This is a devotional study for all new believers
Why we need salvation
Ephesians 2:1 NKJV And you, He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins,
In the last lesson, we learnt how we are not saved because of good works but by the grace of God
Paul begins this chapter with a bit of Shock therapy of our condition before we came to Christ. He said it doesn’t matter how good, or how bad, how rich or how famous you were before Christ, you were as good as the living dead.
- Whenever the Bible uses the word death it actually means to be separated, because in God’s eyes there is no death, we are an eternal being.
- Before Christ, we did not have the power of God working in our lives but there was an opposing power.
- We were walking a destiny or a path that was leading us away from God, a path that excluded God.
Eph 2:11 Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called “uncircumcised” by those who call themselves “the circumcision” (that done in the body by the hands of men)
Eph 2:12 remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world.
Paul describes it like this.
Ephesians 2:2 NKJV in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience,
Without God, we walk according to the course of the world, we lived according to:
- The worlds standards, morals, opinions, pleasures and values
- You only have to open the newspaper turn on the TV to realise that the worlds standards, morals, and values are all going from bad to worse.
We have a choice to either walk in the ways of the world or according to the will of God. Rom 12:2
Someone once said “If we don’t believe in something, we will fall for anything”
Eph 2:2 Goes on to says: We were under the power of Satan
- Mankind was never created to be evil, yet you have only got to look at what people are doing or look at the extremes of what some of the most hideous crimes we hear about today, who in their right mind would do those things
- It means we were literally controlled and manipulated by the devil, like a puppet on a string. 1 John 5:19
Eph 2:2 Goes on to says: We walked in disobedience to God
- We were walking outside of the plans and purposes of God
- We were living against God, we were just doing our own thing, without even knowing we were on a pathway to destruction: Rom 8:5-8
- The Bible says sin is anything that causes us to miss the mark, to fall short of God’s plan,
- Sin is anything that will cause us not to conform with the will of God, anything that is hindering us from fulfilling the plans and purposes of God.
Ephesians 2:3 NKJV among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.
On top of all of that, we were controlled by a thing called lust
- We were governed by our corrupt and sensual nature; we were literally trying to fulfil the call of the wild. Whatever tasted good, felt good, looked good we went after it, we would have spent our lives trying to fulfil this passion.
- Think about it, we have this unbridled passion that is influenced by the morals and standards of the world, it manipulated by the power of Satan, and we had a carnal mind that has no desire to please God.
- Can you imagine how easy it would be for the enemy to send us on a pathway to destruction?
- Praise God we have been saved.
Being Sure of your salvation
Assurance: “it is a formal guarantee, a positive declaration and certainty, it is to remove all possible doubt.” Col 1:9-14
When we speak of assurance in the Christian life this means we can be confident that our sins are forgiven, that we have eternal life and that we are going to heaven when we die.
- We do not have to look very deeply into the New Testament to see that we can have a confident assurance of our salvation
Read the following verses: John 3:16, Acts 16:30-31, Romans 6:23
These and many other passages make it clear that forgiveness of sin and eternal life are available to all who will believe in Christ.
Our salvation and hope of eternal life can only be based on our faith in Jesus Christ.
- If our salvation depends upon our good works, the assurance of eternal life is impossible, for outside of Jesus; no man has ever lived a perfect life. Who has ever lived a good enough life to compensate for the facts that he is a sinner? Eph 2:8-9
- The bible teaches that Jesus Christ came to die on the cross as a sacrifice for our sins on our behalf provided by God himself – once and for all. John 1:29, 1 Pet. 2:24-25, 1 John 2: 1-2, Hebrew 10:10-14
Of course, this does not mean that we can come to Christ and then merrily continue on in our sinful ways. Since salvation is a free gift, which we receive by faith (or trusting) in Jesus Christ, we can be sure that we have salvation if we have a simple and sincere faith in Jesus to become our personal saviour. Romans 10:9-10
But I Don’t Feel Saved
People often make the mistake of confusing faith and feelings and are continually in doubt about their relationship with God. Faith has two important characteristics that help us to distinguish it from feelings:
- It is an act of the will. We must consciously choose to put our faith or trust in Christ.
- Our faith must be based upon the truth of God’s Word rather than upon our feelings, which fluctuate so easily.
My feelings relate to my emotions, which are subject to a number of factors and influences. My faith, on the other hand, relates to the unchangeable facts of the Word of God, Jesus’ death for my sins and his resurrection. It relates to the decision of being willing to rest all my hopes for eternal life upon what he has done for me. Ps 119:89
The Vital Signs of Salvation
There are several things that will begin to emerge in our lives either rapidly or gradually, sooner or later, once we have received Jesus as our personal saviour.
The Holy Spirit gives an inward testimony of assurance to our spirit that we are indeed are God’s children and he loves us. Romans 8:11-16
Another very important aspect of the Holy Spirit’s work in us is to strive against our sinful nature or what the Bible often calls “the flesh”. This means that I will be far more conscious when I sin because of the indwelling Holy Spirit is attempting to gently guide me into a life that is righteous before God, therefore when I stumble he lets me know about it.
As we allow the Holy Spirit to work in me, we will begin to see changes in our actions, attitudes, thought-life, speech, etc.
Depending upon what your life was like before you received Christ, the changes could be obvious and immediate or more subtle and gradual. But there will be changes since ‘God’s intention for us is to have the character of his wonderful Son. 1 John 2:1-2, Romans 8:29
The “fruit of the Spirit” listed in Gal. 5:22-23 gives us an idea of the type of qualities the Holy Spirit is seeking to produce in our lives as he makes us more and more like Jesus Christ.