The secret of Salvation

Everyone who resides in him does not sin; everyone who sins has neither seen him nor known him. (1 John 3:6 NET)

If anyone confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God resides in him and he in God. (1 John 4:15 NET)

How can this be? If I sin, then I don’t reside in God, but if I confess Jesus as the Son of God, then I reside in him? Sounds like a contradiction.

When reading the Word, we need to understand the full counsel of God.

These two apparently contradicting verses string together to reveal one thing: FAITH.

When we start our Christian journey, we are still staves to sin but God let’s us into His house anyway. However, even though we may still practise sin at this time, we have FAITH in Jesus and FAITH that God will complete the good work He started in us, transforming us into sons – permanent members of His household.

Jesus answered them, “I tell you the solemn truth, everyone who practices sin is a slave of sin. The slave does not remain in the family forever, but the son remains forever. (John 8:34, 35 NET)

[Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever. (John 8:34, 35 KJV)]

This is a call to repent and proof that we must overcome sin to be true sons of God. (And it is by Grace that we overcome).

God is very faithful and gives us time to repent, including us as members of His household even as we are “slaves” (to sin). But He goes on to say that slaves are only temporary members of a household (are these the ones who will say on the last day “you taught in our streets, we did miracles in your name etc and Jesus says ‘depart from me you who practise lawlessness’?). But those who OVERCOME are true sons of God and will reside in His household forever!

Let us have the fear of the Lord, for we need to work out our salvation with fear and trembling – but at the same time have faith that He will save us and give us the Grace to overcome. (Hint: be completely honest to yourself and God about the sins you secretly like. You probably lie to yourself saying you don’t like these sins but really do. This is one of the great deceptions in the last days – deceiving ourselves. Confess our sins to one another and pray for each other that we may be healed. God gives grace to the humble, which is salvation through faith and the power to overcome.)

If anyone does not remain in me, he is thrown out like a branch, and dries up; and such branches are gathered up and thrown into the fire, and are burned up. (John 15:6 NET)

We are saved by faith and grace.

But only “believing” is not enough (even the demons “believe” in Jesus and tremble at His name).

Salvation giving faith and grace is to remain in Him, be connected to Him, to seek, knock and find until you experience that life transforming grace for yourself where old things drop away and joy fills our hearts instead! This is what it is like to be in the kingdom of God – which is now!

So back to 1 John 4:15, the inference here is that if we truly have Holy Spirit residing in us and we have FAITH He will complete His work in us, we wont be able to do anything but practise acts of righteousness, obeying His Word – meaning that we reside in Him!

This is how we know that we will not become a dead branch that gets cut off from the vine and burned in the fire. It is FAITH working through Grace (which changes us into Jesus likeness).

When are we actually saved?

So I’ve prayed the sinners prayer (Holy Spirit has enabled this), been baptised, accepted Jesus as Lord as Saviour, and now I am trying to walk it out.  But I have a problem.  There is sin in my life that the bible says if it is there, I will not inherit the Kingdom of God.

1 Cor 6:9-11 “Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”

So does this mean that I am not saved?  How do I get washed and sanctified (by the Spirit of our God).

Here is what I believe God has shown me on this:

1) When we start our Christian walk, contrary to main stream teaching, we may not actually be saved at that moment.

2) However, we KNOW that we ARE saved, because we have FAITH that “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Phil 1:6).

3) God then uses OUR faith in Him (to complete His work in us), to grant us GRACE (and repentance), which is the POWER to be free from sin, and to grow into His likeness and be SANCTIFIED to serve Him acceptably. Heb 12:28 “Since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably.”

Also remember that God sits outside of time, and can see the beginning from the end
instantly – so He knows who is true and who is not, upfront.

Phil 2:12 “Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling,”

Further, notice that salvation is a “hope”: 1 Thes 5:6 “So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled. For those who sleep, sleep at
night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. But since we belong to the day,
let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope
of salvation as a helmet.”

In other words, salvation requires FAITH, and it is the FAITH that God will complete the work in us He started!  We can’t just “claim” the helmet of salvation – to wear it, it requires that we have HOPE.

This explains the apparent paradox of sin in a Christian’s life, yet being able to be completely confident of salvation!  i.e. the thing that I could never understand was “how can I be saved when I have this bad fruit in my life”?  I will be saved because I have FAITH that Jesus will complete His work in me, giving me GRACE to overcome, thereby sanctifying me and transforming me in to His likeness!

From a source online: “Justification is instantaneous; sanctification is a long growth. Justification is the act of God whereby He takes a man who is dead in trespasses and sins and says, ‘I create within you the new life of Christ and now I look upon you and see you just as perfect as I see the Lord Jesus Christ.’ Justification is the act of God whereby he declares an ungodly man to be perfect while he is still ungodly. It is as extraordinary a thing as if you were able to say that the caterpillar is really a beautiful butterfly. ‘Oh,’ you say, ‘but it isn’t! It still looks like a caterpillar.’ Well, that is exactly what God does with us. He comes to us in our “caterpillar status” and declares us to be “butterflies.” In reality, that is what happens in nature, too; that caterpillar does become a butterfly. For God has given us this remarkable picture of metamorphosis-that which goes into the cocoon as a worm comes out as a butterfly, for it lives part of its life in one state and part in another. We call this process metamorphosis. It is very interesting to note the Greek word used in Rom.12:2 : ‘Be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed (metamorphosed) by the renewing of your mind.'” [1]
2000+ Bible Illustrations, Ibid

3 Tenses of Salvation: 

Past
“…he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit,” Titus 3:5

“even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ- by grace you have been saved- 6and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, Eph. 2:5-8

Present
“…and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you- unless you believed in vain”. 1 Cor. 15:2

Future
“Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God”. Romans 5:9

17 For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power. 18 For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 1 Cor. 1:17-18

1 Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, 2and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you- unless you believed in vain. 3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 1 Cor. 15:1-5

 14 But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. 15 For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, 16to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things? 2 Cor. 2:14-16