How to Know with Certainty that Youâ€™re Saved.
Believers sometimes struggle with doubts about their salvation. Have you ever questioned whether you are truly saved?
Perhaps youâ€™ve measured yourself against other Christians and come up short. You may doubt whether you truly believe
or whether you have the right kind of faith. You may even fear that youâ€™ll be surprised on Judgment Day and left out of
Godâ€™s Kingdomâ€”and this fear paralyzes your Christian walk.
How can you know with certainty that you are saved? What does the Bible say about your eternal security.
What It Takes to Be Saved
According to Johnâ€™s gospel, the requirement for salvation is belief in Jesus.
But these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God;
and that believing you may have life in His name. (John 20:31)
What must you believe about Jesus? He is who He claims to be, the Son of God. He did what He came to doâ€”die on
the cross in order to satisfy Godâ€™s judgment against the sins of humanity. He will accomplish what He promised to
accomplishâ€”give eternal life to those who believe.
Do you acknowledge your need for Christ? Do you believe that He died for your sins? Do you trust Him to give you eternal
life? If so, then you are saved! Saying prayers, being baptized, doing good works, repenting of sin, living a moral lifeâ€”these
actions will flow out of your love for Christ after you are saved. Yet, salvation is by faith alone (see Romans 4:1â€“5).
Salvation Is Forever
Four word pictures in Scripture express the permanence of your salvation.
First, salvation is a gift.
For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves,
it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. (Ephesians 2:8â€“9)
Christâ€™s blood bought your salvation. Now, as a Christian, you donâ€™t have to pay off your salvation with good
conduct, as if you had to somehow finish the work that Christ began. Your salvation is complete! You donâ€™t deserve it,
and you never will. Receiving what you donâ€™t deserve is the essence of grace, and the same grace that saved you will
keep you saved forever (see Jude 24).
Second, salvation is spiritual birth.
But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God,
even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood
nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. (John 1:12â€“13)
Family relationships are permanent. You can anger your parents or even break off contact with them, but you can do nothing
to stop them from being your parents. Through your faith in Christ, you are a child in Godâ€™s family. You are an heir of
heaven along with His own Son (see Romans 8:16â€“17). Your position is permanent because God has made it soâ€”and how
much more certain is His Word than our own!
Third, salvation is a pardon.
Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. (Romans 8:1â
The word condemnation implies not only the sentence of being condemned, but also the punishment following the sentenceâ€”
separation from God forever. And this passage says that those in Christ are free from condemnation. You were on spiritual
death row, but God pardoned you (see Colossians 2:13â€“14). He removed the sentence of death you had been given and
allowed Christ to die in your place. As a result, you need have no fear of His condemnation.
Fourth, salvation includes the seal of the Spirit.
In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvationâ€”having
also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge
of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of Godâ€™s own possession, to the praise of His glory.
In ancient times, a seal was a design cut into a ring or other marker that the owner pressed into soft material, such as clay or
wax. The impression it left identified the owner of the property and protected the contents. Scholars tell us, â€œThe seal is a
guarantee against violation.â€�  The Holy Spirit, who indwells each believer, is Godâ€™s mark of ownership and His
guarantee â€œagainst violation.â€� Godâ€™s property will remain His forever.
Common Doubts and Fears
You may know what the Bible says about your security in Christ, yet you still lack assurance. Your doubts and fears may be
similar to these.
â€œI donâ€™t feel saved, so I must not be saved.â€�
Underlying this doubt is the false assumption that whatever you perceive or feel must be true. However, thoughts and feelings
can be wrong! You may feel that God has rejected you, but He hasnâ€™t. In fact, the truth is just the opposite. He promises, â
€œI will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake youâ€� (Hebrews 13:5). Countering your negative thoughts with Godâ€™s
truth will help you win this battle against fear.
â€œIâ€™m not close to the Lord, so maybe His Spirit has left me.â€�
Your sense of closeness to the Lord may vary, depending on how well you think you have obeyed Him. Scripture never lays
out an expectation of how close a believer should feel to the Lord on any given day. In fact, the Psalms include many examples
of believers who feel distant from God. Your feelings of closeness to God have no effect on whether you are saved. Your
eternal security does not depend on your feelings of confidence but on the Lordâ€™s promise.
â€œMy faith is too weak for me to be saved.â€�
Scripture acknowledges that, at times, our faith is small (see Luke 17:6). The issue is never the strength of your faith, but the
object of your faithâ€”Jesus. If your answer to the question, â€œWho or what are you trusting to get you to Heaven?â€� is â
€œJesus,â€� then you can be certain you are saved.
â€œI have committed an unforgivable sin, so I canâ€™t be saved.â€�
Some believers read about the unforgivable sin of blaspheming the Holy Spirit and fear theyâ€™ve committed it (see Mark 3:
29). However, this verse refers to the false teachers in Jesusâ€™s day who said that Jesusâ€™s power came from Satan.
This specific judgment is on a specific people who had rejected Jesus. Your remorse for sin may actually be the Holy Spirit
convicting youâ€”which is evidence that you are saved! Christâ€™s blood covers even your worst sins (see 1 John 2:1â€“2).
So confess your sin, accept Godâ€™s forgiveness, and tell others about His grace in your life (see Paulâ€™s testimony in 1
â€œI have been unfaithful to God, so maybe I was never truly saved.â€�
Some believers question their salvation when their devotion to Christ wavers or if they struggle with habitual sin. So they â
€œget savedâ€� again and again, hoping their commitment sticks.
If this has been your experience, keep in mind two reassuring thoughts. First, your salvation depends entirely on Christ. You
will never feel secure if the test of your salvation is your commitment. Second, Jesus keeps His promises even when we
forsake ours. Paul says, â€œIf we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himselfâ€� (2 Timothy 2:13). If Jesus
abandoned you when you doubted or fell into sin, He would violate His own promise to give you eternal life. Instead of turning
His back on you, He restores you through loving discipline (see Hebrews 12:5â€“11).
Jesus is your substitute. He died in your place, declaring on the cross, â€œIt is finished!â€� (John 19:30). God will never
change his mind and decide that you must pay the penalty again. Indeed, once the Substitute has traded His life for yours, you
are free. God has declared it so, and you need never fear that you will lose your salvation.
Further Suggestions. You can strengthen your confidence in your salvation by memorizing these passages that teach eternal
security in Christ.
1 John 5:13