WHAT IS TRUE SALVATION?
Are you one of those that will not be there because you where deceived
into a false salvation? Nothing could be more misunderstood than what it takes for salvation and the
purpose behind it.
Letís first define what salvation is; Salvation is eternal life as the children of God. This is a generally accepted idea by most Christian denominations, but varies in how they it being achieved.
Let us now examine the truth of the matter, salvation as revealed in Gods Word.
Saved By Grace
The Bible repeatedly states that we are saved by grace, and therefore people cannot conceive of any works. They do not understand that a Christian is in training for what he will be doing in the next life, and therefore missing the whole purpose of salvation.
The meaning of the term grace as used in the Bible is this, a free gift, or an undeserved pardon.
We are all saved by grace, but we are also rewarded according to our works, good works or evil works. Over and over again the Bible teaches us that we will be rewarded according to our works. We can not earn salvation by our own works, nor does the Bible teach it anywhere.
Now everyone has works of either good or bad, and bad works earn eternal death, but good works earn something too, and it is not salvation. We may receive it as Gods gift through Jesus, but a person can not of himself create it, we must go to God through Jesus to get it.
"The Lords hand is not shortened that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy that it cannot hear: but your sins have separated you from your God, and your sins have hid his face from you that he will not hear" (ISA 59:1-2).
Also, Romans 3:23 tells us that our sins have cut us off from God and all have sinned, thus, cutting us off from his gift of salvation.
How then do you gain access?
"God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whoever believes in (in what? in the gospel he taught) him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16).
"For if when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his son ... 11 (ROM 5:10).
So then, we are now reconciled to God by Jesus death, we now have contact with God, and he has eternal life to give as a gift through his son.
"that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his son. He that has the son has life; and he that does not have the Son of God has not life" (John 5:11-12).
But then, just how then do we receive it from him?
"I say to you, He that believes (has faith) on me has everlasting life" (John 6:47)
It is commonly thought that one need only believe in Jesus for salvation, it is true that you need a belief or faith in Jesus, but do you understand what kind?
"For by grace are you saved through faith;" (EPH 2:8).
We must have faith that the blood of Christ has paid the penalty for our past sins, and that we are saved by grace, it does not however excuse our sins.
Faith does not do away with the law, for the law defines what sin is, (Romans 3:20)
It is by our faith that we establish the law.
"Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid (NO): we establish the law" (ROM 3:31).
We establish the law, and the law defines sin, and sin is the transgression of the law, and the law sets the rules by which to live. Therefore the law has the power to take the life of a sinner.
A sinner is under the law, but when a sinner repents and accepts the blood of Christ for payment of his sins he is pardoned by grace and the law is no longer hanging over him to claim his life. It is those who are still sinning, that do not repent, that are under the law.
"Even so, faith if it has not works is dead, being alone. Yes, a man may say, You have faith, and I have works: show me your faith without works, and I will show you my faith by my works ... But do you know o vain man, that faith without works is dead?" (James 2:17-20)
In other words, your belief is not enough, it is through your faith, an active faith, that you keep the law. Our works by faith, is a living faith that saves.
The Holy Spirit
"Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you will receive the gift of the holy spirit" (Acts 2:38).
It is on real repentance of sin, and a real desire to quite sinning, and a faith in Jesus, that is expressed in a water baptism that we receive the holy spirit as a gift, by grace.
"But if the spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also enliven your mortal bodies by his spirit that dwells in you" (ROM 8:11).
"In whom (Christ) you also trusted, after that you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that you believed, you were sealed with that holy spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession..." (EPH 1:13-14).
Once one receives the holy spirit, sealed with the holy spirit of promise, they become heirs of Gods promise, not yet an inheritor of that promise, for the inheritance is conditional, getting into Gods kingdom is conditional. The inheritance is freely given, by grace, one is now under the promise of grace and not under the penalty of the law, yet conditionally.
As long as the Holy Spirit resides within a person, they remain heirs to the promise.
But how does one keep the Holy Spirit? God gives the Holy Spirit to them that obey him Acts 5:32, by obeying!
But what does obeying God mean?
The word works means actions, labors, deeds, and can be broken down into two ways, physical acts or spiritual acts, both of which a true Christian must demonstrate in his life, for works are the demonstration of your faith.
"What then? Shall we sin (transgress Gods law), because we are not under the law but under grace? God forbid (NO!)." Grace does not mean you are free to sin, "Sin is the transgression of the law" (1 John 3:4).
"Do you not know brethren, (for I speak to them that have knowledge of the law) how that the law has dominion over a man as long as he lives?" (ROM 7:1).
Being under grace, is to no longer be under the penalty or claim of the law, not the law itself, Christ paid the penalty, he satisfied the claim of the law, he did not do away with the law, the law reflects Gods character, setting the standard for sinless behavior.
"And hereby do we know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that says I know him, and keeps not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But who ever keeps his word, in him is the love of God perfected" (1 John 2:3-6)
If you are not keeping the commandments, yet you call yourself a Christian, you are a liar, the truth of Christ and God are not in you. You must prove that you know him by keeping the commandments.
"Not every one that says to me, Lord, Lord, will enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven." (Matt 7:21), to believe in Christ is not enough to get you into the kingdom of heaven, you must also do his will, "for not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law will be justified." (ROM 2:13).
"They that do the commandments have a right to the tree of life." (REV 22:14).
It is not hard to keep God's commandments with the power of the Holy Spirit living within one. The Holy Spirit is there to help a person keep Gods law by instilling his characteristics of patience, faith, and understanding.
But it is by our works that we are rewarded. Everyone has works, evil works, which are the disobedience of Gods laws or commandments, and which earn a death sentence, or good works that earn or have a reward, not salvation, for salvation is by grace. A person is judged and rewarded according to his works during his converted (after receiving the Holy Spirit) life, to determine what position, office, or rank he will receive upon entering Gods kingdom.
"...has made us unto our God, kings and priests: and we will reign on the earth" (Rev 5:10).
"For the Son of Man will come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he will reward every man according to his works" (Matt 16:27).
"And he that overcomes, and keeps my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:" (Rev 2:26).
"You can see how, by works a man is justified,.." (James 2:24)
Whether we are kings, or priests, or some other position in Gods kingdom will be determined by our works here and now. Grace will get one into Gods kingdom, but works will qualify one for an office in Gods kingdom, we are being saved to serve, and if you do not qualify to serve, your works can keep you out of God's kingdom, you can lose the promise, the gift of salvation.
Read the parable of the pounds in Luke 19:12-27 regarding the Christian reward upon Jesus return.
Salvation then is Gods free gift, by grace, to mankind, but it can only be achieved by faith in Christ and God. Through the Holy Spirit dwelling within one, it becomes possible to produce good works, which in turn qualifies one for a position in Gods soon coming kingdom
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