can we really be sure we're saved?

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Soteriology, Bible Basics, Todd Linn, First Baptist Church Henderson, KY


  • 1. Soteriology (The Study of Salvation) Lesson #8

2. Assurance of our Salvation Can we really know for sure that we are saved? 3. Is it possible to believe truly in Christ as Savior andnothave the assurance of our salvation?

  • Yes, but its not necessary(1 John 5:11-13)
  • So, its possible to besecure , but notassured .

4. Why is it important to know that one is saved?

  • Peace of mind
  • Security from which to serve
  • Hope for the future . . .

5. What part do you believe the Word of God has in helping a person receive the assurance of salvation?

  • It is theprimarysource! . . .


  • So you can only know you are saved to the extent that you know and understand what the Bible teaches about salvation.

7. 4 Reasons People May Lack Assurance

  • Lack ofknowledgeand understanding concerning what the Bible teaches about salvation.
  • Doubtof Gods faithfulness.
  • Lack ofproperteaching on the Christian Life.
  • Presence ofsinin ones life.

8. First Things First: How are we Saved?

  • By Grace through Faith
  • Ephesians 2:8-9 :
  • For bygraceyou have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,notofworks , lest anyone should boast.

9. Central Passages Teaching Assurance :

  • Romans 8:28-39
  • John 10:28-29
  • 1 Peter 1:3-5

10. But wait . . .

  • Does this mean that once a person is saved, he can live any way he wants?
  • In other words, is it really true: once saved, always saved?
  • I mean, give me a break, are you saying that a person can get saved and then do anything he wants because he is assured that he will go to heaven?

11. Eternal Security =Perseverance

  • The Perseverance of the Saints means that all those who aretrulyborn again will be kept by Gods power and willpersevereas Christians until the end of their lives, and that only those who persevere until the end have been truly born again.(Wayne Grudem,Systematic Theology )


  • The faith that finally fizzles at the finish, was never faithful at the first. (Adrian Rogers)


  • The phrase eternal security can be quite misleading.In some evangelical churches, instead of teaching the full and balanced presentation of the doctrine of the perseverance of the saints, pastors have sometimes taught a watered-down version, which in effect tells people that all who have once made a profession of faith and been baptized are eternally secure. . . . .


  • The result is that some people who are not genuinely converted at all may come forward at the end of an evangelistic sermon to profess faith in Christ, and may be baptized shortly after that, but then they leave the fellowship of the church and live a life no different from the one they lived before they gained this eternal security.In this way people are given false assurance and are being cruelly deceived into thinking they are going to heaven when in fact they are not.

15. Only Those Who Persevere to the End Have Been Truly Born Again

  • John 8:31-32 , Jesus then said to the Jews who had believed in him, If youcontinue in my word , you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.
  • Hebrews 3:14 , For we have become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm to the end.


  • All of the passages where continuing to believe in Christ to the end of our lives is mentioned as one indication of genuine faith, the purpose is never to make those who are presently trusting in Christ to worry that some time in the future they might fall away.
  • Rather, the purpose is alwaysto warnthose who arethinkingof falling away orhavefallen away that if they do this it is a strong indication that they were never saved in the first place.

17. Those Who Finally Fall Away May Look Like Christians

  • Matthew 7:21-23 :
  • Not everyone who says to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.On that day many will say to me, Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?And then I will declare to them, I never knew you; depart from me, you evildoers.

18. 3 Questions to Answer that Can Give Genuine Assurance of Salvation:

  • Do I have aPresent Trustin Christ for Salvation?
  • John 3:16, whoever continues believing in him may have eternal life.
  • Ask, Do I today have trust in Christ to forgive my sins and take me without blame into heaven forever? . . .


  • This emphasis on present faith in Christ stands in contrast to the practice of some church testimonies where people repeatedly cite details of a conversion experience that may have happened 20 or 30 years ago.If a testimony of saving faith is genuine, it should be a testimony of faith that is active to this very day.
  • The verb inJohn 3:16is in the present tense and may be translated,whoevercontinues believingin him,may have eternal life.


  • Is ThereEvidenceof a Regenerating Work of the Holy Spirit in My Heart?
  • The Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23)
  • New Love for our Neighbor (1Jn.4:7-21)
  • New Power over Temptation (1Jn.3:9-14)
  • Witness of the Spirit that leads to Praise and Prayer (Rm.8:14-26)
  • Sense of the Love of/for God (Rm.5:1-5)
  • Genuine Remorse over and Desire to Confess our Sins (1Jn.1:7-2:2) brought about by conviction of the Spirit
  • Bearing of Fruit (John 15)


  • Do I See a Long-Term Pattern of Growth in My Christian Life?
  • 2 Peter 1:5-7 .Peter tells his readers to add to their faith virtue . . . knowledge . . . self-control . . . steadfastness .. . godliness . . . brotherly affection . . . . love.
  • These things are to belong to Christians and are to continually abound in our lives (2 Peter 1:8).

22. Charting the Christian Life How it Should Look How it Usually Looks Start Finish Start Finish 23. How it should NEVER Look: Start Finish 24.

  • The faith that finally fizzles at the finish, was never faithful at the first. (Adrian Rogers)


  • Some think so, they hope so, they trust so,they guess so,
  • But I know, I know I am saved,
  • For Ive opened my hearts door,
  • And Christ has come in, And I know that He saves me, And keeps me from sin.
  • Some think so, they hope so, they trust so, they guess so,
  • But I know, I know I am saved.
  • (Everek R. Storms)