How Do You Know?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Navymans, Dec 8, 2008.

  1. Navymans

    Navymans
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    How do you know if you are really saved? How does one become saved? I am a sinner saved by the grace of God and a Baptist preacher and was just wondering what the rest have to say on this subject. Is it right to tell someone to pray a prayer and then tell them they are saved? Is it right for man to ever tell someone they are saved? Do you think hell will be full of supposed saved people? How do we reach these people that say they are saved but show it in no way? Lets discuss this subject guys I think it is one of the most important one on this board, not what someone thinks about someone else's book or about this preacher or that preacher or I am more right about the Bible than you are, let's talk about the most important thing and that is leading folks to Christ and fighting for the soul's of our fellow man. Talk to me.:godisgood:
     
  2. canadyjd

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    The Spirit testifies with my spirit that I am a child of God.
    Holy Spirit convicts them of the truth of who they are before Almighty God (as a sinner in need of a savior) and draws them to God through Christ...they respond with repentance and faith in Jesus unto salvation. Their lives are transformed by the indwelling Spirit.
    I, personally, do not believe it is right to declared someone to be saved or unsaved. We cannot know their hearts.

    The best we can do is present the truth of scripture that with those who believe unto salvation there is an expectation of a transformed life that will be lived for the cause of Christ in the world. If they are not living that transformed life, they should carefully examine their relationship with God.
    That may be true. Scripture says there will be many on the day of judgement that say, "Lord, Lord" and Jesus will respond, "Depart from me, I never knew you, ye workers of iniquity". Jesus also said there is the narrow way to life that few find, and the wide way to destruction that many follow. There are many false prophets on the broad/wide way that are leading people to their destruction.
    The same way you reach any other unsaved person. You preach the truth of the gospel. You teach the truth of the gospel. You never compromise the truth of the gospel. You pray without ceasing for them. You pour out your life for the cause of Christ as an example for them.

    Then, you realize it isn't about you. Holy Spirit is the One Who convicts of the truth of what is preached, taught, demonstrated. Holy Spirit is the One Who draws to God. Holy Spirit is the One Who regenerates and gives faith unto salvation. Holy Spirit is the One Who indwells and gives assurance.

    peace to you:praying:
     
  3. SBCPreacher

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    After explaining the gospel to them, I ask people to pray and receive Christ (or ask God to save them), but I tell them it's the intent of their heart to be saved, not some kind of magic formula in the words.

    I also tell them that once the Creator of the universe sets up housekeeping in their lives, He's going to change things. He will conform us to the image of Christ.
     
  4. menageriekeeper

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    Let me answer these questions really quickly.

    Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.

    Thats it. If you can't claim it by name you ain't got it. For the rest, what the others have said applies well.
     
  5. Navymans

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    Awsome answer.
     
  6. mparkerfd20

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    Any need of repentance?
     
  7. Tom Butler

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  8. Nicholas25

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    Very interesting question. We may be willing to believe with 99% accuracy that someone is a born again believer in Jesus Christ, but in reality only God knows the heart. I have been careful in the past to tell someone they are saved after they said a prayer because I didn't want to give them false assurance. Many say a prayer with head knowlege.
     
  9. menageriekeeper

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    Think you can believe without it?
     
  10. OldRegular

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    Unfortunately Baptists have made salvation the work of man, not of God. We have said that all we have to do is believe some facts about Jesus Christ and that is salvation. Salvation is the resurrection of that which is dead in sin, the soul of man.

    John 3:3-8
    3. Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
    4. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?
    5. Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
    6. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
    7. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
    8. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.


    John 5:25, 26
    25. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.
    26. For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself;


    Ephesisns 2:1-10
    1. And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins,
    2. in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience,
    3. among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.
    4. But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,
    5. even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),

    6. and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,
    7. that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
    8. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,
    9. not of works, lest anyone should boast.
    10. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.


    In verse 10 we are shown how one gives the evidence of Salvation. James makes a similar statement:

    James 2:18. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.

    I have long believed that faith and doubt are opposite sides of the same coin. I believe it is natural for a person who sins to sometimes wonder if God has really performed a work of Grace in their life. Recall the plea of the man whose son was cleansed of evil spirits:

    Mark 9:20-24
    20. And they brought him unto him: and when he saw him, straightway the spirit tare him; and he fell on the ground, and wallowed foaming.
    21. And he asked his father, How long is it ago since this came unto him? And he said, Of a child.
    22. And ofttimes it hath cast him into the fire, and into the waters, to destroy him: but if thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us, and help us.
    23. Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.
    24. And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears,Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.


    I agree with MacArthur. If Jesus Christ is not your Lord, He is not your Savior. There is a passage of Scripture that is a comfort to me when doubt enters in:

    2Timothy 1:12. For I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.
     
    #10 OldRegular, Dec 8, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 8, 2008
  11. OldRegular

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    The question is: how can you repent before you believe. If you do not believe there is nothing to repent of. The unregenerate man cannot repent.

