What is genuine faith? What if God hasn't chosen me?

Question / Comment -  What is genuine faith? What if God hasn't chosen me?


what exactly is genuine faith? How do I know my faith is genuine?

I hear people say “believe in Jesus in your heart” and “trust in Jesus with your heart” but I struggle to understand what they’re saying. How do I know that I “believe in my heart” and that I don’t have just head knowledge of Jesus? I don’t really understand how to “accept Jesus in my heart”. How do I feel in my heart that I have truly received Him? 

I’ve heard some people talk about faith as a chair. It’s one thing to look at the chair and know that it is strong enough to hold you, but it’s another thing to actually sit in the chair and trust it to hold you. In terms of salvation, how do I “sit in the chair”? It’s not a physical chair so I’m struggling to understand this. 

I struggle with my faith so much that it makes me wonder what if I’m not meant to be saved? I’ve read that faith in Jesus comes from God. I think even Jesus says only those the Father calls can come to Him. The fact that I struggle with doubt so much makes me wonder if maybe God hasn’t called me and that I’m not meant to be saved. I’ve heard the phrase “many are called, but few are chosen.” It feels highly unlikely that God would ever choose me. 

Gotquestions.org has an article that says we cannot make a decision for Christ because that would be saying that salvation is achieved by our will when only Jesus can save. Yet they have other articles about salvation where at the end of the article they ask “have you made a decision for Christ after what you’ve read here?” Or they have a button that says “I have accepted Christ” doesn’t that mean that it’s our choice? If it’s not up to us to decide then why do they still mention making a decision and acceptance? 

Sorry I ask so many questions. You explain things very well and have helped me to understand a lot about the Bible on your website. Thank you for helping me with this. :)


JPN Reply:


I'll write your specific questions in blue and add some comments below that.

How do I know my faith is genuine? 

I have written about that here:



Please note Corrie Ten Boom's quote in the last link - a lot of the time genuine Christians doubt because they are just focusing on ourselves and our feelings and what is needed is to just take God's promise at His word. Get your eyes on Him...

“If you look at the world, you'll be distressed. If you look within, you'll be depressed. If you look at God you'll be at rest.”
Corrie Ten Boom

How do I know that I “believe in my heart” and that I don’t have just head knowledge of Jesus?

If you do a search on 'believe' and 'heart' it only comes up with one verse:

Rom 10:5-11 Moses describes in this way the righteousness that is by the law: "The man who does these things will live by them." (6) But the righteousness that is by faith says: "Do not say in your heart, 'Who will ascend into heaven?' " (that is, to bring Christ down) (7) or 'Who will descend into the deep?' (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). (8) But what does it say? "The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart," that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming: (9) That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. (10) For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. (11) As the Scripture says, "Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame."

The 'heart' speaks of the inner person. It is contrasting it in this verse with the confession of the mouth. The whole passage is saying that the way of faith is not complicated. It is not ascending into heaven yourself like you deserve to be there by your own merits. It is not descending into the deep and overcoming the grave like Christ did. It is believing that Christ paid the price for you and confessing that He is Lord with your mouth. 

An example might help. I became a Christian when I was 19. I didn't know another Christian in the city I was in (I was in my first year at University) but started reading the Bible and got extremely convicted. Now there was a period of about 4 months when I was reading the Bible and knew it to be true. I was convicted and saw my need of salvation. But I hadn't done anything about it. I hadn't asked for forgiveness, I hadn't confessed that Jesus is Lord. To be honest I struggled for a few months because I knew there was a cost in becoming a Christian. Like I said, I didn't know another one in the same city. I wondered whether I would lose all my friends. So there was a cost that I weighed up. In the end the conviction was so great that I thought I have to do this no matter what the cost. And I did. I asked for forgiveness, gave my life to Jesus and confessed Him as Lord. That was my 'sitting in the chair' moment in terms of salvation. Prior to this I believed it to be true mentally but hadn't asked for forgiveness, hadn't confessed Him as Lord and wasn't following Him.  

I struggle with my faith so much that it makes me wonder what if I’m not meant to be saved?

Listen to what Jesus said (and there is a slim possibility that you may know this passage! : ) Don't move away from the simplicity expressed in this passage nor the desire of God to see people saved.

Joh 3:16-18 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. (17) "For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. (18) "He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

God WANTS people to be saved. Be careful not to go down the Calvinist route of wondering if you are chosen - you will never get any peace that way and most Calvinists don't either because that is unanswerable. Keep your eyes on Jesus, His promises, and keep it simple. Think of God's choice this way - Yes the Bible teaches that believers were chosen before the foundation of the world. (Eph 1:4) But every choice and decision we make is based on some amount of understanding and knowledge right? Sometimes we research a topic and make an informed choice. Sometimes we only know a little and make a gut decision. But knowledge, to some degree or another, is always involved in choice. God did make a choice before the foundation of the world but it is based on knowledge - complete knowledge of everything and everyone! He knows the end from the beginning. He knows your heart and mine and sees that we desire salvation and to know Him. So yes there is a drawing of those that are to inherit salvation but our will and desire for Him is not overridden. It is part of it. God saw all this before the foundation of the world. As well as God's choice, the Bible still teaches that 'whosoever believes in Him shall not perish' and 'let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.' (Rev 22:17)

It feels highly unlikely that God would ever choose me. 

And me. But He did. Why? Because God chooses the weak things of this world. He isn't looking for super-stars. Look at what scripture says and see if you qualify : )

1Co 1:26-31 Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. (27) But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. (28) He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things--and the things that are not--to nullify the things that are, (29) so that no one may boast before him. (30) It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God--that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. (31) Therefore, as it is written: "Let him who boasts boast in the Lord."

Here is what a recent man wrote in the JPN guestbook after reading a Q&A on my site on 'how can I know I am saved' - which I was really pleased to see and I thought of you too:

"Thank you for answering this question. I've struggled with this for a long time. I believe that I'm saved and I've finally decided to just leave it in Jesus's hands and care. I know that he loves me and that I'm His because I was bought with the price of His precious redeeming blood. I know that my salvation is eternal and that no one can snatch me out of God's hand. I know/believe that God gave me His Spirit of Adoption (I believe that refers to His Holy Spirit). I understand that clearly and it is very reassuring because I was adopted at about 6 months of age. So why do I still sin and doubt."

He loves you. Take your eyes off yourself and how much faith you have and put them on a Savior that is amazingly faithful. Thank Him for His promises. Then you will get the rest that this man came into and what Corrie Ten Boom wrote about above.

May God bless and I will pray that you will find that rest and confident assurance.


Their Reply

Thank you so much for responding to all my emails and answering all my questions. You’ve been so kind and helpful with all of this. I know I ask a lot of questions and I really appreciate you taking the time to help me understand more about faith. Thank you so much! :)

JPN Reply:

You are more than welcome! Glad it helps!