The Inward Evidence of Salvation
This is a tough question to answer, yet we do have scripture to give us an indication. When we are saved (see What Is Salvation), we are given, by God, His Holy Spirit as a seal, an "earnest for our redemption (2 Cor. 1:22 & Eph. 1:13-14). It is the presence of the Holy Spirit within us that gives to us the evidence of our salvation. First, there is a peace - a peace that can only come from God. A peace that speaks to us of our forgiveness by God, our placement in Christ, and of the future that is to come. In Phillipians 4:7, we read: "and the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus". In Colossians 3:15 we see: "and let the peace of God rule in your hearts...", and in 2 Thessalonians 3:16 we hear "Now the Lord of peace himself give you peace always by all means".
So we see that there is a peace that comes from God to establish us in Him. Having passed from darkness into light, though, our minds cannot help but remember things that we have done that were wrong, things that we still do that are wrong, and of course the devil constantly whispering to us about "God doesn't want you", "look at that! see what you did! you can't be a Christian!", and so on. So we look to 1 John 3:19-21: "and hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him. For if our hearts condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things".
We can know, of a surety, that when we are accepted by God through Christ Jesus,
and forgiven, that God removes and separates us from our transgressions "as far as the east is from
the west" (Psa. 103:12). God has forgiven us, has separated us from our transgressions, and
remembers them no more, even if we do (see also Micah 7:18-19). He knows better. We also have the
promise that He is "just to forgive us of our sins" through our intercessor, Jesus Christ, when we
confess and turn away from those sins. Lastly, we see that "beloved, if our heart condem us not,
then have we confidence toward God". This also speaks to an issue discussed in
another study: whether or not a believer has any security in their