How can I be sure I am saved?
How can I know that I am saved? How can I be sure that I have eternal life? Have you ever wondered about this? Many, including myself have wondered about these types of questions throughout our lives, regarding being saved. Personally, I remember for many years having uneasy and fearful thoughts about missing heaven and going to hell, because of my lifestyle. These questions were not always overly troublesome to my mind, sometimes I would forget about it and go on with life, but inevitably something would trigger the questions again. As things progressed, these thoughts affected my social life as well. I felt that whatever I participated in that was supposed to be fun and fulfilling, later I was left wanting. This experience would cause major confusion, because I would look at those around me and they seemed to be enjoying themselves, while I had this internal struggle. So, if you are having that type of experience, I was there and I can easily relate.
I grew up in the church, my grandmother was the pastor and I was taught in theory how to secure salvation but per experience it was not working for me. I was taught to ask Jesus into my heart, and then try to live without sinning. Inevitably however, failure would happen, and when it did, I was taught to repent and ask Jesus to come back into my heart again. The term was backsliding, as I remember it, it meant that you had fallen away from Jesus and apparently he left your heart. When you felt remorse, usually because of some type of guilt or hardship, the result would lead you back to the altar to ask Jesus back into your heart again. This practice, as most of us have realized, is a rinse and repeat scenario. In other words, my life was filled with this reoccurring practice, accept Jesus, continually mess up and then have to do it again. After falling over and over into sin, I would ask Jesus to come back into my heart. This is the teaching that I myself grew up on, and I am sure all those who were teaching me grew up on as well. It reminds me of a verse Jesus spoke to the disciples, if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into the ditch (Matt 15:14). The fact that I was struggling should have be an obvious clue that my belief needed correction, however, I was hopeless to find this correction via mere intellectual recognition. That is to say, this correction of my belief would not come by mere sense knowledge reasoning. The bondage that holds us in spiritual darkness is not overcome by natural wisdom. Spiritual warfare against the mind causes darkness that captivates us, and therefore renders us clueless to help ourselves. Not knowing, and therefore never having the peace that the knowledge of eternal salvation brings to the child of God’s mind, is a battle we cannot hope to overcome left to ourselves. This leads me to the one and only answer regarding how you can be sure of your salvation. The answer is, God makes you sure!
When I was younger, I remember being at home from college on summer break. My granddad and I were sitting at the dinner table at his home. I do not remember what or how I asked him, but the question I asked was regarding the struggle I was experiencing. I did not outright say what I was struggling with, because I myself did not rightly understand it. I was probing him with questions based on the inner struggles that plagued me. He pointed to an orange tree in the back yard, and he said, when an orange ripens on a tree to the point of maturity, it will fall on its own with no need for anyone to pick it off. He then told me something, and I did not know why at the time, but it clicked on the inside of me. Actually, I would not know until years later how much of an impact those words had within me. My granddad said, as I have come to understand it, that I was the same as the orange. Keep in mind, this was many years ago, so I am paraphrasing and not speaking word for word. He said, just as there is a time and season for the orange, there would be a time in my life, when there would be an effortless change. That change, would cause me to be released from my struggle. In other words, just as the orange fell off the tree at the time of maturity, my time to be released from struggle would come. As it is with me, so it is with all the children of God. We are all subject to the times and seasons set in our lives (Ps 3:15) by the Father. Our struggle, is no different than the process of maturing fruit. Once we have reached the appointed time, effortless change happens. As I have come to know, I was experiencing the struggle of the carnal mind being reconciled with spiritual truth. I was instinctively learning, that there was nothing in life that could fulfill me. The resulting discomfort I felt during this process sharpened my senses. I did not know it before, but because of ignorance, I was trapped in the cycle of seeking self fulfillment. Once I realized that this was doomed to continual failure, based on the fact that I could not possibly know what would be fulfilling for myself, changes started to occur. I no longer trusted what I thought I needed, on the contrary I would go to Father and freely admit that I had no clue. The awareness of my inability to help myself, somehow caused a heavy load to be lifted off my shoulders. Whereas before, I was searching for answers, the resulting experience caused me to wait for answers. I was hooked, I knew what the other experience was like, and I hated it. Now, Father was revealing to me the true riches. Before, I would always feel like I was missing something. After God fixed me, I knew I could not ever miss anything he had for me. Before, I was looking for good things and searching for them diligently. After, I realized that goodness and mercy follows me! My mind was coming into harmony with the things of the Spirit, as a result, the struggle ceased. The cessation of struggle is one of the ways we come to know the difference between carnal knowledge, verses revelation knowledge. Carnal knowledge leads to questions and confusion regarding spiritual things (Rom 8:6, 7), such as how can I know that I am saved? On the contrary, revelation knowledge is a reality that overpowers your intellectual mind. You see, only the power of God can reveal eternal salvation within you, and once he does, you never ever feel concerned again. The certainty that God gives changes your life forever.
