To Know TRUE Salvation
aymon de albatrus
“That if you shall confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead, you shall be saved. For with the heart man believes to righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made to salvation. For the scripture said, Whoever believes on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich to all that call on him. For whoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Rom 10:9-13)
“I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life.” (1Jo 5:13)
“Whom having not seen, you love; in whom, though now you see him not, yet believing, you rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.” (1Pe 1:8-9)
“You believe that there is one God; you do well: the devils also believe, and tremble.” (Jam 2:19)
There are only two persons that know whether one is saved from hell or not. The first one is God, and He knows for sure as He is the One that elected that soul to salvation granting a new heart with a new spirit and with that new heart the person will seek God, will find Him and will be saved absolutely without fail (Eze 36:26,27). The other is the person itself, but with less certainty for many are under the illusion that because they believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God that equates to salvation. Believing that Jesus is the son of God is not sufficient for even the Devil and his Demons believe that but they are not saved. Others are truly saved, but because of the confusion of many doctrines they have a nagging doubt to fully accept in their minds the Grace that God has bestowed upon them.
So how does one know for sure that is saved? There are two witnesses to salvation: the evidence of Scripture and the Spirit inside your heart that testify His presence by your actions.
EVIDENCE OF SCRIPTURE:
Some scripture that prove that salvation from Hell is in Christ: (Mat 1:21; Joh 3:16-17; 14:6; Rom 1:6; 6:23; 10:9-13; 2Co 5:17; Eph 1:13-14; 2:8-9; Col 2:13-14; 1Th 5:9-10; Tit 2:11-14; 1Pe 1:8-9).
Now let us analyse for example Rom 10:9-13 as applicable to a truly saved person:
That if you shall confess. This means, to speak that which agrees with something which others speak or maintain. Thus confession or profession expresses our agreement or concord with what God holds to be true, and what He declares to be true. It denotes a public declaration or assent to that, here expressed by the words “with your mouth”
A profession of religion then denotes a public declaration of our agreement with what God has declared, and extends to all His declarations about our lost status, our sins, and our desperate need of a Saviour. It denotes also agreement to His doctrines about His own nature, holiness, and law; about the Saviour and the Holy Spirit. This declares the necessity of a change of heart and holiness of life; and about the grave and the judgment; about heaven and hell.
By this confession the believer expresses publicly his assent to this, and declares his agreement with God on all kindred truths. Amen
With your mouth the Lord Jesus. To profess a thing with a honest mouth is to speak of it; to declare it; to do it openly and publicly with conviction and without shame is an unmistakable profession of true belief. This open acknowledgement of personal attachment to Jesus Christ means to declare Him as Lord as having all rights to rule over every soul: “And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Phi 2:11)
And shall believe in your heart. One must sincerely and truly believe this, so that the external profession does correspond with the real internal feelings, otherwise this would be hypocrisy. One must believe this with the highest internal sincerity as required by true religion.
That God has raised Him from the dead. This fact is the foundation of Christian belief and of great importance to the Christian system for had Christ not been raised from the dead he would not be able to raise anybody else. If this be true, then all else about Him is true proving that He came forth from God; that He died to save his people from their sins (Mat 1:21); and that God approved and accepted His work. (Mar 1:11)
That He ascended to heaven, and is exalted to dominion over the universe, and that He will return to judge the quick and the dead. (Phi 2:8-11 Eph 1:21 Act 2:24,32,33; 17:31 2Co 4:14 1Co 15:13-20). To profess this doctrine is virtually to profess all the truths of the Christian religion. Any man that believes this will also believe all the truths dependent on it. Hence the Apostles regarded this doctrine as so important, and made it so prominent in their preaching.
You will be saved. From sin and hell. This is the doctrine of the gospel throughout; and all this shows that salvation by the Gospel was easy. The possession of this salvation can be proven easy enough if you are able to confess aloud publicly and without shame or hesitation that Jesus Christ is the sole Lord and Ruler and Possessor of you life and that you are totally dependent on Him. If you can do that publicly, then Scripture testifies that you are indeed saved.
For with the heart. Not merely with the understanding of the mind, but with such a faith as shall be sincere to influence the whole of one’s life. There can be no other genuine faith than that which influences the whole mind as the very essence of man.
man believes unto righteousness. In God’s plan of justifying men, this is the way by which we may be declared just or righteous in His sight by confessing that we are Born Again, that is in witnessing of having received a new heart and a new spirit. The moment a sinner believes (by God’s grace), therefore, he is justified; his sins are pardoned; and he is introduced into the favour of God. No man can be justified without this; for this is God’s plan, and He will not depart from it, and a man can only be like that if God has implanted a new heart and spirit in him (Eze 36:26,27).
and with the mouth confession is made to salvation. That is, confession or profession is so made as to confirm salvation. He who in all appropriate ways professes his attachment to Christ shall be saved, indeed God had saved him before time began but the actuation of that salvation has come at that particular time in history for that person. This profession is to be made in all the proper ways of religious duty; by declaring our sentiments; by declaring on all proper occasions our belief of the truth; and by an unwavering adherence to them in all persecutions, oppositions, and trials. He who declares his belief makes a profession. He who associates with Christian people does it. He who acts with them in the prayer-meeting, in the sanctuary, and in deeds of benevolence, does it. He who is baptised, and commemorates the death of the Lord Jesus (Holy Communion), does it. And he, who leads a humble, prayerful, spiritual life, does it. He shows his regard to the precepts and example of Christ Jesus. His rejection of the pride, and pomp, and allurements of the world, does it (1Jo 2:15).
All these things manifest the position of a person; there can be no true attachment to Christ which will not manifest itself in life. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. It is impossible that there should be true belief in the heart of man, unless it should show itself in life and conversation. This is the only test of its existence and its power.
Professing our religion is really indispensable to salvation as is believing in Jesus Christ, it is connected with salvation as really as faith is with justification; and this accords with all the declarations of the Lord Jesus. (Mat 10:32 Mat 25:34-46 Luk 12:8).
There can be no true belief where there is not a willingness to confess the Lord Jesus. There is no true repentance where we are not willing to confess our faults. And so there can be no true religion where there is too much pride, or vanity, or love of the world, or fear of shame to confess it.
Those who never profess any religion have none; and they are not saved. To deny Jesus Christ the Saviour before men denies any salvation. They, who do not profess religion, profess the opposite. The real status of the heart will be expressed by one’s life and those who deny the Lord will bring upon themselves quick destruction, (Joh 3:36; 2Pe 2:1).
For the scripture said, Whoever believes on him shall not be ashamed. This is in reference to Joel 2:32, " And it shall come to pass, that whoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be saved …." This is expressly referred to by Peter as evidence of salvation in Act 2:21. To call on the name of the Lord is the same as to call on the Lord himself. It is clear that the Apostle applies this to Jesus Christ; and this is one of the numerous instances in which the writers of the New Testament apply to Him expressions which in the Old Testament are applicable to God. (1Co 1:2).
Shall be saved. This is the everlasting promise. See Act 2:21; 22:16, "Arise, and be baptised, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord." This is proper and indispensable to demonstrate that one is truly saved, for it is not baptism that saves, but it demonstrates that one is already saved, i.e. "born again":
We all have sinned against God, and it behoves us that we should confess it. (Rom3.23)
Because He only can pardon us, and it is proper that we should humbly ask it from God. (Rom 6:23)
To call upon Jesus Christ is to acknowledge Him as our Sovereign, our Father, and our Friend; and it is right that we render Him our homage. It is implied in this, that we call upon Him with right feelings; that is, with a humble sense of our sinfulness and our need of pardon, and with a willingness to receive eternal life as it is offered us in the Gospel. This passage teaches us that all who can do the above will be saved, none, from every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; and for all times. (Rev 5:9), will be cast away.
