What did I do to be saved?
You are saved when you do two things that are outlined in the Scriptures:
- Turn to God in repentance (Acts 17:30-31; 2 Corinthians 7:10); and
- Exercise faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 10:9-10).
The above two points were originally outlined by the Apostle Paul when he met the Ephesian Elders in Miletus:
"I have declared to both Jews and Greeks that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus." (Acts 20:21)
Salvation is not a religion but a person: the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the only way to God (John 14:6). The Apostle Peter told the Sanhedrin Council,
"Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved." (Acts 4:12)
The assurance of salvation follows the obedience of the commandments to repent and have faith (believe) in the shed blood of Jesus.
Can you define the assurance of salvation?
The assurance of salvation is the inner witness from the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:16) when you have done what God commands. It means that you know that you received what God has promised. God loves you and wants you to be assured of your relationship with Him. He does not want you to fear or doubt the reality of your salvation. Even if He disciplines you, it is out of love for you and a desire for your growth and blessing (Hebrews 12:5-7).
How do I turn to God in repentance?
To "repent" means to "change." When you say sorry for sin, (2 Corinthians 7:10), you determine, as an act of your will, to change your lifestyle, and change your behavior. Notice the Scripture:
"Godly sorrow brings repentence that leads to salvation and gives no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death." (2 Corinthians 7:10)
Notice, Godly sorrow is contrasted with worldly sorrow. Godly sorrow produces life. It brings repentance, that leads to salvation, which leaves no regret. In other words, it creates change that results in deliverance, and that deliverance will fill you with joy and opens you to faith and the blessings of God. Worldly sorrow produces death. In other words, it gives a false sense of a relationship with God, but you are really separated from God. In worldly sorrow, you are probably sorry bacause you are caught in sin or its consequences, but you are sorry enough to quit your sins and change.
On the outside, the two, godly sorrow and worldly sorrow look the same, but the commitment to change is different. You will ultimately know the difference between the two by the results that are produced.
In summary, repentance includes asking God to forgive you for the wrong that you have done, and deciding to live a clean life. You cannot be saved without repentance. The scriptures plainly teach that God has commanded mankind to repent.
"In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now He commands all men everywhere to repent. For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising Him from the dead." (Acts 17:30-31)
Repentance is possible because God will supply you with the grace and the strength to repent. God would never command you to do something without giving you the strength and the grace to do it. Remember, to repent means to determine to change.
How do I exercise faith in the Lord Jesus?
You exercise or demonstrate that you have faith in the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ by following three steps:
- Confess Jesus as Lord, believing that He is risen from the dead.
Through prayer, invite Jesus to come into your life and be your Lord. You then confess (tell someone) that you have yeilded the controls of your life to Jesus. Included in this, believe with all your heart that Jesus is alive, risen from the dead, and that by virtue of His resurrection, Jesus is both Lord and Christ (Acts 2:32-36). In so doing, you are saved. Notice, the Apostle Paul said:
"That if you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved." (Romans 10:9-10)
The foundation for salvation of mankind is the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ (John 3:16). He is the Prophet (Hebrews 1:1-2), Priest (Hebrews 4:14-16), and King (Matthew 21:5) of your salvation. He came to guide, guard, and govern. As our Prophet, He came to guide us into all truth; as our Priest, He stands in the presence of God, guarding by way of His intercession and grace, our way into the presence of God; and as our King, He came to govern, to rule in our lives as our sovereign. He is the promised Jewish Messiah and the Son of the living God (Matthew 16:15-20). Jesus died on the cross of Calvary for your sins, and rose from the dead that you might be saved (1 Corinthians 15:1-5). Your faith is in the person and work of the Lord Jesus on the cross of Calvary. Bible salvation cannot be found in any other person (Acts 4:12).
- Praise and thank the Lord.
"Praise" is faith in action. When you praise the Lord after prayer, you are saying, "I believe that I have received what I requested." Therefore, by faith, you praise the Lord that you are now saved. Notice how important faith is in the Word.
"And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him." (Hebrews 11:6)
You have earnestly sought the Lord by repentance and confession. Now, you praise and thank the Lord for saving you because you believe that He has. God is pleased when we walk by faith, believing His Word (Romans 10:17; 2 Corinthians 5:7).
- Receive water baptism.