Tests of Salvation (1 of 2)

assurance 1

Q. I prayed the sinner’s prayer to receive Jesus as my Lord and Savior. How can I know I’m really saved? What proof is there that I am doing it right?

A. There are many verses on assurance of salvation in the Bible. The first epistle of John, in particular, was written that we might know. Depending which version you use, there is a phrase that is repeated many times in that book – “By this we know” in NASB, “This is how we know” in NIV. The wording in other versions would be different but carry the same meaning. Verses so introduced can be grouped under four areas which tell you the signs (you might call them tests) that a person is truly saved. These four areas are:

1. Behavior

Positively – keeps commandments; practices righteousness
1 John 2:3 By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments.
• 1 John 2:5-6 By this we know that we are in Him: the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked. (i.e. conduct)
• 1 John 2:29 If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone also who practices righteousness is born of Him.
• 1 John 3:10 By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother.
• 1 John 5:2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and observe His commandments.

Negatively – abstain from sin
1 John 3:6 No one who abides in Him sins; no one who sins has seen Him or knows Him.
• 1 John 3:9 No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.
• 1 John 5:18 We know that no one who is born of God sins; but He who was born of God keeps him, and the evil one does not touch him.

“Sins” means keep on sinning, as a habit or way of life. It does not mean that after you become a Christian you will not sin, instantly and completely, because:
1 John 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us.
• 1 John 1:10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.

In other words, you will become more and more sensitive to sin, because God the Holy Spirit in your heart convicts you. What didn’t bother you in the past when you were not a believer, now does. The Holy Spirit also guides and helps you, so that your sins will decrease in frequency over time, and the overall trend towards holiness is upward, despite having ups and downs.

(To be continued)

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