These things I have written to you who believe in the Name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the Name of the Son of God. (1 John 5:13—NKJV)

Top priority for everyone on terra firma is to determine what God says about the destiny of his soul. It is a great pity that most people never receive an authentic and settled verdict from God. Instead they are satisfied to rest their tenuous hope of eternal life upon good thoughts, good works, assurances of mortals, and the comfort of somnolent religions, if upon anything at all. The whispered lies of the “Prince of Evil” are usually enough to quiet any awakened fears, and nightmares experienced in the night of spiritual darkness.

What a stark contrast is the true, spiritually awakened believer! There is a thirst for knowledge of the Almighty and a yearning to know the approbation of the Most High. For this reason the words of our verse from 1 John are music to the ears of every saint. God does desire that every man on earth know beyond a shadow of a doubt whether he is born again unto everlasting life, or is yet in his sins and under the penalty of eternity in Hell. John set about the task of illustrating the qualities of authentic faith in this little five chapter book. When someone seeks to know whether he is saved or not, it is wise for him to read through the book of 1 John looking for the hallmarks of saving faith in order to determine if faith is operational within him.

There are at least twelve questions that John would have every reader ask himself:

  1. Am I walking in the light? (1:7) When someone walks in the dark, he walks like he cannot see, with his hands out before him in case he bumps into something, and carefully for he lacks the sensory information which tells him where and how he is moving. Walking in the spiritual light, each step is assured and accurate.
  2. Am I confessing my sins to God? (1:9) Confession is saying the same thing God says about my sin and reckoning it by His standard, which drives a true believer to repent and forsake his sins.
  3. Am I keeping His commandments? (2:3) The Ten Commandments are hard enough for an unsaved person to keep, let alone the rest of the commandments found in the 66 books of the Bible. The authentic believer is not satisfied to know only ten; he pursues full knowledge of the commands of the Lord in order to follow them, enabled by God’s grace active in his life.
  4. Am I loving the other born-again believers? (2:10) The believer’s love for the Lord extends through Him to other men who are the objects of His love.
  5. Am I continuing in the faith? (2:19) Not just, “Am I a believer?” but “Am I believing?”
  6. Am I abiding in the Lord? (3:6) John 15 speaks of abiding in the vine, meaning that you will gain all your meaning, sustaining, purpose, and usefulness in relation to your Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
  7. Am I hating the things of the world? (3:15) When you get saved, God plants the divine nature within you. It craves truth, holiness, and spiritual things, and will prompt you to obedience to your Lord.
  8. Am I praying regularly? (3:22) Prayer is communication with your heavenly Father in Jesus’ Name. How is your relationship with your Father?
  9. Am I an easy mark for evil and every spiritual charlatan that comes down the pike? (4:1–3) A believer is indwelt by the Holy Spirit who convicts of sin, illumines the Bible and appies it to your heart, causes you to be discerning, and grants His peace to you when all is sound in His view, as you obey the Word.
  10. Am I living in a spiritually fearful state? (4:18–19)
  11. Am I a victor or a victim? Am I an overcomer or overcome? (5:4)
  12. Am I sure I am born again because I know verses where God assures me of it in His Word and see evidence of real spiritual life within me? (5:13)

Are you sure you possess saving faith as a gift from God because God has given you assurance, and can you point out that passage right now? Is His Word the only source of assurance you will accept, or are you willing to settle for some other source of assurance which can never rise to the level of infallibility that can only belong to God Himself? Take time to listen to the accompanying podcast. Do not rest until the Lord grants you assurance of salvation in His Word. Trust and obey.