How to Be Saved: Salvation Explained
One must first realize they are on their way to hell.
Heaven is Real – and So is Hell
- There are two destinations for the soul of man to go when it dies: either heaven, or hell (Job 11:8, Psalm 139:8)
- Heaven is the throne of God. (Isaiah 66:1) It is the place of everlasting joy, rest, peace and glory. (Matthew 25:21, Revelation 14:13, Revelation 21:11)
- Hell is the habitation of devils. (2 Peter 2:4) It is the place of everlasting sorrow, torment, agony and darkness. (Proverbs 27:20, Matthew 18:8, Matthew 8:12, Mark 9:43, 44, Luke 16:23, Revelation 14:11)
- The state the soul is in at death, there will it remain in eternity.
- There is no bridge between the two places. (Luke 16:26)
- The state of a man’s soul when he dies determines which place he will go. (Ecclesiastes 11:3)
- Death can come to anyone at any time and seal his fate.
We Are Sinful
- Our righteousness is as filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6)
- Not one person is exempt from sin (Romans 3:12)
- The Bible says everyone is born a sinner. (Romans 3:23)
- We are by nature children of wrath (Ephesians 2:3) and of the devil (1 John 3:8)
- Even if your parents are saved that does not mean you are. (John 3:3)
- There is none naturally righteous, no not one. (Romans 3:10)
- We are all justly under condemnation. (Romans 5:18)
- We have transgressed God’s holy law. (1 John 3:4)
- We have transgressed God’s holy law (1 John 3:4) to the end the whole world may held guilty (Romans 3:19)
- We are wicked and have all gone astray (Isaiah 53:6)
And As Such, We Deserve to Go There
- Even one sin is enough to disqualify us from heaven. (James 2:10)
- The wages of sin is death. (Romans 6:23)
- The soul that sinneth, it shall die. (Ezekiel 18:20)
- The unrighteous cannot inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Corinthians 6:9)
- We are all on our way to hell in our fallen state (Psalm 9:17)
What Can’t Help
- Good works cannot save us or undo the damage (Romans 3:20, Ephesians 2:9, Ezekiel 3:20).
- Trying not to sin cannot help. You will still sin despite your best efforts, and you cannot pay for past sins.
- Good works plus belief is damning, as it rejects the sufficiency of Christ’s blood.
- Being sincere in your devotions.
- Simply praying a prayer does not save you – i.e. “1-2-3 pray after me.”
- Signing a card or responding to an altar call
- Joining a church
- Changing your life
- Belief without a revelation of God’s Spirit to the soul that you are a sinner going to hell without salvation WILL NOT SAVE YOU.
- Profession of gospel doctrine alone will not save you. You must have the true and saving work of the faith and grace of the gospel in your heart, or you will veer from entering heaven’s gates. Your faith must be of the mighty operation of the Spirit of God, revealing Christ
The Gospel Summarized
Beg of God that He would reveal to you the gospel, that He would work His power upon your soul by faith to open your eyes, that you may see it in truth.
The gospel is this: you have sinned against a holy God, and are guilty of transgressing His holy law. You are vile, wretched, and filthy with sin, and unable to reverse your condition or pay the great debt you owe to God. You have gone astray from your youth. You have been polluted and enslaved by sin. By transgressing God’s law, you are worthy of eternal damnation, and His wrath is upon you, and you will feel the heat and force of it after you take your final breath, if God does not have mercy on your soul. You must see your greatest and most damning sin is nothing else but unbelief. Except you turn to God for salvation, you will perish. Only after this truth is made clear to your soul by God’s Spirit can the next part be of any use.
But God, for His great love which He had toward us, gave His Son Jesus Christ, God manifest in the flesh of man, to purchase your soul at the cost of His own earthly life and blood. His salvation is free, upon no condition that you must do anything. His salvation is of His grace, of His compassionate act alone, because of the blood of Christ which cleanseth us from all sin. His salvation releases you from the bondage you are in from your sins. His obedience purchased your redemption. God must enable you to grasp this by faith, which He gives to you by virtue of His Spirit, and seals you, revealing to your soul that you are no longer under wrath, but forgiven of all your transgressions.
“… Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved…” (Acts 16:30, 31)
Except you lay hold upon His Son by true faith (wrought of God’s mercy) for your hope of eternal life, you shall perish. He that believeth not shall be damned.
See also A Few Sighs from Hell, by Bunyan.
