|From the Church on the Hill
by D. Eric Williams
Pastor, Cottonwood Community Church
A song we used to sing as youngsters in Sunday school was titled, "If you're saved and you know it." It was a song about being born again and living in the assurance of the new birth. But how can you be saved? In addition, how can you be sure you are saved?
To begin with, you must admit you are a sinner. Every human being on the face of the earth - every person that has ever lived - is a sinner. You are a sinner because of your own lawless deeds and you are a sinner because of Adam. You see, as the covenant head of the race, Adam pulled all of mankind into a war with God when he sinned. Hence, even if you could live a sinless life, you would still ber at enmity with God. But don't kid yuorself; the Bible says no one is righteous and all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:10, 23).
Moreover, there is nothing you can do to make up for your sins. You cannot be good enough to satisfy God's standards. You cannot tip the scales in your favor by doing more good than bad. Nothing short of absolute perfection will satisfy God. Which means if you rely on your own efforts you are destined for an eternity in hell because the "paycheck" for sin is death (Romans 6:23).
Yet, all is not lost. God has made a way for you to be declared righteous in His sight. God determined, even before time began, He would allow a substitute to stand in your place and receive the punishment you deserve. This substitute is Jesus Christ. He lived a sinless life and so is able to act as your advocate. Basically Jesus stands in the courtroom of heaven and says to God, "Consider this one as righteous. I took his punishment upon Myself on the cross so he can have salvation." Does Jesus do this because of some merit he perceives in you? No; it is an act of grace. The Bible says you are saved by grace because Jesus was willing to die for you even though you are a sinner (Ephesians 2:8-9, Romans 5:8).
Once the Holy Spirit enables you to understand these things, you must accept Christ's substitutionary death on your behalf. Knowing that on your own you stand condemned before His judgement seat, you call upon the name of Jesus Christ, confessing Him as Lord and believing in your heart God has raised Him from the dead (Romans 9:10, 10:13). In other words, you willingly submit your entire life to Jesus and accept everything the Bible says about Him. At that point you will be born again, transferred from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light. You will be part of a new People, a new nation - a citizen of the kingdom of heaven.
When you become a citizen of Christ's kingdom, you take on the responsibility of obedience to the laws of the King. In fact the Bible says the way you know that you have become a Kingdom citizen is by your obedience to God's commandments (1 John 2:3). Not perfect obedience of course. Even though you have been made a new creation in Christ, you will still battle the old habits of sin. When you fail to overcome, you will need to confess your sin; for if you confess your sin then the Lord is faithful and just to forgive you your sin and to cleanse you from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). Thus you can be assured of your salvation as you strive daily to live life in a Christ like fashion.
So, "if you're saved and you know it, clap you hands, because if you are saved and you know it then your life will surely show it. If you're saved and you know it clap your hands."