There’s so much confusing and weird teaching about being saved, it’s not possible to give a one sentence answer to this question. However, in about 5 minutes, you can learn just a few basic concepts, and you won’t have to wonder if you’re saved ever again!
Here are some basic concepts you need to understand, which will then make it simple to know if you’re saved:
- What makes you saved in the first place
- What is the Lamb’s Book of Life
- Why Jesus writes names in the Book of Life
- Why faith matters to God
- What Does Faith in Lord Jesus Look Like
- Why you’re questioning if you’re saved
Did you know that Paul asked us, in 2 Corinthians 13:5, to examine ourselves, to see if we’re saved? The fact that you’re asking how to know you’re saved means you care about being saved, and you’re looking to do the right thing, which is very good! After we look at the basics above, then we’ll explore some simple ways to know if you’re saved, like Paul asks us to do.
What Makes You Saved in the First Place
There are so many different lengthy explanations, definitions, and answers about how to be saved, it can seem confusing and overwhelming. However, the Bible gives an insanely simple answer about how we’re saved.
Look at this passage from Revelation 20:15:
And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.
That’s it. If your name is found in the Lamb’s Book of Life, you are saved. This chapter in Revelation is describing what happens when God judges the world, and if your name is not found in the Lamb’s Book of Life, you are thrown into the lake of fire. If you end up in the Lake of Fire, you’re definitely not saved.
This means all the rest of the Bible, when it describes what it means to be saved, or how to be saved, it’s describing how to make sure your name is in the Lamb’s Book of Life!
So What is the Lamb’s book of Life?
Since Jesus is described as the Lamb of God all throughout the Bible (John 1:29, John 1:36, Revelation 5:6, Revelation 7:17, and more), we know that Jesus is the Lamb. This is His book.
The passage above, in Revelation 20, shows us the purpose of this Book. It is a record of all those who are saved.
In addition to that, in Revelation 3:5, Jesus promises that He will not blot out your name from this book if you overcome being a hypocrite. This proves Jesus is the keeper of the Book of Life, and He writes the names in it.
Why Jesus Writes Names in the Book of Life
Since having our name in the Book of Life is how we’re saved, we need to look at how the Bible tells us to be saved, to find out how to get our name in it. The two most quoted Bible passages about being saved are these:
that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
So firstly, we have to both confess the Lord Jesus, and believe that God raised Him from the dead. This is not a complete picture of how to get your name in the Book of Life, but these two things are required. Do you confess Lord Jesus with your mouth? Do you believe that Jesus is still alive right now, because God raised Him from the dead?
Next we have this passage:
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.
This passage is reminding us that it is God’s grace that will save us, not any actions we could do. This means it is God’s grace that any of us could have our names in Jesus’s book.
This passage also makes it crystal clear that we access God’s grace, through faith. In other words, we can’t claim God’s grace, if we don’t have the faith He’s looking for. Remember, God loves the whole world (John 3:16), but they’re not all gonna be saved since some are found not written in the Book of Life. That means God loving us isn’t enough. We must have the faith He wants.
Now putting the two together, we can understand, the faith we need, has to be faith in Lord Jesus. In other words, having faith in Lord Jesus, is what separates you from everyone who isn’t saved. The “Lord” part is important because a lot of people create an idea of Jesus they want to believe in, instead of the real Jesus, who is Lord.
Why Faith Matters to God
Even the idea of faith gets twisted, and confused by many people, but it is also an extremely simple idea from God’s Word. Look at this passage:
6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
This passage proves no matter what else we do, if we don’t have faith, we are not doing what He wants. We must have the faith He’s looking for, if we expect to receive His grace.
Faith is an amazing loophole! God knows we can’t be perfect, that’s why He’s looking for faith instead of being perfect. God is allowing us to cheat by accepting our faith, instead of perfection! This process is described in detail in Romans 4.
The Bible says the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). That means, we’ve earned death and Hell by sinning, but God is saying even though we’re sinners, we can please Him by our faith in Lord Jesus!
Also, understand faith in Lord Jesus is no different from any other faith.
For example, if you have faith in an elevator, the result is that you will get on the elevator. If you don’t have faith in the elevator, there will be an action demonstrating that you don’t have that faith: you won’t get on the elevator. The act of getting on the elevator demonstrates your faith. If you can’t get on, you might say you have faith in it, but you clearly don’t.
The same is true of fast food restaurants, airplane pilots, credit card readers, and more. If you have faith in these things, there will be obvious actions that back up that faith, like eating at the fast food place, getting on the plane, and trusting the reader with your card. If you don’t have faith, there will be obvious actions that prove you don’t.
Faith in Lord Jesus is no different from any of these types of faith. If you have it, you will have actions that prove it. If you don’t have it, you will have actions that prove you don’t.
