Am I saved? This is a question that many wrestle with over the course of their lives. Is this struggle and uncertainty what God desires for His children? We often hear the statement encouraging us to, "examine our salvation to see if you are saved." What does that mean? How do I do it? What does the Bible have to say about assurance of salvation? The information below will hopefully begin to answer these questions for you so that you can find rest in the salvation God has so graciously provided in Jesus.
Does God want us to have assurance?
The answer to this question is a resounding YES! In fact, the power and courage needed to live the Christian life in the midst of a lost and sinful culture is founded upon our assurance of God's love for us, not His threat of punishment. We find our assurance of God's love in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. According to the Bible, God has provided ways we can know we are saved.
"Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life." 1 John 5:12-13
Where does assurance come from?
"For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast." Ephesians 2:8-9
Our assurance of salvation is not found in our abilities or the things we have done. In the same way that God has saved us by His grace and mercy, we are kept by His grace and mercy, not in our ability to perform or maintain our salvation. He has provided the way for us to be restored, and He is the only one that is powerful enough to keep our salvation in tact.
What is Belief and Repentance?
In Mark 1:15, Jesus addressed the crowds in this way, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel." Jesus calls us to repent and believe in the gospel. The two things that grant us salvation are the same two things that give us assurance. Salvation and assurance involve much more than mental assent to the facts about Jesus Christ. In fact, James 2:19 says "the demons believe and tremble," but certainly they are not saved. So the type of belief that saves us and gives us assurance also involves our choice to repent and surrender.
The Greatest Test
"Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? --unless indeed you fail to meet the test!" 1 Corinthians 13:5
Our Pastor, Jimmy Meek, often encourages us to adhere to 1 Corinthians 13:5. How do we go about "examining ourselves?" What is it that we see as the evidence of our salvation and relationship with God through Jesus Christ?
Some people point to the past and a moment when they felt convicted about their sin and responded to the truth of the Gospel by praying and inviting Jesus Christ to the be the Lord and Savior of their life. There is certainly a time in every Christian's life where they move from lost to saved. However, pointing to an emotional experience in your past and a prayer you prayed is not what gives us the greatest assurance of our salvation and relationship with God.
The better test is to look at where you are currently resting. If you are currently resting in the arms of your Savior and what He has done, knowing when you surrendered is less important than that you are doing it now. Your present posture is more important than a past memory.
Conversion is not completing a ritual; it is commencing a relationship. The greatest evidence for conversion is found by examining the relationship you are currently enjoying with Jesus. Asking yourself the following questions can help you determine if you have a relationship with Jesus Christ.
- Do you have a strong desire for the things of God?
- Do you feel the leading of the Holy Spirit in your life? (Romans 8:14)
- Do you love talking to and about Jesus?
- Do you enjoy reading the Bible and praying to God?
- When you sin, do you experience the discipline of God as your loving father? (Hebrews 12:5-11)
- Is your pursuit of God motivated by love or by duty and obligation? (1 John 4:19)
- When you hear God speak, is it your desire to say, "Yes, Lord?" (John 10:27)
Ultimately, it is not the job of others to tell you if you are saved. However, these questions should provide an atmosphere for God to reveal the true status of your relationship with Him. Humbly come before the Lord and ask Him to reveal to you the answer. Once you have received confirmation that indeed you belong to Him, the Bible is clear that your salvation is secure and your faith will endure till the end. Rest in this reality as you find your purpose in serving and loving your King!
"I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. I an the Father are one." John 10:28-30
If you are struggling with assurance of salvation or have more questions click here.