When lecturing on the superiority of the King James Bible at a Midwest Bible College, I was invited to the home of one of the Theology Professors. Our conversation was casual but lead around to questions on the subjectivity of the mind, the proper analysis of Scripture, and finally the certainty of saving faith. As we worked through the content, the professor, without solicitation, and based on our discussion said that he could only be 99% sure he was saved. I gave no reply, but that event has remained with me. Here is someone well versed in the Scripture, indeed and teacher of Theology, but when reflecting epistemologically on what he knew could only speak of his personal, saving faith in relative terms. But one might reply, the difference between the certainty of salvation and this minimal degree of doubt is only 1%. One might even press the point to say that for practical purposes 99% and 100% are equal. However, any chemical engineer knows that a 1% difference is the foundation of total loss and ruin, so apart from theological issues the marginalizing of the difference is unwise. But because saving faith, the conduit to the finished work of Christ on Calvary, is a gift of God (Eph. 2:8-9), not originating in the heart or mind of man, but in the Word of God (Romans 10:17) through the regenerating work of the Spirit (John 3:6-7), saving faith gives the saint 100% certainty of its efficacy (1 John 5:13). The Professor’s conundrum was not an expression of degrees of faith but of his unwillingness simply to take God at His word. The simplicity of the Gospel in his mind had been swallowed by the chasm of critical issues. Being 99% sure you’re saved is not being saved. Christ saves to “the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.” (Heb. 7:25)
Here at Standard Sacred Text, we believe that everyone should take God at his word, whether we understand it all or not. We do not know how the subconscious works, how regeneration works. We do not know how election and the free choice of man work together. But these things and others should not prevent the redeemed soul from rightly believing they are true because God said it in his Word. If God said it, and our evidence does not agree with what He has said, then we are misinterpreting the evidence. With the Apostle Paul all should say, “let God be true, but every man a liar” (Rom. 3:4).