Can I Know If I’m Saved?

the·ol·o·gy noun : the study of God

We study God through His Word each Thursday on the blog. Our goal is to present the truth of God in a way you can digest and apply. This week we will look at how to know that you are saved.

I decided I would stick around after youth group.

As my youth pastor picked up trash and straightened chairs, I shuffled toward him.

"What’s up, Erin?" he asked.

"I just don’t feel like I’m saved," I said. "How can I know for sure?"

Living the Christian life with that much doubt isn’t fun. It leads to fear, worry, and anxiety and can rob us of joy and peace.

I’d had this same conversation with my youth pastor before. Lots of times. And with my parents. And with my Christian friends. Every time I heard a sermon on heaven or hell or salvation I wondered, Am I really saved? Honestly, their answers never did much to ease my fears.

I can say from experience that living the Christian life with that much doubt isn’t fun. It leads to fear, worry, and anxiety and can rob us of joy and peace. It’s a roller-coaster ride you don’t have to buy a ticket for.

First John 5:11–12 says, "And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this is life in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life."

We have a tendency to overcomplicate things. John says if we have the Son (Jesus) we have eternal life.

And here is the icing on the cake.

I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life (v. 13).

Your salvation doesn’t need to be a guessing game! Here are four questions to ask the next time you doubt your salvation.

  1. Do I understand the gospel?

    Part of the reason we decided to spend an entire month on the gospel is because it is possible to hear the gospel and somehow misunderstand it. When that happens, we are bound to question if Jesus really saved us from our sins. If you’re not sure if you understand the gospel, check out this post.

  2. Do I think salvation depends on me?

    If you secretly think you have to earn your salvation, you are destined for a lifetime of doubt. Every time you sin or fall short of God’s standards, you will wonder if God has retracted His offer for salvation because He is disappointed in you.

    Romans 5:15–16 says, "But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. And the free gift is not like the result of that one man’s sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification."

    Why do you think Paul saw fit to mention the "free gift" four times in four sentences? I bet it’s because he knew we would get gospel amnesia and that we would forget that salvation is a free gift Jesus offered us, not something He expected us to earn. (Get it? It’s FREE!)

  3. Do I think feelings are facts?

    One day you’re feeling totally pumped about your Christian life, the next you can barely muster the energy to read your Bible. One day you feel totally confident in God’s love for you, the next you doubt how He could ever love someone like you. One day you feel ready to do whatever God calls you to. The next day you’re riddled with fear about God’s plans for your life.

    Feelings are a terrible barometer for the truth. Instead, build your confidence on the promises of God’s Word.

  4. Am I listening to good teachers?

    There are several places in the New Testament where the confidence of believers’ was shaken because of false teachers. The apostles often wrote to them offering assurances and pointing them back to the truth of the gospel (see Rom. 6, Gal. 1, 2 Pet. 2:1, and Jude 1:3–4).

    If you are dealing with chronic doubts, make sure that the books you are reading, podcasts you are downloading, and sermons you are listening to are backed by God’s Word.

Are you a doubter? If so, I’d love to hear your answers to these four questions, but I also want to give you a very practical homework assignment.

Will you write out this verse on a card or piece of paper and put it somewhere where you can see it often? Ask the Lord to marinate your heart in this truth in the days to come.

And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this is life in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life (1 John 5:11–13).

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4 questions to ask the next time you doubt your salvation. Today on @lywbblog.

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About Author

Erin Davis

Erin is passionate about pointing young women toward God's Truth. She is the author of several books and a frequent speaker and blogger to women of all ages. Erin lives on a small farm in the midwest with her husband and kids. When she's not writing, you can find her herding goats, chickens, and children.

HEY, GIRLS! We love hearing from you, but feel limited in the ways we can help. For one thing, we’re not trained counselors. If you’re seeking counsel, we encourage you to talk to your pastor or a godly woman in your life as they’ll know more details and can provide you with ongoing accountability and help. Also, the following comments do not necessarily reflect the views of Revive Our Hearts. We reserve the right to remove comments which might be unhelpful, unsuitable, or inappropriate. We may edit or remove your comment if it:

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  • Carrie @ Revive Our Hearts


    Great question, friend!

    Walking confidently by faith means sinking our hearts and minds deeply into the truths of the gospel – what it means that Jesus lived, died and was resurrected from the dead in our place. We do that but saturating in His
    Word daily…not in order to gain His love or acceptance or forgiveness, but
    because we have His love, acceptance and forgiveness.

    So here’s a great way to begin. For the month of September begin reading through Ephesians. Each day record in a journal or notebook a list of what you discover about God/Jesus/Holy Spirit – who He is, what He’s done, what He’s promised. Then make a list of what you discover about those who belong to Jesus – what is true of them, how does God see them, how do they think, act or respond?

