Pentecostal Sermons and Bible Studies by Pastor Jim Feeney, Ph.D.

How Do You Know You’re Saved?
Some Marks of a Born-Again Christian

Summary:  It is not difficult to become “saved,” to become a born-again Christian. In brief, salvation comes via genuine repentance for sin and personal faith in Jesus Christ as Savior. If you have done this sincerely, you have been saved. However, the Bible also lists what I would call some additional “marks” of a truly saved person. I am not saying that if you fall short in one or several of these marks that you are not saved. But I do believe that a genuinely born-again Christian will regularly manifest these things in his or her life.

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Acts 16:30-31  …“Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved — you and your household.”

2 Corinthians 7:10  Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation

• Do you believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, as your Lord and Savior? Along with that, have you repented of your sins and asked God’s forgiveness? If so, you have been received into the family of God and can have the assurance of salvation in your heart.
 
• For a saved person, Jesus is the center of his faith. In his/her life, “Jesus Christ is Lord of all” (Acts 10:36). It is through Jesus that the believer has access to God the Father (Ephesians 2:18).

Romans 10:9-10, 13  If you declare 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 profess your faith and are saved… [13] for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

• A saved person believes in Jesus internally, and he also speaks his faith aloud. He is not ashamed to say “Jesus is Lord” (vs. 9).
 
• The name of the Lord — “Jesus!” — comes easily to a true believer’s lips.

John 10:9a, NASB  I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved…

• A saved person seeks no other pathway to salvation. He is 100% assured of the truth of Jesus’ declaration that “I [Jesus] am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).
 
• A born-again believer is convinced of the apostle Peter’s words that “salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). Just two verses earlier, Peter had spoken that wonderful name — “the name of Jesus Christ.” There is no other name by which God offers us salvation. No other!

Ephesians 2:8-9, KJV  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast.

• A saved person places no confidence in good works for the obtaining of or keeping of his salvation.
 
• A true Christian understands that salvation is entirely by God’s grace, to which we respond in faith — not through good works.
 
• The apostle Paul made this very, very clear: “He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit” (Titus 3:5, NASB). That is the position held by genuinely saved people. To believe that good works are part of the requirement for salvation is to suggest that Jesus’ shed blood at the Cross is not wholly sufficient.

1 Corinthians 15:2  By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.

2 Thessalonians 2:10b  They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.

• A saved person loves the word of God, loves the Bible’s truth, and holds to it firmly.
 
• In 1969, while not yet born again, I bought a New Testament and began to read it. Immediately, I was gripped by it and spent night after night reading its pages after work. In it I found the truth about salvation in Jesus Christ, and I believed it and embraced it into my heart. I was wonderfully and powerfully saved, and my life changed forever. From that day to this I have had a love for God’s word. My wife and I read it together daily.

Titus 2:11-12  For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age.

Acts 2:40  With many other words [the apostle Peter] warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.”

• Are you saved and showing it in your life? A saved person knows that, as Peter preached, we must be saved “from” something. Saved from the corruption of the world, saved from the guilt of sin and the divine punishment due it, saved from sin’s bondage over us.
 
• Grace is not loose and permissive. Far from it! A genuine Christian knows, as Paul exhorted, that grace teaches us to “say no” to ungodliness. Grace teaches us to live self-controlled, upright, godly lives. That is one of the marks of a truly saved person.

Luke 13:23-24  Someone asked him, “Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?” He said to them, “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to.

• A saved person is not looking for the “easy way” to live his Christian faith. Instead, he makes every effort, heeding Jesus’ words, to “enter through the narrow door,” rather than through the wide and broad road that leads to destruction (Matthew 7:13).

Hebrews 5:9  …[Jesus] became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.

• For all who obey Him! A saved person is strongly motivated to walk in obedience to Jesus’ teachings. Similarly, God gives the Holy Spirit “to those who obey Him” (Acts 5:32). If we have received the Son of God who is “Lord of all” (Acts 10:36), we honor that by a life of obedience to our Lord.
 
• Jesus said to His followers, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments” (John 14:15, NASB). One of the marks of loving the Savior is consistent obedience to His commands.

Philippians 2:12  Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed — not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence — continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling.

• A saved person takes his salvation seriously and respectfully and makes diligent effort to grow in it throughout his entire lifetime. Even in my 70s, I am still often reminded of and motivated by Peter’s exhortation that we “grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18, KJV).

Matthew 10:22  You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.

• A saved person is a long-hauler, not a sprinter who fades after 200 meters of running his race for the Lord. I am not saying that one failure forfeits our salvation; I don’t believe that! But I am saying that true believers have a long-term outlook on their walk with the Lord. I remember my late, beloved “Grammie.” She was saved in 1900 at age 13. For the next 83 years she served God and her loved ones every day, never flagging in her faith, even in some very hard times.

Acts 2:47b, KJV  And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved [NASB: those who were being saved].

• A saved person is not a “lone wolf.” No. He chooses to associate himself with other Christians and with a good, Bible-believing local church. God does indeed “set the solitary in families” (Psalm 68:6, KJV). A good word to all of us who profess Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior is: “We should not stop gathering together with other believers, as some of you are doing. Instead, we must continue to encourage each other even more as we see the day of the Lord coming” (Hebrews 10:25, GW).

SUMMARY:  sincere repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 20:21, KJV) will secure salvation for ourselves. Period. That will do it. But there is much additional evidence of salvation in a Christian’s life. Here are some of the marks of a truly born-again believer.

• Repentance from sin and personal faith in Jesus Christ as Savior
 
• A willingness to speak aloud of our faith in Christ
 
• A strong conviction that Jesus is the “only way” to salvation and that no one comes to God the Father except through Jesus Christ
 
• Understanding that salvation is by grace, through faith, not by good works
 
• A love of God’s word the Bible, along with a committed practicing of its commands and truths
 
• An understanding that God’s freely-offered “grace that brings salvation” also teaches us to “say no to ungodliness”
 
• Willingness to walk the straight and narrow road, rather than the broad way that leads to destruction
 
• A life of heartfelt obedience to Jesus and His commands
 
• A desire to keep growing in our salvation and our walk with the Lord
 
• A commitment to stand firm in our faith until the end
 
• A seeking out of Christian fellowship, rather than living as a “lone wolf”

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©2014, James H. Feeney.
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Pentecostal Sermons and Bible Studies
by Pastor Jim Feeney, Ph.D.