ON BEING SAVED
Many have written to Lost Penny Found over the years and asked how to know for sure if they are saved.
If that question is on your heart today, we would encourage you to pray and ask our Father, in Jesus’ name, to help you know the truth. It is not only what we know about God that matters, but how we think about what we know about God. May the Holy Spirit enter your very thought processes and speak to you the loving and merciful truth that sets souls free!
1 Timothy 2:3-4 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
The scripture is clear that Jesus wants all to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. Jesus is the way. He is the truth. And He is the life that truly satisfies us…for eternity.
John 14:6 “Jesus saith unto him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me.”
Jesus spoke about heaven as one who knew it from the inside. He identified Himself as the I AM of the Old Testament. He said He is One with the Father. He self-identified as God. Therefore we do well to listen to what He says about how to be saved and what is true. He stated the only way to the Father is by Him. Our reconciliation with God can only happen as we believe on Jesus and His work on the cross. We are not saved by our good heart. We are not saved by our being a good person. We are not saved by joining a particular denomination. We are saved simply by faith in Jesus Christ. Only sinners need apply!
Romans 3:26 “To declare, I say, at this time His righteousness: that He might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.”
A look at Jesus should convince us we are not perfect and need a Savior. His grace to us admits no boasting. He gets all the glory for saving us… for simple belief.
It can be good just to return to basics. The Apostle Paul narrowed the focus of all his preaching to the Corinthians to these two topics:
1 Corinthians 2:1-2 “And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.”
Like the ancient Corinthians, we live in an age of many distractions. Today, if we hear His voice, we will hear the message of Jesus Christ and Him crucified.
Salvation, by R. Dicianni, https://www.tapestryproductions.com/product/salvation-artwork-by-ron-dicianni/
“But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.” Romans 5:8-9
The Bible is clear that God is a loving and merciful God. While we were still sinners, He had a plan to send Jesus to die as a sacrifice for mankind., to shed His blood on the cross to save us from wrath and reconcile us to Himself. The plan involved our Father in heaven sending His only begotten Son to earth to live as fully God and fully man and to die as an atonement for our sin. Christ lived a sinless, perfect life in constant communion with the Father. He did nothing to deserve death. As fully God and fully man, He voluntarily offered Himself as a sacrifice on our behalf. His grace is the unmerited, unearned favor of God on us, which enables our salvation. We are saved by grace though faith.
Ephesians 2:8 “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.”
Romans 1:16 “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.”
Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Romans 10:17
Throughout the Bible, we find types and shadows and prophecies all pointing to the life and atoning death and resurrection of our Savior Jesus Christ. One such is this prophecy in Isaiah 53, hundreds of years before Jesus birth, death and resurrection:
“He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken. And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.” Isaiah 53:8-12
As the Apostle Paul said, and I can say with him,
“This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.” 1 Timothy 1:15
While He walked the earth, Jesus explained that He would be “lifted up” in a way like when Moses raised an image of a serpent on a pole in the Old Testament. (Numbers 21:9) In this incident, those who had sinned against God and had been bitten by fiery serpents had one way to be healed and saved from death. Moses instructed them simply to look to the serpent on the pole. Those who obeyed recovered from their bites and lived. Our way to salvation is much the same. We look to Jesus on the cross and live!
“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.” John 3:14-15
The serpent on the pole is a picture of sin personified (the serpent) on a stick. This is the picture Jesus gave us to compare to the judgment He took on the cross. The sins of the world were laid on Him. By taking our sin, He paid the price for us. He received the penalty we should have paid, so we could go free, not only reconciled, but accounted in right standing, or righteous, in Him.
The Bible says:
2 Corinthians 5:21 “For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.”
It is wonderful to think of that first use of the word righteousness in all of Scripture. It is found in Genesis 15:6. It was not referring to the Ten Commandments. The Lord God from the beginning tied righteousness to faith. Abraham simply took God at His word of promise, and he was credited with righteousness by a loving God.
“And he believed in the LORD; and He counted it to him for righteousness.” Genesis 15:6
In the same way as Abraham believed, we are invited to look to Jesus and Him crucified, and take Him at His word of promise. Whosoever believes in Him…is for each one of us.
