Doubt is a natural part of life. Every person has doubts about various aspects of life, including salvation. In fact, doubt is not always negative. In 2 Corinthians 13:5 we are told, "Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves." The apostle Paul challenged his readers to make certain they had truly come to faith in Jesus Christ. Because the answer to this question determines where we will spend eternity, it is vital to know.
But is there any way we can know for certain we are saved? First John 5:13 answers this way: "I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life." The apostle John taught that we can know for certain we have eternal life. How? It is based on belief in the name of the Son of God, Jesus Christ.
Have you believed in Jesus as Lord and that He rose from the dead? This is what God requires for salvation. Romans 10:9 teaches, "if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved."
Have you experienced any changes in your spiritual life? These changes may not occur quickly and they may seem to ebb and flow. But the believer in Jesus will desire to live according to the fruit of the Spirit: "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law" (Galatians 5:22-23).
Do you desire to help others? James 2:14-16 notes, "What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, 'Go in peace, be warmed and filled,' without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that?" Again, you may not always help others perfectly, but when a person has been saved through Jesus Christ, there will be a desire to live in ways that help others in need.
Do you love God and desire to follow God's teachings? First John 5:2 instructs, "By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments." Salvation is by faith alone, but a true faith in God will show a love for God as well as an interest in serving Him and others. The intentions of the heart speak volumes about whether one has been made new in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Doubts about salvation can often occur. However, if you can answer yes to these four questions, you are expressing signs of a person who truly knows Jesus Christ and you can toss your doubts aside. If not, perhaps it is time to settle this question by putting your faith in Jesus now.
If you have further questions about what salvation means, please visit our Truth about Salvation page. If you feel you understand salvation and are ready to put your faith in Christ, you can tell Him. Please note there is no special prayer of salvation. Words will not save you; only Jesus can. However you can use a prayer similar to the below to accept Jesus as your Savior and receive eternal life:
"Dear God, I realize I am a sinner and could never reach heaven by my own good deeds. Right now I place my faith in Jesus Christ as God's Son who lived a sinless life, died in my place, and rose from the dead to give me eternal life. Please forgive me of my sins and help me to live for you. Thank you for accepting me and giving me eternal life."
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