At some point, most believers will question their salvation. And there’s nothing wrong with doing that. In fact, periodically examining ourselves and our faith can help us grow as believers (2 Corinthians 13:5).
But sometimes, questioning our salvation has nothing to do with spiritual growth and everything to do with our enemy. What better way to cause sorrow, turmoil, and discomfort in the life of a believer than by having our enemy whisper in our ear that we may not have salvation.
And he does this many different ways. One way is by reminding us of our past sins and by making sure those sins are front and center in our minds so that we don’t concentrate on Christ’s redeeming love for us or his forgiving grace.
Another way is by suggesting to us that our faith was just a fleeting idea and that nothing concrete came of it. He does this by reminding us of a time when we were passionately on fire for Christ. He then convinces us we must not be a true Christian if that fire and passion has slowed down in any way.
But one of his favorite ways of getting us to question our salvation is through our failure at resisting temptation. He convinces us that a true believer is obedient to God and only an unbeliever would fail and give in to temptation.
In other words, he does what he can to break our connection with God — as well as our spirit — by reminding us of our weaknesses and failures. His attacks are vicious and unrelenting, with the sole purpose of convincing us that God is a liar and we are not saved.
But God has graciously provided believers with assurance of their salvation; assurances recorded by the apostle John in the New Testament (1 John). Besides offering us security in our salvation, John’s letter also reminds us that we know Jesus Christ (1 John 2:3); that we are the children of God (1 John 3:1); that we belong to the truth (1 John 3:19); and that we have eternal life (1 John 3:14).
Additionally, John’s letter describes what authentic and true Christian faith looks like. And while no one can perfectly follow every Christian characteristic listed in John’s letter, it’s a good place where readers can reflect honestly about their faith.
So read 1 John this week. And remember the words God wants you to hear, “I have written these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life” (1 John 5:13).
And stop listening to the voice of your enemy. Instead, find peace and rest in the assurances from God our Father.
Donna Hughey is an award winning Christian author and columnist. She lives in Crescent City.