going to let it. I will try to gather my thoughts and questions and present them to you in the next few days. Thanks so much, Jim, for your kindness in bearing with me in my confusion.guest

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Comments

“Anyhow, when I “did” the invitation thing at my Bible College I was in full understanding that it was one of those just-in-case “accepting Jesus as your savior” things. Yeah, just in case God might hold me to a technicality of not having “done the one thing necessary”. Such is the religious formula. And that’s what you’re doing with each and every repetition of the “sinners-prayer”-Jim I can remember struggling Majorly early on in Christianity as I have mentioned many times before. At that time there were many people who reached out to ‘fix me’. One of those attempts at fixing me was while attending a church service- I had a lady who I had explained my feelings of condemnation to[she was a friend of my moms] walk over to me in the middle of a ‘alter call’ to encourage me to go forward and receive Christ again knowing full well I was already a Christian and had been seen by her as a vibrant and joyful person just a few years before. I can remember hearing the warning in my inner self that if I did ‘go forward’ that I would be setting myself up for a cycle of legal doubts that would haunt me for years to come. Over time I started to learn through experiences like that . In fact I think I started to really get a deep insight into the situation with the Hebrews. This experience helped me to see what exactly they were doing. For they were trying to be renewed to something that could not be taken away to begin with. The reason I never got solid footing after seeing this was because there was too much misunderstanding surrounding certain wording in the New Testament in books like Galatians and Colossions etc. There were too many words that made it seem like ‘falling away’ was indeed possible.[like in ‘falling away from grace’ in Gal] Over the course of my experiences and as years of confusion rolled by, I started to see the floor drop off all of those concerns. For the floor was dropping out because God was indeed allowing that to happen. This game, this illusion, this false outward impression of God and His salvation was crumbling before me as I just watched one strike after another come against it’s outward image. I was and still am not being allowed to play wording games anymore. For those words are not the Word who is invisible! I know that sounds nice but, something tells me I don’t even behold it’s true impact that way I ought to. For it strikes a blow to the voice that screams into our ears ‘how could the WHOLE WORLD be wrong?!’

So how can we know for sure we are saved?

By making your doubts the means of your assurance. Doubts come by the inner conflicts that themselves come by the incompatibility of our inner man with our flesh. These same conflicts only confirm the new life that we have, they do not disprove it. Georgi
theshovel's picture

Excellent response, my friend Georgi, for what you suggest hangs upon the truth that God is in us, rather than upon a truth that can be intellectually grasped. As if it could be grasped. We berate ourselves for those doubts that come our way, and yet as Georgi has proposed ... let those doubts reveal the truth of the conflict within you. Let them cause you see the life within you that is not understood by the intellect you and I have been taught to trust so much. Those doubts will cause you to realize that there is no confidence to be found in the flesh. Then you will realize what you already know within you.

Jim

may sound too simplistic but my first thoughts were:

know the SOURCE of salvation ~  Jesus Christ Himself in you … the real, sure and ETERNAL Life

know the source of doubt ~  anything and everything ELSE that makes the claim to salvation … lies that come from the mind of the world as opposed to the mind of Christ which is ours inherently as His saved ones.  :)
 
Christ Himself is our Salvation … our Life … our all.  it is found in no other and none other.  our Salvation is completely dependent upon His Life as our own.  it is not dependent upon anything we could have ever formerly brought about, much less maintain or sustain.  He is the dependable One.  the Spirit of GOD HIMself in Christ Jesus is our Confidence and Assurance in this New Creation Life He has made us. 

our Life is hid with GOD in Christ Jesus.  we can't be more secure than that! :)

know that 'doubt' is sourced from OUT-side.  we and Christ are found safely and securely IN-side together with one another.  when you discover 'doubt' trying to swallow you up, remember it has no place for you.  it is sourced in a lie from the father of lies.  and the father of lies loves nothing more than to use 'religion' to keep his lies alive.  you do not own them. they do not own you.  give them no place.  pay them no heed.  recognize them for what they are and call them what they are … LIES.  lies create delusion and illusion.  they go hand in hand. 

the TRUTH is Christ in you the Sure Hope of glory.  not an elusive ethereal kind of hope.  the REAL-thing HOPE, for HE HIMself IS our Hope.  :)  HE HIMself is our HOPE and GLORY!  :)

i dunno … i just LOVE to know the SOURCE.  it is so very supportive.  :)

and i very much enjoyed your responses, Georgi and Jim!  :)   :)

heart

theshovel's picture

Hello Sherri ... and thanks for your wonderfully encouraging comments! Yes, everything comes back to the simple reality of Christ in you, the hope of glory. For most, I'm sure this whole thing comes across as ethereal. But then again, everything about the true God makes no sense to the intellectual mind. It simply cannot compute, but rather comes across as absurdity. But the absurdity of Christ is life.

