BASICS OF SALVATION
August 7, 1996
Purpose: To provide accurate answers to salvation. These facts are grace
oriented and theologically accurate. The intent is to help new believers
and those who want straight answers.
How can I meet God?
The only way in this life is to be born again. Since God is Spirit and
dwells in unapproachable light (1 Timothy 6:16), to walk into his presence
would mean instant death. It would be like flying into the eye of the sun.
But, there is hope. He has provided a way for us to know Him. It involves
being born again.
Since God is Spirit and the natural man does not have a human spirit, there
is no way for spiritually dead man to have fellowship with Spiritual God.
Man must be born again (John 3:3, 7), which means to be spiritually regenerated.
When a person accepts Christ as Savior, the Holy Spirit creates in him
a human spirit so that he can have fellowship with God. God the Father
also imputes Eternal Life and His own Righteousness to the new believer.
The person who is born again is a new spiritual species. He is spiritually
alive and able to have fellowship with God.
So the answer as to how to meet God is the same as the Lord Jesus Christ
gave to Nicodemus. "You must be born again (John 3:7)."
Does God love me?
Yes, God loves you (John 3:16). Love is the very essence of God. "God is
love (1 John 4:16)." God is perfect, omnipotent, eternal; so is His love.
So God loves with an infinite love. His love is based upon who and what
He is. This is true objectivity. He loves us when we are good, when we
are bad, when we are arrogant fools, and when we reject and despise Him.
When Jesus was dying on the cross after being physically abused beyond
recognition (Isaiah 53:2,5) and despised and rejected, He said, "Father,
forgive them for they do not know not what they are doing (Luke 23:34)."
God's love for mankind is beyond comprehension, but it is also based upon
knowing the whole truth. He knows all and sees all. He knows we aren't
perfect. He knows we are flawed. God has absolute righteousness while the
mankind has been polluted by sin and evil (Jeremiah 17:9, Romans 3:23).
The best and highest of human virtue is incompatible with the divine standard
God loves us whether we believe in Him or not, but that doesn't mean that
we have fellowship with Him. God doesn't coerce our love response. He gives
us the choice. He loves us but leaves us free to accept or reject His infinite,
eternal love. It is like being separated from someone you love very much
or being jilted. When we love someone very much but they reject us, that
is like the unbeliever rejecting God's perfect love.
How can I know I'm saved?
If you have believed in Jesus Christ, then, on the authority of the word,
you are saved: "He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; but he
who does not believe shall not see life but the wrath of God abides on
him (John 3:36)." "And the witness is this, that God has given us eternal
life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life; he
who does not have the Son of God does not have the life (1 John 5:11-12,
Salvation is received by faith alone in Christ alone. That means that believing
in Christ is the only possible way to be saved. If you, in the privacy
of your own soul, expressed your faith in Jesus Christ, then God has given
to you eternal life. But if you did something else for salvation, such
as doing good works, going to church, going to confession, or inviting
Christ into your heart, then you have not complied with the simple truth
of scripture. Such activity will not bring salvation. There is only one
way to be saved and that is God's way. Anything that man does to add to
God's procedure nullifies the result and does not lead to salvation.
Ephesians 2: 8 For by grace you have been saved in the past with the result
that you keep on being saved forever through faith, and this not from yourselves.
It is the gift from God: 9 Not by works that no one should boast.
Why am I alive?
Only God knows that, but if you are still alive, then He still has a purpose
for your life (Ephesians 4:4)!
What is the purpose of life?
Everyone was created to resolve the prehistoric Angelic Conflict. When
Satan sinned, he was cast out of heaven (Isaiah 14:15, Ezekiel 28:16).
He rejected God's solution to his sin problem. He was sentenced to the
Lake of Fire (Matt 25:41, Revelation 20:10). Satan appealed the decision.
His arguments were undoubtedly, "How can a God of love sentence me to burn
Man was created to resolve the appeal. So a man and a woman were created
and placed in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 2:8). They used their volition
to sin, just as Satan had done (Genesis 3:1-19). They were booted out of
the Garden (Genesis 3:22) just as Satan had been booted out of Heaven.
When God gave them an opportunity to be saved, however; unlike Satan, they
accepted it. They believed in the Jehovah-Savior who would come, were saved,
and sacrificed an animal to demonstrate it. They clothed themselves with
the animal skin (Genesis 3:21) and proceeded to demonstrate the adequacy,
Righteousness, and Justice of the Plan of God.
The Lord Jesus Christ was born of a woman and provided salvation for all
who would believe. Those who choose to reject salvation (God's solution)
are left in condemnation.
