SALVATION By Henry Miranda
How do we attain our salvation?
There's only one way to obtain salvation and that is by putting our faith in the shed blood of Jesus Christ, His death, burial and resurrection. If you confess Jesus Christ as Lord, believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved.
How do we remain in our Salvation?
Believing is what keeps us saved. That and remaining faithful and obedient. You must have a personal relationship with Jesus. You have entered into the relationship with God that He calls everyone to and the Word of God provides us with everything we need to maintain that relationship. God provides us with His Word for our edification and our guidance. Consequently, we should make the Word a central part of our lives so that by it our own words and deeds may be weighed. In this manner, the Word should be ever-present to help guard us from sin: (Psalm. 119:11 NIV) "I have hidden Your word in my heart that I might not sin against You." In addition to the purposes of initial regeneration and maintaining the closeness of our relationship with God, the Word exists to help us mature and grow in that relationship. This means that through His Word God reveals Himself to us. Thus the continual exposure to God through prayer, worship, and the Word washes us clean like the polishing of a dirty mirror. The more we are exposed to the washing of the Word, the better we are able to reflect God's characteristics and essential image. Our change of lifestyle is a part of understanding we have salvation.
How do we lose our Salvation?
There is no way you can lose your salvation if you did not have salvation from the start. It's not sinning that is going to cause us to lose our salvation. Just like it's not doing the right things that are going to earn us our salvation. It's a free gift from God. Can you reject that gift? Yes, you can reject that gift.
The reason you don't lose your salvation is because you were never saved in the first place. People may say they have salvation, but they never had a saving knowledge of Christ. You're always saved and have eternal security when you belong to Christ. But there are those who have only "tasted" or "sampled" Christ. They were never truly converted to faith in Him. There are many people who are involved, perhaps heavily involved in a church. It is likely they would have joined a congregation, heard the Gospel, and saw the Spirit working in the life of believers. They may have received some of the blessings of being part of a church, and they may have even publicly confessed Christ and have been baptized. But they never had a saving knowledge of Christ.
A good analogy would be the difference between marrying someone and just going out on a few dates with them. A person can learn things about Christ, and thereby come to admire Him, and they may enjoy being part of a fellowship but have no real lasting commitment to Him. This is not the same thing as the repentance and faith by which a person is saved and joined to Christ.
This is not an uncommon situation, there are people who have been in a church for many years, involved in many things, never missed a service, yet they are not saved. They have seen God at work, but only just "tasted" what was going on--never really being a part of it. They most likely would have even partaken of the Lord's Supper as the wording in the passage suggests. But they were never really saved. To sort of paraphrase Scripture, (they were "in the church, but not of the Church)."
So being a member of a church and be being involved in the Church and seeing God at work doesn't guarantee salvation. Neither does being baptized, for that matter. That is only what is called a "temporary faith". Temporary faith is most likely grounded in emotional feelings and seeks personal enjoyment rather than the glory of God.
There was a member in a church who was there were almost 40 years. He was a treasure of the church. A very good outstanding member and never missed church. One night at church there was an altar call and to everybody's amazement, he got up went to the front and accepted the Lord as his personal Savior. Everyone was surprised because they thought that he was already a Christian and already saved all those years. Anybody can say they are a Christian and go through the motions of being a Christian but have never been saved in the first place.
That's why it is not difficult to understand why this kind of false faith is quickly lost when God or the church ceases to be fun when it loses its appeal. Unlike saving faith, temporary faith, "is not rooted in a regenerate heart." We find temporary faith in God's word in Matthew 13:18-23 (NKJV):
The Parable of the Sower Explained
Matthew 13:18-23 (NKJV) "Therefore hear the parable of the sower: When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside. But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles. Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful. But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty."
That's what they have "fallen away" from--the Visible Church, not salvation. Salvation is final as repentance is a gift of the Lord. Once you have been adopted into God's family, God will not let go. John 10:28-29 (NKJV) And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father's hand.
In John 10:27-28 (NKJV), Jesus states: "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of my hand." Once we are saved, we have an eternal security that is final.
There is also a kind of falling away that is final, too. We have to keep in mind that this is not just a simple falling away where they just don't go to church anymore but one in which a person fully renounces Christ. Once they fall away and put the things of Christ completely behind them, they simply won't ever be gifted with any degree of repentance again. Anyone who makes such a decision was never a member of the Invisible Church. We can see that what happens when we don't continue to abide in Christ in John 15:1-7 (NKJV)
"I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine-dresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. f you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.
I would suggest to you that the Bible does not teach eternal salvation, although it sure would be nice if it did. The Bible warns Christians that they can "fall from grace" (Gal. 5:1-5), be "cut off" from salvation (Rom. 11:18-22), have their names removed from the Lamb's Book of Life (Rev. 22:19), by committing certain sins and not repenting of them (cf. Eph. 5: 3-5; 1Cor. 6:9; Gal. 5:19, Rev. 21:6-8).
In a chilling reminder of the possibility of losing salvation by separating oneself from Christ, Paul says, "I drive my body and train it, for fear that, after having preached to others, I myself should become disqualified." (1 Cor. 9:27).
Here are a couple of additional passages that pretty much spell out the fact that one can lose one's salvation:
Matt: 6:15, 19:21-35, 10:22-32 Luke 12:41-46, Colossians 1:22-23, Hebrews 3:6, 14 Rev. 2:10, 25-36, 3:1-5 2 Peter 2:20-22
These passages give a pretty strong witness to the fact that we can fall away and, "if we do not repent and come back to Jesus", we could suffer the consequences for all eternity.
Henry Miranda earned a Bachelor of Christian Ministry degree @ Christian Leadership University. Henry Miranda is an Evangelist, Bible Teacher, Author, and Guest Speaker and with the help of the Holy Spirit has written seven life-changing books. You can contact Henry Miranda through his website: http://www.evangelize-for-jesus-ministries.com/
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