Many Christians spend their entire lives uncertain of their salvation, always examining the depth of their repentance, the validity of their decision and the substance of their belief. This is a dilemma that can’t be resolved by self-examination, there will always be weaknesses in our response to God, there will always be areas of our lives that need to be worked on.
The only way we can ever put this dilemma to rest once-and-for-all, is to examine the work of Christ instead of examining ourselves ~ after all, God examines the work of Christ when He looks at our weakness and sin, and is satisfied in His examination.
If the assurance of our salvation depended on our part in the process, it would always be found lacking. We come stumbling and bumbling out of the kingdom of darkness (when viewed from the perspective of our response, conviction, and determination)… when we view this event from the viewpoint of the work of Christ it is robust, bold, and rock-solid.
God never left anything to chance when He set about the task of saving us, He didn’t provide for a 50/50 transaction, (50% His work on the cross, and 50% our belief) ~ He didn’t establish the work of salvation on such a precarious foundation (the vagaries of mankind’s response), He placed the entire task upon the shoulders of Christ ~ there was no measurement of our response or determination to change our lifestyle involved…. all that was required was that we gaze upon the sacrifice of Christ and accept it, say ‘Yes thankyou’ to it.
The flesh wants us to swing the spotlight back on to ‘the evidence of conversion’ ~ the flesh has determined that if we are saved then an obvious change of lifestyle will be visible…
The trouble is that; the flesh was not born again - the spirit was ~ it is not for the flesh to determine the evidence of a work of the Spirit, the flesh doesn’t know what to look for ~ in fact; very often changes to lifestyle wrought by the flesh are short-lived and superficial. The flesh is a doubter, the flesh measures degrees of change and always comes up short, the flesh is always cynical about the work of the Spirit.
The Spirit on the other hand speaks to us daily of the accomplishments of the blood of Christ ~ the Spirit waits for us to get to the end of our self-effort and determination, the Spirit patiently waits for us to throw our hands up in despair and declare “I can’t do it, I can’t live a life worthy of the blood of Christ, I can’t make my lifestyle reflect the life of Christ” at that point the Spirit is able to show us another way, He begins to instruct us in the ways of the Spirit… that uniquely Christian rest known as; “Christ in me“.
Philippians 2:13 “ For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure”… the Spirit says place your confidence in the sacrifice of Christ, and watch me work the works of God through you.