Category Archives: Bible

Am I In Or Am I Out? Freedom From Being Neurotic About Our Salvation

There are a lot of people who are plagued by these questions. “Am I saved or am I lost.” “Am I in or am I out?”

The odd thing is, the people I am thinking of are people who have faith, are baptized, have repented of their sin, attend church, love God, read the Bible, pray, etc.

What is the issue?

They have been taught that so much of their salvation hangs on their own shoulders. I have heard people say that if you die with unrepented sin you will go to hell. So if you sinned and died right before you asked God to forgive you (even if you intended to but didn’t get there fast enough), you wouldn’t be forgiven. Unforgiven sin is then the pathway to eternity in hell.

I really don’t think that is how things work.

Salvation is much more sure than that for those who are in Christ because salvation hinges on the work of God (who is perfectly faithful) rather than on our work (who are not perfectly faithful). In fact, we are told to be sure of our salvation (1 John 5:12-13). How can we be sure if the process we believe in is so unsure?

God does the heavy lifting. Our role in the salvation process is all response. “When we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly…But God demonstrates his love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” – Rom 5:8

God always initiates things pertaining to salvation and we have to respond to what God has already done. When we respond in faith God does more (unites us with Christ’s death, burial and resurrection – Rom 6; seals us with the Spirit – Eph 1:13; etc).

The saying goes, “Exodus comes before Sinai.” That means God initiates the rescue, we do have to walk through the water to get out of Egypt and into the promised land. But none of it would be possible without God getting the ball rolling and using his divine power to work these things out in our lives. We must be willing to receive them.

One verse that helped break me out of neuroticism when it comes to my salvation is 1 John 1:7, “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.”

How is this even possible? I knew that if I sinned I wasn’t in the light. But what I hear from John is the reason I am in the light is because I am walking, even though imperfectly, and because the blood of Jesus purifies me of my sin!

This, folks, is freedom. Not freedom to do whatever I want but freedom to live my life knowing I belong to God and he isn’t going to let me go. It is freedom from the idea that if I die with a single unrepented sin that I won’t be saved.

This kind of spiritual and mental liberation helps me live in an even closer walk with God because I am not living in fear of a God who is waiting to get me, looking for any reason to throw me into hell. No. God is looking for any and every reason to allow me to live with him for eternity!

That is a shift! It is one that more of us need to make

Understanding How We Read the Bible Part 2 – Command, Example, Necessary Inference

It is so important we understand how we read the Bible. It is possible we do something for so long or it is modeled for us and never explained that we don’t really understand the actual process for interpreting the meaning of the text that we are using. This video gives some history of howContinue Reading

A Must Have Discipleship Conversation – How We Read the Bible

Please watch the following video and let’s discuss in the comments. We have a major problem with how we typically read the Bible. We miss important meanings because we are looking for the wrong things. We find things that aren’t there because we are looking for the wrong things. Understanding how to read the BibleContinue Reading

My Simple Note Taking System in the Bible Margins

I hope you find this as helpful as I have. It is one simple thing to help organize the notes you take in the margins of your Bible

How to Choose the Right Bible: 5 Tips

People died to put an English Bible in our hands. It is up to us to read it. Which Bible is the best Bible? I heard an answer to that question once that stuck with me. It is the one you will read. I know that is not entirely helpful in answering the question asContinue Reading

Video: Applying the Bible Study Method to the Parable of the Sower

I took the outline I gave in the last video and used the Parable of the Sower from Matthew 13 to show how it would work on a specific text. I have found this approach quite helpful. We need to be in the word. I often hear people talk about how they don’t have timeContinue Reading

Broadening Our View of Gospel and Salvation

The term for gospel as a noun only occurs in Matthew and Mark about a dozen times. It doesn’t appear in Luke or in John. It doesn’t show up again until Acts 15:7. The verb form (to preach or proclaim the good news) does show up a few times in Luke and the early chaptersContinue Reading

Five Reasons You Need to Read The Old Testament

The more I study the New Testament (NT), the more I understand my need to study the Old Testament (OT). The Jesus’ story is a story of two testaments, not one. The Gospel is best understood when one has some comprehension of the whole Bible in order to get the full meaning of what isContinue Reading

Bible Study Tip #7 Rely on the Spirit

The Bible is the word of God inspired by the Holy Spirit (2 Tim 3:16). The Spirit helped write the words that we have and the Spirit has full comprehension of the meaning of what the Spirit has communicated to us through the Bible. So the Spirit helps on the “speaking” end of the conversation.Continue Reading

Bible Study Tip #6 Not Every Word in the Bible is Something to Live By

Did you know that not every word in the Bible is something we should live by? You have to pay attention to who is speaking. You have probably heard someone say in your lifetime “God doesn’t hear a sinner’s prayer” and point you to John 10:31. That is what the text says. But you haveContinue Reading

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