Should you regularly be questioning your salvation? What about self-examination? When and how should you do that? The guys answer these questions and consider several passages of Scripture that speak to these issues.
Members’ Podcast: The guys pointedly answer the question posed by John Piper’s article, “How often should you question your salvation?”
Jon Moffitt: Hi, this is Jon. We have a question for you: should you be examining yourself? Should you be self-examining every day? Should you even be listening to this podcast? That’s a great question. In today’s podcast, we’re going to talk about self-examination and we’re going to look at several passages in the Bible that tell us that we should examine ourselves—does it really? We’re going to look at them in context.
Then in the members’ podcast, we are going to review an article that came out by a prominent evangelical that asks the question, “How often should we be examining ourselves as Christians?” We hope you enjoy.
Jimmy Buehler: If you have been listening to Theocast for a long time, you’re going to know that one of the things that we often reference is this idea of self-examination or turning the believer inward. Whenever we talk about that, we talk about that in a negative way, that one of the things of the evangelical church is to constantly point the believer inward to examine themselves, to see whether or not they are in the faith. This doesn’t come from nowhere. There are some Scriptures that we will reference later in this podcast that do talk about examining yourself, and we hope to frame those in context.
The reason why we began talking about this—and when I say we, I mean Jon, Justin, and myself—is that recently there was an interview posted of a prominent evangelical leader that in essence is trying to answer the question, “How often should I question my salvation?” or, “How often should I examine myself?” We thought it would be helpful to add our own thoughts into this conversation of how to answer that. How often should we question our salvation and how often should we examine ourselves? That’s where we are going today. I want to throw it to the guys here and see how they would answer that, or why it is that we want to answer that question.
Jon Moffitt: This is such an important conversation because so many people are crippled by this. I would say all three of us, as pastors, have had to deal with this, and even with listeners who write in. People really do struggle with the constant examination. I will say the words that come to all three of our minds are these: it’s exhausting. This is an exhausting conversation because there is no end to the conversation. There’s no end to the examination. Can you just imagine living in a glass house where you’re constantly at the threat of being thrown out because of a mishap? That’s what it feels like. This comes from pietism. (We did a podcast on this a couple of weeks ago and I encourage you to go listen to it.) But at its core, this is pietism. It’s the constant self-examination.
This is why I take the biggest issue with this type of self-examination: some people will do it to say, “I don’t know if I truly am a believer so I need to confirm to myself that I’m a believer.” You have to ask yourself, what saves you? Is it your good works or the good works of Jesus? You are saved by works. The question is: is it your good works? If you’re looking to your good works as the confirmation of your faith, you now have reasons to boast. That’s Ephesians 2:8-9. But if you are saved by the works of Christ, Paul says you don’t have reasons to be boasting, so we’re going to boast all the more in Christ. This constant introspective self-examination—what you’re trying to do is you’re trying to prove to you, and everybody around you, and to God, that you’re legitimate.
Let me just encourage you that God never worries or wonders who His children are. If you know that God is sovereign, God does not need you to prove to Him anything. You need to look to God to confirm that God will do what He said He’s going to do. My biggest and overarching first examination of this, which we are going to look at probably the two biggest passages: 2 Corinthians and 2 Peter that mentioned these, but just from the beginning, theologically speaking, you have to understand that our sovereign God never wonders who belongs to Him.
Justin Perdue: Amen. At the risk of sounding like a smart aleck, I might answer the question of how often we should question our salvation, or how often we should be examining ourselves, by saying you should pursue good works and flee from sin, as you trust Christ as the ground of your peace, before God. Always. That’s probably how I would respond. Then begin to unpack that statement for people, that your status in Christ Jesus, by faith, is one of justified. Your identity is that you are now in Christ: you’ve been united to him, and everything that is his is yours, including his righteousness, his holiness, and the satisfaction that he has made for sins.
