Teaching Sermons For Pastors and Laymen

5-17-05

Title: Signs of Salvation

 

 

 

Introduction

 

It’s very important for us to know whether or not we are saved. 

 

For one thing there are eternal issues at stake, and for another, there can’t be any real joy in a person’s Christian life if they are always worried about whether they are saved.

 

Believers shouldn’t worry about it, because they can know they are saved. 

 

In Hebrews 10:22, Paul talks about the “full assurance of faith.” 

 

The fullness of our faith has nothing to do with the amount of our faith, but it has everything to do with the object of our faith. 

 

Real faith always depends on the object of faith. 

 

You see, faith can be misplaced. 

 

You can put your faith in some individual on earth and be disappointed, or you can put your faith in Jesus. 

 

Real faith means you have really received the Lord Jesus as your personal Savior. 

 

That has been made real clear to us. 

 

In John 1:11-12, it says, “He came unto His own, and His own received Him not.  But as many as received Him, to them gave He power (the authority) to become the sons of God, even to them that (do no more or less than) believe on His name.”

 

If salvation depended on what we are and do, we could never be sure we are saved. 

 

And even if we did know we’re saved, by claiming that we are saved, we might appear to be boasting. 

 

But since salvation is totally all of God, and since we are saved by Christ’s blood, and assured by His Word, we can most certainly know we are saved. 

 

What’s more, if you say you believe Him, and then express doubts about your salvation, you have cheapened the faithfulness of God.

 

I found a little poem that expresses this thought. 

 

It goes like this-

 

Can it be right, for me to go,

On, in this evil, doubting way,

Say I believe, and yet not know

Whether my sins are washed away?

I will no longer doubt Thee, oh Lord,

I will forever rest in Thy Word.

 

Today, I want to give you eight signs that indicate you are saved, and when we are done, I hope you will have no doubts about it.

 

The first sign is-

 

FAITH IN CHRIST

 

Acts 16:31 states, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.”

 

Faith is one of the evidences of salvation. 

 

Have you ever heard someone ask, “Can I really be saved by my faith alone?” 

 

Another may say, “That’s too easy.” 

 

“Is it really as simple as believing in Jesus?” 

 

“Don’t I have to do a lot of good deeds and live a faithful Christian life before I can be saved?”

 

Here’s an illustration of what I am talking about.

 

A miner was preparing to take a preacher through the mines. 

 

As they were walking, the preacher was talking to the miner about salvation. 

 

Something like the following conversation took place.

 

The minister said: “You must receive Jesus as your Savior. 

Simply accept Him, trust Him, believe Him and the work is done.” 

 

The miner replied: “Preacher, that is too easy.  I want to do something.  You can’t make me think that the salvation of my soul is possible simply by trusting Jesus.”

 

At this point, they came to the shaft and stood waiting for the elevator. 

 

 

When the elevator arrived and the door opened, the miner touched the preacher’s elbow and said, “Step aboard, preacher, and we’ll go down into the bowls of the earth.”

 

The minister stood back, and looked at the miner, and said, “You mean to tell me that all I’ve got to do is step aboard-that’s just too easy.” 

 

The miner replied: “It’s not as easy as you think, it cost the company thousands of dollars to sink this shaft, and a number of lives were lost before it was completed.  You stepping into the cage is not all there is to it.  The rest is already accomplished, and therefore, there is nothing left for you to do.”

 

“And salvation is not so easy either,” said the preacher.  “It cost God the gift of His Son, and it cost Jesus His own precious blood; but the work is all done, the door is open wide, and all the poor sinner has to do is step inside.”

 

When we believe in the Lord Jesus; when we have received Him as our Savior, we know we have eternal life. 

 

God has promised many places in the Bible that He will save the believer, and when He stretches forth His hand to do it who can draw it back? 

 

And when God has spoken, who can overturn it? 

 

If believing in Jesus is a sign of salvation, then unbelief is a sign of condemnation. 

 

A person doesn’t need to be an immoral wretch in order to be lost: Unbelief is enough. 

 

“He that believeth not is condemned already,” according to John 3:18. 

 

And in Revelation it says, “And all unbelievers shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone” (Rev. 21:8).

 

The first sign of salvation is faith in Christ, and another is-

 

FORSAKING OF SINS

 

Giving up sins cannot save, but giving up sin is one of the sure signs of salvation. 

 

That’s the meaning of Isaiah 55:7, “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts, and let him return unto the Lord, and He will have mercy on him.” 

 

The one who says, “I believe in Jesus,” but continues in his old way of life has no sign of salvation.

 

When the prodigal son came home, he left the far country. 

 

He gave up his old sinful life and returned to his father.

 

There’s a story that may be a good illustration for this point.

 

A gambler was on his deathbed. 

 

He had been wonderfully saved a few days before. 

