Is there a feeling connected to salvation? What if I don’t feel saved?
Salvation is not a feeling, but a state in which a person has received Jesus Christ as Lord by faith. Feelings vary from one moment to the next, yet God does not. As a result, we should not determine our salvation based on our feelings or lack of feelings. The Bible calls us to base our salvation on what Jesus has done for us.
First, the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is the basis for our salvation (Romans 5:10; Ephesians 1:7). This unchanging fact should encourage us when we have doubts regarding our salvation.
Second, our salvation began by faith, not feelings. Though most people associate strong feelings with the point of salvation, this is not a requirement. Ephesians 2:8 is clear in stating that we are saved by grace through faith. This belief in who Christ is and what He has done is what leads us to salvation, not the feelings that may have been involved.
Third, the Bible never teaches that we will feel saved. Rather, we are often taught that we will encounter persecution (2 Timothy 3:12). The Christian life includes a full range of emotions, from joy to discouragement, even as the apostle Paul shared (2 Corinthians 11:24-29). These emotions did not cause him to doubt his salvation but were an expected part of life. Further, Jesus Himself experienced deep emotions during His earthly ministry. He wept over the death of Lazarus (John 11), felt the sting of betrayal, sweat blood from His distress in the Garden of Gesthemane (Luke 22:44), experienced frustration at those who would not accept his teachings and joy at those who would, knew abundant life, had times of rest with the Father, experienced physical and spiritual pain, and experienced the victory of resurrection.
Our emotion-focused culture often tempts us to associate our feelings with facts. Yet fact and feeling do not always align. The fact of salvation takes place when we receive Christ by faith. This faith comes from God and continues throughout our lives. Our feelings will vary based on a variety of factors, ranging from the weather to our health, stress level, and much more. While emotions are important, they are not the determining factor in salvation. The fact of Christ as Lord and our faith in Him are the essential factors. No matter our current emotion, we know that nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:37-39).