MEMORY VERSE: ďGod saved you by his special favor when you believed. And you canít take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.Ē (Ephesians 2:8, 9)
I. QUESTION: WHAT IS SALVATION?
ANSWER: Salvation is people being restored to favor with God through the blood of Jesus. It is through Godís grace and not through our merit or works that we are restored. We are saved from the empty life of sin. (1 Peter 1:18-21; Ephesians 2:8, 9)
When we are saved, we become new people. The old person is dead and a new man comes to life. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
II. QUESTION: WHAT MUST PEOPLE DO TO HAVE SALVATION?
ANSWER: You must believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and repent of your sin. (Acts 2:38; 3:19; 16:31)
III. QUESTION: WHAT IS REPENTANCE?
ANSWER: Repentance is leaving your sin and returning to God. It is not merely confessing that you are a sinner, but involves actually turning from that sin. Repent literally means to ďturn around.Ē You were going in one direction, toward sin, and now you turn around and follow God instead. (Luke 15:11-21)
Repentance includes four steps:
1. Realizing that what youíre doing is wrong, that is recognizing your sin. (Luke 15:17)
2. Realizing that there is something better, that is discovering that there is a way out of your sin. (Luke 15:17)
3. Making a decision to leave your sin and return to God. (Luke 15:18)
4. Returning to God and throwing yourself at his mercy and receiving his forgiveness. (Luke 15:20-21)
IV. QUESTION: WHAT† IS MEANT BY ďFAITH THAT LEADS TO SALVATION?Ē
ANSWER: God will give salvation to anyone who believes. Faith is the confident assurance and trust in God that he will save you as he promised. Even here on earth, where we donít always see the evidence of our salvation, faith assures us that it is true. (John 1:12; 2 Timothy 1:12)
V. QUESTION: CAN YOU BELIEVE IN JESUS SECRETLY?
ANSWER: Being saved involves both believing in your heart and confessing Jesus with your mouth. Jesus said that if anyone publicly acknowledges him, he will acknowledge them in the presence of God. Likewise, if anyone denies him on earth, he will deny them in the presence of the Father. (Romans 10:9, 10; Luke 12:8, 9; Matthew 10:32-33)
VI. QUESTION: WHAT SIGN CAN WE HAVE TO KNOW THAT WE ARE SAVED?
ANSWER: Our actions will change, so that even when we feel guilty our actions will show that we are saved. (1 John 3:19, 20) Furthermore, we have the promise of God that if we believe in Jesus we will be saved. Confidence in God that he will keep his promise assures us that we are saved. (Romans 4:21; Titus 1:2) We have been saved by Godís grace and that has set us free from slavery to the law of sin. Now nobody can accuse us. And nothing can separate us from Godís love. (Romans 8:1-2, 33-39)
VII. QUESTION: WHEN WE ARE SAVED, CAN WE THEN DO ANYTHING WE WANT?
ANSWER: The whole point of salvation is that God has set us free from sin. We are no longer slaves to sin, so we no longer have to sin. Itís nonsense to think that we were set free from having to sin so we could voluntarily sin. Now that Christ has set us free, we must be sure that we stay free, that we donít get caught up in sin again. We are to put Godís salvation to action in our lives by obedience to him. We must not be like Esau, who sold his birthright for a moment of pleasure. Later when he wanted to claim his birthright, he was rejected. If you continue to live in sin after salvation, you are like the field that produced thorns and thistles instead of crop. It is good for nothing and the farmer burns it up. (Romans 6:1-2; Galatians 5:1; Philippians 2:12b; Hebrews 12:16, 17; 6:4-8)