ACCESS: This video is in American Sign Language (ASL) only.
How Do I Know I’m Saved?
with Bob Swan
Hi I’m Ryan Sims. I am a deaf pastor in Dallas Texas. The notes you will see presented in this video are not my own, but from Bob Swan who was our beloved friend. Bob can’t be here to share these notes himself. He wanted to, but soon after Bob wrote these notes, he went home to be with the Lord.
This video is in connection to Pastor John Piper’s Ask Pastor John video called, “How Do I Know I’m Saved?” Bob created some notes about this topic and it was his passion to share his heart with you. After God took Bob home, Deaf 316 reached out to me asking me to assist with presenting Bob’s notes. It is my honor to share them with you now as we celebrate our beloved deaf friend, Bob Swan. Bob truly had a deep passion to help you connect and see Jesus. In preparing for this video I was deeply moved by
what I read in his notes. He was an incredibly godly servant. Are you ready to be impacted? Here is what Bob had to say.
Matthew 19:25-26 says, “When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?” But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
Yes, the disciples were astounded. It was not wealth that deems you worthy of salvation. It is a blessing from God. A common misconception today is that only the rich or the “good” will be welcomed into God’s Kingdom. Although some believers enjoy material things they have accumulated, some live in poverty. Wealth is not a sign of faith or of partiality on God’s part. Faith does not guarantee that we will be wealthy, nor does it indicate that God plays favorites.
As stated in John 3:16-17, “For God so loved the world, [a] that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.”
The message of the Good News is clear in this verse. God’s love reaches out and draws others in. God shows us, His true love, the basis for all love relationships—when you love someone dearly like your child, you are willing to give to them freely, to the point of self-sacrifice. God paid dearly with the life of his Son, the highest price He could pay. Jesus accepted our punishment, paid the price for our sins, and then offered us new life. When we share the Good News with others, our love must be like Jesus’—willing to give up our own comfort and security so others can receive God’s love.
Some people are not interested in the idea of eternal life because their current lives are miserable. They would not want their misery to go on forever. Eternal life is not an extension of a person’s mortal (physical) life. In eternal life, there is no death, sickness, enemy, evil, or sin. When we do not know Jesus, we make choices as though this life is all there is. We cannot imagine bad things, or our bad actions being eliminated. Eternal life will be completely different from the life you are living now. To be certain you have an eternity with Jesus, you need to ask Jesus for a new life now. The new life He offers us on earth, here and now, requires our allegiance to follow Him after we receive it. When you follow Christ, you will begin to see life with an eternal perspective, and you will begin to truly look forward to eternity.
To believe, means we must do more than just say that Jesus is the Son of God. It means to put our trust and confidence in Him that He alone can save us. Jesus wants to oversee our present plans and eternal destiny. Believing is both trusting His words are holy and relying on Him to change us. If you have never trusted Jesus with your whole life, let this promise of everlasting life be yours—you only need to believe.
In Acts 16 an incredible story takes place. Verses 25-31 say, “About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them, and suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken. And immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone's bonds were unfastened. When the jailer woke and saw that the prison doors were open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped. But Paul cried with a loud voice, “Do not harm yourself, for we are all here.” And the jailer called for lights and rushed in and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas. Then he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.”
In John 20:31 John tells us that, “ these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.”
To gain a better understanding of the life and mission of Jesus, study the Gospels. John tells us that his Gospel account records only a few of the many events in Jesus’ life on earth. But, the Good News includes everything we need to know to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, through whom we receive eternal life by believing in Him.
Jesus is Lord
In Romans 10:8-12, these verses provide us a beautiful answer: Salvation is as close as your own lips and heart. Simple. People think salvation is a complicated process, but it is not. If we sincerely believe in our hearts and profess that Jesus Christ is the risen Lord, we will be saved. It is no mistake that the message all through the New Testament is that we are saved by believing in Jesus. So, focus your attention on Christ in the whole Bible. Romans 10:9 says, “if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” John Piper guides us to say, “I receive him. I love him. He is my God. He is my Lord. He is my treasure.” Confess that. John Piper even says in his video, “Let yourself see yourself in the mirror saying that. Say that to others. Say it to your wife. Say it to your kids. Say it to your friend. ‘Jesus is my Lord.’” The Bible says no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except by the Holy Spirit. Isn’t that amazing? Nobody can say “Jesus is Lord.” So if you say it and mean it, God is at work in your life. You have the Holy Spirit.”
Remember, salvation is for everyone.
Receiving and Believing
What is faith? Faith requires us to believe. Many people rejected Jesus but as John 1:12 says, “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” Faith in Jesus, changes us from the inside out. It rearranges our attitudes, desires, and motives. Being born makes you physically alive and places you in your parents’ family, John 1:13 mentions this. Being born of God makes you spiritually alive and puts you in God’s family as mentioned in 1:12. Have you asked Jesus to make you a new person? This fresh start in life is available to all who believe in Him.
