How Salvation Happens
Posted by Job on April 13, 2007
Romans 10:13 – For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
Do not be deceived: we are saved not by works, not by some combination of works and faith, but by faith alone. Evidence of this is given in Galatians 3:6, which reads: “Even as Abraham belived God, and it was accounted unto him [Abraham] for righteousness.” God is the author and finisher of our faith, but Abraham is called the father of faith. So, the father of faith, the founder of Judaism and the line through which Jesus Christ came and established Christianity and made possible a personal relationship with God through His death and resurrection, was himself made righteous and therefore saved not according to anything that he did, but rather what he believed. And it is fortunate that it was not on the basis of what Abraham did, because even as the father of our faith, Abraham did a lot of bad things. He was born to a family that practiced a false religion (moon god worship), so he almost certainly did the same at some point. He also lied, rebelled against God, and disobeyed God, especially when he took Hagar as a wife and had Ishmael with her. In doing so he was true to the desires of his his wife Sarah and to the wicked practices and traditions of the time, but make no mistake, it was not what God wanted to happen, and was the cause of much trouble later. And not only that, but the son of Abraham (Isaac) and his grandson (Jacob, later renamed Israel) ALSO did a lot of bad things. But in spite of the bad things that they did, they believed, and because of that belief they were considered righteous – or saved – by God.Indeed, sometimes it is BECAUSE of our sins that we ultimately believe, because the guilt that comes from the bad things that we do and the mess that we create when we do wrong drives us to seek help, relief, and answers, and it is the search for that which leads us to God. To the contrary, those who convince themselves that they never do anything wrong and are saved already because of who they are and what they do, people like that almost never find God because they already are the righteousness of God in their own eyes.
I mentioned that Abraham had a son with Sarah? Well, they had Isaac when Abraham was very old and impotent, and Sarah was very old and had been infertile her whole life. So, there was no way that they were going to have a child through natural means no matter what they did. The only way that it was going to happen was if God did it, and the only way that God was going to do it was if they believed. Romans 4:15 – 21 explains this beautifully. So, just like Abraham and Sarah were not going to have a child by anything that they did, you are not going to be saved by anything that you do. But just like they had Isaac by believing that they would have a child, you can be saved just by believing what God said in the Bible about your salvation.
God predicted through His prophet Joel in Joel 2:28 and fulfilled it with the declaration by His Son Jesus Christ in John 3 and Romans 10 (among other places) that we are saved merely by A) asking God to save us and B) believing that we are saved as soon as we do so and by doing so alone. Some people teach that there is this special process that you have to go through before and in order to be saved: that Calvinistic doctrine and similar are wrong. Others believe that in order to be really saved or for your salvation to be “proven” you must speak in tongues. That is a doctrine that was created by the “Jesus Only” or “Oneness Pentecostal” group of false Christians who deny Trinity, and is now common in the Word of Faith movement. Both contradict the Bible. The Calvinists believe that Jesus Christ’s death on the cross only accomplished partial redemption and salvation. The anti – Trinitarians believe that righteousness is accomplished by works and proven by outward signs: they are what Paul refers to as “of the circumcision” (meaning Jews who believed that person had to follow the law and – if male – had to be circumcised in order to be saved). There is also a false doctrine of “baptismal regeneration” and a similar one of “salvation by baptism”, which teaches that salvation is either accomplished or completed by virtue of baptism. While being baptized is a requirement of Christianity, it is NOT a requirement of salvation, but rather serves as a testimony to MEN (not to God) to represent what God has already done inside you through your faith in His ability and willingness to save you.
