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Reformed. Christianity. Evangelism. Modern Culture.
Are you wrestling with the thoughts that you may not be saved? Do you question whether your faith in God is genuine? Perhaps you feel like you’ve had a conversion experience in the past but your not sure if you’re a true convert. Below are five questions to ask yourself and explanations that provide general proofs of a genuine work of salvation. I hope that these provide helpful insight to you:
1) Is there present belief in God?
We are never to depend upon a previous testimony of something we did years ago such as pray a prayer or sign a card or walk down an isle for an altar call, we must presently be confessing Jesus Christ as Lord through faith.
2) Is there a habitual impenitent sin in your life?
A true Christian will not habitually and impenitently practice a lifestyle of sin. (1 John 1. 5-10). This does not mean that we will ever be sinless, this side of heaven, but that we who are in the light do not seek to remain in darkness.
3) Is there observable growth?
There must be an observable growth in the life of the believer. We are called to grow in our salvation in the areas of knowledge, love, grace, and fruit. (John 15; 2 Pet. 3.18). Those who think that nothing more than a mere confession of faith is needed, to prove oneself a Christian, run the danger of self-deception and ultimately lack assurance of their salvation.
4) Is there a pursuit for holiness?
A true Christian is not to remain carnal in mind and affections. We are to pursue holiness. A believer in Christ, hungers for righteousness and seeks to be pleasing in obedience to the Father. (Hebrews 12:14). This proof is extremely telling regarding ones salvation as well as their spiritual maturity. Do we love darkness? Do we rejoice in sinfulness? These things are to be rejected by the true child of God.
5) Do you hold to the essential doctrines of the Faith? Especially, having to do with the Doctrines of God, Authority, and Salvation?
There are certain doctrines and teachings in Scripture that cannot be breached. The failure to hold to the “Essentials” will result in heresy, false doctrine, and false hope. One of the reformers once said, “If you have the wrong God in the end you meet the Devil”. Thus, it is essential that we have the right God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit). That we believe in the true identity of Jesus Christ, being fully God and fully man.
We must believe that the Bible is the word of God and the final authority for all of faith and practice. We will have no foundation otherwise. Believing, therefore, that the Bible is inerrant, infallible, and inspired is essential. For without it we would not know God at all. Also, we must believe in a proper view of salvation. In other words, it is by grace through faith that we are saved and not by human works lest we boast in ourselves. (Eph. 2.8; Tit. 3.4-7).
These proofs are never to be mistaken as works. That is, that none of the above mentioned are offered as works which prove that we have earned the right to be saved. Rather, we are saved by nothing more than sovereign grace. Assurance is a miracle of God and it is reserved for the child of God.