How is a Person Saved?

 


How is a person saved? This is a question that causes a lot of debate and misunderstanding. However, when we ask, how do we receive eternal life the Bible is very clear, Acts 16:31 says, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved ---", also John 3:16 says, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." The question now is, what do we believe and how do we believe? I ask that question because an atheist can easily believe that Jesus existed about two thousand years ago. He mentally accepts that Jesus existed and by all accounts lived a good life.
Jesus Christ Himself said, "And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day." (John 6:40). How do we see Him in this day and age? In Matthew 16:13-20, Jesus asked His disciples what were men saying about who He was, they answered either Elijah or Jeremiah, or one of the prophets, He then asked them who they said He was, Peter answered and said, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." What an answer, in an instant, with a flash of inspiration he saw who Jesus was,  the Christ, the Son of the living God. Jesus said to him that flesh and blood had not revealed this to him , but  His heavenly Father. That is the answer, it is seeing who Jesus is and believing in Him.
Now the gospel is that Jesus was sent by the Father from the kingdom of light, the glorious kingdom of heaven, to this world, the kingdom of darkness. He was the light of the world, He undid the works of the devil, He healed the sick, raised the dead, cast out demons, opened the eyes of the blind and set the captives free. He did this because of His great love, but men loved darkness rather than light. They took Him and beat Him, they had Him scourged and put a crown of thorns  upon His head, they mocked Him and crucified Him, He suffered bled and died on that tree when He had done no wrong, only good, they hated Him without cause, He was innocent of any crime or sin yet He suffered a terrible death, why? Why did God  the Father  allow  Jesus His Son to die that awful death? The answer is that the Father loved us and sent His Son to save us. Jesus came willingly and went  to die on that tree, the old rugged cross, of His own will  because He loved the Father  and laid down His life to save us.
He was without sin so He didn't have to die but He died willingly because He knew it was the only way to save us. He died for our sins, He paid the price of death for us, He took our punishment  in His body on the tree and forgave us all our sins, washing them away in His precious blood. He took all our sins far from us, He blotted out our sins, made it possible for us to be justified before God. He died and was buried but the third day He rose again  victorious and triumphant over death. Death could not hold Him, He flung off the powers of darkness and rose from the dead, never to die again. He has the keys of death and hades. He was given all authority in heaven and earth. He ascended to  heaven, was received in heaven  and seated at the Fathers right  hand until His enemies are made His footstool. Now it is no longer our sins that keep us from having eternal life, these have been dealt with by Jesus, What keeps us out of heaven is unbelief in Jesus, not believing on Jesus, that is, not believing the truth concerning Jesus, that He is the Son of God who died to save us. Jesus is the object of our faith, He is the one who loved us and gave Himself for us. He is the Son of God who became the Son of man that He might save us from our sins.
Now the wages of sin is death, but the good news is that Jesus died for us and now God offers us the wonderful gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Have you seen Jesus? Now believe on Him, don't put it off any longer. He has done it all, receive Him as your Saviour.
When we believe on Him our faith is reckoned to us as righteousness. God justifies us, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. He gives us the Spirit of Life, we are born again, a new creation. We are now able to live for Him. We begin by being baptized in water and receiving the Holy Spirit, that is the Spirit of revelation,  the anointing.  Receiving the Spirit is a deliberate act like receiving a book, we take it from the person who is offering it. We take by faith the Holy Spirit and believe we now have Him to teach us and lead us and reveal more of Jesus to us.  The Holy Spirit will make us conformed to Christ's image. We do not need to live under the law and do works of law to keep right with God or to be like Jesus, we need to live in the Spirit, walk in the Spirit and be led by the Spirit. This will happen over time, the only way we can stop it happening is by reverting  to keeping works of the law and following man made ideas on how to live a good life by our own effort.

How do we Grow in God?

How do we grow in God? We believe what God says about us. What God says about us is our standing. How we stand before God, how God sees us.We believe what God says we are,  that is our standing, our actual state may be much lower than our standing but we look to what God says we are and believe it. That is the first step in bringing our state up to how God sees us. We look to Jesus by looking away from everything else, all the things the devil tells us about ourselves we look away from that and look to Jesus. That is how we are conformed to His image, not by looking at what the devil says and therefore trying harder to live a good life, we will never do it, we cannot succeed by looking at ourselves and all our failures then trying harder to stop sinning. We need to get our eyes off ourself and get them on Jesus and believe what God says about us. While ever we live by faith in what God says we are then Christ is being formed in us, as soon as we take our eyes off Jesus and onto ourselves we try to improve ourselves by works, when we do that, then Christ is no longer being formed in us.

When we were saved we were placed "in Christ" and therefore we were crucified with Christ, identified or united with Him in the likeness of His death, buried with Him in baptism, risen with Him in His resurrection and ascended together in Christ into heavenly places and seated together in Christ in the heavenlies. What we must do now is to reckon ourselves dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Then when we believe that as a fact of our standing we can live righteously to God, not in the hope we might be acceptable to God but because we are acceptable to God. Now we yield ourselves to God as alive from the dead, and yield our members as instruments of righteousness unto God.
What I don't understand is the people who tell us that to be a Christian we need to stop sinning and turn from all sin, and then make Christ Lord of our lives. That sounds all very nice but it doesn't work like that, all you will finish up with is self righteous scribes and Pharisees. God has proved that our efforts don't work, the only way to be a Christian is by absolute dependence on Him for everything, just like Jesus was. To submit to Christ doesn't mean keeping the law, it means trusting in His imputed righteousness. Christ is our righteousness. Christ is made unto us all we need, we have to submit to that and stop trying to establish our own righteousness.
When we have trusted in God's grace and become Christians we may find ourselves trying to live the Christian life by our own works instead of trusting in what Christ has done, God's remedy for that is Romans chapter seven. we find that the good we want to do we don't do, and the evil we don't want to do that is what we practice. We try to live a good life but we can't and the harder we try the worst it gets till we cry out, O wretched man that I am who shall deliver me from this body of death, and then finally revelation comes and we cry, "I thank God - through Jesus Christ our Lord!" God will deal with us until we let go of trying to live the Christian life by works of the flesh. Now my question is, when these people promote keeping good works as the answer to being a Christian, why doesn't God take them through Romans 7 and deliver them from it? The answer I believe is that they have never seen Jesus. Take Paul the Apostle, when he was still Saul of Tarsus before the Damascus Road experience he was a man who was self righteous, as far as the law went he was blameless. It would be pointless taking him through Romans 7, he had to see Jesus. When he saw Jesus his whole life was changed, he knew the answer wasn't keeping the law but grace. The problem is that when your life has been lived under the works of the law, it is difficult to get that out of your system even when you believe in grace, that is why God takes you through Romans 7 and delivers you from being under works of law. That is what He did with Paul and that is what He does with anyone who has seen and believed on Him but are struggling to live by works of the law. I am not saying these people who promote self effort don't believe on Him but rather that they have never seen Him, so they live for Him the only way they know, by their own hard work and perseverance and trust in their own efforts.