What is salvation?
Salvation is to be saved—from hell, from a broken relationship with God, and from the curses that plague mankind as a result of Adam’s fall in the Garden of Eden.
You see, God made Adam and gave him dominion over the earth, but Adam committed high treason, and bowed his knee to an outlaw spirit called Satan, and with his fall, gave dominion of the earth over to Satan. God sent Jesus as the Second Adam, to redeem the sons of Adam from their sin, and to redeem this earth from Satan’s dominion.
To believe in Christ Jesus as your Lord and Savior is to receive this very redemption, and all that He has done for you through His one perfect sacrifice on the cross! Your sins are forever dealt with, you receive God’s own righteousness and you can step boldly into God’s presence. He will no longer just be God Almighty to you, but also YOUR heavenly Father.
In exchange for all the pain, suffering and lack that are so prevalent in the fallen world, you can look to your Daddy God and confidently expect His blessings of health, provision and protection. And ultimately, you will get to spend an eternity with God in heaven as your home.
Why do I need salvation?
The wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23), and in and of ourselves, we have no way to escape the punishment for sins. Without Christ, we had a one way ticket to eternal separation from God.
However, our God is a good God, and our God is love (1 John 4:8, 16). And because He loves us so much, He Himself provided a way out of hell (Matthew 5 and Mark 9) and into everlasting life (John 3:16).
So God sent His own beloved Son Jesus Christ to take our place on the cross, to bear the full weight of God’s wrath and punishment for all our sins on His own body, and to die our death. Only Jesus Christ, the perfect and sinless Son of God (Hebrews 4:15), can fully satisfy the righteous demands of God’s holiness in payment for our sins.
Hence, it is only through our believing in Jesus and His perfect finished work that we can be saved, step boldly into the presence of our heavenly Father (Hebrews 4:16), and expect abundant life on earth (John 10:10) and a glorious future in heaven. There is no other way to be saved apart from making a decision to accept what Jesus has done for you. (Acts 4:12)
How do I get saved?
Salvation is a gift from God, and comes through believing in Jesus and Jesus alone. In John 14:6, the Bible tells us very clearly that Christ is the only way to God and eternal life. We are saved by grace alone by faith in the blood atonement of Jesus Christ and His finished work on the cross! For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast (Ephesians 2:8-9).
The GOSPEL OF GRACE
Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: (1 Corinthians 15:1-4 KJV).
THE SIMPLICITY OF THE GOSPEL
The Gospel is the good news that Jesus Christ died to pay for all of our sins and came back from the dead. If I put my faith in Him, that He did that for me, I receive that very moment, everlasting life as a free gift. If I have everlasting life as a present possession, then there are no other requirements to getting saved, for I already am saved. Therefore, any message that adds to faith alone in Christ alone, is a false, counterfeit message that cannot save.
Here is a sample prayer for salvation: Father God, thank You for choosing to love me! I know I am a sinner. I believe that You sent Your Son, Jesus Christ, to die for my sins. I believe He rose again and lives today. I believe that I am saved by grace through faith in the blood atonement of Jesus Christ and His finished work on the cross. I believe that the precious blood of Jesus has washed me clean of all of my sins – past, present and future. Thank You for Your wonderful love and for giving me eternal life! In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.
What happens after I get saved?
Once you have accepted Jesus into your life, your entire position in God’s kingdom changes—you are no longer a sinner, but a new creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17), and an heir of God (Romans 8:17).
Today, as Jesus is in heaven, so are you in this world (1 John 4:17)! God loves you unconditionally and wants to bless you. He is forever on your side (Romans 8:31), and He has declared that He will never leave you nor forsake you (Hebrews 13:5).
It is very important for you to continue hearing about Jesus and your new identity in Him, and to learn of all the blessings that He purchased at the cross for you to enjoy.
Can I lose my salvation? Does the Bible promise eternal security?
When people come to know Christ as their Savior, they are brought into a relationship with God that guarantees their eternal security. Jude 24 declares, “To Him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before His glorious presence without fault and with great joy.” God’s power is able to keep the believer from falling. It is up to Him, not us, to present us before His glorious presence. Our eternal security is a result of God keeping us, not us maintaining our own salvation.
The Lord Jesus Christ proclaimed, “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand” (John 10:28-29b). Both Jesus and the Father have us firmly grasped in their hand. Who could possibly separate us from the grip of both the Father and the Son?
