Evangelicals: How do you know you have "Saving Faith"?


#1

To my Evangelical friends, of whom I was once one, I would like to ask a question of you.

How do you know you have what you call saving faith?

In the parable of the sower, our Lord tells us that there are some who believe for a while and then they fall away. How are you certain that you are not one of these? What verses in the Bible would you use to back up your conviction, to be sure that you are in the faith?

I have asked this of an Evangelical here on this forum, but have not heard a response. I understand that he is busy, but I want to widen up the opportunity for more responses to this foundational question. I have also asked this of an Evangelical friend of mine almost 2 years ago, and to date he has not given an answer. He has not even attempted one.

In addition to this, I will pose a second related question:

How do you know you have the Holy Spirit to guide you into the right interpretation of the bible?

Many thanks.:slight_smile:


#2

Well, if you were one once then you already know the answer:thumbsup: :wink:

I have a question–Why do you not believe that you are secure of your salvation anymore:(


#3

This man once thought he had saving faith. Now he’s a militant atheist. If he could be wrong, anybody could be wrong.


#4

How can we “Secure our Salvation” when nothing unclean (sin) can enter heaven? What if I commit a mortal sin and then suddenly die without having the time to confess this sin? Is my Salvation still secure?


#5

Is this not a presumptuous question, ALLFORHIM? Just because the poster has recognized that his understanding of the gospel is incomplete, does that mean he believes he is less secure in his new knowledge? Since he has become Catholic, he has enterered into the very great and precious mysteries:

John 6:50-51
50 This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that a man may eat of it and not die. 51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live for ever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh."

God does not intend for us to live in fear, but in power, love, and self-control.

"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

Although God has commanded us to go to the priest for confession, and this is the normative channel by which He has determined HIs grace shall flow, God is not bound by the sacraments. God looks upon the heart for perfect contrition, whenever possible tith a priest, and when not possible, with our heavenly High Priest.


#6

I meant my post more as rhetorical, sorry it did not come across that way:o

With my beautiful new Catholic faith, I no longer live in fear, but humbly live in the glow of God’s infinate Love.

As a former atheist, all these terms such as Eternal Security confuse me, but the more I read of such concepts, the more I am sure that I am home in my Catholic Faith:thumbsup:

I DO believe I have “saving faith” though. I have faith in the teachings of Jesus Christ as handed down through the Apostles and the One true Church and its that faith that tells me I must do “What ever He tells you”. Sounds a little bit like “Faith Working Through Love” to me.:thumbsup:


#7

I was an evangelical Christian for over 40 years before coming into the Catholic Church.

I would have answered this question with verses from I John

I John 2: 3 “By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments.”

I John 2: 6 “the one who says he abides in him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.”

I John 3: 9 “No one who is born of God practices sin…”

I John 4: 7 “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God and every one who loves is born of God and knows God.”

I John 4: 20 “If someone says, I Love God, and hates his brother, he is a liar a,d the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen…”

I John 5: 13 “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God in order that you may know that you have eternal life…”


That’s how I would have answered the question. The problem is, I would be the one determining whether I keep His commandments, walk like Jesus walked, practice sin, and love my brothers."

How can anyone make that judgement about themselves?! After all, if I answer no to any of the above questions, I’m going to hell. So of course I would answer yes.

I almost started crying just now as I wrote out the verses about loving your brothers. All my life I was in evangelical churches that, for the most part, practiced brotherly love. I felt very safe and secure in these churches. I had friends of all ages. I trusted my little girls with people from these churches for a week at a time (while I went to a wedding with my husband). I loved these people, too.

THEN we moved and joined and Evangelical Free Church and I discovered that not all Christians practice love toward one another. These people were hateful, evil. Eventually a woman pastor in the church told lies about us and we were kicked out of the church.

They treated my daughters like cat poop.

And they used the Bible, the SOLE AUTHORITY from God, to justify their heinous, evil treatment of us.

That’s when I stopped believing in the doctrine of sola Scriptura. It simply doesn’t work.

If I DO believe in sola Scriptura, then I am forced to believe, with the authority of Scriptures to back me up, that those people did NOT have “saving faith” because they did NOT practice love, and therefore, they are deceiving themselves about their “salvation” and they are going to hell.

I believe God is merciful.


#8

This is not an answer to the question.

How do you know you have “saving faith”?


#9

Especially in light of all the examples of people who appeared to have saving faith, and later went on to cast serious doubt on that appearance. One-time Christians declare themselves to be atheists/agnostics every day of the week. If they were all deceived, how can any current Christian be sure they are not also deceived?


#10

I know I just didnt really feel like answering it at the time. You know how it is when you are asked the same questions but the answer hasnt really changed:shrug:

I know you guys know what Im talking about.:wink:

Maybe Ill answer it another time. I have to go to a baseball game right now. Have a good weekend:D


#11

Another question that might be worth asking along with this question is, “Evangelical Christian, have you ever gone forward at an altar call for ‘assurance of salvation’?”

Or have you every “accepted Jesus as your Savior again just to make sure?”

I know one woman who has accepted Jesus as her personal Savior 17 times.


#12

My sister has been baptized three times.


#13

AllforHim, I hope baseball was good. That’s important too. Your soul’s eternal destiny should be a close second to baseball.

Now that you have looked up this thread again, would you please answer the question. It is simple. Please just explain your answer from scripture.

I had to chase Mountainboy11 around with this question elsewhere but have not has a response. I made a few attempts to which he promised to reply but has not. He just seems to get around it every time.

