Was I really saved?
You know that feeling when you buy a new gadget? It’s exciting at first. But then you get confused reading the instructions. Or, despite your best effort, you can’t understand the guy at tech support. Soon, it seems easier to give up on the shiny new thing and return to the old comfortable one.
That’s the same way many of us feel after the newness of salvation wears off. When we first give our lives to Jesus, it seems simple. Jesus died on the cross for our sins, rose from the dead, and will come back to reign forever. He loves us and wants us to have a blessed life with Him. We get that and want that. We believe and accept it.
Then life happens. We get confused and frustrated, as life seems out of control. We fall back into old habits, and we start to wonder, “Was that salvation experience real?”
Then we hear a sermon and we feel the need to “rededicate” our lives to Jesus. The feelings we had before resurface — that excitement and peace, that desire to love and please Jesus, that enthusiasm for the church and the people we meet. But after a while, it all starts happening again — the confusion, frustration, and sense that we have lost control.
What is going on? How do I know I was really saved?
What does it mean to be saved?
Galatians 2:20 summarizes what it means to be saved: "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me."
Salvation is of God, not man. Salvation was God’s idea. He sent Jesus to show us who He is and how to get to Him. Jesus searches us out and draws us to Him, each and every one of us, for He wants us to have abundant and eternal life (John 6:35-40).
Salvation is a gift we can accept or reject (Revelation 3:20). All we have to do to accept the gift of salvation is to confess Jesus as Lord and believe He died for our sins (Romans 10:9-10). If you can do that, you are saved — period.
How can I be sure my salvation experience was real?
Everyone’s experience is different, but it doesn’t make it less authentic.
Maybe you were a child who loved Jesus and understood Him as a friend who loved you. You wanted Him to be with you all the time and do what He said.
Maybe you were a teen who recognized the horrible death Jesus suffered and realized what it meant to have your savior die for your sins, and you wanted to love and serve Him.
Maybe you were an adult who acknowledged Him after a life of running or meeting Him for the first time. However you met Him, you confessed past sin, repented, and accepted the gift of salvation.
Maybe your experience was totally different from any of these. The bottom line: If at any time you have asked Jesus into your heart, repented of your sin, and accepted His gift of forgiveness, you are saved.
What about my doubts?
“If that is true,” you say, “Why do I feel this periodic need to rededicate my life when I haven’t measured up to what I feel like Jesus expects of me?”
Welcome to the family of God. What you’re experiencing is the realization and conviction of sin.
The Bible tells us that salvation comes through faith. There is absolutely nothing we can do to earn it (Romans 3:21-27). If there is nothing we can do to earn salvation, there is nothing we can do to lose salvation. Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross saves us and the Holy Spirit secures us with God forever (Ephesians 4:30).
Verses to remember when you’re struggling to connect with God