If we believe in Him, if we believe that God sent His Son to die in our place, to be our substitute and to pay the ultimate payment with His blood, we can be reconciled to God.
Now, most people reject the Son of God, but even for those who are seeking, just this act of believing in Jesus Christ and what God did for us can be very hard. Knowledge and intelligence might not be what is needed in the case of sceptical people. In fact, these usually good qualities can work against our faith because they can cause pride.
But what about Christians who already accepted the truth and received it? Is their salvation secure, should they be sure of their salvation? Is it presumptuous to believe that we are safe and secure? What does the bible say about assurance of salvation?
In this article, I want to attempt to answer this question. I don’t want to give you simply an opinion but I want you to see what God Himself put in His scriptures concerning this question. And please don’t believe anything I say, if you don’t see this alone from scriptures.
Assurance of Salvation
Now before we go into scriptures, we should think at least of the beginning of Christianity. Suppose the early apostles have said that they can’t be sure of salvation and that we just have to take a step of faith into the dark, do you really think the church would have survived the first century? Of course not and glory to God! When we read the New Testament, we read about people whose faith was without a shadow of a doubt, about a selected number of people who would proclaim: we know in whom we have believed. They were absolutely sure! They had no doubt whatsoever about what they have seen, about what they experienced.
What about being a parent? If God is truly our Father, isn’t it only obvious that He wants us to be sure that He loves us? Isn’t it obvious that He would want us to be sure of our security if we walk with Him? If we as fathers don’t want our children to be uncertain as to whether we love them, if we want them to be sure about how we would sacrifice everything for them, that is if we are truly loving fathers. I think for most loving fathers, there is not doubt that we would want them to be sure they can trust us with their very lives. How much more our perfect heavenly Father also? Yes, He wants to give the knowledge of salvation to His children.
Matthew 7:11 – If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?
Not only He wants us to know that we are on the way of salvation, He wants us to know undoubtedly that He loves us, that He has prepared a place for us and that as long as we are with Him, we can live in the joy of that hope until the end. So my friend, if you take your last breath today, you would be in that place where you know that you should not worry, that you can be sure that you will be with Him forevermore! He wants you to be sure of that, that is how great our Lord is.
How Do I know I am Saved?
But some ask “how do I know I am saved?”.
In this section, I will attempt to answer this question from a biblical perspective. The New Testament gives us keys by which we can examine ourselves to see if we are in the faith. These keys or tests can be somewhat categorized into three themes.
Faith in the Promises of God
In this, I mean that there many statements of confidence which are written in the bible to give us assurance that we are saved in Christ. I have put down these statements for you so that you see them more plainly and can go also to your bible and verify them if you wish.
The “are” statements
Ephesians 2:8 – By grace, you are saved
Acts 13:39 – And by him all that believe are justified from all things
Galatians 3:26 -For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
Luke 7:48 – Your sins are forgiven
Ephesians 1:7 – In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace
Romans 5:1 – Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
The “know” statements
2 Timothy 1:12 – For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed,
1 John 3:14 – We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren
The “will” statements
John 6:37 – and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.
Revelation 3:20 – Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
Now having mentioned these verses, you see that God had promised you, dear friend, that He will never cast you out if you go to Him, if you humble yourself, repent and believe in Him. These are promises and God is faithful, He keeps each and every promise, there is no lie in Him. Now If you put your trust in Jesus Christ as your savior and you still doubt these promises, remember that you are not doubting yourself but in reality, you are doubting Him and His promises. Why? it is because God said “I will”. There is no uncertainty in the New Testament.
Now, the matter of faith alone may be hard by itself to give you that full assurance but it is enough to start your certainty. It will help you know that God had promises made to His children and that He keeps them.
Christ Makes Us New Creatures
This second category is the Work of Christ in changing something in us and our love for Him which becomes apparent to the world. This change will not only be clear to ourselves but also to people around us who know us.
2 Corinthians 5:17 – Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
I noticed from experience there are these things that we used to love and enjoy but that now we will dislike or hate.
The Things of the World
When we become born again and are on the way of salvation, the world becomes alien to us and we are born into the new Spiritual Kingdom which belongs to the King Jesus Christ. Suddenly the things of the world that used to be important to us, will no longer be important. The things we used to cherish and that used to drive us will become secondary and there will be a shift in priorities and in ambitions.
We used to like being popular, be around people and be the centre of attention. We used to love to do the same things the world does, that won’t be the case anymore. We will not fit anymore, the things of the world will become hollow, useless and empty.
