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.
I eenjoyed reading this
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Thanks Sam. The truths presented here can indeed set people from bondage. I pray that people reading this search out the truth in God’s Word for themselves. I also hear what you are saying about fellowship similar to church family. I find much of my best fellowship with like believers online these days. God Bless.
Jim I think you explained salvation clearly.My hope is anyone trapped in a system or church that teaches working or somehow earning salvation ,reads this and checks the verses you have listed.Then of course the next thing is do is believe what the Bible says.I would like to add I consider people such as yourself Jim and others on expreacherman as my church family.
Welcome and thank you Derick. I will pray for her and I am glad you are standing for the truth.
I agree. It is a blessed thing to know we are secure in Him.
Thanks for that wonderful post Jim, sometimes we all need constant reminders of what it truly means to be saved for it is so easy to be taken away by the “works salvation” crowd who seem to be the majority i the church especially here in my country Rwanda.
Romans 11:6 makes it abundantly clear that grace and works do not mix yet you hear all these sermons and read postings that state otherwise including those who insist that true salvation ” will” result in works as the evidence of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in a believer and this is what has deceived so many of my brethren in the charismatic/pentecostal movement who have placed a lot of emphasis on “experience” through tongues speaking, healing, miracles,e.t.c which they believe proves that the Spirit is at work in the believer and it only keeps on getting worse as many more young people in my age group get more confused as regards to salvation and repentance as i recently found out when I talked to a lady from Canada who told me that she was “working” to get saved which prompted me to tell her otherwise that salvation is only found in the finished work of Christ on the cross and that one only receives it through faith.
Pray that God will grant this lady and many others the free gift of salvation and lead them to Bible believing churches where the Truth is preached from the pulpits. God bless you.
Lovely article. So good to know I have eternal salvation.
Jim, thank you for this article. You have rightly referred to “salvation” as “eternal salvation”, because once someone receives the gift of eternal life, he has eternal life that can never be lost or forfeited. Once we believe in Christ alone as Savior, we are declared “not guilty” on the basis of Christ’s righteousness, imputed to us. The declaration of “not guilty” comes from God Himself, and applies to all of our sin – past, present, and future. God’s judicial decree of “not guilty” cannot be overturned!
Like you said, grace is not a supernatural force that makes us do something. It is a gift – unmerited favor.