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What Does It Mean To Be Saved

WHAT IS GENUINE SALVATION?
Allen M. Barber
January 14, 2009

There is a lot of confusion today about what constitutes genuine salvation leading to eternal life. Most denominations don't have a clue, even among the so-called evangelicals. Salvation that comes from God is more than walking down some aisle in a church meeting, signing a membership card and even saying a prayer. In addition, it is not having a warm fuzzy feeling that since God is love, there is nothing I need to do except know that He would never condemn me to hell or the Lake of Fire (what is that - most don't know?). The only people God will consign to hell and the Lake of Fire are those who do not believe in Him and who are unwilling to do what He requires to be forgiven of inherent sin.

Contrary to popular opinion including some of our former president's (Bush 43), there are not many ways to God. There is only one way and it is very straight and narrow:

Matthew 7:13-14 NKJV

13 "Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14 Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.

If you are willing to accept what Jesus said in this Scripture, there are not very many in the present Age that will be saved. It is not until the Great Tribulation that a large number of Jews and Gentiles will be saved:

Revelation 7:9-17 NKJV

9 After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, 10 and crying out with a loud voice, saying," Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!" 11 All the angels stood around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures, and fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, 12 saying:

"Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom,
Thanksgiving and honor and power and might,
Be to our God forever and ever.
Amen." 

13 Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, "Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from?" 

14 And I said to him, "Sir, you know."

So he said to me," These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 15 Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple. And He who sits on the throne will dwell among them. 16 They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any heat; 17 for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes."

Pretribbers wrongly interpret the above Scripture as pertaining to Gentiles only; these are all martyrs whom the Antichrist killed during the Great Tribulation - the 3 1/2 years before Jesus returns on the Day of the Lord. Notice that it mentions the nations as well as tribes, peoples, and tongues. There will be Jews who believe on the Lord Jesus during the tribulation and be killed. They will be resurrected as part of the Israel of God during the First Resurrection. A remnant of Jews will be preserved and kept alive when Jesus returns as well as a few of the surviving Gentile nations; however, these are not part of the Church. Moreover, a small number of Christians will be alive when Jesus returns (the guarded overcomers) and will be raptured at the beginning of the posttribulation Day of the Lord.

The Lord Jesus said that many would say to Him on that day (what day - the day when He returns to setup His kingdom on the earth?), "Lord, Lord, allow us to enter your kingdom for we have done many wonderful works; we have preached in your name and have cast out demons" (sounds like a bunch of good folks). Yet, Jesus will say to the surprised bunch, "I do not recognize your works as having done the will of my Father in heaven; then He will tell them to depart from Him for they were workers of iniquity." They will be cast into the outer darkness. (Matthew 7:21).

Jesus also said that many are called, but few are actually chosen (Matthew 22:14).

The point is that not everyone, in fact a large number who claim to be saved, are genuinely converted. Countless are the number of Sabbath and Sunday worshippers who profess to know a god, even, the Lord Jesus Christ, but will die in their sins and spend an eternity in hell and the Lake of Fire, because they failed to repent of sin and allow Jesus to be Lord of their lives.

So, what is genuine Salvation?

Many world religions do not believe that man is inherently a sinner by birth and choice such as the Muslims, many Jews, New Age religionists and several denominations. In fact, the majority of the thousands of religions in this world do not believe in the doctrine of original sin - that man was conceived and born in sin, that is, with a sin nature incapable of being redeemed or improved. The only cure for the sin nature is that it has to die.

