am I saved?
There are aspects of the gospel which do not necessarily make sense when we try to reason them. To try and visualise the three in the Godhead, yet one, is one of those things that man's finite mind is not competant to identify in full detail. The nature of the 'godliness' that the apostle discusses in several places is another.
This page was written to try to explain that each of us is uniquely different, and yet God still regards us as His sons.
It looks at our unchangeable God through the eyes of a friend who succesfully raised a family who related well together, but who he did not expect to fully understand life through the teachings of someone qualified as an engineer in a quite obscure engineering discipline. We both attended the same church at the time, although we both left later.
We need be careful at trusting the type of messengers he and his family trusted then... it shows how easy it is to accept everything presented from the pulpit when it does not stack up to the written word. We both survived through testing retrospectively - like the Bereans.
I believe his thoughts are really helpful.
He was a retired hydrologist (an engineer qualified in the fascinating science of moving water) who shared with me a family situation some years ago.
He and his wife are both getting on in years, and she has considerable difficulty with remembering things. This condition is not uncommon, and tends to get worse with time, with the most recent things being lost first, and slightly older ones following suit, progressively.
I have noticed I have started to suffer the same problem!
My friend said that a few weeks before, his wife had confessed to him "a fear" she had. She made the point that she could no longer recall all the wonderful things that the Lord is revealing in her life, and she felt that her salvation might have been in jeopardy.
My friend and his wife worked through the situation to her great joy and satisfaction, and he felt that perhaps he could explain it in the usual sort of 'parable' fashion that Christians often use.
He said that he cannot understand and explain the 'mystery' of godliness like those in ministry in the church do, and he believes he does not have the capacity of those in leadership. He asked...
'Does that mean my salvation is any less assured than theirs? God forbid!'
I quote here from his notes...
I have a wonderful family with several (now) adult children. Over many years, I have from time to time tried to explain to them why I am excited over some flow of water or other.
We go to the beach and I start looking at the waves and analysing them in my mind. They listen politely and say 'Yes, Dad' and enjoy their swim.
I do not expect them to understand the Navier-Stokes equations of motion before I accept them as my children. No way!
They are born to me! I am their father. The convolutions of my mind does not change that at all!
My friend went on to state that in a similar way his (and our) Heavenly Father has many wonderful things in store for him. He understands some in part. Some are way beyond his wildest dreams which he cannot comprehend, but he makes the point that God is still his Father, and he is still God's son. He continues...
I sit here like you and hear the revelatory words of my brothers, and let them wash over me with joy, as they describe the things that are to come. I rejoice in God my Father that He has seen fit to reveal these things to me by His messengers, but my capacity to comprehend them is limited. However I am still His son.
We each have our own individual identity, created by God, but also an accountability to live at the capacity defined by that identity. If we live as sons and at that capacity, then we are safe in the Father's care, and he builds a bulwark of salvation around us.
So, do not let any lack of understanding undermine your hope of salvation in Him, but trust Him as a Father, to reveal through His messengers, and lead us, His sons, safely through those areas of life in which our understanding is weak.
And so we grow.
My friend then changed direction, and spoke about the 'Last Supper', saying...
Jesus had a similar idea, I think at the Last Supper. With the 12 around Him, He says (in effect)...
- "Listen, fellas, A lot of things will be happening over the next few days, which you will not fully understand, and your confidence will fail. So, I want to give you something to hang on to...
- See this loaf of bread? Say this is my body. I give a piece of it to you all. See, my body has to be broken so that you may share in it. But, you are all one loaf. You are my body. Whenever you eat, do this to remember that you are now my body..."
- "And that is not all. I am making a new covenant with you. A new covenant for a new creation. I shed my blood as a seal for this covenant, and my life is in this blood...
- Take this cup and drink of it, all of you, so that you are reminded that my life may be in you. In this way, you will declare the work of the cross in your life, until I come again and receive you unto myself. If you can't understand what is happening, hang on to this. You are my body, and my life is in you." Our understanding is limited; but our Father's power and love is great, and He will accomplish in us that which He pleases, if we but submit ourselves to Him as sons.
I believe that my friend was spot-on target with that description. Has that helped you?
Updated, 22nd February 2000.
And again, today