(The following are 12 point test written by David Bay)
HOW CAN I KNOW IF I AM SAVED? A SELF-TEST
Since the evidence of genuine salvation is the presence of the Holy Spirit within the individual, how can this be verified? How can we be reasonably certain about ourselves, as well as others, without being guilty of judging? To answer this, let's take our own case first-there are several "tests" that we can take to determine His presence within us: (all Scripture quotes from Parallel Bible, KJV/Amplified Bible Commentary).
- 1. Romans 8:16 tells us: "The Spirit Himself [thus] testifies together with our own spirit, [assuring us] that we are children of God." First and foremost, we have the unshakable testimony from within us! The indwelling Holy Spirit of God constantly reassures us that we belong to Jesus Christ.
2. The entire book of First John was written as a "test" for determining the reality of salvation. Verse three of Chapter one tells us: "What we have seen and [ourselves] heard we are also telling you, so that you too may realize and enjoy fellowship as partners and partakers with us. And [this] fellowship that we have (which is a distinguishing mark of Christians) is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ, the Messiah." The fellowship enjoyed by genuine Christians is proof positive of salvation. Those who claim Christ, but yet rarely attend church to worship God and associate with other believers, are possibly fooling themselves! A backslidden Christian can stay out of church and away from other believers, but I can guarantee you from first-hand experience that there will never be a time when you will be comfortable with it! On the other side of the coin, verse 8 teaches us that if we deny the existence of sin within us, the Truth is not in us. Verse 3 of Chapter two teaches us that we are genuine and "growing in grace and knowledge of Christ", if we keep His commandments. Verse 10 teaches us that we are of Christ if we love the brethren. Again, those who habitually absent themselves from God's house and do not make it clear that they love being around God's children, are very likely to be tares and not wheat. Verse 15 teaches us that if anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. "Worldly Christians" is almost a contradiction in terms and those who claim Christ, but yet cling to the value system of this world-are suspect.
3. 1 John 5:13 informs us that the entire Book of 1 John was written so that we can know that we possess eternal life in Christ. Do you know for absolute certainty that, if you were to die tonight, you would go to Heaven?
4. The Word of God teaches that the Bible is incomprehensible to the "natural man"-the unsaved individual. It is a spiritual book and the unsaved person is not only spiritually blind, but 1 Corinthians 2:14 tells us that he "is incapable" of knowing that which is spiritually discerned. Do you understand the Bible? Does it make sense to you and speak to your heart? Does it convict you of your sin and teach you the right way?
5. The Bible is very clear that an unregenerate individual will not seek God (Rom.3:11). Are you painfully aware of your sinful nature and cry out to God from your heart for forgiveness when you sin? If so, this is one of the signs of having been born again.
Is your soul, your conscience, sorely vexed when you see sin in the culture around you? When you see blatant sin in public, or on TV, or in Entertainment, or anywhere else you encounter it, do you feel a severe vexation in your spirit? The Bible says of Lot, who was foolish enough to live and do business in Sodom: "(God) delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds)" [2 Peter 2:7-8]
If your heart is "vexed" by the terrible sin in our daily culture, that is a good sign you are saved. If your spirit is not vexed by this sin, that is a good sign you are not saved.
6. The Bible says that an unregenerate individual is a slave of Satan and incapable of doing anything about it (Eph.2:2). Have you been able to turn your back upon this world and its sinful ways? Are all of your close friends Christians? If you have been born again, your unsaved friends will drop you like a bad habit! (Just as an illustration, spray a small amount of "WD-40" lubricant on a surface wet with water and watch how fast the water retreats! A genuine dose of salvation is like the WD-40 where reprobate buddies are concerned.)
7. Do you love--really love--Christians and would rather be with them than anyone else? Can you meet a total stranger, find out that they are a believer, and then have instant fellowship with them? Is there "something" in your heart that draws you to them and establishes a closeness which cannot be explained any other way? [We alluded to this feature in Paragraph 2, above]
8. Do you actually enjoy giving to the Lord's work? Do you give generously of your time, talent, and treasury?
9. Do you sin less now than you did prior to receiving Christ?
10. Have other people seen the "fruit of the Spirit" at work in your life? That is, can they see genuine love, joy, peace, long-suffering, etc., (Gal.5:22), being wrought in and through you by God's Holy Spirit? Do they sense that you are a different person from the one you used to be?
11. Have you experienced persecution because of your faith in Christ? (Former friends who back away because of your testimony for Christ, are a subtle form of persecution).
12. Are you eagerly expecting and anticipating the any-moment return of Jesus Christ for His Church?
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