As we live from day to day, week after week, month after month, and year after year, milestones of events that are like snapshots mark the days that come and go. Everybody knows the date of his or her birthday (since Mom and Dad told you so). Most people remember when they graduated from high school or college. Some remember (or try to forget) when their wedding anniversary is. A few will make the point to remember when they met their wife or husband for the first time, or their first kiss, or when the wedding proposal took place. All of these are dates of importance, but did you consider the most important date of all…do you remember the day that you got saved?
The day that you were saved is truly a milestone day of your life. It is a day that you may or may not remember in the same way that you would remember your wedding day or a first date. What should be noted, however, is that it really is not all that important whether or not that you remember all of the details as to the day you were saved…what is most important is knowing that you ARE saved. It is best to know that you are saved, and to know what you what being saved really means.
First, let’s discuss the definition of the word “saved” and how it relates to the term “salvation.” To be saved indicates that a type of rescue or a removal from a dangerous situation or circumstance must take place. When a person is rescued from a burning building or from a possible drowning or a similar calamity, there is a certainty that life would be lost were it not for the rescue effort. In the same way, referring to the spiritual condition of a person, to be “saved” is to avoid the end result when you are not rescued…a certainty of death. What kind of death? Not just a physical death, but also a spiritual death. The spiritual death, in its simplest form, is the result of man’s inability to have a relationship with God, who is holy. Spiritual death is the equivalent of a separation from God.
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, in this way death spread to all men, because all sinned.
Sin is what separates us from having a relationship with God. It would not take us very long to recognize this sin in our lives, especially if you review what the Bible says about the tendencies of mankind:
And you were dead in your trespasses and sins 2 in which you previously walked according to this worldly age, according to the ruler of the atmospheric domain, the spirit now working in the disobedient. 3 We too all previously lived among them in our fleshly desires, carrying out the inclinations of our flesh and thoughts, and by nature we were children under wrath, as the others were also.
The heart is more deceitful than anything else and desperately sick—who can understand it?
Then He said, “What comes out of a person—that defiles him. 21 For from within, out of people’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immoralities, thefts, murders, 22 adulteries, greed, evil actions, deceit, lewdness, stinginess, blasphemy, pride, and foolishness. 23 All these evil things come from within and defile a person.”
And keep in mind that the knowledge of God, the Creator, will not be a deterrent for the person who chooses to live a life of sin.
For God’s wrath is revealed from heaven against all godlessness and unrighteousness of people who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth, 19 since what can be known about God is evident among them, because God has shown it to them. 20 From the creation of the world His invisible attributes, that is, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what He has made. As a result, people are without excuse. 21 For though they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God or show gratitude. Instead, their thinking became nonsense, and their senseless minds were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man, birds, four-footed animals, and reptiles. 24 Therefore God delivered them over in the cravings of their hearts to sexual impurity, so that their bodies were degraded among themselves. 25 They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served something created instead of the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
Thankfully, the Bible also provides a remedy for our sin—Jesus Christ, who is the provision of our salvation. He provides salvation because he loved us before we could even begin to love Him, and He loves us more than we can begin to imagine! He is the provision for our sin that allows us to fellowship with Him, and rescued us from eternal separation and eternal punishment for our sin. We cannot ignore that God punishes sin because He is a holy God that judges unrighteousness (John 8:21-24; Mark 9:43-48; Luke 16:22-31; Revelation 20:11-15).
But He was pierced because of our transgressions, crushed because of our iniquities; punishment for our peace was on Him, and we are healed by His wounds. We all went astray like sheep; we have all turned to our own way; and the Lord has punished Him for the iniquity of us all.
The key to all of this is that a person has to come to a point where the life that they are living has a need for a change. The natural man does not have the desire, nor the inclination, to reach for a lifeline, a Savior, or for salvation—for the simple reason that they do not believe that they need to be saved. In fact, the flesh that we are in does not have a desire to seek the Lord. The flesh actually repels from God. If it were not for the amazing love of God through Jesus Christ, who makes the provision for our salvation, we would have no hope for spiritual life with Him. His desire is for each of us to be rescued from the fate of eternal separation from Him. He wants us to be with Him through eternity.
“For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world that He might judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.
Salvation is a gift from God through Jesus Christ. It is not an assumption or an afterthought. The believer in Jesus Christ must recognize the gift and accept it. Many see the love of Christ and recognize that they have a gift—if only they would just ACCEPT it! There are people who know about the gift of salvation but won’t accept it for fear that there must be a catch to it. What’s the catch? Try to think for a moment how the flesh looks at this:
“But I still want to have fun! Isn’t being a Christian boring?”
“I want to live my life the way I want to!”
