Tuesday, November 1, 2016


Have you ever wondered how someone knows he or she is born again?  As a new believer, my wife and I were introduced to the Charismatic Movement, and wanting to "get as close to God as humanly possible," we studied God's Word, and although we understood "from where they were coming," we did not have peace about what they were saying.  Something just didn't seem right.  For one thing, we noticed that the attrition rate among Charismatics was very high.  We attributed that to the fact that whenever someone got sick, lost a loved-one, or got a divorce, their faith seemed to be so shaken that they "threw out the baby with the bath water."  They doubted everything they had been taught, and many even came to the conclusion that the Bible was no better than any other "religious book."  Sad!

Many years have passed, and I cannot tell you the number of times that I doubted that I was saved.  Every time I lost a battle with temptation, I was so depressed and questioned my relationship with God.  However, during that time, I have hungered for God's Word, and so I have basically devoted my life to studying it, doing it, and sharing it with others (Ezra 7:10)!  And, while I still fail, while I still doubt myself, while I still question my salvation, I hold onto the fact that Jesus died for my sins according to the Scriptures, that although He was buried, His Father raised Him from the dead (1 Cor. 15:1-4)!  I came to understand that born again believers still struggle with sin, and that God has promised to forgive us if we acknowledge our sins to Him (Rom. 7:15-25; 1 John 1:8-10; etc.); and I know in my heart that one day, in the not so distant future, I will be like Him, for I will see Him as He is (1 John 3:2)!!!

I have also learned that when I doubt my salvation, I cannot look back at the moment in time when I knelt and surrendered my life to Him, or my walking the aisle to ask the preacher to baptize me, or any other past activity.  That is because the word "believe" throughout the Bible is a present tense verb!  My salvation is not sure because of the past, but it is certain because I believe the Gospel today!  Jesus is my Lord and Savior today!  He is my Creator and the One Who will change this vile excuse for a man, into His own likeness!  He is in the process; I am "being processed!"

No, looking back at the times when God "worked coincidences" (my personal miracles); at those times I heard Him comfort me with His voice; and those times I found myself on the other side of the "Red Sea," looking at a few "stones I had piled up"; none of them proved I was saved.  What they did prove to me, was that from the very beginning of my "new creature life," He was at work on me, His adopted child (Rom. 8:29-30; Eph. 1:3-9; Phil. 1:6; etc.)!  No, my salvation, my "new birth," is not because I did something, or have continued doing something, but it is because God willed that I become like His Son!  And based upon my struggle with living for Him, I take it that the "process" requires much more time with those of us who started out as atheists!  Thank God He is still at work on me, and I cannot express how much I long for "my change!"

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