1 John 5:13 tells us, “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.” God wants us to understand salvation. God wants us to have the confidence of knowing for sure that we are saved. Briefly, let’s go over the key points of salvation:
(a) We have all sinned. We have all done things that are displeasing to God(Rom 3:23).
(b) Because of our sin, we deserve to be punished with eternal separation from God (Rom 6:23).
(c) Jesus died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins (Rom 5:8; 2 Cor 5:21). Jesus died in our place, taking the punishment that we deserved. His resurrection proved that Jesus’ death was sufficient to pay for our sins.
(d) God grants forgiveness and salvation to all those who place their faith in Jesus – trusting His death as the payment for our sins (John 3:16; Rom 5:1; Rom 8:1).
That is the message of salvation. If you have placed your faith in Jesus Christ as your Savior, you are saved! All of your sins are forgiven, and God promises to never leave you or forsake you (Rom 8:38; Matt 28:20). Remember, your salvation is secure in Jesus Christ (John 10:28-29). If you are trusting in Jesus alone as your Savior, you can have confidence that you will spend eternity with God in heaven.
However, there are some who believe differently, and that salvation is not such a simple matter of faith. They would argue that salvation is a far more detailed and on-going process of actions whereby the sinner needs to retain their possible salvation by proving his or her worth. They may also believe that salvation is not to be attained during this life and that it will be determined according to their good works, sinless life or efforts in reaching a higher standard of holiness or increased spirituality.
Some may believe that they were saved subsequent to them having responded to an altar call, where they might have been asked to pray a certain prayer, or they were prayed for by an elder or other congregants. These people may have been told to carefully note the date of this “decision for Christ” for their future referral. After these events, some might have undergone life-changing experiences and for those believers we praise the Lord for His Grace in their lives, while others might have encountered no changes in their lives at all and may have become disillusioned with Christianity as a result. It is often important to these people to know and note the exact date and circumstances surrounding their “decision”.
Some may believe that they were saved by birthright or by infant baptism. Still others hold to the belief that salvation cannot be attained or assured during this life, as good works have yet to be performed to earn their salvation; some believe that only a sinless life can lead to salvation and that ever increasing holiness is necessary for any hope of salvation. In certain circles it is also referred to as “theosis” or becoming more like God by upholding certain traditions or ancient rituals, or by performing certain acts and deeds. For these people it is impossible to note when they were saved, or even when they will be saved.
Please tell us what your position is regarding this most important matter in the poll below. Of course, not all possibilities are covered by the choices available, so if your understanding does not appear among the choices, please give us a little detail of what you believe to be important, in the comments below the poll.
May your life be blessed with His Grace and with coming to know His Truth!