“Tell me not of your justification, unless you have also marks of sanctification. Boast not of Christ's work for you, unless you can show us the Spirit's work in you.”
Paul Washer’s sermon series on biblical assurance of salvation are a good resource in examining yourself in light of the truth in 1 John. (see parts 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5) It's quite long, but definitely worthwhile.
In trying to determine whether your salvation is real or not, perhaps you need to ask yourself questions like these…
What is my motivation?
Do I desire to read the Scripture? To seek God? To know His heart?
Who am I more concerned with obeying and pleasing, God or man?
Am I sensitive to my sin? Am I convicted when I do something wrong? Does that sweet conviction lead me to confession and repentance?
Do I have holy hatred towards the sin which I once loved?
Do I have confidence that I have been forgiven and cleansed of my sin?
Have I seen God’s power in conquering sin in my life?
Does He give me His grace to obey His commands when I call for it?
Are there habitual sins in my life that I can’t seem to overcome? Is that because I don’t have the Spirit, or because I’m holding on to that sin?
Do I do what’s right for others to see, or even secretly because God desires for me to do it?
Am I content with outward virtue? Is what people see an act, or is it truly my heart?
Only you can answer these questions. However, this is not a list of questions that if you give the right answers can prove to you that you’re saved. That’s not my intention. On the contrary, these are some questions I began to ask myself as I was seeking clarification if I became a true believer at age 8. Ask God’s Spirit to reveal to you what is truly in your heart.
Three things should be evidenced in our lives that give us clarity that we have truly been saved by the blood of Christ and His grace through faith alone.
1. A desire to obey Christ more fully
2. Sensitivity to our sin
3. Growing in Christ-likeness (sanctification)
Only true believers will have an earnest desire to know God, to study His Word and to obey Him in everything. Full obedience means being sensitive to sin and humbly acknowledging and confessing the sin He reveals, and then forsaking it. Through those two things we will grow to become more like Christ as He continually sanctifies us.