Ephesians 4:30 tells us that believers are “sealed for the day of redemption.” If believers did not have eternal security, the sealing could not truly be unto the day of redemption, but only to the day of sinning, apostasy, or disbelief. John 3:15-16 tells us that whoever believes in Jesus Christ will “have eternal life.” If a person were to be promised eternal life, but then have it taken away, it was never “eternal” to begin with. If eternal security is not true, the promises of eternal life in the Bible would be in error.
The most powerful argument for eternal security is Romans 8:38-39, “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Our eternal security is based on God’s love for those whom He has redeemed. Our eternal security is purchased by Christ, promised by the Father, and sealed by the Holy Spirit.
Once a person is saved are they always saved?
When people come to know Jesus Christ as their Savior, they are brought into a relationship with God that guarantees their salvation as eternally secure. Numerous passages of Scripture declare this fact.
(a) Romans 8:30 declares, “And those He predestined, He also called; those He called, He also justified; those He justified, He also glorified.” Once a person is justified, his salvation is guaranteed. He is as secure as if he is already glorified in heaven.
(b) Paul writes in Romans 8:33-34, “Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died more than that, who was raised to life – is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.” Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? No one will, because Christ is our advocate. Who will condemn us? No one will, because Christ, the One who died for us, is the one who condemns. We have both the advocate and judge as our Savior.
(c) Believers are born again (regenerated) when they believe (John 3:3; Titus 3:5). For a Christian to lose his salvation, he would have to be un-regenerated. The Bible gives no evidence that the new birth can be taken away.
(d) The Holy Spirit indwells all believers (John 14:17; Romans 8:9) and baptizes all believers into the Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:13). For a believer to become unsaved, he would have to be “un-indwelt” and detached from the Body of Christ.
(e) John 3:15 states that whoever believes in Jesus Christ will “have eternal life.” If you believe in Christ today and have eternal life, but lose it tomorrow, then it was never “eternal” at all. Hence if you lose your salvation, the promises of eternal life in the Bible would be in error.
(f) For the most conclusive argument, Scripture says it best itself, “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39). Remember the same God who saved you is the same God who will keep you. Once we are saved we are always saved. Our salvation is most definitely eternally secure!
How were people saved before Jesus died for our sins?
Since the fall of man, the basis of salvation has always been the death of Christ. No one, either prior to the cross or since the cross, would ever be saved without that one pivotal event in the history of the world. Christ’s death paid the penalty for past sins of Old Testament saints and future sins of New Testament saints.
The requirement for salvation has always been faith. The object of one’s faith for salvation has always been God. The psalmist wrote, “Blessed are all who take refuge in him” (Psalm 2:12). Genesis 15:6 tells us that tells us that Abraham believed God and that was enough for God to credit it to him for righteousness (see also Romans 4:3-8). The Old Testament sacrificial system did not take away sin, as Hebrews 10:1-10 clearly teaches. It did, however, point to the day when the Son of God would shed His blood for the sinful human race.
What has changed through the ages is the content of a believer’s faith. God’s requirement of what must be believed is based on the amount of revelation He has given mankind up to that time. This is called progressive revelation. Adam believed the promise God gave in Genesis 3:15 that the Seed of the woman would conquer Satan. Adam believed Him, demonstrated by the name he gave Eve (v. 20) and the Lord indicated His acceptance immediately by covering them with coats of skin (v. 21). At that point that is all Adam knew, but he believed it.
Abraham believed God according to the promises and new revelation God gave him in Genesis 12 and 15. Prior to Moses, no Scripture was written, but mankind was responsible for what God had revealed. Throughout the Old Testament, believers came to salvation because they believed that God would someday take care of their sin problem. Today, we look back, believing that He has already taken care of our sins on the cross (John 3:16; Hebrews 9:28).
What about believers in Christ’s day, prior to the cross and resurrection? What did they believe? Did they understand the full picture of Christ dying on a cross for their sins? Late in His ministry, “Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life” (Matthew 16:21-22). What was the reaction of His disciples to this message? “Then Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. ‘Never, Lord!’ he said. ‘This shall never happen to you!’” Peter and the other disciples did not know the full truth, yet they were saved because they believed that God would take care of their sin problem. They didn’t exactly know how He would accomplish that, any more than Adam, Abraham, Moses, or David knew how, but they believed God.
Today, we have more revelation than the people living before the resurrection of Christ; we know the full picture. “In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe” (Hebrews 1:1-2). Our salvation is still based on the death of Christ, our faith is still the requirement for salvation, and the object of our faith is still God. Today, for us, the content of our faith is that Jesus Christ died for our sins, He was buried, and He rose the third day (1 Corinthians 15:3-4).