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Your Salvation - Biblical or Self-Induced? (Part 1)

The term ‘salvation’ is not uncommon to the professing Christians. Although it is often heard and spoken word, I wonder how many are really familiar with its meaning and significance! Remember, in matters like this, ignorance is no bliss; it is a devastating disease. It saddens me to witness people becoming victims of the diluted and distorted gospel which produces false conversions and carnal Christianity. Well, generally speaking, when we carefully observe the professing Christians today, are they not noticeably similar to the corrupt world, except in external religious activities!

Everyone who professes Christ as his Savior ought to know what salvation is and what it means to believe in Him. It is unwise to use words ignorantly, right? It seems to me that many do not have the knowledge of what salvation truly is and thus developed false notions. They blindly and boldly claim to receive salvation, but the knowledge of what it truly means is far from them.

What Salvation Isn’t
Let me begin with what salvation isn’t. Salvation is not being born in a Christian family. Multitudes of traditional people have deceived themselves believing that being born in a Christian family gives them a license to inevitably become a Christian with an entry into heaven. Think: Will you become a doctor by birth just because your parents are doctors? What does your common sense say?

Salvation is not receiving miracles or material blessings. It is true that God does perform miracles and healings; He does bless and solve problems. Hallelujah! Nevertheless, to be frank with you, these are not the definite signs of salvation. One may receive earthly blessings and admire Jesus without being saved!

Salvation is not believing the Lord Jesus Christ. It is by believing in Christ we receive salvation, not otherwise. Moreover, it is quite possible to have intellectual faith without saving knowledge, a mental assent to gospel truth without being transformed by that truth. Salvation is not even doing good works. It is possible to do some good works without salvation and yet remain in sin unforgiven to face eternal consequences.

Furthermore, salvation is not taking water baptism, going to church services, worshiping, fasting, praying and reading the Bible. Salvation is not even believing the doctrines of the Holy Bible and participating in the Lord’s Supper. Salvation is not preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ at all. Though all these are good and essential practices, however, that is not what salvation is. In fact, all these things are followed after receiving salvation, yet it is terribly possible to practice them without salvation and eventually perish.

What Salvation Is
So, what then is salvation? What does it mean to be saved? The word for 'salvation' used in Greek is 'soteria,' which means, 'deliverance'. Biblical salvation is basically deliverance from the power of sin, from the power of Satan and from eternal damnation (Acts 26:17-18; Jn. 3:16). There is no true salvation without deliverance from these three perilous bondages.

Now this is only half of the description. We have heard deliverance from but to what? It is to fellowship with God (once separated and now reconciled); to become obedient to God (once lived a disobedient life and now submit to His Lordship) and to inherit God’s eternal kingdom ( 2 Cor. 5:18; Rom. 6:16-18; Col. 1:12).

Everything said, but how is salvation received? Salvation is received when we sincerely repent of our sins and genuinely put our faith on the finished work of Christ on the Cross (His death and resurrection) which He accomplished for the atonement of our sins. It is not received by having mere knowledge of who He is and what He did but by recognizing our desperate and sinful state and our inability to save ourselves apart from Jesus Christ. It is received when we acknowledge the fact of our unworthiness and that salvation is only a gracious gift of God. All of these are interwoven in the reception of salvation. I wonder how many who claim to be saved had really gone through such life-changing experiences!

Well, if you profess yourself to be a Christian, permit me to pose some questions: Have you received biblical salvation or self-induced salvation? Are you delivered from the power of Satan, from the power and penalty of sin and from eternal damnation? Are you walking in the freedom to obey God? Do you have, what is called - a penitent heart? Are you passionate to live a holy and righteous life? Do you have love for God and for people? It is awful to see how many are comfortably practicing the religious activities bypassing the true salvation of God. One of the worst deceptions of the devil is to make people believe they are already the children of God and on the way to heaven, when they are actually not. O how many people have membership in the church but no citizenship in heaven!

(To be continued...)

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