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” John 3:14-17
The Bible is so clear that eternal life is available to us as a gift of God….given by His grace to whosoever believes in Jesus Christ. Before He went to the cross to shed His blood for our sins, Jesus made this statement:
Isaiah 61:1, by Nancy Cupp, Watercolor, https://nancy-cupp.pixels.com/featured/isaiah-61-nancy-cupp.html
John 17:1b-3 “Father, the hour is come; glorify Thy Son, that Thy Son also may glorify Thee: As Thou hast given Him power over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as Thou hast given Him. And this is life eternal, that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent.”
Jesus’ substitutionary death on the cross glorified His Father and reconciled mankind to Himself. When Jesus’ hour had come, a series of events occurred that are the core of the gospel message. Life eternal is to know Him, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom He sent. We receive this for simple belief in His promise that we receive by believing. The gospel is the simple message of how that Jesus died for our sins according to the Scriptures, was buried, and rose again the third day according to the scriptures.
1 Corinthians 15:1-4 “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
What of repentance, some may ask? Isn’t repentance required for salvation?
Acts 17:30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:
We are commanded to repent. There is no exception. But repentance (or metanoia in the Greek) is a word that literally means to consider afterward, to think differently.
Romans 2:4 says the goodness of God leads us to repentance.
Our heart is changed! God gives us a new heart. The idea of turning from darkness to His light is actually a fruit of the repentance the Lord God grants to us. Yes, He wants our old heart and He gives us a new one. Repentance will happen, and probably very early on, but it may not happen exactly at that split second in time when we first believe.
Some worry that they have not repented of everything. No worries. There is time as we turn more and more to Him and receive more light each day, as the Holy Spirit transforms our soul. So the initial act of salvation happens not when we first repent, but when we first BELIEVE. The Holy Spirit convicts the world of sin “because they do not believe in Me”….said Jesus in John 15:9 With that said, repentance is a beautiful part of the redemptive work of Christ through the Holy Spirit in us. It is also a gift that the Lord grants in increasing measure as we believe in Jesus and walk in the light of His truth. In the Book of Acts, when certain Gentiles received the Holy Spirit, as they simply believed in Jesus, Peter concluded that the Lord had also granted them repentance.
“Forasmuch then as God gave them the like gift as He did unto us, who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ; what was I, that I could withstand God? When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, “Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.” Acts 11:17-18
We can ask God to grant us a repentant heart. In fact He speaks of those who don’t repent as ones who oppose themselves. We are actually hurting ourselves when we refuse to repent! Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation. Ask Him for repentance.
2 Timothy 2:25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; Finally, when we are saved, we are given newness of life. We are a new creation in Christ.
Finally, when we are saved, we are given newness of life. We are a new creation in Christ. The gift we receive at salvation is the Holy Spirit.
2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
Acts 2:38 “Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
The gift of the Holy Spirit is the down payment and guarantee of our redemption.
Ephesians 1:13-14 “In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of His glory.”
It is so good to trust in Jesus. He is not waiting for us to deserve to be saved. We cannot be worthy of it in our own works. We are made worthy, by the blood of the Lamb, by grace through faith.
Galatians 3:2 “This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?”
John 6:29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on Him whom He hath sent.
There is so much more that could be said here. We trust the Holy Spirit to lead you into all truth.
How to Be Found (Again)
Luke 15: 8-10 “Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Won’t she light a lamp and sweep the entire house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she will call in her friends and neighbors and say, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost coin.’ 10 In the same way, there is joy in the presence of God’s angels when even one sinner repents.” (NLT)
Years ago, the Lord showed me an internal picture of the Luke 15 Parable of the Lost Coin. The picture was of a woman, a type of the Holy Spirit, entering a room with every piece of furniture labeled with soul issues and lies. Fear, pride, shame, wasted years—these were all represented. These are places the human soul can get “lost.” Later, my husband JR drew a picture of what I was given, and here it is:
How do we get lost in that darkened room? Many ways, I think. Believing the lies of the enemy and taking on the stresses and sorrows of life can beat us down till we lose track of where we truly dwell. We get tired in the battle and, at times, despair is all we can see in the natural. In prolonged trials, we can even forget our address—that place of abiding that is our true identity in Him. To feel lost is to see life through the lens of condemnation and shame.
