1 John 5:13 These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.
2 Corinthians 13:5) Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified.
I was asked this weekend the question, “how can you really know you are genuinely saved?” This is not a question about “once saved always saved.” (eternal security). This question, more fully would go something like this:
“Is there any way I can look at my own life and person, and know for sure whether or not I’m genuinely saved?”
The answer is categorically, YES.
Like everything else in life we want to prove, determine, objectively evaluate or figure out, we can consider the EVIDENCE of our life, and then look at some TESTS revealed in Scripture to determine if we have genuine saving faith or not.
Sometimes we think everything about spirituality and faith is mysterious and unknowable… just a blind faith that we have to “hope” is on the right track. Of course there are things that require “faith” (trust in things “not seen”) but it’s never BLIND faith. It’s faith based on evidence and facts.
Does this mean that genuine saving faith is an intellectual process only? Hardly.
I’ve never understood man’s tendency to want to say faith is either all “heart” or all “intellect”. We are created in God’s image and our faith consists of all of our created being: intellect, heart, emotion and logic. It’s not all or nothing, and no part of any of these negates the other. Nor does one persons tendency to lean towards a certain aspect mean they are not using the other. For example, I personally lean naturally more towards the “intellect and logic” approach to my faith. That’s just how God made me. I’ve been accused at times of leaning on my Bible knowledge and intellect to “save me” rather than faith and love. Ridiculous.
Just as ridiculous as me saying that a person who naturally leans more towards the emotional experiential aspects of faith is “leaning on” their feelings for salvation rather than the facts. It is common though, that one side or the other tends to think THEIR approach to faith is the “right” approach (intellect or “heart”).
Can a person mistake intellectual knowledge for saving faith? Of course. Can a person mistake “feeling” for saving faith? Of course. But it’s not a foregone conclusion that either are true. The “intellectual” person cannot assume the “experiential person” is not solidly grounded; nor can the experientially-prediposed person assume the intellectual only has head knowledge but not heart knowledge.
God made us all different. We each approach our faith according to how God the Creator made us. Having said that, both the intellectual and the experiential Christian can look to clear teaching in Scripture that reveals to us both EVIDENCES and TESTS to help us know if we are on the right track, ie. “genuinely saved”.
It is these evidences and tests that I want to explore over the next several messages.
There really is no greater or more important question that we can answer – “Am I genuinely saved?” – so I hope you’ll join me as we study this. This is probably the most common and probing question I get. If you know friends and family that would benefit from this series of messages, please give them a shout and send them a link to this today.
Lord God, help us to discover the evidence and tests that we can use to know whether or not we are genuinely saved. Help us to know that we can truly answer this eternally important question. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
- What is the most obvious Bible truth you have learned today?
- What change in your life needs to be made concerning this truth?
- What specific thing will you do today to begin that change?