Living By Faith Blog


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A Reader Asks: “How Can I Know That I Am Saved?”

Haunting Questions

This week a reader emailed and asked — “how can I know that I am saved?”

Because her questions are so important I asked and received permission to post them here — so others could read them.

I’m hoping many of you will respond in the comments section below — how do you answer the question — “how can I know that I am saved?”

Then in the next few days I hope to share my thoughts.

Here’s her email —

Dear Pastor Steve —

The Bible makes it clear that we are to follow Christ not only because “it’s the right thing to do” but because we have a reward waiting for us.  That “reward” of course, is to be with Jesus forever!  So if that’s true…. that must mean we can be assured that we are the child of God who will inherit this reward!  With that said, I hate how it seems like the Bible is so vague and “gray” in its attempts to help people understand whether they are “in” or “out” of this divine privilege.

As I’ve sought to obtain the assurance I desperately want (and need), I’m nearly always led to 1 John; As helpful as these verses seem to be to everyone else in the Christian community, I somehow find myself not comforted, but rather tormented over these words.

So let me share with you these verses… in hopes you can help me navigate all this unwanted confusion. 

1 John 2:3 “And by this we know that we have come to know him if we keep His commandments.”  Ok, so I guess the reason this isn’t helpful is because I don’t always keep the Lord’s commandments.   At the same time, there are definitely times when I do.  When I put this all in context of 1 John 1:8 (If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us”) it just adds to the confusion… So I’m not a Christian if I think that I am sinless… but in order to be a Christian I must keep His commandments.  So somewhere between following God’s commandments perfectly, and not following them at all, it’s as if there is some magical line that signifies you’re a Christian.

Let’s move on… 1 John 2:6 “whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked…”  again… same confusing comment.  To this, however, I add that I most definitely have seen non–Christians who have “walked” in Christ-like ways.  Wouldn’t it be fair to say that this person could look at their life and think “hey, by these standards I pass the ‘salvation’ test.”  (yes, I know they’re missing the CORE part about trusting in Jesus). 

Here’s another verse that FREAKS me out… “Do not love the world or the things in the world.  If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”  I would be completely lying if I told you I don’t inwardly love the things of the world.  I understand that as a Christian it is my duty to fight off these worldly desires (or at least submit them to God), but I find myself not able to pretend that I don’t love the taste of good food, or love getting new clothes, or even love the thought of watching my favorite TV show (which doesn’t happen to be some good Christian Bible-reading program).  So, when I read this verse, look at my life and realize the things that I seem to love- it does seem like I love the things of the world.  And that again leads me to believe that I really haven’t been sincerely born-again. 

There are SO many verses that are just like these—the ones that list several characteristics that Christians should or shouldn’t have.  And I know that I don’t live up to those lists… maybe partially, but certainly not perfectly.  You might say “well, no Christian is perfect” but couldn’t I argue that nearly everyone lives up to those lists at least partially?  So what sets my imperfect execution of these characteristics apart from their imperfect execution? 

To sum these thoughts up – there is one more verse that haunts me more than any other…  Matthew 7:22 “On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.”  Steve, in complete seriousness and with not a lack of exaggeration- I am haunted by these words.  I cannot tell you the number of vivid dreams I have had where I am on the verge of dying and am struck with a tormenting fear because I have no idea whether my death will usher me into heaven or hell. 

From that verse, it seems these people who the Lord denies would’ve passed all of the 1 John tests- they were able to prophesy in His name, do mighty miracles, etc.  This verse indicates to me that this may be a common occurrence… that there are many people who will experience this horrifying reality.  That there are people who genuinely believe they will inherit the Kingdom of Heaven, but they will not.  And how can I KNOW beyond a shadow of a doubt that I will not be one of these people? 

