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  • How does one KNOW one is saved?

    What does one have to do to be saved, and how does one KNOW without a doubt that one IS saved?
    And the lion shall lay down with the calf, but the calf won't get much sleep. - Woody Allen

  • #2
    There'll be some debate about what you have to do, but I guess I can tell you one of the biggest thing towards first letting me know that I was.

    All the pain, all the regret and hurt I had built up over the years for the many things I knew I'd done wrong. I tried to bury them deep enough inside me that I could ignore them, but I could never hope to forget them, and it really wouldn't take much at all for the pain to rise to the surface. Even when they weren't at the surface, they were there under my skin, and in many ways which I didn't recognise at the time, they had an influence on everything I did, and on the person I was. The very instant that I accepted that no matter how much remorse I could bring myself to feel for my actions, it simply could not compare to how they would appear through Christ's eyes, he took them off me. The deeds which I have done simply no longer carry any weight. I look back with a slight sadness that I was without Christ then, but there's simply no pain and no regret, and no sorrow for the countless wrongs I've done.

    So I suppose that is, for me, all it takes - admitting that you are a sinner in need of a redeemer, and recognising that it must be Christ.
    Call to Me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known. Jeremiah 33:3
    You put the stars in the sky and you know them by name, You see the depths of my heart and You love me the same, You are amazing, God.
    I do not 'hope' I am saved and I do not 'think' I am saved, I know it with an absolute conviction. I know that I am saved just as I know that I think and I know that I feel. I am purchased and sealed, His possession.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Tisha T View Post
      What does one have to do to be saved
      Hi Tisha,
      Salvation is a gift from God (Ephesians 2:8-9) and we cannot earn it by good works, or going to Church, being baptised, knowing the Bible etc., so in that sense we don't have to do anything. The Bible clearly states that we are all sinners (Romans 3:23) under God's judgment and there is no way that WE can pay the price for our sin or enter heaven by our own efforts. God's standard of righteousness (or goodness if you like) is sinless perfection and no one (except Jesus Christ) has attained to that standard. In fact the Bible says we are born sinners so sin is really a part of our human nature that we cannot change.

      All the above has its origins in the beginning of creation (the Book of Genesis) which you may be familiar with. It's important to understand that God created the universe and man because this means He sets the rules and we are accountable to Him. God created man perfect (without sin) but Adam & Eve chose to disobey and that is when sin entered the creation and that is why we have death, pain and suffering in this world. Also since we are all descended from Adam and Eve (the original sinners) we inherit their sin nature as I mentioned above.

      Just as a side note (lest I assume too much), when I talk about sin I am referring to things like lying, stealing, bad thoughts, adultery, swearing and the like which are essentially covered in the 10 commandments. All it takes is ONE sin to separate us from God (that's all it took for Adam & Eve). Many people think they are somehow 'safe' from God's judgment because they have not committed a 'big' sin like murder but God will judge all sin even if it's just a 'white lie'. If we are honest we all have to admit that we have broken God's law many times and though it may not be a big deal to us, it certainly is to God.

      Because there is nothing we can do to save ourselves from sin the only solution (if anyone is to be saved) was for God to intervene and provide a way of salvation so that our broken relationship (which began when Adam & Eve sinned) with Him could be restored (we all need to understand and personally acknowledge that our sin separates us from God). God's way of salvation (the only way by the way) was to send His Son (Jesus Christ) to pay the price for our sins, a price that we could not pay. Jesus lived a perfect sinless life (since He was God) and then offered up His life (since He was also human) as a substitionary sacrifice for our sin. In effect Christ bore the punishment for our sin on the cross so we could escape the punishment of God which we rightly deserved. However Christ's sacrifice will only benefit us if we personally place our faith & trust in Him as the Son of God who paid the full price on the cross for our sin.

