Part 4 — Saved

4 — Saved

The Tribulation is about more than getting us free from our love of money and our love of self.  God’s hard at work purifying His people so they can be with Him.[1] There are parts of the church which have gotten themselves into a bad habit of indulging in selfish lusts while claiming God’s forgiveness and grace.

When we come to Christ, we are forgiven of our sins.[2] We have a clean slate.  But if we sin again, we aren’t automatically covered.  We have to confess our sins.[3] But then we are clean again, and we don’t look back but press ahead.[3.5] And little by little God convicts us on things and we give them up and become more and more like Jesus.

But the first step is to repent of all known sin and idols in your life. We have to stop living for ourselves and relying on ourselves as the answer to our problems. Self-help books are saying that the answer is within ourselves. Jesus is our answer. We need to turn to God to meet every need and to answer our every problem. This is a one-time thing, a turning from self and turning to God, but it’s also a lifelong process of God sanctifying us, changing us from glory to glory into the image of Christ. [3.6]

The Bible gives us some lists of sins that we need to repent of and purge out of our lives in order to be holy and be with God.[4] The Bible isn’t lying when it says that people who lust are adulterers and adulterers don’t go to heaven.  You can’t give yourself over to lusting and expect to go to heaven because you go to church or prayed “the prayer.”

When asked how to be saved, Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized for the forgiveness of your sins and you will receive the Holy Spirit.”[5] In this verse are all the steps to achieve holiness.  First, repent, turn from your sin.  You can’t just keep saying, “Sorry, God.”  He is incredibly patient and merciful and gracious, but at some point He demands we turn from our sin completely. You can be free from a sin that traps you by acknowledging that you no longer live and are no longer a sinner but have new life in Christ.[6]

Second, baptism, full immersion baptism, is an essential step in dying to self by faith.[7] Death to self is absolutely mandatory for holiness.  Jesus said that anyone who wanted to follow Him (and He leads us on the path of righteousness) must take up his cross.[8] Well, there is only one reason to carry a cross and that’s to go die.  Baptism is following Jesus in righteousness.[9] Find a Spirit-filled believer to baptize you in Jesus’ name in any place available, even a bathtub.[10]

Thirdly, ask for the filling of the Holy Spirit.  The Bible says that it is those who are led by the Holy Spirit who are the children of God.[11] If you don’t know the Holy Spirit’s leading in guiding your steps, reminding you of God’s word, convicting you of things you didn’t realize were wrong, or stirring you to action, then you are missing something.  After you have repented and chosen to put to death “self,” ask God for His Holy Spirit; He loves to give this good gift.[12]

Once we are living in God’s kingdom, we can live loved! We can know we are accepted by God and pleasing to Him. We can know God is for us. We can know when there is trouble that we have a good God taking care of us, that He hasn’t abandoned us, that He’s loving us and guiding us and bringing us into His plan for us. We can live free because our hearts and minds have been united with Christ, and our ways will be His ways, and our thoughts His thoughts, and His desires our desires. Here’s more on what it means to be saved.

Continue to Part 5 – The Anti…

[1] Hebrews 12:14  Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. (NIV)

[2] Romans 4:7-8  “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds have been forgiven, and whose sins have been covered.  Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will not take into account.”

[3] 1 John 2:1 My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. 

1 John 1:9  If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

[3.5] Philippians 3:12-14 Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lie behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead,I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

[3.6] 2 Corinthians 3:18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.

[4] 1 Corinthians 6:9-10  Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God?  Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.

Rev 21:8  “But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”

Rom 1:29-32  being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice, they are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.  For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy,

2 Timothy 3:3-5  unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these.

[5] Acts 2:38  Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

[6] Judges 10:10-16  Then the sons of Israel cried out to the LORD, saying, “We have sinned against You, for indeed, we have forsaken our God and served the Baals.”  The LORD said to the sons of Israel, “Did I not deliver you from the Egyptians, the Amorites, the sons of Ammon, and the Philistines?  Also when the Sidonians, the Amalekites and the Maonites oppressed you, you cried out to Me, and I delivered you from their hands.  Yet you have forsaken Me and served other gods; therefore I will no longer deliver you.   Go and cry out to the gods which you have chosen; let them deliver you in the time of your distress.”  The sons of Israel said to the LORD, “We have sinned, do to us whatever seems good to You; only please deliver us this day.”    So they put away the foreign gods from among them and served the LORD; and He could bear the misery of Israel no longer.

[7] Romans 6:3-4  Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death?  Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.

[8] Matthew 16:24  Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.”

[9] 1 Peter 3:21  Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you–not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience–through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,

Act 22:16  ‘Now why do you delay? Get up and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on His name.’

[10] Acts 19:5  When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.

[11] Romans 8:14  For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.

[12] Luke 11:13  “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?”