There is no earthly reason for the virgin birth and crucifixion of Jesus Christ other than to become a man and die in man's place for his wicked sins. There is no record anywhere in the annals of man that anyone was ever born of a virgin except the Lord Jesus Christ. His virgin birth was prophesized in Isaiah 7:14 and fulfilled in Luke 1:26-38. No man apart from Jesus who was conceived and born of the Holy Spirit, could qualify to become man's sacrifice for sin. The sacrifice had to be perfect without sin. Since Jesus had no sin nature, He alone could fulfill the Scripture requirement that a human blood sacrifice was mandatory for the forgiveness of mankind's sin (Hebrews 9:22). The blood of animals could not qualify as sin is lodged in the soul of man. Animal sacrifices were used only as a shadow or type until the true lamb of God entered our world, that being the Lord Jesus Christ. As the prophet John declared:

John 1:29 NKJV

29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, "Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!

God declares that all humans born into this world are ungodly sinners incapable of doing any good works that merit His salvation. This is the first major principle or the first step on the road to salvation for anyone, regardless of pedigree or position in life:

Romans 3:10-18, 23 NKJV

10 As it is written:

"There is none righteous, no, not one; 
11 There is none who understands;
There is none who seeks after God. 
12 They have all turned aside;
They have together become unprofitable;
There is none who does good, no, not one." 
13 "Their throat is an open tomb;
With their tongues they have practiced deceit"; 
"The poison of asps is under their lips"; 
14 "Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness." 
15 "Their feet are swift to shed blood; 
16 Destruction and misery are in their ways; 
17 And the way of peace they have not known." 
18 "There is no fear of God before their eyes."

23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

Unless you are willing to admit that you are a hopeless wicked no good sinner bound for judgment and hell, you will never enter the kingdom of God for it is the first work of the Holy Spirit in the life of all men who are willing to be born again (many are not willing because they will not do what God requires) to convict them (convince without doubt) they are helpless sinners (there are too many proud men and women today who are unwilling to humble themselves before Holy God and call a spade a spade - "I am a lowly wicked sinner in the eyes of God!").

How do I know admitting my sin is the first work of the Holy Spirit in my life?

John 16:4-11 ESV

"I did not say these things to you from the beginning, because I was with you. 5 But now I am going to him who sent me, and none of you asks me, 'Where are you going?' 6 But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. 7 Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper [Holy Spirit] will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. 8 And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: 9 concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; 10 concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer; 11 concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.

Why does the Holy Spirit have to convict humankind of their sin nature? Simply because in his depraved darkened sinful mind, man is incapable of seeing himself as God sees him - a lost hell-bound sinner with nothing good in him. Every person thinks there is something good in Him that God must accept and that he is really not that bad; however, what did God say in Romans 3:10 above- "There is none righteous no not a one and there is none good no not a one." That is about as inclusive as you can get as it leaves no one out. No matter where and how a person is born in this world, whether in kings palaces or in the poor house, they all have one thing in common - they are born sinners. In fact, they are conceived in sin. That is not too hard to understand for if both mother and father have a sin nature, which they do, the child inside the womb of the mother inherits the DNA of both parents, which houses the sin nature. Before man is saved, born-again of the Holy Spirit, sin permeates his being - spirit, soul, and body. He has no choice but to sin.

I've had people tell me that they do not believe they were born in sin as a baby, but became a sinner later when they committed acts of sin. In other words, it is the act of sin that makes us sinners. Well, that is a foolish statement and attitude, for only sinners can commit sins. I suppose it is which came first, the chicken or the egg? Obviously, without the chicken there can be no egg. The same is true regarding sin; there first has to be a sinner before an act of sin is committed for if we were born in righteousness without a sin nature, we would not commit sins.

Let me ask those who do not believe he or she is born in sin; do you believe displays of anger and temper in a negative sense are wrong? Then what prompts a baby to express emotions of anger and temper? Who taught him or her to be angry? When my son was a small baby, less than one-year old, he would sometimes become angry and throw his bottle out of his bed. It was obvious that he was not distressed because he was in pain or that he needed his diapers changed; he was just angry and did not want his bottle. Who taught him to become angry at that young age? No one did; he became angry because it is one of the fruits of the sin nature.