Jim

Yes thanks Sherri for your desire to encourage! That’s a cool thing! What a God thing yes? This is what got stirred up for me here: I wonder to myself just how many of these terms we use in Christianity really mean something to those we want to help? Take for instance the word “glory” or the the phrase “the hope of glory”. I have to wonder if people actually even know what this is in our Gentile/ non Jewish world today? Oh some may/might due to some specific religious training but, you just never know, ya know? Now I am NOT discounting the REALITY itself working in us who are in Him all the while not actually knowing what these terms mean but, just the oversight that i make when I share with others who may have never heard the terms before. lol!! Thank God He STILL gets the reality through though somehow eh?? Love, Adam

the 'glory' i believe Paul to be speaking of, for instance and especially in Colossians is this idea and the purpose of Christ: 
to present you holy, and unblemished, and un-blameable before Himself (youngs literal translation)
if that helps.
the word 'glory' in the dictionary:
Word Origin & History:  glory
c.1300, “magnificence,” from O.Fr. glorie, from L. gloria “great praise or honor,” of uncertain origin. Gk. doxa “expectation” (Homer), later “opinion, fame,” and ultimately “glory,” was used in Biblical writing to translate a Heb. word which had a sense of “brightness, splendor, magnificence, majesty,”
any glory we may have hope of from the Father is found in and from Christ Jesus concerning the New Creation that we are.  :)  our glory and hope is Christ Himself.
glory in and from any other person, thing, circumstance, situation, etc. is desired from the lies and deception of the mind of flesh …  that mind that we have been freed from in Christ Himself.  those who desire true acceptance with and from GOD … meaning that acceptance according to GOD's desire - know it is only found in Christ Himself and is provided through His Spirit in the New Man - the New Creation.
it all goes back to the miracle of GOD provided in, by and through Christ Jesus and His Spirit IN the New Man - the New Creation that He has made us.
i hope that helps.
heart

Such a servant He is in u, thanks Dignz!

Adam

:)   thanx Shovel-dude.  :)  

i was thinking how we are so often convinced that we must and can only 'know' things concerning GOD and man intellectually.  that is understandable from the mind, reasoning and viewpoint of the world/flesh.  but truly, we know our knowledge is a spiritual one.  GOD is Spirit and is known by Spirit.  we have HIS Spirit to 'know' HIM and the things of HIM, which now includes us in the things of HIM, since our Life is now hid with HIM.  it is all miraculous, being from HIM in the first place.  :)

so as we speak of, from, by, with and concerning Him and us, then His Spirit within recognizes and testifies within us that these things are True.  we can not explain it satisfactorily to the mind of the world.  the mind of the world and the mind of Christ are enmity one with the other … diametrically opposed. therefore the need for a miracle intervention by GOD, Who IS Christ Jesus and the NEW Creation.  :)

ethereal ~  tho't i would look that up:  heavenly, celestial, spiritual.  so i guess that is not so bad a word, except that it is usually used in a separated sense … up there/down here kind-of-thing … GOD can not be reached by man … HE is waaaaay up there and man is waaay down here, etc. 

the GOOD NEWS is that Christ has made it possible for man and GOD to be united by His Spirit.  i think of that famous painting of Michaelangelo's Creation where the finger of man and finger of GOD are reaching but not touching.  in Christ there is no need to 'reach'.  we are MORE than 'touched' and 'reached' by GOD.  we are miraculously united with HIM in Christ Jesus.  a NEW Creation!  :)  yea!  :)

anyway … i will stop now.  LOL  i just find it all so very encouraging and supportive!  :)  thank you so much for all the support and encouragement concerning Christ!!   :)

heart

theshovel's picture

What an excellent illustration to describe our reality in Christ! No more reaching and stretching in hopes of finally meeting, but rather we have already been united to God in Christ. :) Wonderful. Thanks!

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