We cannot be saved by our own efforts. Why? Because what man does through his own effort can be either undone or nullified, as the power of man is limited. But God’s power is unlimited, unchallengeable. So, what God does for you cannot be undone or nullified. Therefore, if your salvation is due to some process, that process can be interrupted. If your salvation is due to works, then those works can be corrupted or undone. Now Calvinists to their credit do teach that one cannot “lose their salvation” through the sin or flaws that exist in all humans, but they wrongly teach that sin is not accomplished until you become completely aware of and therefore filled with guilt over all the sin that you have done and that you were born into, how evil you are, how you have hurt and angered God, etc. and tell God you are sorry, and then God takes you through this process where He gradually removes the sin out of you and saves you over time. Anti – Trinitarians do not teach this, but they do teach that if you commit “a really bad sin” or if you “sin over and over again”, then your salvation will be lost, and you will have to “be saved again.” So both are of the circumcision and therefore “legalists”: Calvinists regarding what needs to be done in order to be saved, anti – Trinitarians regarding what needs to be done after you are saved. As both believe to some degree in works and process, they both deny grace. Now while the Calvinist error is not fatal, it is problematic, especially regarding their utterly false and damaging belief that children cannot be saved because they are too young to be conscious of the depths of their sin, what it means to be a sinner, how they have hurt God, etc. Anti – Trinitarians, meanwhile, are just completely wrong; they willfully specifically deny the Bible on every point regarding salvation and the very nature of God.
But to summarize, go back to Abraham’s righteousness as described in Romans 4:15 – 21. Just as Abraham did not consider his impotence, his wife’s being barren, or their own age, you do not have to become consumed with grief concerning your own rottenness. You know that you are a sinner and that only God can save you from your sins and the punishment for your sins, that is all that matters. And do not think about how you have been unable to live righteously in the past, or be overwhelmed at the daunting task of having to live for God in the future. Just know that you are saved by what you believe, not by what you do. Know that you are getting something that you do not deserve; that is being freely given. If it is something that you do not deserve but was given to you, then what sense does it make to go out and try to get a job and work for it? Where is the gain in trying to earn some money to try to make it appear that you were worthy to receive it? Look, you were going to get it anyway, and God knows it. So rather than trying to make yourself worthy or appear worthy of the gift, just accept the gift and THEN WORK to show your LOVE and your GRATITUDE towards the giver. And just as Abraham had hope against hope that he would have a child, you need to have hope against hope that no matter what you have done or will do – for you will sin! – that God is going to save you anyway. You are not putting your faith in your own ability not to sin, but rather God’s ability to save you no matter what you do so long as you have faith.It seems unfair? Well yes, it is unfair. But if God is willing to abide by those terms, who are you to say no? Just take what God is giving you and be happy, stop beating yourself up over it. Jesus Christ took the beating over your sins when He went to the cross for you, and since Jesus Christ is God, there is nothing that you can add on top of God Himself taking on such humiliation by dying the painful death of a criminal at the hands of sinners! “And being fully persuaded of what he had been promised, he did not waver but was able to be perform.” You have been promised salvation in the Bible, and if you are sure of what the Bible says, you will know that you are saved by belief alone, and you will be able to believe in your salvation because you will believe in the God that saved you. If you fall short, however, you will never believe in your salvation because you will reject God’s Word that promised you salvation in the way that the promise was made, you will never believe in your salvation, and you will never trust the God that saved you. You will always try to add to it with your own efforts, the way Abraham did when he had the child with Hagar. Abraham failed to believe that God would give him a child the way God said that he would, with Sarah. So he tried to help God with his own works and had a child that God never intended.
Once you read the Bible, especially John 3 and Romans 10, it is obvious that all that need happen for you to be saved is to A) know that you need to be saved, B) know that only God can save you and C) know that God will save you no matter what if you cry out to Him and D) cry out to Him. If you have never done so, or even if you have and are not sure, you can accomplish A – D right here, now, today. This process is all you need, say it, believe it, and be ready to both go to Heaven and serve God with the rest of your time on earth!