      Unfortunately Christ's sacrifice is not for everyone, since many (most people actually) simply have no desire to be saved from their sin and in fact they love their sin and hate God becuase He said He will judge sin and sinners. Many people (religious people) who believe in God and Jesus also fail to receive God's forgiveness because they also trust that their good works, their church or family linage will get them to heaven. So it's not merely a matter of knowing or believing the facts about God and Jesus (James says even the devils believe & tremble), but it is about committing ourselves (our eternal souls) to those facts that makes all the difference. The Apostle Paul said:

      Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst (1 Tim 1:15).

      Only those who acknowledge their sin, and are sorry for their sin (what the Bible calls repentance), need to come to Jesus for forgiveness. Jesus didn't come to save those who believe they can save themselves (eg. the religious Pharisees), but rather for those who realize they cannot save themselve and need a Saviour.


      and how does one KNOW without a doubt that one IS saved?
      God's Word (the Bible) tells us that we can have assurance of our salvation (1 John 5:13). We also have assurance because salvation is the work of God for us and we receive it through simple faith in Christ and what He did on the cross. If salvation is up to us then we can never be sure if we have done enough to be accepted by God or to get to heaven and anyway the Bible clearly teaches that we can never do enough to save ourselves in the first place. Of course these assurances are useless if the Bible is not a reliable source of information on spiritual matters. However the Bible can be trusted and has proven to be reliable source of information wich is clearly inspired by God (evidence for the accuracy of the Bible is plentiful and I'm sure if you do a search here you will find many threads on the topic). If God is who He says He is, then we can trust his Word to be faithful and true.

      When we place our faith in Christ we also receive the Holy Spirit and He dwells within us and provides an internal witness that we are the children of God (Romans 8:16). There is also the assurance of a changed life and desires motivated for a new found love for God and for others. A restored relationship with the Living God has a transforming effect on ones life that will be seen by others and experienced by the believer.

      Sorry for the long-windedness, but please keep asking questions if you need to clarify things or want to know more.

      Cheers
      Leigh

      Comment


      • #4
        You need to acknowledge that there is a God who is holy and just, lover of your soul, creator of all that is. To understand in your heart that God, who loves you, who wants to know you but most of all wants you to know Him so He can love you. To know that our desire to favor anything which is against Him seperates us from Him, and such from the love of the creator who holds our eternity in His hands.

        That has to convict a person to the point of knowing that they must repent, remove ourselves from sin, or be seperated from the very nature of our being forever.

        When you know this, and accept it, that is when you change your ways either with or without concience effort. You believe through faith, because of the grace given us through Christ Jesus that He is your redeemer and your hope for salvation. You begin to change from the previous person you were and leaving it behind to walk in a life please to Christ. You become a new person.

        We will be saved when we are judged after death at the time the whole world is judged. Now we have through faith (not something you can hold in your hand, not solid or concrete) the hope of salvation if we continue to walk a life pleasing to Christ though obedience. That obedience is what proves our faith true and makes us able of being judged worthy to enter eternity with God.

        So, we cannot save ourselves. We are not instantly judged when we repent and change. Christ did the work on the cross to pay our price for our sin, and then we prove that we truly accept that and walk a Christ like life by our actions, thoughts and deeds being of Him, not of ourselves or of anyone or anything else around us on this earth. We simply need to accept that grace, and change because of it. We can be assured of it because God cannot lie, nor does he go back on His promises. If we do our part to live according to His Son Jesus, He will redeem us!
        Seek ye FIRST the kingdom.
        Not second or third, but first.
        Only when all else pales to God, when He receives all glory,
        when He is the source of all hope,
        when His love is received and freely given,
        holding not to the world but to the promise to come,
        will all other things be added unto to you.

        Comment


        • #5
          Thanks, ID, T, and TBR for your answers.

