Thursday, April 1, 2010
The question "Are you truly saved?" implies you must be saved or delivered from some kind of danger, perhaps even a very terrible danger. This question also demands there must be something, or someone, who can save you from such a danger.
The danger we are speaking about is the greatest danger a person will ever face because it concerns the peril of your soul, the real you. The Bible states that "It is appointed unto man once to die, and after this the judgment" (Hebrews 9:27). You may be thinking this is very negative and bad news; it is. But this is the danger we would first like to address. It is the danger about what happens to you when you close your eyes at the moment of death. And, with an open Bible under the blessing of God, it is the most loving and caring thing a person can ever tell you about.
But there is something even more important than this. It is God. He alone is the giver of life and the One who overcame death. He is Holy and worthy of our praise and adoration, not our sin which goes against His perfect and wonderful moral character.
The Bible says, "There is none righteous, no, not one" and that "the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 3:10; 6:23). This means we are all sinners deserving of eternal seperation from God and all what is good and lovely. However, the good news is that Christ saves from sin. He has promised in His Word that He will make all those that come to Him by faith righteous through what He has done on their behalf.
Who Really has the Truth?
The Bible claims to be "God-Breathed" (2 Timothy 3:16). That statement of claim is either true or false.
Over 3,000 times the Bible claims to be the "Word of God" in the combined Old and New Testament's 66 books. The Bible is either God-breathed, or it's not, it can't be both. If it's true, then we have a definitive basis of divine authority which means we have an absolute basis of truth upon which to believe what God says about Himself, about us, about our world, and about our future.
What has this to do with the question, "are you truly saved?" It has everything to do with that question. Because the Bible is God-breathed this means we can wholly trust what the Bible says concerning God, salvation, our souls, and our eternal destiny. The Lord Jesus said: "Sanctify (i.e. make holy, purify) them through thy truth: thy word is truth" (John 17:17). Therefore, to truthfully answer the question "are you truly saved" we must go to God's Word (the Bible). It is here God graciously reveals and convicts us, by the Holy Spirit's influence, as to why we need to be saved, what we must be saved from, and how we can be saved by believing on the Lord Jesus Christ.
God is Holy and We are Not
The Bible is precious for many reasons; but perhaps one of the greatest reasons is because it changes peoples lives by the power of the Holy Spirit and makes them perfectly righteous and fit for heaven -- all because of what Christ has done as their substitute. This is amazing when we begin to realize that none of us ever deserve, or could ever work, to attain God's perfect righteousness on our own. God has done it all in the believers stead which is why every saved believer can say they are: "Saved by grace alone, through faith alone, by Christ alone, on the authority of the Scriptures alone, for God's glory alone". How infinitely good and wonderful God is! And how precious is His Holy Word, the Bible, that leads us by His Holy Spirit into truth and unto the Saviour.
Having established the Bible is God's Holy and infallible Word, we can now go to the Bible and read it knowing that God is speaking through it. In short, when you read the Bible you are reading what is true, because God has said it. When you read the Bible, always pray that God would graciously open your spiritual eyes to see your great need and to enable you to respond to the Saviour.
What exactly then, does this God-Breathed Word of God say about being saved and being a Christian? The Bible tells us clearly that no one (except the Lord Jesus Christ) was born perfect (Psalm 51:5, Romans 3:10-19). You were not born a Christian. You cannot pass an exam to become a Christian. You do not earn the right to become a Christian. God makes you a Christian. He must do that work in you because He is holy and we are not. We need His holiness to be accepted by Him; something we cannot do on our own. To be saved we need God and for that God provided His only begotten Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, to die in the place of sinners (John 3:16). The Bible says: "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast" (Ephesians 2:8-9).
New Life! What it means to be saved.
In the Bible, God has revealed that in order to be saved from eternal seperation in Hell from Him means that sin, our greatest problem, has to be justly punished and dealt with. In other words, we must be reconciled (made perfect; born-again) before God -- and the only way that can be done is through His Son Jesus Christ who took upon him flesh (a body) so that he could die, be punished in our place for our sin, and impute (account to) His perfect righteousness to every believer who trusts in Him. In fact, the whole Bible, from start to finish, is all about this which is why someone once said, "The thread of Christ's blood can be seen from Genesis (first book of the Bible) to Revelation (last book of the Bible), and in every book in between". God's love is so great that He took upon him flesh so that all who come to Him on the grounds of grace (His work, none of our "good deeds") by faith (saving belief and trust) will assuredly be saved to the uttermost (Hebrews 7:25).
Some people ask: How can I really know I am saved, that I am a Christian, and going to heaven? The Holy Spirit of God, in concert with the God-Breathed Word of God (i.e. the Bible), are the primary means by which God begins to stir your dead heart and give you wisdom to see that you are a sinner in desperate need of the Saviour. That Saviour is God the Son, Jesus Christ, who lived a perfect life, was punished in the place of sinners on the cross for their sin, and rose again to life defeating death. When we believe and trust Christ as our substitute and trust alone in Him, the Lord's righteousness is graciously imputed (accounted) to us. The Bible tells us, "For he hath made him (the Lord Jesus Christ) to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him" (2 Corinthians 5:21). What marvelous condescension and mercy that God should save sinners like you and me and make us fit for heaven.
Here are some more verses from the Bible to prayerfully consider: Jesus said unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes unto the Father, but by me. I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved (and) All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast him out" (Scripture references: 1Timothy 1:15, Isaiah 43:25, John 14:6, John 6:37).
Are you truly Saved and going to Heaven?
There is no greater question than asking yourself, under the light of God's Word, if you are truly saved. Some people think they have sinned too much and that God will never accept them. It's true that God will not accept anyone on their own merit, but God will accept anyone who comes to the Lord Jesus Christ for forgiveness of sin on the sole merit of what Christ has done in their stead (John 6:37). Other people think they are good enough just as they are and that God will accept them because of their good deeds and generally acceptable conduct through life. This is a horrible mistake, too. The Bible says that "there is none righteousness, no not one" (Romans 3:10). Even the very nicest person you can possibly think of needs a Saviour because "all have sinned and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23).
Do you know and trust the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Saviour? If not, don't hide your sin or make any excuse for it - instead, plead with the Lord Jesus Christ, on the authority of His Word, to take your sin away through what Christ has done in His life, death and resurrection. The Bible promises He will save us when we ask Him to, "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved" (Romans 10:13).
If the Lord has graciously stirred your heart and given you an interest in the things we have briefly spoken about here, then this is a gracious mercy from God, and you ought to take this very, very seriously and not harden your heart in unbelief (Psalm 95:8). May the Lord be glorifed and may you be drawn to Him to the saving of your soul this very day if you don't already know Him as your personal Saviour.
"Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." ~ Acts 4:12