How Are We To Find Salvation?

Isn’t that our primary spiritual concern? That is, we want to reach a ‘state of heart / spirit’ that guarantees our best life on Earth, as well as opening the gates for our heavenly arrival.

It’s obvious to those of the Christian faith exactly who does the saving:

“…you shall name Him Jesus (The LORD is Salvation), for He will save His people from their sins.” Mt. 1:21 AMP

“For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost.” Mt. 18:11 NKJV

“I am the Door; anyone who enters through Me will be saved [and will live forever], and will go in and out [freely], and find pasture (spiritual security).” Jn. 10:9 AMP

“This Jesus in the STONE WHICH WAS DESPISED and REJECTED by you, THE BUILDERS, but WHICH HE BECAME THE CHIEF CORNERSTONE. And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among people by which we must be saved [for God has provided the world no other alternative for salvation].” Acts 4:11 – 13. AMP

…having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. Rm. 5:9 NKJV

That pretty much puts that question to rest…

So, how do we get saved? The Bible seems to have two ‘camps of thought’ on this matter. The first we shall consider is what the Holy Spirit gave the apostle James (Jesus’ brother), to speak to God’s children:

What is the benefit, my fellow believer, if anyone claims to have faith but has no [good] works [as evidence]? Can that [kind of] faith save him? [No, a mere claim of faith is not sufficient – genuine faith produces good works.] James 2:14 AMP

…faith, if it does not have good works [to back it up], is by itself dead [inoperative and ineffective]. James 2:17 AMP

James even brings up Abraham as an example to justify his position:

Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered his son on the altar? Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect? James 2:21, 22. NKJV

It appears that James is teaching that faith alone cannot confer salvation upon the believer.

The apostle Paul seems to teach the opposite:

In fact, he quotes the Old Testament regarding Abraham, to justify his stance:

Then Abram believed in (affirmed, trusted in, relied on, remained steadfast to) the LORD; and He counted (credited) to him as righteousness (doing right in regard to God and man). Gn. 15:6 AMP

What is salvation? is it not the conferring of Christ’s righteousness upon a child of God – cleansing the recipient of sin with His sacrificial blood? And, according to Paul, this is not something that we can do for ourselves, it is a gift from God:

For it is by grace [God’s remarkable compassion and favor drawing you to Christ] that you have been saved [actually delivered from judgment and given eternal life] through faith. And this [salvation] is not of yourselves [not through your own effort], but it is the [undeserved, gracious] gift of God; not as a result of [your] works [nor your attempts to keep the Law], so that not one will [be able to] boast or take credit in any way [for this salvation]. Eph. 2:8, 9. AMP

Oh, there is something that we must do – it is not a work, but it is rather to make ourselves available to receive our salvation:

‘AND IT SHALL BE THAT EVERYONE WHO CALLS UPON THE NAME OF THE LORD [invoking, adoring, and worshiping the Lord Jesus] SHALL BE SAVED (rescued spiritually).’ Acts 2:21 AMP

For Paul, it’s a matter of having faith:

…if you acknowledge and confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord [recognizing His power, authority, and majesty as God], and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. Rm. 10:9 AMP

For we maintain that a man is justified apart from the works of the Law. Rm. 3:28 NASB

Well, here we have two mighty men of God, both of whom are Holy-Spirit inspired to write God’s truth. Which one is correct? They both are.

Paul rightly teaches that salvation is a gift of God’s grace – given in exchange for one’s faith in Jesus Christ as being the Son of God, that He died for their sins, and that He was resurrected to the right hand of HIs Father in heaven. Being that salvation is a gift, you cannot earn your way into the kingdom of God – even through good works.

Jesus Himself said the same:

“He who has believed [in Me] and has been baptized will be saved [from the penalty of God’s wrath and judgment]…” Mk. 16:16 AMP

All we have to do is hold onto that faith:

“…it is the one who has patiently persevered and endured to the end who will be saved.” Mt. 10:22 AMP

Thus, it’s about having faith and declaring that faith. Looks like Paul was right. But wait, Jesus also said:

“Repent [change your inner self – your old way of thinking, regret past sins, live your life in a way that proves repentance; seek God’s purpose for your life], for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Mt. 4:17 AMP

To ‘repent’ means to turn away from sin with true remorse, and to make our best effort not to repeat that sin. And we repent in faith, believing that God’s way is the best way.