Jesus said, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst” (John 6:35). So believing is coming to him to have your thirst satisfied. It is a receiving of the waterfall of grace that pours out of the crevice of the cross and receiving it as the sole hunger satisfier.
“They are like trees planted along the riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green and they never stop producing fruit.” (Jeremiah 17:8 NLT).
In 2 Corinthians 4:4 NLT – “Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God.” So, what we see when Christ opens our eyes is that Christ is glorious. Christ “is the image of the invisible God” (Colossians 1:15). Christ is the greatest person that ever was, the greatest Savior, the greatest Lord, the greatest Teacher, the greatest Counselor, the greatest Friend.
Walk in the Light
Just a few seconds ago, I mentioned “Light of the Good News…” Light is not the light from a lamp. Let me tell you this Bible verse: Proverbs 6:23 NLT – For their command is a lamp and their instruction a light; their corrective discipline is the way to life. What that means is that you were born with your mom and dad… your mom and dad are the lamp, that means they know how to discipline you as you grow up; your mom and dad give you instructions on how to dress up, how to tie your shoes, how to brush your teeth, and so on as you grow up until you understand how to discipline yourself on your own. “Light” is a metaphor (word picture) that is sometimes used to mean that you will see the truth in the Bible once you believe that Jesus is the Lord, that He was both human and God born on earth around 2020 years ago
Psalm 27:1 NLT – The LORD is my light and my salvation- so why should I be afraid? The LORD is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble?
Fear is a dark shadow that envelops us and in time imprisons us within ourselves. Everyone has been a prisoner of fear at one time or another—fear of rejection, fear of misunderstanding, fear of uncertainty, fear of sickness, or even fear of death. But we can conquer fear by trusting in the Lord, who brings salvation. If we want to dispel the darkness of fear, let us remember with the psalm writer that the Lord is our light and our salvation.
Psalm 119:105 NLT – Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.
Let us imagine that in order to walk safely in the woods at night, we need a light for protection, so we don’t trip over rocks, changes in the trail, tree roots or fall into holes. In this life, we walk through a dark forest of evil. But the Bible can be our light to show us the way ahead, so we won’t stumble as we walk. Stumble, this means make mistakes as we go through our journey in life. It also reveals the entangling roots of false values and philosophies. We need a light to reach our desired destination. Study the Bible so you will be able to see your way clearly enough to stay on the right path.
John 1:4 NLT – The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone.
Why does Jesus’ life bring light to everyone? Because physical death brings eternal darkness and only Jesus’ eternal life (His light) planted in us will keep us alive in His new Kingdom for eternity. Jesus is eternally alive because He is God. He came to earth to offer humankind the hope and light of His eternal life. It can’t be purchased, only received as a gift. But Jesus gives it only to those who want it—those who want to live the way God’s citizens will live in His future eternal Kingdom.
Ephesians 1:18 NLT – I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident (certain) hope He has given to those He called-His holy people who are His rich and glorious inheritance.
Paul wrote this letter, at the time he was in prison, to the church in Ephesus in order to give them in-depth teaching about how to nurture (take care of) and maintain unity in the church. Paul wants the hearts of all believers to be flooded with light. We need clear minds and open hearts to grasp the truth of our hope. The hope we have in Christ means more than a vague assurance that the future will be good. Truly (indeed), it means being certain that God will do as He has promised. Let us trust and expect God to bring it about and wait patiently for Jesus’ arrival.
I and many of us who do the work of the Lord want ALL believers to be flooded with light…the instructions from the Bible that will help and guide you through your life the right way. The Bible has a good history of those different people that may have the same experiences that you have. I was a former Catholic, but learned they were not teaching truth. I repented to God for forgiveness and I was granted that forgiveness with grace in 2008. Since then, my soul, eyes and my mind were opened as soon as I opened my Bible that I could not fully understand before. I fell into the Bible every day when I got the chance. That didn’t work and I was so hungry for the light, I decided to set a time frame that I get up an hour earlier than I normally do to devote my time to study the Bible. Long story short… I pray for y’all to know that if you have believed in Jesus Christ fully, yes you are saved!
If there are any questions that you want us to clarify, please go to deaf316.org and click on Q&A.
God bless y’all!
Bob Swan was an active member of his church in South Carolina, where he served as a Sunday School
teacher and Deacon. He wrote this material for Deaf 316 Ministries a few days before God called him
home. Bob was a shining light (Matthew 5:14-16) to the deaf community all the way to the end of his
race (2 Timothy 4:6-8). More information on Bob Swan’s life can be found HERE.
Thank you, Bob. We’ll see you again.