Have you ever wondered if your salvation is secure? Maybe you have prayed the “sinner’s prayer,” attend church regularly, and may even read your bible daily, but is your salvation secure? I am not here to act as the Holy Spirit in your life and tell you whether or not you’re saved; nor am I here to give you a “salvation checklist” that can confirm your salvation. Rather, this is a blog written to help you reflect on some things that will give clarity on the security of your salvation.
It is very normal to wonder whether or not you are saved. I know for me, there are times I feel I am not saved either because I don’t “feel” God or do not feel worthy enough. Because of this, I have prayed the “sinner’s prayer” more than once. If you are like me, you sometimes wonder if your salvation is secure. I can’t tell you whether or not you are saved. That is God’s job and only he can know for sure. What I can do is present you with a question regarding your salvation: What can we ask to see if our salvation is secure?
The question shouldn’t be a matter of if we prayed the correct “sinner’s prayer”, if we read our bibles enough, attend church regularly or even if our morality is up to par. These metrics don’t work because we can’t find salvation in any of these things. In John 14:6 Jesus says “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Because Jesus is the only way to God, we must ask a different question: What do you boast in? Jesus is the only way to God. When we boast in anything other than him, we are trying to find the security of our salvation in the grips of insecure things.
We must look honestly and humbly in the mirror and reflect on what we boast in. Even as a Christian, it is easy for me to boast in things other than Christ. There are many things we boast in: children, our spouse (or any relationship for that matter), careers, looks, talents, performance, and most of all, our morality. These things give us a false sense of security. We don’t get to God by presenting him our children, money, abilities, or good morals. We get to God by presenting the only thing we can: our sin. Once we surrender our sin to Jesus, we can boast in the one who justifies us; we can boast in Christ.
If you are a Christian, it is easy to boast in things other than Christ, especially our good works. I am not saying that if you do boast in yourself or things of this world that you are not saved. What I am saying is that we need to recognize the object of our boasting. Throughout our whole lives we will battle against our flesh and must strive to boast in Christ alone. You don’t just wake up one day and from then on always boast in Christ. This is a lifelong process filled with grace (2 Corinthians 3:18).
Within the Gospels, we see two contrasting examples of boasting. We have the Pharisees and the thief on the cross. The Pharisees boasted in their morality. They believed their salvation was secure in their good works and in their keeping of the law. The thief on the cross boasted in Christ. He realized he was a sinner deserving of death, but through Christ he could spend eternity with God. Here is the dialogue that took place between the thief and Jesus. The thief said, “’We are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.’ And he said, ’Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.’ And he said to him, ‘Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise’” (Luke 23:41-43). The thief on the cross boasted in Jesus and that is why his salvation was secure. Both the Pharisees and the thief on the cross knew Jesus and even interacted with him. The difference is what they boasted in. The Pharisees boasted in themselves and their morality while the thief on the cross boasted in Christ.
Sometimes we feel God is on the top of Mount Everest and the only way to reach the top is by using the right tools, exercising enough, and getting lucky at certain points. We believe with the right combination of things, we can reach the top. That’s true of Mount Everest, but not true of God. There is no way to reach God within our own power, but thankfully for us, Christ is the means by which we reach him. When we try to get to the top by our own means, it’s as if we are on a treadmill. We duck our head, tighten our arms, and begin to walk. As we walk, we feel like we’re making progress, we may even feel tired at points. As one second of walking turns to one minute, one hour, one day, one month, one year, one decade, to one lifetime, we stop walking, take a step back, catch our breath, and look up only to realize we haven’t made any progress up the mountain. We’re exhausted and may even feel satisfied with all our hard work only to realize nothing we did moved us closer to the mountain top.
When we boast in anything other than Christ, we are on a treadmill going nowhere because no one gets to God except through Christ. When we boast in Christ, our salvation is secure because he is the only one who can secure our salvation. We can either be like the Pharisees who believed their salvation was secure in their morality or we can be like the thief on the cross. We can admit we are sinners deserving of death and find salvation in the one who was punished for us: Jesus Christ. So ask yourself, what are you boasting in?