In speaking that way, we are speaking like the apostles write. When they write to their audiences, they always begin with Christ and his finished work. They always begin with the identity question. Who are we? They begin with the question of status, and justification, and the rest. Then they encourage their readers to live accordingly. We see this pattern maybe most clearly demonstrated in Ephesians. I know we reference that book all the time. We see things like this elsewhere from other apostles. We’re going to talk about 2 Peter 1 here in just a minute, but you see this in John’s first letter. 1 John is oftentimes, I think, abused and would be understood by many to be this letter that’s essentially a litmus test of salvation. I don’t think that’s what the apostle is doing at all. He’s encouraging saints who have been abandoned and who have been bombarded by false teaching. He is encouraging them that they are legit, that they’re in Christ, and that is evidenced by how they’re living. He is not telling them to pursue righteousness and to love one another in order that they would prove that they’re legit. He’s saying, “No, you are legit, and it’s evidenced by what you’re doing and how you’re living together.” It’s just a very different posture that the apostles seem to take.
I think this hyper-introspective, turning-people-back-in-on-themselves, this prove-that-you’re-legit kind of theology is pietistic. All it serves to do is feed this monster of us always questioning how God feels about us, because we do that naturally. We always assume that God is happier with us when we’re doing well from our perspective and that He is not as happy with us, and somehow we can’t be as bold or as assured before Him, if we’re struggling. That’s not what the apostles say. Thinking about Ephesians 3, Paul says that we have boldness and access, with confidence, before God, through our faith in Jesus Christ. It’s Ephesians 3:11-12. Not through how we’re performing.
So, we’ve got to begin this conversation by saying those things or people are going to be led into despair and despondency.
Jimmy Buehler: A little bit of history as to where this kind of approach to the Christian life came from: around the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century, moving into the 17th century, as Protestant teaching moved across Europe—you had Scottish Presbyterianism, you had the Church of England, you had German Lutheranism. Often, one of the downfalls that you see, as different strains of Protestantism began to differentiate themselves from other strains of Protestantism, is you would have these long diatribes, these long conversations, about theological matters that would often happen in the ivory towers of universities, and writings, and so on and so forth. And that’s good. That’s fun. It’s good to read and deep dive into stuff like that. But this reaction to that, this swing-the-pendulum-the-other-way is you have other movements that began to rise; particularly Lutheran pietism within the German Lutheranism, but also Methodism within more of the English speaking world of Protestantism.
The question began to change. What I mean by that is the question of what it meant to be a Christian changed from “Are you sound theologically?” to “Do you believe in the right things about the nature and character of God, and the gospel, and Jesus,” and so on and so forth. It changed from “Are you sound?” to “Are you even saved?” That’s where pietism began to be born and birthed and grew. As Christianity moved to the United States, this is the version of Christianity that actually moved to the United States. We’ve said this before: evangelical Christianity in the United States is a pietistic movement. You mix that version of Christianity, this hyper-individualized, hyper-focused inward version of Christianity, with the rugged individualism of the American spirit, and this is what you get: you get a Christianity that is focused on asking, “Am I even saved?”
I think a lot of people enjoy this kind of Christianity, because what it does is it helps create categories, not of theology, but it creates categories of people. That on this side, over here, we have the true Christians. They not only go to church, but they take church seriously, and they take obedience seriously, and they take the Christian life seriously. Then you have Christians over here. These people go to church, but they’re nominal, they’re carnal. They don’t take the faith seriously. For whatever reason, we love to do this. One, I think it’s comparative righteousness. We like to compare. I want to compare my rags to your rags, and it doesn’t matter because they’re all rags anyway.
That’s just a little history of what we are talking about here. Whenever we read passages like 2 Corinthians 13:5: “Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith,” we have to understand that we have a slew of below the surface of the water iceberg preconceived notions of what that means because of how we’ve been raised to think about Christianity.
