Maybe you have been going to church for a while or maybe it is your first week, But I am sure at some point you have asked the question: Am I really saved?
I would ask that question all the time while I was growing up. Basically anytime there was some sort of an alter call at a retreat or youth group event, I went forward. I wanted to make sure that I was saved. I thought that if I went forward enough times, I would be sure that my sins were forgiven. So I kept on going forward. Year after year.
Maybe you have had a similar experience. Maybe you have asked the question, “Am I actually saved?” Did I do the right things, say the right prayer, read my Bible enough? Have I earned it? The amazing thing is that none of that matters. The Bible is clear that Jesus is our salvation. His entire life, his birth, his miracles, his death, his resurrection, and his ascension, were all lived so that we can have Salvation in Him and Him alone. Jonathan Edwards said, “you contribute nothing to your salvation except the sin that made it necessary.” We bring nothing to the table except creating a need for Christ to act. We cannot earn our salvation by doing the right combination of things we say or do. We can stop worrying if we have said the right prayer, or read enough of the Bible, or am living good enough in order to be sure of our salvation. But we can look to Jesus and find assurance in Him, and Him alone.
We still have the question before us: How can I be sure of my salvation? Jesus is my salvation, but how can I know I am saved? What does it look like to be saved? How does my life reflect the salvation that I have in Jesus Christ.
There are two questions we can ask ourselves to examine our lives and see if our lives are a reflection of the salvation we have in Jesus Christ.
- Have I exercised faith in Christ for Salvation?
John 3:16 is probably the most recognized verse I the Bible. It would be hard to find a Christian who has not memorized it at some point in their life.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
Do you believe that Jesus is your salvation? Do you have a firm and certain knowledge of God’s goodness towards us in Jesus Christ? When you are reflecting and examining your own life, specifically your salvation, has there been a time that you recognized your sinfulness and looked away from yourself and looked toward God. Recognizing your need of a savior and finding forgiveness from Jesus Christ? Do you believe that in Christ Alone you can have salvation, not by anything you do or say, but by God Incarnate? Do I exercise faith in Jesus Christ for salvation? Romans 5:8-9, “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God.”
Christ came and died, uniting us to him, taking all of our sin and giving us all of His righteousness so that we will be justified, sanctified, and eventually glorified.
Baptism is a great reminder of this reality. When we are baptized, we show that we are recognizing our union with Jesus, that he alone forgives us our sin, and we publicly proclaim that truth to the rest of the Church that you have found salvation in Jesus alone. I don’t remember the specific day that I put my faith in Jesus, but I remember the day that I was baptized. As I examine the assurance of my salvation, I can remember that I proclaimed, in front of my church on March 15, 2009 that I have salvation in Jesus.
As you examine your salvation, start by asking. Have I realized that I am a sinner and that I need a savior, and that savior can only be Jesus Christ? Have I exercised faith in Him?
2. Have I seen the Holy Spirit at work in my life?
At the moment of salvation, the Holy Spirit indwells the believer and works in them. There is a lot to be said about the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of a believer, but concerning the examination of our salvation there are two primary works we want to discuss this morning.
First, does the Holy Spirit Convict me of my sin? John 16:7–11
 Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.  And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment:  concerning sin, because they do not believe in me;  concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer;  concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.
We already talked about how when we examine our salvation we need to see that we are sinners in need of a savior, Jesus Christ. But here we are talking about the time after we have been united with Christ. Am I convicted of my sin now? When I sin, do I want to do something about it? How can I prevent it from happening again? Do I confess it to God and to others?
What happens when you do wrong? When we are saved by Christ, we should begin to no longer desire the same things we once desired. 1 John 2: 4 says: “Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” If we say we follow Jesus, and when we sin, have no conviction or remorse for our sin, maybe we are not saved like we thought?
Do I desire less and less, the sinful things that I once wanted and do I desire more and more the Godly things that I know have in Christ? This process is called sanctification. We continually learn to live in our sinful ways less and live in Godliness more and more, being made continually into the image of the Son. This is not something that happens overnight, but is a process. Do you feel conviction from the Holy Spirit when you sin, and desire less and less to sin?
Another work of the Holy Spirit in regards to assuring our salvation is have we been equipped by the Spirit to live like we ought to? Galatians 5:22–23  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness, self-control. (ESV)
This list of character traits is not a suggested list of how a Christian should act. It is a list of traits that will appear in the believer as the Holy Spirit works in and through them. As we are sanctified and think of ourselves less and think of God more. We become more patient, more kind, more joyful, more loving, and so on. These fruit is what grows in our lives because of the Holy Spirit. Jesus says in Matthew 12 that a Tree is known by its fruit. What fruit do you bear in your life? What is the outpouring of your life?
If you have found salvation in Christ alone then your life will begin to bear the fruit of that union.
When you examine your salvation, have you seen the holy spirit at work in your life? Are you convicted of sin? Has your life begun to look more Godly? How have you seen the Holy Spirit at work?
Throughout history, people have wondered how they can be sure that they are going to end up where they want to go. Some people try and earn it by doing the right thing. If they fast at the right time of year, pray the right prayers follow the law exactly. Some people just leave it up to chance. Some have no idea how to tell.
Thankfully, as believers, we can have assurance of salvation. We can trust what God says, he is faithful and just to forgive. If exercise faith in Jesus Christ for salvation, we can believe the truth of John 3:16. That if we believe, we will have eternal life with God. Our salvation is built on Jesus alone. And we can have assurance of his faithfulness. Even if we are unfaithful, he will always be faithful. Constantly, the Israelites would look away from God, yet he was faithful to come to them for salvation. Have you exercised faith in Jesus Christ alone for salvation?
Practically, we can see the effects of salvation in our lives. We experience conviction when we sin. We do not want live in our sinful ways anymore. When we sin, we turn to Jesus. Our lives, also, begin to change. We bear good fruit. Our lives begin to reflect our union with Christ as we are continually being transformed into the image of Jesus. Have you seen the holy Spirit at work in your life?
As believers we can be sure of our salvation. We do not have to worry if we are or are not saved. Trust in Jesus alone for salvation. See the fruit of the Holy Spirit’s work in your life. Let your life reflect your union with Jesus.