In the second episode of the Beginner Believer series, we dive into assurance of salvation and how to find freedom from anxiety over your faith. Salvation is by grace and faith, not by works; but many of us live as if we earned our place with God! Learn how to walk in freedom in this episode. Subscribe for the full series!


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Welcome to Verity podcast. I’m your host,Phylicia Masonheimer, and I am here to teach you how to know what you believe, to live it boldly, and to communicate it graciously to the world around you. I believe that women are ready to go deeper in their faith than ever before and they don’t have to go to seminary to do it. I am so glad you’re here and I hope you’ll join me on this journey because every woman is a theologian. 

Hello and welcome back to Verity podcast. This is the 2nd episode in the Beginner Believer series, and today we’re going to be talking about a question I know a lot of you have. How do I know I’m actually saved? This is a question so many young believers ask and maybe even feel a lot of anxiety about. How do I know that the prayer I prayed actually took, so to speak? Sometimes it results in so much anxiety and doubt that people pray multiple times for salvation as if they need to do that to be secure.

And hopefully by the end of this episode, you’ll be a little bit further along on the journey to knowing it’s not about praying the right words, it’s not about praying the right number of times, it’s not about any formula. It’s about what Jesus did. So we’re gonna take a burden off you because it’s a burden that Jesus already bore, but let’s start by reviewing what salvation is and why it’s not by your works. We’re gonna look at Ephesians 28 through 9. It says this, for by grace, you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing. It is the gift of God, not a result of works so that no one may boast. You probably are familiar with this verse, but even if you’re not, it’s such a good foundation for this conversation.

Because if you are the one who saved yourself, then, yeah, you could boast and say, hey, look, look what I did. I did all these works. I did the right things. I prayed the right words, the right prayer, and so I’m saved. Look at what I did. But typically, we’re not actually boasting. We’re actually doing the opposite of boasting. We’re lamenting our failure.

And what I mean by that is a lot of people experience anxiety and doubt around their salvation for the same reason that someone would boast in their salvation. They think it’s their own doing. So instead of seeing salvation as a gift of God and the grace of God, they see it as a result of their own works. In this case, the works are saying the right prayer, saying the right words, saying a prayer the right number of times, feeling certain emotions or a spiritual high, doing the right behaviors after salvation to keep the salvation, and then if you don’t do the right behaviors, beginning the whole process all over again. Does this sound familiar? But I want to immediately address this because so often we read this verse and we think, oh, yeah. It’s not a result of works. I can’t boast in my salvation as if I accomplished it. But our fears about salvation reveal that we actually think we did accomplish it.

Are you tracking with me? Because you’re only afraid of losing something if you’re the one who got it in the 1st place. So we have to step back and assess our beliefs about salvation so that we’re thinking biblically about this gift of God. Now, I’m going to teach you from a Wesleyan Armenian perspective. That is my perspective as a believer. That’s one of the many denominational viewpoints on salvation. There are some slight differences between how Christians understand how salvation works, but we all agree about one core thing. This is fundamental. Salvation is by grace through faith and it is not by our own works.

Okay? Clearly, Ephesians 2 tells us this. By grace, you’ve been saved. What does that mean? By grace means that you’ve been saved by the power of God, and this is a power you would not have on your own. The grace of God is His favor, His strength, His power. He has given it to you. You didn’t have it. And so He initiates this salvation by calling via His Holy Spirit and He has given you, sovereignly given you, the ability to respond to Him. You still have to choose to respond, but He sovereignly gave you that ability.

And you choose whether you act on that or not. When you respond to God’s call of salvation, he applies the sacrifice of Christ to you, and you are saved. Our first episode in this series talked at length about that, so if you haven’t listened to that, go back, listen to it. It gets in-depth on what the gospel is and what happens in salvation. But we know that Ephesians 2 says this is not your own doing. You didn’t work to get it, you responded to God’s call. So you can’t boast that you did anything special to achieve salvation because you were simply responding to the call of Christ with a humble and repentant spirit, Which leads us to ask, if you could not save yourself on your own strength, why are you trying to keep your salvation on your own strength? That’s the question we want to ask. So let’s look at just a quick review on what happens when we respond to the spirit.

I’m gonna read you a quote from the articles of religion, which I have said are one of the foundational documents I’m using alongside scripture in this series. Quote, due to original sin, which is not simply the following of Adam’s example, but rather the corruption of the nature of every man and is reproduced in Adam’s descendants. So it’s saying that everybody is affected righteousness and is inclined to evil. We cannot even call upon God or exercise faith for salvation. But through Jesus Christ, the prevenient grace of God makes possible what we could not do. It is bestowed freely upon all men, enabling all who will turn and be saved. End quote. So what’s being said here is that God has given His grace to all men, enabling them to respond to the Spirit if they choose or they may choose to walk away.

