If you are a believer in Christ today, do you sometimes have doubts about it? Well if you have, you are not alone. There are many factors which cause so many believers in Jesus Christ to have doubts about their relationship with God.
1. The devil wants you to live in such doubts. He wants you to be unsure — to be skeptical — to be miserable in your walk of faith and feel estranged from God.
2. Sometimes we question our motives — was my motive pure? Was I really old enough to understand what faith was about?
3. Younger children who become followers of Christ hear testimonies of other people who have lived out in the world, became involved in drugs, drunken brawls, and many other indiscretions. When they came to faith in Christ, there was a drastic change. But a child who lives in a church parsonage in the country, who professes faith in Christ, compares their experience with others. They have not seen that drastic lifestyle change. So it sometimes creates doubts.
What are some ways a child of God can be assured they are living a genuine life of faith in Him?
1. The book of 1 John tells us that “we know that we have passed from death unto life because we love the brethren.” A genuine believer has an intense desire to fellowship with other believers. They are drawn to them. They love going to the house of God to worship. If you feel uncomfortable, or look with disdain upon the fellowship of believers in church, you might examine yourself to see if you are indeed a true believer in Christ.
2. You sense the conviction when you stumble and commit sin. Yes, believers are still subject to sin because they still live in fleshly bodies. But there is this “force” living inside you which drives you to confession of sin and a desire for restored fellowship with Christ.
3. There is a struggle inside one’s heart, which is unique to genuine believers. In Romans 7, the apostle Paul experienced this struggle — calling it a “warring in his members.”
This was the struggle of the flesh against the Holy Spirit also living in that heart. If a person is a genuine believer, the internal warfare is going to happen. If it does not, then a person is either living a sinless life of perfection, or else does not have eternal life.
4. God allows testings and trials into our lives to approve our faith — to identify our faith to ourselves and to others (James 1:2-5 and 1 Peter 1:5-7). An unbeliever revolts against tragic experiences and totally denies God and has an accusatory attitude toward Him. But a true believer, while grieving and sorrowful, comes out of the other side of the trial with faith still intact. John MacArthur says these trials are a wonderful gift from God to His children, to prove their faith not only to others but to themselves. That’s why a child of God can “count it all joy when (they) fall into various trials. . .”
God intends for believers in Him to be assured of their relationship with Him.
Paul Gauntt currently serves as the pastor of First Baptist Church of Palmer.