“If You’re Happy and You Know It” is a popular repetitive children’s song, credited to Dr. Alfred Smith in the mid-1900s. It was a song that I grew up singing in Sunday School. The church version added a verse that said “If you’re saved and you know it”. Each statement was followed by shouting, clapping hands, and stomping feet.
As I got older I remember thinking, is it possible to be saved and not know it? The song indicates that possibility. But based on how the Bible defines salvation the answer to that question would be no. It’s impossible to be saved by God’s grace, and filled with His Spirit, and not know it. It’s too powerful.
There’s another question that’s a bit trickier to answer, and it is this; is it possible to be saved, and no one else knows it? For the last several decades, the evangelical church has had to deal with that question. If the answer is yes, it seriously downplays the Lordship of Christ with respect to our obedience to God through salvation.
I’m sure you’ve heard someone say something similar to this; “I received Jesus as my Savior when I was twelve, but I didn’t really make Him my Lord until I was thirty-five. Or, someone believes that they are going to heaven because they prayed the “sinner’s prayer” at a youth camp years ago, but their present life doesn’t show any evidence of a desire to serve and obey God.
The truth of the matter is that good works do not save anyone. However, a truly changed life is proof that God performed a miracle through His powerful love and grace. If something really happened, there will be fruit, period.
The third verse of the church version of that catchy little song got it right. “If you’re saved and you know it, your life will surely show it.” Meaning if it’s real, everyone will be clapping.
“If you love me, keep my commands.” John 14:15