I have, over the years, talked to many Calvinists, in person and over the Internet. I always ask them, “Do you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you are among God’s elect and are saved?” There are generally two reactions to that question: (1) A long and rather painful pause after which they say, “I hope I am. I do believe in Christ.” or (2) A quick, “Yes, I believe in Christ.” Now, let’s be honest here and admit that many Lutherans would answer in somewhat the same way. But here is the problem.
[Unfortunately there are some cranks who roam the Internet claiming to be Lutherans who also fall into this error. You shall know them by their sixth grade-level photoshopping skills. <g>]
If our confidence that we are saved is based on our feeling that we have faith, we will flounder. The answer we must always give to the question of “Do you know you are saved?” is not, “Yes, because I have faith” but rather, “Yes, because Christ Jesus died for me” and of course, in my opinion, the very best answer of all is simply to point people to Luther’s explanation of the Creed and say, “Here, this puts it very well.”
Never look to your subjective feeling that there is faith in your heart. Always, always, always, look to Christ and what He has done for you and the whole world. Do not confuse faith in faith, with trust in Christ. There is a key difference. If you believe you are a child of God because you feel you have faith, this is no better than the Mormon who tells you about the “burning in his bosum” or the Muslim who tells you he feels the Koran is true, etc.
Salvation rests on objective realities that have absolutely nothing to do with feelings or emotions. Faith is merely and only the receiving hand God gives us and into which He pours His good gifts, it is not the cause of our salvation.
We are Christians, not Faith-ians.
Read, and memorize, Luther’s explanation to the Apostles’ Creed. It is clear. Simple, Easy to understand and…true!