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What Does It Mean To Be "Saved?"

It means to be delivered from the penalty and punishment that sinners deserve and from the guilt, fear and powerlessness caused by sin.

To be saved also means to be forgiven of your sins, to become adopted into God’s family as God’s own child, to become righteous in the eyes of God, and to have a new life begun inside you.

You cannot be anything other than what God made you. It does not mean that you cannot enjoy the pleasures of life. It is not trying to live by a new set of laws. It is not a subtraction of anything from your true self. It is the addition of God’s spirit and God’s life – eternal life – in you.

Wonderful things begin to happen in your life when you are saved. You begin to share in all of the special blessings God has promised specifically to those who are saved. These blessings include possibilities of healing (of body, mind, emotions and relationships), purposefulness in living (knowing God’s plan for your life), access to God’s power (the ability to obtain what you need), growth (to fulfill your highest potential), and giftedness (to be able to reach out and help others). With God in your life, all kinds of possibilities become yours!

And you can also live life in a state of peace and joy, knowing that in God you are eternally secure.

Being saved is really very simple. It is as easy as trusting (or believing) in the Lord Jesus Christ. As the Bible says in Acts 16:31, “believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved.

But it is not just any kind of belief which leads to salvation. There are three keys – we call them the “ABC’s” – which will open the door of God’s gift of salvation to you.

“A” is for Admit

You must admit that there is a God. This God is a person, with emotion, intelligence and will.

You must admit that you don’t know God. You are not born into this world already saved. Even if you have never done anything to offend the standards of this world or your own conscience, you are not holy. You may know something about God, but you are not in fellowship with God. You do not know God personally, intimately and in a satisfying way.

You must admit that the reason you don’t know God is because you have not approached God the right way. Being saved is not trying to find God. It is not trying to please God. It is not doing what your conscience or some religion says. All roads do not lead to God. All religions are not able to save you. In fact, no religion or church can save you. But God can.

You must admit that you cannot save yourself. You have no control over death. You have no knowledge of an afterlife, except for what the Bible tells us. So how do you think that you, a frail human being, can save yourself? In fact, God says our good works can never save us. You simply cannot make yourself good enough to please God.

You must admit that Jesus is God. Jesus existed in heaven before being born in this World. In fact, Jesus made this world (John 1:1). This is why the title “Lord” is given to him. He is called “the only Son of God” because he was God in the flesh.

Because this is so, you must admit that knowing Jesus is the only way to know God. Jesus is the full and final revelation of God. We will never know anything more in this life about God than what has been revealed in the Lord Jesus Christ.

“B” is for Believe

You must believe that Jesus died for you – for your sins – to remove all that stood between you and God. He did not die just to prove God’s love, although his death does indeed show how deeply God loves you. He certainly did not die just to show us an example. The main point of Jesus’ death is that he died in your place, taking the punishment for your sins. Jesus’ death satisfied God’s judgment for the sins of mankind and allowed you to go free.

You must believe that Jesus’ death was all that was needed to pay for your sins. No human being could die for us, so God came to earth in the person of Jesus Christ and suffered what we deserve. What can we add to this? Nothing. Because nothing else pleased or satisfied God. Only the one who gives the law can decide when the law has been satisfied.

You must believe that the only sin that you can now go to Hell for is not believing in Jesus. Jesus has already paid the price for all other sins; they are no longer held against us. The old Mosaic law of the Old Testament served only to show us our need of a savior, but that law cannot save us. Nor should we be afraid of the law, or of death, or of God’s judgment, if we believe that Jesus has really paid our dues for us. God now judges humanity, not by whether we keep the law or not, but by only one standard: Jesus Christ alone.

You must believe that that the only righteousness you can ever have is believing on Jesus. This is the only thing that we can do to make ourselves right with God. And when we believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, our faith is all the righteousness God asks of us. In fact, God puts Christ’s own Spirit inside us. When God sees the Holy Spirit in us, then that pleases God. We then share actual holiness of God in a way no unbeliever can.

You must believe that the only judgment you should have faced has already been suffered by Jesus. Justice, judgment, trial, condemnation and sentencing are all used to mean similar things in the Bible. Jesus was judged on the cross for our sins, so those of us who believe that will never have to face judgment ever again – not even after we die. In fact, those who do not believe will be judged only for what they believe (or rather, do not believe) about Jesus. The Bible promises that those who are saved by faith will never be condemned, never be judged, never be put on trial with the rest of the world.

“C” is for Confess

After you have admitted that everything the Bible says about you and God is correct, and after you have believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, you should then confess this to the world. You should tell everyone you can that you have believed and are now saved. At first you may not feel saved. That is not important. It is not crying or praying or striving that saves you, it is Jesus alone. Our faith rests not on feelings (although they will come eventually), but on the facts of God’s Word.

Salvation is resting and relaxing and relying totally on what Jesus has done and promised. Remember John 3:18: “The one who believes on the Lord Jesus Christ – who clings to, trusts in, relies on Jesus – is not judged (never comes up for judgment; there is no rejection, no condemnation, no damnation for them). But the one who does not believe is judged already for refusing to trust in Christ alone.” (Adapted from the Amplified New Testament.)

Would you like to study the ABC’s of salvation more? Then look these versus up in your Bible:

ADMIT: John 1:12; 8:l9; 14:6; 17:3. Then turn to Romans 3:30; and 10:3. Also note Philippians 3:7-10; and 1 John 5:11-13.

BELIEVE: John 3:16-18; 5:24; 16:8-11; and Romans 3:22-24. Then look at Ephesians 1:13-14, and 2:4-9. Also consider 1 Peter 2:24.

CONFESS: Romans 10:9-10.

©1984 James S. Tinney, Ph.D. Edited by Isaiah J. Poole

The Sinners Prayer

Lord Jesus, I need You. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. Right now I open the door of my life and receive You as my Saviour and Lord. Thank you for forgiving my sins through your precious shed blood and giving me eternal life. Take control of the throne of my life. Make me the kind of person You want me to be. Amen

If you prayed this prayer from the bottom of your heart…you can rest assured that you are now SAVED and can call yourself a Christian!