God the Father by Cima da Conegliano, c. 1515
How does one know, I mean really know that you have been “saved” by grace. What does that look like and how can you be sure of this? Is there a way to know you have been saved and have life eternal? Lets take a look at these questions.
1 John 5:13 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. In this verse we see that if you believe (believe means to trust) in the name of Jesus, you will be saved. Jesus was and is both fully God, and fully man. We need to believe that Jesus came here as a man, was crucified on the cross to suffer for our sins, and then died and was raised to life again and is even now with God the Father. If you believe these things you will be saved. Another verse that testifies to this truth…Acts 16:31 They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved”…and another…Romans 10:9 That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
Salvation is a free gift…we are saved by grace not our own works. Ephesians 2:8-9 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God–not by works, so that no one can boast. As we can see in this verse, it plainly says that salvation is a free gift. We can do nothing to earn it…for if we try to earn it, it is no longer a gift. Would you pay someone for the “gift” they give you on your birthday? Neither can you pay God for the gift of eternal life. Our faith in Jesus Christ is what saves us…nothing else. There is no other way to obtain eternal life other then through the free gift of our Lord Jesus. When Jesus suffered and then died upon the cross…He paid for all of our sins by doing this. Our job is to believe in this, to believe in Jesus and what He has done for us. We need to trust in Jesus works…not in ours.
If we are truly saved, our lives will bear witness to this fact. If we truly belong (for if you are saved, you belong to God…you are His child) to Him…then we will not live life as the world does. We will be different…not better but different in how we conduct our lives.
Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. We are either led in life by our sinful nature, or if we belong to Christ, by our spirit which has been renewed through our relationship with God. The above verse gives us the “fruits” of the spirit. When we are truly saved…we will begin to display these fruits in our lives. We change…maybe we stop watching porn, maybe it’s that we serve others now instead of always serving ourselves. We treat others with more kindness and understanding then we used to. We have more patience…maybe we used to be an angry person, someone who is easily angered or is subject to fits of rage. These things will change. Even in the midst of life’s problems we will posses a peace we never had before we had Christ. This is all assurance that you have been saved. We can’t do these things by ourselves…maybe you are doing some of these things now on your own. It is not possible to do them all however…unless you have accepted Jesus as Lord.
Once we accept Jesus as Lord, it does not mean we are perfect and don’t suffer problems anymore. We who believe will still fall down, we will sin. But there is no condemnation for those who believe in the Lord Jesus. Romans 8:1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. We are forgiven our sins because we trust in Jesus. Ask for forgiveness and he grants it to us. This is in no way a license to sin…as the above paragraph says, we change how we live because we are His and the Holy Spirit dwells in us.
Next time; the evidence of Eternal life.