September 11, 2022
This article is based on Pastor Adrian Rogers' message, Simplicity of Salvation.
“These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God” (1 John 5:13; emphasis added).
You need to understand what this thing called salvation is, so that you aren’t walking around like a question mark: “I wonder if I’m saved…”
“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1).
Salvation is the pardon of our sin, and the peace of God. (See Romans 8:1; Colossians 1:20-21.) Salvation is power, through the presence of the Holy Spirit in you. (See John 14:26, Acts 1:8.)
And salvation literally means perfection. This does not mean you will never sin again. But the Bible speaks “to the spirits of just men made perfect” in the sight of God. (See Hebrews 12:23.) God demands perfection (see Matthew 5:48), and the blood of Jesus provides perfection in God’s sight. (see 1 John 1:7.)
“Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thessalonians 5:23). When God made man and woman, He made them with three things:
God created Adam healthy in body, happy in soul, and holy in spirit.
“The Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10). “Lost” is every man, woman, and child without Christ.
How did man get lost?
God warned Adam and Eve about the forbidden fruit:
“In the day that you eat of it you shall surely die” (Genesis 2:17). The day Adam ate the fruit, he died immediately in his spirit, progressively in his soul, and ultimately in his body. Death is the separation of the spirit from God. Jesus said, “whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:26)
Lost people are dead. Their minds, emotions, and wills are operating. Their bodies are operating. But they are separated from God in the spirit, cut off from the source of life. All are lost by nature. We are born depraved, and we inherited that nature from Adam. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Sin is everything in us that is not like God.
Man is never satisfied. He climbs mountains, acquires money, and invents things because he has a void. He is seeking—though he may not know it is God he is trying to reach.
But there is a barrier between Man and God: sin.
A Philippian jailer once asked Paul and Silas, “‘Sirs, what must I do to be saved?’
So they said, ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household’” (Acts 16:31-31).
“God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). Moved to mercy by the pitiful plight of sinful man, God said, “I will do something.” God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit planned our salvation.
God the Son, the Lord Jesus, left Heaven and came down to this world of woe.
This was Christmas. He was as much God as if He were not man at all, but as much man as if He were not God at all. He had to be a man to pay sin’s price and redeem our lost estate. (See 1 Corinthians 15:22; Romans 5:17.)
Man cannot bring himself back to God, because of the sin barrier. But Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6). Jesus is the only way to Heaven. “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
If there was some other way to Heaven, do you think God would have let His darling Son die on that cross in agony? If you could be saved by being good, why did Jesus die on that cross? “I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain” (Galatians 2:21).
In everybody’s life, there is a throne. By nature, the one sitting on that throne is Self. Because, when man is spiritually dead and without God in his spirit, what takes over? The soul: mind, emotion, and will. “It’s my life. I am the master of my fate.” But Christ is outside this life.
A Christian is not somebody who merely believes intellectually that Christ died for sins. (The devil believes that—see James 2:19.) A Christian is someone who has Christ on the throne over his life. If you are not willing for Him to be Lord, He cannot be your Savior. Christ comes in to take control.
The moment you trust Christ as your Savior, you are eternally saved and secure. Then God begins to work on you. Adam died immediately in his spirit, progressively in his soul, and ultimately in his body. When you are saved, you are justified immediately in your spirit, sanctified progressively in your soul, and glorified ultimately in your body. (See Romans 8:30.)
The Lord Jesus said, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me” (Revelation 3:20). How do you get Christ from outside, onto the throne? Open the door wide. Does Christ want to save you? He says, “I’m knocking.”
That is how to be saved, and here is the assurance of your salvation: “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life” (John 5:24). When Christ saves you, it is done! You have passed from death to life.
If you depend on your feelings for your assurance of salvation, your assurance will vary with the condition of your liver. Put your faith in God’s facts. “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1). You don’t know you are saved because you are happy; you are happy because you know you are saved.