“I can still go to church and to the club, can’t I?”
“I’ve got plenty of time to accept the Lord!”
The person who allows the Holy Spirit, who gives the person the ability to see the wonder of the gift of salvation for what it truly is, receives the gift with the proper attitude. This is what leads to a person being truly saved. It is a true salvation—not a concoction in the mind of the person who is still embracing the flesh and living a life outside of God’s will.
How does a person know that they are truly saved? A person who is truly saved must do these two things—almost simultaneously—when a decision is made to live for Christ. First:
- The person who is truly saved MUST have a heart of repentance, a desire to avoid unrighteousness, and a desire to seek righteousness.
The key word here is a heart of repentance. Remember the verse that says our hearts are deceitful (Jeremiah 17:9)? The deceitful heart does not have the desire to seek God. God must give us the heart to seek Him through repentance. We must repent of our sin in order to begin moving down the path of righteousness to Him. We must have desire to put aside the world’s pleasures and to live in such a way where we want to live for Him. This is the first step towards being truly saved. Next…
- Acknowledge that Jesus Christ is the person who died for you—you personally, and receive His gift of salvation.
You would think that receiving a gift is a simple thing to do. Well, it is, and it isn’t. If you think about it, most of us will have a feeling of gratitude for receiving something for nothing from a stranger, but we also may have an awkward feeling that comes with it. In fact, some of us are compelled to now look at the first opportunity to give that person who gave us the gift a comparable gift in return, as if it was a gift exchange. Well, we cannot put Jesus Christ on a gift exchange plan and give Him a comparable gift. There is no gift that we can give that comes close to His gift of life for us from His death on the cross. All He wants from us is for us to be obedient to Him. That’s it!
Salvation is a personal gift from Jesus Christ to you. He just wants you to sincerely receive His gift. We say “thank you” to Jesus by just living in a way that pleases Him. It is your ongoing “thanks” to Him because you recognize His love for us in how we love Him in return.
Please note that this is a personal gift for you. You cannot say that you are truly saved because you are in the midst of a group of believers. You are not truly saved if you were raised in a Christian home. You are not truly saved because you have a talent to memorize Scripture. You must make the commitment to make your own personal declaration that Christ died for YOU! Remember that Jesus Christ knows you personally because you are part of His creation.
For it was You who created my inward parts; You knit me together in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, because I have been remarkably and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful, and I know this very well. My bones were not hidden from You when I was made in secret, when I was formed in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw me when I was formless; all my days were written in Your book and planned before a single one of them began.
This is a testimony that every single one of us is special to Him—the time, the detail, the knowledge of God devoted to creating each one of us. It is a testimony that you are not here on earth by accident. You are His creation, and He knows you intimately.
But even the hairs of your head have all been counted.
If He knows you personally, shouldn’t you know Him in the same way?
If you have done these two key things, you are truly saved. If you have not done these two key things—repented from your life of sin and accepted the gift of salvation by trusting Jesus Christ as your personal Savior—then you are still operating as an agent for the Adversary, Satan. Satan does not want you to acknowledge Jesus Christ, and he does not want you to do this because there is enmity between Satan and Christ. In contrast, Jesus Christ wants all of His human creation to come to a saving knowledge of Him—not just knowing Him or who He is—but a saving knowledge.
1 Timothy 2:3-4
This is good, and it pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
2 Peter 3:8-9
Dear friends, don’t let this one thing escape you: with the Lord one day is like 1,000 years, and 1,000 years like one day. 9 The Lord does not delay His promise, as some understand delay, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish, but all to come to repentance.
This saving knowledge of Jesus Christ seals you for redemption of your sins. It is God’s assurance to you of protection of your soul…your spiritual life after you leave here. He seals you for the purpose of being with Him for all eternity.
With these declarations, the lines are clearly drawn between those who are in the world and loving it, those who are in the world and miserable over it, those who think they are with the Lord and yet they are lost, and those who are truly saved. To be truly saved is to be separated from the world—to be in the world but not living as the world does. Those who are truly saved have this understanding.
1 John 5:18-20
We know that everyone who has been born of God does not sin, but the One who is born of God keeps him, and the evil one does not touch him. 19 We know that we are of God, and the whole world is under the sway of the evil one. 20 And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding so that we may know the true One. We are in the true One—that is, in His Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.
Do you now remember the day when you were not just saved, but truly saved? If you do, you know with confidence where you stand with God through Jesus Christ. If you’re not sure about this, make it your desire to learn more by seeking Him right now. Let today be the very day that is the most important day of your entire life. Make it a day of rejoicing for you and for your eternity.
Copyright © Melvin Gaines. For more content, please see melvingaines.com and melvingaines.blogspot.com.