What About Salvation?
Carmichael Baptist Church
Lesson Text: I John 5:11-13
Lesson Objective: To help lead you to a Biblical understanding of what salvation involves and how to know that you have eternal life.
Introduction: The term „saved” has a number of synonyms or equivalent terms. We can say one is born again; has eternal life; is a child of God; is a member of the family of God; is regenerated, or made alive; is justified and forgiven; or delivered, and many more. Each of these are descriptive terms of the change that has taken place spiritually in our lives when we have been quickened by the Holy Spirit and repented from our sins and have trusted in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This will be better understood when we search the scriptures and find out what God has to say about this subject. We can not cover each of those particular subjects, previously mentioned, in this lesson, but we will hopefully provide enough information to help satisfy the hungry and inquisitive soul. I hope you will consider this a lifetime challenge to learn of the wonderful blessings that God has provided for those who trust Him. The more you study and dig into God’s word, the more riches you will find. We will try to look at the basics and discover what is necessary for your enrichment and spiritual growth.
Getting A Better Understanding
We need to back up just a bit and look at sin from God’s perspective if we are to properly understand what it means to be saved. Sin, as an act, is the transgression of God’s law. It is missing the mark. More importantly it is the result of man’s inherit depravity. Man was created in a state or condition of holiness and voluntarily chose to fall from that state. Because of that action, all mankind are born sinners. The Bible teaches us that we do not become sinners because we sin, but that we sin because we are born sinners. Man is by nature a sinner. It is because of that continual state of sin that God calls upon men everywhere to repent. Because of sin, all mankind are now considered to be guilty before God. We are guilty of breaking God’s law. With God it doesn’t matter if we are guilty of a minor infraction, or a major one. He has stated in James 2:10 „For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.”
This problem of sin creates an additional one, which is God’s punishment of sin. God declares that sin earns wages, and those wages are death, or separation from God. Everyone on this earth is born a sinner, separated from God because of sin. If we die in this same state we will go into an eternity separated from God. More directly to the point, those who are still in sin at the time of their death are cast into hell. Hell will eventually be cast into the lake of fire. God is holy and He can not allow sin to enter into His presence. Therefore, the problem of man’s sin must be dealt with, or he will face an eternity separated from God.
Man is incapable of escaping this terrible ruin on his own. Man is insufficient in his power to „save” himself from this awful death, this horrible separation from God. God has openly declared that it is not by works, but by faith that we can be saved, or delivered from this alarming destruction. God describes man, in Ephesians 2:1, as being „dead in trespasses and sins.” God uses this word picture to help us understand what plight man is really in. A dead man can do nothing to help himself. A lost man can do nothing to save himself. He must be dependent upon what God has already done, and what God has already provided. Salvation is not received because we „turn over a new leaf,” or because we join a church, or are baptized. Salvation is not a plan but a person, Jesus Christ. We do not remove the guilt of our sin, before God, by attempting to start over and live a better life, or by some ceremony. We need to not only be saved from our sin, but from our inability to do anything about this sin.
The Good News Of The Gospel
Now that we better understand what we need to be saved from, we can direct our attention to how a person is saved. It is important to stress that God cannot rightfully forgive sin without payment for the penalty of sin. God’s forgiveness of sin, and our deliverance from sin and it’s penalty, depends upon God’s requirements for justice being met. We can compare this to our own judicial system. If you are found guilty of a violation of the law and a penalty is issued, before you can stand in a just position before the court, payment must be made. In the eyes of the court, you are considered just, once payment, or restitution, has been made and applied. In order for man to stand in a just position before God, payment for the penalty of sin must be made and applied to our account. As already stated, it is impossible for man, himself, to pay the penalty God requires in order for His justice to be met.
By looking at things from God’s perspective we find that man is a sinner. We also learn that man is lost and condemned before God, and he is incapable of saving himself. Moreover we see that the penalty of sin, and God’s holiness, requires the condemned sinner be punished. The good news is that God’s elect are saved, or delivered, from this penalty by Christ. Grace is God’s unmerited favor, and the power to comply with what He has commanded. In Romans 10:8-10, God says „But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” In order for one to be saved, and know it, they must place his or her trust, or faith, in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, according to the scriptures. This belief cannot be a mental or intellectual assent to some facts alone. From this passage we can see that believing must be done from the heart, or from the whole man. This faith is a gift wrought in our hearts by the Holy Spirit in regeneration.
