by Wayne Greeson
Are you saved? How do you know you are saved? “I know I am saved because I feel it in my heart,” many often say. But are the feelings of your heart the proper standard to determine your salvation? We do not use this standard in other matters. No one says of his bank statement, “I know it is right because I feel it in my heart,” while they ignore to properly add and subtract from their balance. No carpenter says, “I know the board is 10 feet long because I feel it in my heart” — he checks the board with the proper standard, the measuring tape! But, when it comes to a matter far more important than bank balances and board lengths — salvation — many are willing to trust their eternal welfare to their feelings.
Can you trust the feelings of your heart to tell you whether or not you are saved? The Bible says “No!”
- “He who trusts in his own heart is a fool” (Proverbs 28:26),
- for “the way of man is not in himself; it is not in man who walks to direct his own steps” (Jeremiah 10:23).
- “There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death” (Proverbs 14:12).
Feelings are subjective, they change from person to person and even within the same person. Truth is objective, it remains fixed and does not change, regardless of the person or the year.
The way you feel about salvation does not change God’s truth concerning it, just as the way you feel about math, does not change the truth of it. Whether or not you are saved is an objective fact, not subject to the whims of how you feel from moment to moment. So how can they know they are saved? The Scripture says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5).
You do not have to rely upon your own faulty and deceptive feelings concerning your salvation. The Lord has given “the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation” (II Timothy 3:15). The knowledge and confidence of salvation can only come from the objective standard of God’s Word. God will judge you by His Word, not by how you feel. Jesus proclaimed, “the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day” (John 12:48). What is your salvation based upon? Many people feel in their hearts they are saved because they have “simply believed” in Jesus. While salvation certainly requires faith in Jesus, faith alone does not and cannot save according to God’s Word. James wrote, “You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only” (James 2:24). Other people have prayed and “asked Jesus to come into their heart” and now they feel they are saved. But nowhere does the Bible teach one must simply pray to Jesus in order to be saved. God’s Word teaches to be saved you must: hear the gospel (Romans 10:17); believe Jesus is the Son of God (Mark 16:16); repent of your sins (Acts 2:38); confess Jesus (Romans 10:9; Acts 8:36-38) and be baptized for the remission of your sins (Acts 2:38; Mark 16:16). Those who obey God’s Word do not have to guess whether or not they are saved based upon the feelings of their heart. They know they are saved because their salvation is based on the unchanging Truth of God’s Word.