What makes a small child lie, cheat, and become envious and jealous of his playmates? Put two small children in a room by themselves and give one of them a toy. It will not take very long before the other one will want the toy and try to take it from the one who has it. Who taught them envy and jealousy? No one, it is part of their DNA - their spiritual physiological and mental makeup as part of the human race.

Signs of anger, temper, jealously and envy in small children, even babies, are evidence of the presence of a sin nature. The apostle Paul outlined it for us in his letter to the Galatian Christians:

Galatians 5:19-21NKJV

19 Now the works of the flesh [sin nature] are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

The Holy Spirit speaking through King David proves without doubt that we are conceived in sin and born in iniquity (a reference to the sins we inherit from our ancestors):

Psalms 51:5-6 NKJV

5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
And in sin my mother conceived me. 
6 Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts,
And in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom.

The verdict of the Scriptures is that all mankind is conceived and born in sin, that is, with a sin nature that has a profound propensity to sin and to abound in sin. Any intelligent human being that is not a fool can look at our world, past and present, and see much evil. Well, if man does not have a sin nature, there would certainly not be any evil in the world. Everyone would be at peace with his maker and his brother, but reality says that is not the case. In fact, there has been an increase in unusual and bizarre acts of wickedness that seemingly are difficult to explain. How do you explain a mother who cuts off her babies arms and says God told her to do it? How do you explain a mother who kills her baby and buries it in a wooden area? How do you explain how someone can walk into a store and murder in cold blood innocent people who did not even though their slayer? How do you explain an 8-year old boy killing his father and mother and show no remorse? How do you explain a terrorists beheading an innocent person because his holy book and his prophet told him it was okay to kill Jews and Christians? How to you explain the hate in the heart of mankind that makes slaves of others and treats them worse than animals?

While psychologists believe mankind does these things because he is mentally unbalanced or that his environment caused it (You know, the devil made me do it syndrome), God says the human race has a heart problem (a sin problem) that is capable of the most heinous crimes:

Jeremiah 17:9 NKJV

9 "The heart is deceitful above all things,
And desperately wicked;
Who can know it ?

Much of mental illness is of demonic origin. If there were no original sin in the universe, then there would be no demons; when the father of sin (Satan) became filled with pride and sin entered his heart, the sin nature was created (You can read about it in Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28) and he took 1/3 of the angelic realm with him in his attempt to overthrow God's throne. Likewise, if there were no original sin in mankind (Adam, the first human sinned when he disobeyed God and believed the lie of the devil - You can read about it in Genesis 3), then demons could not invade the souls of humans, but they do. There is empirical evidence that demons invade and live in the souls of men. I know from my own experience and from counseling demon possessed and demon invaded people that is the case regardless of those who do not believe demons exists. Demons invade and work through man's fallen sin nature. Anyone with any discernment and knowledge of the Word of God can see that God has let loose demons upon the United States for turning away from Him.

The wicked acts we see committed today that defies logic is the result of man's own sin nature and the demons that live and work through it. Sin has negatively affected not only mankind, but the universe, which God will rectify when He refashions the heavens and the new earth.

For those of you reading this that may be religious and yet lost in sin, the bottom line is: Are you willing to humble yourself and admit to Holy God that you are a wicked sinner by birth and choice and that you deserve hell. Yes, deserve hell and we would all go there except for the grace and mercy of a loving God who will never overlook one sin. If God thought there was one good thing in us, Jesus would never have come to this earth and died on the cross to pay the price for man's sins. He could just have accepted us on the merit system and allowed us into His kingdom.

Can you imagine God allowing a bunch of imperfect wicked unrepentant sinners into His eternal kingdom to continue in their sin and rebellion against Him and the human race? What kind of heaven would that be? I would not want to go there. That is why God made a place called hell where unrepentant sinners could spend their eternity away from Him and the people of God. I don't know about you, but I have seen enough sinning, as well as sinned far too much myself, to want to spend an eternity with a bunch of wicked people.

