(Originally posted on the Bibles for America Blog)
As Christians, although we’ve believed in the Lord Jesus and received Him as our Saviour, at times we may wonder, “How do I know I’m saved?” Sometimes we feel we’re definitely saved; at other times, we’re not so sure. When we’re tossed back and forth between certainty and uncertainty, it’s difficult for us to progress in our Christian life.
But we don’t have to be unsure. God provides three clear ways for us to have the full assurance of salvation, which we’ll discuss in this post.
1. The Bible says so
The first way we know we’re saved is that the Bible says so. We have to realise that the Bible isn’t an ordinary book; it’s the speaking of the living God Himself. And God does not lie, so we can absolutely believe, trust, and rely on His Word.
First John 5:13 says this:
“I have written these things to you that you may know that you have eternal life, to you who believe into the name of the Son of God.”
This verse shows us God doesn’t want us to be unsure about our salvation. We have something in writing—the Word of God—by which we can know we’re really saved. God wants us to be assured of our salvation by His written Word.
Note 1 on this verse in the New Testament Recovery Version speaks about the assurance of salvation we can have through God’s Word:
“The written words of the Scriptures are the assurance to the believers, who believe into the name of the Son of God, that they have eternal life. Our believing to receive eternal life is the fact; the words of the Holy Writings are the assurance concerning this fact—they are the title deed to our eternal salvation. By them we are assured and have the pledge that as long as we believe into the name of the Son of God, we have eternal life.”
We have a pledge concerning our salvation! Our pledge, our “title deed” to our eternal salvation, is the Word of God.
John 3:16 is another verse that assures us of our salvation:
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that everyone who believes into Him would not perish, but would have eternal life.”
This verse tells us that when we believe into Jesus Christ, we’re saved; we have eternal life and we will not perish. We’re saved when we believe in Him and receive Him as our Saviour. This is God’s unchanging and reliable Word.
Relying on the facts in God’s Word, as opposed to our own feelings or deductions, is one strong way we can be assured we’re really saved.
2. The Holy Spirit witnesses with our spirit
Another way we can be sure we’re saved is through the Spirit.
God gave us two wonderful gifts: the Bible, which is something outside of us, and His Spirit, who is inside us. Both testify that when we believe in Jesus, we’re saved eternally.
When we were born again by believing in Jesus, the Spirit came into our spirit to live in us forever.
Romans 8:16 speaks clearly concerning these two spirits:
“The Spirit Himself witnesses with our spirit that we are children of God.”
The Holy Spirit witnesses deep within us, in our spirit, that we are truly saved. Even if we doubt this and say, “I don’t think I’m a child of God,” the Spirit within us witnesses to confirm that we are.
One reason we may wonder whether we’re saved may be because we don’t know how to experience this witnessing of the Holy Spirit with our spirit. Instead, we may rely on our fluctuating feelings or our doubting mind to assure us we’re saved. But the key to experiencing this witnessing of the Holy Spirit is to realise that it’s with our spirit, which is deeper than our emotions or our mind.
Now, let’s read 1 Corinthians 12:3:
“No one can say, Jesus is Lord! except in the Holy Spirit.”
Note 3 on this verse explains how saying “Jesus is Lord” is crucial:
“This indicates that when we say with a proper spirit, ‘Jesus is Lord!’ we are in the Holy Spirit. Hence, to call on the Lord Jesus is the way to participate in, to enjoy, and to experience the Holy Spirit.”
Whenever we’re doubting our salvation, we can say aloud, “Jesus is Lord!” As we declare this, we’re in the Holy Spirit, not in our questioning mind or our changeable emotions, and the Spirit in our spirit witnesses and assures us that we most certainly are children of God.
3. Love for our brothers in the Lord
In addition to the Word of God and the Spirit in us, we can know we’re saved because we have genuine love for our fellow Christians, even for those who may be very different from ourselves.
This love isn’t something we had before we were saved, and it’s not something we manufacture after we’re saved. It’s the spontaneous result of our receiving the life of God when we’re regenerated.
In 1 John 3:14, the apostle John says,
“We know that we have passed out of death into life because we love the brothers.”
Note 1 explains the relationship of life and love in this verse:
“Death is of the devil, God’s enemy, Satan, signified by the tree of knowledge of good and evil, which brings death; life is of God, the source of life, signified by the tree of life, which issues in life (Gen. 2:9, 16-17). Death and life are not only of two sources, Satan and God; they are also two essences, two elements, and two spheres. To pass out of death into life is to pass out of the source, the essence, the element, and the sphere of death into the source, the essence, the element, and the sphere of life. This took place in us at our regeneration. We know this, i.e., have the inner consciousness of it, because we love the brothers. Love (the love of God) toward the brothers is strong evidence of this. Faith in the Lord is the way for us to pass out of death into life; love toward the brothers is the evidence that we have passed out of death into life. To have faith is to receive the eternal life; to love is to live by the eternal life and express it.”
This love in us for our brothers in the Lord is further evidence that we’re genuinely saved.
Assurance of salvation: a solid foundation for our Christian life
Once we receive Christ as our Saviour, we have wonderful sources of the assurance of our salvation in the written word of the Bible, the Spirit witnessing with our spirit, and love for our brothers in the Lord. Thank God we can know with certainty that we’re saved eternally and that we’re truly God’s children! With this assurance as our solid foundation, we can have a joyful Christian life and go on to experience Christ and grow in Him.