How do we KNOW that we know Jesus?

I learned a great question to ask a few years ago: “Have you come to a place in your life that you know for certain that you have eternal life and that you will go to heaven when you die?”

How would you answer that question?

  • Some people say, “I hope so”
  • Some people say, “I don’t know”
  • Some people say, “I’m not certain at all”
  • Some people say, “No”
  • Some people say, “I am certain that I am going to heaven”

The truth is that you CAN know. The Bible says this:

1 John 5:13
13  I have written these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.

When you know that you are going to heaven, it will change the way you live on earth. The assurance of your salvation will give you peace in the midst of storms, power to overcome temptation, guidance for daily decisions, motivation to serve others, and purpose and meaning in life. Assurance of your salvation will compel you to share good news with others so that they can know Jesus too.

In 1 John 2:3-14, we see at least five things that are true about those who know Jesus.

Because we know Jesus, we keep his commands. According to Jesus, you can summarize all the commands in the Bible in these two: love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind, and love your neighbor as yourself. Do you keep these commands joyfully? Do you have a genuine desire to keep his commands? A person who knows Jesus may struggle at times (after all, the world, the devil and your old nature are fighting against you), but the pattern of the life of someone who knows Jesus is that they will keep his commands.

1 John 2:3-4
This is how we know that we know him: if we keep his commands. 4  The one who says, “I have come to know him,” and yet doesn’t keep his commands, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.

Because we know Jesus, we walk the way he walked. Jesus walked slowly through crowds. Even though he was surrounded by people all of the time, he noticed the needs of people and made time for each person that needed his time and attention. He went where God the Father wanted him to go, and he avoided the places he knew he should avoid. He always did exactly what his Heavenly Father wanted him to do. He walked in holiness and righteousness. Do you know Jesus? Do you walk the way he walked?

1 John 2:5-6
5  But whoever keeps his word, truly in him the love of God is made complete. This is how we know we are in him: 6  The one who says he remains in him should walk just as he walked.

Because we know Jesus, we love the way he loved. Jesus loved people continuously, in all purity, unconditionally. He demonstrated his love for them through words of encouragement and acts of compassion. He used his gifts to minister to their needs. He made time for people. Do you love people the way Jesus did? If you know him, you will have a desire to do just that.

1 John 2:7-11
7 Dear friends, I am not writing you a new command but an old command that you have had from the beginning. The old command is the word you have heard. 8  Yet I am writing you a new command, which is true in him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining. 9  The one who says he is in the light but hates his brother or sister is in the darkness until now. 10  The one who loves his brother or sister remains in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him. 11  But the one who hates his brother or sister is in the darkness, walks in the darkness, and doesn’t know where he’s going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.

Because we know Jesus, we know that our sins are forgiven. Jesus is the One who took the punishment for our sin. He died on the cross so that we could be forgiven. When we trust in the finished work of Christ on the cross, his mercy and grace are applied to our lives. He forgives all our sin: past, present and future. When we confess our sin, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sin and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). He is our atoning sacrifice (1 John 2:2). When you know that you know Jesus and you know that your sins are forgiven, you have peace and joy!

1 John 2:12 
12 I am writing to you, little children, since your sins have been forgiven on account of his name.

Because we know Jesus, we have conquered the evil one. On the cross, Jesus defeated Satan. Through the resurrection, Jesus crushed Satan’s head, demonstrating Jesus to be the victor over death, the grave, hell, and the devil forever. We conquered the evil one through Christ on the day we got saved. Now, we follow Jesus’ example to conquer the evil one on daily battles. We rightly apply the Word of God to our lives every time the evil one comes against us. We stand strong in the strength of the Lord. When we know that we know Jesus, we know that we have conquered the evil one.

1 John 2:13-14
13 I am writing to you, fathers, because you have come to know the one who is from the beginning. I am writing to you, young men, because you have conquered the evil one. 14 I have written to you, children, because you have come to know the Father. I have written to you, fathers, because you have come to know the one who is from the beginning. I have written to you, young men, because you are strong, God’s word remains in you, and you have conquered the evil one.

CONCLUSION. Let’s return to the original question: “Have you come to a place in your life that you know for certain that you have eternal life and that you will go to heaven when you die?” If you are not certain, make sure today. Here are a few of the posts I’ve written to help you know how to receive Christ:

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