There really is no more important question to settle than, “How can I be assured of my salvation?” Life is a fleeting vapor; seasons come and go but heaven and hell are forever.
I John 3:19-24 (in italics below) gives gracious and authoritative teaching that is both practical and comforting for all of us.
First of all, God knows our frame. He knows it’s natural to doubt or second guess.
When our hearts condemn us, this is how we put our hearts to rest in His presence.
It’s not I hope I’m saved, I hope I make it; it’s I know I am God’s child. Living any other way is no way to live!
By this we KNOW we are of the truth…
How is this possible?
God is GREATER than our hearts and knows everything.
Even when our conscience condemns us, it is possible for our hearts to get it wrong. It’s not about where we’ve been or what we’ve done in the past; we need to rest our confidence on what GOD says about us in His Word, not on our shifting feelings. That’s the REAL authority!
God works in our hearts and minds to comfort us through His Spirit. It’s all about our relationship with God and walking closely with Him.
By the SPIRIT whom he has given us
Beyond the Spirit’s work in our lives, God gives us concrete ways to gain assurance!
This is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ
Have you believed in Jesus? That means, is your faith, trust, and confidence in Him and Him alone as your Savior and Lord? If yes, then here is how you test your faith for authenticity…
Two concrete tests: love and obedience:
…and love one another.
Are you others centered? Are you genuinely growing in a love and concern for others? This is the unmistakable mark of a Christ follower. To “believe” in Jesus is a one time act; to “love one another” is a lifestyle.
We keep his commandments and do what pleases him.
Keeping his commandments means an increasing track record of obedience, plain and simple. Doing what pleases him reflects the attitude behind it. Are you growing in obedience to Christ, in reverence for Him and in consideration of eternity? Do you genuinely want to do what’s right? It’s not perfection we’re after, but a sincere desire to do what is right, even when nobody is watching.
Christ died and rose again to save you from your sin and enable you to live to the full in life. If you have doubts and worries, you are not alone. Don’t settle for that though: test your faith on the grid God gives us and seek Him earnestly in prayer to gain assurance.
I write these things to you who believe in name of the Son of God that you may know you have eternal life. I John 5:13
I pray the assurance of your salvation will be a joy you discover more and more each day.