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Am I saved? Six tests to know!

Am I saved? We should know the answer!
Am I saved? We should know the answer!

“Am I saved?”

This is one of the most important questions we can ever ask. This is why 2 Corinthians 13:5 commands us: “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves.”

In Matthew 7:21-23 Jesus made it clear many people are deceived about their salvation:

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’”

Here are six ways to do that!

Test 1: Spiritual fruit.

While works don’t save, they are one of the strongest evidences of being saved. I’m amazed by the number of people confident in salvation that lacks fruit. Could be the salvation of a parent, child, sibling, or even their own. Three times James said, “faith without works is dead” (2:17, 20, 26).

Test 2: Interest in spiritual activities.

None of us always feel like praying, reading the Bible, going to church, or being in fellowship, but we should have a regular desire for these spiritual activities. Assuming people have put their faith in Christ, they should look forward to worshiping the Lord who saved them. There’s only one group of people who don’t hunger and thirst for truth for these spiritual activities and that’s the unregenerate.

Test 3: Understanding of spiritual truth.

Believers have received the Divine Teacher:

  • John 14:26 The Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.
  • 1 John 2:27 The anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.

Saved individuals will have at least some grasp of spiritual truths. We’re not talking about every believer being a tremendous theologian, but we are talking about a spiritual illumination of basic truths. As much as spiritual blindness is an evidence of being unsaved, spiritual sight is evidence of being saved.

Test 4: Perseverance through trials.

While none of us enjoy trials (which is why James 1:2 commands us to “count” them as joy versus “feel” joy), one of the blessings from them is the greater confidence they can give us in our salvation:

  • James 1:3 says trials “[test] your faith.” In what sense? To see if it survives trials.
  • 1 Peter 1:7 says trials “prove” or “reveal” the “genuineness of our faith.”

When our faith survives trials we can rejoice regarding our faith being tested and proved.

Conversely, in Matthew 13:21 Jesus said the seed that fell on rocky ground didn’t survive when trials arose. Just as trials reveal the sincerity of faith, they also reveal when faith is insincere.


1 John is particularly applicable to this discussion because it was written, “that you may know that you have eternal life” (5:13). As a result, 1 John provides two tests…

Test 5: A life that isn’t characterized by sin.

Scripture does a tremendous job providing balance, and sin in a believer’s life is one of those balanced areas.

1 John 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

We never stopping sinning completely and to believe differently is a lie, but at the same time Scripture makes clear that believers can’t have lives characterized by sin.

  • If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth (1 John 1:6).
  • And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure (1 John 3:3).
  • Whoever abides in Him does not sin. Whoever sins has neither seen Him nor known Him (1 John 3:6).
  • He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God (1 John 3:8-9).

John means, “he cannot keep on sinning,” establishing a pattern, or lifestyle of sin. That’s an impossibility for believers.

Paul communicates the same truth. In 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 he lists a number of sins – lying, idolatry, homosexuality, thieving, drunkenness – that prevent people from inheriting the kingdom of God. Then in verse 10 he says, And such were some of you.” After we become Christians our lives can no longer be characterized by those sins.

Test 6: A life characterized by obedience.

Just like Christians never reach a place of perfect sinlessness, they also never reach a place of perfect obedience; however, just like believers can avoid lives characterized by sin, they can also have lives characterized by obedience:

  • Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments (1 John 2:3).
  • He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him (1 John 2:4).
  • But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked (1 John 2:5-6).
  • Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous (1 John 3:7).

I’m thankful for the tests God provides in His Word. These tests should give some greater confidence in their salvation, while they should make others question whether they’re truly saved. My prayer is this post helps both groups!

If you have any questions or thoughts please be sure to leave them in the comments below!

Author: Scott LaPierre

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12 thoughts on “Am I saved? Six tests to know!

  1. I struggled with terrible doubt for years after I was saved, never able to find peace in my salvation for longer than a few hours before the doubts came back around again. At that time, I was under the influence of people who said that if you doubted your salvation at all, there is a very high chance that you aren’t saved at all. This just destroyed any peace I had left. Eventually, I stopped seeking God out on the topic because I felt like He wasn’t hearing me, and there was no chance of salvation for me. Praise God, my heart was lifted during a church service and I found my way back to Him, but my doubts continued. I spent years searching for some sort of clarity on this, and was unable to find it until this year when I attended a new church and the Pastor seemed to speak right to my heart. How I wish that I could’ve read this post years ago, I know it would have helped me see the light! Thank you for writing this and discussing such an important topic. SO many Christians struggle with this, and it is truly one of the worst struggles to face!

    http://www.thedivinepresence.wordpress.com

    1. Hi Kalinann,
      Thanks for your humility in sharing all this.

      I’m sorry you received such harsh – and I would say unbiblical – counsel. In a recent sermon I discussed the differences between doubt and unbelief. Here are a few highlights:
      • Unbelievers experience unbelief, but believers experience doubt.
      • Unbelief is an issue of the heart (Hebrews 3:12, Romans 10:9-10), but doubt is an issue of the mind (James 1:6-8).
      • Unbelief is a choice, while doubt often takes place when we’re striving to understand. We believe, but we’re confused by what God is or isn’t doing.

      There’s a great example in Luke 7 when John the Baptist is in prison and he sends messengers to ask Jesus if He’s the Messiah or not. Pretty crazy to think of John – of all people – asking that. He had doubts, but he wasn’t experiencing unbelief. He wasn’t an apostate like Judas.