 

The minister who led him to Christ was sitting by his side. 

 

“Preacher,” said the one time gambler, “Didn’t you tell me that Jesus put my sins behind His back?” 

 

“Yes,” replied the minister, “they are all gone; they are washed away; you lie there, in the sight of God, as white, as snow.” 

 

It is said that the saved gambler then asked the preacher to get a pack of cards, and a flask of whisky and a pistol, and to put them behind his back. 

 

“Because,” said the onetime gambler, “if God has put my sins behind His back, I want them behind mine too.” 

 

And this is always the case; the saved soul will forsake his evil ways. 

 

One sure sign of a soul headed for eternal death is continuing in sin. 

 

Balaam said, “I have sinned,” but he went on sinning. 

 

Saul said, “I have sinned,” but he continued in his sin. 

 

No one should ever think that they have a genuine saving faith in Jesus, if they knowingly, and with a “don’t care” attitude are living in sin.

 

It says in Ephesians, “In the times past we walked in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind.” 

 

But now, we have “put off all these.” 

 

The child of God may sin, but he will never feel comfortable about it, and he can’t continue to live in sin indefinitely

 

Another one of the signs of salvation is-

 

SORROW FOR SINNING

 

The sorrow you feel after you commit a sin is another token of salvation. 

 

David sinned when he sent Uriah to his death on the battlefield. 

 

And then, Nathan the prophet rebuked him after God revealed David’s sin to him. 

 

David’s sorrow over what he had done was so great that his heart was broken. 

 

The 51st Psalm presents a prayer from David’s broken heart. 

 

Listen to David express his sorrow in verses 1 and 2. 

 

Have mercy upon me, O God, blot out my transgressions: wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.

 

Any child of God may sin, but when he sins and realizes his sin, he is overwhelmed with regret. 

 

The gospels tell us that Peter walked afar off, and he warmed himself at the enemy’s fire. 

 

When he was discovered, he said, “I know not the man.” 

 

And then he cursed and swore.

 

But can anyone doubt that Peter was saved. 

 

He was not only saved, but he was a devoted follower of Jesus Christ.

 

One of the strongest signs of Peter’s salvation rests in the fact that, when Jesus turned and looked at him, and he saw the terribleness of what he had done, he went outside and wept bitterly.

 

In contrast to Peter’s deep sorrow, one indication that a person is lost is that there’s no sorrow for sinning. 

 

Of course, a sinner will moan about his sin when he is caught. 

 

If the long arm of the law grips him, he might cry some tears, but that’s not the same as expressing genuine sorrow towards God. 

 

Let me give you some examples of true sorrow.

 

Mary crept up behind Jesus and wept upon His feet, and with her hair she wiped her tears away.

 

Simon the Pharisee found fault with Jesus, but Jesus said to Simon, “I entered into thine house, and thou givest Me no water for My feet; but she hath washed My feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head.  Thou gavest Me no kiss: but this woman, since the time I came in, hath not ceased to kiss My feet: My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman has anointed My feet with ointment, wherefore I say unto thee, her sins, which are many, are forgiven and He said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee, go in peace.”

 

True faith in Jesus and real salvation will always be marked by a Godly sorrow for sin. 

 

Christians cannot and Christians do not sin, and then realize they have sinned, without feeling sorry for sinning.

 

Another sign of true salvation is-

 

LOVE FOR GOD’S PEOPLE

 

That is certainly a crystal-clear sign of salvation.

 

We are not saved by loving our brothers and sisters in Christ; but when we’re saved we will love them. 

 

That’s what John meant when he wrote, “We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren” (1 John 3:14). 

 

But, if that’s a sign of being saved, then love for the world is a sign of being lost. 

 

The Bible clearly states, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world: if any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”

 

A dog followed behind two men as they were walking down the street. 

 

Someone said: “I wonder whose dog he is.”

 

“Just wait until they come to the fork in the road,” was the reply,  “The dog will always follow his master.” 

 

What Jesus said is still true: “My sheep hear My voice, and they follow Me, and a stranger will they not follow, for they know not the voice of strangers” (John 10:4-5).

 

The children of God will love the house of God, and they will enjoy the fellowship of believers. 

 

The prophet Malachi wrote this about fellowship, “Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another” (3:16). 

 

And the next verse says, “They shall be mine saith the Lord of Hosts, in that day when I make up My jewels” (3:17). 

 

We are His dear children and precious treasure.

 

I read that when a famous preacher was a young man, he wanted to be a member of a certain Baptist Church. 

 

In those days it was customary for a person to relate their salvation experience before they were baptized. 

 

The young man told the church that he hadn’t had any big experience; that he had heard no voices, and had seen no visions, but he said: “My brethren, I love God’s people, and I love the house of God.” 

