How Do You Know You Are Saved? - As Seen on Sunday
Thanks for loving me, for adopting me, and for setting me free from my sin.
I am sorry for when I doubt your love.
I am sorry when I don't keep in step with your Spirit.
I know that you hear me and that you forgive me.
Help me walk worthy of your great calling.
The very moment a Christian accepts Christ she is indwelled by the Holy Spirit. It is truly a miraculous event. The God of the universe takes up residence in your innermost being and slowly begins a work within you that last until you cross over from this life to the next.
But there comes a great responsibility with being a Christian. We are to "keep in step with the Spirit." We most certainly have our part to play in the Christian walk. We are not spiritual robots. We have been given a free will and that free will must choose to keep in step with the Spirit of Christ.
Francis Schaeffer, who I will borrow heavily in this sermon reminds us,
But there is a big problem - though we are free from the chains of the sinful flesh we tend to carry them around. We tend to listen to their beckon calls to sin and rebel. Often we trust our sinful nature because we know our sinful nature - it has been our identity since birth - and we trust our sinful nature more than the new voice of the indwelling Holy Spirit.
Satan takes these moments of rebellion and pounces on them. He desperately tries to convince us that we are failures, that God won't love us, and that we were never saved in the first place.
"How can you call yourself a Christian when you act like that?" He taunts.
"A real Christian would never do that and you do it all the time." He jabs
"You call yourself a child of God..." He mocks.
And are tepid hearts are apt to believe the lies. We respond,
"There is no way God still loves a rotten sinner like me."
"I am such a failure."
"How can God ever forgive me?"
It is easy for us to become very unsettled in our faith. As Schaeffer points out:
Paul knows this and this is why he reminds us,
We don't have to be afraid or forlorn, we are not slaves that are full of fear. We are not in danger of being re-chained and bound again to the sin nature that we have been freed from.
No, we have been adopted by God. We are his children and he is our Daddy God.
With Great Responsibility Comes Great Comfort
Paul writes these words to remind us that there is a great responsibility in being a Christian. He is calling us to do some real soul searching. It is daily responsibility to ask ourselves, "Am I living up to the high calling of God?"
Are we "keeping in step with the Spirit" moment by moment? Is every action bent toward the will of God and not against it?
And we know that we will fall short of this glorious challenge. We go through peaks and valleys of "getting it right."
But instead of our shortcomings being chided with strict condemnation (please remember Romans 8:1), Paul reminds us of our Christian responsibilities with the most comforting thought a human could have - we have the full assurance that our Daddy God will be right there to pick us up when we fall.
Our Papa God will always:
- Love us
- Forgive us
- Correct us
- Change us
We have this full assurance and we need not doubt or fret.
Have we fallen? Yup.
Are our lives shattered? Yip
God waits to pick us up. This does not minimize the challenge to share day by day in Christ’s victory over sin. At the same time, however, there is His gentleness (Schaeffer once again).
We do well to remember this and also to look forward to the crown of this chapter - verses 38-39:
Overtime: Extra Assurance
We can always rest on these three P's when we begin to doubt our salvation,
The Promise - "He who believes on the Son has everlasting life" (John 3:36) We can always rest on God's Word. If he says it we have great peace and assurance that he will keep his word.
The Progress - The life of the Christian is ever changing and getting better. Is there any evidence of the fruit of the Spirit in your life? If so, it didn't get there on accident.
The Presence - "The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are the children of God." There are those fleeting moments when you just know. The Holy Spirit testifies to our spirits that we are God's children. Have you had a moment like this lately? If not it might be good to quiet your soul and listen for a little while.