I don’t know how many times I’ve heard someone say it. “I just know within my heart that Jesus has accepted me.” Yet when asked how they “know” they’re saved, the best answer they can give is, “I just feel like I am.”
Such reasoning is surely the result of poor preaching. When asked, “How do I get faith?” Many preachers respond, “just ask for it.”
Jesus didn’t teach that.
Jesus said, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent” (John 6:29, ESV). In other words, faith is not something that we just miraculously “feel.” It isn’t blind. Instead, faith is the result of an open heart that is influenced by what God has offered as a basis for faith.
Faith is something you must do.
“Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Rom. 10:17).
God doesn’t desire faith that is without assurance and confidence (Heb. 11:1). The true faith of a New Testament Christian comes from God’s Word.
Jesus warned that some of the worst enemies of Christianity would be people who “think [they] are offering service to God” (John 16:2).
Feelings are dangerous if not grounded in truth.
Faith must originate from the factual evidence of God’s Word. If you “feel” saved, but haven’t followed the New Testament’s prescription of salvation, your feelings have fooled you. Those going to heaven are those who have first (1) experienced real faith (Rom. 10:17), (2) have been moved to genuine repentance (Acts 17:30-31; 2:38), (3) have been purposefully baptized in the name of Christ (Acts 2:38; Mark 16:16; Matthew 28:18-20), and (4) have been diligently living faithfully to God (Rev. 2:10).
I don’t just want to “feel” saved, I want to “know” I am of God (1 John 5:13).