    At the end of several verses ( you may only make it through 5 or 10 each day) write out your thoughts and questions to the Lord. Writing out your prayers will not only help you focus, but at the end of the month you can look back to see all that God ha said to you through His Word! He does
    speak to us, sweet friend!

    Praying right now you’ll be amazed by the greatness of our God and His
    love for you!

    • NikkiGirl

      Thank you so much for replying! I also wanted to ask… I always want to make sure that I do things “right”. Like i have always struggled w/ the fact that I’m saved cause when I got saved I really didn’t feel any different. Do you think I’m trying to earn my way into heaven?

      • Carrie @ Revive Our Hearts

        @ NikkiGirl

        It’s possible to understand salvation is by faith alone, in the shed blood of Christ alone, through the Grace of God
        alone but then believe that after Salvation God’s love, grace, forgiveness and acceptance of us is based on us getting everything “right”. That may be your greater struggle, NikkiGirl.

        If you get a chance take some time to listen, watch or read the transcripts of this series ( from Revive Our Hearts.
        These truths about our life, as believers, on the other side of the cross are radically changing my life. Praying you’ll be encouraged as well.

        Grace and peace,

  • Kate,

    Oh, Kate! We are so glad that God used this doubt to preserve your life. Knowing the eternal destiny of our soul does give us the courage and desire to keep on living. Thank you so much for sharing this with us!

    Serving Him,

  • Brogan,

    You are learning some very valuable lessons, Brogan, even through your struggle with doubts. You are learning not to trust your feelings but to take them back to God’s Word that never changes. That is the key to taking your thoughts captive and anchoring your heart to God. Always go back to Truth. If what you are feeling doesn’t match up with Scripture, then counsel your heart with the truths you find in Scripture until your heart believes the truth. That’s one blessing of memorizing Scripture. You have God’s Word hidden away to be used at any time to defend against the lies of Satan. Next time you are doubting the free gift, speak God’s Words out loud to yourself – “I may feel like I have to work for my salvation, but God’s Word says it is a free gift. FREE – doesn’t cost anything – doesn’t rely on me. GIFT – all I have to do is reach out and receive it.” I’m praying for you, Brogan and for a heart connection and unity with your mom and sisters as you serve Christ.

    Serving Him,

  • Erickson Miller

    God is always looking to start fresh, start over somewhere new. He came to the formless earth and shaped it, what was it before? He flooded the earth, started with abraham, then started with isreal, at one point, talking with moses even decided right there he was going to wipe all them out, and make a nation out of moses but moses pleaded and God with held that ratification for his sake. Now, that time has past, and it is your time, how long will you seek God diligently with all your heart, soul, & strength? & continue? Salvation is what you receive in the end, it is not right now. It is a crown at the end of the race, it is my wife saying i am faithful to her.

    What were we before God came to us individually? Salvation is not a state, but a gift that we receive in the end. What you are asking about is a nature of faith which will impute righteousness (not earned) and atonement. Your question is the result of some form, (only God knows) of sincerity toward the truth. You must, approach God in the full truth in prayer, ceaselessly. The spirit will lead us into all truth.

    Second to this is to meditate on his law day & night. read the bible, not commentaries, not what other people say… if you lack understanding and have confusion toward it, read again & pray again. Faith is diligently seeking him, pride says i prayed & tried. (yes judge what i say too and stop looking for the answer on the internet & adhere to Gods word). Society and most vain jangling here about the bible on the internet waters things down no matter how deep and theological it sounds. God’s word is the ultimate truth on paper, it has no mediator, no school, no college, no formula, but in one perfect, holy interpretation (2 peter 1:20). The devils work in your mind and even feelings, and in my mind & feelings is to do any little bit to change it. 2 Cor 11:14 he can be an angel of light and work miracles right before you. The second smartest most powerful being in the universe, is Satan, he manipulated Eve’s understanding of God’s word “yea, hath God said, ye shall not eat of EVERY tree of the garden?” Eve responded with that we are not to “even touch it”, which God had not said, but it shows the inner working of the heart, how that loser pulls at every thought in every way to change your heart toward God’s ways for us to go our own way. Being outside of God’s will for you is your eternal damnation. Plain and simple.

