Do I see myself as a guilty, lost sinner who stands condemned before a holy and righteous God (Romans 3:10-19,23)? Do I recognize that my own heart is deceitful and wicked and incurably sick (Jeremiah 17:9; Mark 7:21-23)? Do I see myself as deserving of death and hell (Romans 6:23)? Do I realize that if God were to give me what I deserve and repay me for the way I have lived, then I would be totally destroyed (Psalm 130:3; compare Psalm 103:10)?
Do I recognize that there is absolutely nothing I can do to save myself (Titus 3:5)? Do I understand that trying my best to perform good works will never gain me or earn me an entrance into heaven (Ephesians 2:8-9)? Do I realize that my church or my religious system cannot save my soul (Jeremiah 17:5)? Am I convinced that my own righteousness and my own goodness falls far short of the righteousness that God requires and demands (Romans 3:10-12; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10)? Do I, in and of myself, have any personal credentials that are acceptable before God (Isaiah 64:6)?
Do I believe that Jesus Christ is God's only Solution to my sin problem (Acts 4:12)? Do I recognize Him as the only way to God (John 14:6), the only Door to salvation (John 10:9), the only Saviour for sinners (Matthew 1:21) and the only One who can give me eternal life (John 10:28; 17:3)? Do I understand that Jesus Christ is the eternal God (John 1:1-3) who came into this world and became a man to save me (John 1:14; 1 Timothy 1:15; John 3:17)? Am I convinced that He loved me even when I was a great sinner (Romans 5:8; John 3:16) and that He died and rose again to save my soul (Romans 4:25)? Am I persuaded that the Lord Jesus died on the cross for my sins and that He died in my place as my perfect Substitute, dying in my stead and paying completely the full penalty for my sins (Isaiah 53:6; 1 Peter 3:18; 2 Corinthians 5:21)?
Am I trusting in Him and in Him alone to save me (Acts 16:31)? Have I come to Him in simple, child-like faith (John 6:35,37; Matthew 11:28)? Have I, by faith, personally received the Lord Jesus Christ as my Saviour (John 1:12)? Am I resting my entire self on who He is (John 8:24), on what He has done (1 Cor. 15:3-4) and on what He has said (John 6:47)? Do I believe that He is able to completely save all those who come unto God through Him, including me (Hebrews 7:25)? Do I believe the statement of Christ found in John 5:24? Is John 3:16 true of me? Have I ever shared with others that Jesus Christ is my Saviour (Romans 10:9-10; Matthew 10:32)? Am I able to say from my heart: "My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness. I dare not trust the sweetest frame but wholly lean on Jesus' Name. On Christ the solid Rock I stand—all other ground is sinking sand, all other ground is sinking sand!" [Edward Mote]
Another helpful question that I can ask myself is this: If I were to die today and stand before God and He should ask me, "Why should I allow you to enter My holy heaven?" what would my answer be? If my answer in any way points to MYSELF (my own credentials, my own works, my own religious deeds, etc.) then I am not standing on solid ground. Here are some examples of people putting their trust in SELF:
- "God should let me into His holy heaven because in my life I have done more good than bad."
- "God should let me into His holy heaven because I try to keep the ten commandments."
- "God should let me into His holy heaven because I'm a member of a certain church" etc. All such answers point to ME, but salvation is not of ME; salvation is of the LORD!
There is only one reason why I can enter God's holy heaven. The appropriate response is this: "I will enter God's holy heaven for one reason and one reason only. It is only because of Jesus Christ my Saviour. Apart from His work on the cross I could never be saved. Apart from His life which He has given to me as a free gift, I could never enter His holy heaven. He is my only hope. He is the only righteousness I have and He is all the righteousness I need. Thank You Lord for saving my soul and making me whole." Notice how this answer points away from SELF and clearly points to the Saviour and to Him alone!