LIVING WITH CONFIDENCE
How can you know for sure that you are saved?
God wants you to be confident about what has happened to you. A lack of confidence breeds insecurity and fear, thus undermining your ability to follow Jesus. While having some doubts is normal, we can, and should, live with confidence that we are saved. So where does this assurance come from?
1. Assurance comes from the Spirit of Jesus.
“The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.” (Romans 8:16)
The Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Jesus, comes into our hearts when we are saved. His Spirit provides an inner confirmation that we are saved and reconciled to God. This is often described as inner sense of peace or an inner conviction that we are now right with God.
2. Assurance comes from the teachings of Jesus.
“And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life.” (1 John 5:11-13)
Jesus spelled it out clearly. If you have the Son (in other words, you believe in Jesus), you have the gift eternal life. Having eternal life isn’t based on what we feel, but on what Jesus has said. We can know we are saved because Jesus told us that we would be saved if we believed in Him.
3. Assurance comes from obedience to Jesus.
“The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But those who fail to develop in this way are shortsighted or blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their old sins.”
(2 Peter 1:8-9)
Growing as a Christian also grows our confidence in our relationship with Jesus, because it confirms our relationship with Him. If we fail to develop, our confidence can shrink, or even disappear appear altogether. The loss of assurance doesn’t mean we aren’t saved, it means that we have lost confidence in our salvation.
Some people can remember the moment they put their faith in Jesus and were saved. Other people can’t. What is important isn’t so much “did I get it right back then?” as it is “what am I trusting in now?”
A word about “false assurance”.
The assurance issue cuts both ways. Some lack assurance of a salvation they actually possess. Others have an assurance of a salvation they do not actually possess! False assurance can be deadly. If you think you are saved but…
Your life hasn’t changed (1 Corinthians 5:17)
You don’t have a strong desire to live for Jesus (John 10:27)
You don’t love other Christians or needy people (1John 3:14-17)
then it may be that you are not really saved!