• Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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  • March 2014
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How do You Know You have Believed?

PP wicket gatePaul Washer:

“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few. (Matthew 7:13-14 ESV)

The great majority of people not only outside of the Church, but inside of the Church say, “Yes, I have passed through that small gate. Yes, I have believed in Jesus Christ.” But when you look at their life they live just like the world. They have the same desires of the world. The only thing they do is they are religious and go to Church on Sunday. But when you look at their life Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday there is no Christ and when you look about their conversation and their desires and their dreams and their passion there is no Christ. It is all about I already don’t worry about me, preacher. I already got that done. I repented a long time ago. I believed. I am saved. I prayed that prayer. And that is what their religion is. And when asked about the confidence of their salvation they say, “I prayed that prayer.” They are trusting in a prayer. I made my decision. They are trusting in a decision. I believed in that moment. They are trusting in the sincerity of their decision instead of doing as our forefathers did. How do you know you are saved? I am looking unto Jesus Christ and have great assurance because I can see the changes he has wrought in my life and the way he disciplines me zealously and guards my life. . . .

How do you know you have believed, especially when the demons believe and tremble? And most people today say they believe and don’t even tremble. The demons are more pious than they are.

Yes, everyone who believes in Christ is saved by faith alone, but how do you know you believe, especially if we were to dismiss right now and to go to every church person in this county we would find most of them saying they are going to heaven and they believe.

How do we know that we truly believe unto salvation? Well, he gives us the answer, the narrow way. The evidence that a person has truly passed through that small gate is that their lifestyle is a lifestyle of living in the narrow way. It goes something like this, as I explained last night. A man claims to have confessed Christ, to have trusted in Christ as his Lord and Savior and he rejoices in that it seems. He seems to be joyful. He even seems to bear fruit at times. But then after a while he steps off the path. He begins to return to the world, stays in the world, loves the world, and goes back to the world. Has he lost his salvation? No. Is he saved? No. By returning to the world, according to the Scripture, he is demonstrating that he never knew Christ and Christ never knew him, that his faith was false from the very first.

Or there is a more dangerous type who make a profession of faith in Jesus Christ and they enter into the Church and they don’t ever really go back to the world in the sense they don’t ever really leave the Church, but they just sit there. They have got a little bit of religion. They go to church on Sundays. They are not passionate about the Word of God. They are not passionate about knowing Christ.

They are not convicted of sin. They never weep over the sin in their life. They are never concerned about genuine fellowship with other believers, but they are in church every Sunday and they are pretty moral, but they do not grow in the things of God nor in the passion for God. That is the most dangerous type and our churches are filled with people like that.

But the true Christian, if he has truly been embraced by Christ and truly embraced Christ by faith, he walks through that small gate and he is sent on the narrow way and as he walks sometimes it is two steps forward and three steps, four steps forward and one step back. There is a struggle. There is a fight. There is victory over sin. There is failure, but in his life, the full course of it, you can begin to see progress in godliness. And if at times his heart grow cold and he steps off the path, the Father runs quickly, according to Hebrews 12 and disciplines that believer and brings him back on the path. (“The Lies Preachers Tell”)

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