I'm 18 years old, and I was born in a Christian family (Evangelical), so I've been going to church and believed in Jesus my whole life. However, I am concerned about salvation. According to what I know, to get saved you have to repent, believe in Jesus, and try to sin as little as possible afterwards. However, I think there are more requirements because I do all of those things but I'm not really sure if I'm saved. Whenever I do sin I repent again (I pray for forgiveness) I know that many people would even consider me unsaved since I asked this question, because supposedly when you are saved you know it for sure and are confident. But the reason that I included my background in the question is because I am already saved, but I just don't see a difference because I don't have the luxury that a non-believer-turned-Christian would have. That is, I can't compare my current situation with my very sinful past and see a distinction, because I've always believed in God. What do you think? I think that even if I am saved, my lack of confidence shows that I am very weak. (By the way please be as direct as you need, and do not worry about offending me at all; this is a very serious topic and I need to know the answer).

P.S. Please include any relevant passages for me if you have any in mind.

  • Big question. Here are some links to various sites' resources on "assurance of salvation" that might help: Sermons from John Piper, Monergism.org, Bible.org, Spurgeongems.org, CARM. Jul 10 '13 at 2:09
  • Quick videos on assurance from some respected teachers: John Piper, RC Sproul, David Platt. Jul 10 '13 at 2:33
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    Consider that Jesus never led a sinner to pray a prayer, recite a creed, or attend a particular church. He invited people to follow Him. He had communion with them. He taught them. He trained them. Then after He left, He sent the Spirit and they continued His work in His power, with His presence to comfort and guide them. If you are committed to following Christ, and have received the Spirit, keep up the good work. There's nothing in Scripture that says you have to have a radical conversion testimony to truly be saved.
    – Jas 3.1
    Jul 10 '13 at 3:02
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    @Ovi God is a real Person. You can seek His will and He will show you His will. You can ask Him to reveal your spiritual condition to you and He will do it. He wants you more than you could ever want Him.
    – Jas 3.1
    Jul 10 '13 at 3:32
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    @Ovi We don't do pastoral care questions here, but please let me assure you, every mature Christian has struggled with this question at some point. I can't remember how many times I was "saved." That you are struggling says that you care and deeply love your Creator. Those are words I would tell anyone. But most importantly, I would remind you that is why God tells us to be in community - so that the lives of men around us can encourage us to continue in that. God loves you! Jul 10 '13 at 12:41

Of course the answer will depend on which Christian tradition the answerer comes from, but since you requested passages from Scripture on the matter, here are a few to consider:

Is Jesus your Lord?

if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved -Romans 10:9

Do you live for Jesus?

He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf. -2 Corinthians 5:15

Do you lay down your own will to follow Jesus?

If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me. -Luke 9:23

Are you led by His Spirit?

all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. -Romans 8:14

In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory. -Ephesians 1:13-14

  • This is one of the things that confuses me the most about the Bible, it is not clear to what extent we should follow it. For example, your question "Do you live for Jesus?" If you no longer live for yourself, does that mean that you must devote all your free time to Jesus? Does that meant for example that I can't watch a movie because in that time I could be reading the Bible? Also, I sometimes argue a lot on youtube on Christian videos, mainly related to the scientific arguments on creation vs evolution topic. Although I am not confessing directly that Jesus is lord, does this still count?
    – Ovi
    Jul 10 '13 at 3:21
  • @Ovi Are you willing to do His will? Are you submitted to His will when you know it? Do you seek His will for your life?
    – Jas 3.1
    Jul 10 '13 at 3:23
  • @Ovi For what it's worth, I have never met a person who spent 100% of their time praying, reading the Bible, and doing ministry, and who never sinned... I don't think it's about "measuring up." I think it's about your commitment; your devotion; your desire to be with Him and follow Him. Is your heart for God and His ways, or for yourself and your own ways. A man after God's heart will be willing to do God's will even when it's painful; even when he doesn't want to do it. Perfectly? no. But they try.
    – Jas 3.1
    Jul 10 '13 at 3:28
  • By doing His will do you mean trying to make the right choice every time, or are you referring to something bigger such as when you think he is telling you do sell a car, give up on a certain deal, etc? If you mostly mean the latter, I usually have a hard time discerning God's will.
    – Ovi
    Jul 10 '13 at 3:33
  • @Ovi The former could be done even if God didn't exist, which is a good indication that this isn't what a true relationship with God looks like. I am referring to something much bigger and much realer. I am referring to His actual, literal, spiritual presence leading you. You can seek His will for your life by His Spirit just as much as you could have done in person when Jesus Himself walked the earth.
    – Jas 3.1
    Jul 10 '13 at 3:36

In I Corinthians 15:1 - 2 it is written,

Now I make known unto you brethren, the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye received, wherein also ye stand, by which also ye are saved, if ye hold fast the word which I preached unto you, except ye believed in vain. - I Corinthians 15:1 - 2

It says that there is a gospel that was preached on to the early Christians which they received and where they stand, and held fast.