Justin Perdue: At the heart of every holiness movement throughout the history of the church is a suspicion that if you emphasize doctrine, if you emphasize and tell people that Jesus has done everything, that Christ is sufficient, and that there’s nothing left to do in order to be reconciled to God, then you’re going to produce apathetic and lawless people. As we’ve said so many times, that would be true if salvation was a natural process that man achieved—but it isn’t. It’s a supernatural work of God from beginning to end, and the Holy Spirit, taking up residence within us and doing the sanctifying work that He does, makes it certain that those who have trusted Christ will be conformed into his image.
If union with Christ weren’t a thing then okay, maybe if you were just to emphasize what Jesus has done, you might produce lawlessness and apathy. But as it stands, that just doesn’t hold. That’s an age old objection that falls flat on its face, I think, empirically.
A thought here just really quickly—Jimmy, to pick up on something that you were saying about how the question, at some point in history, changed from theological soundness to whether one is saved—I think it’s interesting that when you listen to most people talk about self-examination in the church today, the question that they always are asking is something like, “How am I doing? How am I behaving?” They are never asking the question, “Who am I trusting?” That, I think, is indicative of what’s going on, because one of those two questions is of first importance—and it’s not the one about your behavior. The primary question is, “What do you believe?” Even referencing 1 John, again, notice how he makes a massive deal about their confession, about whether they believe that Christ came in the flesh, and about whether they believe that Christ had accomplished specific things for them, and whether or not they believe that they are actually sinners. He begins with that stuff. Then alongside that encourages them that they are living legitimate lives.
It’s very interesting that we, in our modern context, will just poo-poo the confession piece. It’s like, “You can say you believe anything, but you got to really prove your mettle by how you’re living and prove that you’re legit.” What you believe is over here, and the real rubber-meets-the-road of the Christian life is how you are doing.
Jon Moffitt: That’s the core of the matter: what the examination process is the list that’s often given to people that they need to be examining. I look at that and think that it is so far from biblical, it’s not even funny. The Bible doesn’t tell me to examine myself against that watermark—you set that watermark on it.
We did a whole podcast on this, so I’m going to say it, and I know it sounds punchy, but I need you to hear this: your political voting and your Bible reading are not the watermark of examination of whether you’re in the faith. I’m sorry. I’ve heard people basically say, “Are you reading your Bible? How can you not read your Bible at all and consider yourself to be a Christian?”
Jimmy Buehler: It’s the wrong question.
Jon Moffitt: When I moved to Tennessee from California, during the first winter we had, I was looking for a beanie. I wanted to cover my ears. When I asked for a beanie, they looked at me and they said, “A toboggan?” I was like, “A toboggan? No, you slide in that. That’s an Olympic sport. It’s a beanie.” And they’re like, “No, it’s a toboggan.” What’s interesting to me is that I had a context to a word that if someone were to walk up to me and say, “Do you want a toboggan?” I would say, “I don’t have a truck. No, I don’t want a toboggan.” In their mind, they’re thinking beanie. Well, this is what’s going on when we read “examine yourself” when Paul says it in 2 Peter. We put a context on it because we have been so programmed in pietism. We immediately assume examination is prayer, Bible reading, making sure we’re not cussing, making sure we’re good coworkers. We immediately put a context on it, where Paul has a context of what he means—which I’m going to let Justin take us there in a second. 2 Peter—we’ll talk about that. There’s a context and a purpose of what’s being said there. So, I think we need to clarify those.
This article that we referenced—he mentions both of them. I think what’s frustrating for me is that his context—toboggan versus beanie—I think he’s missing it. He has an understanding of the passage that is not appropriate because he’s placing the history of pietism on the text and missing actually what Paul is trying to call the Corinthian church to, which is not examination of performance of things that the Bible says we need to never perform.
Jimmy Buehler: Here’s the thing: I want to play devil’s advocate a little bit, because one of the accusations that we’ve received is, “You guys are taking passages that have been understood like this, and you’re just saying it doesn’t say that. You’re not doing a plain reading of the text.” And so on and so forth.
