Salvation, what a wonderful gift! Given by God and not based on any of our own efforts, yet how does one know they’ve received such a blessed gift? Many can recall such a time long ago when they made a prayer to receive the Lord into their hearts, but was the prayer sincere or merely emotional? I can recall such a time: I was eight years old and I went forward at a church service to be saved, yet as a teenager in high school as I was doing a Bible study with my mom, I realized what the Bible defines as a Christian and what I was, didn’t match!
The study was in 1 John and it was clear while I had made a verbal confession some years prior, my life was not surrendered to the Lord. I was the king of my life and I sought God’s counsel when I thought it was needed. That’s not what a true Christian would do! God convicted me that day about my sin, my sitting on the throne of my life, and my eternal home in hell should I continue to lay hold of my claim made when I was eight years old.
Words are easy to say; yet we only truly do what we believe. Isn’t that what James says when he tells us to be doers not hearers only or we will be deceiving ourselves? I can hear the words of the Scripture, maybe recite them, and claim to believe in them, yet if my life doesn’t show I believe, my words come back empty and are void of any true meaning! Abraham claimed to believe the Lord and when God asked him to do something and he did it, whether going to an unknown land or making a trip up a mountain thinking he would be sacrificing his son. Rahab, believed the God of Israel was real and would destroy the city, thus she acted on her belief: she hide the spies. How are we any different? Should there not be, in our lives, evidence to show/prove we are saved?
If you look into your past and all you can see is a point at which you confessed Christ as Savior and see no evidence in your life, I’d strongly suggest you examine your claim. A true Christian will have the point of surrender as well as supporting evidence to that claim! In addition, don’t be fooled by some act long ago, while since that time your life shows no new evidence. When I was eight and had made my claim, I felt anew, I had emotions that went with the claim, but all of us can have such with anything new in our lives. Is there current evidence of your claim? Are you ever changing and conforming to be like Christ now? Or do you just do your own thing?
The answers to these questions are vital. I’m not perfect, nor am I asking you if you are, but let us not cling to such as excuse for our behavior and then equally claim we’re saved because of some profession many years ago. God’s work in our lives doesn’t stand still, so if there’s no evidence in recent months of your faith, examine it? Also, do not cling to religious busyness as a testimony of your salvation for many have served the church for years without serving God and have made their home in hell. We are not saved by what we do, salvation is a gift, but what we do shows what we believe and if we’re saved.
James says it plainly: Jas 2:18-26 But someone will say, "You have faith; I have deeds." Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that--and shudder. You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless. Was not our ancestor Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. And the scripture was fulfilled that says, "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness," and he was called God's friend. You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone. In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction? As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead