Saturday, September 21, 2013

Are You Sure You’re Saved?

Minden Cathedral photo by TUBS 2010

What does it mean to be “saved?” Salvation, or receiving eternal life in Heaven, requires believing that Jesus Christ is God, the perfect, sinless Sacrifice Who died to pay our sin debt (John 1:29). Cults that deny His divinity fail this requirement.

It requires acknowledging that we are sinners deserving eternal death in hell, and repenting of our sins (Romans 3:23; 6:23). This knocks out Satan and his minions who believe and know the Bible and know who Jesus is (James 2:19), but who feel their sins are justified because of their pride.

It requires believing the Gospel of Grace, putting our trust in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:1-4) as the only way (John 14:6) to Heaven (unlike Buddhists and others who believe in multiple paths to nirvana). Faith, no matter how intense or sincere, is saving faith only if it is faith in Christ and His completed work of salvation on Calvary’s cross.

It requires a personal relationship with Him, recognizing that we are sinners in need of a Savior and making Him Lord of our life. This eliminates those with a "head" knowledge of Who Christ is and what He did, without a heart relationship -- many professing Christians may fall into this category (Luke 13: 23-27). As our pastor once said, the distance between being lost and being saved may be only 18 inches – the distance between the brain and the heart.

Romans 10:9 [I]f thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

Once saved, we are always saved, because:

When we are “born again” (John 3: 3-8) by confessing and turning away from sin, and by placing our faith in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus as the only way to Heaven, we are indwelled by and sealed with the Holy Spirit (2 Timothy 1:13-14; Ephesians 2: 22).

We did nothing to merit or earn our salvation, and there is nothing we (or anyone or anything) can do to lose it or take it away, provided it was a genuine, heartfelt spiritual rebirth (Ephesians 2:8-9).

We are in the double grip of eternal security – Christ holding us tightly within His hand, which is held tightly within the Father’s hand (John 10:27-29).

No sin, past, present or future, and no trick or trap of Satan or his demons or of evil men – nothing --could cause us to lose our salvation (Romans 8:38-39).

When we are born again, we are a new creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). One of the paradoxes of the Christian life is that we must die to truly live (1 Corinthians 15: 36-38). As we trust Christ as our Savior and turn away from our sins, we die daily to our flesh, that is, our sin nature, that would control us (Romans 6:6-14). We must fight this spiritual battle between our sin nature and the indwelling Holy Spirit by putting on the whole armor of God (Ephesians 6:11-17). The change that He began in us at the moment of salvation He will continue until He brings us home (Philippians 1:6).

Before the beginning of the world, God knew who would be saved by accepting His amazing offer of eternal life by grace through faith (Ephesians 1:3-15), yet the mystery is that He did so without taking away our free will to choose eternal life in Christ or to reject Him and suffer eternal death in hell. God makes no mistakes, and if we could lose our salvation, His foreknowledge would have been wrong. 

Romans 8 describes the domino effect of God’s foreknowledge: because of it, He has predestined believers to be like Christ, justified (made “just as if” we had never sinned), and glorified. Because of that, we are beyond condemnation: God is for us, so who can be against us? (Romans 8:29-37).

God saved us for a purpose, and each of us is fitted into His body as precisely as a stone block is fitted into a cathedral vault. If one could lose their salvation, the building would fall apart (Ephesians 2: 18-22).

Although we must daily fight the battle between sin, which ultimately results in death (Romans 6:23), and the new, abundant life we received at the moment of salvation through the indwelling Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ has won the war on our behalf. We know how it will all turn out; we can look forward not only to the Rapture but to His glorious appearing as we return to earth with Him to fight the Battle of Armageddon; and we can stand victorious on His promise of eternal life.

He has permanently conquered sin and death for all who trust in Him as Lord and Savior (1 Cor: 15:20-22; 55-57). Praise God for His amazing love, mercy and grace, allowing us to choose salvation through faith in His Son!  Praise God that He securely keeps that gift for us forever!

© 2013 Laurie Collett
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Donald Fishgrab said...

Great explanation of what is meant by being saved and what is required. As you pointed out,it is essential to give up our own life to have Christ's. As Luke 14:26-33 makes it clear salvation is not possible unless one is willing to do so. Sadly, many believe they can be saved just by repeating without any commitment or faith.

Frank E. Blasi said...

Dear Laurie,
I fully agree with you about so many who profess to be Christians but have only a head knowledge of Jesus Christ. It is interesting that well known atheists such as Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris also have a head knowledge of God, yet deny his existence instead of acknowledge him in their hearts.
The way of salvation is indeed very simple. Paul says in Romans 10:9-10 that if one confesses with his mouth Jesus as Lord and believes in his heart (not just in his head) that Jesus was raised from the dead, he will be saved.
I'm fully with you also on eternal security of the believer, the Rapture of the Saints and the foreknowledge of God.
Thanks for such an enjoyable read.

Ceil said...

HI Laurie! Oh yes, we are all saved. I think the question you pose is a good one. Do we believe it? Jesus wants us to be with him so much! We are all welcome, but we have to develop that faith.

God saved me for his purpose. I pray I am fulfilling that daily.
Thanks for the food for thought today!

Brenda said...

Hi Laurie,
yes it is a personal relationship with the Lord that is required, and we have to listen to what He is saying to us through the enlightening of the word by the Holy Spirit. There are many, many scriptures that He can bring to our attention, depending on what He requires us as individuals to do. I remember a long time ago He brought to my attention James ch. 2v.17 'Thus also, faith by itself without works is dead.' He then went on to show me how Abraham took his son to be sacrificed knowing that God would provide a substitute because God had already told Abraham that it was through that particular son that his descendants would follow. I know that the Lord was teaching me to believe what He has told me and do what He requires of me ( in this instance trusting Him absolutely for my healing ) because the scriptures say that all the promises of God are 'yes' in Jesus. Paul says in 2 Corinthians ch. 1 v.7 that being partakers of the sufferings, so also we will be partakers of the consolation. I believe absolutely that the 'works' He requires are doing what He is telling me to do.
God bless

Unknown said...

Laurie, this is beautiful. I am saved and it is wonderful for you to reach out to others to help them. Strange that atheists deny Christ, right? Stopping in from Super Sunday Sync.

Laurie Collett said...

Thanks, Donald! May we be His followers, willing to take up His cross and not just His name.
May you have a blessed week in Him,

mail4rosey said...

I am 100% certain (and very thankful) that I am saved. Now I'm praying for family members including my husband and in-laws, to be saved and having faith it will happen. I loved your post ( I always do ). :)

Thank you for linking to Super Sunday Sync.

Laurie Collett said...

Dear Frank,
It's very true that many atheists are well versed in the Bible. Even more interesting, some atheists express anger at or contempt for God, even though they deny belief in His existence. No one gets angry at or hates the Easter Bunny or the Tooth Fairy, for example.

It is an awesome truth that salvation is indeed so simple that even a child of sufficient maturity can understand it. Its very simplicity is a stumbling block to those who are prideful and want to trust in their own works for salvation.

It is always a blessing to read your supportive comments. I'm glad we are on the same page on major doctrinal points.

God bless,

Laurie Collett said...

Praise God that He offers the free gift of salvation to "whosoever" will accept it! It is so amazing that the Creator saved us for His purpose, and that we have the great blessing and privilege of being part of His plan!
Thanks for your comment, and may you have a blessed week in Him!

Laurie Collett said...

Dear Brenda,
How awesome that our Creator desires a personal relationship with us! Knowing this, and the price He has paid for our salvation, why would we not want to honor and glorify Him with works inspired by His Holy Spirit? Works are therefore the outward manifestation of our inward faith.
Praying for your healing, and many blessings to you and your ministry,

Laurie Collett said...

Thanks so much, Kim, for your visit & lovely comment! Praise God that you are saved! Atheists are indeed difficult to understand because their "faith" is misplaced in their own "goodness," self-sufficiency, and even foolish notions that through time and chance alone, something can arise from nothing and order can arise from chaos.
Love in Him,

Laurie Collett said...

Hi Rosey,
I really appreciate your kind words of encouragement, & thanks for hosting! Praise God that you know you are saved! Like you, I am praying for salvation for those among my family and friends who are not saved -- joining you in prayer for your loved ones also.
God bless,

Nadwrażliwiec said...

I know, that I'm saved - because of Cross, where my sins are left... And blood of Christ cleaned me from them. Greetings for You dear Laurie! :)

Denise said...

Very thought provoking, bless you.

Laurie Collett said...

Amen, Zim! We are washed in His blood and born again to eternal life! Many blessings to you,

Laurie Collett said...

Thanks, Denise! God bless you too!

Anonymous said...

Great writing of the plan of salvation. Blessings!

Laurie Collett said...

Thanks so much, Debbie! May God bless you and your ministry!

mail4rosey said...

I'm happy to join you in prayer for your friends and family too, Laurie.

Laurie Collett said...

Thank you, Rosey -- you are a blessing!

Marie said...

Well Written! Keep it up!

Marie @ &

Janis Cox said...

God gave this to me today. I have a friend who does not believe this and she thinks there are other ways to God and she is a Christian minister. We are at an impasse. I keep praying that Jesus will speak deep into her heart so she can hear the truth. She loves people and desires to see them all be with God - I do too. Thanks for your clear biblical explanation. Our minister explained this clearly too. Very hard when others don't take the Bible seriously.Blessings,

Laurie Collett said...

Thanks so much, Marie, for your lovely comment & for following -- I'm following you back!
Love in Him,

Anonymous said...

I am thankful that God knows why we struggle, how we struggle - and doesn't give up on us. He's not surprised.

Laurie Collett said...

Hi Janis,
I am so blessed to hear that this post is a blessing to you, and I hope and pray it will be to your friend too. All we can do is plant the seed, being sure to speak the truth in love, and the rest is the work of the Holy Spirit. Praying with you for all to come to a saving knowledge of Him.

Laurie Collett said...

Amen, bluecottonmemory! He knows all -- even our hearts -- and He loves us and pursues us anyway.
God bless,

BARBIE said...

I am so thankful that He reached down from heaven and saved me! Blessings!

Laurie Collett said...

Amen, Barbie! The Creator of all loves us enough to reach down and save us!
God bless,