EVIDENCE OF THE SPIRIT:
“The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:” (Rom 8:16)
The Spirit itself bears witness. This refers to adoption; and it means, that the Holy Spirit furnishes evidence to our minds and our hearts (the essence of man) that we are adopted into the family of God. This effect is attributed to the Holy Spirit, (2Co 1:22; 1Jo 5:10,11; 1Co 2:12). This is done by producing in us the appropriate effects of His influence. It is His to renew the heart; to sanctify the soul; to give us a new spirit; to produce “love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance,” (Gal 5:22,23). If a man has these, he has evidence of the witnessing of the Spirit of God with his spirit. If not, he has no such evidence. And the way, therefore, to ascertain whether we have this witnessing of the Spirit, is by an honest and prayerful inquiry whether these fruits of the Spirit actually exist in our minds and we are walking in them. If they do, the evidence is clear. If not, all vain confidences, all visions, and raptures, and fancied revelations, will be mere delusions. It may be added, that the effect of these fruits of the Spirit on the mind is to produce a calm and heavenly frame; and in that frame, when attended with the appropriate fruits of the Spirit in a holy life, we may rejoice as an evidence of piety.
with our spirit; for our own spirits are they which receive the witness of the Spirit of God, not to our ears, for it is not an audible testimony; but to our hearts, it is internal; to our renewed souls, where God has wrought faith to receive it, to our understandings. That we may know and be assured of it; to our spirits, which are apt to faint and doubt about it, as they do. Now it is "the Spirit itself" that bears this witness, and not others, or by others, but He himself in person; who is a divine witness, whose testimony therefore must be greater than others, and a faithful one. He will never deceive; for He witnesses what He knows, and what is sure and certain, His very being and habitation in the saints (Eph 2:22) are witnesses and proofs of their adoption. His powerful operations and divine landings persuade to a belief of the truth of it; and by shedding abroad the Father’s love in the heart (Rom 5:5), and by the application of Gospel promises, he causes and encourages them to cry “Abba, Father” (Rom 8:15), which is a wonderful instance of His condescension and grace.
that we are the children of God. The testimony of our own spirit is borne in that cry of conscious sonship: "Abba, Father"; but we are not alone for the Holy Spirit within us sets His own distinct seal to ours; and thus, "in the mouth of two witnesses" the thing is established. The Apostle had before called us "sons of God" referring to our adoption, here the word changes to "children" referring to our new birth in the Spirit. The one expresses the position to which we are admitted, the other the new life which we receive. The latter is more suitable because a son by adoption might not be heir of the property, whereas a son by birth certainly is, and this is what the Apostle is stating here.
The Spirit of adoption not only stimulates us to call upon God as our Father, but confirms and assures us (as before) that we are His children. And He does this not by an outward voice, not by an angel, not by the virgin Mary or any Saints; but by an inward, personal and secret witness in our hearts to this persuasion that God is our Father and that we are His children.
Moreover, the new believer having received a new heart and a new spirit his external life, his behaviour, is now completely changed and that is a clear witness of having been born again. Of course this changed behaviour is progressive (sanctification) but steady and over time even people around him will witness of his changed estate. His attachment and his desires will be towards God rather than to the things of the world (1Jo 2:15) this clearly witnessing a change of status in himself. Indeed an unbeliever finds the things of God most boring and foolish, whilst a believer will have an enormous attraction to them for to him these are life abundant.
Just a side thought, God does well in not bringing unregenerated souls to Heaven for they would find His presence, the presence of the saints and the heavenly activities absolutely unbearable and indeed Heaven for them would be a veritable Hell.
Can a believer be sure of his salvation from Hell? YES! By the witness of Scripture that cannot be broken and from the witness of the Spirit inside him coupled with his changed attitude and behaviour.
A true believer will believe Scripture truly as it is written and therefore will accept that if the salvation references in the Bible square up with his unmoveable internal convictions and he is able to witness them, he has certainly received salvation given to him by the Sovereign God, by Grace alone.
A true believer will be aware of the Spirit of God inside him that witness to him that now he is a child of God and saved by adoption. Moreover a true believer will be aware of his changed attitude towards God and to his brethrens in Christ and his attitude to life in general. For as the Apostle says: “Yes, a man may say, You have faith, and I have works: show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” (Jam 2:18). This means that the works of a man demonstrates his faith and therefore if he is saved or not, as Jesus testifies: “Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.” (Mat 7:20)
And of course, a true believer will have an overwhelming strong desire to be in the presence of his marvellous Lord, Master and Saviour, Jesus Christ.