If you have responded to the spirit of God’s call on your life, you have put your trust in Christ as your savior, your Lord, your King, your salvation is secured by his sacrifice. You did not die on the cross to save you. Jesus died on the cross to save you, and nothing can change that sacrifice. God secures your salvation, not us. So 2nd Timothy 112 says, this is Paul talking, I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that day what has been entrusted to me. Okay. I love this verse, but here’s the key part to this. I know whom I have believed.

Do you know who you’ve believed? Do you know that he is stable and unchanging? Do you know that he’s loving? Do you know that he chose to die on the cross for your sins and he did that not just eternally but presently? Do you think that the God who gave everything to win you is going to play games with you about your salvation? That’s the first question I want you to ask. The second verse is Hebrew 10:22. Let us draw near with a true heart and full assurance of faith with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. So in this passage, we see a couple of neat principles. The first is to draw near to God. We’re always able to draw near to God. Draw near to God. He’ll draw near to you.

With a true heart and full assurance of faith, I wanna pause here, it is possible to have complete peace about your salvation, complete confidence, complete assurance. But it only happens when you shift your eyes off yourself and onto Christ. He’s the Savior, not you. Your actions did not save you. He did. Shift your eyes off yourself and onto the God who saved you. Our hearts are sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. So in Christ, because of His sacrifice, you are completely cleansed and pure.

That is your identity. It is literally who you are. You are not a sinner. You are a saint. Your identity is pure, But you are a saint who sometimes sins. Right? Sometimes you sin. And that’s when 1st John 19 comes into play that if you confess your sins, he’s faithful and just to forgive you and to cleanse you of all unrighteousness. Not only are you already sprinkled clean because of what Christ did, every time you sin you can come to God, you can confess, and the sacrifice of Christ is applied to your account.

What often happens with new believers is instead when they become a believer, they have not had sanctification explained. What’s sanctification? It’s the process of becoming holy. So after you are saved you are justified or in the process of salvation you are justified. Justification means you are made right with God. You are no longer under a penalty. You’re not under God’s wrath. He’s not angry at you. You’re not separated or condemned.

In John 3:36 it says this, Jesus is talking here, Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life. Whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him. Jesus is here equating belief and obedience. Belief is allegiance. We talked about this in the first episode, giving your loyalty to Christ. So this is important because it’s a shift. It’s a mental shift, but it’s also a shift of your will where Christ is now your King. You are justified before God.

You believe in Him, your allegiance has changed, you are seen as pure and holy in His eyes, and yet there’s also a progressive nature to sanctification and salvation. You have to actually walk out your salvation and it takes time your whole life to become more like Christ, to bear the fruit of the spirit. And so when we are sanctified, we become more and more holy. So you shouldn’t be surprised if after you are saved, you sin because you are still learning to be like Jesus. You’re still in the process of being sanctified. So after this belief, justification, you are walking into sanctification, you will be growing in holiness, becoming more like him, desiring to grow and change. Now those who do not give their allegiance to Christ remain under wrath or condemnation. They have chosen not to respond to the Holy Spirit’s call and they have that opportunity their whole life, but if they choose not to respond, they die separated from God and are under his judgment.

But as long as there is life, there is the opportunity to respond to him. Those who have shifted allegiance to Christ are free from wrath. They are under favor. They’re under the grace of God. So if you are living in constant fear of being under wrath, you have not fully understood the gift of salvation. Those who are in Christ, who have given their allegiance to Christ, who have responded to him, you’re free. You are in Christ. You’re his child.

You are clean because of what he’s done. That is your literal identity. It is who you are. And that identity is what drives all holy behaviors. John 524. Again, Jesus talking. He says, truly, truly I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.

So you are not under condemnation. And if your heart is telling you this, then you know that this is not from the Lord. If you have repented and he is the king of your life, any condemnation that comes to you is not coming from the Lord. It’s a lie from the enemy, and you can reject it as such. And this is why we need to be aware of the thoughts that are coming into your mind. Not every thought that comes into your mind is from the lord. You must discern and ask the Holy Spirit, is this from you? Is this what scripture says? And if it does not line up with your identity according to scripture, you reject it. God does not wish for you to be anxious about your salvation.

It is not His will for you to be anxious about your salvation. There is freedom and there is possibility for you to wake up completely secure that you are saved, that your identity is in Christ. He has given you the gift of salvation, and you can walk in that confidently. And I would say you won’t truly bear fruit consistently until you rest in God’s salvation because you will constantly be trying to save yourself by works. You can’t do that. You cannot save yourself by works and you’re gonna be anxious and worried and doubtful. But if you simply rest in what He did, you reject the lies when they come, every good work is done simply because you are a new creation in Him. Philippians 4:6:7 says, do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God, and the peace of God which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

You need a guard over your heart and mind. If you are doubting your salvation, you need a guard on your heart and your mind, and that comes through prayer. And not rehearsing all the worries to God, I don’t mean saying, God, I’m so worried about my salvation. God, I’m not sure you save me. No. Now you’re just praying the lies. Pray the truth. God, I know that in you I am secure and saved.