I have asked, more than once, a Bible college student (who is a friend of mine from my Evangelical days) the same thing. So far? Nothing. Not a jot.

This question used to bug me before I came to the Catholic Church. I just “knew that I knew” that I was saved. I gave it plenty of thought. I searched the Scriptures. I wanted to know the truth. But at the end of the day, I realised that eternal security did not add up to anything more than a feeling inside.

I would like to see an answer from Scripture that answers this question. Aren’t you supposed to be ready to give answer to anyone who asks you for a REASON for the hope you have within you?? You are aware, aren’t you, that if you cannot answer this question, then your religion is in danger of falling apart?

I am not trying to trap you with a clever question, I would just like to see someone, anyone take a shot at a substantial answer from Scripture alone.

So, please, please post an answer to this important question.


#14

#15

I believe in all of this as well

Jesus is the way! Jesus took our sin upon Himself (2 Corinthians 5:21). Jesus died in our place (Romans 5:8), taking the punishment that we deserve. Three days later, Jesus rose from the dead, proving His victory over sin and death (Romans 6:4-5). Why did He do it? Jesus answered that question Himself, “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). Jesus died so that we could live. If we place our faith in Jesus, trusting His death as the payment for our sins - all of our sins are forgiven and washed away. We will then have our spiritual hunger satisfied. The lights will be turned on. We will have access to a fulfilling life. We will know our true best friend and good shepherd. We will know that we will have life after we die - a resurrected life in heaven for eternity with Jesus!

“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

The Lord told me if I believe I will have eternal life–as I stated above post.

For me it is simple faith and trust that God keeps all of His promises. So I dont expect Him to renig on the promise of eternal security.:shrug: I guess it comes down to faith :thumbsup:
And honestly if another person assured me of this I wouldnt believe them, but the fact that God had it written down for us to me is proof positive. I pray that you may also come to this truth someday.:dancing:


#16

Here I found this–maybe it will help:D
Question: “Is eternal security Biblical?”

Answer: When people come to know Christ as their Savior, they are brought into a relationship with God that guarantees their eternal security. Jude 24 declares, “To Him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before His glorious presence without fault and with great joy.” God’s power is able to keep the believer from falling. It is up to Him, not us, to present us before His glorious presence. Our eternal security is a result of God keeping us, not us maintaining our own salvation.

The Lord Jesus Christ proclaimed, “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand” (John 10:28-29b). Both Jesus and the Father have us firmly grasped in their hand. Who could possibly separate us from the grip of both the Father and the Son?

Ephesians 4:30 tells us that believers are “sealed for the day of redemption.” If believers did not have eternal security, the sealing could not truly be unto the day of redemption, but only to the day of sinning, apostasy, or disbelief. John 3:15-16 tells us that whoever believes in Jesus Christ will “have eternal life.” If a person were to be promised eternal life, but then have it taken away, it was never “eternal” to begin with. If eternal security is not true, the promises of eternal life in the Bible would be in error.

The most powerful argument for eternal security is Romans 8:38-39, “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Our eternal security is based on God’s love for those whom He has redeemed. Our eternal security is purchased by Christ, promised by the Father, and sealed by the Holy Spirit.

Recommended Resource: Eternal Security by Charles Stanley.


#17

If I could add to this post one other important verse in Romans chapter 8, verse 16 "The Spirit itself (Holy Spirit) beareth witness with our spirit that we are the chldern of God"
This how I know that I have saving faith because I recieved the witness of the Holy Spirit and what a wonderful day that day was.


#18

To all those who have posted scriptures to support “saving faith”, you have not answered the crucial question - how do you know those verses apply to you? Are you denying the well-known phenomenon of “backsliding”? Are you denying that people who once were (to all appearances) Christians become atheists every day?


#19

“Is a backsliding Christian still saved?”

This is a question that has been debated endlessly over the years. The word “backslider” or “backsliding” does not appear in the New Testament and is used in the Old Testament primarily of Israel. The Jews, though they were God’s chosen people, continually turned their backs on Him and rebelled against His Word (Jeremiah 8:9). That is why they were forced to make sacrifices for sin over and over in order to restore their relationship with the God they had offended. The Christian, however, has availed himself of the perfect, once-and-for-all sacrifice of Christ and needs no further sacrifice for his sin. God himself has obtained our salvation for us (2 Corinthians 5:21) and because we are saved by Him, a true Christian cannot fall away so as not to return.

Christians do sin (1 John 1:8), but the Christian life is not to be identified by a life of sin. Believers are a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). We have the Holy Spirit in us producing good fruit (Galatians 5:22-23). A Christian life should be a changed life. Christians are forgiven no matter how many times they sin, but at the same time Christians should live a progressively more holy life as they grow closer to Christ. We should have serious doubts about a person who claims to be a believer yet lives a life that says otherwise. Yes, a true Christian who falls back into sin is still saved, but at the same time a person who lives a life controlled by sin is not truly a Christian.

What about a person who denies Christ? The Bible tells us that if a person denies Christ, he never truly knew Christ to begin with. 1 John 2:19 declares, “They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us.” A person who rejects Christ and turns his back on faith is demonstrating that he never belonged to Christ. Those who belong to Christ remain with Christ. Those who renounce their faith never had it to begin with. 2 Timothy 2:11-13, “Here is a trustworthy saying: If we died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him. If we disown him, he will also disown us; if we are faithless, he will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself.”


#20

Just a heads up brother, make sure you add the link and give credit to the author, it be da rules!
gotquestions.org/backsliding-Christian.html


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