This is a tough topic to speak on. Why you ask? There are many people who believe they’re saved, but they are not saved. On the other side of the coin there are many people who truly are saved but are struggling with the full assurance of their salvation.
There is a difference between assurance of salvation and evidence of salvation. The assurance of your salvation should only come from the perfect work of Christ on the cross. We can be confident in our salvation.
1 John 5:11-13 “And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.”
I believe it is extremely important to examine our lives such as what 2 Corinthians 13:5 tells us to do. Pay close attention, salvation is no joking matter. This is life and death! Some people who read this will spend an eternity in heaven with Christ. Unfortunately, some people who read this will one day be damned to hell for eternity. This is serious.
This article is about the evidence of our salvation. Below I have given 11 biblical signs of salvation.
The number one evidence of salvation is that you will trust in Jesus Christ alone.
Take a look at Matthew 7. Matthew 7:21-23 reminds us that many professing Christians will find out that they will not enter into heaven. We tend to focus on one aspect of the passage. Believers who live in a continuous lifestyle of sin and rebellion prove that they have not been born again. This is true, but notice verse 22.
Matthew 7:22 “On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?”
What is the person appealing to? He is appealing to his good works. He is filled with self-righteousness. He is trusting in himself and he is oblivious to it. Not once did he say, “the blood of Jesus Christ!” Not once did he say, “because Jesus Christ died for my sins and I have no need for anything else!” Many people are not trusting in Jesus Christ alone. They are trusting in a decision they made at youth group, they are trusting in an alter call, they are trusting in a prayer with a pastor, etc. Ask someone, “why should God let you into heaven?” You will be surprised by the answers you receive. I asked someone this question before and they said, “because a pastor prayed for me.” A pastor does not have the power to save you. Only Jesus has the power to save you! Are you trusting in Christ alone? Are you trusting in His death, burial, and resurrection? Are you trusting Him for the forgiveness of sins? Do you believe that He has taken away all your sins? Hold on to Christ for dear life. A Christian says, “I will not trust anything else, but Him.”
Romans 3:27-28 “Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. Because of what law? The law that requires works? No, because of the law that requires faith. For we maintain that a person is justified by faith apart from the works of the law.”
Romans 4:4-5 “Now to the one who works, wages are not credited as a gift but as an obligation. However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness.”
John 14:6 “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
You will grow in your hatred towards sin.
There is no denying that true believers are sensitive towards sin. You will grow in your hatred for sin and love for the things that God loves. Christians want to live a life pleasing to the Lord. We have a fear of hurting Him and we want to honor Him. Are you growing in your hatred towards sin? Does sin affect you now? Does sin break your heart? The mark of a believer is God’s hand on their life. God works in believers to conform them into the image of Christ. The sins that you once loved do you now hate them? Lost religious people stop doing the sins that they love. Converted people stop doing the sins that they hate.
Psalm 97:10 “Hate evil, you who love the LORD, Who preserves the souls of His godly ones; He delivers them from the hand of the wicked.”
You will seek to be obedient to the Word of God.
Believers have a new relationship with God’s Word. When I first got saved my desire for His Word grew. I wanted to spend time with Him in His Word. I never truly desired to read God’s Word before I was saved. Now that I was saved not only was I reading it, but I was also obeying it. I’m not seeking to obey His Word because obeying His Word saves me, I’m obeying His Word because I am saved by grace through faith in Christ alone. Has God put His law in your heart? Do you delight to obey the Lord’s commandments or is it a burden? Have you hidden God’s Word in your heart?
Psalm 119:11 “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.”
Psalm 40:8 “I delight to do Your will, O my God; Your Law is within my heart.”
Jeremiah 31:33 “This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel after that time,” declares the LORD. “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.”
John 14:23 Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.”
John 10:27-29 “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.”
You will have a greater sense of your sinfulness and your deep need for Jesus Christ.
If there is one thing that great men of God such as Paul, Peter, Charles Spurgeon, and others all had in common, it was a great revelation of their sinfulness and a great need for Christ. When I became a Christian I never knew how much of a sinner I was. However, when I grew in Christ and started getting closer to Christ I started noticing more and more areas that needed improvement. The closer you get to the light the more sin that it reveals. The more that you understand God’s holiness the more you will see how short that you fall of His glory. Knowing your sinfulness propels you to Christ and it makes His blood much more precious to you. I fall upon Jesus Christ holding on to Christ for dear life. I know that if Christ didn’t die for my sins, then I have no hope. His blood is much more precious to me now than ever before.
Romans 7:24-25 “O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.”
1 John 1:7 “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.”
A true believer confesses their sin and grows in repentance.
As we walk with the Lord we will confess our sins. We have been justified by Christ and adopted into His family. However, sin can hinder our relationship with the Lord. Imagine if you hurt someone in your family and you don’t admit wrong. You’re still going to be in the same family, but your relationship is going to be hindered. You have to apologize. In the same way, as believers we should confess our sins daily. The first reason is because we sin in our thoughts, desires, and our relationship with the Lord daily. The second reason is because sin grieves God and hurts our fellowship with the Lord. The third reason is because you never want to think that you are getting away with sin. Eventually your heart will grow cold. There are many people who claim to have not sinned in months. Impossible! Stay away from the guilt-free movement, which means that the Holy Spirit is not convicting you of sin and He might not be convicting you because He doesn’t live inside of you.
