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Dear Martha, I’m not sure I’ve done enough to get to heaven. I worry that I will die and after all these years of trying to please GOD, I will find out I’m not going to heaven after all. Is there any way to know I am His child?   Struggling Susan

Hi Susan,

I can understand your concerns. You won’t know if you passed the test until after you die and then it will be too late…or will it?

The Bible teaches the truth about this, but it doesn’t spell it out in bullet points. Jesus wanted us to have to think a bit. And His Spirit will guide us into truth.

The truth is that there is nothing we can do to contribute to our salvation. In fact we are dead in sin. Click To Tweet

The truth is that there is nothing we can do to contribute to our salvation. In fact we are dead in sin. As spiritually dead people, it is impossible for us to make ourselves alive! Nothing we can do will bring that about. Only GOD can bring life to someone who is dead wether they are dead physically or spiritually.

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked,
following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air,
the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—

among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh,
carrying out the desires of the body and the mind,
and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us,

even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—
by grace you have been saved—
and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,
so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace
in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

For by grace you have been saved through faith.
And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,

not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works,
which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Ephesians 2:1-10

So this covers the fact that we are dead in sin. It also tells us that GOD has, by grace, provided us a way to relate to Him. It isn’t based on what we do, but on His gift, graciously given to us.

That is the thing about our salvation, it is a free gift of grace, given to us because of Christ’s mercy. It has nothing to do with our charm or looks…or even how hard we work for it! It has to do with His mercy for us when we were still dead in sin!

It’s why He died on the cross to pay for our sin, past, present and future. He paid for our sins of thought, word and deed…sins of omission and commission. (For more on this, see WHAT IS THE GOSPEL; THE BAD NEWS AND THE GOOD NEWS. It is located in drop-down under the GOSPEL OF GRACE menu.) Oh yes, and He did it in our place. It was the punishment we deserved…and He took it for us.

It's why He died on the cross to pay for our sin, past, present and future. He paid for our sins of thought, word and deed...sins of omission and commission. Click To Tweet

Not only that, but he lived a perfect life during his life here on earth and the record of that life was imputed to our account as a result of His death. Our lousy record went to His account…and He paid for that sin.

When we ask for His forgiveness for our sin and by faith, ask for the new life and cleansing He offers us, He will give it. So that when we stand before Him on the final day, we won’t be there based on what we have done, but based on what He did for us. Another way it is described is that we will be dressed in the righteousness of Christ!

As we grow in our faith, God is growing us into the people He wants us to be…as the final two lines state above. We are created to do good works…it is the natural outflow of who He created us to be!

Our salvation isn’t based on what we have done for Jesus apart from believing in the work He did for us on the cross! But as He creates the masterpieces that each of us are, we will be showing aspects of Jesus in the way we live. It will look different for each of us…depending on our temperaments, our spiritual gifts, etc. But we will be surprised at the ways GOD works to grow us.