The moment a person exercises faith in Christ they find they are no longer condemned. It is by faith that a sinner is justified, or made right before God. While we understand that man himself cannot pay for the penalty of sin, we also understand that Christ has taken our sins upon Himself that we might be saved. It is Jesus Christ that has paid for the penalty of sin, and it is by the death of Christ that we are reconciled to God. The good news is that though the wages of sin is death, „The gift of God is eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord.” The life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ met the penalty God demanded. This is the greatest demonstration of God’s love for us. In Romans 5:8, we read, „But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” He died on our behalf or in our sted. Christ’s life and death satisfied the requirements, or the demands, of God’s law. In writing about what Christ did when He died, one author wrote, „Christ suffered the exact equivalent of that which those for whom He died would have suffered in hell.” Though all of us are guilty sinners before God, God has provided the means by which His people will be delivered from any penalty His justice requires. God does not overlook our sin, but He forgives our sin based upon what Christ has done in our interest. God has promised eternal life and forgiveness to those for whom Christ died, was buried and rose again from the grave.
The Security Of The Gospel
Once a person is regenerated by God, he repents, believes and begins to walk in newness of life. God promises that person eternal life and freedom from condemnation. If I believe that Christ died for me and I have placed my trust in Him, I no longer have to worry about my eternal future. Though I must add it is not what we have done (even believing) that saves, but Christ who saves. I have been saved from the penalty of sin and from the power of sin. When a person is saved, or born again, they receive spiritual life. John 5:24 states that they have „passed from death unto life.” Nothing can now separate me from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus. We need to understand that God is the only one who can condemn anyone, His judgment is final. Christ has fully satisfied the requirements of God’s law and justice. Therefore there is no power, no higher authority, which is able to condemn us. Nothing can take the eternal life that God has given to us away. A true believer has committed his eternal destiny into the hands of God through Jesus Christ. Like Paul we can say as he did in II Timothy 1:12 „…For I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.”
Our security in this salvation is not dependent upon ourselves, but upon the power and love of God. Our main concern should be that we have made our calling and election sure and have rightfully placed our trust in what God says will save and nothing else. At the beginning of this lesson we used I John 5:11-13 as our main lesson text. These verses clearly declare that those who believe in Christ have eternal life, not temporary life. It also proclaims that this was written so we might know we have eternal life. This is in essence talking about assurance of salvation. Our assurance is based upon the faithfulness of God. Will God be faithful to the promises He has made in His word? He has promised eternal life, freedom from condemnation, and to keep all those who put their trust in him. It is a great comfort and encouragement to know that God cannot lie.
Christ has promised, „him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” We can have full assurance of our salvation because of the promises and the faithfulness of God. In order for one to lose this salvation means God would have to be unfaithful to His own promises. This is an impossibility. God has given to us eternal life and we are promised in John 10:28, that we „shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand!” To lose this life would make God a liar and Christ a failure since this life and our deliverance are dependent upon God alone. Our enjoyment and assurance of salvation are a matter of trusting the word of God and the faithfulness of God. What a joy to know we are eternally secure in the salvation of God. This should give us ample reason to praise Him for our deliverance from the penalty and power of sin. Glory to God for His marvelous mercy and grace.
1. According to Romans 3:10, before an individual is saved, they are considered to be ___________________.
2. Romans 3:23 adds that all of us have _____________________ and come short of _____________________________________.
3. When we talked of sin in our lesson we mentioned that it was a transgression of God’s Law, but we also mentioned that it is what?
4. How many sins must one commit in order to be guilty before God?
5. In what verse did our lesson tell us that the wages of sin is death?
6. Look at Titus 3:5 and explain how a person is not saved.
7. All of man’s works are considered to be as what, in Isaiah 64:6?
8. According to John 14:6 what did Jesus declare Himself to be?
9. In Acts 4:10-12 Peter proclaims „there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby _______________________________.”
10. In the previous two questions we learn there are how many ways of salvation.
11. Romans 5:1 tells us that a sinner is justified, or made right before God, by what?
12. In I Corinthians 15:3 what does it say Christ died for?
13. What promise do we find in Romans 10:8-10?
14. According to the promise of Christ in John 6:37, do we ever need to fear being cast out from the presence and protection of Christ?
15. Read John 10:28 and tell what cannot happen to those who are given eternal life?
16. In your own words tell how a person can be saved.
17. For what can you be most thankful?