What Does Faith in Lord Jesus Look Like?
So, what if you had faith in Lord Jesus? James 2 tells us there will be obvious actions that back it up. These actions don’t save you, but they prove you have faith in Lord Jesus. Likewise, if you don’t have the actions, it proves you don’t have faith in Lord Jesus, just like refusing to get in an elevator proves you don’t have faith in it.
No where does He ask, or even want us to be perfect. If we could be perfect, He wouldn’t have died for us, and sent us the Holy Spirit! He’s not wanting you to be perfect, He wants you to commit to Him:
Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass.
See, when you have faith in Lord Jesus, you want to please Him! It really is that simple. If your desire is to please Him, you will hate everything that displeases Him.
He even gave us 2 incredible tools, to help us live for Him: Conviction and Repentance.
Through conviction, we can know when we’ve displeased Him, or are about to displease Him. Then, through repentance, Jesus’s blood can cleanse our sins.
Repentance means to give up, or turn from, sin. That means when you do something that displeases Him, you don’t merely say you’re sorry, you give that thing up, and recommit yourself to pleasing Him. Turning from sin in this way *proves* we have faith in Lord Jesus!
Do you hate sin? Do you repent regularly?
Why You’re Questioning if You’re Saved
The reason your tormented and scared about whether or not your saved, is because you know something’s wrong with your life. Someone with real faith in Lord Jesus doesn’t struggle with this question because they hate sin, they live in daily repentance, they’re involved in ministry, and they’re becoming more like Christ every day.
The reason you’re questioning your salvation so much is you know you need to change!
When you follow Christ, you will fail Him. You will have struggles. If you have faith in Lord Jesus, when you fail Him, you turn from that failure. You don’t justify it. You don’t get angry with others when they confront you about it. You give it up.
When your faith is in Lord Jesus, even if you’re addicted to sin, maybe pornography, maybe your temper, maybe over-eating, you still hate it and never stop turning from it. Even if you have to repent multiple times a day, you do it. And you keep seeking freedom from it.
Remember that Paul tells us to examine ourselves to see if we’re in the faith. Do this daily.
As a Christian, your goal is not to check items off a list to make sure you’re saved. The goal is for Jesus to find faith in you. If Lord Jesus looked at your life, would He say you have faith in Him?
How to Know if You’re Saved
Here’s a quick list of simple ways to examine your faith, like Paul asks us to do:
- Do you justify any sin?
- Do you get angry or defensive about giving up any sin?
- Do you truly repent when you sin?
- Are you involved in ministry?
Faith in Lord Jesus produces love of everything that pleases Him.
Justifying sin, not caring about doing God’s work, and refusing to give up things you know displease God, are not the actions of someone with faith in Lord Jesus. If you’re acting like this, you have good reason to question if you’re saved.
If you’re questioning if you’re saved, it’s simple: get with it! Get your life in God’s will. If you weren’t holding on to sin, you’d have no reason to question if you’re saved or not. Jesus can take away your sin, but He’s not gonna force it away from you. He’ll only take it away if you want Him to.
Give up everything you feel like God isn’t pleased with. Is that thing you’re holding onto worth living in torment? Is that thing worth risking salvation? I can’t think of anything worth that. I want Jesus to find faith in me. Why risk it?
Likewise, if all of these things are true, you have no reason at all to question if Jesus sees faith in you:
- Confessing Lord Jesus with your mouth and believing He’s alive
- Feeling Godly sorrow and repenting when you sin
- Partnering with your church in ministry
- Seeking God daily through prayer and His Word
One or two of those by themselves doesn’t prove your faith, but all of them sure do. If you would live like this, all questions about your salvation would be totally gone, and you’d be growing closer to Jesus every day!
If Jesus is asking you to give up something, don’t you understand it’s merciful? It’s not mean. It’s not judgmental. He doesn’t hate you. He loves you so much, He’s warning you! Sin is causing every problem in your life. It is only destructive.
Jesus Wants More for You
Jesus is calling you to a life of reward, and confidence with God. You could be living in full assurance of faith. You could have a bold prayer life, seeing answers, and doing damage to the plans of Hell.
If you have an addiction you can’t quit, Jesus promises freedom, but you have to keep seeking that freedom. How could you claim faith in Lord Jesus, but also give up trying to please Him?
God has made salvation simple, so we don’t have to live tormented about whether or not we’re saved. If you’re struggling with this question, dedicate you mouth, your eyes, your ears, and your body to Him. Seek to know Him more, rather than only seeking His blessings. Get His Word in your head as much as you can. Get involved in doing His work with your church or other ministries. Be thankful every time you feel convicted, not angry. Use His gift of repentance often.
God’s Word promises us peace beyond all understanding, and it’s available to you now.
God Bless you on your Journey to Succeed with Him!
Tyler L. Jones