    I’ve been clinging to the word of God through 4 war zones, (3 of them as a lawful combatant) through financial peril, physical peril, and when i was growing up in the underground churches -in China persecution from the government. The harshest times and my times of failure for me clinging to God & staying in his will were during peace and calm here in America. Do not entangle yourself in the affairs of this life, keep it nailed to the cross, blessings come from either above, or below; knowledge & understanding, above & below. through it all you must cling, and not get comfortable. God has a certain level of expectation for each person to be in his will, which what understanding he gives. “He takes no pleasure in them that draw back unto perdition”

    You cannot get to God with your senses, you cannot with your reasoning, sadly, feelings is the harshest obstacle to overcome. Rom 10:10 -this word for heart, 2588 is the deeper quality of you past your consciousness & is “the seat” of your emotions & desires, the faculty of understanding. Ultimately it is partly with held from us in a mystery. Its part of that special touch/breath of God which God gave & the angels are jealous of and not fully sure themselves. you need God to touch you and fervently read & pray always for the rest of your life. God has everything you need, ask him to teach you, to give you a pastor that is living right & will labor to keep you in all diligence to the point of laying his life down for his flock. jn 8:44, 56 ; 1 cor 2:10

    “Never the less the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The lord knoweth them that are his. & let everyone that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity” Iniquity is known sin, sin you are aware of. Yes God sent his only begotten son to save the world, but the world loved the darkness rather than the light. Must just keep whatever the word of God to comfort and quail their conscience, the compromise. What is compromise? It is to stop bearing all things, Charity, living a life of selflessness to the power of God’s spirit. It took paul all over the world, stripped him of his clothes, his rights, authority, and even things he will not tell us. He puts the figure of a thorn in place ( i believe it is his wife, whom he would have loved to gain back, and pleads God to have mercy on her, and be persuaded of the truth at least. this is a thing no man will just put out in the open in public, yet burn for the remainder of his life and never again to desire to marry.) Yet God’s will was otherwise, which is just, simply by acknowledging whatever faith i have, is due to the work God wrought out in him for you & i. Thank you God for the blood and sweat you squeezed out of paul, please do what you can of me and all my brothers and let me about in faith hope & charity with the power of your spirt.

    We are kept by the power of God through faith. the quality of our faith, being more precious than Gold and silver which perishes and we will be tried with “manifold temptations” (1peter 1) Stop reading God’s word? you fall into deception, Stop praying to God in truth? you will go reprobate. Stop doing God’s will? you fall into deception. Stop growing? you have been deceived all the while and cast off your first love. Feel reasonably sure you are ok? -either you are in prayer at this moment where God has responded & you are free of all iniquity or you are really gone.

    In the end the love of many will wax cold, (not to other men, in fact it will abound, yet to God it will) how do you know if you love God? keep his commandments. All that you can and the more that you receive in prayer. & be greatful -the washy stale and barren services all across america today is the proof its colder than it has ever been in the world, Korea is a stronger mission/working nation even.

    the day of evil will come for every Christian, For you, your pastor, it came for Paul, & I as it will again (paul said i keep my flesh asunder, least i be a castaway -the same word for reprobate). Satan will try to sift you as wheat & you must continue, & be steadfast in his word. He wants your kids, your lover, your house, car, and your salvation. Satan took everything from Adam, the garden, his child slain by the other, his wife, betrayed him…. He was so full of shame or whatever, we don’t know, but he didn’t plead to come back, thoughts and feelings contrary to God were put in his head “the woman YOU gave me” accusing everyone but himself, his own heart deceived him. Evil will make you hate your own soul.

    All i can say at this point is to just love god in deed & in truth. “flee youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the lord out of a pure heart” By the fear of the lord men depart from evil, that beginning of wisdom, that comes from choosing to bear all of God’s will, and thereby god honoring your prayers to keep the peace to keep you from murmuring/bitter against it.

  • Amandalyn Garcia

    I always doubt. I think my problem lies with sin and lack of prayer. I came out of a not so good (biblically sound church ) we moved, and tried an expository teaching church, also my husband is fond of John MacArthur. So for me , it’s been very hard to fully grasp if im truly saved or if I’m just believing I am when I’m not. Like easy believism.. because our lives should “show” good fruit, I often wonder. We are to test ourselves to see if we are in the faith. I feel like I often fail.
    My fear is that on that day, He will say.. I never knew you.

    • Sarah @ Revive Our Hearts

      I’m not sure there is anything we can say to you that you have not already thought or said to yourself. Ultimately, only the Spirit can give light, peace, and assurance. But know that I am praying for you that God will do just that–give you a peace that you cannot understand, and give you the assurance that it is not by you that you are saved, but only by His work.

      As Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth says: “Don’t focus on that [your lack of assurance] at this point; instead, seek the Lord and let Him minister grace to you through His Word. Keep your heart open to whatever He shows you—but focus on Him and His redeeming work, and let His Spirit apply it to your heart.”