I know that some people have a strong enough faith that they can simply “trust” that Jesus died for them and they’re good to go… they don’t ever worry about this kind of stuff.  But for someone like me, who has battled this nearly my entire life- I can’t be pacified with the instruction that I simply have to “trust” or “have faith” that I will be with Jesus in the end and that I will not be sent away into a burning lake of fire for eternity. 

I am truly baffled when people tell me they have complete assurance.  For that to be a reality in my life would be (sincerely) the greatest blessing I can imagine.  I (cognitively) know what Christ has done for me – but it fails to be a living, breathing reality in my life because I can’t lay hold of the assurance that this salvation is mine! 

I pray God will give you the words and the wisdom to completely shatter these thoughts of mine and to help me rewrite this terrible framework I’ve got myself wrapped up in. 

I look forward to hearing from you!

So there’s her email — what are your thoughts?

How do you answer the question — “how can I know that I am saved?”  Use the comments box below — thanks.

Lord willing I’ll share my thoughts in the next few days.

If you know of others who might have helpful thoughts to share — email this to them using the “share” button below — or share this on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+.

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And here’s some related posts which might stir your thinking on this topic —


(Picture is from everystockphoto by megyarsh.)

Category: Being Forgiven by God, Stories about Other People, Strengthening Your Faith


22 Responses

  1. Paul Walton says:

    “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”- Mark 1:15

    Jesus invites all who will come, to turn away from the kingdom of this world (repent), and to trust in (believe) and begin to live in and for, the Kingdom of God. It’s a new way of thinking, a new way of living, a new world, a new King, behold all things have become new.

    For something to be made new (resurrected) it means something must die, that we must die. Whatever we were living for, and trusting in before, must die in us, we are crucified with Christ.

    Here is were I would point someone to Steve’s and my-self’s favorite verse. Gal. 2:20

    ” I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by FAITH in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

    If we are truly born again, we will see a consistent and steady change in our lives through the power of God’s Holy Spirit, our lives will not be perfect, but our hearts will find our satisfaction and treasure in serving Christ and not our own flesh.

    In short, if we call Christ our true King and are now living for Him and not ourselves, we are joined together with Christ, and becomes heirs to the Kingdom.

    • Steve Fuller says:

      Thanks again for sharing your thoughts, Paul.

      Isn’t it encouraging that salvation means being born-again by the power of the Spirit. Only saved people experience the regenerating work of the Spirit. And like you said — that work is not perfect in this life.

      So if there’s evidence of the regenerating work of the Spirit (trust in, desire for, and pleasure in Jesus Christ) then we can be assured that the Spirit’s regenerating work has taken place.

      And like you said — that work is continued in our hearts by faith alone. So when my heart gets weak — the only solution is to look to Christ by faith and trust Him to meet me, strengthen me, satisfy me. What a Savior!

  2. A lot of the verses above concern the outward signs of a Christian, the symptoms, if you will, not the “disease” itself. Pardon the analogy, but what I mean is that true Christianity is inward, not outward. There are many verses about that, such as Rom. 2:28-29 and Gal. 6:15. While outward deeds can serve to reveal a renewed heart, they will always be imperfect at best. It is the heart which determines salvation:

    If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. Rom 10:9-10

    In my experience, someone who is worried about whether they are save, IS SAVED. Unbelievers do not worry about how they can please God. Rom 8:5

    Finally, as a counselor, I have seen a few cases of OCD which manifest as scrupulosity, that is an unhealthy preoccupation with moral certitude. It’s a sad problem which masquerades as spirituality. Actually, it takes the sufferer out of the game, side-lining their efficacy for Christ. I’m not saying your letter-writer is necessarily struggling with this, but it’s a question to be asked.

    • Steve Fuller says:

      So glad to have you visit, Louise. And thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts.

      I very much appreciate how you emphasize the heart — and there’s much wisdom in your statement that heart-felt concern about being saved and pleasing Christ is strong evidence that salvation has taken place.

      And then when my heart is cold, I find that if I will turn to Christ, set my heart on Him, plead with Him to work, and fight to trust His Word — I soon experience the Spirit renewing me.

