Are You Truly Saved?
The certainty of salvation is related to the high price God paid to accomplish it.
…you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.
Sometimes, what most people believe to be true is dangerously wrong. In 1847, Hungarian physician and scientist Ignaz Semmelweis died in an asylum due to a hand infection from the abuse he received there. Ironically, he’d been committed to the asylum by a colleague offended over his passionate campaign to convince his peers to wash their hands before surgery. Years after Semmelweis’ death, Louis Pasteur's and Joseph Lister’s research led proved the link between unsanitary surgery and dangerous infections, and careful hand-washing became mandatory for doctors.
How could the smartest, most experienced people have been so wrong? Their beliefs and practices — and the way they protected them — cost lives! Do you think any of the beliefs most confidently held by many people around us could be spiritually dangerous? Read on for some surprises from the Bible.
Priests… who taught idolatry
In Jeremiah’s day, his country of Judah had become idolatrous. God made Jeremiah warn the people. He added that they would fight against him and not listen to him. (Jeremiah 1:19, 7:27) The prophets and priests didn’t know God. (Jeremiah 2:8) They promoted lies for their own profit. (Jeremiah 6:13) In Jeremiah 7, God warned them that trusting the misleading words of their teachers would not save them:
Do not trust in these deceptive words: ‘This is the temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD.’ (Jeremiah 7:4)
This shows what the people were thinking. They thought they were saved just because they had God’s temple. (See also Jeremiah 7:10) God reminded them (Jeremiah 7:12) that it was He who let the Philistines capture the Ark of the Covenant. (And also forced them to send it back! (1 Samuel 4:4-22, 6:21))
Students of Abraham and Moses… who disregarded their accounts
John the Baptist announced the coming of Jesus, tackling his hearers' assumptions head-on:
"And do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father,’ for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham." (Matthew 3:9)
When the religious leaders later began to attack Jesus, “They answered him, 'Abraham is our father’” (John 8:39) But He pointed out that they’d rejected Him and planned to kill Him for telling them the truth (John 8:40), while Abraham had rejoiced that he would see the day of Christ. (John 8:56-59) They claimed to be Moses’ disciples, (John 9:28), but Jesus said, “…if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me.” (John 5:46)
What about us?
It doesn’t take too much work to find Biblical evidence that when God’s teachings are distorted, they give people a false hope. What are some of today's common misconceptions that are spiritually dangerous? Here are a few:
- "I don’t need to know more about God. I’m confident I’m a better person than most, and to condemn me would mean He’d have to condemn the majority of people. I’m sure a good God wouldn’t do that.” (See Matthew 7:13-14; James 2:10; Revelation 21:27)
- "I can say the “our Father” or “Hail Mary” enough times to balance out my sins.” (See Matthew 6:5-13; Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5-7)
- "A religious leader or ritual can absolve me of my guilt.” (See Acts 4:12)
God’s self-revelation is a wonderful act of His grace to all mankind. Jesus suffered a cruel death in our place (Hebrews 2:9) and was judged like a guilty person by His Father (Isaiah 53:6, 2 Corinthians 5:21), completely satisfying (Isaiah 53:11) God’s requirements, so that those who believe in Him are made “perfect forever.” (Hebrews 7:25, 10:10-14)
Both the Old Testament and New Testament have examples of people being careless with important truth. Nothing is more important than how we are made acceptable to God. Jesus’ final cry, “It is finished” (John 19:30) meant all of God’s requirements had been satisfied. The record of debt, with all its legal demands against us, had been nailed to the cross, paid in full by Jesus’ own blood. (Colossians 2:13-14) That’s the best news in the world for those who believe. But it’s really bad news for those who aren’t willing to be reconciled to Jesus. Jesus warned they are "condemned already.” (John 3:18) If there were another way to make us clean, God’s Son would not have endured this torture. (Galatians 2:16-21, 3:21) But because Jesus rose from the dead after making this statement, (Romans 4:25, 6:5, 8:11; John 5:21; 1 Peter 1:3-5) we can be certain He is able to receive us into His presence without any fault. (Jude 24)
Pray this week:
Jesus, how grateful I am for your work to purify me. Please build my faith and gratitude, that I may be useful for you, my Lord and Savior! Amen.
We’d like to ensure you are 100 percent certain you have a clean slate! Use the link below to contact a caring volunteer who will be able to show you how you can have this certainty.