“Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the sake of the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth, which accords with godliness, 2 in hope of eternal life, which God, who never lies, promised before the ages began…” (Titus 1:1–2 (ESV)
Many people through the years have asked me the same question whenever the doctrine of election is studied; “How do I know if I’m elect.”
I reply that people don’t ask that question unless they are elect. This is because I Corinthians 2:14 says, “The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.”
It stands to reason that only a converted individual, therefore elect, would comprehend the doctrine of election in order to pose the question about the doctrine.
Are there biblical passages explaining the evidence of an individual’s conversion to Christ; therefore their election unto salvation? Yes there are portions of Scripture describing the character of genuine, saving faith.
2 Corinthians 13:5 (ESV) says– “Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!”
First, what characteristics neither prove, not disprove, the genuineness of saving faith in Jesus Christ. Here are some categories to take into consideration.
- Visible Morality: (Matt. 19:16–21; 23:27).
- Intellectual Knowledge: (Rom. 1:21; 2:17ff.).
- Religious Involvement: (Matt. 25:1–10).
- Active Ministry: (Matt. 7:21–24).
- Conviction of Sin: (Acts 24:25).
- Assurance: (Matt. 23).
- A Time of Decision: (Luke 8:13–14).
This is a convicting list because who among us has not based their salvation in Christ on one, or more, of these qualifications. Yet, the Bible is clear that these are not evidences which absolutely prove one’s conversion. Then what does? Take note of the following biblical proofs.
- A Love for God: (Ps. 42:1ff.; 73:25; Luke 10:27; Rom. 8:7).
- Repentance from Sin: (Ps. 32:5; Prov. 28:13; Rom. 7:14ff.; 2 Cor. 7:10; 1 John 1:8–10).
- Genuine Humility: (Ps. 51:17; Matt. 5:1–12; James 4:6, 9ff.).
- Devotion to God’s Glory: (Ps. 105:3; 115:1; Isa. 43:7; 48:10ff.; Jer. 9:23–24; 1 Cor. 10:31).
- Continual Prayer: (Luke 18:1; Eph. 6:18ff.; Phil. 4:6ff.; I Thess. 5:17; 1 Tim. 2:1–4; James 5:16–18).
- Selfless Love: (1 John 2:9ff.; 3:14; 4:7ff.).
- Separation from the World: (1 Cor. 2:12; James 4:4ff.; 1 John 2:15–17; 5:5).
- Spiritual Growth: (Luke 8:15; John 15:1–6; Eph. 4:12–16).
- Obedient Living: (Matt. 7:21; John 15:14ff.; Rom. 16:26; 1 Pet. 1:2, 22; 1 John 2:3–5).
- A Hunger for God’s Word: (1 Pet. 2:1–3).
- A Transformed Life: (Rom. 12:1-2; 2 Cor. 5:17).
Take time today to evaluate where your confidence in your conversion is based. Is it with the items listed in the first grouping or the second? It’s a matter of spiritual life or death.
Soli deo Gloria!