Almighty Father, whose dear Son, on the night before he suffered, instituted the Sacrament of his Body and Blood: Mercifully grant that we may receive it thankfully in remembrance of Jesus Christ our Lord, who in these holy mysteries gives us a pledge of eternal life; and who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
How do I know that I’m saved?
This is a question that plagues many faithful Christians, particularly those in Evangelical circles.
With such a strong emphasis on a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, Evangelicalism has contributed to a false mindset in which salvation depends upon a person’s sense of being saved. If I don’t feel Jesus today—if I don’t feel all that saved— then how do I know that I really am saved?
If only there were something outside of my personal feelings that revealed God’s love to me! Thanks be to God, there is.
The Eucharist, Holy Communion
In the Collect for Maundy Thursday, we praise God for Christ’s institution of the Blessed Sacrament, and we ask that we might receive it “thankfully in remembrance of Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Why are we thankful for this Sacrament? Because through it God gives us a “pledge of eternal life.”
That little piece of bread and small sip of wine are his eternal promise that salvation is for us. If we receive those elements with faith, then we receive something that our feelings and consciousness can never produce, assurance of salvation.
But how? How can bread and wine do such a wonderful thing?
They can’t, but Christ can. Christ alone has earned eternity through his perfect life, death, and resurrection.
For us to be saved, we must become partakers of his life. We must be united to his perfection, so that our sinfulness can be forgiven and overcome by his grace.
In the Eucharist, this is exactly what happens. His precious, spotless, blameless Body and Blood is made present and given to us mystically but no less fully.
He is real. He is there. His Body enters into our body. His Blood mingles with our blood. And through this “holy mystery” the two “become one flesh” (Eph. 5:31-32). What belongs to him (eternal life) becomes ours. What belongs to us (sin and death) is taken away by him and his sacrifice.
It is here, at the Eucharist, that we find salvation— a salvation that frees us from subjectivity and the oppression of our own emotions.
Because of the Eucharist, we don’t have to worry about feeling Jesus enough to be saved; we will never feel him enough.
Because of the Eucharist, we don’t have to worry about having enough faith; we will never have enough faith.
Because of the Eucharist, we are free to trust in Christ alone and to firmly believe that the bread and the wine is “give for us” (Luke 22:19).
How do I know that I’m saved? Don’t fall into the trap of pointing to your feelings or experience to answer this question.
Point to the altar, instead. Point to Christ. He will save you.