The Sinful Nature of the Old Man
Another sign of being in Christ is hating the old man of sin, the old man who is born of the flesh, with his habits and his old nature. That is for sure, we will hate the sins that grieve the Holy Spirit and drive God out. Does that mean we will never sin again? Does it mean that the flesh will not try to drag us back? No, of course not, but one thing is for sure and it will be key to knowing we are in God, we will hate ourselves for doing these things and we will realize the danger of continuing in them and how they affect our relationship with God, our prayer life and His presence in our lives.
There was a time when we didn’t feel any guilt in our conscience for sinning but that will not be the case anymore, we will loathe ourselves afterwards and we will repent. When we get saved, the real person inside is completely changed and backsliding will be very painful. We will never be able to go back to that place where we used to enjoy sin without a guilty conscience, not if we are truly born again.
The Devil and His Angels
If we are on the way of salvation, we will be sensitive to evil and we will realize there are evil spirits operating behind the scenes. The closer we are to Christ, the closer we will be to the devil who is not in hell but in heavenly places. If we are born again, we will become a target for the devil and his angels. He will try his utmost best to drag us back into our old lifestyle, he will make us doubt the promises of God and he will try to hinder our prayers. He always has a trick up his sleeve. We will hate him and his demons because we will realize they are really trying to get us to fall away from Christ.
The devil will tempt us to get us to fail the test. And God will allow it so that we pass the test.
In becoming new creatures, there are also other things that we used to dislike and which we will now start to love:
Love for Brethren
I remember when I used to dislike the weird “lovy-dovy” people in the church. I found them obnoxious and used to described them as hypocrites. I couldn’t believe that they were truly that loving, the devil had power over me and convinced me there was no real genuine love there.
When we become saved, that is no longer the case and our spiritual eyes will be open. We will suddenly love our Christian brothers and sisters and not only that, they will become our new family. They will become real people, more real than the friends we used to know so closely. The apostle John in his first letter said this was the key that we are now on the road of salvation.
1 John 3:14 – We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren
Johh 13:35 – By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
Love of the Things of the Spirit
After crossing into the Spiritual Kingdom of Christ, we will love the things of the Spirit, we will love to get alone with God, to be perfected and renewed by the Spirit. We certainly won’t become saints overnight but we would certainly want to grow and be sanctified. We won’t necessarily be filled with all the gifts of the Spirit right away but we would want and desire everything the Spirit can offer us for the praise and glory of God.
Love of the Lord and His Word
We will love anything that has to do with the things of the Lord. We will love to spend time meditating on His Word in the bible and learning His ways.
Finally, I will mention one last key sign that we are on the way of salvation is that we cannot stop thinking about Jesus Christ. We want to share His love with others and our love for Him. We want to love people through Him. If we are indeed changed into new creatures, we will have the desire and the pleasure of working for the Kingdom of Christ and to lead people to Jesus. This would be the first priority because we love the unsaved and we want them to come to the truth and be saved themselves.
Witness of the Holy Spirit
The third theme is the witness of the Spirit which is greatly linked to the joy in our hope. This work of the third person of the Trinity will bring us to full assurance of faith and of salvation.
The Holy Scriptures say that the Holy Spirit is a Seal
God puts on us when we are born again. In ancient times, a seal was used for security (as for a door), for truth (as for a will or a contract), for quality (as for corn or wine) and most importantly for ownership (as for animals).
When someone saw a seal in ancient times, they would know who the owner was. So when we are sealed by the Holy Spirit, it means we become God’s property and we now belong to Him and are betrothed to His Son.
The Spirit will also work as a witness that will confirm that we are children of God.
Romans 8:16 – The Spirit Himself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God
Being filled with the Spirit will also cause spontaneous overflowing which is a clear great sign of salvation in the book of Acts. When a person is filled with the Spirit, they will overflow and spontaneously praise God which will come out as a witness of the Spiritual rebirth.
My friend, it is important for you to know that you are a child of God and that God has given you that assurance. Only don’t let that assurance be an opportunity to go back to the flesh and to be easy with sin.
We, as Christians need to have full assurance of faith and salvation. Why? Because unless we can draw near to God with full assurance, we will not be able to draw near to men with full assurance. If we don’t have absolute certainty that we are sons of God, our testimony will be uncertain and our work for the Lord will not be solid.
Until we are sure of God’s love, until we are sure of heaven, our testimony will be hesitant, half-hearted, it would be only “yes I am a Christian” and it won’t be “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39).