          So all one has to do is just BELIEVE in your heart that Jesus died for your sins, and that's it? Is that all?
          And the lion shall lay down with the calf, but the calf won't get much sleep. - Woody Allen

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Tisha T View Post
            What does one have to do to be saved, and how does one KNOW without a doubt that one IS saved?
            .. What one need do is to believe that Jesus is the Son of God and that He died for their sins to be saved. The way you know you are saved is a many fold situation. At the very moment of salvations origin there is an infilling of the Holy Spirit of God that suddenly give one the peace that truly does pass all understanding.
            .. The best testimony for a time like this is the one that is irrefutable and so here it is. The night that I was saved I was on stage in a Texas honky tonk singing in the New Year for a bunch of drunks. I was stone sober, drinking Dr. Pepper and the Spirit came over me and I knew that very moment that I was in the wrong place and that after twenty-five years of trying to become famous that I would never perform on that stage again.
            .. I was at a point in my life that I was without a band, my wife was divorcing me, my truck had been repoed and I needed that three hundred dollar pay check worse than I had ever needed it before. In spite of my needs, as I saw them right then, I walked away from the obvious source of my down payment for another vehicle and I knew hat everything was going to be alright. That is the peace I spoke of. It made no sense at all to the natural man and yet I was certain that God had me covered.
            .. God did indeed supply my need and I went into His service and my life has never been the same since. I have never made an insane amount of money and yet I have never been without from that time forward. Before that night I never had a day in my life that I was not in need. There are sixteen years of assurances since but this is not the place to publish a book either.
            .. If you believe and publicly proclaim your faith, begin to study the word of God with a church family and trust God, He will lead you into a state of repentance that will leave your worldly friend a gasp. You will also be attacked by legalists that will do their best to destroy your faith and to force you to bear the yoke of their legalism but that attack from the forces of Satan is also an assurance of your salvation. You just need always to remember that if they hated Jesus (a.k.a. God) they will also hate you.
            .. I hope to see you in Heaven and we'll be seated together at the table to feast.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Tisha T View Post
              Thanks, ID, T, and TBR for your answers.

              So all one has to do is just BELIEVE in your heart that Jesus died for your sins, and that's it? Is that all?
              Sure that's it, providing you understand clearly who Jesus is (the sinless Son of God) and why He came and that you are a sinner and that His death is sufficient to pay the full penalty for your sin.

              Perhaps you could tell us why you think you need Jesus? Lots of people followed and sought after Jesus, but many for the wrong reasons. So why are you seeking Him? (sorry I'm not trying to be rude, I just want to be sure you understand what we have told you in regard to salvation).

              Cheers
              Leigh

              Comment


              • #8
                Perhaps you could tell us why you think you need Jesus? Lots of people followed and sought after Jesus, but many for the wrong reasons. So why are you seeking Him? (sorry I'm not trying to be rude, I just want to be sure you understand what we have told you in regard to salvation).
                I am a 'recovered Christian', I used to be Baptist, then Methodist, then non-denominational, then Pentecostal, finally United Pentecostal, then Deist, then agnostic, and finally I don't believe anything from any religion any longer. I use the term atheist lightly; I cannot define myself by what I am not. That means I'm a-doctor, a-geologist, a-everything but electronics engineer.

                While I was a Christian, I knew many people struggled with this question - What assurance do I have that I will not be rejected at the day of judgment. I wanted to see whether people are still struggling with that one, or whether times have changed. It looks like attitudes have changed, or perhaps only those who have absolute assurance of their salvation has responded.
                And the lion shall lay down with the calf, but the calf won't get much sleep. - Woody Allen

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by TEITZY
                  Unfortunately Christ's sacrifice is not for everyone, since many (most people actually) simply have no desire to be saved from their sin and in fact they love their sin and hate God becuase He said He will judge sin and sinners. Many people (religious people) who believe in God and Jesus also fail to receive God's forgiveness because they also trust that their good works, their church or family linage will get them to heaven. So it's not merely a matter of knowing or believing the facts about God and Jesus (James says even the devils believe & tremble), but it is about committing ourselves (our eternal souls) to those facts that makes all the difference.
                  Sorry, TEITZY, but you must have us atheists confused with someone else.
                  We don't hate god! We hate god as much as we hate leprechauns, and faeries, and golems, and minotaurs. Do YOU hate faeries? I doubt it, and why? Because you know faeries don't exist, so what is there to hate? You might hate the concept that a hobgoblin stands for, but you certainly can't hate hobgoblins now, can you?

