Signs of Salvation Part 1 of 3
by John Lowe
If salvation depended on what we are and do, we could never be sure we are saved.
It’s very important for us to know whether or not we are saved. For one thing, there are eternal issues at stake, and for another, there can’t be any real joy in a person’s Christian life if they are always worried about whether they are saved. Believers shouldn’t worry about it, because they can know they are saved. In Hebrews 10:22, Paul talks about the “full assurance of faith.” The fullness of our faith has nothing to do with the amount of our faith, but it has everything to do with the object of our faith. Real faith always depends on the object of faith. You see, faith can be misplaced. You can put your faith in some individual on earth and be disappointed, or you can put your faith in Jesus. Real faith means you have really received the Lord Jesus as your personal Savior. That has been made really clear to us. In John 1:11-12, it says, “He came unto His own, and His own received Him not. But as many as received Him, to them gave He power (the authority) to become the sons of God, even to them that (do no more or less than) believe on His name.”
If salvation depended on what we are and do, we could never be sure we are saved. And even if we did know we’re saved, by claiming that we are saved, we might appear to be boasting. But since salvation is totally all of God, and since we are saved by Christ’s blood, and assured by His Word, we can most certainly know we are saved. What’s more, if you say you believe Him, and then express doubts about your salvation, you have cheapened the faithfulness of God. I found a little poem that expresses this thought. It goes like this―
Can it be right, for me to go,
On, in this evil, doubting way,
Say I believe, and yet not know
Whether my sins are washed away?
I will no longer doubt Thee, oh Lord,
I will forever rest in Thy Word.
Today, I want to give you eight signs that indicate you are saved, and when we are done, I hope you will have no doubts about it. The first sign is―
FAITH IN CHRIST
Acts 16:31 states, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.” Faith is one of the evidences of salvation. Have you ever heard someone ask, “Can I really be saved by my faith alone?” Another may say, “That’s too easy.” “Is it really as simple as believing in Jesus?” “Don’t I have to do a lot of good deeds and live a faithful Christian life before I can be saved?”
Here’s an illustration of what I am talking about. A miner was preparing to take a preacher through the mines. As they were walking, the preacher was talking to the miner about salvation. Something like the following conversation took place.
The minister said: “You must receive Jesus as your Savior. Simply accept Him, trust Him, believe Him and the work is done.” The miner replied: “Preacher, that is too easy. I want to do something. You can’t make me think that the salvation of my soul is possible simply by trusting Jesus.” At this point, they came to the shaft and stood waiting for the elevator. When the elevator arrived and the door opened, the miner touched the preacher’s elbow and said, “Step aboard, preacher, and we’ll go down into the bowels of the earth.” The minister stood back, and looked at the miner, and said, “You mean to tell me that all I’ve got to do is step aboard--that’s just too easy.” The miner replied: “It’s not as easy as you think, it cost the company thousands of dollars to sink this shaft, and a number of lives were lost before it was completed. You stepping into the cage is not all there is to it. The rest is already accomplished, and therefore, there is nothing left for you to do.” “And salvation is not so easy either,” said the preacher. “It cost God the gift of His Son, and it cost Jesus His own precious blood; but the work is all done, the door is open wide, and all the poor sinner has to do is step inside.”
When we believe in the Lord Jesus; when we have received Him as our Savior, we know we have eternal life. God has promised many places in the Bible that He will save the believer, and when He stretches forth His hand to do it who can draw it back? And when God has spoken, who can overturn it?
If believing in Jesus is a sign of salvation, then unbelief is a sign of condemnation. A person doesn’t need to be an immoral wretch in order to be lost: Unbelief is enough. “He that believeth not is condemned already,” according to John 3:18. And in Revelation, it says, “And all unbelievers shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone” (Rev. 21:8).
The first sign of salvation is faith in Christ, and another is―
FORSAKING OF SINS
Giving up sins cannot save, but giving up sin is one of the sure signs of salvation. That’s the meaning of Isaiah 55:7, “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts, and let him return unto the Lord, and He will have mercy on him.”
The one who says, “I believe in Jesus,” but continues in his old way of life has no sign of salvation. When the prodigal son came home, he left the far country. He gave up his old sinful life and returned to his father. There’s a story that may be a good illustration for this point.
A gambler was on his deathbed. He had been wonderfully saved a few days before. The minister who led him to Christ was sitting by his side. “Preacher,” said the one-time gambler, “Didn’t you tell me that Jesus put my sins behind His back?” “Yes,” replied the minister, “they are all gone; they are washed away; you lie there, in the sight of God, as white, as snow.” It is said that the saved gambler then asked the preacher to get a pack of cards, and a flask of whiskey and a pistol, and to put them behind his back. “Because,” said the onetime gambler, “if God has put my sins behind His back, I want them behind mine too.”
And this is always the case; the saved soul will forsake his evil ways. One sure sign of a soul headed for eternal death is continuing in sin. Balaam said, “I have sinned,” but he went on sinning. Saul said, “I have sinned,” but he did not continue in his sin. No one should ever think that they have a genuine saving faith in Jesus, if they knowingly, and with a “don’t care” attitude are living in sin. It says in Ephesians, “In the times past we walked in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind.” But now, we have “put off all these.” The child of God may sin, but he will never feel comfortable about it, and he can’t continue to live in sin indefinitely. Another one of the signs of salvation is―
SORROW FOR SINNING
The sorrow you feel after you commit a sin is another token of salvation. David sinned when he sent Uriah to his death on the battlefield. And then, Nathan the prophet rebuked him after God revealed David’s sin to him. David’s sorrow over what he had done was so great that his heart was broken. The 51st Psalm presents a prayer from David’s broken heart. Listen to David express his sorrow in verses 1 and 2. “Have mercy upon me, O God, blot out my transgressions: wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.”
Any child of God may sin, but when he sins and realizes his sin, he is overwhelmed with regret. The gospels tell us that Peter walked afar off, and he warmed himself at the enemy’s fire. When he was discovered, he said, “I know not the man.” And then he cursed and swore. But can anyone doubt that Peter was saved? He was not only saved, but he was a devoted follower of Jesus Christ. One of the strongest signs of Peter’s salvation rests in the fact that, when Jesus turned and looked at him, and he saw the terribleness of what he had done, he went outside and wept bitterly.
In contrast to Peter’s deep sorrow, one indication that a person is lost is that there’s no sorrow for sinning. Of course, a sinner will moan about his sin when he is caught. If the long arm of the law grips him, he might cry some tears, but that’s not the same as expressing genuine sorrow towards God. Let me give you some examples of true sorrow.
Mary crept up behind Jesus and wept upon His feet, and with her hair, she wiped her tears away. Simon the Pharisee found fault with Jesus, but Jesus said to Simon, “I entered into thine house, and thou givest Me no water for My feet; but she hath washed My feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head. Thou gavest Me no kiss: but this woman, since the time I came in, hath not ceased to kiss My feet: My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman has anointed My feet with ointment, wherefore I say unto thee, her sins, which are many, are forgiven and He said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee, go in peace.”
True faith in Jesus and real salvation will always be marked by a Godly sorrow for sin. Christians cannot and Christians do not sin, and then realize they have sinned, without feeling sorry for sinning. Another sign of true salvation is―