Do you ever wonder if you are really saved? Even after we have put our trust in Christ, temptation can still ensnare us. How can God be pleased with us when we continue to fall into sin? Michael Horton says the key to being assured in our salvation is to understand the power of what Christ accomplished on the cross.
“We are declared righteous on the basis of Christ’s merits. We have to be saved by works, God’s law can’t be set aside, but someone else did that work for us. He not only died for our sins, He lived a perfect life in our place and all of that gets credited to us!”
Once we were dead in our sins, but when we are born again in Jesus, we are literally a new person in God’s sight.
“I think a lot of Christians have heard that Christ died for our sins, but until they realize that He also lived a holy life, fulfilling the law for us, you don’t get that sense that it’s all done; it is all taken care of. It is not just that I have forgiveness — that’s wonderful — but I have justification: I am right before God. I have peace with God.”
To put it another way, works were required for us to be right with God. Our sins carry a heavy cost, but we no longer have to pay our own eternal debts.
“We are justified by works: Jesus’ completed works. It’s all done, all taken care of. I not only have forgiveness, I have justification. We have peace with God. Sometimes we feel it more than than other times, but we can know an objective peace that is there because of what Jesus has done on the cross 2,000 years ago.”
Michael encourages believers to look at your daily teaching, Bible reading, and the preaching you hear. What is your main focus?
“If you’re struggling, instead of looking inside ourselves to find assurance, we should be looking outside of ourselves; we’re called out side of ourselves to look to Christ the author and finisher of our faith.”
When we realize the power of Jesus’ finished work, we can walk without fear into the freedom and fellowship God always meant for us to enjoy with Him!
“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God.” Romans 5:1-2
Michael Horton is the Professor of Systematic Theology and Apologetics at Westminster Seminary California. The author of many books, including Core Christianity: Finding Yourself in God's Story. He is also the host of the new Core Christianity radio show, a daily Bible question-and-answer show broadcasting nationwide. He lives with his wife Lisa and four children in Escondido, California.