“If I receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater. This is the witness of God which he hath testified of His Son. He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself.” 1 John 5: 9,10
How can I be sure I am a Christian?
A question often asked. One we must answer clearly and objectively to encourage those who are unsure or those who have doubts about their personal salvation.
- It’s relevant for those who believe but have no evidence of salvation => a false convert
- It’s also relevant for those who believe but have no assurance => a true believer
How can I be sure that I am a true believer? Is it even possible to know with clarity? Perhaps I am just one of those who will go through life never really knowing?
Assurance => confidence based on clear evidence for my personal salvation through the work of Jesus Christ; the Apostle in 1 John writes 16 times “we know” about salvation.
However, in the Bible’s order of the steps of salvation ~ assurance does not come first:
- We are first Awakened to feel our need of a Saviour and salvation from sin.
- We then come under personal Conviction of our sin and feel our guilt before God.
- We come to Christ in Repentance and Faith by prayer; we turn away from our sin, and trust in Christ’s shed blood and His substitutionary righteousness, offered on the cross.
- We will be given by the Lord a measure of Assurance and peace when we are converted; but as we grow more like Christ so we will experience a growing assurance of our faith.
- We will be Glorified when Christ returns; then we will be made gloriously like Christ.
We must encourage all true believers; but some who may be struggling to know where they stand; until now they may not have any real assurance. You may already have been awakened by the Holy Spirit, come under conviction of sin, repented of sin and exercised faith in Christ, yet not experienced real joy and peace.
7 Objective Tests: To be used to establish where we stand before Christ and if we are saved:
- ATTITUDE TO SIN: Do I hate my personal sin? Do I have a love for God and want to pursue life as He commands? (1 John 2:15, 29; 3:18, 19, Acts 2:37,38)
- UNDERSTANDING THE BIBLE: Do I love God’s word? Does it give me understanding and growing light? (1 John 5:11-13, Acts 2:42)
- A FAMILY BOND: Do I desire to be with God’s people in fellowship? Do I seek a covenant relationship with them? (1 John 3:13, 14, Acts 2)
- PRAYER: Do I pray and know answers to prayer? Do I know God’s blessing when I ask in child-like faith in accordance with His will? (1 John 3:22, Acts 2, Galatians 4:6)
- TELLING OTHERS: Do I want to confess Christ as Lord and Saviour to others? Do I walk with the Lord in obedience to Him? (1 John 4:15)
- A NEW HEART: Do I have a new heart which seeks to live a pure life bearing real fruits of Godly character? Do I hate the world and its ways? (1 John 3:3, Acts 2:46-47)
- ATTACKS: Do I experience doubts sometimes? Do I also believe that Christ has overcome Satan and the world and so will I, if I trust in Him and pray for His help? (1 John 4:4)
If we can answer yes to these questions, it will give us assurance that Christ does indeed already live within our hearts. We can be sure we are saved = the witness of God within.