For many, asking God to forgive his or her sins is a one-time event, but because the transition from an unsaved person to a child of God is literally invisible, it is common for people to struggle with knowing if they’ve truly been saved or not.
This can create a tremendous amount of anxiety, but thankfully the Bible gives us twelve ways we can know for sure that we have been saved.
Your Prayers Are Answered
Psalm 34:15 says, ‘The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their cry; the face of the Lord is against those who do evil’.
Put simply, before you become a Christian, your sins act as a barrier between you and God. If you can think back to a time, even if it has been a while, when you know you received an answer to your prayers, be glad, for it’s proof that you are saved.
You Have Been Disciplined
Nobody likes to be chastised, but it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness. Just like an earthly mother or father will correct his or her son or daughter, God does the same to us. Hebrews 12:6 says, ‘because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son’.
God may rebuke you with an unsettled lack of peace, a passage of scripture, a sermon, words from a trusted counselor, or unpleasant life circumstances. This isn’t to say that all bad things are the result of sin, but some absolutely are.
You Keep God’s Commands
Jesus said in John 15:14, ‘you are my friends if you do what I command’. If at no time you can remember earnestly wanting to please God, you may not have actually become a Christian. You can read this post to find out how to be saved without a doubt.
Though it is entirely possible for Christians to backslide, there will be a sense of nagging in your spirit, telling you to repent. You may have even ignored these signs for a time. Nevertheless, unbelievers don’t have these road signs, cautioning them to turn around.
Your Desires Are Changed
1 Peter 4:3-4 says, ‘For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do – living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing, and detestable idolatry. They are surprised that you do not join them in their reckless, wild living, and they heap abuse on you’.
Long story short: you no longer choose to be a drunkard, going to clubs, fooling around with different men, or whatever it is you used to do. If you find that absolutely nothing has changed within, you may have cause to believe you aren’t a Christian.
I want to note that nobody is going to be perfect, and that we all continue, to some degree, to sin. It isn’t about perfection but about a noticeable difference before and after our conversion.
You Are Hungry for God’s Word
If you find that you are never interested in reading the Bible, there may be a problem. 1 Peter 2:2 says, ‘like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation’.
1 John 2:14 indicates that there is a progression of spiritual maturity from children unto fathers, and this happens from feasting on the word. If you find yourself missing your quiet times and after some time, it does not feel right, it is likely because you are becoming spiritually malnourished, proving that you are a Christian.
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You Can Fellowship with Other Believers
We are commanded to not forsake the gathering of ourselves together, and the Bible says that those who hate their brothers and sisters continue to walk in darkness. If you find a common understanding and ability to, generally, fellowship with other believers, this is a sign you truly have been saved.
It does not mean that you’ll never be in disagreement with other Christians, but that as a rule, you are able to find commonality with them, as we share one faith, one Lord, and one baptism.
You Can Sense Him Guiding Your Life
Isaiah 30:21 says, ‘whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it’. If at one time or another, you sensed God guiding your path, that is because you are truly one of His own.
Reasons you may not currently experience this can be the presence of sin in your life, or simply because you are not engrossed in His word, or because His still small voice is crowded out with the busyness of life. Nevertheless, as a Christian, His direction is something you have access to as a result of your position.
You Can Understand the Bible
The Bible is God’s word to believers. It is impossible to comprehend it if you are reading it in the flesh. A great sign you have been born again is that you are able to grasp spiritual principles. This is because the Spirit dwells within you and helps you to perceive the truths nestled in the scripture.
It is a well-known lament from scholars versed in the Bible who are not Christians, that it is impossible to understand. The Bible will not be a light until your path unless you are one of God’s own.
You Have Peace
Since the fall of mankind when Adam and Eve ate the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, we have been born into sin. When you believe on Jesus for the forgiveness of sins, you immediately are reconciled onto God.
This means that no matter what happens in your life, you have an everlasting peace with God. Romans 5:1 says, ‘Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ’.
This peace is actually there whether you feel it or not, and these various evidences of your salvation can demonstrate that this approved standing is something that actually does belong to you. Oftentimes, however, you will perceive this, as the Spirit bears witness to your soul. (1 John 5:6-10)
It’s often been said that those who don’t run into the devil are walking the same way. If you can point to persecutions in your life, trials, and troubles, these are part of the life of a born-again Christian.
1 Peter 4:12 says, ‘Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you’. If this describes your experience, take heart. 1 Peter 5:10 says, ‘And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered for a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm, and steadfast’.
You Can Bear Fruit
Children of God do not strive to produce works in the flesh, but they bear fruit much in the same way a tree will, naturally and in seasons.
These deeds come from God, himself, as Ephesians 2:10 says, ‘for we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them’. if you’ve ever felt nudged to do something or are yearning to use your talents in a particular way, this is because God put these desires in you for His glory.
You Endure Pruning
This part hurts, but it is all a part of the Christian process. Every tree that bears fruit must have its branches clipped to ensure more growth. This is often painful, but it means that resources won’t be wasted on nonproductive shoots.
If you’ve lost friendships or have had to move away from things that you’ve loved, or had other difficulties, it can be because the husbandman wants to make sure you have sufficient energy to give to that which is most important. You can expect God to cut things back in your life so that you will be even more ready for good works, much like a tree must be pruned in order to be healthy.
These twelve signs can give you an overall picture of salvation, and it’s important that you examine each area, not for perfection, but for evidence of your conversion. As you mature as a believer, you will naturally see more growth, so there isn’t cause to worry if you lag behind in any way. God gave us these guideposts in His word so that we would be assured of our salvation and cease from worrying. The goal is that we eventually will move on to learning the deeper things of God, being sure that we are saved.
Stay Gutsy, Rosa
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