How does a person know they are saved?
Millions, having ‘been saved’, have not known. There was no discernible change from within them; whether they pretended there was or not. How can they be saved if they don’t feel saved? Well, it’s a very good question. Jesus Christ, having invaded that person’s life, has deposited the Spirit from the Father. The saved person is a new creation. If they are not compelled to live as a new creation, to want more of God, have they been saved?
If they understand their salvation comes at the recognition of their sin and in their need of a Saviour they will understand their need of discipleship—to grow in God.
The person that is truly saved has learned to take their steps to the cross.
As important as the resurrection is in the salvation story, the cross points to the conciliation of our heart’s transformation. God has impacted us with truth: we are sinners with need of saving. And when we live saved, cognisant of our need of God, we live with bright effect, predisposed for life through the resurrection power of the Lord.
“Believe on the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.”
—Acts 16:31 (NRSV)
Believing on the Lord Jesus is our hope; our only hope of salvation. Though this is a one-off event, assuming the Holy Spirit has taken up residence, convicting us to live as new creations, our habit must be to continue to believe on the Lord Jesus. That requires us to commit to the process of our discipleship—to come under the headship of Christ in actively learning, each day, the will of God, and carrying it out to the best of our ability.
The final frontier in Christian faith is not theology, nor works, nor knowledge. It is salvation. To be saved is a heart transformation, which transforms our thinking. We know we are saved by the Holy Spirit’s conviction to get us to repent—to take the step, every day, to the cross; to where we surrender our sin and receive fresh portions of God’s redeeming grace.
It doesn’t matter what we say, it’s how we live our faith that counts. How big a role does repentance play in our lives? This is a key question in understanding the real role of grace. It is also a key question in the effectiveness of our discipleship.
If we cannot take repetitive steps to the cross we cannot receive the resurrection power God wishes us to have.
When we approach the cross,
Leaving there our dross,
We receive power for hope,
As well as power to cope.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.