1. Admit to God that you are a sinner, and that this gives God the right to punish you for your sins. If you are deny or are unsure of that your being a sinner, then take this challenge: Have you ever told a lie? Stolen something? Wanted something that belonged to someone else? Disobeyed or disrespected your parents? Used the Name of God in a swear or curse word? Looked at someone other than your spouse in a sexual manner? Hated or become very angry with someone? Have you practiced another religion, taken part in any ritual, or cared about anything more than you do God? If you have done any of those things at any point in your life, then you have disobeyed a direct order from God. It is not an issue of your character or morals, but the fact that you have broken one of God’s Commandments at some point, which is what sin is. Yet, you should take this personally, because one day God will judge you for disobeying Him, and if He finds you guilty, He will punish you forever. What gives God the right to judge and punish you? The fact that He is God, that He created you, and that the very same rules that you broke in your short life He obeys for eternity. Realize this: no matter how moral and upstanding you are, you still sin each day of your life, usually without even knowing it, and the main way is not in what you do but in what you think! Even if you never made a single movement for your entire life, you would still sin! So reject your pride and admit to God that you are a sinner! And what does this mean? That you owe God something, that you are in debt to Him. But it is a debt that you can never pay. So like any creditor, God has the right to punish you for your unpaid debt, and He will exercise that right, with the punishment being an eternal death in a lake of fire. This is called acknowledgment of sin.
2. Know that you have no right to disobey God, and that God has every right to punish you forever for all present, future, and past known and unknown sin, even honest mistakes. Then desire not to disobey God anymore. Whether it is the things that you did in the past or may do in the future, whether it is things that you remember or not, whether it was things that you knowingly or not , or something that you knew was wrong when or not, and whether it is easy to stop doing these things or not, know that all disobedience to God is unconditionally wrong, and that your desire is to not disobey God again at all costs. This is called repentance of sin.
3. Know that only God can forgive your sins and keep you from being punished for them. How? God came to earth as the only man born to a virgin: Jesus Christ. Being fully man while on the earth, the opportunity to sin was constantly presented to Him just as it is to you. But being fully God, He was able to do what for you is impossible: live an entire life without having a single sinful thought or action, known or unknown, willingly or by accident. But though Jesus Christ never committed any sin, He died anyway. Why? To take the punishment for your sins. If someone else pays your debts for you, then you do not have to pay them, right? And that is precisely what Jesus Christ did. After Jesus Christ paid your debt with His death on a cross, He rose from the dead three days later to prove that those who are not guilty of sin will not be punished. Since only God is without sin, knowing that Jesus Christ rose from the dead and that accepting that His death was only way that you can be spared the punishment of sin is the same as believing that Jesus Christ is God, and also that God alone has the ability to find you guilty of sin and make you innocent of it. This requires more than simply acknowledging some bit of information as factually correct such as what you do when reading a newspaper or history book. This is you being absolutely certain that Jesus Christ exists, that He died on the cross to pay your debt to God that you alone created with your own sins, and that He resurrected from the dead to prove that because that He paid your debt for you you will not be punished. Then you must trust God that it is because of this knowledge alone that He will save you from being punished for owing the debt to Him that you cannot pay. This called believing on the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The “on” in that phrase is key. It is not merely believing that Jesus Christ lived, or even that He was God who died for your sins and was resurrected. It is knowing what His life, death, and resurrection means for you: that your debt of sin can be paid by God alone through faith and trust in God alone, and only in the manner that God requires.So, if you right now before God acknowledge your sin, repent of your sin, and believe upon the resurrection, then you are saved!
Please do a few things to make it official. In the Bible, Romans 10:9 says that if you openly state that Jesus Christ is your God and believe in your heart (meaning with your mind, emotions) and will) that God raised Him from the dead, then you are saved. So if you can speak, say “Before God I have acknowledged my sin, repented of my sin, and believed on the Resurrection of His Son Jesus Christ.”
Next, Jesus Christ stated in Matthew 10:32 and Luke 12:8 that you must tell others that you believe in Him and that He paid your debt because of it. So, if there is anyone around you, tell them so. Or, if you wish, you can tell me at email@example.com!
Also, God commands us to receive a full – immersion baptism, which represents how Jesus Christ died for us and rose again, and allows us to participate in His actions symbolically. The ideal place to have this performed is at a church.
You also must immediately become a faithful, regular reader of the Bible, and the only true way is to do so the whole way through from start to finish. Why? Because the Bible should be the foundation and motivation for all that you believe, say, and do from this point on. You will not be accepted by God unless you love Jesus Christ, and the Bible says in John 14:15 that you cannot love Jesus Christ except by obeying Him. As God’s Commandments to you are in the Bible, you must read it in order to obey Him.
