Understanding Salvation

Where do I stand in my relationship with God? If someone were to ask me, could I give them a clear answer, or would the answer be shrouded in mystery? Sadly, a large majority of people are fully convinced that one cannot know or understand whether God will save them or not. More than that, a good number of those who hold this belief are ones that we consider to be in the Lord’s body, and faithful Christians. Recently, an evangelist named Robert Breaker made an argument combating this very concept, and proving that I can in fact know if I am saved. However, while making some very strong arguments, Robert made a few statements that were either false or not expounded enough to paint the full picture. The intent of this article is that we will have a better understanding of our position in salvation.

First and foremost, we need to pinpoint what saves us. Paul, in Acts 28:26-28, makes it known to the Jews that because they had become dull of hearing, “… the salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles, and they will hear it,” and when connected to Romans 1:16, we see exactly what the salvation of God is that must be heard: “I am not ashamed of the GOSPEL OF CHRIST, it is the power of God to salvation to all who believe …” So, the salvation of God, that is the method in which God saves us, is the gospel of Christ. Furthermore, we are warned in Galatians 1:8 that if anyone preaches a gospel different than what Christ taught they are accursed, indicating that any other gospel than the gospel of Christ is accursed, and therefore useless.

More than that, we see that not only do we need to hear this gospel, but we must also believe. Many denominations and evangelists will leave the message there, however, scripture explains that belief in the gospel demands action. Peter shows in Acts 2:38 we must repent and be converted. Paul, in Romans 10:9, tells us that we must confess Jesus Christ as Lord. Finally, we get the example from Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8:26-38 that baptism is also necessary. Leaving out one or more of these steps will do nothing for us; each step must be adhered to.

On the contrary, we can follow each and every step leading to salvation and yet still be lost. The reason for this is because we may at one point have been baptized and saved, yet if we continue to live in sin, we condemn ourselves. Consider Paul, many refer to him as our apostle or the apostle of the Gentiles, and no one would say that he was not saved. Despite that, Paul, THE PAUL who is the author of almost half of the New Testament, reminded the brethren in Corinth in 1 Corinthians 9:27, “But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.” The definition of disqualified means to be declared ineligible because of an offense. Therefore, Paul continuously disciplined himself and brought his physical body into subjection so that when all is said and done, he has not been deemed ineligible for salvation because of an offense he committed! If Paul had to continuously obey the word of God, then how much more must we also obey? Peter writes in 2 Peter 2:21, “For it would be better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn away from the holy commandment handed on to them.”

In summary, each and every one of us can know and understand without a shadow of a doubt when we are saved. If I have not heard the complete gospel of Christ, or I have heard any other gospel than what Jesus taught, then I am not saved! If I did not respond to the gospel in the manner in which Jesus laid out for us by both command and example, then I am disqualified from salvation! Finally, if I at one point did obey the gospel, but because of my worldly desires fell away, I am condemned to the wrath and judgment of God. Brethren, let us always remember what it says in Hebrews 10:22-24: “Let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds.”

Oren Caskey