Recently, someone asked me, “How do you know whether you are saved?” It seemed to me this person wanted to know whether God had truly been at work in my life, and whether I was a true believer.
Sometimes, when people ask this question, they want to know whether God has done some great work in our lives. Did God heal you? Did God free you from alochol and drugs? Did God restore your marriage? They wanted to see evidence of a personal encounter with God.
There is something legitimate about expecting to see a fruit in the life of a genuine believer, of a real child of God. After all, Jesus said that we would know them by their fruit (Matthew 7:16). But what is that fruit? [Hint: Matthew 7:16 isn’t actually teaching how to recognize God’s children, but how to recognize false prophets]
As I thought about these things, I came to the following conclusion: there are two ways in which I know that I am a child of God. First, Jesus promised that everyone who believes in Him will receive eternal life:
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live.”John 11:25, ESV
I know that I believe in Jesus, and my responsibility is only to believe: the one who gives eternal life is the Lord. Because He is faithful and true, I am relying on Him to keep His word: that although I shall die, yet I shall live.
This alone is sufficient for me to have comfort and know that I belong to Jesus. However, there is also some knowledge gathered from experience that can provide me with assurance of salvation. The presence of the Holy Spirit in me shows me that I am a child of God.
Romans 8:14 & 16, ESV
For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God…. The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.
Because the Spirit of God dwells in me, He leads me; and in leading me, He shows me that I am a child of God. This, of course, I say humbly, for I am not perfect: I often let the Lord down by word, thought, deed, or shortcoming.
Nevertheless, despite my failures, I see that throughout my life the Spirit leads me to repentance toward God, to faith in Him, to love toward Jesus, and to serve Him. He even uses what gifts He has given me to minister to others! He does all this despite my weakness in the flesh.
What about you? How do you know you are saved? How do you know the Holy Spirit dwells in you? How are you led by the Spirit? How else do you think we can have assurance of salvation? (Take time to reflect on these questions and to share your answers with others)
Pray with Me
Father in Heaven, I am yours and you are mine. I believe this because I have believed in your Son, Jesus Christ, and embraced Him; I trust in your promises, and I trust in His word.
I give you thanks, Lord, because your Spirit leads me to repentance, to faith, to love, and to seek your glory. It is not something I do on my own, it is something He does in me. I pray that He will do this in me even more and more, and that I would be aware of His work and direction in my life. Amen.
My friend, if you doubt at all that you are God’s child, that you are saved, I invite you to put your faith in the word of Jesus Christ:
All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.John 6:37, ESV
Please feel free to reach out to me and share your burden, your testimony, or your decision to believe in Jesus and receive Him in your heart. I will gladly pray with you.
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©2018, Marcelo E. Carcach. All rights reserved.
Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. You may not copy or download more than 500 consecutive verses of the ESV Bible or more than one half of any book of the ESV Bible.