      Thanks again for stopping by and taking the time to comment. I really appreciate it — and am sure the one who wrote the email will as well.

  3. Jon says:

    If you love the Jesus of the Bible you can have assurance, because it impossible to love the Jesus of the Bible without the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit. Your dead heart of stone can’t become a living heart that loves the savior without His work.. And He has gauranteed to finish what He started … Trust Him, He’s good for it-
    BTW: the folks that come to Jesus at the end spend their time telling Jesus what they have done for him. I think true believers won’t even think of that- we’ll be too busy thanking him an telling him how much we love him

    • Steve Fuller says:

      Excellent point Jon — “your dead heart of stone can’t become a living heart that loves the Savior without His work.” Really helpful.

      No unbeliever has any love for Christ. Love for Christ only comes into our dead hearts through salvation. So love for Christ is clear evidence of salvation.

      And when love for Christ is weak — if we will look to Him by faith alone — He will once again meet us and pour His love into our hearts.

      Grace upon grace!

  4. usama a. says:

    John 6
    Then they said to him, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” 29 Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.”

    This section is big in that Jesus shows its faith which seems impossible to many to just trust Jesus. But He helps by sending the Helper who seeks to Glorify Jesus.

    John 14
    “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, 17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.

    A help here is the “you will part”, its a promise that Jesus makes for you. So, if you love Him “you will” keep His commandments. Then Jesus says “and”, here comes the kicker. The Holy Spirit will come and help you.

    1 cor 12:2-4
    2 You know that when you were pagans, you used to be led off to the idols that could not speak. 3 Therefore I am informing you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus is cursed,” and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.

    Paul encourages us by reminding us what the Spirit won’t let you say ( and by say I take it as your firm belief), and what He gives you to say.

    Those were some places of scripture I was in this week so, they were the ones in my mind.

    I know you said hearing just have faith or trust sounded like having strong faith, but your faith isn’t in you it’s in Him & His promises.

    Hope that helps a little.



    • Steve Fuller says:

      Thank you so much for sharing these Scriptures, Usama. I really appreciate it.

      You are wise to emphasize that the main work we do is trust Jesus — I think everything we need for assurance flows from turning and trusting all that God promises to be to us in Him.

      And how comforting that this is not ultimately up to us — but the Holy Spirit will give us faith, strengthen our faith, and change our hearts again and again.

      May the Lord richly bless you, Usama.

  5. Ash says:

    The difference between a true believer & a false believer is, at the bottom of the heart, what is their deepest satisfactions & deepest desires? A believer clings to Christ as his/her greatest treasure. A believer constantly wants more & more that the Word be preached truthfully & that Christ be proclaimed boldly & that God be glorified endlessly. They seek satisfaction & pleasure & joy from Him & they want to make much of Him. A false convert just doesnt think like that. A false convert is usually simply coming to Christ as another means to get what they already desire. Notice that in the case of a false convert, the desires dont change, just the means to get them.

    A sermon that I found extremely helpful is John Piper’s sermon entitled “How Much Does God Love the Church?” You can find the sermon if your search for it on It asks the question: Do you feel more loved by God when He makes much of you, or when, at great cost to His Son, he frees you to enjoy making much of Him forever?

    I hope at least one of these posts is helpful & I cant wait to see what Steve posts about this tomorrow. I’ll be in prayer for you!

    • Steve Fuller says:

      Wow! I love your God-centered focus, Ash. Powerful, powerful words.

      You hit the nail on the head by saying the difference has to do with our deepest satisfactions and desires — which for saved people will be in Christ alone.

      That’s what the Holy Spirit births in us at conversion, and that’s what He sustains in us through faith.

      What is so encouraging to me is that when my heart feels little love for Christ, when I turn to Him by faith, confessing my weak love, trusting Him to forgive, asking for Him to strengthen my faith, pleading with Him to open my eyes to His Word and pour out His Spirit — He has never failed to answer.

