Am I Saved?
And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in Him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit...
Even if you sincerely believe you're a Christian, you might sometimes find yourself asking "Am I saved?" In my opinion, it's a completely reasonable question—I've asked it myself numerous times. Over the years in fact, I've developed a short checklist that helps me keep straight what it means to be a Christian.
Do I need to be saved? As a long-time, practiced sinner, I know I'm guilty, guilty, guilty. Yes, I need salvation.
Can I save myself? No, I cannot. And I've tried. A bunch of times. No matter how good I try to behave, I always fall short. On my own, I'm completely helpless.
Who can save me? Well I know the answer to this one. He's the Risen One. He's the Death-Defeater. The grave could not contain Him. Right now, He sits at the right hand of the Father, alive and well.
What must I do to be saved? This is the question that caused a stumbling block for me for a long time. Previously, I believed I had to do a bunch of things to be saved, such as:
say the "sinner's prayer"
go to church frequently
be baptized by immersion
exhibit "Christian" behavior
All of that stuff is really very good, but none of it is actually required. What is actually required is something so simple it's rather difficult to accept. I must BELIEVE, TRUST, HAVE FAITH IN—however I wish to say it—the gospel of grace preached by Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles:
Christ died, as had been foretold in Old Testament prophesy.
He was dead and buried.
He was resurrected the third day, as had been foretold in Old Testament prophesy.
(Click on the underlined link above to see Paul state this gospel of grace clearly to the church at Corinth.) It's the power of the resurrection that saves us, folks. That power is the key to our salvation. Otherwise, we're dead. And by the way, it's not unreasonable to believe in the resurrection. There were many witnesses to Jesus Christ's resurrection.
How do I know I've been saved? Ephesians 1:13 says God gives me an assurance of salvation by placing His seal on me. I'm marked by the Holy Spirit.
It's much smarter to ask the question "Am I saved?" and look for honest answers in the Bible, than to assume I'm saved because I'm basically a good guy and I try to do the right thing more often than not. In my opinion, friends, that approach is not smart at all.