You should look for that gospel, not those that are preached by other pastors for monetary gains. As you will not gain anything good with that,

For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God's word, but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ - II Corinthians 2:17

and once you hear that gospel be sure to walk on it.

I hope you find what you are looking for soon. It's really nice to hear that you are concerned on your salvation at your age.

Remember also thy Creator in the days of thy youth, before the evil days come, and the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them - Proverbs 12:1

Please be careful to follow God's words and not just commandments of blind men,

Let them alone:they are blind guides. And if the blind guide the blind, both shall fall into a pit - Matthew 15:14

Look for God's words, and keep it to your heart dearly.

Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee - Psalms 119:11

Please try to visit our preacher's blog. You can also ask him your questions on his twitter account at he can answer your questions much better than me. And he really answers questions sensibly.

  • Here's one article by Bro. Eli that discusses some misconceptions that false preachers makes regarding salvation, esoriano.wordpress.com/2012/08/17/…
    – Wanderer
    Jul 10 '13 at 7:57
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    Welcome to C.SE, and I invite you to check out how we are different than many other sites. If you could identify the tradition in which these statements are made (e..g what denomination) that would improve this answer. Jul 10 '13 at 12:14

In advance: I'll be answering from the Reformed perspective.

You're asking about assurance of salvation. It is quite possible to be saved, but not have assurance of your salvation. That is because justification is by grace through faith (Eph. 2:8-9). That is, we believe we are justified by grace alone through faith alone, but we are not justified on the basis of how well we understand the doctrine of justification by grace through faith!

It is also possible not to be saved, but to be mistaken in thinking you are (Ma. 7:21-23).

So how to tell the difference? How can you know you are saved?

I think it looks different for different people. I have assurance because the Holy Spirit convicts me of sin and drives me back to the cross. This is distinguished from the Devil's accusations, which would attempt to drive me to despair.

I believe it is possible to lose assurance, but it is never possible to lose salvation. That is, if you truly believe in Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord, then you will be saved.

Now, you're saved from something to something. What are those things? You are saved from hell and to heaven, ultimately. But you are not only delivered fron the guilt of sin (through justification), but the power of sin (through sanctification). Faith is not without works. But our good works (defined as obedience to the law) have nothing whatsoever to do with our justification. Our good works have everything to do with our sanctification. Justification is 100% God, period. Sanctification is 100% God and 100% man. If your faith is genuine, then it will work itself out in fear and trembling.

Assurance can come from the works God is working in you, from the precious promises in the Bible, and from the working of the Holy Spirit in you, among (probably) many other things.

The prophet Jonah says that "Salvation is of the Lord." And it's precisely because it is of God, and not of me, that I can have assurance of salvation. Can I lose my salvation? Wrong question! The better question is, "Can God lose my salvation?" And to ask that question is to answer it.

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    Nice to explain downvotes, please? Jul 10 '13 at 19:03

"[I]f you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved" Romans 10:9

Now, first of all, you must give up the idea that this sentence above is false. That is the biggest problem you have here. All your questions revolve around the idea that now there is something you have to do to earn / keep / deserve / improve / finish Christ's work on the cross.

If your questions are about how you can deserve to stay saved, go back to Square One. Galatians has a warning for such people:

You who are trying to be justified by the law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace. Gal 5:4

If you on the other hand your motivation is that you are bursting with joy and want to serve God, there are some guidelines in the bible:

  1. Believe in Him who was sent
  2. Have a broken and contrite spirit
  3. Knock
  4. Pursue righteousness faith love and peace
  5. Seek
  6. Struggle against the flesh
  7. Turn away from wickedness

If it matters, my theological thinking on the topic of justification is influenced by the theological writings of Tullian Tchividjian, who often quotes Gerhard Forde and Martin Luther.


John 3:5-8 describes being born of the spirit. Yet it also simply boils down to the simple point of believing that Jesus died, rose again, is the Son of the living God, and you asking the forgiveness of your sins from Him. The best part about it, is that it is not complex, and is not meant to be complex. Your not required to jump through hoops or read between the lines to understand. It is an observation of mine that people can make things complex, but the word of God is simply the truth.

Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the               
Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh;
and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must 
be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but 
canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth:so is every one that is born of the 

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