God’s gift of salvation is inexpressibly great! When we consider everything He offers us in Christ–forgiveness, new life, strength for today, hope for tomorrow, an exciting eternity with Him–it’s overwhelming.
But it can also be challenging for Christians to believe that they won’t somehow lose hold of this precious gift; our own knowledge of our sin, our struggles, our shortfalls, can create uncertainty in our hearts.
Darrell B. Harrison reminds us that this battle for our hearts continues until we recognize the depth of God’s mercy, once and for all:
“I think one way Satan attacks believers is to have them convinced that their salvation is a matter of their works, so from the moment they slip up in the slightest, their salvation’s in question. Satan wants that doubt to creep into their mind and heart: that’s the battlefield.”
How do we handle these doubts? Start by remembering all God has done for us. He is the one who loved us–even though we were His enemies–and chose to be with us, as one of us, Emmanuel.
“It is a strange way to save the world. God chose to send his Son into the world in the most lowly condition possible, born as a baby in human flesh (and in a dirty, dingy manger). He emptied Himself, scripture says, to become like us, to save us. Of course, as human beings, we’re sinful and innately corrupt in our hearts: we need a savior…and the way God chose to do it is something we can believe, and we can grasp onto.”
“But in our nature, we always want to add something to it; we want to add our own works, our own effort, our own ability to what God Himself has done. I think that’s another pathway into the mind and heart where Satan likes to trip us up: having us believe that we have to augment a completed work–that Christ has already accomplished–with our own works. It’s kind of like salvation with an asterisk, as though it’s ‘in the fine print’ that we have to add to the work that Christ has already done. For some reason, we just can’t believe that is as simple as the gospel tells us it is.”
Part of believing God is trusting that what He says in His word about salvation is exactly what He meant:
If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. Romans 10:9
“The gospel is not easy, but it is simple. The gospel is not some magic pixie dust. Even after you come to faith in Christ, it’s not as if we become perfect–the struggle with the flesh goes on.”
“We have to understand that our minds must be continually renewed. The best way to do that (combined with a consistent prayer life) is getting in the Word of God, immersing yourself in His Word, and refreshing your mind with the truth so that you can fight that battle victoriously against those arrows of doubt that Satan wants to send your way.”
If you’re born again, a child of God, Jesus Himself is with you. He has promised to never leave or forsake you! And as we abide in Him, His own grace covers us–not by condemning our failings, but conforming us closer to His likeness, day by day.
Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full. John 15:9-11Resting assured in salvation