      It doesn’t always happen immediately. But He has never, ever failed to stir my affections, pour out His Spirit, and show me His glory. Grace upon grace upon grace.

      One more thought — the distinction between enjoying God making much of us, and us being changed so we can make much of Him is huge. Thanks for explaining it so well — and for recommending the John Piper sermon.

      (And I won’t be responding on this issue tomorrow — my plans had to change. Tomorrow I’m sharing a powerful worship song. I trust I will be able to tackle the question of assurance next week.)

    • Bryan says:

      I’ve never heard of a ‘false convert’ before. What becomes of a false convert? God is Love. Everyone needs love. I need God. What does that make me? Am I a false convert because I seek Love? Or is it just logical to conclude that I need God? I was raised in the Catholic faith. I was taught that God is a Trinity comprised of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. I know what it says in the Bible; that God gave his only begotten son–Jesus (God made man)to die on the cross so that our sins may be forgiven. I know what believers believe. I’m inclined to think that if I know what’s good for me and my immortal soul, then I’ll be a believer too. I want to believe in God. And I want to believe that I believe. But I also want to know there is a God. I think there is a God. It has been argued that God is the mover unmoved and that the fact of motion is proof of His existence. It has been argued that in the long, long chain of cause and effect, God is the Cause uncaused. If there is a God, I hope He is reasonable; I wouldn’t want to be damned for not knowing. But that’s where faith comes in. We are obliged to confess with our lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in our hearts that God raised Him from the dead in order to be saved. Why does a believer believe if not so he can have salvation? Am I to believe that I am to believe so that I may worship and praise God and spread the Gospel? Let’s suppose that God exists. Now, how do you love God? Really? Can you see Him? Can you hear Him? Can you touch Him? How do you know you love God? I can safely say I fear God. I guess I’m pretty sure that there is a God because He (or the Holy Spirit) corrects me sometimes. I just know when I am being corrected and so I immediately begin to pray. Prayer works. But I digress. I suppose it’s right to give thanks and praise to God. I should count my blessings and thank God for each and every one of them. I think that what God wants of us is to love Him and to love one another. But how do you know when it’s love? A person who is weak in faith may not have the same capacity to love as someone who is strong in faith. Would it be wrong to try to strengthen one’s faith in order to experience more love? Or is that something a false convert would do? It may well be that I never stopped believing. I was confirmed a long time ago. But I don’t feel comfortable proselytizing. It is best for people to come to a belief in God of their own volition. If someone has a thirst he can’t seem to quench, then he would probably benefit from a little wisdom and knowledge; and it’s probably faith that he is lacking. It’s comforting to know that I am loved and that I will never be alone. Faith assures all believers this. When I feel lonely, I suppose I should remind myself that God is with me and that He will give me opportunities to add to my circle of loved ones. Yes, I have loved ones–people I care for. Now, I can try to love God because He loves me and I should love God for what He did for me. And I suppose I do. But I don’t know a whole lot about love. I can define love. I know that there are three kinds of love(platonic, romantic, and spiritual) and I know that God is Love. But I don’t know that I am a very loving person. There are people in my life who love me and I try to reciprocate but I don’t know how effective or sincere I am. What am I missing? My conscious tells me Love is the answer. And God is Love. So if I seek faith to find Love, does that make me a false convert? Only by grace does one come to know God and that grace is freely bestowed by God. But if to know God is the ultimate beatitude of man, then is it not right to pray for His grace so that you may know God to some extent? To know God is to love God. God’s love is a tremendous blessing. I shall thank Him for His love and try to reciprocate. God is omniscient. He knows my heart better than I do. God is omnipotent. With God nothing is impossible. God is omnipresent. Where ever you go, there He is.
      I should be able to rest assured by now.
      just a few thoughts

      • Steve Fuller says:

        Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Bryan. You raise and wrestle with a lot of important questions.

