The scriptures speak about salvation as having a past, present, and future.
Have been saved – Past Tense.
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Being saved – Present Tense
I Corinthians 1:18
For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
Will be saved – Future Tense.
I Corinthians 3:15
If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
The above verse importantly highlights that there will be no boasting in Heaven, and no one will be able to say, “I got here because I worked hard for it; I have kept the faith, I was good enough.” Instead, every person in Heaven will “know” that they are saved purely by the grace of God.
Some scriptures deal with the promises of God to sustain and protect the faith of each believer, while others highlight the responsibility of humans to not depart from the faith.
When viewed in their entirety, these scriptures demonstrate that believers can reject, abandon, way away from their salvation.
(1) IT IS A GIFT.
If we do not understand this core concept, it messes up with our entire understanding of salvation. God blesses us with this gift and does not expect us to work to earn it (as many have taught).
The bottom line is that we cannot pay for our salvation. We couldn’t do it before we got saved, and neither can we repay for it after we get saved.
And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.
(2) IT IS ETERNAL LIFE.
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
We have all earned death because of our sins but God promises us eternal life. Eternal life is forever and begins when you die to yourself and your ways and surrender yourself to God.
I John 2:25
And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life.
(3) IT IS TOTAL FORGIVENESS.
As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.
I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.
Forgiveness is a complete release from the penalty of sin. God has made a choice to remember our sins no more.
(4) WE ARE COMPLETELY JUSTIFIED BEFORE GOD.
Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
We are all freely justified by the grace of God alone. No one is justified by the works of the law. It is the loving justice of God to sentence me to Heaven.
(5) WE HAVE THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF JESUS IN OUR ACCOUNT.
For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.
In the Old Testament, people were saved based on their belief in God, and it made them righteous.
Righteousness means being in right standing with God. We can be righteous before God because of the finished work of Jesus on the cross.
In my account, there was sin, and in the account of Jesus, there was righteousness. When Jesus died, His righteousness was transferred into our account, and our sins were transferred to Him, and that’s why when Jesus died, the scripture records that He was found guilty of sin.
We have a choice to believe and receive the gift of Jesus that has already been paid for.
I Corinthians 6:19
What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
The word redeemed here means “purchased back” ~ we are bought at a price.
Adam and Eve had dominion over the earth, and Satan stole that dominion, but Jesus came and legally purchased the world and every person in the world.
But we have a free will to choose whether we want to serve God or not
(7) TOTAL COMMITMENT.
Lastly, one of the clear signs that you are saved is that you will display a ‘Total Commitment’ towards following God.
Some people just want to have fire insurance and go to church to get to Heaven, but in fact, Jesus is never the Lord of their lives.
Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
Jesus is in effect saying you cannot call Him ‘Lord’ because He is not your Lord instead, someone else is.
Matthew 7:22-23Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
The application of Jesus’ message directly applies to a church environment and those actively involved in ministry.
Imagine that there are people who are actively engaged in ministry but are not saved; how many more would just attend church?
It is to these people that Jesus says, depart from me I never knew you. He did not say I knew you, but I don’t anymore?
He is in effect saying that you were never saved; therefore, you are not being saved, and consequently, you would not be saved.
If you want to know if you are saved ask who is in charge? He is either Lord of all or not your Lord at all. God does not settle for second place.