ACCESS: This video is in American Sign Language (ASL) only.
What should I do if I doubt my salvation?
with Bob Swan
Hello! My name is Bob Swan. My dogs are here with me. This is Moses and my other dog is Faith. I am happy to represent Deaf 316 and share a word from the Lord to you. I hope to provide all of you, whether you are deaf, hearing or hard of hearing, clarity to the question “What should I do if I doubt my salvation?”
Everyone has occasional doubts. Whether or not you have doubts is not what determines whether you are a Christian. Even when a believer is faithless, God is faithful always (2 Timothy 2:13).
You love God’s law with all your heart. But there is another power within us that sometimes we are at war within our minds. This power makes us a slave to the sin that is still within us. We all are miserable! Who will free us from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thanks be to God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In our mind we really want to obey God’s law, but because of our sinful nature, we are a slave to sin. So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ
Jesus. And because you / we belong to Him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you and us from
the power of sin that leads to death (Romans 7:22-8:2).
God wants us to know that He so loves the world that He gave His one and only precious Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent His Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through Him (John 3:16-17; Romans 10:9-10).
God wants us to be sure and confident of our salvation, because nothing can ever separate us from the love of God (Romans 8:38-39; 1 John 5:13).
We have all sinned, no matter how great or small – all sins are equal and separates us from God, but ask God for forgiveness and He will forgive if we repent and turn to Jesus. (Romans 3:23).
The wages of sin are death – but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord. What that means is you are free to choose between two masters – Satan or God – but you cannot serve both equally. A life serving Satan leads to eternal separation from God and punishment forever. If you reject God now, you cannot experience joy or hope here on earth and you will be separated from God after you die. God’s gift is eternal life with Christ that begins on earth and continues forever with God – freedom. Which will you choose? Let me be clear- the Scriptures said “… free gift of God is eternal life…” Eternal life is a gift from God. It is not something that we work for or what we must do to pay back in exchange. As a former Catholic, they said that I must work for salvation – that is wrong! The Bible helped me clarify the doubt that I had – I don’t mean just one doubt – but many Scriptures that I found are the truth that sets me free from my many doubts as what John 8:32 said. Ephesians 2:8-9 says our salvation is a gift from God – not something of our doing – by saving you by His grace when you first believed. You can’t take credit for this – IT IS a gift from God. He saved us because of His mercy for you – He washed away our sins, giving us new birth and life through the Holy Spirit. How can we thank God for the awesome gift – I mean a free gift that He gave us? How? How can we thank Him? (Romans 6:23).
But know that God loved us enough to die in our place – He already did on the cross – taking our punishment that we deserved (Romans 5:8). As a result, all those who believe are saved and eternally secure.
Sometimes doubting is a good thing. It’s like, “Are we in good physical health?” Of course, we go see the doctor for physical checkups to answer our doubts. In 2 Corinthians 13:5, we should examine ourselves to see if your faith is genuine. Test yourselves. You should know and be aware of your presence before God and power in our lives as we grow more faithfully with Him. If you’re not and you are thinking we are separating ourselves further away from God – but that is not true. NOTHING will ever separate us from the love of God because it is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. I encourage you, because you asked, repent and ask Him for forgiveness for your wrongful/doubtful thoughts. Know that we all are weak in some ways, but when we repent and ask for forgiveness – He will always forgive and forget – then move on. Again -we are never perfect – only God is, even though we don’t deserve forgiveness for all the sins that we have done – either we don’t know, or don’t know what it means, or we forgot – regardless – He is merciful and forgives – we are to test ourselves to be sure that Jesus is truly our Savior and the Holy Spirit is truly in us. If He is, we can in no way lose the salvation Christ has obtained for us (Romans 8:38- 39).
In James 2:14-26, we learn that you are not saved by learning about faith alone. James means that learning about faith AND transforming our conduct and thoughts is true faith. Transforming our conduct means to change our former way of life to a new way of life by obeying God’s law the best way we can. In Genesis 22:1-14 (see the video “Story One Training in ASL”) Abraham showed to be right with God for what he did. That means Abraham obeyed God because he believed God and was justified – chosen. That is how you will feel His presence. You will feel the inspiration.
I talked about transforming our old lives to new lives in how we conduct our lives and our thoughts. How? By following these 9 fruits of the Spirit within us (Galatians 5:22-24) – Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-Control. There is no law against these things! The lack of this evidence can sometimes be the cause of our doubts. You – who belong to Christ Jesus – your sinful nature… your former passion and desires of your sinful nature… has already – finished – nailed to Jesus’ cross and crucified there. Permanently!
In 2 Peter 1:5-10, faith must be more than belief in certain facts; it must result in loving action toward others, growth in Christian character, and the practice of moral discipline; otherwise, it will die away (James 2:14-17). Peter lists several results of faith: learning to know God better, persevering under trial, doing God’s will, genuinely loving others. These actions do not happen automatically; they require dedication and discipline. They are not optional; we must choose all of them as a continual part of the Christian life. We don’t finish one and start on the next, but we work on them all together and with each other’s help. God empowers and enables us, but He also gives us the responsibility to learn and to grow. False teachers were saying that self-control was not needed because human effort would not help believers anyway (2 Peter 2:17-19). It is true that good deeds cannot save us, but they are still absolutely essential in the Christian life. We are saved so that we can grow to resemble Christ and serve others. God wants to produce His character in us.
To do this, however, He demands our discipline and effort. As we obey Christ, who guides us by His Spirit, we will develop self-control over our desires, emotions, and behavior. Our faith must go beyond what we believe; it must become a spiritual part of all we do, resulting in fruitful service and spiritual maturity. We develop these behaviors out of gratitude for what Christ has done for us. People who claim to be saved while continuing to act the way they did before becoming believers do not understand faith or what God has done for them. Peter wanted to awaken the complacent (lazy) believers who had listened to the false teachers and believed that because good deeds couldn’t save them, they could live any way they wanted. If we truly belong to the Lord, Peter says, the example of our lives will prove it. If we’re not developing the qualities listed in 2 Peter 1:5-7, we may still be outside the household of faith.
How do we prove it? Let me explain. I used to live in sin. It really doesn’t matter what my sin was. I didn’t think about the impact my sin had on others, but they did. I had to admit that I had sinned and ask for God to please forgive me. Not only that, I realized I had to be very serious about my confession to the Lord and not fall back into my old ways. I trusted God’s forgiveness. The morning after repenting to God I went to visit a friend who I knew from my former sinful life. The friend was ill and close to death. My friend asked where I had been and prayed God would grant me more time with them. To my shock they were up walking around and smiling when I arrived. I was so grateful for all God had done.
God is using me, a deaf man, to share His words visually with you in ASL. The bible is full of complex vocabulary and concepts, but with His Spirit, our eyes can be opened to what He wants to teach us. If you are the Lord’s—your actions backing up your claim of having been chosen by God—you will be able to resist the lure of false teaching and self-pleasure. What does your life say about your faith?
Have you placed your faith in Christ? If the answer is yes, then throw away your doubts and trust God. If you know Jesus as your Savior, you are saved without a doubt! If the answer is no, then believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved! If you have any questions about salvation, please feel free to ask us.
I love you all just as God the Father and His Son Jesus loves you. Jesus is the only way to the Father. Remember always that you are loved.
Bob Swan was an active member of his church in South Carolina, where he served as a Sunday School teacher and Deacon. He recorded this video 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.