Am I Saved?

(February 10, 2009)


You hear a lot of talk these days about “being saved.” It is almost like a badge of honor worn by Christians. Since it is very important for a person to be saved, I can tend to forgive the fact that sometimes this phrase is overused or overdone. After all, what limits can you place on a person’s salvation?


A lot of people have questions about this process of being saved. I would like to take the time to address some of your concerns. First of all, what does it mean to be saved, and why is it so important?


Being saved simply means that you have made a significant and obvious decision in your life to accept the fact that Jesus Christ died on the cross so that your sins may be forgiven. At the same time, you accept Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior, agreeing to study the Bible to learn the rules that the Lord has established for His people that will enter the kingdom of Heaven. You ask the Lord to forgive your past sins and make a commitment to follow the “new covenant” and walk in the ways of the Lord.


Once you are saved, it is forever – you do not need to be saved again. You may sin, but your sins will be forgiven, as long as you have not turned away from the Lord. But for this to be true, you have to be truly saved. Being saved is a state of being, not a process. You cannot just say a prayer and complete a ceremony and then say that you are saved. You have to be able to feel that (1) you are ready to accept Jesus as your savior; (2) you are worthy of this grace; (3) you understand that you are committing to follows the ways of the Lord for the rest of your life and not turn back to a life of sin; you have read the New Testament and you accept the teachings of Jesus Christ and accept His teachings at the truth, without any doubt or hesitation; and (4) you are truly sorry for your sins and you are sincerely and humbly asking the Lord to forgive your sins. You must recognize your sins, feel penitent that you have sinned because you have gone against the wishes of the Lord when he created you, and make a commitment to avoid sin as you begin your new life in Christ and begin your journey to eternal life.


I heard a statement on the radio that I agree with. The statement was that if you don’t know whether or not you are saved, then you are probably not saved. Another issue that makes this a difficult point to assess is the various beliefs of the many Christian denominations. For example, many denominations claim that you have to be baptized to be saved. But if you are merely baptized, are you also saved?  The best answer I can give you is that yes, you do need to be baptized in order to enter the kingdom of heaven, but no, baptism alone is not sufficient to be truly saved. The need for baptism can be found in John 3:1-5:


Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews.  This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, "Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do, unless God is with him." Jesus answered him, "I tell you the truth, unless one is born anew, he cannot see the kingdom of God."  Nicodemus said to him, "How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?"  Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.


But what about the denominations such as Catholic that have their followers baptized while still an infant. An infant cannot make a conscious decision to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior, so this is another example of where baptism alone falls short of being saved. Adult baptism is treated in the same way in that it must be combined with a desire to be forgiven from sin and a commitment to accept Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord (see text above and also the sinner’s prayer below).


The Catholics have the sacrament of confirmation which brings us closer to The Lord and allows the Holy Spirit to enter. Is this the same as being saved? I believe it is. The Catholic religion believes the same biblical principals as other denominations and non-denominational sects, but they have simply gone one step farther and built the process into a “salvation plan” that the church has for each of its members. By following the teachings of the church and receiving the sacraments as they become available, the member’s salvation is carefully planned. But I also believe that the sacrament of confirmation only brings the Holy Spirit upon us if we were a true believer with deep and unquestionable faith when we received the sacrament. If we just followed the churches plan because mom and dad made us participate in religious studies, then we received no salvation because we weren’t truly asking for salvation. We were just putting in time and going through the motions.


If you were “saved” in the past of part of your religious upbringing, I would encourage you to repeat the process whenever you are sincere. Just explain to the Lord that, at the time, you were not ready and not deserving of the Holy Spirit, but your beliefs have been strengthened since then and now you are asking God to send the Holy Spirit into your life because you feel you cannot live without this blessing.


As far as why we must accept Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, that is explained quite nicely in John 14, verse 6: Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”


The rest of the explanation of how Jesus will lead us to the kingdom of heaven is further explained in the rest of John 14:


7 “If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him.”
8 Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.”
9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works. 11 Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves.