                  Many people (religious people) who believe in God and Jesus also fail to receive God's forgiveness because they also trust that their good works, their church or family linage will get them to heaven. So it's not merely a matter of knowing or believing the facts about God and Jesus (James says even the devils believe & tremble), but it is about committing ourselves (our eternal souls) to those facts that makes all the difference.
                  On that point, we are in agreement. Statistics, for what they're worth, show that in countries like mine and yours, Christianity is by far the largest religious group. Yet, in my many discussions with many, many Christians since my deconversion, the level of ignorance of what Christianity is all about is astounding. The majority might as well not call themselves Christian because their mistaken ideas are so far off the mark.

                  And the lion shall lay down with the calf, but the calf won't get much sleep. - Woody Allen

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Tisha T View Post
                    While I was a Christian, I knew many people struggled with this question - What assurance do I have that I will not be rejected at the day of judgment. I wanted to see whether people are still struggling with that one, or whether times have changed. It looks like attitudes have changed, or perhaps only those who have absolute assurance of their salvation has responded.
                    In my experience in evangelical circles, I think Christians probably have less assurance now than they did when evangelicalism was at its peak in the the first half of the 20th century. Attitudes towards the Bible have certainly changed but its truth about the certainty yof our salvation remains the same.

                    Sorry, TEITZY, but you must have us atheists confused with someone else.
                    We don't hate god! We hate god as much as we hate leprechauns, and faeries, and golems, and minotaurs. Do YOU hate faeries? I doubt it, and why? Because you know faeries don't exist, so what is there to hate? You might hate the concept that a hobgoblin stands for, but you certainly can't hate hobgoblins now, can you?
                    Well when I used the term "hate" I was using it in a hyperbolic sense for those who don't love God or recognize His authority over their life. Technically you are correct in that an atheist could never hate God since you cannot hate someone you believe does not exist. However most atheists tend to find the concept of God highly irritating and see religion and faith as things which stiffle common sense and scientific progress. Of course in reality Biblical Christianity has done the exact opposite of that in countries whose foundations were built upon a Christian/Judeo ethic. The Bible is very black and white, you are either for God or against Him, you are either a child of God or a child of satan, you either belong to God's kingdom or satan's kingdom. If you love the world (you are worldly or materialistic) then you are the enemy of God.

                    Cheers
                    Leigh

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      No one truly understands, and no one truly KNOWS!!!


                      We have faith - which can not be seen, nor felt, nor heard, nor touched.


                      In the end,, no one really KNOWS.

                      We believe, and we have faith in.
                      That's all.


                      Faith in something always implies a doubt in that something.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Heb 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

                        I don't see any doubt in that statement, only assurance of what God said will indeed come to pass.

                        Cheers

                        Leigh
                        Last edited by kayte; Jan 14th 2008, 03:05 PM. Reason: Removed quoted portion

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I concur with the first half of your post. Christianity is becoming more and more fragmented, and the message becoming more and more diluted. This is especially true for the TBN-style prosperity gospel. I watch TBN if there is no other comedy on TV

                          However most atheists tend to find the concept of God highly irritating and see religion and faith as things which stiffle common sense and scientific progress. Of course in reality Biblical Christianity has done the exact opposite of that in countries whose foundations were built upon a Christian/Judeo ethic.
                          I'm not sure I agree with you there. In terms of seeing RELIGION as an irritation, you're right, but not for the reasons you suppose.

                          Let's play 'what if?'. What if you live in a Muslim country? would you not find many of the laws unjust, illogical, irrational, or just plain silly?
                          Most democracies of the world are, at least on paper, secular. There's total freedom of religion, sometimes freedom from religion, a judiciary seperate from any religio-political system, and so on.