See the following scriptures:
1John 2:27 But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.
It is the intellectual mind that needs to be renewed. All the doubts, fears and struggles happen in the mind that has not been trained in the things of God. The bible says, we do not fight against flesh and blood but against enemies in the spiritual realm (Eph 6:12). It also tells us that we are to cast down vain imaginations that exalt itself against the knowledge of God (2Cor 10:5). The reason the child of God struggles, is because of the spiritual warfare that battles against our minds. This battle is why many suffer the bout of insecurity regarding our security in Christ.
See the following verses:
Gal 5:17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
Eph 4:17-19 This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, 18 having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: 19 Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.
In the scripture listed above, Gal 5:17 tells us that the warfare between the power of sin, aka the flesh, against the Spirit leaves us helpless, so that we cannot do the things that we desire or want. This reality seemingly leaves us in a no win situation, think about it, if we cannot do the things we desire, then how can we do what is right? The answer is, a revelation that causes effortless change. Paul said, that he was crucified in Christ, he no longer lived but Christ lived in him (Gal 2:20). This is the secret, you are not your own, it is God that works in you both to will and to do His good pleasure (Phil 2:13). The child of God at birth is a being that instinctively seeks after righteousness, but this is a spiritual knowing. The transfer of this spiritual knowledge from within, to the intellect, is a seed time and harvest process. As we grow, and are minds are opened to the things of God, we come to know our origin, and this knowledge continually sets us free from the bondage of sin in the flesh. The child of God that is suffering with insecurity regarding eternal salvation, is the child of God that is suffering the pangs of the renewal process. Keep in mind, we were born from the womb of our mother 100% free and secure in our our salvation, per the word of God. Salvation is our birthright, it is not something you have to secure. What has to be secured is the revelation of this truth, or we could say the salvation of the mind.
See the following verses:
Ps 22:9, 10 But thou art he that took me out of the womb: thou didst make me hope when I was upon my mother’s breasts. 10 I was cast upon thee from the womb: thou art my God from my mother’s belly.
Is 46:3 Hearken unto me, O house of Jacob, and all the remnant of the house of Israel, which are borne by me from the belly, which are carried from the womb:
Is 49:1 Listen, O isles, unto me; and hearken, ye people, from far; The Lord hath called me from the womb; from the bowels of my mother hath he made mention of my name.
Is 49:5 And now, saith the Lord that formed me from the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob again to him, Though Israel be not gathered, yet shall I be glorious in the eyes of the Lord, and my God shall be my strength.
Jer 1:5 Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.
Gal 1:15, 16 But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace, 16 To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood:
The salvation that the children of God battle for in the earth, is securing the knowledge of what we by inheritance already have at birth. If you grasped what was just communicated, it will give you a clue to how the doctrine I grew up on was corrected within me. The message I received was that I needed to secure my salvation via intellectual choice. Securing salvation through choice is doomed to failure. It is a teaching that insured that I would struggle with my understanding of eternal salvation, because mere intellect cannot perceive the things of God. If carnal knowledge cannot comprehend or grasp spiritual things, it is no wonder why making a mere choice via this knowledge results in insecurity. You do not expect an infant from the womb to chose their family, bloodline, facial features and so forth, it is all inherited. All these characteristics are past intellectual decision making for the child. This reality of inheritance is a peek into how spiritual things operate, or the laws that govern the spirit realm. Another example would be likened to me telling a child that was born of a King and Queen, that he or she was not a prince or princess until they were old enough to choose it. On the contrary, the child of the King is by inheritance of royal blood by position. Now, learning the reality of the truth of their birthright is not as simple. The child must grow and learn the truth, although insecurities, fears and the full spectrum of warfare that battles against the mind will abound. In one aspect, the child is guaranteed his or her inheritance by birthright, but in another the child will struggle to grasp this based on the warfare against the mind. This is the story of the child of God, our position as children of God is sealed by the word, plan and promise of our Father who cannot lie. So, although we were saved by God before we came out of our mother’s womb (Jer 1:5; Eph 1:4; 1Thes 2:13; 2Tim 1:9), the revelation of that is gained through the trial of faith. The suffering of the renewal process is the trial of your faith. So, if you are dealing with insecurities about your salvation, be encouraged, you are on schedule and your deliverance is nigh!
See the following:
Is 10:27 And it shall come to pass in that day, that his burden shall be taken away from off thy shoulder, and his yoke from off thy neck, and the yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing.