"For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 NLT
Jesus promised that If we believe in Him, we are born again and have eternal life.
But before we are firmly rooted in Christ, Satan, the purveyor of doubt, points us to our flesh and asks us the following questions in various forms. Are you sure you are saved? Are you sure you believe enough? Do you really believe? Would you be doing that if you were a believer? Surely, God does not mean you only need to believe in Jesus?
When it comes to the gospel and salvation, there is a big problem with do you believe enough, do you have enough faith or are they a real believer. The problem is that trying to quantify belief takes the burden of God’s promised salvation and places it mentally back upon the person who has placed their faith in Christ.
Do you believe enough? Are you sure you believe enough? Satan gets the person to fix their eyes on themselves and therefore filled with doubt. In this case, their eyes are on their belief and their faith instead of Jesus who is our righteousness and salvation. It is like saying, do you have enough faith to be saved? This too puts the burden on the believer and makes their salvation about having enough faith or believing enough, or in the right manner.
It is like placing your faith in how much faith you have for salvation when our faith is simply supposed to be in the finished work of Jesus.
Trying to quantify belief or faith, is all a distraction and a deception from Satan intended to create doubt in God’s promises.
Jesus told us if we believe in Him as our savior, we are born-again and will inherit eternal life. Jesus himself, with words directly from His mouth, made us a promise in John 3:16. Do you think Jesus withheld information from Nicodemus, or us when He spoke those words? Do you think He lied by omission? I do not. I believe this one verse spoken by God Himself, is enough to save the world. If we believe we are completely right with God and saved solely by the blood of Jesus, we will experience great victory in this life. If we doubt and rely on the law even just a little, it opens the door for Satan’s attacks and will make this life and our walk with God a struggle.
The burden of any promise is always on the promise maker, not the receiver. The burden of John 3:16 is on Jesus and as long as our faith is the size of a mustard seed and trusting like a little child, we are good. There is no need to doubt. We have a promise maker who cannot lie and is capable of fulfilling His promise.
"Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all." Luke 18:17 NAS
There is absolutely nothing complicated about being saved. There is no formula for greater belief or greater faith that is required. There is only Jesus.
Sowing Doubt is Satan's Work
Jesus explains the parable of the sower to the disciples.
13 “Hear then the parable of the sower. “When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is the one on whom seed was sown beside the road. “The one on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, this is the man who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; 21 yet he has no firm root in himself, but is only temporary, and when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he falls away. “And the one on whom seed was sown among the thorns, this is the man who hears the word, and the worry of the world and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. “And the one on whom seed was sown on the good soil, this is the man who hears the word and understands it; who indeed bears fruit and brings forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty.” Matt 13:18-23 NAS
These verses reveal to us Satan’s attempts to create doubt and steal the planted word from our hearts. This can be the gospel that the lost accept or reject, or any promise God has made to believers that the follower of Christ still doubts and experiences fear, or believes and experiences victory. Verse 21 above, is a picture of someone who believes the gospel immediately, and with joy is saved. They are certain it is all about Jesus, but then Satan says, “surely God cannot mean just trusting Jesus is the only thing you need to do to be saved.” At that point, many believers fall into Satan’s trap of doubt and fall away from grace. Instead of embracing Jesus 1,000 percent, as when they first believed. They start to experience the fear that doubt generates and try to assure their salvation by adding the law and works back in to be right with God. This is exactly what Satan wants because the addition of the law and works makes grace of no effect, and grace is the power of the gospel.
Where sin abounds, grace superabounds – Rom 5:20. God’s grace is sufficient for us – 2 Cor 12:9. We reign in life when we receive God’s free gift of righteousness and abundance of grace – Rom 5:17.
To fall away after you place your trust in Christ has nothing to do with sinning too much as Satan and much of the world would have us believe. According to scripture, we fall away from grace when we again rely on the law to be right with God. God sees this as a dead work because we are already right with God by the blood of Christ.
You who are trying to be justified by the law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace. Gal 5:4 NIV
Under the law, our eyes are off Jesus and fixed on ourselves, our works and the sins of our dead flesh. This is what Satan wants. I reiterate this crucial point. The law makes grace, the power of the gospel, of no effect.
Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace. Gal 5:4 KJV
Doubt is what generates the fear that leads the believer back to the law. Thus, making grace of no effect. Can you see why it is so important to encourage faith and discourage doubt?
