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Self-Examination: Are You Believing?

We must believe in Jesus Christ to be saved. The question that now remains to be answered is personal: Have you believed? Are you believing, trusting, and relying upon the person and work of Jesus Christ? The following exploratory questions will help you determine if genuine faith is a reality in your life.

  • Are you convinced that salvation is found in no other name except Jesus Christ? Are you convinced that the claims of all other so-called prophets and saviors are false? Do you trust your eternal well-being to the power and faithfulness of just one person—Jesus of Nazareth?
  • Are you convinced that salvation is not a result of your own virtue or merit? Are you convinced that even your most righteous deeds are like filthy rags before God? Are you convinced that salvation by works is utterly hopeless?
  • Have you rested your full trust in the Son of God to save you from your sins? Are you depending upon Him to teach you the truth from the Bible, to forgive your sins by His blood, and to change your heart by His Spirit?

If you are able to affirm these questions, it is an indication that God has been and is working in your heart, illuminating your mind to see the truth, and that you believe unto salvation.

If you are unable to affirm these questions but desire salvation, then continue to seek God in His Word (the Bible) and through prayer. Recon-sider the promises that we have studied and examine your life in light of them. Continue to cry out to God to overcome your unbelief and to save you. The Bible promises, “Whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved” (Romans 10:13). Continue to seek Him in His Word until the Spirit of God gives you assurance that you are a child of God.

The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God. (Romans 8:16)

And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” (Galatians 4:6)

The  Assurance of Salvation

Jesus warned that not everyone who claims to be a Christian or even confesses Him as Lord will enter into the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 7:21). On the day of judgment, many will be horrified to learn that they were deceived and that Christ never knew them (Matthew 7:23). This unsettling fact leads us to a very important question: How can we know that we have truly believed and that we have eternal life?

True disciples of Jesus Christ are known by their fruits (Matthew 7:16, 19). In other words, there are observable evidences of genuine faith. Salvation is not a result of works, but works are evidence of salvation. James writes, “Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works…. Faith without works is dead” (James 2:18, 26).

Salvation is the result of a supernatural, recreating work of God in the heart by the Holy Spirit. For this reason, the apostle Paul writes, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17). If we have truly believed in Christ, then we really are new creatures, with new desires that cause us to want to know God and please Him. Because of this, we will begin to live a life that increasingly reflects God’s work of salvation in us.

This does not mean that salvation is by faith and works or that we must keep ourselves saved by what we do. It simply means that the new birth (John 3:3, 5) and the continuing work of God in our lives (Ephesians 2:10; Philippians 1:6; 2:13) will ensure that we will reflect the evidences of being a child of God. As Christians, we will have great struggles with sin, and we may even fall into grievous sin for a time. If we are truly born again, however, we will not be able to remain in such a condition, but we will repent and continue to grow in conformity to Christ. This is assured because the God who began a good work in us will complete it (Philippians 1:6).

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