How do I know that I am saved?
Many Christians believe that all they needed to do to be saved was to believe in the Lord Jesus and they will be saved. I myself have heard that phrase many times. But is it true? Well, yes and no. Yes it is true that you do need to believe in the Lord Jesus, but No, in that it is not ALL you need to do. Hmmm, why do I say that? Well we have to put the whole Bible together, not just parts of it. There are parts of the Bible that also give us direction for salvation and we can't ignore those. If you believe, THEN you will act on your belief. So let's look at some powerful scripture verses.
John 14:15 - If ye love me, keep my commandments. Now some people would say that you don't really have to do this because then you are making your Salvation a works doctrine, meaning that in order to get saved you have to "DO" something. Well, I would then bring up this question, Can you be saved and not LOVE Jesus? They will then say, Love and to Love means I would have to DO that, which makes it a WORK, Which then they will bring up the verse, Ephesians 2:8 - For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 - Not of works, lest any man should boast.
Ok, so let's run with their argument of the "Believe" part. Acts 16:31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.
Or the confess only part in Romans 10:9 That if 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.
Those are 2 very IRON CLAD ways to get SAVED in many people's opinions. You cannot deny the validity of these scriptures. But again, we must take into account ALL the scriptures and not just cherry pick a few verses. We need a background study of what these verses mean and what are they talking about. Now here is what the "believe" and "confess" part really means:
1. Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
2. By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
3. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
4. And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
5. And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:
6. After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.
7. After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles.
8. And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.
9. For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.
10. But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.
11. Therefore whether it were I or they, so we preach, and so ye believed.
12. Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?
13. But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen:
14. And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.
15. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not.
16. For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised:
17. And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.
Now right there it is clear that the BELIEVE / CONFESS parts they are referring to is the part of the miraculous thing that Jesus did - ROSE FROM THE DEAD FOR REMISSION OF SINS. Paul is stating that without the resurrection, you are still dead in your sins, and without that part EVERYTHING ELSE IS IN VAIN, of no good. No Faith will save you, it is also in VAIN. And if not raised up, your sins are still upon you. So because of God's grace and His work on the cross and resurrection, we can be washed of our sins and be saved.
Now in Jesus day, they didn't need to believe that there was such a man names Jesus, who was God in the Flesh, they actually walked around with him, saw him work miracles, saw him do things and preach the things he did. We on the other hand need a lot more faith because we are just reading about it.
The thief on the cross next to Jesus is a special case that I think many use incorrectly to justify their own salvation in a one time act of "believe" like the thief did and was told by Jesus Himself that "today you will be with me in paradise". The special part of that case is that Jesus had not risen yet, therefore the thief could not believe in the resurrection. The thief could also not know about the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. The thief also did not repent, he admitted he was wrong, but never repented. He did "believe" Jesus was Lord and that he was an innocent man. He also had faith that there was a Kingdom that Jesus was going to be going to and that Jesus would have reigning authority over it to have asked Jesus to remember him when He got there. The thief was saved because Jesus made a promise while He was alive on the earth to them right there and now and for those believers afterwards, He read the scriptures from Isaiah 61 which was what the thief was under...
Now Jesus was quoting from Isaiah Ch 61 and told those listening there and now that TODAY, This Day, and to the thief he stated To Day...you will be with me in paradise, or this scripture is now fulfilled in your hearing. Now I have to ask you, were they ALL healed after hearing Jesus say this? Were they ALL delivered? Were they ALL given sight? Were they all set at liberty? Right then and there, were they all what Jesus said? No, they were all however given the opportunity to believe what and who Jesus was. They were under a different covenant promise while Jesus was alive. If they believed in Jesus during his time on Earth as "God in the flesh", and what He was preaching, as he hadn't risen yet, and hadn't baptized with the Holy Spirit yet on the Day of Pentecost, what hope did these new believers who just heard this statement have? I think this is the same hope that many are trying to push onto Christian followers today. It is true today of what Jesus stated. He does heal the brokenhearted. He does deliver captives. He does give sight to the blind, physically and spiritually. He does free those who are bruised. He does set the captives free. But we ALSO know that we have MORE scripture that we cannot throw out, right? More scripture and understanding was given after Jesus died and rose. I cannot just grab one verse, I have to make them ALL true. So what hope did anyone have while listening to Jesus in that day, were they still under the law? Was not Jesus telling them of a new law? But Jesus did not rise yet. They needed to believe that He was God in the flesh, sent to redeem them. After hearing Jesus preach, and someone died after that, then how were they judged? How will they be judged? By the Old Law standard that Jesus was changing? Or by what Jesus preached when He was on the Earth?
