Question:

I have heard of many people who have questioned their salvation, because they didn't know a particular scripture at the time. I have learned through the years that there will always be something you don't know at the time of your baptism. A person does not need to know every single scripture in order to be saved. The three thousand on the Day of Pentecost heard the gospel for the first time and all they were taught was the gospel of Jesus and that baptism was for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38). They did not wait another second to be baptized. Besides Acts 22:16 tells us there is no reason to wait.

I was baptized two years ago and for some unknown reason, I have recently started having one doubt about my salvation. When I was baptized, I had a great deal of knowledge. I knew what Jesus Christ had done for me. I knew that Jesus Christ had died on the cross, was buried, and was resurrected the third day (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). I also knew that I had to believe in Christ (John 8:24). I knew what it meant to repent (Luke 13:3). I knew that repentance was caused by godly sorrow (2 Corinthians 7:10). I knew repentance was a change of mind, which should result in a change of lifestyle. I repented. I confessed that Jesus Christ was the Son of God (Matthew 10:32, Romans 10:9-10). I was baptized for the remission of my sins (Acts 2:38). I knew that my sins were washed away by Jesus' blood (Acts 22:16). I knew that I could not be saved without coming into contact with the blood of Jesus (Romans 6:3). I could tell that I was not saved by faith alone just by reading Mark 16:16.

The doubt that I keep having is that I don't think I understood Romans 6:3-4 good enough. I knew that I was obeying a form of Jesus' death, burial, and resurrection. I knew that my baptism represented the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. I knew that my sins were nailed to the cross, my old man of sin was buried, and that just as Jesus was risen from the dead that I was risen from the waters of baptism to "walk in newness of life" (Romans 6:4). I don't think I knew for sure at what point I died to sin. Should I consider being baptized again? If one is raised in the church, does one need to actually understand Romans 6:3-4 all the way through?

The former preacher of my home congregation kept telling me before that I was placing more requirements on myself than the Lord actually placed in the word of God. I keep being told that as long as I knew why I was baptized (Mark 16:16, Acts 2:38, Acts 22:16), I was baptized scripturally. When I look into Romans 6:3-4, Paul is writing to folks who are already Christians. Romans 6:3-4 was not written until after Pentecost.

I don't know why I started having this doubt. Maybe Satan is trying to mess with my mind. Satan is the father of all doubts and lies (John 8:44). Satan is probably trying to keep me from growing spiritually (2 Peter 3:18).

Based upon what I have written, does it sound like I knew enough to be saved from my sins?


Answer:

I have a question for you. Why do you suppose the Lord had Paul write the letter to the Romans? The letter was addressed to Christians, "To all who are in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ" (Romans 1:7). Yet, the letter was necessary because there were ideas that these Christians had not yet grasped. And one of them appears to be their relationship toward sin.

"Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more, so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?" (Romans 5:20-6:2).

This section of Romans is an explanation to Christians as to why they need to leave sin behind. Even though all of them had been baptized (Romans 6:3), it is clear that they all did not realize the full significance of being dead to sin.

Now if that was true of people the Lord called "beloved of God," why is that not true of you as well?

Yes, Satan does play with our doubts because doubt is the opposite of faith. The more he can get us to doubt, the less faith we will have to resist his temptations. And if we turn to God for help, but doubt God will do so, how can we expect aid? "But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways" (James 1:6-8).

Confidence in your salvation is important. So when people talk to me about their doubts, I usually try to point out the truth, as I have done for you. In addition I let them know that if they have any remaining doubts about their salvation, then we can always baptize them again. If they were wrong and that God had already saved them, then all they did was get wet for nothing. If they were right, then the problem will have been corrected. It is a better state than constantly questioning yourself.