        On this site I’ve tried my best to explain what I see taught in the Bible. So feel free to browse around and let me know what you think.

        In Christ,

        Steve Fuller

    • Lynda says:

      Ash , Just love that quote you mentioned ;

      “It asks the question: Do you feel more loved by God when He makes much of you, or when, at great cost to His Son, he frees you to enjoy making much of Him forever?”

      This is an awesome quote/question….. it has an absolute profound depth to it….. Only The Holy Spirit could have guided this man to write such wisdom

      The Lord Jesus Christ sees into every heart…God Bless you Ash =0 ))

  6. Booth Muller says:

    I understand your questioner’s unease. I share her discomfort at the passage in Matthew 7:22; I get a chill every single time I read that verse. I pray earnestly that Jesus will not eventually look on me and intone the dreaded “I never knew you”!

    I am greatly comforted by Jesus’ non-critical response to the man who said to him, “Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:22) I am equally eased by Paul’s lament that even he struggles with doing things he hates. I am somewhat reassured by Peter’s inconsistencies, and by David’s and John’s and Abraham’s and Isaac’s.

    Previous replies from your readers mention (but don’t sufficiently emphasize, I think) that non-believers do not love Jesus. I was an unbeliever until I was in my late twenties, and for a long time I simply found Jesus unappealing, unattractive, and unlovable. If your questioner loves Christ, I believe she can be assured of her faith.

    As a former Godly pastor of mine used to remind me: Thoughtful people will have doubts, at least occasionally. Doubt your doubts, not your faith!

    One more important point to be made, I think, is that God did not submit to the pain and humiliation and despair of the cross for nothing. He did it to save sinners. As your questioner has observed, she is imperfect and remains somewhat sinful — but that’s the case with every Christian — even with the great heroes of the Bible. Does she think, then, that God’s sacrifice was futile for every Christian? Of course not. If it serves to save those other people sitting in church, it’ll serve for her, too.

    And a final observation: She points out that there are some non-Christians who seem to behave better than some Christians. There are some who are less sinful than I am. Why are they lost and I’m saved? I don’t fully understand it. I don’t even want to argue strenuously with those who believe there is more than one way to God, though I fear they’re tragically mistaken. I believe, and I’d like to persuade them, that there is only one SURE way to God, and that’s through the saving grace offered as a result of Jesus’ sacrifice.

    And I love him for making that sacrifice for me.

    • Steve Fuller says:

      Thank you for your wise, humble, and helpful comments, Booth.

      Your point that no unbeliever has any love for Jesus is extremely important. That truth means that even if my love for Jesus is weak — I can still have grounds for assurance. Of course, if I am saved I won’t rest with weak love for Jesus — but weak love doesn’t mean I’m not saved.

      I also appreciate your emphasis that every saved believer — even at his or her best moments — always has some remaining sin. It’s not until we see Him face to face in heaven that we will be sinless. The remaining sin we have in this life will grieve us, and move us to fight the fight of faith — but in itself it should cause us to doubt our salvation.

      But are there non-believers who behave better than believers? Not if we are talking about God-centered faith and love in the heart. But maybe — sometimes — if we are talking about occasional outer actions. But from God’s perspective, those outer actions are not good, because they flow from a rebellious heart. “No one does good, not even one” (Rom 3:12).

      Like you said at the beginning, no unbeliever has love for Jesus or (I would add) humble trust in and desire for God. Therefore while they might do actions that are good for others — giving money away, for example — none of their actions are good before God; in fact, before God, they are evil — because are done by hearts that are rebelling against God.

      I’d love to hear any follow-up thoughts. And thanks again for stopping by and sharing your helpful thoughts so clearly.

  7. Meridian says:


    When I read ‘Reader’s email, my heart was filled with compassion. I wished I could reach out and give her a hug, then take her to the nearest coffee shop for a long, heartfelt discussion!

    My compassion comes from knowing completely, totally, and exactly how she feels. I’ve struggled with the same issues for years. If I could reach out to her, here’s what I would say.