The daily decisions of each member of the human race are used in the appeal
trial, which is now extent. Each of us has an opportunity to have access
to unlimited opportunity by the grace of God. We can choose to accept or
reject God's Plan. When we accept it, we become witnesses to demonstrate
the sufficiency of the Plan of God. When we reject it, we demonstrate the
arrogance of Satan, who said, "I will be like the most High (Isaiah 14:14).
Should I feel saved?
A person cannot feel the spirit, and salvation is entrance into the spiritual
life. Feeling is a physical response from the body. How the body feels
has nothing to do with the Christian life. If one is looking for confidence
or assurance about salvation, then this grows as one matures in the Christian
life. Doubts arise when we fail to believe the truth (Titus 1:2). We take
our eyes off the divine solution.
Even in our darkest hour, there is no need to doubt our salvation. It is
our rock. It is God's work - not ours. It does not depend on us. Even in
Jeremiah's darkest hour, he kept from falling apart by recalling the promises
of scripture: "This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is
of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions
fail not. They are new every morning: great is Thy faithfulness.
(Lamentations 3:21-23, KJV).
Can I be saved and lose it?
No. "And I give eternal life to them, and they shall never perish; and
no one shall snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them
Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of
the Father's hand. (John 10:28-29, NAS)."
"For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities,
nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth,
nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love
of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:38-39, NAS)."
Anyone can have Everlasting Life simply by believing in Christ (Acts 16:31).
Faith in Christ alone brings the gift of Everlasting Life (Ephesians 2:8-9).
The Lord Jesus Christ paid for the sins of the world on the cross (1 Peter
3:18; 1 John 2:2). The door is now open for all who want the gift of Eternal
Life. Nothing stands in the way. The gift is available to all who want
it (Ephesians 2:8-9). The scripture says, "For in this way God loved the
world in that He gave His uniquely-born Son so that anyone who believes
in Him will not perish but will have Eternal Life (John 3:16). Believe
in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved (Acts 16:31)."
Jesus Christ, the Savior
The Lord Jesus Christ was the uniquely-born Son of God. He was both perfect
humanity and undiminished deity combined in one unique personality of the
universe. No person has ever been born like this. He was God in the flesh.
After mankind sinned, a Savior was promised who would handle the sin problem.
The result of sin was condemnation, spiritual death. Spiritual death simply
means the absence of a human spirit. Without the human spirit, there is
absolutely no way for man to have fellowship with God, Who is Spirit. Mankind
has to be spiritual to have fellowship with the Spirit of God. Spiritually
dead man is separated from God.
The Lord Jesus Christ went to the cross where God the Father poured out
the sins of the world on Christ and judged them. As the sins were being
imputed to Christ and judged, He screamed out, "My God, My God, why have
You forsaken Me?" Jesus Christ alone, our unique Savior, suffered the judgment
of God for our sins. He handled our sin problem on behalf of us. Our sins
would have condemned us to eternal separation from God, since God is perfect
Righteousness and can have no fellowship with sin. For us to die without
a solution to the sin problem would mean separation from God forever.
However, the Lord Jesus as the perfect lamb of God, without spot or blemish,
was uniquely qualified to bear our sins. He was impeccable, without sin,
in His humanity; and therefore, He met God's criteria for bearing the sins
of the world (1 Peter 1:19). He was qualified to be the mediator of a new
covenant between God and mankind.
When Jesus Christ finished bearing the sins of the world on the cross,
He announced, "It is finished." That is, the work of salvation was completed.
He had finished bearing the judgment of God for all the sins of the world.
He had provided unlimited atonement (1 John 2:2). Every sin ever committed
in the history of the human race had been judged in Christ. The justice
of God was satisfied: He was propitiated, I.e. He was satisfied with the
work of Christ.
Because of the work of Christ on the cross, the door is now open for salvation
to all who would believe. There is no sin, or anything else, to separate
mankind from God except individual choice not to believe. We have a choice.
We can choose Eternal Life or we can remain in spiritual death. The decision
is up to us. If we don't make the decision to accept the gift of Eternal
Life, we remain in eternal condemnation (John 3:18). If we die without
accepting Christ, we will be sentenced to the Lake of Fire, which was prepared
for the devil and his demons. He was the promised Savior (Rev. 20:10, 15).
The Decision to Believe
If you have not made the decision to believe in Christ, please stop and
in the privacy of your own soul tell God the Father that you are believing
in Christ. The gift of Everlasting Life can be yours. It is a private matter
between you and God; but stop and think. It's free; there is no obligation;
and it will affect where you spend eternity (Hebrews 2:3). Only faith in
Christ will work; for "There is salvation in none other; there is no other
name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved (Acts 4:12)."
