I have been a Christian my entire life and I still find myself doubting it from time to time. It seems too good to be true, that a perfect God would love and receive me as His own.
If we’re really honest with ourselves, we would like to play just a little part in our salvation. Sure, what Jesus did for us was enough but we’d like to contribute, even if it’s just a bit. The problem is that if our own merit plays even a small part in redemption then we eventually end up in despair and hopelessness because we all screw up, fail, and sin. For all have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God.
I also believe that the evil one wants us trapped in and crippled by our shame. He loves to get saved people thinking they aren’t truly forgiven. He takes great pleasure when we wallow in our guilt, incapacitated by our unworthiness.
So what’s the answer?
Our salvation must be something objective, not subjective.
We were saved, not when we made a “decision” for Jesus, but, when Jesus died 2000 years ago on a cross. When I’m tempted to doubt my salvation I can point to an actual unwavering, unchanging moment in time where my God died in my place. It’s not based on whether I really meant it when I said I believed in Him or how many times I’ve screwed up since. Jesus dying for me never changes. It simply is and will always be. God’s salvation is a gift to be received in faith not based on anything I’ve done or will do.
Freedom in desperation
So, we still sin and Satan still accuses. Because of this, our failure rightly brings us to our knees. It serves as reminder that we cannot do it on our own and are in constant need of all that Christ has done for us. It points us to His death on the cross and grave conquering victory three days later.
Because of Jesus’ substitutionary death on the Cross the words of Romans 8 shine out in the darkest moments of despair.
“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1
When God looks at us, he doesn’t see our failure and sin. Instead, he sees the undeserved perfection that His Son has provided us.
Satan’s constant attacks and criticism fall on deaf ears as we rise and walk in the freedom of the Gospel. We’re made alive to live in this glorious truth.
When doubt starts to creep in, may these lyrics from the hymn “He Will Hold Me Fast” stir up hope. Remember God will never let you go.
He Will Hold Me Fast
When I fear my faith will fail,
Christ will hold me fast;
When the tempter would prevail,
He will hold me fast.
I could never keep my hold
Through life’s fearful path;
For my love is often cold;
He must hold me fast.
He will hold me fast,
He will hold me fast;
For my Savior loves me so,
He will hold me fast.
Lyrics vv. 1-2 Ada Habershon (1861-1918), Public Domain;
Alt words vv.1-2, lyrics v.3, and music: Matt Merker, © 2013