How can you be assured of your salvation? Should you look to a past event like walking an aisle, saying a prayer, or being baptized? Is it found in a hyper-spiritual activity such as speaking in tongues. How about church membership? Does it seal the deal when it comes to assurance of salvation?
While all the above can hint at one’s salvation, they don’t necessarily mean someone is saved. You can walk an aisle, say a prayer, be baptized, join a church, and even act as if you are speaking in tongues, and not be a Christian. I don’t believe, then, that any of the above provides the assurance many want and desire.
How Can I be Assured of My Salvation?
The Bible, however, doesn’t leave us high and dry when it comes to the question of assurance. While I can’t provide every biblical reference related to assurance in this post, here are a number of them paired with 7 questions to ask yourself. As you work through these questions, notice the continual nature of each question.
1. Do I have a present trust in Christ for salvation?
- Colossians 1:23 —> Do I continue to trust that Jesus is my Savior who has repaired my relationship with the Father by dying in my place? See also Hebrews 3:14 and John 3:16 where “Believes” is continual, meaning you continue to believe.
“if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.” (Col 1:23)
2. Is their evidence the Holy Spirit is at work in my life?
- Galatians 5:22-23 —> Fruit of the Spirit. Do I sense these in myself? Can others see them?
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” (Ga 5:22–23)
3. Do I continue to believe and accept sound doctrine?
- 1 John 2:23-24 —> What you heard from the beginning is the teachings about Jesus, God, Sin, Man, and Salvation found in God’s Word.
“No one who denies the Son has the Father. Whoever confesses the Son has the Father also. Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you too will abide in the Son and in the Father.” (1 Jn 2:23–24)
4. Do I continue to read and delight in God’s Word?
- 2 Timothy 3:16-17 —> Does knowing that God’s Word provides everything you need for life and godliness regularly drive you to Scripture?
“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” (2 Ti 3:16–17)
5. Do I continue to abide in Jesus?
- John 15:4, 7 —> Abiding not only means that you continue to trust Jesus, but you fellowship with him regularly in prayer, worship, and Bible study.
“Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me….If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” (Jn 15:4,7)
6. Do I continually live in obedience to God’s Word?
- 1 John 2:4-6; 3:9-10, 24; 5:18 —> You will never be perfect in this life, but do you strive to live for and like Christ?
“Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.” (1 Jn 2:4–6)
“No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him; and he cannot keep on sinning, because he has been born of God. By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.” (1 Jn 3:9–10)
“Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God, and God in him. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us.” (1 Jn 3:24)
“We know that everyone who has been born of God does not keep on sinning, but he who was born of God protects him, and the evil one does not touch him.” (1 Jn 5:18)
7. Do I continually love my neighbor?
- 1 John 4:7-8 —> If you don’t love your neighbor, then you haven’t experienced God’s love.
“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.” (1 Jn 4:7–8)
Question for Reflection
- After working through these texts, do you have a greater sense of assurance?