Am I really saved if I still have doubts?
I will begin by assuring you that this question is not uncommon, especially amongst those who have recently asked the Lord Jesus to enter their lives. Often people expect instant change and the very fact that 'radical change' is missing causes doubt. In order to deal with the numerous emotions, you may be feeling it is important to establish the answer to the question “am I really saved?.” As you may have discovered, asking this question over and over again often creates further doubt, confusion, worry and uncertainty and therefore it is wise to come to a conclusion and to be in a position where you are able to live your life with assurance and peace. I would encourage you to consider the following three points; we must all face the facts, find the faith and be free from feeling.
In the words of Billy Graham the famous evangelist, “fact, faith and feeling. They come in this order, and the order is essential. In this order, you will have the joy and confidence of one who can say, I know whom I have believed.”
Although on first thought we may think that faith comes first, the facts of salvation must be truly understood. Many people have a wrong view of faith and salvation and this, unfortunately, leads to an incorrect belief that knowing the facts is the same as having the faith. It is an undeniable and unchanging fact that a person is saved through personal faith in Jesus Christ. We are all born sinful and this sin means that we are separated from God. Through Christ’s death and resurrection we can find forgiveness - here lies the fact about. true salvation. Without this fact, there would be no faith. It is as a result of this fact that we can have a Christian faith. Don’t miss-understand me, fact does not mean faith rather faith is believing these undeniable facts and applying the facts personally to our lives through acknowledgement, surrender and commitment.
The first question I would encourage you to ask yourself is ‘do I believe these facts?’ Do I believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God, that I am sinful but that he died for me and all I must do is ask him to enter my life and forgive me?
If you can answer in the affirmative then the next question to ask is ‘have I acted upon these facts?’ It is one thing having knowledge of these facts and perhaps believing them, but it is a wholly different thing to act upon them. If you believe these great Biblical truths, have acted upon them personally and asked God to forgive you for your sins then the Bible wonderfully asserts in Romans 10:9, “if you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
The Bible says Jesus died on the cross for you. Do you believe this? Are you thankful for this? The Bible says that upon the cross Jesus made forgiveness of sins possible and said that whoever believes in him and asks him for the forgiveness of sins will indeed be forgiven. Do you believe that by dying on the cross Jesus made the forgiveness of sins possible? Have you personally acted and turned to Jesus for his cleansing?
Finally, this brings us to being free from feeling. Whilst experiencing emotions and feelings is important and necessary, it is vital to accept that feelings do not save rather Jesus does. A person is forgiven and welcomed into the family of God by trusting in Jesus Christ. Feelings naturally play an important role in the life of a Christian (such as dealing with sin and guilt, being filled with the joy of the spirit, living in love and feeling filled with passion), however, one must realise that salvation is not a matter of feeling but a personal acknowledgement of the facts and personal response to them - the act of repentance, surrender and trust in and indeed through the Lord Jesus Christ.
How do you know your standing with God? How can you know if you are truly saved? I would encourage you to take a step back and ask yourself these three questions:
- Do I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that He died and rose again conquering sin and death?
- Do I believe that I can have salvation by giving my life to the Lord Jesus?
- Have I asked the Lord Jesus to forgive me for my sins and to come into my life as Lord and Saviour?
If your answer to these three questions is truly a positive ‘yes!’ then you can be sure that you are saved and no matter what you are feeling, you can rejoice that your salvation is based not on imperfect human emotion but by faith in the triune and wonderful God of the Bible.
You may be asking 'but why am I still sinning and feeling like the same old wretched person' and by thinking this way you may possibly be doubting your salvation. I would like to encourage you and remind you that there is a significant difference between pursuing a life lived for God and perfecting a life lived for God. The Bible is filled with great Christian men and women who fail, make mistakes, doubt, sin and rebel. While we are on this earth we will mess up but we can be confident that because of our faith and the mercy of God when we fall short of His perfect standards we have the promise that God is faithful to forgive and restore us. 1 John 1:9 wonderfully proclaims, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 2 Corinthians 13:5 reminds us that if we are in the faith it is good to “examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realise that Christ Jesus is in you – unless, of course, you fail the test?”
In conclusion, I would encourage you to think upon the things above and consider if you have asked Jesus to forgive you and to come into your life. If you have then you can be confident that you have life in and through the blood of Jesus. It is not uncommon or wrong to experience doubts from time to time however you should always “Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.”