Question:How do I surely know that Christ lives in me? Because evey time that I'm at my church and they ask who wants to receive Christ, I always feel something in my heart. But I've accepted Jesus so many times! Almost every Sunday I pray: "Lord I don't know if you really live in me, so I'm just opening my heart right now to you God." Could that thing in my heart be the Holy Spirit, or it's just my mind playing tricks? (I was baptized over two years ago.)
The book of I John deals with this very topic, but let's focus a moment on one particular passage:
"Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, "I know Him," and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked" (1 John 2:3-6).
I find it sad that so many denominations avoid the straight forward truth of the Gospel and seek out vague feelings. In part, I understand why. It is hard to have a solid discussion about what you need to do to be saved when you base salvation on a feeling. How can any say whether what you feel is right or wrong? Religion is then moved out of the objective and into the subjective realm. But as a preacher, my job is to give God the glory by teaching what God taught. "If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen" (I Peter 4:11). Feelings come and go, but God gives us commands to follow. When I follow those commands then I know that I have been saved.
What God requires of men to be saved is not hard. Men make it hard. Since the sum of God's word is truth (Psalms 119:160), then what we need to do is look through the Bible for what God says saves men and then do all of it. First, take a look at "What Saves a Person?" and "What Must I Do to be Saved?" After reading all the passages discussed, you should be wondering "Where does it say to accept Jesus into your heart?" It just isn't in the Bible. It is a nice concept, but it is one that comes from man and not God.
The question ought not be whether you feel that you are saved -- after all what does salvation feel like? Where is just a feeling described by God in His word? The question ought to be do you trust God's promise. God said that people who obey Him will be saved. You look at your life and see that you've done as God commanded, so then the question is "Do you trust Him?" "But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him" (Hebrews 11:6).