Telling someone they are saved because they make a statement of faith today like the thief on the cross did, in that "Jesus is Lord, He was innocent and they crucified Him.", and then ask Him to remember them is not all that the Bible teaches. But it was back in the time of the thief. Even if you add the part now today after the fact of..."He died and rose from the grave to atone for our sins.", surely adds to a more complete message of what you believe in, but does not yet complete your belief, it just starts it. When you confess that Jesus is and was God in the Flesh, that he was innocent, born of a Virgin, Rose from the dead and conquered the grave to atone for our sins, this is great to do and surely you cannot fake such a claim for god will know your heart in making such a confession, but you would surely have to believe this claim to make it true. You would surely have to believe that there was an all-powerful omnipotent God actually listening to you cry out and repent of your sins, or else why would you do such a thing? You have to believe and have faith FIRST, and then walk the rest out.
Now we will talk about the rest of the Bible, that you cannot disregard and hang your hat on only those prior scriptures. We will go right back to what I posted in the beginning of this study,
Now Jesus stated this, and there are people today who claim they do not need to do this to be saved because this violates the "Works Doctrine" and would then make you say that you are saved because you obeyed and kept the commandments, thus boasting of your salvation because of your good works and obedience, but scripture will prove them wrong.
I want to be careful and point out that those scriptures they claim are true, but they have to marry the other scriptures, which those people making those claims do not do.
Let's continue with what John is saying and examine this HUGE "IF" statement, because there is an IF / THEN correlation...
KJV John 14:
16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.
19 Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.
20 At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.
21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
22 Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?
23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me. He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me.
25 These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you.
26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
28 Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.
29 And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe.
So let's recap what Jesus himself is telling us.
If you are obedient and keep the commandments, why would you do that? Because you LOVE Him, then He and His Father, which are ONE, will dwell inside you as the Holy Spirit, and this will be proven to you and you will KNOW that it happened, because Jesus will MANIFEST Himself to you! He says so, and if he says He will MANIFEST HIMSELF to you, do you think that this manifestation would happen without you knowing about it? Not a chance! You will indeed know that AT THAT DAY, He is now dwelling inside you! But it cannot happen until after Jesus goes away, because that when IT happens, you WILL BELIEVE. What is IT? The Baptism of the Holy Spirit, when IT happens Jesus said, "And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe." So can someone not LOVE JESUS, and receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit? According to what Jesus told us here, No. OK, then what does that prove? Some will say, I don't need the baptism of the Holy Spirit, the thief on the cross didn't get baptized in water or in the Spirit, which is exactly my point. He didn't have the option yet, because like Jesus said He had to go away first. Those who love Jesus not, will not keep His commandments, and therefore will not receive the comforter.
Why do we need the comforter (Holy Spirit)?
6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
10 And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.
Did you see verse 9? Read it again... VERY IMPORTANT YOU DO NOT MISS THIS!
Now it says in verse 11 this same Spirit that raised Jesus up from the dead, will be the same to RAISE YOU! But it must dwell IN YOU! Ahhh HAHHHH!!!!
So if you are thinking that you are saved because you made a statement of your belief in Jesus, but have not acted on your faith, and kept Jesus Commands, what about this?
29 Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.
30 The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree.
31 Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.
32 And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.
33 When they heard that, they were cut to the heart, and took counsel to slay them.
In verse 32 we see that the Holy Spirit is given to those who OBEY, and when they heard that from Peter, they then tried to KILL the apostles for even saying such a thing. Do you see why they want you to believe that you don't have to obey and actually DO things or have WORKS? Because if you don't, then it means you don't LOVE GOD, if you Don't Love God, then you cannot receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and without it, you have nothing to do with Jesus, Rom 8:9 says you are NONE OF HIS. Some are possibly teaching that you have to do these things and have these works to be saved and they don't have the Love for God. You show your faith by your works. But trying to get into heaven by works alone is a problem and when they preach on this topic they preach it this way only and therefore it would seem that when put this way, they are then correct and right. That is also a problem now isn't it. They cherry picked and skewed their version of one type of situation.