      Here’s the sermon if you’re interested: Luke 7:20-23 When We Doubt

  2. Good morning Pastor LaPierre,

    Thank you for your post. This is something I question on a daily basis. This question for can be so overwhelming that I actually lose the joy of life. I was raised Pentecostal (which I no longer identify as) I have accepted Christ at least 4,876,229 times (lol) Seriously though, I know I am a sinner, and I ask for forgiveness every day, but I have been caught up in homosexuality all my life (I knew since I was 5 years old…I am now 52) I didn’t choose this, and I ask God everyday to get this sin out of my life, but nothing ever changes.

    20 years ago, I wrote to so many Pastors begging for help. Some responded, most did not. I opened up my life to these Pastors looking for help, a way to escape, but I was told “You literally make God want to vomit every time He thinks of you”, “you are vile and an abomination to God”, “you are one of those unloveables”, “there is no way you are saved” These are just a few. I have been asked to leave a church when I confided in the Pastor…I have a lot of horror stories….and I was asking for help! I have NEVER asked anyone to accept this sin, I only asked for help.

    20 years later….many churches “accept” homosexuality…..I still do not, and yet I am one of them. No matter how the world, or some churches try to twist the word of God to justify homosexuality….Gods Word still holds true to me, and I cannot accept any other interpretation other than God….and that is homosexuality is still a sin!

    Pastor LaPierre, I fail terribly and I have lost this battle. I cry out to God all the time. I have accepted Christ as my Savior, I know His death on the cross is the final payment for ALL sin, and there is NOTHING I can do to earn my salvation. But this sin has defeated me. I have yet to find 1 Church or 1 Christian that will walk through this fire with me…..the Church & Christians just don’t care….they have proven that to me time and time again. I am completely broken. I thought the Church was supposed to be a hospital for the sick…..I thought the bible tells us to confess our faults to each other….I thought the bible taught that we are to gently and humbly leads others to Christ….I just don’t get it. Like I stated earlier, I have accepted Christ at least 4,876,229 times….I just hope one of those times worked…please pray for me

    1. Hi Dan,
      I truly appreciate your humility and transparency. Romans 7 is the safe haven for every believer struggling against sin, and it seems that’s what you’re doing. Reading your comments reminds me of Paul’s words, “Doing what I don’t want to do, and not doing what I want to do.”

      I appreciate that you recognize the sinfulness of homosexuality, and I do too, but I completely disagree with any pastors who made those statements to you. We’re all struggling against different temptations. Yours takes this form, while others – including myself – takes different forms.

      I find your view refreshing and I wish you were closer Dan, so you could be part of our body and we could help shepherd you through this with biblical counseling. You shouldn’t be removed from any church unless you throw yourself in to the sin, which it’s clear you’re not doing.

      Give me a little time to talk to our associate pastor, Doug Connell, who does most of WCC’s counseling. He’s wise and gracious, and I believe he’ll have some resources I can pass along to you.

      I’ll get back to you soon!

      I appreciate you Brother, and I am praying for victory for you over this sin. Know that every true believer finds themselves many times at the end of Romans 7 saying those words. Keep fighting!

      1. Hi Dan; I passed along a few resources that I use when teaching or counseling about this topic; I pray they are a help to you. Feel free to contact me directly, via our church website (my email address is over there) and I would be glad to help you find a like-minded church in your area. There are thousands who believe what we believe and I think we could point you in the right direction to find a local body of Christ that would serve you and where you could serve.

    2. Dan,
      I have some good resources I want to mail you, but I need your address.

      Please email it to me: scott@scottlapierre.org.

    3. Wow Dan, thank you so much for your humility and in sharing your struggle! I am thankful you commented here and excited about the resources my husband is sending you in the mail! You are not alone. Christ is for you and your desire to live in obedience to Him.

      1. Thanks Katie

  3. “While works don’t save, they are one of the strongest evidences of being saved.”

    Vastly inaccurate. Many people may live good, clean and moral lives.. and just as lost as the devil himself. One cannot look at another and know if or not that person is born-again. Frankly, I am able to tell if a person is saved or not.. or at least have a pretty good idea.. if that person shares w me their doctrines.. what they really believe. If they are not trusting in Jesus Christ ‘alone’.. but, instead trusting in Christ + themselves, works, conduct, etc.. most likely they are not saved. Think about the “Lord Lord” crowd. We must and belief, faith, trust and hope in Christ alone and what HE HAS DONE.. not anything we have done or are doing. He does the saving. ALL of it. The burden of our Salvation is upon Christ.. not ourselves. Once Christ saves the believer.. He then, SEALS the believer for the Day of Redemption. Its a done deal. Thats why it is called “EVERLASTING-Life”.. or “ETERNAL-Life”.. as if it could be lost, its not eternal.. and God would be a liar.

    Per James 2 ‘faith w/o works is dead”.. is not referring to regeneration.. but, about physical salvation. It gives the scenario : if you are accosted by a needy individual.. and you just merely read that person a passage of scripture or two, say a prayer and bid him or her good day… ‘did your faith save that needy person from being anymore hungry or whatever?’ No, it didn’t. However, if you meet the human needs of that person.. your faith + works.. saved. Faith in action.

    Because we already know (or SHOULD know) that we are made born-again (saved) by grace alone, thru faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone. NOT OF WORKS. And we also know that the Word of God does not contradict itself (albeit sometimes it may very well SEEM that way).. and since is doesn’t, Paul and James are not butting heads. They are speaking about two different meanings (contexts) of the word “SAVE.” Paul = Salvation by Faith alone.. James = salvation by Faith + Works. Former = Spiritual Salvation.. latter = physical salvation.

    God Bless.

    1. Missy,
      Thanks for your comment.

      What do you think Jesus meant when He said, “A tree is known by its fruit”?

      Scott

  4. Scott…so appreciate your posts and dealing with issues/questions. Praying for you and your family daily….
    May God bless you all!

    1. Deborah,
      I appreciate you and your family very much too.

      Thank you especially for your daily prayers!

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