Being 100% Sure Of Salvation


(Cameron Kufner) #1

I think this question is one every believer asks at some point in their Christian walk. I have been thinking of ways to understand the assurance of salvation.

Now, I am in no way condoning or giving someone, or myself, the license to sin when I say we all struggle with a specific sin, whether it be anger, lust, greed, etc.

The way I see it, Salvation is a gift. I can either choose to accept or reject it. I did not earn it. Me, personally, I am struggling with a certain sin at the moment. I have accepted Christ as my savior, I rely on his sacrifice and resurrection from the dead as the only shot I have at getting into Heaven, I acknowledged he is the only way to the Father, I have confessed him as Lord, I believe in my heart that God raised him from the dead. Now, with the sin I struggle with. I know it is wrong, I know it is sin. Before I accepted Christ, I had no idea that it was a sin, but now, since being saved, have acknowledged it as a problem. Repentence, in my mind, is just part of the relationship. I’ve had the change of mind about it, I’ve had times where I could be clean from a period of time from 15-40 days, then fall back into it. I’m trying to kick it, I know God can help, but I’m worried that if I don’t kick it, I won’t go to Heaven. Can I be 100% sure that I can go to Heaven, even if I don’t kick my addiction?

I thank everyone who reads and contributes to this post.

God bless!


Is there a theology in a book that never mentions God
(SeanO) #2

@CamKufner I think there are two useful analogies when dealing with this question:

  • you are a child in God’s family once you repent. A father does not kick their child out of the family every time they stumble - especially when they are young and still learning to walk. In the same way, our Heavenly Father does not kick us out every time we stumble, but He does discipline us, just as a father a child he loves (Hebrews 12:4-12). We need to take sin seriously - we need to repent - but we do not need to fear that we will be kicked out every time we fall. The Father is there to pick us up and help us continue on the journey.

  • think about a kid who is learning to skateboard - who wants more than anything to learn to skateboard. He gets out there and tears his pants, skins his knees, cracks his shin - but every time he gets back up. He won’t give up - he wants this more than anything. As Christians, we aren’t perfect, but we want Jesus more than anything - and no matter how many times we fall we will get back up - we will fight - we will repent - we will strive to die with Christ and be made like Him.

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

Philippians 3:12-14 - Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

The other thing to understand is that addiction is something that requires wisdom to overcome. It is not simply (I think) a matter of prayer. We must understand what triggers the addiction and we must know how to flee / avoid it when the time of temptation is most near. Oftentimes we need community to strengthen us in those times when the fight is hardest. Fighting addiction takes time - because addiction has fundamentally altered our brains. It takes time to purify the mind, but it is worth the battle!

C. S. Lewis - Different Raw Material

Lewis makes the point that one person may have been taught to behave properly, not exposed to many temptations and generally be healthy - and for them it is far easier to behave in a way that appears moral than for someone who was brought up in a broken family, exposed to lots of temptations and has other psychological issues. In that sense, it is what we do with the raw material we have, rather than the raw material, that is what truly sets us apart.

The bad psychological material is not a sin but a disease. It does not need to be repented of, but to be cured. And by the way, that is very important. Human beings judge one another by their external actions. God judges them by their moral choices. When a neurotic who has a pathological horror of cats forces himself to pick up a cat for some good reason, it is quite possible that in God’s eyes he has shown more courage than a healthy man may have shown in winning the V.C. When a man who has been perverted from his youth and taught that cruelty is the right thing does dome tiny little kindness, or refrains from some cruelty he might have committed, and thereby, perhaps, risks being sneered at by his companions, he may, in God’s eyes, be doing more than you and I would do if we gave up life itself for a friend.

It is as well to put this the other way round. Some of us who seem quite nice people may, in fact, have made so little use of a good heredity and good upbringing that we are really worse than those whom we regard as fiends. Can we be quite certain how we should have behaved if we had been saddled with the psychological outfit, and then with the bad upbringing, and then with the power, say, of Himmler? That is why Christians are told not to judge. We see only the results which a man’s choices make out of his raw material. But God does not judge him on the raw material at all, but on what he has done with it. Most of the man’s psychological makeup is probably due to his body: when his body dies all that will fall off him, and the real central man, the thing that chose, that made the best or worst out of this material, will stand naked. All sorts of nice things which we thought our own, but which were really due to a good digestion, will fall off some of us: all sorts of nasty things which were due to complexes or bad health will fall off others. We shall then, for the first time, see every one as he really was. There will be surprises.

Overcoming Addiction

Whatever the addition may be, you might find some of the thoughts in this thread helpful.

Praying that the Lord may grant you peace, cleanse you of sin and give you wisdom to overcome the addiction.


(Cameron Kufner) #3

Sean, thank you so much for your reply. C.S. Lewis is one of my favorites. I loved that thread you attached of his and thank you for that thread at the bottom. The part where it says “This behavior is habit forming and actually transforms our brain, which means that it requires time and self-control to overcome.” Was where it all clicked in my mind. I was praying to God and just said “How have I not overcome this thing yet?” I really think it’s been a learning process. I know now it’s a habit that I wish I never picked up, but I know I’m not alone. I want to overcome it so bad and be more and more Christ-like. What Paul says in Romans 7 (7:15-20) made me understand what’s the issue as well. Thank you again! God bless!


(Matt Western) #4

Sean’s post, as always, is excellent.

In answer to your question of being 100% sure of salvation, you’ve hit the nail right on the head. God does not ask us to clean ourselves up morally first before coming to accept the gift of Salvation (Ephesians 2:8-9)…

In speaking to a pastor about the subject of sinless perfection vs continuing to gradually become more like Christ over our lifetime. Sinless perfection will not happen in our life time and this pastor noticed that when some people get saved, sometimes a sinful character trait such as habitual swearing or taking the Lord’s name in vain just stops instantly, and in this same person it took them years to be able to stop smoking.