I’m reading it right now—2 Corinthians 13:5: “Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith.” It seems pretty clear. If you just want to approach the Bible as is, Paul is saying it right there. Not only there, but in 2 Peter: make your calling and your election. You have 1 Corinthians 10:11, where Paul is saying that before they go to the Lord’s Table, they are to examine themselves. If we’re doing a plain reading of the text, and if we are going to take the Bible as is, somebody’s off here. So, help me understand.
Justin Perdue: I’ll take the Corinthians pieces really quickly, and you guys jump in.
This is Bible exegesis, hermeneutics 101—and I’m not trying to sound snarky in saying that. But, for example, if I wrote you a letter, and let’s say it’s 10 pages long, and you jumped onto page nine and landed in one particular paragraph, in one particular sentence and read it, you could conclude any number of things from that one sentence that may or may not fit well in the context of that entire letter that I’ve written to you. I would contend, in both of these instances—the 1 Corinthians 11 piece about the Lord’s supper, and the 2 Corinthians 13 piece about self-examination—the context of the entire letters are critical for our understanding.
In 1 Corinthians 11, Paul is talking about the Lord’s Supper there. He is making it quite plain that there is division. Division in the church at Corinth is an issue that shows up early in the letter. He comes back to it again in chapter 11, about how there is division amongst them; in particular, there is division that is manifesting itself at the time when the church ought to be most unified—that is communion around the Lord’s Table. It is that division within the body that Paul is addressing when he’s talking about examining themselves (in the plural) to come to the Table. Then, in the 2 Corinthians 13 piece, a major issue in that entire letter is the legitimacy of Paul’s apostolic ministry—whether or not Paul is legit in comparison to these so-called super apostles that it seems that many in Corinth are chasing after. So, Paul, in saying what he does about self-examination, says, “Examine yourselves to see whether or not you are in the faith.” Then he goes on to talk about himself, and whether or not he’s met the test, and his legitimacy, and everything else. He is essentially saying to them, “You have believed the message that I’ve preached. People are saved through believing the message that we preach. So, if you think that my ministry is entirely illegitimate, then you need to question a number of things, including whether or not you are legitimately in Christ.”
Again, I think context is critical. People say this: the three keys to biblical interpretation are context, context, and context. Just put those in practice, please, when we begin to interpret letters.
Jimmy Buehler: It’s as if Paul is saying, “Look, if you want to examine me, you need to examine yourselves. If you want to bring me on trial, you need to put yourself on trial.”
Jon Moffitt: He’s not talking about moral behavior. What Jimmy was talking about is that Paul was questioning their theological stance.
Justin Perdue: He’s getting at the issue of weakness and power. Allah, the gospel is the power of God unto salvation—that kind of weakness and power paradigm is what he’s dealing with, clearly, even in chapter 13 of 2 Corinthians.
Jimmy Buehler: If you do a deep dive into 1 Corinthians and 2 Corinthians, you will realize that Paul dearly loves this church, but is also deeply frustrated by them. They’re screwy and they have all sorts of nonsense happening in their church. When you read, particularly, the end of 2 Corinthians 13:1, it’s like he’s saying, “This is the third time I’m coming to you. Have we not been over this? I guess I’m coming back. We’re going to have Christianity 101 all over again.” It’s not that he’s coming to them because of their morality, he’s coming to them saying, “I have preached the true gospel to you.”
Jon, take us to take us to Peter.
Jon Moffitt: One could argue that Peter is talking about morality because he makes this long mention of things that we should be adding to our faith. Let’s look at this again in context, instead of just looking at the section that says, “Examine yourself.” Look at verse three; it says, “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us, his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.” What Peter means in the first three verses is very plain: God’s power and divine grace have saved you. How do you know that? His promises. That’s how you know it’s true. God’s giving you everything that you need to live this life. How do you know that to be true? Look at his promises; He’s been faithful to fulfill them. That’s how you confirm it.
