Many have this idea of “being saved” which might of come from a parent, a pastor, a Christian friend, or even a TV show or movie. The idea is one thing, realization is another. Deep in the heart of guilty mankind is what happens after death. Is there a God, where might I end up, I have heard of heaven and I have heard of hell. So if there is a God, how can I make sure I do not end up in that place called hell which has been described or depicted by modern society in essence as a burning oven, full of flames, and the devil running around with a pitchfork torturing wayward souls. Some also have described it as a giant party. But it is on the mind of many lost souls, how can I make things right with God.
So what has entered to answer that question is world religion. A parent, pastor, or friend may give the sinner a laundry list of the must dos and don’ts. This will include various prayers, rituals, and to be “good” in your behavior as opposed to bad, and various other inventions. Once you have done this to their satisfaction, POOF, they might just declare “you are saved”. Are you?
But now what? You might have the declaration from another sinner, but is it really salvation? Can this be the indicator of definitive 100 percent proof? The answer is honestly NO! This may shock some, but God is the only One who can declare a sinner saved. Another saved sinner can only RECOGNIZE other saved sinners by their fruits. By fruits, the main one is called repentance. When God declares a sinner saved, He breathed a new life making this sinner a new creation. The sinner now has a regenerated heart and the very first fruit realized and shown is called repentance which is the turning away from sin and the new pursuit to be holy as God is holy. Sorry, but if you are not repenting of sins, God has not declared you saved.
How do you know what a sin is? Again a world religion might try to tell you what are sins an what are not, but a new creation in Jesus Christ knows this by His word which is contained in the Bible, Scripture. There is an innate desire now for His word and the seeking to grow in holiness and with this the striving to be holy. Because God is eternally holy, a saved sinner strives in every possible with the guidance of the Holy Spirit not to offend His holiness.
When God declares of sinner saved, an instantaneous action comes about from this called sanctification. Sanctification means “set apart”. God has set you apart from other sinners. With this, by the indwelling of Holy Spirit, He now is guiding each step. It is no longer a long drawn out work to pray to God, to worship Him, it is done seamlessly and with joy. It does NOT mean however you just seek to go to church, it means your whole life has changed in servitude to Jesus Christ. And again, this is not done to make things right with Him, He has already done this, if the living God has set up home in you, He is part of you in thoughts, words, actions, and deeds.
So then you may ask “why do I keep sinning”. To ask this, you may not be saved based on the realization that while you certainly fail, your new action now is to repent, not to ask those type of questions. When saved, you STOP justifying your sins and instead in earnest striving you are turning away from them once convicted. When saved there is authentic and genuine grief over sin, realizing that Jesus went to the Cross based on those sins. A saved sinner stops trying to rationalize bad behavior, but desires to withdraw from a sinful world into the guidance of God the Almighty and His commands now.
A saved sinner realizes assurance of salvation! Many world religions will teach against assurance so as for the sinner to become dependent on them with that good old invented laundry list of works needed for salvation. They will try to twist Scripture and say “see, you need more works”. But what they will always fail to say is that Jesus COMPLETED the work. With assurance comes duty to the King of kings, Jesus Christ. He has prepared the list of works beforehand for you which are resultant of the salvation He alone granted. Some may be called to be teachers, some elders, some encouraging servants, some volunteers, some might be missionaries, but ALL are called to share the Good News of Jesus Christ.
If you are saved by Jesus, the part which cannot be mistaken about you is your love for Him which is growing each day, and the great desire to share His Good News to anyone and everyone.