By the book!
Getting saved is easy. It is simply a matter of believing what Jesus Christ said and believing what he has done for you. When Christ came to the earth, he led a perfect, sinless life. Then, he died on the cross and resurrected from the dead. His death and burial satisfied God’s judgment on sin. His resurrection showed that he beat death and sin. In true biblical salvation, God charges Jesus Christ with your sin and exchanges your unrighteousness for the righteousness of Jesus Christ. Therefore, a saved person in God’s eyes has a perfectly righteous life (the life of Jesus Christ), and has been justified (declared not guilty at God’s judgment for sin). See 2 Cor. 5:21 and Rom.5:8-9.
When you get saved, God wants you to know for sure that you are saved and he doesn’t want you to doubt it. So, John wrote in 1 John 5:13, “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may KNOW that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.” God would not have written that if he did not want you to have assurance of your salvation.
The two biggest enemies of assurance are sin and self-righteousness. Once you have truthfully trusted the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, uncontrolled sin will make you believe that you’re not saved. Furthermore, self-righteousness will cause you to believe there is something more that you must do in order to maintain your salvation. You will always wonder if you have done enough to keep you saved. At times, you will stand in doubt of your salvation.
You should be able to examine yourself and prove to yourself that you’re saved. Paul said in 2 Cor. 13:5, “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves.” The trouble with this comes up when you start looking at your own sin and your own righteousness. Both of these can convince you that you are not saved or that you have lost your salvation. Only by studying what the Bible says and believing it will you be able to overcome your doubts.
There are several ways that you can know for sure whether you are saved:
- The Book-1 John 5:13. The Bible is the only place to get faith. You have to put your faith in the facts of what God said and not in your feelings. If you have received Christ, then you are a son of God (John 1:12) according to what God said.
- The Blood-Col. 1:14. You have to realize that when Jesus Christ shed God’s blood on the cross, that satisfied God’s wrath for sin forever – the sins that you committed before you got saved and the sins that you have committed since you’ve been saved.
- The Bodily Resurrection-Acts 17:31. The fact that Jesus Christ came literally out of the grave assures us that once we have trusted him for our salvation, we too will come up out of the grave (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). Our resurrection is not dependent upon what we do but upon what he has already done for us.
- The Holy Spirit-Rom. 8: 16. When you get saved the Holy Spirit takes up residence inside of your body (1 Cor. 3: 16). By his presence in you, he bears witness that you are a child of God. Does he bear witness to that fact in your life?
- The Power of the Holy Spirit-1 Thessalonians 1:5. The Holy Spirit gives you power to do things once you are saved that you could not have done before you got saved. You may not always experience this power or yield to his work. However, there are times when he unmistakably accomplishes something in your life that you could not do or would not have done as an unsaved person.
- God’s Righteousness-Isaiah 32:17. As a result of receiving Jesus Christ, you also receive his righteousness. When that righteousness is at work in you it gives you peace, quietness and assurance. Simply trust Christ’s righteousness and not your own. Your own righteousness will always be filthy (Isaiah 64: 6).
- Bible Study-2 Timothy 3: 14-15. Oftentimes a Christian will have enough faith to get saved but will not study to increase that faith. When you continue to study and read the Bible your assurance of salvation grows.
- Love of the Brethren-1 John 3: 14. Christians can be particularly hard to love before you are saved. Once you receive Christ, though, your attitude toward Christians generally changes. That’s one way you know you’re saved.
Now, there are three things that you can do to help strengthen your assurance:
- Fear the Lord-Isaiah 33:6. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and knowledge. Wisdom and knowledge create stability and strengthen your salvation. Unfortunately, many Christians do not fear the Lord enough. Consequently, they lack assurance of their salvation.
- Don’t Fear Men-Isaiah 51:7. When you fear men, you will do things to try to please them and impress them. You will be afraid of their ridicule. When that happens, you will not know the righteousness that the Lord has given you because you will be looking to men to justify yourself (Luke 16:15). Since men are fickle, you won’t know where you stand with them half the time.
- Witness-Psalm 71: 14-15. One of the best ways to remind yourself that you’re saved is to tell somebody else how to get saved.
An old friend of mine told me that if I wanted to have full assurance of my salvation, I should get on a street corner in my own hometown and stand up with the Bible in my hand and preach the word to my friends and neighbors. So, I did that. I’m here to tell you that he was right. That did more to charge me up than anything I’ve ever experienced. You ought to try that some time.
Hope this helps,
Pastor Bevans Welder