A FEW COMMON QUESTIONS

HOW DO WE KNOW IF WE ARE SAVED?

We can see the Holy Spirit in our life:

John 7.38-39 – “Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him." By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.

We bear “good fruit” (live a life that is pleasing to God - see question in column to the right):

Matthew 3.8 – “Produce fruit in keeping with repentance.”

Matthew 12.33 – "Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit.”

John 12.46 – “I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.”

1 Corinthains 5:17 – Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!

We obey Jesus:

John 10.27 – “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.”

John 14.15 – “If you love me, you will obey what I command.”

For more information on this topic see Foundations: Our Confidence

WHAT SAVES US: FAITH OR WORKS?

Because some religious groups place such an emphasis on works, many people are misled to believe that the good things they do will save them. However, the Bible teaches that we are saved by grace through faith – it also teaches that the evidence of our faith is good works. Therefore, good works DO NOT save us (God’s grace does), but they result from genuine faith in God. A lack of good works, MAY be indicative of a lack of sincere faith.

Faith/belief that results in repentance saves us:

John 5.24 – "I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes Him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.”

Luke 13.3 – “...But unless you repent, you too will all perish.”

Genuine repentance and faith result in good works:

James 2.14-26 – What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead….As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.

Philippians 2.12-13 – Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed – not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence – continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.

Good works DO NOT save us:

Ephesians 2.8-9 – For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.

Titus 3.5 – He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit...

The thief on the cross next to Jesus believed and repented of his sin. He was saved even though the didn’t have opportunity to “prove” his faith through his actions:

Luke 23.40-43 – But the other criminal rebuked him. "Don't you fear God," he said, "since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong." Then he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom. " Jesus answered him, "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.

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What does it mean to bear good fruit?

What if we don't see evidence of salvation in our life? Does that mean we're not really saved?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

M. Schmidt © 2005