Proverbs 20:9 “Who can say, “I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin?”
1 John 1:8 “If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us.”
John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Believers will bear good fruit.
There are many people who claim to be Christian, but exhibit nothing but bad fruit. They act and talk like the world. Their lifestyle does not align with Scripture. They talk the talk but they don’t walk the walk. They have no victory over sin and this is strong evidence that they are not saved. Christians will grow and produce good fruit. Once again, I’m not talking about sinless perfection. I’m talking about looking at the entirety of someone’s walk of faith with Christ and seeing mostly good fruit. A true believer will grow. A true believer will make progress. Some grow faster than others. Some grow slower than others. However, there will be growth and we will see fruit in their life.
John 15:5-8 “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.”
Matthew 7:16 – “You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they?”
1 John 3:18-19 “Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth. We will know by this that we are of the truth, and will assure our heart before Him.”
1 John 5:4 “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.”
God disciplines His children like any loving Father would.
Evidence that you are Christian is that God will not allow you to go astray. Is it possible for a Christian to backslide? Yes! However, God will not allow a Christian to live in a continuous lifestyle of sin. If that person is a Christian God is going to lovingly discipline that child and bring him back. If God allows a professing believer who has backslidden to remain that way, then that is strong evidence that the person is not His child. He was just a poser who stopped posing.
Hebrews 12:6-8 “because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.” Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all.”
Christians fear the Lord.
Has God put His fear of Him in your heart? Does your heart pound at the mere temptation of sin? Does sin deeply affect you? When we fear God, we understand how much God hates sin. We fear His discipline. We fear hurting Him. Do you fear hurting God’s heart? When you fear the Lord you respect Him, obey Him, and worship Him in awe.
Jeremiah 32:40 – “I will make with them an everlasting covenant, that I will not turn away from doing good to them. And I will put the fear of me in their hearts, that they may not turn from me.”
2 Corinthians 7:1 “Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”
You will desire to have fellowship with Christ.
I’m not saying that you will not go through seasons of dullness in prayer or dullness for the Word of God. However, if you never like spending time with Christ in prayer or in His Word, then that could possibly mean that your heart is unregenerate. If prayer is always a burden and you have no relationship with Christ, then you could just be involved in religion. Once again, even true believers can go through dry seasons, but they won’t remain that way. Genuine believers desire to spend time with their Savior. Some people have a stronger prayer life than others but a Christian will at least have a prayer life. Sometimes we pray not even to ask for anything. We just want more time with Him. If you told your wife you loved her but you never spent time with her, would she believe you? Evidence of your love for Christ will be seen in your devotional life. Do you desire to spend time with Him?
1 John 1:3 “that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.”
Hosea 6:6 “For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.”
Matthew 6:5 “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.”
You will desire to have fellowship with other believers.
When you become Christian you are going to desire to go to church. Does going to church save you? No. However, you’re going to desire to have fellowship with other Christians. You are going to want to find a biblical church. You’re going to want to grow with other believers. You are going to love other believers and enjoy worshipping your Savior together.
Acts 2:42 – “They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.”
Hebrews 10:25 – “not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”
John 13:35 “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
Believers maintain a clear conscience.
Do you have a clear conscience before the Lord? A believer’s conscience should acquit them. Christians have the full assurance of sin forgiven.
1 John 3:21 “Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God.”
Never ask Jesus into your heart.
What do I mean by this? The Bible never says to ask Jesus into your heart. Who says that He will come in? It’s dangerous to ask Jesus into your heart. When I first got saved I started to fall upon hard times and because of that I questioned whether Jesus came into my heart or not. When you ask Jesus into your heart you might one day wonder did He come in? This causes you to keep asking Him into your heart. What do I do then? God says to repent and believe. Don’t ask Jesus into your heart. It could lead you to think “I asked Him into my heart. I’m trusting in my decision.” Instead you should trust in Him for the forgiveness of sin. Believe He has taken away all your sins. Now you’re no longer trusting in your decision, but you’re trusting in His perfect work on the cross.
Here are questions to ask yourself.
Is God teaching you? Are you broken over sin? Do you see Him working in your life? Do you have a new relationship with sin? Have you separated from the ways of the world? Does the Holy Spirit convict you of sin? Do you want to be more for Christ? Do you see your great need for Christ? Do you put your trust in Christ alone apart from your works? Are you growing in repentance? Are you growing in your love for God? Do you desire to have fellowship with Him and His people? These are all evidences of someone who has truly been saved by the mighty blood of Christ.
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Can I be honest?
I used to struggle with the full assurance of my salvation. Why? I don’t know. Maybe it was because it was hard for me to understand God’s great love for me in the light of my sin. Maybe it was because I was placing my focus on my performance and not His perfect work on the cross. Does this describe you? If so, do what I did. I prayed night and day until God gave me full assurance of my salvation. After a couple of weeks of wrestling with God, I finally had full assurance of my salvation. It’s been years and I still have full assurance of my salvation. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that when I die I will spend eternity with the Lord. Nothing can take away my salvation and His great love for me. My joy does not come from my performance and how well I walk this Christian life. My joy comes from the perfect work of Christ my Savior. His blood is enough!