12 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. 13 And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.

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.

19 “A little while longer and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I live, you will live also. 20 At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. 21 He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.”
22 Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, “Lord, how is it that You will manifest Yourself to us, and not to the world?”
23 Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. 24 He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me.


This is just the beginning of how we must believe and trust in Jesus in order to be saved and enter the Kingdom of Heaven. There are many explanations fin the Bible, particularly in the New Testament. You will want to study the scriptures and read as much as you can about the process. After you are saved, you will want to study even more than before because you will have other people you know ask you about this, and you will also be concerned about your friends and relatives; you want to make sure they will be there in eternity with you, don’t you?


So after reading all of this and giving it much thought, and if you decide that you are not saved, but would like to be, there are two ways you can complete the process. The best way is to join a church that you are comfortable with – a church with members that you can associate with, fellowship with, and identify with, and then come forth during a church service when the pastor or minister extends an invitation to all those who want to accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and savior. Your minister will tell you how to pray that you may be saved. The second way is to simply (but with sincerity) recite the following prayer:


"The Sinners Prayer"


Heavenly Father, I come to you in prayer asking for the forgiveness of my Sins.  I confess with my mouth and believe with my heart that Jesus is your Son, and that he died on the Cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven and have Eternal Life in the Kingdom of Heaven.  Father, I believe that Jesus rose from the dead and I ask you right now to come in to my life and be my personal Lord and Savior. I repent of my Sins and will Worship you all the day's of my Life!. Because your word is truth, I confess with my mouth that I am Born Again and Cleansed by the Blood of Jesus!   In Jesus Name, Amen.


If this information has enabled you to make any positive changes with your life, I am very interested in hearing about your progress. Please email me and tell me how your life is going. Don’t send money – just email!


Now that you have been forgiven for the sins of your past life, don’t worry about them. The person you were in the past is gone. You are a new creation in God – act like it! The devil is very clever about tempting us back into our old ways, and often succeeds. You will be tempted over and over to repeat your sins of the past. Don’t! You are no longer alone – God is by your side. When you feel the temptation of the devil, ask the Lord to step in between you and temptation and to drive the devil away. Do this any time you feel week and uncertain. You will be surprised how easy it is to say “no” to sin. If you do sin, you did not blow this whole process of being saved. No one is perfect except God, and He does not expect you to be perfect, He only asks that you try to be perfect. Just ask the Lord to forgive your sins and resolve that if this temptation arises again in the future, you will be stronger, will involve the Lord in your fight against sin, and you will resist the urge to commit sin.


As you read through the Bible, you will learn many tips for self-improvement. In the New Testament, the teachings of Jesus Christ are written down. Although Jesus was teaching his followers and the early believers 2000 years ago, the teaching is timeless and forever. This is why it was written down and why Christians today use the Bible as their “handbook for life.” Follow the teachings of Jesus as your read and study the Bible, and you will actually see positive changes in your life. Another favorite book of the Bible that I enjoy immensely is the book of Proverbs. Every one of the Proverbs written in the Old Testament is , to me, a bit of knowledge and wisdom. Once you have read the entire Bible several times, and have especially studied the New Testament and the Book of Proverbs, you will find that the Bible contains an answer to just about anything you wan to know. There is a bible study aid available called a “concordance.” A concordance lets you look up any word, and it will tell you where this word appears in the Bible. For example, if you are feeling fear, you can look up the word fear in your concordance, read the scriptures that the concordance refers you to, and you will receive some excellent teaching from the Bible on how to manage and overcome your fear. In addition to seeking wisdom from the Bible, don’t forget to pray to God and ask Him for wisdom and help as well.


There are many good books available that explain the best ways to read and study the Bible. I would suggest you obtain one of these books and begin to increase your spiritual growth. Be sure to let me know how you are progressing – if I care enough about you to take the time to write this, then I also care enough about you that I want to share in your new enlightenment!


God be with you!