True Assurance Of Salvation: Romans 8:12-17
“12) So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh— 13) for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14) For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 15) For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” 16) The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, 17) and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.” Romans‬ ‭8:12-17‬ ‭
I am no longer quick to listen to the testimony from someone’s lips, rather I like to watch the testimony from their life. Are they living according to the flesh or are they living by the strength of the Spirit? The proof is whether or not they are starting to put to death the deeds of the flesh. I do not look for perfection. That is a byproduct of legalism. Rather, I look for real progress and inner spiritual life.
According to verse 14, those who are being led by the Spirit of God are the true children of God. This lines up well with 1 Corinthians 2. Do they have a growing hunger for God and a comprehension of spiritual truth? Is God a mere theological concept for them or the very source of inner life? Is their approach to God rational or spiritual?
In verses 15-16, Paul digs even deeper. Do they yearn for God? Is there something inside that cries “Abba Father?” Do they glow during worship or are they distracted with a blank look on their face? Do they sing about God or do they sing to God? Is worship mere entertainment or an expression of inner unction? Do they commune with God when alone? Do they bubble over with testimony of God encounters throughout the day or week? Is it obvious that they delight in God?
I also look to see if they have enthusiasm for Jesus Christ. The word “enthusiasm” comes from the Greek word “entheos.” It literally means “God within.” When God is within there will be a radiance shining through, and it will grow brighter and brighter as the believer spends more time with God!
The next two verses makes it clear that assurance of salvation is the function of the human spirit and not the soul. “16) The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.” If people have sincere doubts of salvation, take them to the cross and review the gospel with them. Don’t waste time trying to convince the religious that they have been born-again.
I have seen a number of pastors, elders and even Bible college and seminary graduates come to the realization that they had never been born-again. Oh the joy when they are finally born of the Spirit. (John 3:1-8) Such was the plight of religious Nicodemus.
Those who truly know God begin to embrace their spiritual inheritance “in Christ.” They go in and take possession of the Promised Land in the Spirit. They count it a joy to suffer with Him for they know they shall also be glorified with Him.
Take sincere inventory of these verses and see where you line up. Do what Paul said in 2 Corinthians 13:5 and “test yourself to see whether or not you are in the faith. Examine yourself! If you come up short, run to Jesus, confess your sin and invite Him into your life. Ask Him to fill you with His Holy Spirit and start reading your Bible. Also, look for a good church with other zealous believers. Trust God to lead you.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global