Jesus preached and taught that unless man repents and believes the gospel (that He came to die for our sins and to justify us by rising from the dead), he will die in his sins and spend an eternity in pain and torment:

Luke 13:1-5 NKJV

1 There were present at that season some who told Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. 2 And Jesus answered and said to them, "Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans, because they suffered such things? 3 I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish. 4 Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse sinners than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish."

What is repentance? It is agreeing with God that you are a lost helpless sinner that will never in a million millennia merit God's mercy and grace to forgive your sin. It is obtainable only through confession (agreeing) of sin and believing with all your heart that Jesus Christ is the one and only sacrifice acceptable by God for the forgiveness of sin. When you are willing to believe in your heart of hearts that you are a sinner by birth and choice and that Jesus died for your sins and shed His blood so God could forgive and accept you in Christ (God never accepts anyone apart from Christ - He accepts YOU only because what Jesus did in His crucifixion and resurrection), then is God WILLING to save YOU.

Now here is something that is vitally important and the reason many are not saved although they walked an aisle in some Church and signed a membership card or took part in some kind of liturgical catechism; unless the Holy Spirit of God is working in your heart to bring you to confession and repentance of sin, you cannot be saved no matter how many prayers you pray or how sincere you may be. How do you know if the Holy Spirit is bringing you to salvation in Jesus? First, you must be exposed to the gospel, which is the message that Jesus died upon a cross, shed His blood, and rose from the dead on the third day in order that God could act in righteousness and legally save lost humanity. Until Jesus died and rose from the dead there was no way God could save and justify mankind according to His law. This is why the Law of God is an essential part of the gospel in order for man to understand how and why he is a lost sinner, for he has broken all of God's laws. Jesus said that if a man breaks even one of God's laws, he is guilty of breaking all of them. If you do not believe me, name one of the 10 commandments you have not broken. You say, "Well, I have never killed anyone or committed adultery." Jesus said that if we have hate in our heart for our brother or that we lust sexually in our heart (mind), we are guilty of committing the act even though we may not have actually done so.

What about the first commandment, which says that we must love the Lord our God with all our heart, mind and strength? How many can say they love God that much, even those who have experienced genuine salvation? Only one man has kept that commandment - the God-man, Jesus Christ, who Himself is very God and very man.

We are all lawbreakers, guilty of breaking God's moral and righteous laws and sinners in His sight. Paul told the Jews with their temple and laws and the Gentiles who serve many gods that in God's sight ALL are lawbreakers and sinners:

Romans 3:9 KJV

9 What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin;

The Greek root word for "under" is hupo and has the connotation of being held down with no way to get up. This is what sin does to us; it holds us in its bondage until someone stronger than it can loose us and set us free. That is what Jesus did in His death, burial, and resurrection. In His death and resurrection, He defeated death, which is the result of sin, and loosed us from its bondage and penalty - judgment in the Lake of Fire:

Hebrews 2:14-15 NKJV

14 Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

God chose to reveal His salvation to mankind in the preaching of the gospel, which includes the teaching of the law, for by the law is the knowledge of sin. This is the reason many are not saved although they attend some house of worship every Saturday or Sunday or at appointed religious meetings. They enter religious and lost and they leave religious and lost because they have no true knowledge of sin and have not heard the true gospel message. The gospel has been so corrupted in Christendom today that it has lost its original meaning:

Romans 1:16-17 NKJV

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "The just shall live by faith."

Romans 3:20 NKJV

20 Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

Notice the power of God to save mankind is located in one place - the gospel, not Sunday sermons on 10 ways to prosper financially. Notice also the knowledge that one is a sinner by birth and choice is by the law. Paul said that if there was not a law that condemned covetousness, he would not be guilty of coveting (Romans 7:7).

