Things I’m Asked: How can I be sure I’m a Christian?

It can all be a bit much to take in, can’t it? The promise, the good news, is so incredibly… “good”. But can you believe it? After all, you know yourself to be very imperfect and unworthy of God. Yet the Bible assures you that if you have asked Jesus to forgive your sins, and have made him the leader of your life: you have an eternal destiny with God in his coming kingdom.

So, the big question is: can you believe it? Do you qualify?

The answer, rather extraordinarily, is “yes” – and it is “yes” solely because of the unmerited love of God. God alone, in his grace, has made it possible. His love for you is a safe love; it does not vary because of your behaviour.

Now we have that truth locked in place, let’s explore what assurance the Bible can give us concerning our salvation. Here it is in bullet points:

The Bible teaches us that:

  • Jesus has paid the price for our sins (Isaiah 53:6; 1 John 4:9-10)
  • If you accept Jesus, you will be saved (Romans 10:9,13)
  • Jesus came to save sinners (Matthew 9:9-13; Romans 5:8; 1 Timothy 1:15)
  • God doesn’t want anyone to be lost (Matthew18:14; 2 Peter 3:9)
  • God can change you and make you into a ‘new creation’ (2 Corinthians 5:17)
Am I a child of God?

The Bible assures us that those who believe have eternal life (John 5:24; 1 John 5:11-12). Your sins are forgiven (Psalm 103:12; Romans 8:1). Therefore, all those who have said “yes” to Jesus have the right to be called ‘children of God’ (John 1:12).

This is the truth that God wants us to hold on to by faith. Note: we don’t hold on to it by feelings. Feelings can vary, depending on our mood and circumstances.

You are forgiven

The forgiveness of God is beautiful, but here’s the thing: There is a sense that forgiveness can’t achieve its goal unless we choose to receive it. Only when we do so is God’s act of forgiveness fully realised. So, please receive it.

Forgiveness is a wonderful mechanism that allows us to let go of the bad things done in the past so that they don’t continually have a claim on us. It is very freeing. It is therefore good to come to God for forgiveness often (1 John 1:9). However, we shouldn’t be paranoid about this that we do it every moment of the day. To do that would simply mean you are living in a state of perpetual fear. Christians who seek to do what God wants, and who place their hope in Christ’s saving power, are in a continual state of being forgiven.

The beautiful truth is this: God has committed himself to us everlastingly through the eternal covenant (agreement) made with us through Jesus. God’s commitment to forgive us and accept us therefore never ends.

But here’s a troubling thought: Does God have a perfect plan for me, which I have forfeited because of my sin? Am I on God’s umpteenth emergency back-up plan?

Your life has a purpose or goal

A more accurate way of thinking about God’s intended pathway for us in life is this: God has an intended goal for us. That goal is for us be part of his eternal kingdom. His intention is for us to journey toward that goal in a straight path.

So we begin life’s journey and head towards that goal. However, we then make a wrong turn and rebel against God. We journey away from God’s goal until we come to a place of repentance. We then turn towards God’s goal, but our direction to it will now be different. Why? because we are starting from a different place as a result of our previous life’s history. And so the process continues, as we ricochet our way toward God’s intended goal.

Some, sadly, choose to miss it altogether. Please don’t be one of them.

You are loved…God’s invitation is to reciprocate

Remember: God loves you and will never stop wooing you so that you will respond to his love with your own. He will never be surprised by what you do so that he gives up on you in disgust. God stands outside of time and therefore already knows the paths you will take through life – and yet he is still pursuing you with his love.

Dr Nick Hawkes is a scientist, pastor, apologist, writer and broadcaster. He also describes himself as an absent-minded, slightly obsessive man who is pathetically weak due to cancer and chemo, who has experienced, and needs to experience, the grace of God each day.

Nick has written a book Soar above the Storm in which he draws on his experience of cancer to encourage anyone walking through a storm in life to find rest and hope in God. It offers a 40-day retreat to be refreshed and strengthened and find deep peace in God. Order it at Koorong.

He blogs and records podcasts at nickhawkes.net

Nick told his life story to Eternity here