Salvation is not based on feelings

Published 9:21 am Friday, March 29, 2019

Oftentimes, people will say, “I know I am saved because I feel it in my heart.” In essence these are claiming that their conscience is telling them that they are saved. The conscience and our ability to feel is truly a blessing from God, when bridled by His Word. However, feelings alone were never meant to be our religious guide. Our feelings separate and apart from the Word of God cannot tell us if something is right or wrong. Our feelings can reveal to us how we perceive any given situation. Jeremiah wrote, “O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps” (Jeremiah 10:23). Man alone, with all his intellect and feelings, cannot know the way of salvation. Solomon wrote, “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” (Prov. 14:12). I am convinced that an overwhelming majority of religious people base their salvation on how they feel and not upon the Word of God. But, James warns us against such measures in James 1:22. James tells us that we can deceive ourselves.
For example, many people teach and believe that a person is saved and then they are baptized as an outward sign of an inward faith. On the other hand Jesus said, “He that believes and is baptized shall be saved” (Mk. 16:16). We have a decision to make; will we listen to the teachings of man and say we feel saved in our hearts (No Biblical Support) or will we listen to the Word of God? Most people, when asked to defend this teaching of mankind on salvation, will simply say, “I just feel it in my heart.” We must be honest about this and all teachings in the scriptures because our souls are at stake. Salvation is not and never has been determined by mankind’s feelings. It takes the blood of Christ to save men (John 14:6), and the saving power of the blood is applied when mankind obediently submits to Baptism (1 Peter 3:18-21).
Perhaps one of the best examples found within the New Testament is in the case of the Apostle Paul. Paul, formerly known as Saul, felt as if he was doing the will of God when he persecuted the Church. In Acts 23:1, Paul said, “Men and brethren, I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day.” He learned on the Road to Damascus that he was mistaken. Like so many today, Paul allowed his feeling to lead him away from God. Our feelings are needed and are a part of what God gave us to help us make important decisions; however, our consciences need to be educated by the Word of God. May we ever trust in the Lord (Prov. 3:5) never depending solely on our own minds. I encourage you to base your salvation based upon the totality of the Word of God.
(The Questions/Answers Column is provided by Tony Hoss, minister of Centerview Church of Christ.)

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