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ARE YOU SAVED?

 

What does it mean to be "saved"? It is easy to use words such as "saved" and "salvation" without regard to the biblical context or some of the overriding qualifications when the entire subject is brought into focus. Anyone may quote a scripture or two, and if it is quoted long and loud enough, it is easy to come away feeling that is all that the Bible has to say. Yet the Bible is a book with many texts that are qualified by other Biblical texts. When there are over a hundred verses on "being saved" and only one or two are used, there is a danger that we may come away with an improper or inadequate view.

"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved," is a beautiful text (Acts 16:31). But what does it mean to "believe"? James tells us, "The devils also believe, and tremble" (James 2:19). Are they "saved"?

 

On this subject we read these words in (Mark 10:17); And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I DO that I may inherit eternal life?"

This is a true story of a man who lived morally, who did not kill, who did not steal, who did not bear false witness, who did not defraud anyone and who honored his father and mother. He was a nobleman who acknowledged Jesus as "Good Master," even kneeling before him. In spite of all his virtues, and they were many, he felt that eternal life was something out of his reach. He felt there was something more that he had to DO. And in Jesus' reply, he did not say, "DO? I have DONE everything for you. There is nothing to do but believe in me. Just say you believe, and you shall have eternal life. Just get DO out of your mind."

 

But that is not how the story unfolded. The nobleman turned down eternal life because it cost too much. He had great possessions and would not give up the advantages his wealth brought him. With eternal life he might have gained greater riches, for he would have eternity to do so. However, his own selfish interest would not allow him to yield to Jesus' terms. While he had made commendable efforts to keep the Jewish Law, he had not fully met the requirement "thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might" (Deut. 6:5). This was the "one thing" he lacked-a serious lack which would disqualify anyone from eternal life.

 

The nobleman was a Jew under the Jewish Law arrangement. The law of Israel promised: "Ye shall therefore keep my statutes, and my judgments: which if a man DO, he shall live in them: I am the Lord" (Leviticus 18:5). If they could keep the law perfectly they would gain eternal life. However, this was not possible, because of their inherent imperfection. This young man had tried to live by "keeping the Law" but found that something seemed lacking. When reminded of the commandments he said, "Master, all these have I observed from my youth" (Mark 10:20).

 

Obviously, he had made a noble effort at keeping the Law, but the Great Teacher knew that he failed in one area. Jesus told him, "One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me"

 

The nobleman was sad when he heard Jesusí words in (Mark 10:21) telling him what he must DO to inherit eternal life?" Yes, these terms of salvation were hard to hear and we are told that he went away grieved: for he had great possessions. (Mk. 10:22) This is often referred to as the "great refusal" because the nobleman turned down eternal life-it cost too much. How could eternal life cost too much? This is a question we must all seek an answer for.

 

Dear Christian friends, it is easy to use words such as "saved" and "salvation" without regard to the biblical context or some of the overriding qualifications when the entire subject is brought into focus. Anyone may quote a scripture or two, and if it is quoted long and loud enough, it is easy to come away feeling that is all that the Bible has to say. Yet the Bible is a book with many texts that are qualified by other Biblical texts. When there are over a hundred verses on "being saved" and only one or two are used, there is a danger that we may come away with an improper or inadequate view.

"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved," is a beautiful text (Acts 16:31). But what does it mean to "believe"? James tells us, "The devils also believe, and tremble" (James 2:19). Are they "saved"?

 

This subject "On Being Saved" is of extraordinary concern to every Christian. It is not a topic that can be ignored, avoided or treated lightly. Much of our peace of mind as Christians rests upon a clear understanding of this subject. Yet we find that people may often exhibit greater concern over their financial portfolios than they do about the health of their relationship with Christ. This must not be so with us.

 

Therefore, if you are one who would like to understand what the Bible clearly teaches on this vital topic of salvation; we invite you to read the on line booklet titled: What Everyone Should Know About Being Saved