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How can I know Salvation?

What do you consider to be the most important matter in your life right now – education, relationships, career, or sporting development? However you answer, God’s Word declares that the need of salvation is the most important matter in your life.

What is salvation?
At the commencement of the New Testament, in Matthew 1:21, we read of the name of God’s Son, Jesus, and of the purpose of His coming into the world: ‘He shall save His people from their sin.’  Later, in Matthew 18:11, Christ Himself taught that, ‘the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.’ From these two verses we learn that as sinners we are in danger and we are lost.

The word ‘save’, used in both verses, is an interesting one.  It carries the idea of safety.  Thus we could say in saving His people, Jesus is delivering them and protecting them from danger. That danger is directly connected to our sinful condition. By birth we have a sinful nature. We are born sinners. Some people have tried to explain sin as the consequence of the society in which we live. Yet the Bible declares that we are born in sin. Remember the example of Cain, the first child born into the world.  He was born into a world without evil literature, street gangs, nightclubs or immoral television programmes, yet he became a murderer!  We cannot blame our sinfulness on our society or family or circumstances in life. We are sinful because we have been born as sinners. And the record of our lives is a sinful one. Because of our sinful nature and record we face God’s punishment for sin – eternal separation and torment in hell. As God is holy and just He must punish sin. He cannot overlook or excuse sin. He must see it dealt with in His perfect judgement.

We can now see the danger sinners are in: facing God’s judgement and punishment. Many are unconcerned about this danger. Some don’t believe the Bible and live as if there will be no punishment for sin. Others know what God’s Word says but don’t seem to care. The Lord says in Deuteronomy 32:29, ‘O that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would consider their latter end!’

Jesus not only saves from sin’s punishment but also from sin’s power.  When a person is saved then the Lord gives him strength to say no to sin and to live in a way that brings glory to Him.  That makes a difference in his life. No longer does he happily sin and live by his own rules. He joyfully lives by God’s rules and instruction. We are not just saved to die well, we are also saved to live well!  That is the evidence that we are truly saved.  There is a change in our lives.  Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 5:17, ‘Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.’

How can I be saved?
The Word of God reveals something true of each saved person – the ability to testify to faith in Jesus Christ and repentance towards God.

Faith is trusting in the Word of God and upon the Son of God. By faith, a sinner believes that the Lord Jesus lived a perfect life and gave Himself willingly to die upon the cross for him as his substitute. The sinner confesses that the Saviour bore the punishment that he deserves, and in doing so satisfied God’s anger against his sin. He believes that Christ paid the debt of his sin by the shedding of His blood, His resurrection testifying that His work is accepted by the Father. When the Philippian jailer asked Paul and Silas what he needed to do to be saved, they told him, ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.’ (Acts 16:31)

John Calvin once wrote, ‘Faith embraces Christ, as offered to us by the Father.’ Faith receives the Christ offered in the Gospel.  Some believe in a ‘god’ that saves them from hell but isn’t concerned with how they live before Him. That is not the God of Scripture. True faith recognises that man is guilty in his sin, that Christ alone can save him from that sin, and that the Lord will change his life, leading and guiding him in truth and holiness.

Repentance is a turning away from sin, from the life that we have lived in sin, and the way we have previously thought about God.  Preachers often quote the following lines:

“Repentance is to leave behind,
The sins we loved before,
And show that we in earnest grieve,
By doing so no more.”

Psalm 51 gives us a clear demonstration of repentance. This passage shows that sin is a burden to David; that his sin is against God; that there is no joy in his sin; and that before he could have a clean heart and a right spirit, he had to turn away from his sin and ask God to deal with it.

Some want to be saved from hell but not from their sin. Paul essentially preached that faith and repentance go hand in hand (Acts 20:21). True faith will always be accompanied by repentance. This has always been the message of Scripture. God’s way of salvation has not changed.

Perhaps you know about salvation; you’ve heard it preached many times. Perhaps you’ve seen the reality of it in the lives of friends and relatives, but as of this moment you are still not saved.

Why is it important to know you are saved today?
The Bible teaches us that we do not know when we will die and therefore it is important that we are prepared to meet God.  Proverbs 27:1:“Boast not thyself of tomorrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.” John 3:16 reminds us that “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life”. Turn from your sin and come to Christ in faith today!


Rev Ryan McKee.