Answering the question, “Am I saved?” can be tough for most people at some time in their life. Some might say that they prayed a ‘Sinner’s Prayer’ years ago and because of those words on that day they were ‘saved’. Others may point to the day they were baptized or the day they joined membership with a particular church. Yet others may even say you have to have ‘proof’ as evidenced by speaking in tongues. None of these things adequately answers the question.
The famous verse, John 3:16 tells us: For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. Now does that simply mean that we have a belief that Jesus existed? That he was a great teacher? That he was a prophet? Absolutely not! What about James 2, which says ‘faith without works is dead’? Does that mean I’m saved by ‘doing’ things? Again, absolutely not!
Romans 5:10 tells us, For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. Therefore, we are saved by the atoning work of Jesus’s death alone; not by any action on our behalf. Praying to Jesus, attending church, living on mission, studying God’s Word, repenting of sin, worshipping God, are all effects of salvation, but they are not the cause of salvation.
‘Belief’ in John 3:16 isn’t simply having book knowledge of Jesus but rather having a real life sin shattering revelation that Jesus is Lord and Savior, and that He and He alone transforms us from a children of darkness into an heirs with Christ. We come to that belief not by our own intellect and logic, but when the Holy Spirit works in our hearts and opens our eyes to see that marvelous truth. The ‘works’ referred to by James will undoubtedly follow, that is, will be evident in the lives of true believers.
There are times, or seasons, in our lives when we fall into temptation and struggle with sin; we’re not perfect. During those ‘down’ times in our lives Satan will place doubt into our minds, and will prompt the question “Am I Saved?” As a children of God, we should hate our sin, seek God’s face, repent of that sin and rest in the assurance that salvation is from Christ alone and our salvation was secured by Him.