    What I’ve learned, from years of studying, reading, and talking…is that salvation is simply a gift. When Adam and Eve fell from grace, the human race lost its ability to intimately connect with God. When Jesus died on the cross and rose again, He gave it back to us. It’s a gift that any one of us can accept – or reject. If we accept it, we’re sealed with Holy Spirit and are promised an eternity with Christ.

    It’s the ultimate get-out-of-jail-free card, and there are no ‘givesies backsies.’ Paul says it best in Romans 10:9, that if we ‘confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.‘

    I love how easy Paul makes it. And he should know. He fell in love with Christ and had an unbelievable relationship with Him! Confess that Jesus is Lord. Believe that He rose again. The Holy Spirit is put inside us as a deposit – and God never, ever takes it back.

    Now – in the meantime, while we’re waiting for paradise, we have to live on this earth. And the Bible bombards us with advice on how to live righteously. This actually frustrates me, because while Scripture is divinely inspired, the human authors wrote from different perspectives. Sometimes it’s difficult to step back and get the big picture, and then try to apply that advice to our modern lives.

    In my opinion, the Bible can be seriously confusing, because I think deeply and take words literally (I suspect that Reader is like this, too). I’ve had to be reminded many times that the Hebrew language is complex, with letters and words having different meanings on multiple levels. It was written for a different culture and then translated. If someone from a non-English speaking country was to read a translation of my blog posts 2,000 years from now, would that person always get my exact meaning?

    My point is not to question the validity of Scripture, but to recognize that reading it is HARD. Personally, I scratch my head over the first few chapters of 1 John because of the remarkably confusing statements he makes, and his implications that being saved requires perfect obedience and a sinless state (which, of course, is impossible for us). I’m not questioning him – but his writing style just doesn’t speak to me. So I go to Paul, who seems to make his points in a clearer way. Paul rocks!

    Reader talked about loving the world. I love many things in this world, too. I love my comfy easy chair, and chocolate truffles, and shopping online. I have secular TV shows that I look forward to each week, and I love going to the movies to watch superheroes! I love driving in the country, planting flowers, having a latte at the local coffee shop, and the aloe vera plant I just bought!

    It’s not wrong to love the small things of this life – as long as we keep them in perspective. I love all the things I just mentioned, and more – but I’d give them up in a heartbeat to leave this world and be with God. I don’t love them so much that I stop thinking about God, or praying, or blogging about my faith, or listening to His voice. If the little things get in the way, then I have a problem in my relationship with Him (not salvation…that’s guaranteed regardless). But loving God doesn’t mean hating everything else.

    A very wise friend and pastor once told me – “You can’t put God at the top of the list, or else you’ll be just like Paul before he was saved. God isn’t at the top of the list, He IS the list. He predefines all your priorities. Love Him, and you’ll find everything else you love falling into the right places.”

    I’ve never forgotten that. It brings me great comfort in times of confusion.

    The last verse that Reader mentions, Matt 7:22, is definitely the scariest verse in the Bible. But it’s not for people who truly love Christ and have accepted His gift. I believe it’s for the many, many people in this world who practice religion without ever knowing Christ or accepting that gift. Paul made it clear. Believing in God is good, but it’s not enough. Casting out demons and doing things ‘in the name of Jesus’ is good, but it’s not enough. God desires RELATIONSHIP – not religion. Jesus died and rose again to give us that relationship. You can walk around talking about God, rebuking demons and spouting prophecy until you’re blue in the face. But if you haven’t accepted the gift of Christ’s death and resurrection, those things are merely works. Works don’t count for anything without relationship. That’s why Jesus said the only way to the Father is through Him. If there were other ways, he’d have suffered needlessly. But He didn’t – He sacrificed Himself to give us a gift. That gift is salvation, and once we accept it, it’s forever.