I would further greatly appreciate it were you to click on this link (Make Your Testimony To Jesus Christ Right Here!) to let me know that God used this outreach ministry to cause you to give your life to Him. (It solicits a testimony, but you do not have to provide one unless you want to!)
At this point you may be confused about certain things. That is perfectly fine, and understandable. Foremost, let me inform you about God. First of all, He loves you. That was why He left the paradise of Heaven to live as a man (not only that, but the common life of a laborer, a carpenter as a Jew during the time that Jews were living in poverty and brutal oppression by the Roman Empire) and experienced death (and not only that, but the humiliating excruciating public death of a criminal in a manner that the Bible calls cursed in Galatians 3:13) so that you could be saved and be with Him in Heaven. Second – and this is a mystery that men are incapable of understanding and should not try to – though there is only one God, God is composed of three distinct personalities: the Father (or the Ancient of Days), the Son Jesus Christ (or the Word of God), and the Spirit of God (the Holy Spirit, the Holy Ghost). The three personalities combine to make one Entity, one God. God is used in referenced to all three personalities as a unit – commonly called the Holy Trinity (though I prefer Tri – Unity) or when speaking of a personality in separate. Each personality is equal, and each personality is distinct with a clearly defined role. How does this make for one God instead of three? First, consider not that 1 + 1 + 1 = 3 but rather 1 X 1 X 1 = 1. Second, again realize that it is a mystery, accomplished by the God that has always existed in this state and makes it so. But this is the reason why God refers to Himself in singular when speaking of Himself to others and plural when speaking of Himself about Himself. The first example in the Bible of God referring to Himself in plural is Genesis 1:26 . Isaiah 6:8 (with Isaiah 6:1 – 7 being the salvation narrative on which this 3 step method is based, allowing for the fact that Jesus Christ had not yet openly been revealed to the world in the time of Isaiah) is an example of God referring to Himself as singular and plural. All three personalities of the Trinity are equal, but Jesus Christ willingly subordinates Himself to and obeys the Ancient of Days – whom Jesus Christ called Father in scripture and the Father called Jesus Christ His only begotten Son – and the Holy Spirit does the same regarding both Jesus Christ and the Ancient of Days. One of the duties of the Holy Spirit is to bring us to Jesus Christ, and one of the duties of Jesus Christ is to bring us to the Ancient of Days. One of the duties of the Ancient of Days is to be a prosecutor and judge: to put people on trial regarding their sins, to determine their guilt or innocence, and determine their fates. (One that has not allowed the Holy Spirit to bring them to Jesus Christ and Jesus Christ to bring them to His Father will be tried and convicted by the Father.) For more information on the vital Christian doctrine of the Trinity, read this link and this one as well.
Second, the Bible commands us in Hebrews 10:24 – 25 to keep regular frequent company with other Christians, and the most common way of accomplishing this is with membership and regular attendance and participation of a local church. If this is what you choose, make certain that such a church professes that the Protestant Christian Bible is the inerrant, God inspired, completed revelation to man, and is the final authority in all matters, and this profession is verified by the actions of the church’s pastor and members. Finding such a church is very difficult in this day and age, so many Christians are now seeking to fulfill Hebrews 10:24 – 25 by regularly meeting to pray and study the Bible in small groups, which is what the early church did – often in each other’s homes but also at times in public places like synagogues and on each day of the week – until the Roman government took control of the church and commanded under penalty of death that people could only meet in government – designated buildings on Sunday. It was at that time that the term “church” came to mean a building where people met to worship, or a particular group of people that meet at buildings to worship.
Third, here is a link that does an excellent job of briefly defining common Christian terms, many of whom are often misunderstood, misused, and abused. Please become familiar with it, and it will help you both in your understanding of the Bible, and those who either honestly misunderstand it knowingly dishonestly seek to profit from the popular misunderstandings of others.
Finally, God bless you in your new life!
J. King of Heal The Land
J. King of Heal The Land