Question from a Site Viewer
How can I be sure of my salvation? I have confessed Jesus to people I knew and was baptized. I told my family members about Jesus because the Bible says to confess him before men. How can I be sure that I am still saved or ever was?
Thank you for your question. Some people would say that all we can do is believe in Jesus and try to live a good life and hope that we are saved. But the Apostle John tells us otherwise. He tells us in 1 John 5:13 that he wrote his little book so that we may know that we have eternal life. How do we know? Salvation always begins for us with faith or trust in Christ. Jesus taught us that those who believe are saved (John 3:16-18; 5:24). John says the same thing in 1 John 5:13. If we trust Jesus for our life, then we are saved.
Sometimes we may doubt whether we truly believe. But in doing so, we often fall into the trap of trusting in our own faith rather than trusting in Jesus. Those are times when we need to confess with Peter that we have no one else to save us, and we acknowledge that our only hope is in Jesus. We need to cling to Him, and not to our faith. Jesus will not cast out any who come to Him (John 6:37). We need to rely solely on Him. Salvation is given to us when we trust in Him for our salvation.
Scripture also gives us other ways of knowing that we are saved. Romans 8:16 tells us that God’s Holy Spirit testifies to our spirit that we are children of God. He does this through many ways, including convicting us of sin and prodding us to live a righteous life. The fact that we are convicted when we sin and that we have a desire to love others and follow Christ is good evidence of our salvation. Hebrews 12:5-8 tells us that if we are His children, He will discipline us. If we find that when we sin things do not go well for us, this is additional evidence of our salvation.
John gives us a series of matters to let us know that we are saved. If we keep His Word, we know that we are in Him (1 John 2:5). If we love our brothers and sisters, we are in the light (1 John 2:10). If we do the will of God, then we remain forever (1 John 2:17). If we practice righteousness, we are born of Him (1 John 2:29; 3:7). Although we may sometimes sin as 1 John 2:1 states, sin should not be the normal life of the Christian. We know we have passed from death to life because we love the brethren (1 John 3:14).
It is possible to think we are doing the right things, and not be saved, as Jesus states in Matthew 7:21-23. People have a great capacity for self-deception. This is why we need to study His word so that we can know His will objectively and do it. This is also a reason why it is important to be in good Christian fellowship with other believers. Part of the role of the Christian community is to exhort each other lest we be deceived (Hebrews 3:13). We need to meditate on God’s word, pray always to Him, and seek to love Him with all of our heart, soul, strength, and mind. If we make our life’s goal to desire the knowledge of Him through His Word (1 Peter 2:2) and to present our lives to Him as living sacrifices (Romans 12:1-2), we will both be saved and have the confidence of our salvation. As Peter says, if we add to our faith virtue, and knowledge, and self-control, and patience, and godliness, and brotherly kindness, and love, we will have a rich entrance into the kingdom of heaven (2 Peter 1:5-11).
Thanks again for asking the question. May the Lord Jesus and His Spirit guide your heart into the love of God and enrich your life with the knowledge of His will in all things.
a fellow pilgrim,