“I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life.” – 1 John 5:13
How can I know that I have eternal life, that I have in fact come into a right relationship with God? Here are three assurances that Scripture gives us to let us know we have eternal life.
1. The promises of His Word
There are many areas of Scripture that we can rest in knowing that we can trust the promises God makes in His Word.
“Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.” – Isaiah 55:1
“The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price.” – Revelation 22:17
“All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.” – John 6:37
“For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” – Romans 10:13
The references of being thirsty are pertaining to our need for a Savior and how there is nothing we can do on our own part to obtain eternal life. Have you come to that place? Being thirsty, longing for a right relationship with God? A great encouragement is that if you call on the name of the Lord, you will be saved. It is a promise out of God’s Word. Plus, Jesus says He will never cast us out, all we have to do is come to Him. This can serve as a great reminder too when we doubt our faith as believers.
2. The witness of the Spirit in our hearts
“For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.” - Romans 8:15-16
We have the Holy Spirit in us as we become believers (Ephesians 1:13-14) that guarantees our salvation. We would not be able to be believers if we did not have the Holy Spirit. Our Comforter leads us every day, teaching us the Word, convicting us, affirming us, and so on. We need this inner witness of the Spirit, not only art the time we come to Christ, but throughout our Christian lives, especially in times of severe temptation and failure. He reminds us of our salvation, He gives us strength to overcome temptations.
3. The transforming work of the Spirit in our lives
“If you know that he is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of him.” – 1 John 2:29
This does not mean we will be perfect and never sin, but more of we will carry out and live the way God tells us to live in Scripture. If we were going to be perfect, what would be the point of the Cross? If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. (1 John 1:8).
Do we sincerely desire to glorify God in how we live and love others each and every day? Accompanying our sincere desire to obey God will be a heightened sensitivity to our indwelling sin. We also know how we love others is an indicator of the Spirit working in our lives (1 John 3:14). However, we can’t only look to our love for others or our “works” as the proof we need for our salvation. All of this has to come back to the Cross.
We can only do anything at all because of what Christ has already done for us. We need to remind ourselves of the Gospel each day, remembering we only obtain salvation through Jesus Christ and only have the Holy Spirit because what He did for us. As we grow in our relationship with God, ask yourself, “Am I decreasing each day while He increases?” That is the life of a Christian. We continually recognize just how sinful we are and for that reason, the Cross should become bigger to us each day as we praise Him for His grace and mercy given to us. On top of that, we will cultivate a life of dependency on the Holy Spirit to lead us because we will see more and more we are unable to lead ourselves and if we did, we would lead ourselves right into sin.
*Additional resources from Jerry Bridges