Can a Person Know that He or She is Saved?

Introduction

   Frequently someone inquires, “How can I know as to whether or not I have been saved from my past sins?”  This is the most important question that an individual can ask concerning them self.  Unfortunately many seek the answer in a wrong place and a wrong source. 

Discussion

I.                   LET US FIRST CONSIDER SOME OF THE WRONG WAYS IN WHICH MANY ATTEMPTS TO LEARN WHETHER OR NOT THEY ARE SAVED.

A.        Some individuals claim, “I know that I’m saved because I feel it right here!” (They point to the left side of their chest while making that statement.)

1.               But Solomon stated by inspiration:  “He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool:  but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered” (Proverb 28:26).

2.               Also, the prophet Jeremiah declared, “O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself:  it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps” (Jeremiah 10:23). 

3.               It is the inspired Word of God that gives us spiritual light to direct our path.  The psalmist reverently stated unto the Heavenly Father, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” (Psalm 119:105). 

4.               Thus, the realization of a person’s spiritual salvation is not derived by subjectivity (their feelings), but rather by objectivity (evidence outside their own being). 

B.        Others are expecting to see a supernatural sign from Heaven.

1.               The Apostle Paul warns of those who seek after supernatural signs instead of receiving the truth in love: 

 2 Thess. 2:9-10, “Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders.  And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” 

2.               God’s inspired Word is the truth that saves! 

John 17:17, “Sanctify them through thy truth:  thy word is truth.” 

1 Pet. 1:23, “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.” 

C.        Similar to those who look for a supernatural sign, there are those who claim to have received a message from a still voice.

1.               But what message could such a voice provide for us concerning salvation that is not already included in the Scriptures? 

2.               According to the Apostle Peter, we have already received “…all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:” (2 Pet. 1:3)   

D.       There have been those who claim to have seen an angel.

1.               However, the Apostle Paul warns against those claiming salvation by an angel that conflicts with the gospel of Christ. 

Galatians 1:6-9, “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:  Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.  But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.  As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.” 

E.        Others declare that they have received the Holy Spirit.

1.               There is not any example in the Bible of a person being saved by a direct operation of the Holy Spirit.

2.               The truth of the matter is that those of the world cannot receive the Spirit. 

John 14:16-17. “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him:  but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.” 

3.               God’s inspired Word is the instrument of the Spirit to convict us of sin. 

Acts 2:36-37, “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.  Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?” 

4.               In adhering to that inspired Word, a precious soul is born into the spiritual kingdom of God, which is the church. 

1 Pet. 1:23, “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.” 

James 1:18, “Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.” 

Acts 2:47, “Praising God, and having favor with all the people.  And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.” 

F.         Many feel that they are saved because:  In their own words, they say:  “I have accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Savior.”

1.               But Jesus reveals that such a claim is inadequate in obtaining salvation.  Recorded at Luke 6:46, He declared:  “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?”

2.               Not only that, but our Lord informs us that professing religious allegiance unto Him is insufficient when an individual fails to do the Heavenly Father’s will. 

Matt. 7:21-23, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.  Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name?  And in thy name have cast out devils?  And in thy name done many wonderful works?  And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you:  depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” 

II.                IN A POSITIVE WAY, HOW CAN WE KNOW AS TO WHETHER OR NOT WE ARE SPIRITUALLY SAVED?

A.        The Apostle John tells us at First John 2:3-5 how we can know concerning this most important matter.  He stated: 

1 John 2:3-5, “And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.  He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.  But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected:  hereby know we that we are in him.” 

1.      Continuing in the very next verse, we learn how to continue to remain in a spiritually saved state. 

1 John 2:6, “He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.” 

2.      Also, First John 1:6-7 brings out this same truth. 

1 John 1:6-7, “If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:  But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.”

3.      The Apostle John further emphasizes how we can know whether or not we are saved. 

1 John 5:13, “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.” 

B.        The Apostle Paul further clarifies how a person enters into Christ.   

1.               He reveals that an obedient believer is baptized into Christ. 

Rom. 6:3-4, “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?  Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death:  that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” 

Gal. 3:26-27, “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.  For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” 

2.               A person baptized into covenant fellowship with the Lord becomes a new creature. 

2 Cor. 5:17, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature:  old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” 

Eph. 1:3, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:” 

C.        The inspired Word is the media in which the Holy Spirit convicts the sinner of his sins and provides instruction on how we are saved from our alien sins.   

James 1:21, “Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.” 

Acts 11:14, “Who shall tell thee words, whereby thou and all thy house shall be saved.” 

2 Pet. 1:3, “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:” 

D.       It is also through the inspired Word that the Holy Spirit reveals what we must do in order to remain in a saved state. 

Conclusion: 

   On the day of Pentecost, when the Apostle Peter, by inspiration, revealed what a person must do to be saved from their sins, “…they that gladly received his word were baptized:  and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls” (Acts 2:41).  It is our prayer that you will place your trust in the inspired Word of God rather than the creeds of men, and even your own feelings and preconceived concepts of salvation. 

--Dub Mowery

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