How can we be sure of our salvation?

Passengers who hold confirmed tickets at an airport are more certain of their flight than those who are on standby. How can we be sure we have a “ticket to heaven”? This means being able to say:

  • I am confident that my sins are forgiven and that I will spend eternity with God in heaven.
  • I have demonstrated that I trust in Jesus Christ for salvation by telling family and friends what Jesus has done for me (and by being baptised).
  • My assurance of salvation is based on faith in the promises of God’s word, not my feelings.

As God planned our salvation, He will forgive and accept those who trust Him (Jn. 3:16). This is the only way to escape God’s judgement and receive eternal life (Jn. 5:24). God has promised that a believer will never perish or be snatched out of His hand and nothing can separate them from God’s love (Jn. 10:27-29; Rom. 8:38-39).

On the cross Jesus said “It is finished”; referring to His work of being a sacrifice for sin (Jn. 19:30). After finishing His work of salvation, Jesus sat down at God’s right hand (Heb. 1:3). A believer can’t do anything to maintain their salvation because Christ’s work is sufficient (Eph. 2:8-9).

The Holy Spirit is an internal witness that confirms believers are in God’s family (Rom. 8:16; 1 Jn. 4:13). They experience true guilt (not false guilt) when confronted with sin in their lives and joy and relief as they experience forgiveness and assurance.

The bible was written so that Christians can be sure of their salvation (1 Jn. 5:11-13). Those who truly believe that Jesus died for their sins have an eternal life in heaven. As a Christian reads the bible the Spirit confirms the truth that, because they have trusted the Saviour, they are now a child of God. A child can’t change their parent as it is a relationship set by their birth.

The changes that take place in the life of a believer give both the evidence of and the assurance of their salvation (1 Jn. 2:6). Christians love one another; in actions and not just words (1 Jn. 3:14; 1 Jn. 3:18-19). It is inconsistent to love God and hate another believer (1 Jn. 4:21). They will also be willing to do God’s will (1 Jn. 2:3).

So, the way to be sure of your salvation is to remember these biblical promises.

Written, May 2005

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