This error by the saved believer to add back some of the law does not mean that the born-again believer is now unborn again. That cannot happen because the burden of our salvation is not on us. Our salvation is based on God and His promise. What it does mean, is that the gospel has been stripped of its real power and ability in that believer’s life. It means a life of much greater struggle for the believer. Besides, most believers have been deceived into adding back some measure of the law in their minds and actions for salvation. Very few are like Caleb and Joshua of the Old Testament who believed God’s word fully and went into the promised land, where we can go too. Caleb and Joshua were two out of millions of Jews who were all saved by the blood on the doorposts way back in Egypt. The vast majority's inability to go into the promised land because of fear did not mean they were not saved. In the millions of Jews, I can guarantee you that there were varying levels of belief in God’s word about entering the promised land in this life. They were all saved from Egypt and Pharaoh (a picture of Satan) by the blood of the Passover lamb, but all but two died struggling in the wilderness. The same applies today, most saved believers die struggling in the wilderness, but they are saved for eternity. The point is, if God required everyone to have the same Spirit as Caleb to be saved, virtually no one you see in the church today would be saved because almost everyone has added back in a measure of reliance on the law. Some have added a large measure and some a smidgen. Any amount steals power from grace, the power of the gospel. To require that everyone be like Caleb would go against God’s desire that none be lost.
Satan’s goal with those who accept Christ is to create doubt by keeping our eyes fixed on the Old Covenant letter of the law we are no longer under and our flesh that still sins and will never be redeemed. When God wants us to fix our eyes on Jesus and His righteousness, to see our flesh as crucified and dead already and to see ourselves in the perfection of our newly born Spirit that is holy, sanctified, righteous, perfected, sealed and guaranteed by the Holy Spirit.
Satan attempts to create doubt in what God has clearly stated, just as he did with Eve. His desire is to lead us to question the salvation of other believers we see too. Knowing that we have a history before accepting Christ of comparing our sins to others to justify our own self-righteousness, he relies on the fact that our unrenewed minds will fall into the same faulty pattern of comparison. Therefore, to satisfy the doubt Satan’s deception imposes about our salvation, we embrace the law, hold others to the law, and continue to notice and point out the outward sins of other believers dead flesh in comparison to ourselves. This spreads doubt like wildfire and is exactly what Satan wants, doubt spread around, dead works done, and separation between believers. This is in direct contradiction to what God wants us to do. He just wants us to believe and not doubt His promise in John 3:16. To encourage and build up the faith in ourselves and others, not to tear down the faith. To see each other by faith in the perfected Spirit as God does and not judge each other in the flesh that God sees as crucified and dead.
"You judge according to the flesh; I am not judging anyone. John 8:15 NAS
Therefore from now on we recognize no one according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him in this way no longer. 2 Cor 5:16 NAS
We are no longer under the law of sin and death, we are under the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus.
For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. Rom 8:2 NAS
We are specifically under grace and not the law, so sin will no longer have dominion over us.
For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace. Rom 6:14 NAS
But Satan does not want you to believe this, so he gets us to question our salvation and that of others. The only place we know of besides Christ to be right with God is the law. So, when we doubt God’s promise, out of a spirit of fear, we turn to the law and works to try and assure our salvation. This is a return to bondage and fear, and a dead work since our salvation is already assured in Christ.
For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, "Abba! Father!" Rom 8:15 NAS
This spirit of fear is not from God. It is a tormenting spirit from Satan that can only reside in a believer if they doubt God’s promise in John 3:16.
for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. 2 Tim 1:7 ESV
So, How Do We Stop Doubt?
Do you believe the gospel? Have you placed your faith in Christ the best you know how? If your answer is yes, then you are saved, period.
“Stop doubting and believe." John 20:27b NAS
God’s desire is that none perish so he has not made it so salvation is only found in perfect surrender and perfect faith. You turned to Jesus blind, beaten up, defeated and overwhelmed and said I need you, I believe. That is good enough. God has heard your cry and embraced you for all eternity. No one can snatch you out of His hand.
“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of My hand. “My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. “I and the Father are one.” John 10:27-30 NAS
You need to make a firm decision that you are forevermore going to rely on Jesus sacrifice and God’s promise 1,000 percent. You need to nip any and all doubt about your salvation in the bud. Cut off all doubt like God circumcises your dead flesh. You are right with God by the blood of Jesus. There is no other sacrifice required. Decide that doubt will no longer be a part of your life.
Now, you need to stop looking at your crucified and dead flesh and fix your eyes on Jesus the author and perfecter of your faith. Your flesh is going to sin until the day you die because your flesh will never be redeemed. God sees it as crucified and dead on the cross with Jesus.
knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; Rom 6:6 NAS
Sin has been condemned to death in the flesh. This includes your flesh that will die.
For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, Rom 8:3 NAS
God has cut off, circumcised, your sin infected flesh from any inheritance. Jesus has set your Spirit free from your body of death. It will never enter the Kingdom. This is how you are supposed to see your flesh and that of every other believer.
Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Rom 7:24 NAS
and in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ; Col 2:11 NAS
God is not counting or imputing the sins of your flesh onto you.
"AND THEIR SINS AND THEIR LAWLESS DEEDS I WILL REMEMBER NO MORE." Heb 10:17 NAS
Your newly born Spirit is who you really are, and you are perfected, righteous, holy, sanctified, sealed and guaranteed by the Holy Spirit.
For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified. Heb 10:14 NAS
When your old flesh dies, you will receive a new glorified body and your redemption will be complete. By faith, we believe God. When we agree with God, we can walk with God in the same direction, in the power of the Spirit and not the dead flesh.
To take your eyes off your flesh, you must take your eyes off the letter of the law that points you to your flesh. The law Satan wants you to think you are still under, even though God is very clear you are not. You are now under the Spirit of the law (love) that brings life and no longer under the letter of the law that brings death.
And He has qualified us as ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. 2 Cor 3:6 BSB
You must take your eyes off yourself and fix your eyes permanently on Jesus and His righteousness that makes you 1,000 percent right with God.
fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Heb 12:2 NAS
When you do this, you stay hooked up to the vine that is Jesus and His power and life flow into you, so you can do living works for God. This is something Satan does not want to happen.
"I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. John 15:5 NAS
"Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father. John 14:12 NAS
You do living works because your salvation is guaranteed, no longer doing dead works to try and guarantee your salvation.
These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life. 1 John 5:13 NAS
Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. Jude 1:24-25 NAS
You must cease from fostering doubt in others about God’s promise. Building ourselves and others up in the faith is a living work.
But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life. And have mercy on some, who are doubting; Jude 1:20-22 NAS
When we get together, I want to encourage you in your faith, but I also want to be encouraged by yours. Rom 1:12 NLT
For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes—the Jew first and also the Gentile. This Good News tells us how God makes us right in his sight. This is accomplished from start to finish by faith. As the Scriptures say, “It is through faith that a righteous person has life.” Rom 1:16-17 NLT
To the best of our ability, we never, ever, want to foster doubt in God’s promises by pointing people to their dead flesh and the law, so they can do dead works. To the best of our ability, we never want to make anyone stumble in the faith, including ourselves.
"Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe to stumble, it would be better for him if, with a heavy millstone hung around his neck, he had been cast into the sea. Mark 9:42 NAS
If another believer is caught up in sin, we never read where Paul pointed them back to the law or pulled out the Ten Commandments. Therefore, we do what Paul did, encourage them in the faith by reminding them of who they are in Christ and fix their eyes back on Jesus.
Read: Paul's Method for Talking to Christians Caught in Sin
More New Covenant Bible Studies that apply.
If You Believe You Have Been Saved
Leave the Burden on God
Jesus Did Not Die to See If You Can Qualify
Stop Disqualifying Yourself
Doubting Your Complete and Total Forgiveness is What Keeps You Sinning, Christian
Can We Really Identify a False Christian?
Questioning Another's Salvation, Creates Doubt, Does Satans Work
How to Examine Yourself and See if You Are in the Faith
Did Jesus Sacrifice Provide Forgiveness for Our Future Sins Too? Yes
God's Exclamation Point, The Free Gift of Righteousness
Our Righteousness in Christ, Not Condemnation, is the Justice God Seeks
Literally Righteous in Christ
God WILL NOT Erase Your Name from of the Book of Life, Christian
Jesus is The End of The Law for Believers
Satan Will Always Point You Back to the Law
Christians are Blessed Because God is Not Imputing our Sins
Holy Spirit Does Not Convict a Believer of Their Sins
If Sin Has Dominion in Your Life, You are Living Under the Law, Not Grace
Many more New Covenant Bible Studies HERE. Jesus poured out His blood for the New Covenant of grace and truth, replacing the Old Covenant law of Moses. Believers are exclusively under the New Covenant, the last will and testament of Jesus that began after the cross.
And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, "This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood. Luke 22:20