Four Answers
Answers to common questions of certainty in relation to Christian Life

Sterling Franklin


1. I haven't felt that God has been with me for a while... How do I 
know that He's still with me?

Matthew 4:4 - But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not 
live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth 
of God.

If you don't have one already, I would start a Bible reading and 
prayer time in your day. What really brings about the changes is 
reading the Bible and praying, and living out what you have been shown 
through the Scriptures. Pray before that the Holy Spirit will help you 
discern what you read, and after about anything else in the day or thank 
Him for what He's given you in the Word of God :).

If you feel that you need to recommit and start fresh, just ask Him to 
forgive You of your sins, that You want to live a life for Him and 
follow His Leading...

Something like: "Lord Jesus, forgive me of my sins. I want to follow 
You and be Your servant. Bless me today, and let me start fresh with 
You. Help me walk on the narrow but blessed path that You desire for 
me, in Jesus' Name, Amen."

Once you have your heart KNOWING that you are His following your mind, 
things get clearer and sharper in focus. In no way will He cast you 

2. How is one sure of their salvation?

Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath 
given us of his Spirit. 
- 1 John 4:13

When you have accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior of your life, the Holy 
Spirit is IN you (often referred to as the 'indwelling Spirit').

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering 
(Patience), gentleness, goodness, faith (Faithfulness), Meekness 
(Humility), temperance (Self Control)
- Galatians 5:22-23a

As you FOLLOW the Lord and are obedient, the Holy Spirit will work in 
you these attributes. It's great if you are struggling with an area, if 
you pray that the Lord would develop that in you. One thing, 
though...if you are living totally away from obedience to His 
Commandments, the Holy Spirit will be grieved and won't be allowed to 
work these greatly in you. The Holy Spirit is, in fact, a Gentleman of 
sorts. He will work in you if you allow Him to. That's what God wants 
to do, too, is bring you closer to Him.

James 4:8a - Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.

You will have EXTREME joy in following Jesus, even just knowing that 
you are being obedient to an Awesome God!

3. Do you have to be baptized to get to Heaven? I have been once before 
a LONG time ago - should I do this again?

No. Baptism is DEFINITELY recommended, but not necessary for 
Salvation. Ephesians 2:8 and 9 state that we are Saved by Grace through 
Faith (not of ourselves, but given to us by God). We are not Saved by 
works. If we could save ourselves by our works, we would be a very 
haughty group of Believers! He is the one that Saves us.

It is by the Redemption through the Blood of Christ that we are Saved 
(see Ephesians 1:7, Colossians 1:14, Revelation 1:5). In 1 John 1:7, it 
even says, 'the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all 

In the Old Testament, people sacrificed animals for offerings to 'pay' 
for their sin. Without the shedding of blood, there would be no 
remission of sin. Same is the case today, BUT:

Hebrews 9:13-14:
For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer 
sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: How 
much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit 
offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead 
works to serve the living God?

So we don't have to sacrifice animals anymore. We have the Perfect 
Sacrifice through Jesus Christ. He lived a perfect life, was sacrificed 
for our sins. 2 Corinthians 5:21 puts it, He who knew no sin was made 
sin for us, that we would be made the Righteousness of God in Him!

Baptism is a work - something that you do. It won't save you or even 
wash away your sins. The Blood of Jesus does that, and look at 1 John 
1:9 when it says, 'If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to 
forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.' Amen! 
He will give you the Peace that passes ALL understanding with it (see 
Philippians 4:6-7)!

Baptism is for AFTER Salvation. It is an outward symbol of the inward 
cleansing that He has done, and is a public showing of a commitment to 
following Him. If you don't feel that you have done that in your 
previous baptism, then do it for real :), but it is a one-time 
commitment that is very beneficial to follow through on!

4. How do you know that you're one of God's Chosen?

   Okay...ask yourself this question: have I asked Jesus Christ to be my 
Lord and Savior? If yes, why have doubts about being God's chosen?

God has given every man the measure of faith in which to Believe 
(Romans 12:3), and He knows who will choose to let Him lead their lives. 
Predestination is a touchy topic for some, but I find it pretty clear 
in the Bible. We DO have free will. You CHOSE to accept Jesus Christ, 
and God knew that you would even before He made this world (isn't that 

For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to 
the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many 
brethren. - Romans 8:29

If you look deeply at the New Testament, you find that the choice is 
yours to accept Jesus or not. In the Old Testament, covenants 
(agreements, generally in form of a contract) were made, where IF you 
chose to agree to do something, God would do something Great!

If you choose to follow the Lord, He will bless you mightily! If you 
love Him, things will work out for good (Rom. 8:29, Jeremiah 29:11-13).

If you confess your sins with a prayer of Faith, He will forgive you 
of all of them (1 John 1:9, James 1:6-8).

If you obey Him, you will store up riches in Heaven (Matthew 6:19-21).

If you believe that Jesus is the Son of God, that God raised Him from 
the dead, and you ask Him to be yours, He will Save you from the wrath 
of God that you deserve and will take You to Heaven with Him at the end 
(Romans 10:9-10, 1 John 4:15, Job 33:26-27, Joel 2:32 & Acts 2:21 & 
Romans 10:13, John 1:12).

...and MUCH more!

As I John has written, Who is he that overcomes the world? It is he 
who believes that Jesus is the Son of God (from 1 John 5:5). If the 
Holy Spirit is in you, you are one of His Chosen, and that's easy enough 
to go by! :)

Just keep this thought: Pray for God's Will to be done in your life, 
and you will see awesome things. Here are some verses I'll leave you 

   14 And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask 
any thing according to his will, he heareth us:
   15 And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that 
we have the petitions that we desired of him.
   - 1 John 5:14-15

   May the Lord richly bless you! I hope and pray that you are 


Study Date: May 04, 2002 11:23 PDT

Category: Bible Study/Doctrine

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