The preaching of the gospel involves making it clear why Jesus was put to death according to the law; the law requires perfect righteousness before Holy God and no man is righteous except the God-man, Jesus Christ. Someone had to step in and pay the price for mankind's sinful nature and acts of sin and that is where Jesus entered into our world - to save us from the penalty and presence of sin. He saved us from the penalty of sin when He died upon the cross. We will be saved from the presence of sin when we receive our glorified bodies at the First Resurrection.

So how is man saved and placed in right standing with God? By hearing the gospel message, which includes the teaching of the law that mankind has broken all of God's righteous laws and is by nature a lawbreaker and a sinner; and by responding to the work of the Holy Spirit in his heart to convict him that he is a sinner by birth and choice. If it is a genuine work of the Holy Spirit, it will result in repentance - turning from sin to trust and serve the Lord. It also means a hatred for sin and a new love for righteousness. If a person says he has been saved yet continues to live in his sin nature, then he was not truly saved and born of the Holy Spirit. While the saved still retain the sin nature, the power of sin has been broken and a new power to live for God has entered the heart and mind.

What actually takes place at salvation is what is known as regeneration; the spirit of man before salvation is dead in sins and trespasses (not in the sense of non-existence, but in relationship and communication with God; the lost sinner has no relationship to God in his spirit, which negatively affects his soul and body) and once man repents and places his absolute trust in God to save him, the Holy Spirit moves upon the dead spirit of man and causes it to come alive unto God. He then takes up residence in the saint's new born spirit. This is called theindwelling of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is forever with the saint and desires to fill Him with his presence and power. If the Holy Spirit did not take-up residence in us, we could not overcome the sin nature. It would still defeat us. (Note: even though the Holy Spirit lives in all the saints, our victory over sin is not automatic; we must daily yield to the Holy Spirit and rely upon His power to give us victory over the flesh [sin nature]).

Read the following Scriptures to further understand regeneration of the Holy Spirit:

Titus 3:4-7 NKJV

4 But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, 5 not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

Ephesians 2:1-3 NKJV

And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, 2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, 3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others. 4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),

Colossians 2:13-15 NKJV

13 And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, 14 having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. 15 Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.

Romans 8:9-11 NKJV

9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. 10 And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.

John 14:15-18 NKJV

"15 If you love Me, keep My commandments. 16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever — 17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.

Does repentance mean that I have to do something in order to be saved? The only thing we are required to do is to have faith in the Word of God to do what He tells us and to trust Him that He will in fact save us; however, even the faith we have is given to us by God. In other words, God has to help us make the right choice or we would never do so of ourselves. We do have free will and though God the Holy Spirit brings us to conviction, we still may not truly repent. This kind of situation results in false regeneration, which Satan is happy to give us. There are several examples in the Bible of false regeneration (See Acts 8:9-18; Matthew 7:21-23; and Hebrews 10:19-31).

Ephesians 2:8-10 NKJV

8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

Let me share how I was saved and maybe it will help your understand salvation. While I had been reared in the Baptist denomination and made a profession of faith in Vacation Bible School at age 12 due to pressure from overzealous adults caught-up in the numbers game, I was not genuinely born-again. It was not until I was 27 years old that I truly repented and believed the gospel.

Having lived my teenage, high school, college and military years in unbelief and sin, I had become hardened toward the gospel and seldom attended Church; however, God got my attention in Vietnam and I realized I needed God in my life. It would take another three years before God confronted me to make a decision on how I was going to live the rest of my life on this earth and in the eternity to come.

I agreed with my wife to attend a Baptist Church on an Easter Sunday, April 25, 1971 (I was usually on the golf course on Sunday). The minister brought a simple message on the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus, which by the way is the gospel. The Holy Spirit used the message to plant the seed of salvation in my heart and mind. The minister also explained why Jesus died according to the Law. listening to the message, I knew immediately that I was a lost sinner on my way to judgment and hell. While I did not walk an aisle, I spoke to the minister after the service and he gave me a pamphlet on how one comes to know Jesus Christ. I took it home, and after lunch went into our bedroom, closed the door and began to read it. I did not get very far before I came under heavy conviction of my sinner-hood and hit my knees crying out to God to save me. I confessed to the Lord how rotten and sinful I was and told Him I wanted to be saved. I asked Him to forgive my ugly sin and to make me His child.

