This is a question that is asked by millions of people every day. This is also a question lurking in the minds of many millions who say they believe in Jesus, but secretly wonder if they are really “saved”.
This is a question, not of practicality or one that can be measured by science, but is a question of faith.
The Bible, as explained in the Bible, has been written or ‘breathed’ by God into the hearts and minds of certain dedicated and devoted people, who then wrote down what God inspired them to write – or so they say.
Centuries of writings and experiences began to show a pattern of sorts. Eventually, holy men came together and began to decide which writing should be canonized into the Old and New testaments of the Bible.
Let’s attempt to gain some understanding by starting with two important and keywords: Faith and Saved.
Ephesians 2:8 tells us, “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.”
FAITH, from Strong’s Concordance: “pístis”, means to “persuade or to be persuaded”, to come to trust).
Faith is always a gift from God, and never something that can be produced by people. In short, “faith” for the believer is “God’s divine persuasion“, and therefore distinct from human belief (confidence), yet involving it. The Lord continuously births faith in the yielded believer, so they can know what He prefers, i.e. the persuasion of His will. (1 John 5:4).
Faith, in secular antiquity, referred to a guarantee, a warranty. In Scripture, faith is God’s warranty, certifying that the revelation He in birthed will come to pass (His way).
Faith is also used collectively of all the times God has revealed, (given the persuasion of) His will, which includes the full revelation of Scripture, (Jude 3). Indeed, God the Lord guarantees that all of this revelation will come to pass! Compare Matthew 5:18 with 2 Timothy 3:16. (For more detail, click here)
SAVED, from Strong’s Concordance: “sṓzō”. From the Greek language, means “safe and rescued”; to deliver out of danger and into safety; used principally of God rescuing believers from the penalty and power of sin, and into His provisions, (His safety). Rescued from destruction and brought into divine safety.
To save, to keep safe and sound, to rescue from danger or destruction; to make well, heal, restore to health; to deliver from the penalties of the Messianic judgment, Joel 2:32; to save from the evils which obstruct the reception of the Messianic deliverance; to make one a partaker of the salvation by Christ;
If you read these definitions, you may have settled one or two questions and probably created scores of new questions!
Now let’s get to the ‘meat of the subject’.
The Apostle Paul, in Romans 10:8-10, explains it this way, “Verse 8. But what does it say? “THE WORD IS NEAR YOU, IN YOUR MOUTH AND IN YOUR HEART”, that is, the word of faith which we are preaching, Verse 9. that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; Verse 10. for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.”
This is not a ‘secret formula’. It is an attempt to explain of one of the greatest mysteries of God. The Apostle is telling us that God has made humankind in such a fashion that if you truly believe something that your mouth will speak or confess those things, aloud.
Paul goes deeper to explain that true faith begins in a person’s ‘heart’ or in your core. It is in this place (in the spirit of a man or a woman) that true belief, that is true life changing belief, takes root.
Let me stop here to say that the mind is a powerful thing. Modern science is showing that how we think and perceive things can have a powerful effect on our bodies, relationships and abilities, even into old age. (See The Effects on Aging. Also see The Effects on living well, Also see Whole Health – the Power of the Mind, U.S. Veterans Affairs )
Even with all of this said, “we should not attempt to import modern notions of mind, brain, and intellect into the ancient text. The people in Old and New Testament times seem to have had a much more integrated view of humanity.
“There was much less emphasis on the distinction between the material and the immaterial. When Jesus says to love the Lord with all your heart, soul, and mind, He is not highlighting various aspects of personality. He is not differentiating between emotion and intellect; rather, He is saying that our love for God should be all-inclusive. The mind is simply one more way to identify the inner being—all that we are. In fact, in Matthew 22:37, Jesus uses the word kardia (“heart”), which in other contexts is translated “mind.”
The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia states, “We look in vain in the Old Testament and New Testament for anything like scientific precision in the employment of terms which are meant to indicate mental operations.” Biblically, the mind is simply the “inner being” or the sum total of all our mental, emotional, and spiritual faculties, without drawing fine distinctions between them.” (Got Question.Org)
Let me simply conclude this way: Who would not want to be saved if that salvation made you safe, healthy and whole in your mind and body? If it made you safe, healthy and whole in your marriage, with your family and children; in your job and career, reaching across the decades having made your life well worth living?
Troubles will come and go, as it is with everyone in life, but you could have hope of recovery and a hope for the future. Ultimately, you will be delivered out of the danger of perishing into the dark abyss of hell and to be safely delivered into the presence of an almighty and loving God.
This cannot be found by experimentation. It is not a project to be tried or proven. Salvation is a gift from God, and is never something that can be produced by people. In short, “faith”, for the believer, is “God’s divine persuasion“, and therefore distinct from human belief or confidence, although it involves it. The Lord will continuously birth faith in a yielded ‘believer’ so they can know Him and what He prefers. This is the persuasion of His will
Now you know a little more. Now, it is up to you: BELIEVE IT OR NOT!
Your Brother and Friend,