In an online forum, someone recently asked the question “how can you be sure you are saved?” This is actually a good question. Here’s some answers.
You know you’ve been changed, regenerated, brought into the family of God because you now have
1. A Desire For God’s Presence and Ways
Your desire to please God becomes deep and real compared to your previous state, even if you were devoted to your religion.
2. The Living Word
The scriptures suddenly become much more understandable to you, and not only that, they seem to speak directly to you in ways they never did.
3. A Distaste for Sin
You strangely struggle with your former sins, and they trouble you. You don’t want to do them anymore (even if you struggle with wanting to return to them for comfort). You may not feel this way about everything that is a “sin” or damaging to you, but many things you now have a different opinion of.
4. The Self-Authenticating Witness
Romans 8:16 speaks of what is called the “self-authenticating witness of the Spirit,” i.e. God confirms it in our hearts, not just with a feeling, but a conviction of authenticity.
The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. (NIV)
It’s hard to explain, but it is real, though subjective. And of course, there may be days when you don’t “feel” saved.
But it would be like knowing you exist. Someone could present great arguments to you that you do not exist, and yet, you know you do. Or as Decartes wrote, “I think, therefore I am.” Here’s a further discussion at William Craig’s site
5. A need to test yourself
You have to ask yourself “am I trusting the God is good, that Jesus rose from the dead, that he died and rose for me, and that I am surrendered to him as best i now how?” Or as Paul wrote in 2 Cor 13:5
Test yourselves and find out if you really are true to your faith. If you pass the test, you will discover that Christ is living in you. But if Christ isn’t living in you, you have failed. (CEV).
If you are concerned about your status with God, you’re either already a Christian, or just about to become one.
6. Faith, but not Knowledge
Ultimately, you can’t know for sure. Faith is trust, not knowing through definitive proofs to the senses. You trust that God can lead you into the truth. If he does not, you are lost. Call on Him and ask.
You can also check out these awesome youtube short vids: