Am I truly saved?
This is a question almost every Christian will wrestle with at some point in their lives. But the good thing is that, God hasn’t left us out to guess whether we are truly saved or not.
From the Scriptures, it’s actually his desire for us to know that we are saved. 1st 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.” (Hebrews 6:11, 10:22).
The big question then becomes, “how do we know that we are actually saved?”. And this is what this article seeks to address. It is a continuation from the previous article, “Are you truly born again? (Signs that confirm you are)”. We’ll also look at the things that makes assurance to diminish, and what to do if the cloud will not lift.
How do we know that we are saved?
My friend John Mwangi through his sermon on “assurance of Salvation” is very helpful here.
1.Fundamentally by trusting in the promises of God.
John 3:16, “for God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
God promises us that we are saved through us believing in Jesus. And we should cling to that promise especially when we are in doubt.
2.Inwardly by the witness of the Spirit.
Romans 8:16-17, the Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs- heirs of God and co- heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
3.Outwardly through our good works.
Our works don’t save us, but they are a sign that we are saved. As Jaquelle reminds us, we can’t know Christ and continue living the same old lives, like Christ changed nothing in our lives. I dealt with this extensively in the previous post, and you could go check it out for the works to look for in your life which confirm that you actually are saved.
Things that diminish the assurance of salvation.
Psalms 32:3-5, when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy on me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer. Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord.” And you forgave the guilt of my sin.
If we entertain sin in our lives, the truth of God will actually diminish. But if we confess it, God will forgive us and assurance will return.
2nd Corinthians 1:8, “we do not want you to be uninformed brothers and sisters, about the troubles we experienced in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself.”
Assurance as Jon Bloom observes, is a gift that God that has granted his Children. But like most things in the Christian life, it is something that is cultivated and grows deeper and stronger over time.
God will sometimes bring trials into our lives as a way of growing our assurance. This is what John Newton observes about assurance, as captured in “Newton on the Christian life”
“Assurance grows by repeated conflict, by our repeated experimental proof of the Lord’s power and goodness to save; when we have been brought very low and helped, sorely wounded and healed, cast down and raised again, have given up all hope, and been suddenly snatched from danger, and placed in safety; and when these things have been repeated to us and in us a thousand times over, we begin to learn to trust simply to the word and power of God, beyond and against appearances: and this trust, when habitual and strong, bears the name of assurance; for even assurance has degrees.”
And so, we shouldn’t doubt our salvation when going through tough times, but instead count it all joy when we go through them, knowing that the testing of our faith produces perseverance. (James 1:2-4).
3.Looking to works as the primary proof of salvation.
The truth is that we are so imperfect as humans. Our behaviors are not usually becoming of Christ. And if we focus on works primarily as the proof of our salvation, we’ll end up disappointed, and start doubting if we really are saved.
We should instead look up to Christ as the objective basis of our Salvation.
What if the cloud won’t lift?
Psalms 40:1-3, “I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and more;he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in him.”
Sometimes the cloud of doubt won’t lift, but we are to wait patiently for the return of assurance of salvation.