How can I have assurance of my salvation (1 John 5:11-13)?
1 John 5:11-13 (NKJV)
11 And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. 12 He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. 13 These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.
There are many Christians who look for the assurance of salvation, and a lot of the times they are seeking the answers to this question in the wrong places. Many times we tend to seek assurance of salvation in the things that God is doing in our lives, other times in our spiritual growth, in the works that we are doing, and how we obey God’s word in our lives as a Christian. It is important to understand that although these things are the evidence of salvation, it is not what we should base the assurance of salvation on. But where we should seek this from, is directly from God’s word. We must be confident and trust that we are saved based on the promises God has declared, not based on our subjective experiences.
Lets looks at some of the truths in the word of God that shows us that once we have received Christ and accepted His sacrifice for us by faith, we can be 100% confident that we are saved and will spend eternity with our heavenly Father.
1. HOW CAN I BE SURE OF MY SALVATION?
A. Have you believed in Jesus Christ as the substitute for your sins and received Him as your personal savior?
The Bible says that you must believe in your heart that Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior and except His sacrifice on the cross for your sins.
John 1:12 says “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name:”
Also Romans 10:9 says “that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”
Romans 10:13 says “For “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.””
Having this knowledge gives us hope, that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. There are no conditions but those who seek Him and know him will be saved.
B. Are you trusting feelings, rather than God’s word, for assurance of salvation?
The Bible says that whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects Him will have God’s wrath remain on Him.
John 3:36 says”He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on Him.”
John 5:24 says “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My words and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.”
C. Are you basing your salvation on what you do for God, instead of what God has done for you?
The Bible says that we can do nothing to earn our salvation, but it is only through the grace of God, that He did all that it takes for us to be saved, if we have faith in Him.
Titus 3:5 says “not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit,”
Ephesians 2:8-9 also says “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” Salvation is a gift of grace. There is nothing that we can do that will earn us salvation, but it is only through His sacrifice on the cross for our sins, provided to us as a gift, which we receive by faith.
2. EVIDENCE OF THE CHRISTIAN LIFE
When we receive salvation there comes about a transformation in our lives as a result of accepting Jesus Christ into our lives. This comes about by a desire to live a life that is pleasing to God. Notice that the following points are not tests of our faith, because we can never be good enough to merit God’s salvation:
- We know we have eternal life if we have received Christ as our Savior (1 John 5:13 says “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God)
- We know that we have eternal life because changes have taken place in our lives since we became a Christian. (2 Corinthians 5:17 says “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”) These could be small changes initially, but this verse tells us that positionally we become a new person when we accept Christ and change is inevitable in our lives.
- We want to share Christ with others (Romans 1:16 says “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.”)
- We want to live godly lives (Titus 2:11-12 says “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age,”)
We hide God’s word in our heart so that we do not sin against Him (Psalm 119:11) and this includes the sin of doubt. Let us take joy in what God’s Word is saying, instead of doubting, we can live with confidence. We have this assurance from Christ’s own Word that our salvation will not be in question. Our salvation is based on the perfect and complete salvation that God provided to us through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.