“But there was a certain man called Simon, who previously practiced sorcery in the city and astonished the people of Samaria, claiming that he was someone great, to whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, “This man is the great power of God.” And they heeded him because he had astonished them with his sorceries for a long time. But when they believed Philip as he preached the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were baptized. And when Simon saw that through the laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money, saying, “Give me this power also, that anyone on whom I lay hands may receive the Holy Spirit.” But Peter said to him, “Your money perish with you, because you thought that the gift of God could be purchased with money! You have neither part nor portion in this matter, for your heart is not right in the sight of God. Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you. For I see that you are poisoned by bitterness and bound by iniquity.””
Acts 8:9-12, 18-23 NKJV
Baptism doesn’t save you. It is a response or public declaration of your faith and full belief in Christ. Without full, sincere repentance before God, you are not saved. You can be saved by God without baptism. Do you remember the thief on the cross beside Jesus? He was saved the day he died without any possibility of being baptized. There are actually people out there who have been baptized but are not saved and people never baptized who are saved.
So, how do you really know you are saved? You start to and continue to change from the inside out. You begin to hate sin. You have a strong desire to pray. You start to see pieces of your life that paved the way to greater good. You can look back and understand why you are where you are at in life now. You genuinely want to listen to sermons. You want to learn the Bible more. Your mouth gets cleaner and your thoughts about others become more positive. You internally place God first in your life. You make time for him. You never say you didn’t have time. You start to have things pop in your head that seem to come from nowhere and these things are aligned to God’s word. You naturally talk about the Lord in conversations at amazing times. It’s like you are a messenger for God and you know exactly what to say to plant a seed in someone else. You repel evil thoughts in your head and pray afterwards asking God to protect you from the evil one. You are quick to ask God to forgive you for your evil thoughts and ask for His strength to do better. You know you are saved by how much your world view changes. You know you are saved with 100 percent surety and never waver on that belief. You thank God for the good and bad in your life because you trust Him and His Will. You build a natural humility where God’s Will takes priority instead of your selfish desires. You are a lover of truth and want to correct those deceived in a gentle, loving way. You want the Bible near because it’s your guide. You see the beauty that God created around you and praise him on His handiwork regularly. Your words to others are loving and gentle but bold. You hate no one and pray to forgive them if they trespassed against you. You hold no anger.
Although outwardly rituals are nice, they don’t confirm salvation. Examine yourself as only you can know if you are saved. Do you see the changes deep inside you gradually bearing fruit? Has God gradually become your top priority in life? Have your priorities truly changed? Do you feel peace no matter how the world around you is functioning? Are you unafraid of death but still have a desire to live to serve the Lord as long as He deems necessary? Do you truly feel this world is temporary and whatever happens happens? Do your words to others lovingly tell truths and flow in a way you never experienced before? If not, pray and ask God to drive your life with full sincerity and watch your prayers get answered through internal changes before your eyes.
by Kent Brosh a Kawaiaha’o Blog Contributor