God wants each of His children to know beyond a shadow of any doubt that he or she has eternal life. The apostle John writes, "These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life" (1 Jn 5:13). God does not desire that we be uncertain about our eternal destiny; He wants us to be absolutely sure that salvation is ours.
The new birth will always be accompanied by certain evidences that confirm that your salvation is real. Feeling the pulse of these vital signs in your life gives assurance of your salvation. But if in the examination of your life you fail to see them, then you must know that your faith falls short of true, saving faith.
Ask yourself these questions. If you can answer yes to these nine questions, then the assurance of salvation should be yours to enjoy.
1. Do you desire communion with Christ?
An authentic child of God will enjoy fellowship with Christ. Religion is an external activity and outward ritual, but Christianity is intensely personal and internal. The one who believes in the Lord Jesus Christ truly knows Him.
2. Do you practice confession of sin?
A true believer is greatly aware of his or her sin and will acknowledge that sin to God. Do you confess your sin on a regular basis?
3. Do you have a deepening commitment to God's Word?
Every true believer has a hunger for God's Word. Jesus says in John 15:7–8, "If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you . . . you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples." Let me say pointedly as I can, all who have been born of God long to know and obey His Word.
4. Do you have compassion for fellow believers?
Upon admittance into God's family, a believer has a new-found love for his spiritual brothers and sisters in Christ. No longer hating the righteous, the one who has been saved has a heart to serve other Christians.
5. Do you see a growing change of desires?
As Paul says in Romans 6, the Christian has a new way of life. The one who is truly converted begins to hate the things he once loved and to love the things he once hated.
6. Do you seek a greater comprehension of the truth?
When we are regenerated, the Holy Spirit gives us eyes to see and minds to understand the truth. Ask yourself, am I seeking to be puffed up with knowledge or do I comprehend truth in order to better know and serve God?
7. Do you show increasing conformity to Christlikeness?
The true believer continues to grow in Christ. The way you know you have been saved is that you are being sanctified. All Christians pursue righteous behavior. Like a greyhound pursuing a rabbit, so a Christian chases after holiness of life.
8. Are you in conflict with the world?
The Christian in pursuit of personal holiness runs head on into the world. The light of the believer's life exposes the deeds of darkness and convicts unbelievers, which then creates tremendous tension.
9. Do you have confidence in prayer?
A true Christian lives his life in reliance upon God. He prays to God to meet his needs.
All nine of these evidences will be present and growing, in one degree or another, in the life of the one who is born again. Only those who see God producing these virtues can be absolutely sure of their salvation.
Steven J. Lawson is the President of OnePassion Ministries. Dr. Lawson is also the Professor of Preaching at The Master’s Seminary and Teaching Fellow with Ligonier Ministries. The author of numerous books and articles, the latest of which is The Daring Mission of William Tyndale.