How Do I Know I Am “Saved”?
A common question I hear among Christians is, “How do I know I am ‘saved’?” How do I truly know that I am secure in salvation, reconciled to God, and bound to spend eternity with Him forever. As a pastor my heart is that those who are in Christ would have confidence in their eternal security, hope in the promises of Jesus, and joy in their salvation! However, I also don’t want people to be deceived as to their relationship with God! Matthew 7:21-23 is evidence that it is possible for us to be deceived about our standing with God. This blog is not intended to create doubt but to bring assurance to the believer and awakening to the unbeliever.
Here are some ways that you may “know that you have eternal life”. (1 John 5:13):
- Have I been given a new heart? (Check out the promise in Ezekiel 36:24-27) In other words, have my desires changed? Am I growing to love the things that God loves and hate the things that God hates? Has the trajectory of my life changed? Do I desire to be more like Jesus?
- Have you surrendered to Christ or did you just make a statement? Standing in a service, raising your hand, checking a box, nor praying a prayer saves you. Only surrendering your life to Christ and trusting in the life He offers is able to bring salvation. Have you seen that your life is becoming obedient to Christ? (John 14:15) CAUTION: We obey Jesus because we love Him not so that He will love us! You can’t make Him love you. He just does!
- Have I become aware of His presence with me and in me? In John 14:16 Jesus promises that His followers will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit that will be with them and in them. As believers we recognize God’s presence in our lives. Do you sense His direction as you go throughout your day? Do you sense conviction in your life when you sin? Do you turn to Him when you are faced with a challenging situation? Do you praise Him when you recognize His blessing in your life?
- Are you growing in the fruit of the Spirit? Galatians 5:22-23 The Bible is clear that if we are in Christ we will produce fruit that is consistent with His life. 1 John 2:5-6 says, “This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.” Obviously none of us are perfect in this but we should be growing in His image and more clearly reflecting His glory! CAUTION: We don’t produce the fruit of the Spirit by focusing on the fruit! That’s miserable! We produce the fruit of the Spirit as a byproduct of a relationship with Jesus. Focus on the relationship!
- Has repentance become a part of my life? In Acts 2:38 Peter tells those who are listening to the first sermon ever preached that they must, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.” Repentance is simply turning from our sins and turning to Christ. It has always been at the center of the preaching of the Old Testament prophets, the prophet John the Baptist in the New Testament, the teachings of Jesus, and the Apostles. It must remain at the center of modern day preaching of the Gospel. In fact, if repentance has not been preached the Gospel has not been proclaimed! It is a GREAT privilege that we are able to turn from the life taking ways of sin to the life giving ways of Christ! CAUTION: Repentance is not a one time event. It is a way of life that characterizes the normal Christian’s existence.
Love you guys! Heart and Soul!