Sunday, September 26, 2010

What is Salvation? - Part 1 Biblical Salvation


No greater question could be asked than, “What must I do to be saved?”

I have had many ask me this very question over my years of ministry.

Just as many have also asked me, “How do you know when you’re saved?”

Addressing these two questions today, we must assume that the one who is asking already believes in God, and the Holy Bible as God’s Word.

Obviously, without these two fundamental foundational pieces, there is nothing to build upon.

“What must I do to be saved, and how do I know when I am saved?”

Who knows the answer?

Does it matter what your Pastor thinks?  Does it matter what your parents or friends think?  Well, that all depends on who you are trying to please.

For me, I want to please the one who will judge me on the last day.

Since God will be our judge, whether you ever believe in Him or not, we should then only consider His opinion on this matter and do our best to disregard human traditions.

God’s word gives us the pattern for biblical salvation, with examples of salvation, as well as enough information for us to truly know the how-to of being saved, as well as the how to know if we are truly saved.

In today’s sermon, instead of strengthening trust in the general availability of salvation, we will gain confidence for our own personal salvation.


This question cannot be answered by a simple self-examination of our personal feelings.

When asked if you are going to heaven or hell when you die, 9 out of 10 people will say heaven.

Our personal feelings can be very deceptive.

Proverbs 14:12 “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.”

Paul committed terrible sins of persecuting and killing followers of Christ before his conversion, and his conscience never warned him he was doing wrong!

Acts 26:9-11 “ 9"I too was convinced that I ought to do all that was possible to oppose the name of Jesus of Nazareth. 10And that is just what I did in Jerusalem. On the authority of the chief priests I put many of the saints in prison, and when they were put to death, I cast my vote against them. 11Many a time I went from one synagogue to another to have them punished, and I tried to force them to blaspheme. In my obsession against them, I even went to foreign cities to persecute them.”

There is a way that seems right to us, but we cannot trust our judgment.

I have heard some say, “I just know in my heart of hearts...”

But the heart is wicked!  Can you trust a heart that is wicked?

Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure...”

So if we can’t trust our feelings, and we can’t trust our hearts, what can we trust as truth?

The Words of the very Judge who we will stand before on that Great Day of Judgment.

 I John 3: 16-2016This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. 17If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? 18Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. 19This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence 20whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.”

I John tells us that one way to “know” we belong to Christ (the Truth), and set our hearts at ease, is to look at how we behave in life.

It’s not the feelings or emotions, but the “How” we live, that will show us if we are saved or not.

First, in John it says that someone who belongs to Christ puts others before themselves. - or do you live selfishly for yourself, putting yourself first?  Are you self centered and selfish?

Secondly, if you have material possessions, and give them freely to others in need, you are living in love. - or do you hoard your possessions, building up storehouses of your “things” and counting them as wealth?

The scripture clearly says, if you show no pity for those in need, the love of God cannot be in you.

19This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence 20whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.”

John wrote this first epistle so that “you may know that you have eternal life” I John 5:13

John tells us that this is important to know so that “your joy may be full” I John 1:2-4

One can never truly experience full joy as long as their heart remains unsure of their salvation.

So what is the basic pattern of salvation in the Word of God?

I.                   HEAR THE WORD OF GOD

a.      You have to hear the Word
                                                              i.      Romans 10:13-14 “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." 14How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?

                                                           ii.      You cannot call on the name of the Lord, if you have never heard of the name of the Lord!

b.     Faith comes by hearing the Word
                                                              i.      Romans 10:17 “faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.”

c.      You MUST respond to the Word
                                                              i.      James 1:21-2221Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you. 22Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.”

II.               BELIEVE
a.      Once you HEAR the Word and start “doing”, or living by what the Word says, your faith will grow, and so will your belief.

b.      Jesus tells us in Mark 1:1515"The time has come," he said. "The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!"

c.      Therefore, not only must we believe, but we MUST repent!

III.            REPENT
a.      We are commanded to REPENT!
                                                              i.      Matthew 3:8 “Produce fruit in keeping with repentance.”
1.      Producing fruit means to live your life in a way that shows you are not the same old sinner, that you have accepted Christ and He is changing you.

2.      If you are saved, according to scripture you will stop living in sin.

b.      Luke 5:3232I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance."
                                                              i.      Again, Jesus makes it clear we MUST repent to be saved!

c.      What if you do not repent?  Jesus answers that question as well.
                                                              i.      Luke 13:3 “unless you repent, you too will all perish.”
1.      Without repentance, there is no forgiveness, and no salvation.

                                                           ii.      2 Corinthians 7:10 “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.”

1.      It is through Godly sorrow for your sin that brings repentance and leads to salvation.

2.      If you are not sorrowful for your sin, then you will not repent, and will not receive salvation.

3.      Not repenting from your sin is called “Living in Sin”, and it literally is the difference between heaven and hell!

IV.            CONFESS
a.      Are you confessing Christ with your lips but not your life?
                                                              i.      2 Timothy 2:1919Nevertheless, God's solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: "The Lord knows those who are his," and, "Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness."
1.      You cannot claim to belong to the Lord, and live in sin.
2.      If you confess salvation, and Jesus, yet continue to live in sin, and do not repent, you are living the cause of many to stumble, and not believe in the Lord.  You are a living stumbling block, deceiver and bring the cross to shame daily with your life.

                                                           ii.      I John 1:9-10 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives.”


The scripture of God makes it clear that biblical salvation takes place when we;

1.      Hear God’s Word
2.      Respond to it becoming a doer of that Word, believing it
3.      We MUST also REPENT!
4.      Confess and we will be baptized with God’s Holy Spirit!

If you do not live a life that is producing fruits of repentance, or you are continuing to live in your sin, you need to do what the scripture says and repent!

This is the pattern for biblical salvation!

Next week we will look at some of the signs, we are saved.