Then he keeps going: “For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge…” There’s a long list here: self-control, brotherly affection—for the sake of time, we’re not going to read the whole list. Then he says in verse eight, “For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective and unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” To which we say amen. If you’re not showing brotherly affection, kindness, and mercy, you are going to be hurting the mission of the church.
Justin Perdue: And you’re going to be ineffective.
Jon Moffitt: That’s right. Then he says, “For whoever lacks these qualities is so near-sighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you are practicing these qualities, you will never fall.” Here’s the question: what qualities is he talking about in the context? If he is talking about falling away from your salvation, and he points to these actions, then what you’re arguing is that Peter says you maintain and keep your salvation by actions. But how can you say that if he says in the first three verses that everything we need is by His divine power, not only for life, but for godliness. I think the qualities he’s talking about are the qualities of the faith by which the first three verses set us up with. Because he says, “Add to this.” He doesn’t say to base it upon.
Your foundation is the gospel—always the gospel—and then the outflow of the gospel are these good works. If these good works aren’t happening, he’s saying you forgot the foundation. The examination goes back to Christ.
Here’s what I think is so frustrating to me: Galatians 6:1 says, “Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness.” How are you going to restore them? According to Peter, you’re going to restore them, reminding them that they’ve been cleansed, and they’re not walking in a manner that is in reflection to how they have been cleansed. You don’t call them to question their salvation—you call them back to their salvation. You’re pointing back to their baptism in Christ saying, “You need to act like what you are, not call it into question; unless they’re denying the faith—that’s different. That’s another conversation.
Justin Perdue: 2 Peter 1, especially 2 Peter 1:9, sounds almost identical to the argument of Paul in Romans 6:1 and following. Peter is effectively saying in 2 Peter 1 that whoever lacks these qualities—and he is there, I think, talking about some of those virtues that he has listed—whoever lacks these things has forgotten the work of Christ on his behalf; whoever lacks these things is forgotten who he is.
Like you said, Jon, the foundation, the primary consideration is what has Jesus done for you and who you are in him. Recall these things, believe these things, and then flowing out of that will be these other things that Peter is speaking to.
Paul in Romans 6. Many will be familiar with the end of Romans 5 and how Paul makes the argument so that as sin reigned in death, grace would also reign through righteousness, leading to eternal life through Christ Jesus, our Lord, and how that as sin increases, grace abounds all the more. So then the question is: are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? And Paul says by no means. Then he effectively says to remember who you are. He responds with identity in Jesus and union with Christ. “You’ve been baptized into the Lord Jesus and raised to walk in newness of life in him. You’ve been delivered from the dominion of sin. You now are obedient from the heart. Remember your identity.” This is how the apostles always talk. They don’t say, “Oh, well, you’ve asked that question. Are you even a Christian?” No, it’s always, “you’ve asked this question and let me answer you with your identity, your status, and your union with Christ.”
Jimmy Buehler: Even Disney gets this. This is in The Lion King. Remember when prodigal Simba is going back and forth and Mufasa comes out of the clouds. What does he say? “Remember who you are.” and then Simba goes, “That’s right. I’m the son of the King.” Disney gets this better than most.
Justin Perdue: Better than evangelicalism.
Jimmy Buehler: That’s right. Justin, to reiterate what you said earlier where the approach that we’re attacking wants to wake up in the morning or go to bed at night and ask the question, “Did I do enough things today to make my life ensured?” The question needs to be, “Did I trust Christ today?”
Honestly, can I just be real here and say where we want to spiritualize so many things, I think the apostles would say, “Guys, just use common sense.” Just a heavy dose of common sense. When you participate within the life of the church, don’t be a jerk, don’t be mean, don’t be cunning, don’t be judging people. Be patient bearing with one another in love as you wait for the return of our Lord Jesus Christ. It’s common sense. This is how I discipline my own children.