James rightly states that if we turn from our worldly ways and walk in the love of God, our character will change – which cannot help but change what we do, i.e. our ‘works.’

God gave the same message to King David as well:

LORD, who may abide in Your tabernacle? Who may dwell in Your holy hill? He who walks uprightly, and works righteousness… Ps. 15:1, 2. NKJV

Similarly, Jesus said that our works are a product of our godly transformation, and that they become part of our testimony for the glory of God:

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” Mt. 5:16 NKJV

Our ‘transformational character is born out of our best efforts to be more Christ-like. And we can thank God that He helps us do that very thing, by changing us from the inside-out:

…He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ… Phil. 1:6 NKJV

So, we see that James is just as correct in his own way as Paul; because if there is no change in a person’s heart, there will likewise be no change in the way that they conduct themselves. That person then, did not accept Christ in earnest in the first place.

We are saved by faith; and then that faith clears a path before us for taking righteous actions…

Goodnight and God bless.


Two-Sided Salvation – part 3

Continuing in our examination of the two sides of salvation – life before, and after…

In the days before salvation is realized, we walk this earth with an incongruity in ourselves – a clash between the sins desired by the flesh versus the innate Law of God that He planted in our souls. The Law is not meant to create hostility however, it is for revealing right thinking and acting (by way of conviction), as well as to generate a hunger for the love and peace of God that can only be satiated by the salvation found through Christ.

The Law warns of death for the unrepentant, while the gospel of salvation promises eternal life for the saved. The gospel reveals that you are not godly in your present state, but that your godly Savior will render you so by covering you with His righteousness. Indeed, it is only when one is first convinced of their ungodliness, can they enter the door of reconciliation with their Creator – i.e. only after the Law has done its job.

Again, you can only be found by Jesus when you realize that you are lost. Without that knowledge, you’re unaware of your need for God’s mercy. And because of the pride built into your flesh, you don’t seek it out.

God put the Law in place, but after it’s done its work, He wants to comfort you from it with His righteousness, justification and sanctification through His Son:

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: who forgives all your iniquities, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from destruction, who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies… Ps. 103:3, 4. NKJV

Another possible obstacle to salvation is if the unsaved falls victim to ‘religion,’ that is, scripture and religious practices perverted to serve the will of man. It is a vehicle for glorifying oneself, so it flies in the face of the example of Jesus’ pursuit of selflessness in service.

The philosophies of man are false doctrines which are usually opposed to divine truth, making them noxious to the soul.

There are no manmade works that can bring salvation to anyone. It comes purely by the free grace of God. However, good works should be an outcome of that grace:

For it is by grace [God’s remarkable compassion and favor drawing you to Christ] that you have been saved [actually delivered from judgment and given eternal life] through faith. And this [salvation] is not of yourselves [not through your own effort], but is the [undeserved, gracious] gift of God; not as a result of [your’ works [nor attempts to keep the Law], so that no one can boast or take credit in any way [for his salvation]. For we are His workmanship [His own master work, a work of art], created in Christ Jesus [reborn from above – spiritually transformed, renewed, ready to be used] for good works, which God prepared [for us] beforehand [taking paths which He set], so that we would walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us]. Eph. 2:8 – 10. AMP

Our part in our salvation is to know and accept our redemption through the gospel message of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ for our sins, and give our lives to Him by living by His Father’s words.

Jesus gave His life for our redemption. And only He could have done that, because through His virgin birth, He was spared from the damning contamination of Adam’s sin. Only Christ could make a sinless offering of Himself – shedding His blood in death so that our souls would be cleansed. In so doing, we can enter into the Father’s presence for all eternity.

Unfortunately, even after you’ve received your divine reconciliation, you will continue to fall. The good news is that in our saved state, we can approach the throne of our Father in earnest repentance and reap the restoration of His mercy.

Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace in time of need. Heb. 4:16 NASB

You may have sinned, but you are now a ‘saint.’ That old sinner in you has died:

For you died [to this world], and your [new, real] life is hidden with Christ in God. Col. 3:3 AMP

Once saved, God does not call you to condemnation. And who is the worst condemner? It’s you. It’s a negative habit that you formed in your childhood; but you can get rid of it by paying attention to what God says about you. He sees you through the eyes of Christ, your divine Mediator, which makes you perfect, lovable, good enough and acceptable…


Goodnight and God bless.