[NOTE: This letter was first written in 2010. Since then, the author and we at God's Word First have grown in our Biblical studies concerning Eschatological (end times) scripture. We now hold a different view on end times than we previously held as outlined in this article. We've decided to leave it online, unedited, in order to preserve on record our previous point of view and note our subsequent growth.]
In Romans 10:9 is says, “That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
Eternal salvation is not a gift or a manifestation of the holy spirit; it is a future benefit of having it. Let me tell you something you probably have not thought of yet: If you are a born again Christian then you are not saved right now, but you will be... that’s the promise of salvation from the coming wrath when Christ returns to gather his people.
The fact that we are not yet “saved” is self evident because here on earth we get hurt, sick, victimized, and we can die. That is not being saved.
I feel we are in the end times, but clearly the battle of Armageddon has not happened yet. The promise of eternal salvation is that prior to the doodie hitting the fan (metaphorically speaking), Christ will come back to gather his people. We have faith that will be saved from the coming wrath.
The reason we are said to be “saved” now is because God frequently speaks of things in future tense, as if they have already come to pass but have not yet. That is his way of promising something to you. When He speaks something as if it has already happened, knowing that God is not a liar and can not go back on His word, then you can bank on the fact that it will happen. That which He speaks will most certainly come to pass.
What exactly does it mean to be “Saved”?
The Power of Pentecost
The Significance of Pentecost, your
Spiritual Gifts and What it Really Means to be Saved
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Biblically, “saved” means “rescued,” and thus also it means “made whole.” Being saved will be when we are in our new bodies, like Christ, perfectly healthy and fit, full of energy and joy, and granted with eternal life.
That is the completion of our salvation, and that is what we will have in the future. When we look at it closely we see that we are not actually saved right now.
Throughout the Old Testament and Gospel periods there was no one-time action that a person could take that produced a guarantee of salvation.
That is why there is no verse before the book of Acts that says a person can get saved by a one-time action.
The verbs “confess” and “believe” are in the same type of verb in Greek, meaning that you have to confess and believe once; you do not have to keep doing it.
In stark contrast to the one-time action that produces the guarantee of eternal salvation in the Grace Administration, the Mosaic Law made it clear that continued obedience (or the continued faith that produced obedience) was necessary for salvation: Deuteronomy 6:25 “And if we are careful to obey all this law before the LORD our God, as he has commanded us, that will be our righteousness.”
Eternal Salvation is Future Tense
Obviously, the fact that Christians have a guarantee of their salvation is completely different from the way salvation had worked for the 4,000 years before Pentecost. Therefore, it makes sense that God would have to say it very clearly and more than once, for people to actually believe it.
Thankfully, He did just that. He said it 3 times which marks it with the number for complete divine perfection:
- 2 Corinthians 1:22 “[God] set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.”
- 2 Corinthians 5:5 “Now it is God who has made us for this very purpose and has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.”
- Ephesians 1:14 “[the promised holy spirit] who [which] is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession - to the praise of his glory.”
Notice that in all the above verses, the gift of holy spirit is a deposit that guarantees what will come in the future, in this case, our eternal salvation. There are no verses like these in the Old Testament or the Gospels, because only in the Administration of Grace is salvation guaranteed on the basis of a one-time action, that of taking Christ as our Lord.
We are born of God, so we are said to have his “seed” sealed inside us (1 Pet. 1:23) and thus be partakers of God’s divine nature (2 Pet. 1:4). Because we have God’s seed and His nature, we are all “holy ones” (usually translated “saints”). Furthermore, because God creates holy spirit in us, we are said to be new creations in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17; Gal. 6:15).
We are said to be seated in the heavenly places with Christ, not because we are actually there, but because we have a guarantee that we will be seated there in the future. We are told that we are already citizens of heaven (Phil. 3:20). These could be expanded upon, but the point should be clear - God has plainly revealed that Christians have a guarantee of eternal salvation and it can not be lost or taken away.
Not Being "Saved" Yet Fits with Scripture
Knowing that we are not literally saved right now helps us understand verses such as Romans 13:11, which says that our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed and 1 Peter 1:5, which says our salvation is “…ready to be revealed in the last time.”
The Bible says that as a Christian I have the absolute guarantee of salvation. Old Testament believers under the Law Administration never had a guarantee of salvation. What they did have was a promise that if they kept their faith and were righteous by their works, they would be saved in the future, but not as sons, only as servants.
Once we understand that, then we are in a position to see how totally differently God deals with us than He did with people before the Grace Administration. When a person makes Jesus Christ his personal Lord and believes God raised him from the dead, he or she at that moment receives the gift of holy spirit sealed inside them and is born again.
That holy spirit then becomes the guarantee of your eternal salvation AND your source of limitless supernatural power when you did very little or even nothing on your own to deserve it. Now that my friend is grace, and that defines the administration we are living in right now... So be thankful!
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