    When we are regenerated by the Spirit of God then we understand that we are sinners before a Holy God; then repentance enters in.

    John Dagg, a prominent Southern Baptist of the 19th Century, in his Manual of Theology [page 277] notes:

    “In our natural state we are totally depraved. No inclination to holiness exists in the carnal heart; and no holy act can be performed, or service to God rendered, until the heart is changed. This change, it is the office of the Holy Spirit to effect.”
     
  12. mparkerfd20

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    Old Regular has done a decent job in his responses. You answer is definitely biblical. However, there is definitely a difference in believing a few facts about Jesus and putting your belief IN Him. It sounds like you are saying belief and repentance come together. Since grace and salvation is a supernatural act of God, I believe he grants both faith and the desire/ability for true repentance.
     
  13. Spinach

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    I have only read the OP.

    Salvation is an experience with Christ. It's not in the prayer. Yes, confession is made with the mouth, but someone who is mute can still be saved. It's a cry from the heart. I don't believe that salvation comes from repeating a prayer, that is, unless it is coming from the individual's heart.

    Salvation is a very personal thing. I would not assume to say that one is or is not saved. Let every man examine himself. Let God be the judge.

    I'll give a personal example: My little boy (9yo), who has been raised under strong preaching from the womb, has been praying for a long time. Nightly he prays that Jesus would save him. Each time he says it's like talking to the air. We told him to go back to bed and keep talking to Jesus. Well, the other night, well after bedtime, he came running. He said, "I was in my bed, afraid that I was going to Hell, and I asked Jesus to save me. He did it! He really did it!" Our little man had an experience with the Holy Ghost.

    It's like the parable where the man invited the people to the wedding. No one could come unless invited. The Holy Ghost knows when the time is right and extends the invitation. It's very personal and beautiful!
     
  14. Tom Butler

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    I understand that it's possible for an imposter to fool us, and that we can't infallibly know one's heart.

    But we can consider evidence. Somebody called us fruit inspectors.

    Here's one bit of evidence the scripture tells us is pretty reliable:

    John 13:35

    We have three couples who have joined our church in the last two years. Every one of them said they were attracted to our church, not because of how we treated them as visitors, but how we treated each other. They all said, "we saw love in this church."
     
  15. Navymans

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    Praise Jesus, I hope you have sat him down and talked to him since and that he understands everything. I will pray for him and you.
     
  16. Navymans

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    So far guys I like the response on this subject, I think it is the most important thing we can talk about on this board. I am working on a sermon on this subject to preach at my church and I would encourge all preachers to do the same thing, so many have made false professions over the years and unless we reach them they will wake up in hell someday. Thank all of you that have posted on this.
     
  17. Jim1999

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    I grew up in church and church schools, being taught the scriptures, memorizing texts and answering examinations on what we had been taught. I knew that Jesus was my Saviour according to the Bible.

    However, it was not until confirmation that I "realized" Jesus as my personal Saviour. Prior to this it was all academic. I like the Church of England term "realizing the Christ". The realization came from God. I already knew and believed the text. I was not a bad lad, prayed and followed the Prayer Book reilgiously. I regularly attended church and chapel, but it took a visit from God the Holy Spirit to allow me to realize Jesus as my personal Saviour. Then, all I had learned fell into place. You see, it was all of God and none of me, and yet, God did use what I had learned to bring me into His loving care and saving grace.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  18. canadyjd

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    I appreciate your testimony. I suspect some may see the word "confirmation" and start to freak a little. I want to add a little of my own testimony to along side yours.

    I grew up without a steady church or teaching, though I was curious enough to read the bible through and attend various churches occasionally. I was baptized several times in different denominations. Everytime I went to a church they were intent on getting me saved...which meant saying a prayer and getting baptized.

    I was saved as I stood in the changing room waiting to be baptized. I was being baptized (for the 3rd or 4th time) because my wife and I wanted to join the church and the pastor said the baptist church wouldn't recognize any of my previous baptisms. I didn't care one way or another.

    I felt overwhelming conviction of my sin that day. I literally prayed that God take my life then and there that I wouldn't sin against Him anymore. I then remembered what I had already known for so long. That Jesus died on a cross for me to take away my sin. Trust, trust, trust in Jesus! I knew that was the answer. For the first time in my life I truly understood what I had heard so many times before. I was saved and the burden was lifted.

    I didn't know at the time, but through bible study I came to realize that what had happened to me was the moving of Holy Spirit upon me to bring conviction, repentance, faith and salvation.

    So, as I read your testimony, I see the same thing happening to you as me, though the words are somewhat different.

    Thank God for His mercy to us sinners.

    peace to you:praying:
     
  19. Jim1999

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    Thanks for that Canadyjd. The Lord does move in mysterious ways, His wonders to perform. We come from all tracks and not all from Baptist Churches.

    Maybe we should have more testimonies on the Board. We might even learn something.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  20. thegospelgeek

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    Great thread! I have much to add but no time for the last couple of days. I'll try to jump in soon with some ideas.
     

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