I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one (John 10:28-30 NIV).
Picture by dotlizard (Karen Kelly) @ Rgbstock
Revelation That Leads to Salvation
All people, everywhere, experience revelation from God about Himself. “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse” (Rom. 1:20). Some receive clearer revelation than others. Jesus said, “If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin” (John 15:22). Sadly, because people are sinful, they tend to marginalize God or completely negate Him, suppressing what He reveals (Rom. 1:18-20).
Some people experience a dramatic encounter with God on their life’s journey that brings them to salvation. Consequently, it is easy for them to know the moment that they have become a “new creation” (2 Cor. 5:17). For many others, salvation is not a clearly identifiable point in time. However, even though they cannot pinpoint when it happened (and may even misidentify the timing), the miracle of their behavioural change makes them know that at some point they must have been “born again” (John 3:16). They might not even know these terms, but, if explained to them, they will identify with them.
Many other people who have believed in God and His Son, have ended up falling away. This is because they never fully understood. Instead, they believed in their own notion about God and His salvation. Consequently, they had never come to be justified by God and born again.
Paul told the members of the Corinthian church, “Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you–unless, of course, you fail the test?” (2 Cor. 13:5). From his words, we can deduce that merely thinking that you’re in the faith is no real evidence of actually being in it. However, being spiritually joined to Christ, so that He lives within you, is Paul’s definition of whether or not someone is truly in the faith.
Evidence of Salvation
God’s word has a range of evidence that can help a person identify whether or not they been saved from spiritual death to eternal life. Here are just three of them:
- An inner witness. One evidence that you’re actually in the faith, with Christ dwelling within you, is an inner knowing. Paul writes, “The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children” (Rom. 8:16).
- A supernaturally changed life. Another witness to true salvation is a supernaturally changed life. This is because Love Himself has joined Himself to that person. Jesus said, “…whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a fount of water springing up to eternal life” (John 4:14).
- A witnessing life. There’s an overflow about God and His goodness that comes from the mouths of those who are saved. This is because God, and what He has done to save us, really is good news. After all, Jesus said, “Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them” (John 7:38).
Caveats Concerning Salvation
Not all Christians excel in all of the above evidence. That said, to live their new life to the full, they ought to grow in each of them. Also, although the fruit of a person’s life is usually the clearest evidence of salvation (or the lack thereof), many loving, generous, and pleasant people are unsaved. Conversely, there are many saved folk who are caught up in selfishness, worldliness, and sin. Consequently, we don’t always know who has been saved, therefore, we must not simply assume that someone is or isn’t.
On another note, not everyone who has been saved has understood that biblical faith gives assurance of salvation. Consequently, despite being justified by God, these folk may, at times, because of sin and feelings of unworthiness, feel unsaved.
Assurance of Salvation
God has gone to great lengths to lead people to a faith that saves and to assure them of their salvation. For example, the apostle John says in his gospel, “…these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name” (John 20:31). Then, in a letter to believers, John says, “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life” (1 John 5:13). God clearly wanted people to believe and, having believed, be assured of their salvation.
Assurance of one’s salvation is often found on the journey of discipleship. For, even after someone is saved, they will continue to receive revelation about their salvation. Consider what Paul had prayed for the Christians in Ephesus: “[I always pray] that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may grant you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation [that gives you a deep and personal and intimate insight] into the true knowledge of Him [for we know the Father through the Son]. And [I pray] that the eyes of your heart [the very center and core of your being] may be enlightened [flooded with light by the Holy Spirit], so that you will know and cherish the hope [the divine guarantee, the confident expectation] to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints (God’s people), and [so that you will begin to know] what the immeasurable and unlimited and surpassing greatness of His [active, spiritual] power is in us who believe” (Eph. 1:17-19a, Amplified Bible).
Are You Saved?
All people have sinned against God, nevertheless, because of His great love for the world, He offers salvation as a free gift to everyone who repents and receives Jesus as Lord of their life. For He sent His Son, Jesus, to live a perfect life and take our sins upon Himself so that we could be acquitted. Having risen from the dead and ascended into heaven, Jesus offers mercy and new life to all who humble themselves and come to Him.