Wednesday, May 26, 2010

How to be sure

From Street Fishing -

How tragic it would be if we went through life thinking we were saved and then woke up on Judgment Day to find out we were mistaken! But the Bible teaches that this will be the case with many people. Christ said, "Many will say unto Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name? and in Thy name have cast out devils? and in Thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from Me, ye that work iniquity" (Matt.7:22-23).

However, we do not have to go through life without the assurance of salvation. In 1 John 5:13 the apostle says, "These things have I written unto you...that ye may know that ye have eternal life." How then can we have this assurance? This is the most important question we will ever face in life because our eternal destiny is at stake! The Bible teaches that those who remain unsaved will spend eternity in a place of perpetual torment (Matt. 25:46; Rev. 14:9-11). The reason for this is because their sin has not been paid for, and God's perfect justice requires that payment be made for sin (Rom. 6:23). Therefore, it is vital that we know the answer to this question. This is why the Apostle Peter wrote, "Give diligence to make your calling and election sure" (2 Pet. 1:10).

It is true that we must believe in Christ in order to become saved (Acts 16:31), but how can we be sure we have genuinely believed in Him? Certainly we cannot rely upon our feelings since feelings can be misleading. Some might suggest we can be sure by acknowledging the facts of the gospel or saying the sinner's prayer. However, the Bible indicates it is not possible to believe without being regenerated because by nature we are spiritually dead (Eph. 2:1 cf. 1 Cor. 2:14). This is why Christ said, "Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God" (John 3:3). Therefore, we cannot know we have truly believed until we know we are born again.

But what does it mean to be born again? Is this some kind of emotional experience? No, the Bible teaches that being born again means our life is changed. In 2 Corinthians 5:17 we read, "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." The Bible also tells us what changes will take place in our life when we are born again.

C.H. Spurgeon


Ike said...

Steve Martin said...

"Born again." dows that happen?

Jesus said it, "from above."

"One must be born of water and the spirit."

There it is again. Baptism. What about the spirit? In Acts we are told that God gives the Holy Spirit in Baptism.

In 1st Peter we are told that "baptism now saves you..."

Can God save apart from baptism? Certainly He can! But He has also chosen to save in baptism. It is His external, visable Word of promise to us, where He baptizes. He does the work, not us.

Ike said...

Being born again is "regeneration". A regenerated man will be baptized.

Steve Martin said...

Sometimes it works that way, Ike. Sometimes people are baptized first, as with me and all of the Reformers and almost all Christians for a thousand years before Luther.

Jesus told us to "go...baptize and teach about Him..."

Baptism is God's work... not ours.