At such a time, believers can feel disconnected from the ONE that deep down, we do know lives inside us and has never left us. The way out however, is always simple. Jesus is truly the answer. Looking back to the Open Door…seeing and experiencing the Light…seeing the Holy Spirit (the Woman in the Parable)—all of these are ways He invites us into relationship. That’s an active part in “finding us”—He leads us all along the way back.
Being found is about knowing and experiencing His touch, hearing His voice, receiving His love, all over again, in a new way. It is about remembering and acknowledging “every good thing that is in you, in Christ Jesus.” (Philemon 1:6) What are some things believers can do to be “found again,” to receive and rest in the truth of the grace we have in Jesus? Ask the Holy Spirit. He is in you. He knows!
One of the first places He will lead us is to the cross. The centerpiece of our faith is still Jesus Christ and Him crucified. (1 Cor. 2:2) We start with this truth: the ransom price for humanity has been paid. We belong to Him who has saved us and is saving us by His life. The price of our freedom, and if you will, the price to “find us” at any stage of our walk on this earth, has been paid.
Jesus said it Himself in John 19:30: “It is finished” (in Greek, “Tetelestai”). Jesus fully accomplished His mission to redeem us (buy us back) through shedding His blood as payment for our sins. “Tetelestai” was the equivalent of PAID IN FULL stamped fully paid bills in the ancient world. Tetelestai. Full payment has been made. The debt is cancelled. This is good news!
And the Father demonstrated His acceptance of Jesus’ work at the cross by raising Him from the dead. It is for this reason that we recommend that all believers partake often of the Lord’s Supper, mindful of the benefits we have received through the finished work of Jesus. So, to choose to be found is to choose life…and therefore, it is also to choose the cross. The cross is the place where we are invited to pass from death to life. It is the place where the lost can declare themselves FOUND. Romans 5:18 says: “Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life.” (NKJV)
Repentance is an ongoing fact of our Christian walk. As we see Jesus on the cross as the payment for all our sin and fallen state, and simply believe with our whole heart, we turn from death to life. His righteousness is imputed to us. It is credited to our account. Jesus’ resurrection is God’s seal that His righteous act on the cross was accepted as the PAYMENT IN FULL. Jesus was raised for our justification. Our debt is paid in full, and we are given the gift of His life. This is why the cross has also been called the place of the Great Exchange. We came as LOST and now are FOUND.
Romans 5:19 “For just as through one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so also through the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.” (HCSB)
Righteousness has to do with right relationship with God. When the sin debt is paid, there is no more condemnation and shame. All things become new. In any way that we are carrying a burden we were never meant to carry, we are invited to lay it on Him at the cross. In return we receive His word over it: “It is finished.” Many believers come under a kind of conviction for feeling lost or stuck.
“If I was really saved, surely I wouldn’t feel this way? Maybe it’s something I did? Or something I didn’t do?”
The truth is, you have already been eternally found by a Good God who bought you back with His own blood. Grace is unmerited and undeserved favor. You cannot earn it by your deeds and you cannot be disqualified from it by what you have done. And it is the goodness of God that leads us to repentance. Wanting to be found and unstuck already shows that you are feeling His tug and His hug. His grace has found you. He brought you into His family and is purifying you as His own special people, zealous for good works. You are found because He loved you at the cross, loves you still, and has purposes for you that include hearing Him, knowing Him, and following Him in love and good works.
Titus 2:11-14 “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.”
The Good News: I Corinthians 15:3-4 “For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; And that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures…”
Romans 10:9 “… if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved…”
Isaiah 69:8, by K. Wagner, Acrylic on canvas, https://fineartamerica.com/featured/isaiah-sixty-four-verse-eight-karl-wagner.html
It can be a blessing to pray with someone and share a simple testimony when we first believe in Jesus as our Lord and Savior. If you have believed in the Lord Jesus as your Lord and Savior, and desire prayer or even a word of encouragement as you celebrate receiving the free gift, please feel free to contact us through our site. We will follow up as soon as possible. God bless you! Glory to God.