After believing in Christ, the word of God is fulfilled: "He who believes
in the Son has everlasting life (John 3:36a)." If we meet God's criteria,
He keeps His word. He gives us Everlasting Life and we can never lose it.
"I give to them Eternal Life and they shall never perish; neither shall
anyone snatch them out of my hand (John 10:28)." We can never lose our
salvation because we are held by the power of God, and there is nothing
When the gospel (the good news about Christ and His work of salvation)
is heard by anyone who is spiritually dead, the Holy Spirit will temporarily
act as the human spirit to make the issue clear. A spiritually dead person
would otherwise be incapable of understanding any spiritual information.
The Holy Spirit performs a special ministry for the unbeliever to make
the gospel perspicuous so that this person can have an opportunity to have
If a person responds to the gospel by believing in Christ, the Holy Spirit
performs the work of spiritual regeneration. The Holy Spirit creates for
the new believer a human spirit and God the Father imputes to it Eternal
Life. The person is now spiritually alive. This is called being born-again.
Gifts of Salvation
At the moment of salvation God gives a number of things to the believer.
The gifts of salvation include:
A human spirit.
The gift of God's own perfect Righteousness.
The Baptism of the Holy Spirit.
The indwelling of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
The believer becomes a new spiritual species.
Adoption as a child of God.
The priesthood of the believer.
A new title of Royalty.
The believer's soul is filled with the Holy Spirit.
The sealing of the Holy Spirit - Eternal Security.
An inheritance - portfolio of invisible assets, escrow blessings.
One or more spiritual gifts for service.
The New Life
The new believer is a new spiritual species (2 Cor. 5:17 original Greek).
He is a new creation. He is spiritually alive, and the Holy Spirit permanently
indwells his body (2 Timothy 1:14) and optionally fills his soul (Ephesians
5:18). The greatest possible life of all the dispensations of history awaits
the believer in the Church Age (Ephesians 2:4-7). Nothing like this ever
happened or ever will happen again in any other dispensation (Ephesians
A dispensation is a period of time in which God deals with mankind according
to defined rules. For example, there was the Age (or Dispensation) of the
Jews, which lasted from the giving of the Law to Moses till the birth of
Christ. The Church Age runs from the day of Pentecost till the Rapture.
The Church Age is the only dispensation in which the ordinary believer
is indwelt by God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This is miraculous and
The Church Age believer is a member of the Royal Priesthood (1 Peter 2:9).
As Bride of Christ, the calling of the Church Age believer is the highest
of any dispensation - higher than Moses, Elijah, Jeremiah, David - or any
of the great believers of the Old Testament or the future dispensations.
The Church Age believer will have a destiny in Heaven that is higher than
Moses. He will live in the Royal Castle with Christ by virtue of being
born-again in the Church Age.
Every believer in the Church Age is a priest (1 Peter 2:9). This means
that he can represent himself before God. When Christ died on the cross,
the curtain in the Temple was torn in half (Matthew 27:51). This was the
curtain that separated the Holy of Holies from the Holy Place. The symbolism
was that the Holy of Holies represented Heaven itself, where Christ is
today (Hebrews 9:24). The Holy Place was the place where the Levitical
Priests ministered. With the curtain torn in two, the implication is that
the Church Age believer-priest has direct access to the throne of God in
Heaven (Hebrews 10:19).
The Church Age believer as a priest has direct access to Christ, our High
Priest (Hebrews 9:11), Who is in the throne room of the Supreme Court of
Heaven (Hebrews 10:12). He can access it anytime through prayer without
going through any intermediary (Hebrews 10:21-22). Christ was the only
mediator between God and man (Hebrews 9:15). When he opened the door (tore
down the dividing curtain) by means of His work on the Cross (Hebrews 10:20),
the door was open for the believer to enter boldly into the presence of
God in heaven by means of prayer.
Unique Opportunities in the Plan of God
The new believer is a child of God. As such, a multitude of unique opportunities
are provided compliments of the grace of God. He loves His children and
gives them gifts commensurate with His person.
God has a Plan for the life of every new believer that includes a life
beyond dreams (Ephesians 3:20). It is a new, spiritual life in a new dimension
that is not soulish and not physical. It is powerful and fulfilling. The
Plan of God is full of purpose and definition for our life. In it we have
a destiny, a calling, a place of service. We are called to be kings and
priests, and there is divine provision to develop capacity for these stations.
God provides everything for us in grace. He does the work; He gets the
glory. We go along for the ride. Nothing depends on us.
So what's the catch? The only catch is us. We have nothing to offer God.
We have to get out of the way and let Him do all the work in grace. We
have to accept His terms, which means submission to His Plan. The Bible
is the complete description of His Plan. Only by learning and obeying Bible
Doctrine can we execute the Christian Life.
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