Have you ever doubted your salvation? I have. It is one of the most debilitating attitudes for a Christian. One cannot pursue the Christian life if there is no assurance of salvation. So, if you have had doubts, I have good news for you.
The book of First John was written to give Christians assurance of salvation:
“He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.” (1 John 5:12-13)
The apostle John uses the word know almost forty times because he wants you to know for certain you have been born again. 1 John offers three tests to help you make sure. If you are saved, these things will be present:
- His lordship in your life,
- your fellowhip with other believers, and
- your relationship with Him.
Is Jesus the Lord of your life? “And hereby we do know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments.” (1 John 2:3)
We know we are saved if we keep His commandments. Notice, John doesn’t say you are saved by keeping the commandments, for that would be salvation by your works. John says you can be sure you know the Lord if you keep His commandments.
“He that saith, I know Him, and keepeth not His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” (1 John 2:4).
John doesn’t beat around the bush. He simply says that if you say you are saved but consistently don’t do what God says, you are a liar.
Don’t misunderstand: God isn’t expecting you to be perfect. We are all sinners, and John just said that in an earlier verse: “If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His Word is not in us” (1:10). Everybody sins. If we didn’t sin, we wouldn’t need salvation. Yet we know that we know Him “if we keep His commandments.” Again, it’s not that we become perfect. But before we were saved, we often found ourselves running to sin. Now we run from it.
“We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.” (1 John 3:14)
When you love the Heavenly Father, you will love His children, your brothers and sisters in Christ, as well.
“If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loves God loves his brother also.” (1 John 4:20-21)
When you were saved, you became a partaker of God’s divine nature, which is love. If God’s nature is in you, you will love others the way He does.
“Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and everyone that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love” (1 John 4:7-8).
If you are really saved, God’s love will be in you. You aren’t saved by loving others (again, never by our “good works”), but because you are saved, you will love others.
III. THE RELATIONSHIP TEST
Salvation is a vital relationship with Jesus Christ. Those who are Christians have an ongoing relationship with Him.
“And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. 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” (1 John 5:11-13).
The Bible never says to look back to some past experience for proof of your salvation. It says to look at your current relationship. Do you have a relationship with Jesus Christ? Is He your friend and companion? Or is He somebody you were introduced to once but never bothered to get to know? “He that believeth on Jesus is born of God.” The question is not “Did you believe in Jesus?” but “Are you believing in Jesus?” Do you have a relationship with the Lord now?
To have a healthy, growing relationship with anyone, you must communicate. How do we best communicate with God? by prayer. He communicates to us by His Word. Are prayer and Bible reading a part of your personal, day-to-day relationship with Christ?
We’ve looked at three ways — lordship, fellowship, relationship — that you can have assurance that you are saved. It is possible that you could be saved and not have that full assurance. If you can honestly say, “I’ve passed all three tests,” if you have asked God to forgive you of your sins and have trusted Christ—fully committed your life to Him—then there is no reason for you to doubt your salvation. That assurance should be yours. A river of peace should begin to flow in your heart.
If you’ve had serious doubts,
- Maybe you’ve not understood and have tried to mix in works with grace.
- It’s possible you have some unconfessed, undealt-with sin in your life. God won’t let you have assurance until you deal with that. Surrender that sin to Him.
No more playing church. Give everything to Jesus because you want that blessed assurance. You will be able to say like the hymn, “Blessed assurance Jesus is mine. Oh what a foretaste of glory divine.”
What has helped you gain assurance of your salvation?