There are times that I question whether I’m saved.
In my opinion, salvation will cause a desire (in Christians) to lead other people to God’s free gift of salvation. I’m definitely not saying that, as Christians, we will all-day, every day (24/7) desire to witness and evangelize. Our flesh fails us.
If I take my lack of desire to evangelize at face value, I definitely question my salvation.
I’m beginning to realize that my personality (that wants everything to be “perfect”, in place, and as understood as possible) hopes that people would want to be let go from unsound doctrines. I know that nothing and nobody’s perfect, but when I see that something less chaotic is not sought… I’m just confused.
One of the things I see people sub-consciously (and sometimes, consciously) believing is that “religion” is something to get away from. “It’s not about religion. It’s about relationship.”
The intent behind this is good, I believe.
I’m listening to my Spotify playlists, right now. One song that I added is called “More Like Falling In Love” by Jason Gray.
This song contains these lyrics:
‘Cause all religion
Ever made of me
Was just a sinner
With a stone tied to my feet
It never set me free.
What I would plead for Jason Gray to clarify (or understand) is that what he’s calling “religion” is actually called “law”.
religion law ever made of me was just a sinner with a stone tied to my feet. It never set me free.
Jason Gray definitely knows that we are sinners: “…just a sinner…”
The law (what this song calls “religion”) is the set of rules and laws that God places for us during Old Testament times. The New Testament (wherein prophecies are fulfilled and the Gospel is announced and preached) does not do away with the Law of the Old Testament.
Through Jesus’ perfect, sinless life and His death, burial, and resurrection, Jesus fulfilled each prophecy and pleased the demand of the law.
Because of God’s love for us, His Son (Jesus) became the sacrifice that set us free from the bondage of the law. Just as the song “More Like Falling In Love” states, being just a sinner with a stone (the law) tied to my feet… the stone (the law) never set me free (from the bondage of the law).
What does set us free; truly free?
31 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
33 They answered him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?”
34 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. 35 Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. 37 I know that you are Abraham’s descendants. Yet you are looking for a way to kill me, because you have no room for my word. 38 I am telling you what I have seen in the Father’s presence, and you are doing what you have heard from your father.”
—Here’s what Jesus did not say:
Jesus did not say “If you hold to my Father’s law, you are really My disciples.”
If that were the case, the Pharisees were Jesus’ disciples. But that’s not the case.
Jesus said that if we hold to His teachings, we are His disciples. His teachings were of grace, freedom from the bondage of the law, and our righteousness through His righteousness and faith in Him.
The truth is the Good News; the Gospel. The Gospel is that we are made righteous through His righteousness, because of His love, goodness, and grace. We are saved from the punishment that we deserve. We deserve hell because we are incapable of following God’s commandments. God so loves us that He sacrificed His only Son, so that we (through Jesus’ righteousness) would be washed from our sin.
God’s gift of salvation does not make us fully capable of following God’s law, if we “try hard enough.” Salvation, only by God’s grace, brings to us justification, as well as sanctification. Justification says “Yes, you have sinned. You are a sinner. But because of Jesus, God does not see you stained and soiled in your sin.” Sanctification is the process in which God changes us to be like Jesus. The Holy Spirit comforts, teaches, and changes us, bringing into us the fruit of the Spirit through God’s Word and prayer. (Sanctification isn’t over when you hit the age of 35 or when you’ve been a Christian for 50-plus years.)
—“I know that you are Abraham’s descendants. Yet you are looking for a way to kill me, because you have no room for my word. 38 I am telling you what I have seen in the Father’s presence, and you are doing what you have heard from your father.” – Jesus.
The men Jesus was speaking to were doing what they had been taught since their childhoods. The men had no room for Jesus’ word/teachings. They were full to the brim with rules, regulations, and laws that had to kept and followed. How could they also accept a free gift of salvation that would free them from the yoke of keeping the law and making sacrifices to cleanse themselves from their sin?
It’s similar to abused children, honestly. No, the law does not abuse; it instructs (but if not well-distinguished from the gospel, it can be used in an abusive manner).
An abused child (who’s come to expect abuse from their parent/s) finds it difficult to leave the comfort of what they’ve trained themselves to tolerate and survive through. Once you’re conditioned into this abuse, it’s not easy to let go of. Even if you leave your abusive parents, you find yourself expecting that same abuse from other people: transference (in the psychological world).
WE HAVE BEEN SET FREE FROM THE LAW, SIN, AND DEATH! Thank God. Literally.
(The law is not obliterated. It has been fulfilled by Jesus through His righteousness! We do not sin so that grace may abound, no! But we also do not cling to the law as if it will save us. Our good works do not add to our salvation. Our good works – good deeds – are a fruit of our salvation!)
Matthew 11:28-30 — 28“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.29“Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. 30“For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”