Results of Salvation
In an age when many Christians seem preoccupied with their emotional struggles, their difficult past, or their supposed lack of self-esteem, some will say that even salvation is not enough for all their needs. Yet, if these people really understood the incredible things that God has done for them, their lives and attitudes would be dramatically different.
Everything we need in life is found in a relationship with Jesus Christ. "For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power" (Colossians 2:9). The word complete in this verse literally means "to satisfy," "to finish," "to fill up," or "to cram full." Just think—because you are a believer, God Himself, in all His fullness, dwells in your life.
Do you realize how significant that is? If we truly understood what took place on the day we committed our lives to Christ, we would be looking outside of Him and His Word for answers to our problems less and less. We would be thanking Him more and more for the answers to those problems, and for the power to live out those answers as given through salvation!Back to Top
How Do We Know If Someone Is Truly a Christian?
The only real way for us, as humans, to know if someone has truly become a Christian is to observe that person's life on the outside. Since we cannot see the interior of the human heart as God does, we have to look for some result or indicator of their faith.
- "Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that and shudder. You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless?" (James 2:18-20 NIV).
- Jesus said, "Therefore by their fruits you will know them. Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of Heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in Heaven" (Matthew 7:20–21).
If a person does not show any fruit—that is, any visible evidence of the change that has taken place in his heart since receiving Jesus Christ as his personal Savior—then that individual is not a Christian. Time will tell if a person who comes forward at a crusade or church invitation to make a profession of faith has actually gone through a conversion.
Deeds or works don't save a person, but they are good evidence that the person is saved.Back to Top
A Result of Salvation is a Truly Changed Life: Portrait of a True Believer
The Book of 1 John identifies what could be called birthmarks of someone who is truly saved or born again.
Do you confess Jesus as Lord?
"If anyone confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in Him and He in God" (1John 4:15).
Do you obey Christ's commands?
"For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith" (1 John 5:3–4).
Do you love and obey God's Word?
"But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him" (1 John 2:5).
Are you unhappy or miserable when you are sinning?
"No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God's seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God" (1 John 3:9).
In the expanded Greek translation, this verse says, "Every one who has been born of God does not habitually sin because His seed remains in him. And he is not able habitually to sin, because out of God he has been born. In this is apparent who are the born ones of God and the born ones of the Devil. Everyone who is not habitually doing righteousness is not of God and also the one who is not habitually loving his brother" (Wuest Translation). This does not mean that a Christian will be sinless; but he will sin less and less and less.
Have you overcome the devil?
"We know that whoever is born of God does not sin; but he who has been born of God keeps himself, and the wicked one does not touch him" (1 John 5:18).
When John wrote that the child of God "keeps himself," he wasn't suggesting that Christians keep themselves saved, because that is the work of the Holy Spirit who has sealed us (Ephesians 1:13–14) and Jesus Christ who intercedes for us (Romans 8:31–39). Scripture clearly tells us that God will keep us (1 Peter 1:5).
While we don't keep ourselves saved, we do need to keep ourselves safe! Scripture tells us, "Keep yourselves in the love of God" (Jude 21). Some people, places, and activities make it easier for the devil to tempt us. Now that we have been delivered from the kingdom of Satan, we should have no desire to deliberately get back into his clutches. When we pray (as Jesus taught us), "Lead us not into temptation," we are asking the Father to help us so that we will not tempt ourselves by deliberately putting ourselves into vulnerable situations.
Do you love other Christians?
"Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him" (1 John 5:1).
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A Result of Salvation Is a Desire to Follow God's Purpose for Your Life
God put us on this earth for two primary reasons: to know, walk with, and glorify God, and to bring forth fruit. The second is really an outgrowth of the first.
We are put here to know, to walk with, and to glorify God.
We were saved in order "that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be for the praise of His glory" (Ephesians 1:12).
Thousands of years ago, God spoke to the rebellious King Belshazzar by writing an inscription on the wall of the royal palace (see Daniel 5). The prophet Daniel interpreted the writing on the wall and saidthat it read, "You have been weighed in the balances and found wanting" (Daniel 5:27). Daniel had given King Belshazzar the reason for that judgment:
"And you have lifted yourself up against the Lord of Heaven. They have brought the vessels of His house before you, and you and your lords, wives and your concubines, have drunk from them. And you have praised the gods of silver and gold, bronze and iron, wood and stone, which do not see or hear or know; and the God who holds your breath in His hand and owns all your ways, you have not glorified" (Daniel 5:23).
The root of his problem was that he had failed to glorify God. His rebellion—as evidenced in his worship of false gods—was merely the outgrowth of that neglect. To glorify God means that you try to honor Him whenever you can. When you succeed in your endeavors—in ministry, business, sports, or family—you do not take personal credit but give the glory to God, "who holds your breath in His hand."
We are to "bear much fruit."
"By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples" (John 15:8).
The concept of bearing fruit is used often in Scripture to describe the results of someone who truly has a relationship with Jesus Christ (see Mark 4:20; Colossians 1:10). According to Jesus, bearing fruit is not an option, but a mandate. He considers this aspect of the Christian life so important that He says, "Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit [God] takes away" (John 15:2).
A vine has very little use outside of bearing fruit. You cannot build houses or furniture with the wood of a vine. It is even of little use as fuel, for when it is cast into the fire, it flames up for a moment or two, then it is gone (Ezekiel 15:1–5). In other words, if it does not bear fruit, it is worthless.
In the Book of Hosea, God describes Israel as a vine that "brought forth fruit for himself" (Hosea 10:1). How true this is of so many today, even among professing Christians! They are far more interested in what God can do for them than in what they can do for God. The secret to living the Christian life to its fullest is to bear fruit.
God did not create you, and Christ did not die for you so that you might go through life getting; God created you and Christ purchased you that you might know Him and invest your life in giving.
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What Spiritual Fruit Is Jesus Seeking from Our Lives?
Winning others to Jesus Christ and helping them to grow spiritually is fruit.
Sometimes God gives us the privilege of personally leading someone to Christ, while at other times He simply allows us to "sow a seed." It is and always will be God who gives the increase—but we certainly have a part to play. "I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase" (1 Corinthians 3:6).
"I often planned to come to you...in order that I might have some fruit among you also, just as among the other Gentiles" (Romans 1:13).
"The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who wins souls is wise" (Proverbs 11:30).
Sharing what God has blessed us with is fruit.
When Paul gathered an offering from the Gentiles for the poor saints in Jerusalem, he called the offering "fruit": "Therefore, when l have performed this, and have sealed to them this fruit, I will go by way of you to Spain" (Romans 15:28).
Not only is our gift considered fruit, but fruit is placed in our account as a result of our generosity: "Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that abounds to your account" (Philippians 4:17).
Praising and thanking God is fruit.
"Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name" (Hebrews 13:15).
Our change in conduct and character is fruit.
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control" (Galatians 5:22NIV).
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Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, New King James Version™. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Scripture quotations marked NIV are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version ™. NIV ™. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by biblical, Inc. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. www.zondervan.com