It’s a question that comes up for many of us, and an important one.
The first level of knowing that a person is saved is simply the fact that they care. If it really matters to you, to me, that’s a good sign. Beyond that, here are some things to look for to know if Jesus really has changed your heart.
1 Thessalonians 1:4-8
For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, because…
our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power [Has your life changed at all?]
and in the Holy Spirit [Do certain things make more sense to you now than before Christ?]
and with full conviction. [Does your conscience alert you to things you didn’t care about before?]
You know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake.
And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, [Does your life look more like Jesus and His people, or more like the world?]
for you received the word in much affliction, with the joy of the Holy Spirit, [Are you able to be joyful in difficult circumstances?]
so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia. [If others were to imitate your life, would that be a good thing? If your kids turn out JUST like you, will you be glad?]
For not only has the word of the Lord sounded forth from you in Macedonia and Achaia, [Do you ever tell others about Jesus, or even want to at all?]
but your faith in God has gone forth everywhere, so that we need not say anything. [Are you getting a reputation as a Godly person, or would people be surprised to hear you’re a Christian?]
Here’s the bottom line. How do you know you’re saved? How do I?
The proof is not necessarily in what you believe intellectually. The proof is not in a perfect life, because we ALL have areas in which to grow.
The proof of salvation is in the presence of a changed heart with new desires and new behaviors. It’s the evidence of a genuine WANT to grow more in Christ, rather than making excuses as to why “this is just the way I am.”
The proof is in the power.