    From looking over Reader’s e-mail, I strongly suspect that she’s an INFJ personality type, or at least an introvert. She has a unique, complex view of her faith that I recognize in myself (also an INFJ). Her way of questioning and comparing is not a terrible framework, but a strength that can be developed and shaped into a quality that will be useful for years to come. I will pray that she is encouraged in her walk and can find the loving mentoring and fellowship she needs to move forward in confidence.


    • Steve Fuller says:

      Hi Meridian,

      Thank you so much for your compassion and care for the Reader who raised this question. I really appreciate it.

      And I resonate with your emphasis on having a heart-relationship with Jesus Christ — surely that is the key issue.

      Just to catch-you-up with where this conversation on assurance has gone —

      I responded with my understanding of assurance, and then answering some of her questions about Scripture.

      Then she responded by sharing how helpful all of this has been.

      I would like to speak up on John’s behalf, though 🙂

      I do not believe he teaches that saved people are sinless. He can’t mean that, since in 1Jo 1:8 he says that any believer (including himself) who says he has no sin — is deceived.

      What helped me was to see that the verbs John uses to describe our “keeping” God’s commands and “practicing” righteousness are in the present tense, which many commentators believe means that John is NOT talking about perfection — but persistence.

      So it’s not perfect obedience that shows salvation — but growing, imperfect obedience.

      Thanks again for stopping by and leaving your thoughts.

      Steve Fuller

  8. B Hodges Jacobs says:

    Please have your webmaster design ‘Printer-Freindly’ access ‘click’ so as to further your ministry to shut-ins, elderly, seniors etc., who have NO access to a computer, Thank You,
    B Hodges

  9. Matthew says:

    I know I’m a bit late on reading this original post, but I feel like I should share something that I have been through.

    I have been a Christian for most of my life and have seen the strength of my faith sway from time to time. Several months ago, I had come to the realization that my faith had become weak. I found that my hunger or thirst for the Word of God had been lost which was partially due to the fact that I had become prideful in the thought that I was living a good enough life. This led me to not being as accepting of scripture or the sermon from my pastor.

    Fortunately, God allowed me to notice these flaws in myself. So, I prayed to God that He would rebuild my faith, that he would get rid of my prideful nature, and that he would restore my thirst and hunger for Him. It took me praying for a while before I began to see the prayers answered.

    I actually didn’t even realize they were being answered. I found that my faith seemed to be getting worse, and the devil seemed to be attacking me more and more as I prayed for stronger faith even to the point where I began to doubt my assurance in my salvation. As this continued, I began to fight harder and harder for my faith, I read my word more and more, I prayed longer and more often. I truly began to recognize my true dependence on God and Jesus for my salvation.

    God had answered all three of my prayers without me knowing it. I had been to busy fighting for my faith. By simply allowing my faith to be tested by the devil, he immediately created hunger and thirst for Him, Humility shortly followed, and my Faith has been getting stronger ever since.

    James 1:2-4 states,”Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance, Let perseverence finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything”

    I feel the devil tends to attack anyone who is trying to do right, and “doubt” is one of his biggest tools because the smallest seed can grow enormously. The main thing to remember is to never give up and use the trial to drive your hunger and thirst for God. Because the Word also says that they who seek after God will find Him.

    I pray that God blesses the reader in her spiritual journey and anyone else who is searching for an answer in God.

  10. Steve says:

    It’s comforting to hear that other Christians struggle with these doubts and fears. I’m also terrified of being sent to hell for my sins that I keep committing. What helps a lot is to memorize comforting verses of scripture, like the 23rd Psalm, and Proverbs 3:5 “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He will direct thy paths.”
    Also Luke 18:13 “God be merciful to me a sinner.”

    I love these verses because even though I still sin, I can trust that God knows my struggles and can ask Him to help me do better and then the worries fade away. Also simply saying Jesus name and praying to Him to not let me go and to help me become what He wants me to be helps a lot.

    May Jesus strengthen your faith and bring you comfort.

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