by Frank Luke
FCF: Because all people have fallen from our created state, only God can make a way of salvation.
Scripture Intro: The fifth fundamental truth concerns the Salvation of Man. It states that man’s only hope of redemption is through the shed blood of Jesus Christ the Son of God.
- Conditions to salvation—Salvation is received through repentance towards God and faith toward the Lord Jesus Christ. By the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost, being justified by grace through faith, man becomes an heir of God, according to the hope of eternal life (Luke 24:47; John 3:3; Rom 10:13-15; Eph 2:8; Titus 2:11; 3:5-7)
- Evidences of salvation—the inward evidence of salvation is the direct witness of the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:16). The outward testimony to all men is a life of righteousness and true holiness (Ephesians 4:24; Titus 2:12).
Point 1: Conditions to Salvation
Truly, salvation is the free gift of God, but it does have conditions before it will be enacted upon you. God will not grant salvation to someone who does not want it.
Point 2: Evidences of Salvation
Internal. (Romans 8:16) How can you tell if a person is saved? Perhaps more importantly, how can you tell if you are saved? On one hand, determining for yourself is the easier of the two. Do you feel saved? Can you tell that you are different, better than you were before? We all want to think that we are better than we were even yesterday. However, the kind of better God requires is not just sinning less but a revitalization of the heart. A full conversion, where the heart of stone becomes a heart of flesh. Only He can do this. He promises to do so in Jeremiah (TK).
This inner testimony is the most effective weapon you have when our enemy the Devil tries to attack your salvation. There was a long period in my life where his best attack on me was to make me question my salvation. I had sinned in ways worse after my salvation than I had before. Could such be covered?
Now, this was in my Baptist days when I believed once saved, always saved. The doubts and questions came so strongly against me that I questioned if I had ever been saved at all! I knew what I had said, I did not doubt the power of God to save, but I doubted my salvation nonetheless. Why?
I did not believe I had sinned enough to lose my salvation, for I did not believe that could happen. I tried to attack the doubt by asking for signs. “God, if I am truly saved, let this lamb be the first to greet me at the trough tonight.” I realized even then that it was silly and the passing of the sign could be only a coincidence. Being a cessationist put me in a tricky pickle here. I believed the gifts had ceased, yet, here I asked for signs and wonders. I spent much time in prayer about it, even repeating for the hundredth time the sinner’s prayer, but nothing eased the doubts.
Finally, God broke through and my doubts disappeared. I was assured of His power in my life, and even though I was not perfect, I was saved. Yet, even now, I cannot tell you how hampered I was in my life by those doubts. When you doubt, you must let the Spirit answer the question for you.
Has the power of God made you different than you were before? Do you feel His mighty works in you, leading you deeper and deeper into grace? God cannot lie; He has said He will save those who repent and turn to Him. He will do so.
External. (Ephesians 4:24; Titus 2:12) That explains the internal, but man is not just internal. He also exists in relationship with others. The inward changes of salvation will bring about changes in your life and how you act with others.
The saved will grow in holiness. No one remains static. We all want to believe we are better than we used to be, but there is a limit to how good we can be on our own. On the other hand, there is no limit to our depravity. We can always find a way to make things worse. You would believe that the valley of sin has a ground floor, but you can always come up with something that is worse. Let’s not give any examples.
So can you tell if another person is saved? After talking to someone for a while, you can usually have a good idea if they are saved. The unsaved are especially adept at discerning holiness in another person. When they try to bring you down to their level, you do not descend but instead answer with holiness and respect. Instead of swearing back, make a joke about it. Listen to the Spirit within you—the one that has saved you—and respond in the Spirit. Don’t listen to that filthy joke. It is a sign of the sickness in our society that so much of the humor is filth. Every society has that element, but so many people think that without filth, a joke cannot be funny.
Please visit Frank Luke’s Blog where this sermon is also posted.