Josh Hossler | 08/12/2020
It’s important for each one of us to know where we stand with God. Some believe God is against them. At times it absolutely feels this way, but I promise you, nothing could be further from the truth.
“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.”
Jesus [The Gospel of John 3:16]
“Saved” is a Christian term describing what Jesus does for us when we place our weight (trust) in Him. Before we put our weight in Him, we are separated from God because of our sin, even enemies of God. Once we put our weight in Him, we become recipients of His grace. Our sins are placed on Jesus, and in exchange, we receive Jesus’ sinless life in our place. This is called atonement, imputed righteousness, and salvation. We go from death to life – we are saved.
“Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.”
Jesus [The Gospel of John 1:12-13]
When a person does this, an amazing thing happens. This person is reborn. They are made alive spiritually, and the Spirit of God comes into their life. The theological term for this transformation is “regeneration”. Their desires are different, their passions are different, they see the world through different eyes. They now have a relationship with God through what Jesus has done for them.
God draws us, we receive what God has done for us through Jesus, and we begin a relationship with God – this is salvation.
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.”
Paul the Apostle [ Letter to the Ephesians 2:8-9]
Many people struggle though to know for sure if they are saved. It can be easy to second guess and question. Our passions can grow cold, sin may still be very present in our lives, and we struggle to believe what Jesus has done for us.
Still others live with a false sense of assurance because they prayed a prayer. This one time prayer doesn’t always mean a person has a relationship with God. Yet, others struggle because they don’t have this one time event to look back at.
JD Greear, in his book Stop Asking Jesus Into Your Heart, puts it really well though. He says, “Salvation is a posture of repentance and faith that you begin in a moment and continue for the rest of your life.”
See, at some point a person recognizes their own sinfulness and their need for a savior. Once this person puts their trust in what Jesus has done for them on the cross, and puts their weight on the fact that God raised Him from the dead, proving God accepted His payment for their sin, they are saved!
“If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.”
Paul the Apostle [Letter to the Romans 10:9-10]
So, whether you prayed a prayer at one point or not, the real question is, are you trusting Christ right now? If you are trusting Him NOW, then the Bible is pretty clear, you are saved!
But, how do I know? We must be careful at this point. Ultimately, we are saved by grace, not by our own effort. So, my concern is that anyone who looks at this list may be tempted to think they need to strive to live up to these things to be saved. That is not what these are. These are things we see naturally developing in a person’s life as they learn to follow Jesus. If you are saved, you do not need to earn your salvation. However, as you follow Jesus, you will see these things taking shape in your life on an increasing basis.
That being said, here are some things you should see in a person’s life who is saved:
Someone who is saved loves Jesus! You have a genuine growing love and appreciation for Jesus and all He’s done for you. Every follower of Jesus will go through seasons where their feelings run dry and passions wane, but those should only be seasons, and overall, you have a trajectory of increasing love and appreciation for Jesus. You desire to know and love Him more. Do you have a growing love for Jesus?
There is a distinct difference in attitude and heart of a person who is changed by Jesus and a person who is not. All of us are tempted by sin, whether we’re saved by Jesus or not, but those who are saved by Jesus are truly changed by Jesus, and their overall desires are no longer to please themselves but to please God. This is a supernatural thing God does. If you are saved, sin repulses you. While you may still be tempted, your desire is to grow and see God root out any and all sinful behavior in your life. Are you allowing God to root out all sin in your life?
One of the sure signs of being saved is you want others to be saved as well. Once you’ve experienced Jesus, you can’t help but want others to experience Him too. God gives us boldness to share our faith with others, and we’re willing to sacrifice and lay down our preferences so others can know Him.
“Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.”
Jesus [The Gospel of Matthew 10:32-33]
Do you desire to see others come to know Jesus?
When a person is saved, they will see evidence that God is at work in their life. Galatians 5:22-23 lists nine different evidences of the Spirit. These will be in your life in an increasing way when God is at work in you. You will also find the passion and ability to do things God has gifted you to do – lead, teach, give, pray, help, comfort, tell others about Jesus, etc. God is gracious, and He knows where each one of us is at, but we should see some signs of the gifts and fruit of the Spirit in our lives. Do you see signs of the Spirit of God at work in your life (growing more patient, loving, kind, etc. – it may be helpful to ask a close, Godly friend what they see)?
When a person is saved, they become part of a new family – the family of God. You find new joy in sharing life with others who are also following Jesus. You regularly gather with other Christians to worship Jesus, learn about Jesus, and use your time, talents, and resources for the building up of the body of Christ. Are you joyfully part of a church family?
The aim and goal of your life becomes living for God instead of living for self. It doesn’t mean you become a priest, pastor, or nun. It means that every part of your life is in God’s hands for His purposes. Your purposes and aims in life have been refined and purified. You’re no longer living for yourself, but you’re living for God. You have surrendered and now desire to use all God has given you for Him.
When I was in late high school, I went through a season where I wasn’t living for God. I had accepted what Jesus had done for me at a very young age, but in this season, I was living for myself and not too concerned with what God wanted me to do. I’m not saying I wasn’t saved, I believe I was, but I know I wasn’t following Christ. I was doing my own thing, and I didn’t care. That’s not the posture of fully devoted follower of Jesus.
But, God in his love and grace kept bringing me back to a point of decision – was I going to trust Jesus or not? I couldn’t avoid it anymore, and the choice was easy. Jesus, you have given me everything… I trust you, my life is yours, completely yours. I surrendered the last bit of selfish agenda in my heart and surrendered completely to Him. My heart flooded with joy, peace, and God’s presence. It’s been a journey ever since, but I wouldn’t change a minute of it.
Is there a part of your heart or life you’re holding back? It’s time to surrender!
This list is not exhaustive, and truly only God knows a person’s heart and standing with Him. These are not things we do to make ourselves right with God. We are made right with God through our faith in Jesus Christ. We cling to Him and what He’s done for us on the cross. These then, are what we see in a person’s life who is living out that reality. We are not perfect, but Jesus is, and He is at work in our hearts if we are trusting in Him.
God wants you to be confident in your salvation. We can and should have assurance. If you do not have that assurance, I want to encourage you to put your weight on Jesus today. God chose you to be in Him, God graced you to be in Him, God loves you and wants you to be part of His family. If God is at work in your life do not resist Him, let Him grace you, let Him love you, place your trust in Him and His plan for your life. If that’s where your heart is today, you can thank Him and have FULL confidence in that. God has saved you!
Have you placed your full weight in what Jesus has done for you? Do you have confidence in your salvation? Why/why not?
If you have further questions or need some guidance, feel free to reach out. Also, the Missionary Church has a great position paper on “The Assurance of the Believer”. You can read that here. I pray it’s a help to you.
God’s grace is amazing! I trust you are walking in that today with full assurance of where you stand with God. He is for you. Blessings!
Josh Hossler | Lead PastorJosh is the founding and Lead Pastor of Evident Church. He is passionate about helping people find their purpose and follow Jesus. Josh enjoys his family, preaching, leadership, writing, and is also is an adjunct professor of philosophy at Rochester University in Rochester Hills, MI. He and his wife Raelyn, have three daughters, AvaRae, AdaLyn, and AnaBel.
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