      The very fact that you are wrestling with this may be an evidence that you are a child of God—a lost person is not likely to care this much about the condition of her heart.

      One trap people can fall into who were raised in Christian homes is to be plagued by
      doubts of whether what they did was sufficient—did I believe enough? Repent enough? Pray right? Was I sincere? We have to keep reminding them (and ourselves) that our salvation is not based on anything we have done—but ALL, ALL, ALL on what Christ has done for us. Ours is to rest in that.

      It is not our faith or our repentance that saves us—it is all and only His grace, His sacrificial death on our behalf. Our repentance is merely the evidence that His Spirit has opened our eyes and wrought that grace in our hearts; our faith is the means by which we reach out and apprehend that which He has given and done for us.

  • Portgas D Ann

    I don’t know… I know about God since I was little, was raised in a Christian family and grew up in a Christian school, accepted Jesus in my life in school and house, but I was young then… And now I’m not sure if I really accepted Christ as my Lord and Saviour… I don’t know what to do, honestly :/

    • Carrie @ Revive Our Hearts

      So glad you’re thinking about your relationship with God, Portgas D Ann.

      There is nothing more important than knowing that you have a personal relationship with God through His Son Jesus.

      Would you consider listening to this short video clip—it may help to answer some of your questions:

      Let me know what you think– I’d welcome hearing more of your thoughts and questions.

      Grace and peace,
      Lies Young Women Believe

      • carolyn kubik

        I do believe all you say in your short video but I believe all these truths and I know how to be saved and I want to be saved but I don’t know how to just accept that he will save me if I call on his name. There is a block there when I call on him to be saved and I want to be saved more than anything

        • Carrie @ Revive Our Hearts

          Oh, sweet friend. The chasm between you and God has been bridged by Jesus.

          Jesus wants to save you and you want to be saved. So simply call upon Jesus. Tell Him you believe He is the Son of God and has paid the price for your sins so you can have a relationship with God. Tell Him you’re running toward Him and trusting that what He says in Scripture is true, “ If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved ( Romans 10:9).”

          The block you’ve described is simply the enemy of your soul attempting to convince you that there remains a chasm between God and YOU. He’s a liar Carolyn kubik.

          Call upon Jesus tonight, friend!
          “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved ( Romans 10:13).”

          Grace and peace,

  • Sarah S

    I constantly doubt im saved. Mainly because i dont remember my conversion. I dont remember calling upon the Lord when i first professed to have been saved and it makes me think i dont have a testimony. Even though ive had that daily prayer life and relationship with the Lord i still doubt im saved because i dont remember getting saved. In serious doubting ive even prayed a prayer of repentance again. I even prayed rededication my life to the Lord because ive been so doubtful. And i still feel full of worry and doubt.

    • Carrie @ Revive Our Hearts

      I’m so glad you’ve shared your struggle with us, Sarah S.

      Our hope and the assurance of our salvation comes in knowing that we have placed our faith and trust in Jesus’ life, death and resurrection and not our own works or “ righteousness”. If your faith is in Jesus then your sins have been forgiven, precious friend. You don’t have to live in doubt or shame, guilt and condemnation any longer!

      Your salvation is not based upon anything you have done or ever could do. The restoring of intimacy with the Savior when we sin is simply through acknowledging that sin and walking in the reality that we are forgiven! As we look away from our own sin and look to the Savior and His glorious works on our behalf, intimacy with the Lord is restored and we walk in new levels of gratefulness for His grace and mercy!
      Check out this short video clip by Pastor John Piper, ( Then pick up a copy of Elyse Fitzpatrick’s book “Comforts from the Cross” when you get a chance. It’s a devotional that will bring you great hope and encouragement, sweet friend.

      Praying today you will walk in the fullness of the joy of His glorious salvation!

      Grace and peace

  • Jodi Metts Collins

    Lord knows this is one of my biggest battles…I stumbled over this tonight as I put in my search engine..”how to know you are saved.”…For some reason, I can’t hold onto any assurance very long. I don’t understand it to save my life. At times, I believe I understand the gospel plainly and at other times, I feel like I don’t know anything and I don’t understand. I get so frustrated…I feel like there is a block between what I understand in my head and what my heart understands. Like there is a disconnect between what I know and what my heart believes. I have cried out in the night alone and at altars…especially when I here those messages about having assurance, heaven, hell, the rapture, etc. I’m so tired of being afraid and struggling with this. I know that it is my fault…somehow I’m not understanding or seeing something that I need to understand.

  • ChristIlove

    I am struggling massively with my assurance of faith, I want to get baptised but I am not sure if it is the right thing to do.