Assurance. What an amazing and wonderful thought. How could someone possibly “know” they are saved. As all men fall short the glory of God. Myself included, and to an extent beyond words. I am a sinner, a liar, and not worthy of love. Yet I have heard Gods word. It falls heavy on my heart and I have witnessed his love and understanding. As a born again Christian, I know God has given us grace, and through his Son Jesus, we can receive salvation. But I don’t “know” that I am saved. The question of assurance has never been truly answered to my knowledge. Yet, I am asking how if possible would one receive it? I find myself judgmental when someone tells me they ARE saved when I witness sin in their lives. Then I look towards myself and see similar atrocities. Sin separates us from God. Why is it that I feel close to him when I pray? Thank you for reading my thoughts and questions. May we grow together under Gods truth and guidance. Despite our own selfish intentions. God Bless.
Assurance of salvation is something I struggle with at times as well. I see sin in my life, I realize I don’t even come close to meeting God’s perfect standard, just a myriad of things that show me how far from perfect I am. However, this is not what God desires of us. I would recommend reading 1 John in its entirety, and pay close attention to 1 John 5:13. “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may KNOW that you have eternal life.” (Emphasis mine).
If we trust that the Bible is God’s Word, and we trust that He is faithful and is not a liar, then we CAN know that we are saved. I have had multiple people in my life tell me that if you’re worried that you aren’t saved, you probably are. And I think there’s a lot of truth there. If the Holy Spirit were not in you, you wouldn’t care whether you were actually saved or not.
I 100% sympathize with your question because as stated previously, this is something I struggle with occasionally as well. I would also encourage you to read the Beatitudes in Matthew 5:3-12. Particularly about those who are poor in spirit being blessed. My pastor explains this as, “Those who recognize their spiritual poverty are blessed.”
I hope this helps!
@JohnKP Great question I think it is helpful to remember the difference between justification and sanctification. Pastors often say justification means that in Jesus it is “just as if we never sinned”—we are declared righteous because of what Jesus did rather than anything we have or will do. Sanctification is the lifelong process of becoming more like Christ. Just because we are not yet fully sanctified does not mean that we have not been justified in Jesus. Justification occurs the moment we are saved. Sanctification is ongoing.
Becoming a Christian is a bit like getting married; it is a covenant. How do I know that I am married? Is it because I am a perfect husband? Hardly - it is because we made a covenant before many witnesses. When we accept Jesus, we enter into a covenant relationship with God and become part of His bride, the Church. If we sin within the context of that covenant relationship, God does not kick us out of the covenant automatically. Just like in marriage - the offending party, which is always us in this case, asks for forgiveness and the relationship goes forward. Likewise, salvation is like adoption. We are God’s kids. We are messy and confused sometimes, but God loves us and disciplines us so that we can grow up to full spiritual maturity.
Assurance of salvation does not come from our own behavior, but from trusting in what Jesus has done for us and witnessing the transformation He is doing in us. Below are some additional resources I hope you find useful.
This article from Gospel coalition suggest that there are 3 signs: theological, moral and social.
- theological - we believe in Jesus as revealed by the Scriptures
- moral - growing in righteousness as defined by Scripture gives us confidence (whereas sin leads to confusion)
- social - our love for other Christians and those in need should be a sign of indwelling of the Holy Spirit
- you are a child in God’s family once you repent. A father does not kick their child out of the family every time they stumble - especially when they are young and still learning to walk. In the same way, our Heavenly Father does not kick us out every time we stumble, but He does discipline us, just as a father a child he loves (Hebrews 12:4-12). We need to take sin seriously - we need to repent - but we do not need to fear that we will be kicked out every time we fall. The Father is there to pick us up and help us continue on the journey.
- think about a kid who is learning to skateboard - who wants more than anything to learn to skateboard. He gets out there and tears his pants, skins his knees, cracks his shin - but every time he gets back up. He won’t give up - he wants this more than anything. As Christians, we aren’t perfect, but we want Jesus more than anything - and no matter how many times we fall we will get back up - we will fight - we will repent - we will strive to die with Christ and be made like Him.
Thank you for sharing with me, I will read 1st John tonight. I am still new to the connect community and it has already been a blessing. God bless you Ashton.
Thank you for your guidance. I am going to read through the Gospel Coalition after I send this reply. The caption How do I know I am a Christian caught my attention. Specifically #2 living a righteous life. It’s time I take more direction and clear my slate and do more for God than for myself. It is not by works that we may enter heaven but a Christian is know by the fruit of their labor. You have given me quite a lot of information and even more to think about. Thank you and may God bless you Sean.