                          What we see happening across the globe is a polarisation of political thought, making governments MORE religious, not less. Both the US and the UK have openly religious agendas and slowly the secularisation of governments is being eroded in favor of more and more religious overtones. GW Bush and Tony Blair have had a lot to do with it, but it is not limited only to those countries. The problem is how much religion should be mixed with politics, and as the religiosity of the government grows, so the individual freedoms of it's citizens becomes restricted to be in line with the morals of a particular religion. Left unchecked, we will all be living under Taliban-style rule.

                          It is THIS that is the irritation felt by atheists - What you believe is your own thing. When what you believe bears down on what I may do or say against my own judgement of what is just, is where the problems start. Fair enough, it is a two-way street, but in my opinion a properly secular state offers greater freedom to its citizens, and more protection for its citizens to believe whatever they want without hindrance.

                          Phew - Long-winded, I know, but bear with me...

                          However most atheists tend to find the concept of God highly irritating and see religion and faith as things which stiffle common sense and scientific progress. Of course in reality Biblical Christianity has done the exact opposite of that in countries whose foundations were built upon a Christian/Judeo ethic.
                          You mention stifling common sense and scientific progress. I think we have scientific progress in spite of, not because of Biblical Christianity. The RCC has only recently apologised to Galileo. The Christian right regularly opposes medical research and technology. The Christian right regularly opposes scientific progress on evolution, cosmology, physics, biology, to name but a few fields of studies. It is when Theology professors with PhD's from dubious centers of 'learning' try to argue about the history of the planet using a two-thousand year old book, and try to get their myopic, irrational ideas put forward as credible science that the rational community becomes livid.


                          And that is my two cents.
                          /soapbox
                          Last edited by Tisha T; Jan 14th 2008, 04:58 PM. Reason: Tsk, tsk. Grammar!
                          And the lion shall lay down with the calf, but the calf won't get much sleep. - Woody Allen

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                          • #14
                            We can be sure that our promised salvation will be given us, if we walk a Christ - like life. If our thoughts and deeds line up with what is pleasing to God, we know that we are holding true to the faith. If we are out of the will of God, we will know because of holding our thoughts and actions up to scripture.

                            We can be assured that we are promised salvation. And we hold the hope of that salvation through faith, because of grace.
                            Seek ye FIRST the kingdom.
                            Not second or third, but first.
                            Only when all else pales to God, when He receives all glory,
                            when He is the source of all hope,
                            when His love is received and freely given,
                            holding not to the world but to the promise to come,
                            will all other things be added unto to you.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              We can be assured that we are promised salvation.
                              Somehow I can't shake the feeling I've heard this before.
                              Oh, yes, it's about my payrise. I can be assured my company has promised a payrise.
                              I can slip up. My company can slip up. That's no guarantee that I WILL see that promised payrise. I don't intend to make a mockery, I'm being dead serious. We all commit little errors of judgment that you call sin. We do it daily. We do it knowingly sometimes, and sometimes we only realise we did it after the fact. And sometimes we find out later that what we did was wrong, but didn't know at the time we did it that it was wrong.

                              There's a saying that goes "No individual raindrop thinks it caused the flood". At what point does one draw the line and say the accumulation of so many 'sin-points' costs us our salvation? According to the Bible, sin is sin, irrespective of the severity or impact. Indeed, Jesus went so far as to say the intent to sin is already sin even before the deed is done. Who can live with that much self-control without living in a cloister?

                              As Duane Morse says, no-one is absolutely, positively sure of their ticket to heaven. All one can do is hope that one can get in under the wire. For me, the cosmic crap-shoot is too much uncertainty, and I wouldn't live with that fear 24/7/365. I'd go
                              And the lion shall lay down with the calf, but the calf won't get much sleep. - Woody Allen

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