Questions abound when it comes to the Bible and Christianity. I will attempt to develop a series of posts that answer the important questions starting with eternal salvation .
Why do people need eternal salvation
Since the sinful transgression of Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden, mankind has been far from perfect. We are sinners. The Bible says that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. We are born with sin natures and do sin of our own volition. We stand guilty before a Holy God and the sentence is eternal death. This eternal death is separation from God forever in the lake of fire. It should be then easily understood that there is great need to be delivered from this pending fate.
(Gen 2:16-17, ch 3, Rom 3:23, 5:12, John 3:18, Rev 20:15)
What is needed for eternal salvation?
Perfection. This means perfect righteousness. Thankfully this was provided potentially to all in the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of God and is the only person to have lived a sinless life here on earth. He wasn’t just any regular man. He had no sin nature because He was conceived of the Holy Spirit in the womb of the virgin Mary. He lived perfectly meeting God’s standard of perfection. He suffered, bled, and died on the cross as a payment for the sin of all men. He didn’t stay dead. He rose again three days later and is sitting at the right hand of God the Father in heaven. God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are three persons in One. This Triune God as has provided all that is needed for you to be saved from eternal punishment.
(Rom 5:18, 1 Cor 15:1-4, 1 John 5:7, 11-13, John 3:16, Col 1:12-14)
What is grace in relation to eternal salvation?
Grace is unmerited favor. Some may say that it can’t be true that God had provided all that is needed for man’s salvation. But He has. It is by grace that it has been provided. The opposite would be that man must do something to earn salvation. In that case it would no longer be by grace but by works. Also grace is not a supernatural force that makes us do something. Eternal salvation is referred to as a free gift. So if we work for it, it is not free. If it is forced then it is not a gift. For it to be a gift it must be able to be accepted or rejected and it must be free.
(Eph 2:8-9, Rom 3:25-28, 5:20-21, 6:23, Gal 2:16, 21, 3:13-14)
What is faith in relation to eternal salvation?
Faith is the channel by which we receive the gift of eternal salvation. It is trusting Christ alone that He, as the perfect sacrifice, died shedding His blood on the cross for you. We are to trust Him for salvation as He is our risen Savior.
Eph 1:13, 2:8, Rom 10:14-17, Acts 16:31)
What is repentance in relation to eternal salvation?
Some will ask what about repentance? If we are saved through faith then where does repentance fit in? In relation to eternal salvation, repentance is synonymous with faith. Repentance is changing one’s mind from something other than Christ for salvation to trusting Christ alone for salvation. Let’s think of some examples. If I think that Christ plus my good works save me eternally then I must repent (change my mind) and trust Christ alone. If I trust a false god for salvation then I need to change my mind and trust Christ alone. So basically it is turning from unbelief to belief in Christ alone for salvation. It matches with faith (trusting Christ alone for salvation). Faith implies repentance (changing our mind) because no one is born with faith in Christ alone for salvation.
(2 Pet 3:9, Acts 3:19, 20:21.)
What should I do concerning eternal salvation?
You should understand that you are a lost sinner in need of salvation and trust Christ alone for that salvation this very moment.
How do I know that I am saved?
Some will say that we know we are saved based on the good works or good things that we do in this life. However, think about what we just covered above. We weren’t saved by our works and we aren’t kept saved by our works. We can know from the moment we believe that we are saved forever because God is trustworthy and it is taken care of in Him. We as believers are declared eternally innocent in Christ thereby having obtained the righteous perfection required to enter heaven and be in God’s presence. This is because Gods looks at us and sees Christ’s righteousness covering our sin. We are sealed with the promise of the Holy Spirit until the day of redemption when we will see Christ face to face in heaven. No works ever enter in the picture. They didn’t get us saved, they don’t keep us saved, and they don’t even prove that we are saved. Good works are for believers to serve and glorify God. All believers will be given rewards for our faithful service and good works. Those who live sinfully as believers will not receive rewards for those things that were not done while walking with the Spirit (doing that which He would not have us to do). So to understand fully, works do not indicate salvation but works indicate faithfulness. Faithfulness is a good testimony to others but is not infallible proof of salvation. Many people can live moral looking lives and do good faithful looking things in public yet be unbelievers.
I John 5:11-13, Eph 1:5, 13-14, Rom 8:15-17, 29-30, 8:34, John 3:18, Phil 3:9, Eph 2:10, I Cor 3:11-15, 2 Cor 5:9-10, Matt 7:22-23)
What should I do as a believer in Christ?
Tell others about your salvation! Study the Word of God and try to find solid Bible teaching and preaching preferably in a strong Bible believing church or among a solid group of believers. Praise the Lord for your salvation and go to Him in prayer for anything. Rejoice.