How Do You Know?

One of the aspects of Christianity that I struggle with is that of assurance. In other words, how do I know that God chose me? For me, having been educated in the reformed tradition and being a member of a Presbyterian church, this pertains mostly to the question of election (I feel like I’m chosen, but how do I know?), but I think many of us ponder assurance in a broader sense.

What has been helpful for me is to remember that God through the Holy Spirit changes our hearts, gradually transforming us in this life to more Godly people, and eventually perfecting us in our eternal lives. Indeed, the Apostle Paul writes that the Holy Spirit himself bears witness that we are children of God (Romans 8:16). Paul also writes that we should test ourselves throughout our walk with Christ, to make an honest assessment of where we are versus where we were (Romans 12:2, 2 Corinthians 13:5). Of course, this makes sense but I would caution that if after such an assessment you don’t see any real progress, to first dig deeper; are you more patient, less prone to anger, generally more at peace, more kind towards others, more humble, etc.? These all count! You can be assured that the Spirit is doing a work in you that God will finish (Philippians 1:6). If you still don’t pass the test, don’t worry, go back to God’s Word, speak to your pastor (if you don’t have one, get one) and in get involved Christian community. God is pursuing you, you may just need to be willing to get caught.    

2 thoughts on “How Do You Know?

  1. In the reformed tradition, it is believed that God chooses some (the elect) and not others and there is a good scriptural basis for this (Ephesians 1:4, Matthew 22:14 to cite a couple of verses but there are probably a few dozen). I’m ok with the concept of election, where I struggle is how do we know who is the elect and who isn’t? The answer, I think, is that we don’t. So I think we proceed as if we are chosen and assume that those we serve and minister to may be one of the elect too, whether they are professing Christians or not.

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