DIFFERENT ideas about salvation have left people confused and even casual about the way they deal with their Christian faith. Some ideas are very different from the Word of God and some are even very extreme. I somehow have this conviction in my heart that I’m called to bring a balanced teaching to the body of Christ. God has revealed a lot in this past few days about the truth of salvation that I want to bring out to help our community.
Some wrong notions about salvation:
Let’s go on to read what exactly is salvation and how and when can we achieve it.
Is salvation eternal?-Yes and No
Yes if we live the salvation way-i.e if we are genuinely saved, have had a renewal of spirit and live in a way where we are constantly connected to the relationship God has restored with us (the salvation way) the devil can never snatch it away.
And No if we continue to live a worldly life after being born again in spirit.
Do you have an eternal security in salvation?
Yes if you continue in it.
No if you don’t.
It’s as simple as that. Jesus gave us a lot of warnings, corrections and admonitions right in the bible in the way we need to live. What is the need for it if we didn’t have to follow it? What is the need of pastoral care if eternal salvation is secured? However we don’t have to earn our salvation by doing what God wants but since we received it in His bountiful grace there is an obligation to do what He wants, out of our love and respect for Him.
By revelation of the Holy Spirit Jesus knew that His sheep will be attacked to be drawn away from Him. The Bible quotes many such warnings we need to pay heed to. “Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.” 2 Peter 3:17,18
“There are chances in this world to be carried away from our “secured” salvation. We must pay the most careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away.” Hebrews 2:1
Some foundational truth about salvation that will guide us to walk in line with our faith in Christ:
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV. We are saved by grace alone. Salvation is not secured through human works. No human effort will lead us to salvation but the grace of Christ. When a teaching says that we need not do anything but God will still save us; that’s also not true. We serve God when we are born again because we love him and we chose to. This makes us eligible to compete in the race to eternity.
If we lose faith we lose our salvation. Another simple truth. “holding on to faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and so have suffered shipwreck with regard to the faith.”
1 Timothy 1:19 NIV.
We need to hold on to faith and keep a good conscience. There are chances for the shipwreck of faith. We need to be careful of how we walk in our salvation.
3.Salvation is based on the grace of God.
Grace is undeserved favour. Some wrong teachings say that grace is an irresistible force that happens to any random person. “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.
1 Corinthians 15:10 NIV. Many people have gone vain with the grace. They tend to feel that the good works they do come because of their effort. It is clear from the above verse that we can become better and do good things also only with Jesus’ grace. Hence we are saved by grace but judged by our works and deeds when we resist the correction God is pouring out on us. Also Gods grace does not give us the license to sin. “What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?” Romans 6:1-2 NIV
Hebrews 6 clearly says we can fall from God’s grace if we continue to purposely live in sin. Hebrews 12:14,15 hence says to make every effort to live in peace and be holy, so that we don’t fall short of the grace of God. Hebrews 10:26 – 31 tells of the judgement we will have to face if we keep sinning after knowing the grace of God.
4.Salvation is conditional.
Romans 10.9 tells us that we are saved:
For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. Romans 10:10. However Mathew 7: 21 to 23 says that mere confession of the Lord will not give us salvation if we continue to do whatever we want. This is why when Jesus was denied by Peter thrice, after His resurrection He insisted Peter confess of His love for Him the same three times for his restoration.
Many a times our will is not in line with God’s. That’s why we need to be in connection with Him to guide us on how to live. We need to obey the word of God for in John 15:4 to 6 Jesus tells us to remain in Him as He will also remain in us .
Another reason why salvation is said to be conditional is because the bible talks about backsliding. James 5:19,20 says that when somebody backslides from the fellowship we are responsible to bring that person back. Whoever saves a sinner from their error saves them from death and covers a multitude of sin. Hence it is our responsibility to restore the backslidden and keep from it ourselves .
1Timothy 4:1 goes to say that some will be deceived and follow demons. So do not be arrogant but tremble for if God did not spare the lives of His chosen people (I.e the jews) who don’t believe, he will not spare us either.
Unbelief can cut us off but our faith will graft us in -2 Peter 2:20-22
5.Salvation is not fully attained right after being born again.
Matthew 24:13 says that the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. This goes to show that our salvation has not yet been completed, it is a process.
Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation,
1 Peter 2:2 NIV
As we need to run the Christian race till the very end we know that our salvation is a slow process that grows in us to makes us who Christ is molding us to be. When we know that our salvation is not complete and that we need to grow in it we will strive to not lose our connection with God. This is why we need to strive for our precious relationship with Christ and ensure to come for every service and be more diligent in the way we use our time.
This sounds like a very confusing statement but let’s refer the scriptures. Philippians 2:12 ‘Dear friends, you always followed my instructions when I was with you. And now that I am away, it is even more important. Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him’ Philippians 2:12-13 NLT.
The bible isn’t saying we have to work for our salvation. No, there is nothing we can do to earn it as said earlier, salvation is a free gift , received by faith, given by Gods grace.
However we need to work out our salvation. What is the difference? Working for something is to labour for it. Working out something is using what has been given for one’s maximum benefit.
Once we receive salvation, we need to live out our salvation, in other words carry it out or work it to full completion. We are to take what God has given us and apply it in our lives and continue to live a life of obedience. We need to be obedient to God if we want to progressively move in our path to salvation for its consummation.
It’s like if someone gifts us a beautiful house and hands over the key, we can only enjoy the home if we open the door and get inside, set it up to our liking and use it. If we just keep the key in our pocket we can never enjoy the house. Likewise salvation is freely endowed into our hands. We need to fully utilize it in every area of our lives, grow in it and work it out. Never work for your salvation but work it out.
“who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.” 1 Peter 1:5 NIV
The revelation of salvation will be in the last time. Till then all those who are being saved will be protected by Christ’s power.
Just because we are born again of the Spirit we don’t attain full salvation. It’s not like a crossing a line and we are done . Salvation is like walking on a horizontal line all through our life after we are born again till the very end. It’s quite a long walk and we need to reach the end to receive the end result of our faith in Christ.
It is not a one time event where we can go our own way after we receive Christ. It takes our whole lifetime. The reason why the Holy Spirit was sent and is residing in us is to prepare us through this process as the bride of Christ so that when we reach the end of our life we will be ready and prepared to meet Christ our bridegroom. The Holy Spirit has a long suffering nature to put up with all our weaknesses and faults; gently molding and guiding us to Christ like perfection.
Coming to our final point: When we confess the Lordship of Jesus we are not completely saved but we begin to be saved. Christianity is the road to salvation. This is why Jesus said: ” I am the way the truth and the life”. We need to journey with Christ to attain salvation.
Let’s have the right perception of the precious salvation Christ has givien us. For it is said: What joy for those whose strength comes from the Lord , who have set their minds on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. When they walk through the valley of weeping, it will become a place of refreshing springs. The autumn rains will clothe it with blessings. They will continue to grow stronger, and each of them will appear before God in Jerusalem.
Psalms 84:5-7 NLT
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About the Author
Ps. Damien Antony
Born and brought up in a Christian family, Ps. Damien Antony possessed an unquenching quest for truth right from his boyhood days and eventually his relentless search led him to the Bible. He is a Revival Preacher, Bible Teacher, Leadership Trainer, Author and a Life Coach. He moves under the anointing for Prophetic, Healing, Deliverance, Inner Healing and Financial Breakthrough. God has also blessed him with an Apostolic Mandate to take the Universal Body of Christ to the next level of revelation and anointing.
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