God, I know that I am clean. God, I know that you died on the cross to make me one of yours, and I accept that and I embrace it and I ask you to make me completely able to trust it. And you pray the truth. If you’re a parent like me, your hope is that your children will grow up to develop an unshakable faith, To be followers of Jesus Christ and live out his call in their lives in a way that brings glory to God. But you also know that our kids live in a world that can be challenging to follow Christ faithfully. As one mom shared, I can’t teach my kids all the things they learn at summit. I homeschool them and we read a lot of great books together, but nothing compares to what they’ve internalized after attending Summit. Summit takes the best of the best of the best speakers, and they plan each session in such a way that the kids can get the most out of it.

That means having downtime, having fun activities, good food, thoughtful dialogue, access to speakers, staff, connection, all of it. I tell fellow moms they must send their kids to summit. If you have a child between the ages of 16 and 22, send them to a 2 week conference in Colorado or Georgia this summer. Learn more at Save $200 when you use the code, verity 24. Register today at Now here are some questions to ask when you doubt your salvation or you wonder, am I really saved? Number 1. And these are questions that I wrote that I want you really they’re really self probing questions.

They’re questions that will make you acknowledge the truth. I want you to ask the question and then state the the truth. Number 1. How am I saved? By my works or by faith and grace? The answer’s obvious. Ephesians 2. You are saved by faith and grace. And you can ask yourself that question and answer the question with, I’m saved by faith and grace, and that’s a fact. The second question is, am I growing in holiness imperfectly? Do I desire to do what’s right in god’s eyes? If you desire to do what’s right and you want to be at peace with God, you want to be in good standing with God, you want to be holy, and you acknowledge when there’s a lack of holiness, that’s the Holy Spirit’s work in your life.

People who don’t have the Holy Spirit don’t desire to be holy as he is holy. So that’s a sign the Holy Spirit is working in your life. Don’t let that enemy cast condemnation and doubt on you. Number 3. Is it God’s will for me to live in anxiety about whether I am saved? Is that God’s will for you? And the answer is no. So if you are living with that, you know that that’s a red flag and you know that it’s time to bring this to him and to pray the truth over my life. Number 4. What is the source or root of this anxiety? What aspect of my faith am I concerned about? Is it because you sinned recently? First John 19, confess and experience His righteousness, and then get up, set some boundaries, and walk forward in the truth.

Is it because someone said something that set you on this trajectory or you’re you’re seeing some different denominations do different things and now you’re doubting? Get down to the root of it. Process it with the Lord. Process it with your local church, with the people around you. Get a mentor who you can talk to about these things so that you can get down to that root, but, again, go back to the truth. 5th question. If I’m concerned about a sin issue, if that’s the source of this doubt, have I repented? Have I accepted God’s grace? If you have, you can walk in freedom. You are free. One last thing I want to mention.

Let’s say you go to a concert or you go to a rally or a conference or something where there’s a really inspirational Christian speaker or there’s a lot of emotions or a worship time, and they do an altar call or they ask you to pray for salvation, something like that. If you have already had that conversation with the Lord, if you have already repented and you have found his salvation in Christ, you’ve responded to his salvation, When they do an altar call or when they do a message that’s very convicting to you, you do not have to pray to be saved again. Salvation is once and for all. What you can do instead is pray for the other people around you who need Christ’s salvation. You can pray for areas of your life where you’re struggling or where you need freedom from sin. You can even respond to the altar call and respond to it with confession of sin or asking God to bring you greater freedom in an area. These are all areas you can pray for, but there is absolutely no need to pray for salvation again. You have already experienced the saving grace of God.

You are secure in him. You are a child of God. So now he’s working on convicting different areas of your life that he wants to transform. So instead of responding with another Romans Road prayer, you respond with confession or you respond with intercession, praying for other people, instead of responding in fear or anxiety or thinking you need to repeat the same salvation prayer over again, pray for the other people who are praying that prayer. If you see somebody who has raised their hand maybe and they’re saying they’re praying it for the first time, walk over and pray for them. Pray over them. Those are the things that you can do in those settings because you don’t need to try and save yourself. It’s impossible to do that.

You don’t need to repeat the same prayer over and over and over again. Christ has saved you once and for all, and you can rest in that reality. If this was a helpful episode, feel free to leave us a review, and also if you have any questions, you can email Phylicia at, and my team will forward the email to me and we will get back to you. Thank you as always for listening to this series. I hope it is a freeing truth in an equipping reality as you go forth and make disciples. Thank you so much for listening to this week’s episode of Verity podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, would you take the time to leave us a review? It helps so many other women around the world find out about Verity and about every woman a theologian as a ministry in a shop. We appreciate you, and I hope you’ll be back next week as we continue to go deeper into God’s word and the heart of Jesus Christ.

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