Fourth Edition, Retitled, 1991
Grace & Truth, Inc., 210 Chestnut Street, Danville, Illinois 61832 U.S.A. www.gtpress.org
Many Christians have doubts about their salvation. They are constantly asking themselves, “If I’m really saved, why don’t I feel it?”
The “joy and peace” of salvation come from faith, not feelings: “Having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand” (Rom. 5:1-2).
Doubts about our salvation often result from wanting to feel saved: if we don’t have the proper feelings of joy and peace, then we don’t believe we are saved. But this is the wrong order. Believing comes first, and it must continue without doubting: “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing” (Rom. 15:13).
Our changing feelings do not change our peace with God. Colossians 1:20 says that
Christ has “made peace (for us) through the blood of his cross.” This peace is based on God’s own unchanging value of the precious blood of Christ. Since it is not based on our feelings, our feelings cannot change it in any way. It is as unchanging as God is. His blood was shed once and for all – a sacrifice never to be repeated.
Our enjoyment of that peace depends on believing what God has done and not on what we feel. We cannot lose God’s peace, because He has accomplished it for us and it remains a settled fact forever. Regardless of our feelings, we should believe and thank God for our salvation. We must rest on this unchanging fact: “He … is our peace” (Eph.2:14).
It is like a man crossing a long foot bridge. He may not feel like it will support him, but that does not make it any weaker. Or he may go across without any doubts whatsoever. His confidence about the bridge does not change its strength. So it is with the unchanging work of Christ, and the peace God has made for us through His shed blood.
Our salvation has not changed since the moment we believed and accepted Christ as our Savior. The joy and peace we experienced at first may have diminished, but not the solid peace God made through His Son’s death on Calvary’s cross.
Of course, if we are sinning, God will not give us feelings of joy and peace. But that still doesn’t change the settled peace of God.
We must confess our sins, and He will forgive us and cleanse us (1 John 1:9). God will also restore our peace and joy, which do not depend on how we feel but on the faith we have in His perfect work for us. We must let the peace of God rule in our hearts (Col. 3:15). – E. C. Hadley.