For those of us who grew up in Christian homes, it can sometimes be hard to discern when we became a Christian. And that can cause anxiety at times. It has in my life over the years. So I wanted to talk about that today.
My parents grew up in an Apostolic Lutheran church. This is how life looked, I think … Nearly every relative went to church. When babies were born, they were soon after baptized. Then, as teenagers, confirmed. And just treated as fellow believers after that.
(Most of my relatives and friends go to this denomination church, so I just want to say I’m not trying to pick on them. I’m just making an observation. And I’ve seen other denomination churches with this same problem … or the opposite problem. No church is perfect. But I just want to address this particular issue.)
People growing up in church are just accepting the label “Christian” because … they grew up in church. Everyone goes about assuming they’re a Christian.
In Baptist or Evangelical Free churches, I think there can be the same issue, but it just manifests itself in a different way. Parents telling they’re children they’re not saved and constantly pushing them to say the sinner’s prayer and get saved. So some children say this prayer or get baptized without realizing what they’re doing, or actually trusting in Jesus as their Savior and Lord.
When I was eight or nine (probably around the same time I started reading my Bible) I remember questioning this in my heart. Did growing up in a Christian home/in church make me a Christian? Was I really a Christian? I remembering praying the sinner’s prayer over and over again in a type of desperation.
And I struggled.
Because all these people would say they were Christians. But did they believe they were because they sincerely accepted Jesus Christ, or because their parents told them they were?
I’m not saying that you should tell your children they aren’t saved.
But I don’t know that you should tell them they are, either. How do you know what is going on in their heart?
Being a Christian is not about an assumption based on your church-going habit or your parent’s faith. It’s not about reciting some certain words.
Colossians 2:8 & 23
8 Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.
23 These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh.
Being a Christian is about being a Christ-follower. About a personal decision on your part to follow Jesus Christ, trusting that He is the Son of God and He did, indeed, pay the price for your sin by His shed blood on the cross. It’s about accepting the gift of life that He offers freely.
Being a Christian is about turning from your sin, your old life, and turning to God. Following Him.
15 “If you love Me, keep My commandments. 16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.
27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. 28 And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. 30 I and My Father are one.”
16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.
How do you follow Him? Read His Word – it will tell you! Talk to Him. Be in relationship with Him.
Being a Christian is not a religious choice. It is a relationship with your Creator.
If you sometimes question whether or not you are truly saved, don’t be afraid, dear friend.
Remember that Satan is a deceiver and the father of lies. He would like nothing more than to see you beat down and destroyed.
But God loves you. And He will not leave you like you are.
Turn from the darkness that taunts and run straight to Jesus.
(It’s possible. I have learned to do this often. And the peace that comes is real and beautiful.)
And just ask Him. Ask Him to assure your heart that you’re His.
If you believe in Him and trust Him as your personal Savior, then you are His.
15 that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
2 Corinthians 5:18-19
18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them,
If you’ve never asked Him to be your Savior, then simply ask!
It’s okay to feel lost.
10 for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
If you’ve always believed in God through your childhood up until now, but never stepped into a relationship with Him, just call on His Name.
21 And it shall come to pass
That whoever calls on the name of the Lord
Shall be saved.’
10 let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole. 11 This is the ‘stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.’ 12 Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
He is near.
His gift is FREE.
All you have to do is come before Him and accept Him into your life.
If you are afraid and just aren’t sure of your salvation, bring that fear to Him. Tell Him about it. He can handle it. He wants to hear from your heart. He’s ready to speak truth to you.
JESUS PAID THE PRICE.
On the cross, He said, “It is finished.” Now all that remains is for us to come to Him in response.
1 John 3:23
23 And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment.
Just talk to Him.
God, help me to stop living for myself, and start truly following You. I want You to be the Lord of my life.
Jesus, I know that I believe in You and trust in You as my Savior. Help me to rest in that. Rest in You. In the work you’ve already finished.
Lord, maybe I have put my trust in my parent’s faith. Or my good deeds. Or my growing up in church. Or my baptism. Help me to take my trust out of that and put it in You, Jesus Christ. Because You are my salvation!
God, I grew up in church. I still go to church. I’ve believed that You’re real and You’re God. But I realize I haven’t put off the old self. I haven’t become new. I’ve been living for myself. I’ve been living in sin. I’ve been ignoring You. I see that I have no real relationship with You. But I want to! Be my Lord and my Savior, I pray.
11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, 12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.
A lot of pastors and such say there needs to be a time in your life where you made a decision to follow Christ. And I believe the Bible backs this idea up. No one is born a Christian or automatically a Christian because their family is. I don’t find anything in the Bible that supports that.
9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. 13 For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
I grew up in a Christian home. As far back as I can remember, I believe in Jesus. I don’t remember a specific day that I made a decision to follow Christ. But I know that there was a time – or a process – where I made that decision. My journey of faith has been a long and messy one, it seems, fraught with struggles, doubt, and fears.
There were seasons of excitement and passion for God. And there were seasons of my crying out: Why can’t I just feel one-hundred percent assured of my salvation?
I think that this is right where the devil wants us to be. Doubting our salvation. It’s a real struggle for the Christian, I think.
But don’t give in to him. He isn’t the victor. Jesus Christ is. And so are you, in Christ.
To be honest, the end of last year/beginning of this year was another turning point for me. It was one of the first times I can remember feeling so confident in my salvation.
It was when I laid everything down. Surrendered. Stopped trying to be good enough and do enough and get everything perfect.
And said: IT’S ALL YOU, JESUS.
1 John 5:12
12 He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.
Acknowledged fully that He loved me and died for me while I was still a sinner and didn’t even want Him.
And He loved me in that moment of acknowledgement, when I was strangled in anxiety, depressed, hopeless, not reading my Bible enough, and not doing much of anything for anyone.
He loved me.
He loves me.
I am His precious daughter and it’s nothing that I did … it’s all simply because He wants me. And He paid the price for me.
2 Timothy 1:9
9 who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began,
And, even through the mixed-up, crazy struggles, I’ve been saying “yes” in response to His pursuit.
Yes. I want You, Jesus.
Yes. I will trust You, God.
Yes. I will follow You, Lord.
And He does.
So run to Him, child. You think He doesn’t wan to reach down and tenderly draw you to Him?
He wants your heart.
So just give it to Him and trust Him with the rest.
Rejoice in your salvation. Jesus Christ paid it all. All you have to do is say “yes”.
20 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,
4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
2 thoughts on “Rejoice in Your Salvation”
Thank you, Michele!