Some also incorrectly teach that the Holy Spirit is given automatically at the moment you confess your belief in Jesus. Again look at what that teaching is doing. It is giving people a false sense of hope just like the other scenario is. So to prove this fact in Acts 19 Paul comes upon some Christians. Some Disciples of Christ no less and the first thing Paul asks them is if they have received the baptism of the Holy Spirit, since they have believed? Now why would he need to ask them this, if they had already had it, if they automatically get it? And even if they didn't know about it, all Paul had to do then was tell them they had it, right? Not so, Paul went and laid hands on them and prayed for them to receive it, why would he have needed to do that? You see!
Also in Luke 11 Jesus was telling us how to pray and gave us the Lord's prayer...but after that, still in Luke 11, he was still teaching us to how pray and how to ASK for the Holy Spirit by giving us a parable! Why would Jesus teach us to ASK for the Baptism of the Holy Spirit if we automatically receive it? Because we DON'T automatically receive it.
I am convinced this message is so important to the body of Christ and that God has given me this truth to share with everyone that I possibly can so you will not be deceived by the enemies lies.
So how are we saved? This seems like an easy question, but with some understanding of scriptures, all of them, we can come to a clearer conclusion.
We are saved by grace
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
We are saved by Faith
And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
We are saved by Believing
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
We are saved by Hope
For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?
We are saved by confessing
For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth CONFESSION is made unto salvation.
We are saved by calling on the Lord
For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
We are saved by repenting
For godly SORROW worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the SORROW of the world worketh death.
We are saved by following doctrine
Take heed unto thyself, and unto the DOCTRINE; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.
We are saved by knowing the Holy Scriptures and Faith in them
And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto SALVATION through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
We are saved by the Mercy of God
Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his MERCY he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
We are saved by obedience
And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that OBEY him;
We are saved because of a lot of things. We get saved because of a lot of things. Not just 1 thing. All these scriptures are true. First Jesus had to come and sacrifice his blood to wash our sins. But when He did that, we weren't saved yet, we were just given the opportunity to be saved. This was Grace given to us that we did not deserve, but because He first Loved us, this grace was offered. But what if Jesus had never rose from the grave? Like we read in the beginning of this study, 1 Cor 15:17 And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.
On the cross Jesus said, it is finished. His work was complete, but His Father's work was not yet complete nor was the Holy Sprit's work. The 6th day is not yet complete in the day is like a thousand years and a thousand years is like a day symbolism. We are very close though. Jesus had to be raised by the Holy Spirit to conquer death, and you need the Baptism of the Holy Spirit to be raised also.
So by Grace, through Faith, in Believing and Confessing you will be saved! Yes! But break that down, Faith is? Believing is? Do I have to obey? Yes, Heb 5:9 and Acts 5:32 say so. I am saved by His Mercy for me, yes this is true also. I didn't work and keep all the commandments Jesus gave to me perfectly, nor could I, but it clearly says to obey, so how can I not, if I know that which to keep? Taking heed to doctrine will surely save me, yes it will. But not just a couple of verses, by all of it! Do I need to repent? Yes! 2 Cor 7:10 above says so and it says to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit, it is one of the conditions. Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. We are saved by Hope, yes! We have a blessed hope in that all of this will come true and will happen in the future when we shall be called up in the rapture or risen with the dead in Christ. And we are saved by confessing these truths with our mouth to others. We confess our belief, and confess our sins. With all of these scriptures saying we are saved by this and saved by that can you honestly take any of them away? Can you omit a single one? I cannot and I pray your understanding of this subject has grown and you are now confident in what you need to do, and or to share this with someone else. It all started with Love. If you Love God, then.... what will you do? If God Himself gave us a parable which showed us to keep on knocking and asking for the Holy Spirit, (Luke 11) do you think that would be a wise thing for you to do? He does tell us you will know the DAY that it happens!
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