The who, the what and the how of being saved

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How are people saved? Who can be saved? What does it even mean to be saved?!

Paul wrote of His own people needing salvation - not needing to know what was already true of them - but needing to receive and be transformed into something entirely new. He clearly states that knowing Christ as God's Son and submitting to His righteousness by faith makes His gift of righteousness our own. It’s not discovering something already theirs, but taking hold of it in the first place and being changed by it. Believe n Him, and be made righteous, not believe that you’re already righteous even before you believed!

“Brothers and sisters, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved. 2 For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge. 3 Since they did not know the righteousness of God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. 4 Christ is the culmination of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.” (Rom. 10:1-4)

Again, we see that being made righteous is conditional upon faith, but still completely unearned by us who receive it!

Paul is clear on what salvation is and on what it means to receive that salvation:

“9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. 11 As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.” 12 For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, 13 for, ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’” (Rom. 10:9-13)

Whenever Paul says “all men” or “righteousness for all”, this is what he is describing: salvation from God in Christ is necessary for everyone, and available to everyone, not just the Jews, but to all. He isn’t inferring and never says that every single person IS saved, but in “bringing salvation from God to all men”, says no one is saved any other way, AND everyone is given the same opportunity to receive Him. No one is left out on the choice to believe, receive, and be made new.

Reciting a verse or saying the words of a prayer is not what saves someone, transforming them to God's own child. But to believe on Christ by faith according to Romans 10 is how we accept Christ and, having accepted Him, He makes us new:

By choosing to be saved (faith) and knowing how to be saved (rightly placed).

...”Believing with their heart” - do you believe it’s Jesus, not you or your effort or your self-righteousness or being better than anyone else that can save you?

...and “confessing with your mouth” - confessing is agreeing, and with your mouth means choosing and acting upon that, not just knowing you could. I know what the light switch does, but if I choose to flip it, electricity flows and ignites the filament, and I have light. Confessing is flipping the switch of faith, not just knowing about the light.

Believe you need saved, ask to be saved, and believe it’s Jesus that saves.

That’s it. Believe and confess Jesus as God's Son who died for you. He gave His life to pay the debt of your sin.

There is no magic prayer to say or altar call to follow or holy spot to go to or pious snack to eat. Just decide you do believe that it’s Jesus who died for you and was raised from the dead that can save you. And decide that you want forgiveness and righteousness from God. Believing and confessing (what we call faith) doesn’t earn it or cause it. It’s all grace, my friend! Faith simply agrees with Him and receives Him.

Now - if you are saved from sin and death in Jesus Christ, it’d be good to learn what that means, right? What is different now that we are saved?

You’ve been made new!
You’ve been set free!
You are now righteous!
You are now set apart for God!
You are God’s child!
You are indwelt by Christ’s Spirit!
You are by grace in union with God (but that doesn’t make you God).
You live led by the Spirit and not following after what you can cause or get from everyone and everything around you (the flesh).

You got all this by being forgiven by His sacrifice on the Cross, placed in union spiritually with a Jesus, and His death and resurrection became your death and resurrection.

So the old you is gone and a new you is reborn in Christ as God's divinely in-dwelt son or daughter!

There’s nothing anyone could ever do or say to deserve this. And before it’s received by faith, it is not yet true of anyone. We are made new, personally, intimately, individually, by grace through faith.

So, being saved is freedom from condemnation of the law for our sin, but it’s also being set free as we grow up as children of God in Christ! He begins living through us by grace as we learn to let Him by faith. Don’t ever be condemned for not being great at living the Christian life - only Jesus can, and our job is to learn to let Him. You've already been made new if you've received Him. You lack for nothing. You have nothing to gain or lose of God once you are in Christ! Set your heart and mind upon Jesus as He asks you to trust Him everyday with what you should do and say and who you really are. A new baby learns to walk and talk as a human, but they don’t become more human. Just like that, you have been spiritually reborn and learn to live out as the new you from Christ's indwelling life. There’s no condemnation for those in Christ (Rom. 8:1), just a learning curve to live out from the Spirit He’s put in you.

This isn’t just the most exciting thing anyone can ever engage in, it is life itself. Jesus - alive in you - is life.

You have been spiritually put n union with Him so His death on the cross is your death to the old self. His resurrection is now your resurrection to new life in Him. He ascended and sat down, having fulfilled His redemptive mission for you, so you now sit in Him at rest with the Father. Spiritual union, Co-heir, God's child forever pure and intimate fellowship with a God as your Father. You’re in Him. He’s in you, His work is finished, and we get to grow up as God's own.

Oh. What. Grace.

Now go enjoy life with Him...
Ridiculously graced.

From a FB post by Mike Q Daniel
Used by permission
See MikeQDaniel.com for encouraging words in the gospel
 
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