How can I feel secure in my salvation?
Question: I constant worry about whether I’m saved or not. Do I lose my salvation every time I sin? How can I feel secure that I’m saved?
Answer: It seems to me you’re framing your “salvation” within a legal paradigm rather than a relational paradigm. It’s like God is an angry judge and your a guilty defendant in a court of law. If you meet requirements x,y,z you’re “saved, ” but if you fail requirements x,y,z you’re “damned.” No wonder you worry about whether you loose your salvation whenever you sin.
This legal paradigm of salvation is a very common, but very unfortunate, way of thinking about the matter.
When you read the New Testament, don’t think court of law: think marriage. God doesn’t want to be your prosecuting attorney or probation officer; he wants to be your passionate, heavenly lover! You are the “bride” of Christ, the Bible says. When we pledge our life to Christ, we enter into a marriage covenant.
Now, in a marriage the spouses don’t go around asking, “What are the legal requirements I must to do stay married?” Or, “What are the does and don’ts that will keep my spouse from divorcing me?” If a couple lives in these kind of questions, they’re in a pretty sick marriage!
The right question in marriage is; “How can I grow in my capacity to love and please my spouse?”
A marriage isn’t a legal contract, it’s a relational covenant. See the difference?
I don’t worry about my wife divorcing me every time I’m an imperfect husband (which, of course, I hardly ever am). But neither do I take advantage of my wife’s love by trying to see how imperfect I can get away being without her divorcing me. In response to her love for me, I rather want to grow in my capacity to be a good husband. The same is true of her. And the same should be true of our relationship with God. He loves you more than you can imagine, Calvary is all the proof of this you need. To be married to him, you simply need to trust that this is true and pledge to pursue growing in your capacity to live faithful to him and in your capacity to be “a good wife.” Of course you’re not going to be perfect, and when you fall you need to just go back and remind himself of his unconditional love, expressed on Calvary. Learn from your mistakes, and move on.
But always remember: He’s your lover, not your probation officer.