How You Know You’re “Saved”
For years I would repeat the “sinner’s prayer” over and over just in case it didn’t stick the previous times. I wanted to believe those preachers who said if I just said a prayer I was saved, but deep down I knew something was off. So, how do you know you are saved?
Saved means we are no longer simply flesh human beings but spirit as God is spirit. That spirit is eternal. It is a part of God like our flesh is a part of our parents. 2 Peter 1:4 Its life comes from being connected to God. John 15:5
The way that we are able to enter into this spirit life is through the sacrifice of Christ Jesus. To abide as spirits with a holy God, we need to be pure and holy. Jesus is holy and our sacrifice. He paid the price for our sins, which is death. As our Savior AND Lord, He took our place so we can take on new eternal spirit life. Because of what He did for us, we are resurrected into new life as He was, and a life that is perfect, eternal, and holy. 1 Peter 2:24, John 10:10
I believe God saves. We didn’t choose Him. He chose us. Just as we didn’t choose to be physically born we don’t choose to be spiritually born. Someone who is spiritually dead can’t choose life. Romans 8:29-30, Ephesians 1:5, Ephesians 1:11
And when God saves us, His Spirit makes it home in ours. John 14:23 Therefore, some proof of that spirit life are the following:
1. Know God as our Father
2. Long to draw near to Him in truth and love
3. Want to know Him
4. Desire to be like Him
First, our new spirits identify with God as our Father. Galatians 4:6 John 10:4 Just as a child knows his dad because he is a part of him and has a relationship with him. We connect with God in a similar way.
Second, our spirits long to draw near to Him because He will draw near to us. James 4:8 Children desire to be with their dads because they love them and want their love. We want to and do abide in His truth and His love.
Third, we want to know Him. 1 John 2:5 Children, especially when they are older, want to know their fathers. We want to spend time in His Word getting to know Him and learning of His ways. We keep His Word close to our hearts and fill our minds with His truth because it is the words of our Father.
Fourth, our spirits desire to be like Him. 1 John 2:15, John 14:24 Children want to be like their fathers, we desire to be like our Heavenly Father. When we walk outside of His will we feel convicted of that sin (anything not God’s way) and want to leave our ways (repent) and walk in His paths. There is a desire to leave our old ways and not simply because we should or have to.
A spirit born of Him is growing into these four points and it starts with a desire to draw near to Him.
The underlining factor to each of these and defining factor of whether we are saved or not is an action packed desire to be in a relationship with God. If we are cultivating a relationship with God, one-on-one like someone we love, then I think it is proof we are His. Anything else, confession, going to church, or trying to be good can be easily motivated by other things like guilt and pride. But to spend our time with no one watching to abide, to seek His face and sit at His feet with a heart to know and cultivate intimacy can only really be done from the desire of being a part of Him. Not to be a scholar, but a bride who is passionate about her bridegroom. When we are God’s, we hunger to know Him, to draw near to Him, to spend time in His Word getting to know Him as He is.
Looking back, when I said the sinner’s prayer it was out of fear not going to heaven. True Christianity is about being a loving bride not a scared rule bound convert. Christianity is living as an eternal spirit who is of God and therefore longs to be close to Him. It is about being united to God like someone we deeply love.
February 18, 2009 at 6:48 am
Great message, Rachel! This is something that everyone needs to ponder in their heart. We all must examine ourselves to know if we are truly saved.
When you are saved, there is an outward manifestation stemming from an inward change. You are different. It should not be as easy to sin when you have a relationship with Christ as the Holy Spirit works in you to seek after the things of God.
The road is narrow that leads to eternal life. Are you on it?
March 22, 2012 at 10:20 am
Hi Marianne – yes, if you truly believe then your actions show it … whatever it is. The actions don’t make the belief, the belief makes the actions.
March 21, 2012 at 9:43 pm
Over 200 hundred times in the Bible when a condition for salvation (justification) is given faith/belief is stated to be the only condition. Saying a sinners prayer does not save, sounds like you have gone from trusting in a prayer you said for your salvation to now a life of works, which again leaves a person missing the gospel and salvation.
here is a very fine article by Larry Moyer about the sinners prayer.
Is the “Sinner’s Prayer” Essential to Salvation?
R. Larry Moyer
Gospel presentations often conclude with a prayer. You may have heard it called the “sinner’s prayer”.