The whole book of 1 John is excellent starting with this promise in 1 John 5:13-14

Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. I have written these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.

It does not say ‘to you who believe in the name of the Son of God and are free from addictive sin or having reaching some level of morality by a certain stage of life, you then know that you have eternal life’. It’s unconditional - and the story of the Prodigal Son and the Father shows this as clearly as anything, our Heavenly Father loves us and always has his arms outstretched ready to receive us.

I liked how John Lennox made it so clear in the debate with Peter Atkins (video will play slightly before the quote because he gives an excellent analogy about an entrance exam at university)

… the gurus cannot guarantee acceptance at the final judgment.
Christianity is not a religion for a very simple reason; In Christianity the acceptance comes at the beginning, not the end. This is the spectacular difference between Christianity and religion, I’ve not reached the final judgement, but I know that I’m accepted; Why? because I’m very good? No no no, it’s because of what Christ has done, the absolute essence of what it is to be a Christian, that I have trusted Him, and what he did on the Cross… because of what He did there I can be accepted at the Beginning of the journey…

It has helped me only recently to understand the difference between ‘judicial forgiveness’ and ‘relational forgiveness’.
When Christ died, he took our punishment for all past / present / future sins: that is judicial (legal) forgiveness, and we are then adopted into the family of God as Sean explained so well.
Relational forgiveness is sin we’ve done recently and we need to try and keep a short account with God with confession as we are aware of sins in our lives, otherwise the relationship goes cold. Just like a human father / son relationship, the relationship is still legally there, it’s just estranged temporarily, and confession is agreeing with God that we have sinned. If we are a Christian who has sinned, we don’t go and hide from God and try and get ourselves clean by doing some good things to outweigh the bad and then we can come back to our Heavenly Father and hope he’ll accept us back - that’s works based assurance of salvation.

For me, I’ve gradually come to realize that being concerned over one’s sin and wanting to confess and repair the relationship is actually a sign that you ARE a Christian. Doesn’t matter if it’s a single sin such as anger, bitterness, envy, hatred, lust or whatever - or if it’s an addiction of these (many people struggle to deal with bitterness over a long time but we don’t call that an addiction??). I’ve noticed personally over time that it feels like only one area of sin is obvious in our life at a time - and it might take years to gradually become more Christ-like in a certain area. I’ve also noticed the closer you come to Jesus, the more you realize just how sinful you are and how much more precious the Cross is, if we live at a distance from the Cross, we can potentially become a little cold in our relationship.

I hope this is helpful post, sorry if it’s a bit long - I liked the ‘Holiness’ video showing that it’s Jesus, who is God, that has reached out to us ‘while we were yet, sinners Christ died for us’ in Romans 5:8

A couple of my favorite verses (I believe that no man includes ourselves because we did not rely on ourselves for salvation, and we also do not rely on ourselves for eternal life)

And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.

30 I and my Father are one. (John 10:28-30)

For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,

39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:38-39)


(SeanO) #5

@CamKufner Yes, it is a process to renew our mind that requires time and self-control. May the Lord Jesus bless you with wisdom and grace on the journey.

As a side note, I would not use Romans 7 to describe your experience. Romans 7 is describing someone who is ‘sold into sin’ - someone who has no choice but to sin. Take an hour or two and go through Romans 7 and 8 - list out the main actors and their attributes. In Romans 7 God’s Spirit is completely missing. The point of Romans 7 is that without God’s Spirit we cannot do what is right because of sin in our flesh even though in our minds we know what we ought to do. Romans 8 is all about freedom in the Spirit to walk in victory over sin in the flesh. Also, Romans 6 makes it clear that we who have died to sin must not continue forward in it.

Galatians 5 describes the experience of a Christian in an easier to digest fashion and is in many ways a parallel passage to Romans 6-8, but briefer and easier to follow - there is a battle between the flesh and the Spirit - and we must crucify the flesh with its passions and desires. And praise God that we can do so through the power of the Spirit of Jesus in us!

Every Christian following the Lord recognizes the continuing battle with sin that will afflict us until the day of redemption (Gal. 5:16–18). We’re already saved, but we aren’t yet all we want to or need to be. We must continue confessing our sins daily, just as Jesus taught us in the Lord’s prayer (Matt. 6:12). Sin continues to bedevil us in thought, word, and deed until the day we die.

Yet that’s not what Romans 7:13–25 is talking about. Yes, we continue to struggle with sin. Yes, we fall short every day. But Romans 7:13–25 is talking about total defeat. As Paul says in verse 14, “I am of the flesh, sold under sin.” In other words, he is describing complete and total captivity to sin.

So the experience of addiction, which takes time and self-control to overcome even as a Christian, is not what is in view in Romans 7 per my understanding.

Christ lead you into all truth.


(Kelvin Bottle) #6

Hi thank you for posting this question.

There are parts of my life that I also find that I need to battle against and to confess and continually come before God in repentance. I will be looking at the other points offered by others as well.

Life is a journey and we do it with God, we are not on our own and we have others around to support us through it as well.

In thinking about this I have also been wondering as to how some one who is SSA and will be getting married and professed to being Christian can be sure as well. It’s about more complex but at the same time no worse than our own sins or addictive behaviours. We all need grace and we all need Mercy. Sometimes alour sin is habitual and other times it is willful.

Thank you for sharing that you are struggling and know that we will be praying for you. :grinning: