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.
We are answering the question: “Can a Christian know for sure they have genuine saving faith?” The answer is YES. The Bible has many “tests” for us to apply and says much about the evidence that will be present in the life of the genuinely saved.
Last message, we looked at things that will be present in the lives of those who are saved, but do not by themselves prove that salvation is genuine. Today we want to look at those things which ARE evidence of genuine salvation. If today’s list is true in someone’s life, then yesterday’s list will be true as well.
Taking up your cross:
Mt 10:38: And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. (NKJV)
Taking up your cross is the idea of giving up your life for God. It means that everything else in life become subservient and inferior to the will of God. Only the genuinely saved are capable of this type of life.
Ro 12:1: I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. (NKJV)
Dead sacrifices are no longer acceptable to God. As new creatures in Christ, our spirits are recreated, but our sin cursed body remains. It is to be offered up to God as “living sacrifice” wholly committed to whatever use God may have for it. Only a “new creation” is capable of such a sacrifice.
Love for God:
Ro 8:6-7: For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. (NKJV)
The unsaved cannot have a truly spiritual mind. The unsaved mind is at war with God. Only a genuinely saved person can have likemindedness and love for God.
Lk 10:27: So he answered and said, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbor as yourself.’” (NKJV)
Again, this is only possible for the saved. The unsaved cannot possible love God with all their heart, mind and soul for that is incompatible with being unsaved. Only God grants the power for this love, and He only grants it to His children.
2 Co 7:10: For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death. (NKJV)
Only the truly saved are capable of genuine repentance which is different from being contrite or sorry about sin (and its consequences). The genuinely saved REPENT and turn from sin because as new creations we are no longer SLAVES to sin.
1 Jn 1:8-10: If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us. (NKJV)
The genuinely saved do not lie about being sinful. We KNOW we are not sinless because the Truth in us illuminates our sin clearly. We see it, repent of it, and receive forgiveness all of which is impossible for the unsaved.
The unsaved typically have a high opinion of their goodness and have a hard time seeing their sin, whereas the genuinely saved are grieved because their sin is all too apparent.
A transformed life:
Ro 12:2: And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. (NKJV)
The truly saved life will experience genuine transformation because God is constantly renewing the mind. God does not indwell the unsaved so they have no way to genuinely transform their life
Jas 4:6: But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.” (NKJV)
The unsaved are by necessity full of pride. They cannot help it or change it. Therefore they can never have deep, sustaining humility. Genuinely humility is a sign of true salvation.
Lk 8:15: But the ones that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience. (NKJV)
The unregenerated is incapable of producing good fruit. Presence of measurable and obvious Christian fruit in a life is real evidence of genuine saving faith.
Ga 5:22: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, (NKJV)
The consistent presence of the fruit of the Spirit is an obvious evidence of genuine salvation because it is impossible for the slave to sin to display any of these characteristics in more than a token form.
Devotion to God’s glory:
1 Co 10:31: Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. (NKJV)
The genuinely saved see ALL their life as an opportunity to glorify God, an attitude that the unsaved are incapable of faking but for a short time, if at all.
Selflessness towards other:
1 Jn 4:7: Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. (NKJV)
Only the genuinely saved can consistently love others and put themselves second. The unsaved cannot help but put their own interests first over the long run. It’s difficult effort for the saved, and impossible for the unsaved.
Ro 12:10: Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; (NKJV)
Again, honor and preference are possible only when empowered by God to do so. If these attributes are present in your life, then they are solid evidence of genuine saving faith.
Jas 5:16: Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. (NKJV)
If you can see the effects of prayer, and prayers being answered in your life, then this is evidence of genuine saving faith. Prayer is effective for the “righteous” man and righteousness only comes after the supernatural rebirth of the spirit.
Mt 7:21: “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. (NKJV)
It’s not the people who SAY the right thing who are truly saved, but the people who DO the right thing; obedience as evidence of salvation is a common thread through all of Scripture.
Can you know if you are genuinely saved? Can you have assurance? Of course. Test yourself, evaluate your life. If these things are true about you, you can have assurance you have genuine saving faith.
Tomorrow we’ll look at more tests you can use.
Lord God, help us to test and evaluate our lives to see if we have true faith. Help us to be honest in our evaluation. 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?