Conditions of Salvation
- The soul must be truly, deeply sensible and awakened of its sinful state and the consequences for it by the power of God’s Holy Spirit through the Word
- Pride must be put down and we must acknowledge that we are vile in and of ourselves
- Confession made that God is righteous and we are wicked and depraved (Romans 10:9)
- God’s mercy through Christ must be recognized as our only hope
- There can be no Christ plus something else. We cannot be saved trusting in Christ AND our own righteousness.
What CAN Save
- One must be born again by the Spirit of God (John 3:7)
- One must be converted (Acts 3:19)
- Jesus Christ’s blood must wash us clean from sin (Ephesians 1:7)
- Believe in thine heart (Acts 16:31) that Christ is the Son of God (John 20:31)
- Repent or damnation will ensue (Luke 13:3)
- Strive to enter in at the strait gate by coming to Christ. (Matthew 7:13)
Effects of Salvation
The effects, not the causes, of salvation are a life dedicated to the glory of the gospel and the furtherance of the name of the Lord Jesus Christ all the days of your life on this earth.
- New desires – desires for God and His Word (Galatians 5:17)
- If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature (2 Corinthians 5:17)
- Sanctification (1 Corinthians 6:11, Ephesians 5:26)
Bunyan has an excellent list of evidences of salvation in his work Some Gospel Truths Opened, which I have summarized below:
- There was a time when God showed you that you were not a Christian by His Spirit, and as such were under wrath for your sin, that you were born in sins
- There was a time when the Spirit of the Lord Jesus revealed that you had no faith naturally and convinced you of sin, not only of your transgressions against the law, but of your unbelief, and you saw yourself as a lost creature. If you were convinced of other sins only beside this, you have not had the conviction of salvation and will certainly go to hell. You know God has given you faith in Christ, that there was a time you had none (for you couldn’t), and now are quickened through faith.
- You see that Jesus Christ was sent of God to die for the sins of the world and are not saved by anything you do.
- You know that the only true peace and joy comes from Christ only (1 Peter 1:8), the fruit of which is a) how precious the Lord Jesus is to you and b) the purification of the heart by faith, and that by faith in the blood and righteousness of Christ only. No other name can save you (Acts 4:10-12)
- You will have no rest in your soul until you know the light of God’s countenance upon you, which light you greatly long for above all else. Your greatest desire is to see you are reconciled to God through Jesus Christ, and have the assurance of forgiveness of Him. Unless you have this and no less, you are certainly going to hell.
- You know that the faith you have in the Son of God is not your own faith, but a gift of God’s grace, and you know that without that grace you could have no power to believe, and thus no salvation. God alone is your salvation.
- You know and believe the true and only saving gospel, and embrace the doctrine of it, that Jesus is the Son of God, who was with the Father before the world began, who descended from heaven made in the likeness of man, the Son of the virgin, and God in the flesh, who was condemned for sinners and bore them in His own body for our sakes, by whose blood we have redemption. He died, and was raised again the third day, and ascended to heaven, where He ever liveth to make intercession for us.
- You look for the coming of the Lord Jesus, and for Him to deliver you from the wrath to come, and acknowledge that He will come again as He went, even in the clouds, and will judge the world with righteousness, and will receive to Himself His redeemed, while the wicked are damned for ever. The effect of which belief is the purifying of the heart, and all your holiness apart from Christ is sin.
Some words from this great man of faith:
“…examine thy heart; yea, beg of God to help thee to examine it, and to throw out all that fancy that thou takest instead of faith; also throw away all thine own wisdom; yea, thy own righteousness also, and come to God in the name of the Son of Mary, which is the Son of God, and beg faith of him, true faith, the faith of the operation of God; such a faith as he gives to his own elect, which will shew thee clearly of these things; so that thou shalt not deceive thyself with a fancy of them; and the advantages will be many.” (Bunyan, Some Gospel Truths Opened)
Are You Truly Saved or a False Convert?
A man may repent as Judas, believe as the devils, confess, pray, humble himself, have knowledge of Christ, calling on the name of the Lord, and be awakened to his sins, have a change in life – yet still go to hell. Unless the Spirit of Christ works these things, all is in vain. Take care that your salvation is not wrought in any part of yourself, for it will then prove to be a spider’s web in the day of vengeance.
How do I Know for Sure that I am Saved?
A newborn baby must have milk. It craves milk. Our new milk as believers is the Word of God (1 Peter 2:2). If you are saved, you will live by this book called the Bible. You must have it. It becomes your source of survival for every day.
The Spirit witnesses with our spirit that we are the children of God. (Romans 8:16) This is the earnest and seal of the Spirit (2 Corinthians 1:22, Ephesians 1:13, 14).