Justin Perdue: It is common sense. I think the apostles think so, too. Peter even goes on to use this language: that part of what he intends to do is to stir up his readers by way of reminder. He’s not yelling at them. He’s just trying to stir them up and remind them of these things, that they might live a life that is fruitful, and that they might be of good in the church for the sake of their brothers and sisters and all the rest. That’s, I think, how we ought to approach this as pastors as well.
We say this all the time. One of the things that makes pietism what it is that it has this edginess to it all the time; this exacting and this threatening tone. Jon, you use the language of “prove yourself” all the time. I think that’s right. We’ve already alluded to that today. But there’s always this, “You may, through your negligence, irresponsibility, apathy, or whatever, you may end up proving yourself to be a non-believer.” There’s always that kind of edge to this thing. It’s always this sort of suspicion that everybody’s nominal and we need to smoke out the fakers. It affects how we communicate in the church. Even this question of self-examination becomes a frightening prospect, when in reality, I think the New Testament tone and tenor is one of, “No, I want to remind you of these things. I want to encourage you. I want to stir you up. Here is who you are. Let me be used by God to help you in this Christian life, that you might be fruitful, and that you might be good for your neighbor.”
Jon Moffitt: Have you guys ever been in a group of people where whatever it is they’re talking about, like for me the other day, it was college football—and I don’t know because I don’t really watch, but I know football and I love football—and these guys are naming names and I don’t even know who these people are. These guys could say, “Jon, you’re a faker. You don’t like football. If you really like football, you would know this stuff.” They would call me a faker. So, what do you want me to do? You basically say you want me to not offend you by saying I like football, because if I really liked football, then I would know this stuff. This is what Christianity does. We get offended because, “How dare you call yourself a Christian and you don’t live to the level that I live? That is ridiculous. How dare you take this name on?”
Here’s what’s so funny to me. Christians are called to be on a rescue mission. Our job is to take the light of Christ into a dark world so that those who are lost may find Christ. If I’m sitting next to a guy who is a poser, it’s like, “Nope, he’s not really a believer. He says he is, but he’s not.” That means he’s an unbeliever. That means he’s most likely confused and has been led astray. I’m probably sure he’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing. I have two options: I can beat them over the head and call them an idiot, or I can give them the thing that will save him, which is the gospel, and clarify the gospel. Because if he’s not a believer, it means he doesn’t understand the gospel nor believe it.
What we hear in things like “examine yourself” is that they’re beating people. You’re giving them a litmus test instead of the thing that can actually transform someone’s life to want to love, to want to obey, to want to pursue Christ. The only thing that transforms people is the gospel. It’s not fear. It’s not self-examination.
Let me go back. Look at 2 Peter 1:10: “Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities, you will never fall. For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” If you think your obedience is your entrance into the Kingdom, that’s the problem. Back up to verse three; he’s saying it’s God’s divine power through his promises that give you the rich entrance. What our dear friends, who obviously are not acting as if they should, if they say, “I’m a Christian,” and then they’re denying truths, what they need is Christ and the gospel. They need a gentle hand to love them. As Galatians 6:1 says, go to such a one with meekness and restore them. What I’m hearing is, “Y’all better get your act together, or you may not be saved and that’s a bad thing.” I just don’t see that tone coming from Scripture to the broader evangelical world.
Justin Perdue: I couldn’t agree more strongly, Jon, with your take. We’ve said this before, that if you really think there are nominal people sitting in your church, if there are people that are Christian in name only, and they’re not really Christians, then why in the world are we not heralding the gospel to these people? Why is it that we’re only just bombarding them and beating them over the head with Law, as though that’s going to save them? It’s very contradictory and inconsistent. If that’s really what we think is going on, we ought to exhort them to trust Christ, because that is the foundation of what it is to be a Christian.