As I was on my knees confessing and repenting of my sin, a calmness began to come over me and a peace I had never experienced entered into my spirit. I felt clean for the first time in my life and I knew before I got up from my knees that I was born-again and a child of God. The confidence was there and I knew the Lord had become my personal Lord and Savior. The fruit of my salvation began to surface immediately as I no longer wanted to curse or drink (I had become a beer-a-holic). I also could not put the Bible down, but read it constantly. Moreover, I began to boldly share the Lord with my friends and family. Everyone saw a change in me and the only answer was Jesus. Not long after that, the Lord called me to the ministry of the Word. That was over 40 years ago and although I have had many trials and tribulations, some very severe, the Lord has always been faithful.

Here is what Paul said is the entry way into the heart of God's salvation and our part in it:

Romans 10:8-13 NKJV

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 preach): 9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, "Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame." 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. 13 For "whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved."

Now no one is going to call upon the Lord for salvation unless the Holy Spirit has brought him to the place of conviction and repentance. If the conviction is deep and genuine, repentance will follow. With repentance, the Lord forgives the sinner and moves into his heart (spirit) to take up residence as a constant companion. Actually, it is the Holy Spirit who is the agent of regeneration for the Scripture says, "Where the Spirit of the Lord is, the Lord is there." (II Corinthians 3:17).

The point I want to emphasize and leave with you is that the Holy Spirit is the one who works in our heart (plants the seed of the gospel) to convict us of our inherent sin nature. We cannot be genuinely saved apart from the work of the Holy Spirit. There is no salvation apart from God the Father who draws us to the Lord Jesus Christ by the work of the Holy Spirit; therefore, the Godhead is involved in our salvation.

John 6:43-45 NKJV

43 Jesus therefore answered and said to them, "Do not murmur among yourselves. 44 No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.

Salvation is not in a Church organization or a religious ritual; it is not in a Pope, a priest, a preacher or any man. It is in the Lord Jesus Christ whom the Father sent into our world to die in our place for our wicked sins. To perfect it and bring it to fruition, the Father and the Son sent the Holy Spirit to bring us to see ourselves as we really are - sinful, helpless and lost without any way to save ourselves.

What a great, loving and merciful God we have who loved us enough to give us this great salvation. Unfortunately, the vast majority will turn it down. Do not become one of the unbelievers.

If after reading this and the Holy Spirit shows you your sins and you repent and believe this truth, please let us know so Deb and I can rejoice in your victory. We will also send you some material that will help you grow in the Lord.

Unite with a fellowship of believers who love the Lord, His Word, and His people. Do not get caught-up in the cosmetics of religion either in fleshly emotions or stoic intellectualism, but in sincere fellowship of the Spirit and love of the truth. Trust the Holy Spirit to guide you to find the body of Christ in your area.

Do you have evidence the Holy Spirit is at work in your life to bring you to salvation in Jesus, then do not resist Him, but trust and obey Him.

God bless you.

A reader writes:   "When you wrote, It is obtainable only through confession (agreeing) of sin and believing with all your heart that Jesus Christ is the one and only sacrifice acceptable by God for the forgiveness of sin, this is where I feel the Catholic Church is teaching “confession” incorrectly.  As I have mentioned before and based on your writings and Scripture, confession has nothing to do with confessing our sins to a Priest.  I have always had problems with this sense I have learned the truth.  Many of my Catholic friends insist that we cannot be forgiven of our sins unless we go to confession with a Priest."

This precious lady came out of Catholicism and later her husband followed her. They are now saved and serving the Lord in a New Testament Church. Praise be unto the Lord for His wonderful salvation! 

Allen.