I have had the privilege of serving as a missionary among Hispanics in the United States for the last 20 years. One of the questions I used to ask the people in the mission field was: “Are you 100% sure of your salvation?” After a long silence, I would often receive a sad “no, I’m not sure.” For some, that was their final answer; for others, it was the beginning of further spiritual conversations.
I found out in this conversation that those who had doubt understand salvation as something they need to be achieved, gained, or worked for. After all, “faithfulness” is a concept that implies perfection, something that is complete. To fit into that concept, you must be perfect, right? I couldn’t say: “Well, I am almost faithful to my wife,” or, “I am faithful to my wife, except for… .” You see, I either am faithful to my wife, or I am not.
In Luke 4:1-13, we see Jesus, right after His baptism and after fasting for forty days, He was tempted by Satan in the wilderness. He showed his perfect obedience and His faithfulness to God the Father.
Numerous times in the Bible, we find that faithfulness is part of God’s identity. It is one of His eternal attributes and part of his Divine character. God’s faithfulness is perfect; it is immutable never changes. He is faithful to His own Word. To His promises. Yes, everything God promises, He will always fulfill.
This concept of “faithfulness” or “perfection” is hard to understand in our world, in a society where promises are always broken. Nowadays, we see deception as typical. Corruption has become part of our culture. It’s part of our broken nature. When it comes to the perfect law of God, we always fall short no matter how hard we try.
So, it is not on us but in Jesus that we have eternal life. Is by the Word of God that we know salvation is not by our own doing but through faith (Rom. 1:17, 5:1, Gal 3:26, Eph. 2:8-9).
Faithfulness to God is all about FAITH. We can put it this way, FAITHFUL – FULL OF FAITH. When? When things are uphill when your faith is being shaken, sifted by Satan himself. Jesus said to Peter: “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail.” Luke 22:31-32 In other words, “I have prayed for you, so at the end of the battle, you will be found faithful.”
When the devil comes to make us doubt our identity we each can undoubtedly say: “I am a sinner, I’m not perfect, But I know a Champion who is. I’ve failed God many times, but I know someone who never did, and I believe in Him. He is the one who was faithful unto death. I am saved because of Him.”
In our baptism, we are reassured of our identity in Jesus. Many people who were not sure when we first spoke in the mission field are strong Christians serving the Lord; some are pastors, deaconesses, and lay leaders. Now there are 100% assured of their salvation not because they are perfect but because of Jesus.
By Rev. Lincon Guerra
Mission and Ministry Facilitator, Area A