Are you saved? Do you know what it is to be saved? Salvation has become a fashionable topic of discussion in today’s world and within our culture. There are some, not the least of which includes famous celebrities or spokespersons, who declare that he or she is “saved,” yet an observation of their public lifestyle dictates otherwise. To truly be saved requires and demands a change of lifestyle and living in a newness of life that is no resemblance to the old life (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Sadly, there are many Christians who are unable to identify who they are and where they are in the body of Christ. They may declare that they are new creatures in Christ but actually may be still living under the old life. There has to be a mental change once one becomes a true believer in Jesus Christ. It is one thing to say you follow Christ but another to live as if you are truly following Him.
“Therefore, no condemnation now exists for those in Christ Jesus, because the Spirit’s law of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death. What the law could not do since it was limited by the flesh, God did. He condemned sin in the flesh by sending His own Son in flesh like ours under sin’s domain, and as a sin offering, in order that the law’s requirement would be accomplished in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit” (Romans 8:1-4). In this world, there is an ongoing conditioning of our minds by the prince of this domain, Satan. Many are affected by this (and without even realizing it, as well), but God, through the Holy Spirit, teaches us and guides us to live and function beyond the teachings of this world. The Spirit teaches us and guides us in our attitude, our behavior, how we dress, who we associate with, and how we are to interact with others. Christians still have much to learn about themselves in order to continue to grow in Jesus Christ. There is a distinction that you are to demonstrate in your salvation where you are truly different from those who are in the world. What is said through one’s lips is eventually confirmed by one’s behavior. In addition, we are to be wary of those who say one thing and do another, including those who are spreading inaccuracies about God’s Word. “Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravaging wolves. You’ll recognize them by their fruit. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes or figs from thistles? In the same way, every good tree produces good fruit, but a bad tree produces bad fruit. A good tree can’t produce bad fruit; neither can a bad tree produce good fruit. Every tree that doesn’t produce good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire” (Matthew 7:15-19). Just because you attend church, or sing in the church choir, or are a church elder, or even the pastor does not mean that you are saved. This is not to be confused with our imperfections as human beings and our issues from sin when you are saved. Even with this, “you’ll recognize them by their fruit” (Matthew 7:20). When it comes to the church, the members are to walk together in agreement over following Jesus Christ, or a church may follow the world and keep Christ out of the church doctrine. “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord!’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of My Father in heaven. On that day many will say to Me, ‘Lord, Lord, didn’t we prophesy in Your name, drive out demons in Your name, and do many miracles in Your name?’ Then I will announce to them,i never knew you! Depart from Me, you lawbreakers!‘” (Matthew 7:21-23). The only way to heaven is through Jesus Christ (John 14:6), but once you have accepted Christ as your personal savior, there is much more to be learned about Him and how to grow as a Christian. Christians have to make their salvation a personal one, and to not just accept Christ because someone told them to do it or because it seems like the right thing to do just to fit in. There has to be a desire to follow Christ in a deep and sincere relationship. Christianity is not a religion like Hinduism or Buddhism–it is a relationship with the living Christ.
Who is Jesus to you? “But these are written so that you may believe Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and by believing you may have life in His name” (John 20:31) See also Luke 9:20. If you are truly saved, you are busy doing the work of the Lord and are in line with God’s will. One’s level of obedience to God’s Word is going to lead to some point in your life where you will have to decide whether or not you are going to live for Christ or live in the world. Ultimately, a choice has to be made (Matthew 6:24; James 4:4; Revelation 3:14-17). Many people have made the claim that they are Christians, but they don’t really know Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. It is not up to others to make the judgment call as to your salvation, buy only you know for sure if you are. You can be sure that God knows, and so does Satan! God will be able to determine who is truly His when the time comes (Matthew 13:24-29; 2 Timothy 2:19). Those who confess sin without turning from it and repenting are only saying the words “Lord, Lord” but not living as a true believer. “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
For those of us who know the Lord Jesus Christ, we need to make sure that we are not treating the gospel of Christ as if we are selling fire insurance policies. We need to understand that God is working in the life of the non-believer until he or she becomes a believer in drawing them to God, and then the work continues as a believer in their desire to follow God’s will (Titus 2:11-14). “We all, with unveiled faces, are reflecting the glory of the Lord and are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory; this is from the Lord who is the Spirit” (2 Corinthians 3:18). See also Colossians 3:1-11. There should be a desire to love God and live for God with not just words, but in your actions. To truly be saved is to live for Christ in the fullness of His love and grace.