Ephesians 2:8 – “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.”
All the pieces started coming together. For years I had struggled with doubts about my salvation. What if I hadn’t prayed the right words? Had I meant it with my heart or had I just repeated phrases after someone else? Is it possible to lose your salvation? What if I died tonight and spent the rest of eternity tormented by the flames of hell? My mind was in a continual state of confusion, and I had no assurance of salvation. I was afraid to tell anyone. When I would finally work up enough courage to ask for help, the answers I received never satisfied because my intellect was on the throne of my life. If I couldn’t understand it I couldn’t believe it. From time to time I would get a partial answer and feel better for a little while. I even prayed several prayers for salvation at different times but the doubts would inevitably return, sending me into a downward spiral of fear and confusion. I could never fully rest or enjoy anything because I knew there was still something at the core of my life that remained unresolved.
This went on for years, until at last I discovered the foundation I had been missing. I had been so focused on trying to determine whether or not I was saved, that I had completely lost sight of the Savior! When I dethroned my intellect and allowed God’s Spirit to reign over my mind, everything began to make sense. Suddenly, instead of feeling I had to understand absolutely everything and prove it like some geometrical proof, I could accept as a little child the simplicity of salvation (see Mark 10:15). As I learned key Scriptures such as 1 John 1:9, Romans 8:10-13, 1 Peter 1:23, and John 3:1-21, I understood that salvation is indeed by grace through faith, not based on perfectly phrased words or a list of steps but simply the gift God offers to me. A peace and confidence flooded my heart that nothing else had been able to give, and that no one could take from me.
All the confusion over minor details melted away as I developed an ongoing daily relationship with Christ. Jesus is the Door, but He is also the Way, and whether we are an unsaved person in need of salvation or a believer growing in the faith, we all need to be moving towards Him.
So if, at the gate of heaven, you were stopped and asked why you should be allowed to enter, what would your answer be?
“And this is life eternal, that they might know Thee, the only true God and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent.” John 17:3