I want to pivot slightly to pick up on some stuff that you both have said over the course of the podcast and that we’ve been considering. I think that one of the things in the article that we are referencing that is good is the acknowledgment that we need community, that we need the church, and that we need to live in the context of other brothers and sisters who can help us live the Christian life, and exhort us, and everything else.
I think that what we need to acknowledge is that in a church where the gospel is preached and Christ is heralded, and people are living life together in an intentional way, there will be all kinds of watching over each other going on, where people are going to be admonishing each other. They’re going to be encouraging each other. They’re going to be exhorting each other. They’re going to be correcting each other at points, looking at each other saying, “Hey, brother, you realize that’s a bad idea for you to do that?” That’s just going to be going on in terms of the resting heart rate of the church. It’s just part of the culture.
But then, the Scripture gives us a mechanism to deal with people that are absolutely not living their life in alignment with their profession—it’s called church discipline. It’s going to be very clear. It’s going to be clear and demonstrable. It’s going to take place over a season of time. It’s going to be hard-hearted, high-handed, unrepentant sin—and it’s going to become very clear. Then we remove those people from the church, we keep them from the Table, that they might be restored. But I feel like what people think we need to be doing is going about all the time with this posture of doubting and being suspicious of everybody’s profession, waiting to drop the hammer. That is just so far from what the New Testament exhorts us to.
Jon Moffitt: Can I just interject really quickly, Justin, and I’ll hand it back over to you? This is what happened with Kanye West. Everybody went, “Well, we’ll see.” I’m so glad that Jesus didn’t say that to me.
Justin Perdue: Sure, time will tell, but what we want to do in the church is invite people in. “You’ve professed faith in Christ. Let’s baptize you. Let’s bring you into the fellowship of the saints. Let’s admit you to the Table. Let’s preach Christ. Let’s love each other. We trust God will keep His promises, He is utterly faithful to us, and is going to preserve us to the end.” It’s not this suspicious posture all the time. As I said earlier, if it becomes very clear, over a season of time, that you were just hard-hearted and unrepentant, we have a mechanism for that, and we will do that, and we will wield that instrument carefully.
Jon Moffitt: Most Christians are exhausted because they tread theological water all the time, instead of resting in Christ. No wonder people have constant doubt. They’re saying, “I don’t know if I believe enough.” It doesn’t matter how much you believe it. Can Jesus save you? That’s the point.
Jimmy Buehler: It’s not the quality of faith; it’s your object of faith. Just to go with what you said, and this is the last thing I’ll say before I drop a bomb on you guys, is we often want to treat Jesus like he’s the varsity football coach on day one of tryouts. Like he’s standing before everybody, saying, “We’ll see who will last by the end of the week.” And that’s just not it when Jesus says in Matthew 11, “I’m gentle and lowly in heart.” After the day of full contact, I’m exactly the guy you want to talk to.
The title of the article, How Often Should I Question My Salvation? —I do think we should answer that pointedly in the members’ podcast. Not that we skirted around it, but let’s give a clear answer.
Jon Moffitt: We’ll put that article in the notes if you want to read it. Join us on the members’.
Speaking of, we are going to move over to our members’ podcast. This is, what I want to call, an intimate conversation with those who join in and really want to help herald this message across the world. We have a little bit more pointed conversations with those who are our partners.
If you want to learn more about that and how to help Theocast encourage and get more from us, we have so much on our website. You can go to theocast.org and look at our membership there. It’s a way of partnering with us. Just so you know, it’s how we keep producing all that we’re doing.
Thank you for listening. We pray this was encouraging to you. Our main goal, our main desire at Theocast, the three of us, is that we may remove the clutter that’s put on the gospel and help you find rest in Christ. We pray that you’ve already started that journey and that you trust that Jesus is sufficient to save you, sanctify you, and glorify you. We’ll see you next week.