How Can You Tell If You Are Saved?

silhouette20standing20chains20broken20freedom20from20slaveryThere is nothing more concerning to Christians than the times of long stretches without “feeling” the presence of God. You start to question everything about your faith and when times seem the bleakest you might even start to question if you had ever truly been saved. We start longing for that newness that we felt when we finally believed. We long for that feeling where God is with us and that the problems of this world are insignificant in the presence of the Father. You might know in an academic way that once you are God’s you are His forever, but during difficult periods of your life it can make you doubt if your salvation ever really happened in the first place. This article is for everyone. Everyone goes through moments of despair and doubt. Faith without doubt is not faith. That is the whole point. I hope you can find hope in these words and rest in the knowledge that if you experience these things, even in the low times that you are saved.

Before I go into the two ways you can be assured in the fact that you are a child of God, let me go into the reasons you are even having these emotions at all. Your doubt over your salvation comes from two different reasons both emanating from the same place, the devil.

  1. Your feeling of separation from God has everything to do with your own sin. When you sin, you walk away from God and you pain the Spirit. Even though it is easy to think that it is God walking away from you due to your transgressions, it is in fact the other way around. The exciting news is that He is waiting for you and with a simple cry to Him, He will celebrate your return with you.
  2. Your doubt comes from mental barbs from the devil. Your salvation is eternal but your influence on the world around you is not. Satan knows that a Christian on fire and who lives their life on mission is a danger to his plans. The devil wants you to doubt your salvation because those moments are not spent in the pursuit of bringing others to Christ.

Now let’s get to the good news. Let’s discuss why you need to stop questioning your Father’s love for you and why you can ride out all those dark times when God seems far away.

So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God – Romans 8:12-16

The previous text gives two signs that should give you assurance of your salvation. Alternatively, it should also convict those of you who have been living a life outside of Christ where you might believe in the existence of Jesus Christ, but have yet to rely on Him to wash away your sins.

lightofforgivenessDo you, with the help of the Holy Spirit, make war on your OWN sins?

This is important, so let’s break this verse down to understand what this in fact means.

So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. – Romans 8:12-14

This simply means that those who live according to the desires of the flesh/world are spiritually dead unless they are able to reconcile themselves with the Father. This is where things get a bit tricky. It is easy to read “but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.” and say that if you live a life outside the world that you are saved, but look closer. What this text actually means is that with the help of the Spirit (yes the Holy Spirit) you battle your OWN sin and you will live. This is not saying that it is even possible to live a life free from sin or outside of the world, but that we are to make war against our sins. (Notice that it does not say the sins of others.)

This all comes down to a feeling of conviction. Do you feel that the sins you commit are bad and do you sense that there is an internal feeling in you that wants you to resist the sins that the rest of the world believes are OK? Guess what? That is the Spirit wanting to lead you away from a life according to the flesh. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.

Do you cry out to your Father?

For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God – Romans 8:15-16

Those of us who have been saved find ourselves crying out to God, but not as a supernatural or external presence. We cry out to our Daddy (Abba is what a young child calls his father in Hebrew). We are but little children who need our Daddy to come and save us from our mistakes. We cry out when we are scared of the dark and we cry out when we need comfort. That is the difference between Christianity and other religions. When we become children of God we gain back our Father. A Father who is here to pick us up when we scrape our knees and to tell us that everything will be all right. This is not some distant God who has a macro view of the world. This is a Daddy who is involved in the lives of everyone who calls out to Him.

When you cry out to God as a child calls out to his Father, you acknowledge this relationship even if you don’t recognize that you are doing it. This is a huge sign of your salvation. You know that you are woefully inadequate and you call out to your Father to make it better. Just like any father, He might not do what you want, but He will always do what is best for you.

man-prayingThese two signs that you are saved and are a child of God should not only bring you comfort, but should also give you the strength to follow the Great Commission to go out to the world and to make disciples. When your faith is steadfast you are armed with the armor of God. That being said, some of you might have just realized that you have experienced neither of these things. You might have just realized that you have a belief in God, but no reliance on the Son. God wants you, but there is no way to the Father outside of the Son (John 14:6). Rely on Jesus Christ. Declare that you need Him and that you are a sinner. Call out to your Daddy and He will sing in joy at your return!

And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. It was fitting to celebrate and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found.’ – Luke 15:31-32

Michael Davis
Senior Editor of Veterans to Christ. Served as a Cavalry Scout from 2005-2009. Iraq Veteran.