Signs of Salvation Part 2 of 3
by John Lowe
LOVE FOR GOD’S PEOPLE
That is certainly a crystal-clear sign of salvation. We are not saved by loving our brothers and sisters in Christ, but when we’re saved we will love them. That’s what John meant when he wrote, “We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren” (1 John 3:14). But, if that’s a sign of being saved, then love for the world is a sign of being lost. The Bible clearly states, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world: if any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”
A dog followed behind two men as they were walking down the street. Someone said: “I wonder whose dog he is.” “Just wait until they come to the fork in the road,” was the reply, “The dog will always follow his master.” What Jesus said is still true: “My sheep hear My voice, and they follow Me, and a stranger will they not follow, for they know not the voice of strangers” (John 10:4-5). The children of God will love the house of God, and they will enjoy the fellowship of believers. The prophet Malachi wrote this about fellowship, “Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another” (3:16). And the next verse says, “They shall be mine saith the Lord of Hosts, in that day when I make up My jewels” (3:17). We are His dear children and precious treasure.
I read that when a famous preacher was a young man, he wanted to be a member of a certain Baptist Church. In those days it was customary for a person to relate their salvation experience before they were baptized. The young man told the church that he hadn’t had any big experience; that he had heard no voices, and had seen no visions, but he said: “My brethren, I love God’s people, and I love the house of God.” It is said that one old deacon stood up, and said: “Brethren, we cannot refuse this man our fellowship, because the Bible says: “We know we have passed from death unto life when we love the brethren”
The children of the devil do not find enjoyment in the fellowship of believers. They don’t enjoy a life that includes prayer and study of God’s Word. The world prefers entertainment and partying, going to the park, fishing and hunting, rather than a prayer meeting and fellowshipping with other believers. The man or woman who stays at home on Sunday morning and pores over the Sunday paper, instead of going to church, has no sign that he is saved. Another sign of salvation is―
THE WITNESS OF THE SPIRIT
A sign of salvation that is very evident to the Christian is the still small voice within, which speaks to us in the quiet times of our worship. Believers are children of God and believers will find, very soon, that there is something deep within them, which looks up and cries “Abba, Father.” God tells us in His Word, “And because ye are sons, God sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father” (Gal. 4:6). It is not merely saying, “Our Father, who art in heaven,” that’s a sign of salvation: it’s saying it from the heart. The children of God are indwelt by the Spirit of God. And the Spirit doesn’t say, “I am here,” but He says, “Jesus is here.”
When Eliezer, Abraham’s aged servant, was bringing Rebecca across the desert to become the wife of Isaac, and a daughter in the home of Abraham, what do you think they talked about on the way? Well, God doesn’t give us any information about their conversations, but we can make a guess. For many days their camels traveled along, side by side. And Eliezer was encouraging and comforting Rebecca. He probably talked to her about Isaac and Abraham. Are you a child of God traveling over the desert sands of life, and is the Holy Spirit the one at your side? If He is, what will He be saying? He will speak about Jesus and God!
And you know you are saved when you hear His voice. “For the Spirit beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.” Are there times in your life when you are praying, that your soul seems to groan within you, and you have a strong feeling of God’s presence with you? If you have experienced such a time, then you know what it is like to be blessed by the Spirit, as He makes intercessions for you with groanings which could not be uttered from human lips. If you have had an experience like this, remember that the Spirit only intercedes like this for those who belong to God. Therefore, you have a token of your salvation. Young Christians may not understand this token or sign, but as their Christian life progresses, and as they walk with God, the assurance of salvation will become more and more of a certainty in their lives.
Now, on the other side of the ledger, there are those who completely lack any evidence of the witness of the Holy Spirit. The unsaved are living in the far country, they are aliens from the life of God, and they walk in the flesh and not in the Spirit. They are doing what they want to do, and they don’t know anything about the will of God. Having the Holy Spirit is a sign of salvation, and another one is―
OBEDIENCE TO HIS WORD
It says in John 14:21, “He that haveth My commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me.” This may be the best proof of salvation, and perhaps the most easily recognized. Obeying Christ doesn’t save us, but obeying Him is a sign of salvation. Jesus said, “If a man love Me, he will keep My Word.” Jesus also said, “He that loveth Me not keepeth not My sayings.” A preacher was invited to speak to a large group of soldiers at a Georgia military base. Halfway through his sermon, he turned to the colonel, who was in attendance, and asked, “Colonel, what’s the greatest quality that a soldier can have?” Without a moment’s hesitation, the colonel answered, “OBEDIENCE.” “And is obedience greater than courage?” the preacher asked. He answered, “A brave, but disobedient soldier, will bring havoc to the ranks.”
The very real meaning of sin is summed up in these words, “We have turned everyone to his own way.” Sin is nothing more than disobeying the law of God; it is doing things my way. Salvation is bringing us back into fellowship and into harmony with God. The greatest work of God’s grace is bringing us to a place of obedience. A child of God may not perfectly obey his Lord, but he will have no greater ambition than to obey Him. Jesus always did the things that pleased the Father. In the Bible this is written about Him: “Lo, I come, I delight to do thy will, O God.” The child of God has the mind of Christ. And he or she will seek to stand “perfect and complete in all the will of God.”
What’s the opposite of obedience? It’s the spirit of lawlessness and disobedience that controls the unsaved. They will not accept Jesus to rule over them, so they are called, “The sons of disobedience,” in the Bible. There’s another sign of salvation, and that is―
THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT
A sign of salvation is the fruit we bear. Jesus said, “By their fruits, ye shall know them: Do men gather grapes of thorns? Or figs of thistles?” And Paul wrote this in his letter to the Galatians: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance” (Gal. 5:22-23).
People who are committed to worldly pursuits, instead of following Jesus, may have a certain code of ethics, and they may try to lift themselves above their selfish desires, and seek to be a “good person.” They may have high moral standards, and appear to be respectable and display righteousness by doing good deeds; but, it is still true that the flesh “is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts.” The works of the flesh that can still be seen are: “Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulation, wrath, strife, seditions, heresy, envyings, murder, drunkenness, and such like.” However, after twenty-one centuries of mankind blowing its own horn about the progress that’s been made, and attempts at social reform, every newscast shows the immoralities committed around the world.
It is still true that one cannot “gather grapes of thorns and figs of thistles.” It is still true that “a good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.” I think most of us would agree that all Christians do not bountifully produce the fruit of the Spirit. Unfortunately, many are walking after the flesh. And I believe that when Christians fail to produce the fruit of the Spirit, that unbelievers will think they are also unsaved. The Bible declares, “Herein is the Father glorified that we bear much fruit.”
I hope that when people see our lives, they will believe we are saved. So, we may consider the signs of the fruit of the Spirit in our lives an indication of our salvation. This isn’t so much a sign for us as it is a sign to those around us. But, when you can see the works of the flesh, it is a sure sign that the person may be lost. There is one final sign of salvation, and that is―