How I Knew I Had Gotten Saved — Romans 8:16
12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.
13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.
14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. Romans 8
Salvation truly is a marvelous wonder to experience. Just think about it, we were once governed by the power of Darkness (Satan) but now we are governed by the indwelling power of Light (Holy Spirit). And truthfully, it’s as stark as the difference between dark and light.
Therefore we can give “thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: 13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son.” Colossians 1:12-14.
But, as simple as that should be for the new believer to detect, it seems that it is easier for some to discern the difference in their lives than for others.
Background #1 — The unsaved family dynamic. Growing up in a lost family.
For me, when I got saved in 1973 at age 19, the internal difference that was manifested in my outward actions was so glaring it was hard for me (and others) to not help but notice. But, I did struggle a bit.
The “Jesus Movement” was popular at that time. There was a wave of it sweeping through where I lived and some of my friends and acquaintances were involved. For some reason I was drawn toward the concept of what was “happening” in their lives even though it didn’t completely manifest itself in their lives. I had to try and exhibit some discernment.
So when I got saved along in that same time frame, I needed to know I wasn’t just caught up in something that was happening. I needed to know what I had experienced was genuine and lasting.
This got me into the Scriptures at that time perhaps more than anything else. I needed to see in the Word something indicating what I had experienced.
One day I was reading my New Testament on my lunch break at work. At the time I was in training on second shift. I was outside eating and reading when I came upon, for the very first time, Romans 8:16.
As soon as I read it, something sort of leapt within me. It was an internal awareness that resonated within me. It was more than just an intellectual acknowledgement. It was an internal agreement that took place between my mind and my internal being. It was glorious.
From that day to this I’ve never doubted my salvation. I’ve never once wondered if I had been birthed into the family of God and that God was my Father. It changed me from that day forward.
Background #2 — The saved family dynamic. Growing up in a saved family.
Interestingly it seems this group of people are the ones that, at least at times, wonder whether or not they got saved when (usually at an early age) they were led to Jesus.
Perhaps because the darkness they came from and the light they were translated into wasn’t, for them, so drastic. They knew there was a moment in which they received Jesus, but they didn’t get blasted with the full force of a search light blazing through their darkness — like someone like me did.
But, nonetheless, there is one salient factor that both groups can, and do, experience. And that is this:
The Holy Spirit of the living God has taken up His abode within them and THEY KNOW IT.
I maintain that it is impossible for a person not to know that they have the Holy Spirit living in them. The Holy Spirit’s presence within gives witness to the the very life-force that gave them the new birth.
In other words, the person knows they have experienced a reality that has changed them into something they hadn’t been before: A New Creation in Yeshua.
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” II Corinthians 5:17
Praise God that He has placed within every one of His children His very awareness which radiates within. It’s the assurance that we need to maneuver through this pilgrim journey to Heaven.
So that question you NEED to answer is … does the Spirit bear witness with your spirit that you are a child of God?
Heaven or Hell depends upon it.