Being saved is a wonderful thing. It means that one has turned from an old way of life in sin to a new kind of life in Christ. The whole notion of one being saved is built on the fact that one can be lost in sin. The Bible says that “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Later Paul will say, “The wages of sin is death and the gift of God is eternal life.” (Romans 6:23) One of the problems that people have with grasping the whole sin problem is in personal understanding of the word “Sin.”
The Bible describes four ways a person may sin against God to become lost. Sin is a transgression of the law (I John 3:4) which means that God tells us not to do some things and when we go ahead and do them anyway we sin. “All unrighteousness is sin.” (I John 5:17) When God tells us to do something and we don’t do it that is a sin as well. We sin when we violate our own conscience. “He who doubts is condemned if he eats for whatever is not of faith is sin.” (Romans 14:23) The point Paul was making was that when a person feels a thing is wrong, even though it isn’t wrong in and of itself it is wrong for the one who believes it is. Finally, one sins when they know there are things they ought to be doing but refuse to do them. In James 4:17 it says, “To him who knows to do good and does not do it to him it is sin.”
When we think of sin as only some huge moral discrepancy we may decide that we really aren’t guilty. When I look at sin from the way the Bible describes it, it doesn’t take long to realize why the Bible would say we are all guilty. To be saved from sin doesn’t mean that we are saved from ever committing sin again. That isn’t true of anyone. As a matter of fact the apostle John said of anyone that claimed as a Christ follower that they didn’t sin that they were liars and were making God a liar (I John 1:8-10). It doesn’t mean that we are saved from the guilt of sin. We are always held accountable for our actions. We are judged for the deeds done in the body (I Corinthians 5:10). We aren’t saved from the consequences for our sins. In Galatians 6:7-8 Paul pleaded with us not to be deceived because God is not mocked. “Whatever a man sows, he will also reap. He who sows to the flesh will of the flesh reap corruption. He who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap life everlasting.” Every sin has consequences. If one lies to their wife or husband, asking for forgiveness doesn’t mean we won’t face the consequences for the lie. Sin leaves a scar. The wound can heal but the scar remains.
What then does salvation have to do with sin. When we are saved from sin it means that we are saved from the punishment that sin should bring. Jesus in dying on the cross as an innocent one, paid the price due our sin by accepting the punishment they deserved. He became our substitute or atonement so we can be forgiven.
No one can appreciate the value of salvation without first understanding what it is to be lost. When a person is saved from sin they get into Christ and his church and into a relationship with him as Lord and savior. The old stains of sin are washed away in the blood of Jesus Christ. The point made in Acts 2:47 is that those who are saved were added to the church. When we are saved we enter into the blood steam of Jesus as part of his body, the church (Ephesians 1:22-23).
The result of being saved and living in a personal relationship with Jesus should mean that we live in confidence of our salvation and our relationship all along. John said that one of the main reasons for writing the Book of I John was so that those who believe in Christ may know that they are saved and have eternal life (I John 5:13). John said, “Hereby we know that we know him if we keep his commandments” (I John 2:3-4).
Too many people who have been saved and are living faithful lives for God worry about their salvation and their hope in the future. Because we often think of hope as “Wishful thinking” we miss the point of living in hope. The word “Hope” is a mixture of desire and expectation. It is confidence based on our faith in the Lord. While the Bible teaches the possibility of one who has been saved becoming lost because they turn away from God and His will, it doesn’t teach that one is likely to fall from God or that one falls every time they stumble or mess up. Instead Peter said, after telling us to add to faith, virtue, to virtue knowledge, to know self control, to self control patience, to patience godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness and to brotherly kindness love, he said “If you do these things you will never fall.” (2 Peter 1:9-11). Many of the newer translations have it that they will never even stumble.
Paul expressed the heart that ought to be true of every Christian. “If our earthly house of this tent is dissolved, we have a building with God, a house not made with hands eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan earnestly desiring our house which is in heaven.” (2 Corinthians 5:1-2) The blood of Jesus keeps us clean as long as we remain in a relationship with Christ as Lord and Savior all along (I John 1:7).
God’s desire is for all to be saved (2 Peter 3:9). He also desires those who are saved to live like they are saved and to rejoice in their salvation. If one doesn’t feel saved, it doesn’t mean that they aren’t because even the most godly may have doubts at times. John said, “If our hearts condemn us, God is greater than our heart and knows all things.” We loose a blessing from God when we live in doubt all the time but it doesn’t affect our real relationship with God. But why live below our privilege.