WEEKLY WORD: How do you know?
By Coulter Page, Senior Pastor, Bethany Alliance Church
I recently conversed with someone about the question of how to know if you are saved. After having this conversation with this individual, I was then shown a book that a fellow pastor was reading on the very same subject. So, as I prepared to write this devotional, I couldn’t help but realize that this may be a very important thing to answer. How does one know they are saved?
Answering that question is not a great starting point though. You really must take a couple steps back. The first step back you take is to answer, “How does one get saved?” While I plan to help answer that question, I believe there is one step further back you must take. The question you must start with is, “What do we need saved from?”
The Scriptures answer this very clearly when Paul tells us that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23 ESV). Each and every one of us has sinned. We have defiled the image of God — God made us in his image (Genesis 1:27) — and thus personally offended and hurt God.
Nobody is exempt. Coulter has sinned. You have sinned. Everyone has sinned. Why would we need saving from that?
Paul tells us in Romans that “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23 ESV). The ramification for our sin is death. Physical death has entered into this world because of sin (Romans 5:12-14), but along with this a thing known as spiritual death has entered as well.
This is the separation from God. This is the original punishment that God put upon Adam and Eve as he cast them out of the Garden (Genesis 3:22-24). God could not be around sin. He is holy and perfect and could not and cannot let sin into his presence. As sinners, we cannot enter his presence in our current state. That is where we begin to answer the second step in the question: How does one get saved?
Unlike all other religions in the world, God took care of this. In every other religion and belief system, it is up to the individual to be enough or do enough to save himself/herself from the problem. My God did something different. He said, “You can never do enough or be enough, but I can!”
We are told that God became flesh in the person of Jesus (John 1:1-18). Jesus is recorded as living a very human life, experiencing all our trials and temptations, yet managing to live perfect, holy, and sinless (Hebrews 4:15).
Living sinless, Jesus died on a cross in our place. He took the punishment that we deserved as he hung suffocating on the cross. He died. He was buried. Praise be to God, he did not stay dead. On the third day he rose (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). Do not miss what significance this has. By raising from the dead, he shows that he defeated death and ultimately sin.
Jesus defeated the problem. Jesus solved our issue. What we could not do, God did. What we could not solve, God did.
How does one get saved? As Paul says it so elegantly, “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” (Romans 10:9 ESV). All it takes is belief in who Jesus is and what Jesus did. That is what it takes to be saved.
You do not have to do more. You do not have to say more. You do not have to conjure anything up. You just have to believe and confess that Jesus is the real deal.
That brings us to the original question, though. How does one know if they are saved?
You know because you believe and confess. If you can truly say that Jesus is God, Jesus came and lived a sinless life, Jesus died on the cross, and Jesus conquered death and sin in my life, then you are saved. You do not have to question. You do not have to wonder. You can have assurance.
Today, I invite you to have that assurance and be reminded of that assurance. Confess and believe with me that Jesus is who he says he is.
Heavenly Father. I know that I have sinned. I know that I have fallen short of your glory and your standards. I also know that you did not leave me to fix it myself. I know you came in the person of Jesus. I know you lived a sinless life. I know you took my place upon that cross. I know you conquered death and sin. I place all of my sins on you. I place all of my life into your hands. I know that through Jesus I am saved. Thank you for new life. I give you mine. Amen!
Did you just personally connect with this devotional? Did you pray that prayer of salvation? We, at Bethany Alliance Church, would love to celebrate and journey forward with you into this new life. Contact us to let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, calling 641-228-1318, or Facebook messaging @BethanyAlliance. We want to be a support moving forward. Hope to hear from you and possibly see you Sundays at 10 a.m. at 1100 Clinton St.