In that prayer, the person trusting Christ acknowledges he is a sinner placing his faith in Christ to save
him. Some prayers have clearer terminology than others. The question is, “Is that prayer essential to
Let’s back up. What did Christ accomplish on the cross? He satisfied the wrath of a holy God against our
sin. As He died as our substitute, He declared, “It is finished.” (John 19:30) Through His death and
resurrection, He paid for all the wrongs we have done. Our sin account was paid in full. That is why God
can now extend eternal life as a gift – completely free of charge. Christ did not make the down payment
for our sins. He made the full payment.
A gift though can be rejected or received. So how does one receive the gift of eternal life?
The answer to that question can be found in the book God specifically wrote to tell us how to receive
eternal life – the book of John. We are told in John 20:31, “But these are written that you may believe
that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.” Ninety-eight
times in the book of John, the word “believe” is used. John 1:12 reads, “But as many as received Him, to
them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.” John’s best
known verse reads, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever
believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)
The word believe means to trust. Acknowledging that I am a sinner, I must come to God recognizing
that His son took the punishment for my sins and rose again, and trust in Christ alone to save me. A
person who deeply impacted my life with the clarity of the gospel said, “The message behind the gospel
is: ‘Be satisfied with the thing that satisfies God.’” Only when I am satisfied that His Son’s death and that
death alone accomplished my salvation, am I eternally His. I acknowledge to God, “If you cannot take
me to heaven, I am going to hell. You and you alone are my only way to eternal life.” At that second,
we are as certain of heaven as though we are already there. Eternal life begins at that moment and will
culminate in His presence. Jesus’ promise was, “He who believes in Me has everlasting life.” (John 6:47)
So what part does saying a prayer have to do with salvation? Absolutely nothing. We are not saved by
saying a prayer. We are saved by trusting Christ. That’s why Christ could look at the thief on the cross
and say, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in paradise.” (Luke 23:43) Nothing is ever
said of the thief “saying a prayer”. There on the cross as he hung alongside of the Savior of the world,
he believed in Christ as his Savior. Hence Christ said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today, you will be
with Me in paradise.” (Luke 23:43)
That does not mean saying a prayer at the moment one comes to Christ is wrong. Such a prayer has two
advantages. One is that it cements in the person’s mind what he is doing (and probably did at least 30
seconds before he prayed) – trusting Christ. Secondly, having verbalized it to God, such a prayer
encourages one to verbalize it to others. God does not need to be informed. He is fully aware of what
the person doing – trusting Christ. But having expressed his decision to God encourages the new
convert to now express it to others.
Several things are important though. One is that in leading people to Christ, we need to make clear that
saying a prayer does not save. Explain to them that it is trusting Christ that saves. Prayer is only how
they tell God what they are doing. That is why if I sense the non-Christian is prepared to come to Christ I
ask, “Would you like to pray right now and tell God you are trusting Christ?” If they respond positively, I
then say, “Now before we pray, let me explain something. Saying a prayer does not save; it’s trusting
Christ that saves. Prayer is only how you tell God what you are doing. But if right now you want to trust
Christ, here is how you express that to God. Why don’t you pray aloud with me as I pray?” I then lead
them in prayer, phrase by phrase as they tell God what they are doing.
If you have made it clear that saying a prayer does not save, after they have verbalized to God what they
have done, here is what should happen. Suppose you ask them, “If you stood before God and He were
to ask you, ‘Why should I let you into heaven,’ what would you say?” They ought to respond, “I have
trusted Christ to save me,” not, “I said a prayer.” Also, it is important not to confuse the gospel or a
clear presentation of it with an unclear prayer. If you lead them in prayer, here’s the kind of prayer to
Dear God, I come to you now. I know I’m a sinner. Nothing I do makes me deserving of heaven.
I now understand Jesus Christ died for me. He took my place and punishment and rose again.
Right now I place my trust in Christ alone to save me. Thank you for the gift of eternal life I just
received. In Jesus name, amen.
The “sinner’s prayer” is not essential to salvation. Trusting Christ saves. If you use a prayer in leading
people to Christ, make certain you use it in a way that enhances and not confuses their understanding of
March 22, 2012 at 10:19 am
Hi D … agreed Christ died for all that all our saved .. it’s His gift. And the fruit of believing in Christ, the Word, is living it … of course not by our power or strength, because if you know and believe in Christ, then you know it is God in you, His righteousness and not your own.