 

It is said that one old deacon stood up, and said: “Brethren, we cannot refuse this man our fellowship, because the Bible says: “We know we have passed from death unto life when we love the brethren”

 

The children of the devil do not find enjoyment in the fellowship of believers. 

 

They don’t enjoy a life that includes prayer and study of God’s Word. 

 

The world prefers entertainment and partying, going to the park, fishing and hunting, rather than a prayer meeting and fellowshipping with other believers.

 

The man or woman who stays at home on Sunday morning and pores over the Sunday paper, instead of going to church, has no sign that he is saved.

 

Another sign of salvation is-

 

THE WITNESS OF THE SPIRIT

 

A sign of salvation that is very evident to the Christian is the still small voice within, which speaks to us in the quiet times of our worship.

 

Believers are children of God and believers will find, very soon, that there is something deep within them, which looks up and cries “Abba, Father.”

 

God tells us in His Word, “And because ye are sons, God sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father” (Gal. 4:6).

 

It is not merely saying, “Our Father, who art in heaven,” that’s a sign of salvation: it’s saying it from the heart.

 

The children of God are indwelt by the Spirit of God. 

 

And the Spirit doesn’t say, “I am here,” but He says, “Jesus is here.”

 

When Eliezer, Abraham’s aged servant, was bringing Rebecca across the desert to become the wife of Isaac, and a daughter in the home of Abraham, what do you think they talked about on the way? 

 

Well, God doesn’t give us any information about their conversations, but we can make a guess. 

 

For many days their camels traveled along, side by side. 

 

And Eliezer was encouraging and comforting Rebecca. 

 

He probably talked to her about Isaac and Abraham.

 

Are you a child of God traveling over the desert sands of life, and is the Holy Spirit the one at your side? 

 

If He is, what will He be saying? 

 

He will speak about Jesus and God! 

 

And you know you are saved when you hear His voice.

 

“For the Spirit beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.”

 

Are there times in your life when you are praying, that your soul seems to groan within you, and you have a strong feeling of God’s presence with you? 

 

If you have experienced such a time, then you know what it is like to be blessed by the Spirit, as He makes intercessions for you with groanings which could not be uttered from human lips. 

 

If you have had an experience like this, remember that the Spirit only intercedes like this for those who belong to God. 

 

Therefore, you have a token of your salvation.

 

Young Christians may not understand this token or sign, but as their Christian life progresses, and as they walk with God, the assurance of salvation will become more and more of a certainty in their lives.

 

Now, on the other side of the ledger there are those who completely lack any evidence of the witness of the Holy Spirit. 

 

The unsaved are living in the far country, they are aliens from the life of God, and they walk in the flesh and not in the Spirit. 

 

They are doing what they want to do, and they don’t know anything about the will of God.

 

Having the Holy Spirit is a sign of salvation, and another one is-

 

OBEDIENCE TO HIS WORD

 

It says in John 14:21, “He that haveth My commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me.” 

 

This may be the best proof of salvation, and perhaps the most easily recognized. 

 

Obeying Christ doesn’t save us, but obeying Him is a sing of salvation. 

 

Jesus said, “If a man love Me, he will keep My Word.” 

 

Jesus also said, “He that loveth Me not keepeth not My sayings.”

 

A preacher was invited to speak to a large group of soldiers at a Georgia military base. 

 

Half way through his sermon, he turned to the colonel, who was in attendance, and asked, “Colonel, what’s the greatest quality that a soldier can have?” 

 

Without a moments hesitation the colonel answered, “OBEGIENCE.” 

 

“And is obedience greater than courage?” the preacher asked. 

 

He answered, “A brave, but disobedient soldier, will bring havoc to the ranks.”

 

The very real meaning of sin is summed up in these words, “We have turned everyone to his own way.” 

 

Sin is nothing more than disobeying the law of God; it is doing things my way.

 

Salvation is bringing us back into fellowship and into harmony with God. 

 

The greatest work of God’s grace is bringing us to a place of obedience.

 

A child of God may not perfectly obey his Lord, but he will have no greater ambition than to obey Him.

 

Jesus always did the things that pleased the Father. 

 

In the Bible this is written about Him: “Lo, I come, I delight to do thy will, O God.” 

 

The child of God has the mind of Christ.  And he or she will seek to stand “perfect and complete in all the will of God.”

 

What’s the opposite of obedience? 

 

It’s the spirit of lawlessness and disobedience that controls the unsaved. 

 

They will not accept Jesus to rule over them, so they are called, “The sons of disobedience,” in the Bible.

 

There’s another sign of salvation, and that is-

 

THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT

 

A sign of salvation is the fruit we bear. 

 

Jesus said, “By their fruits ye shall know them: Do men gather grapes of thorns? Or figs of thistles?” 

 

And Paul wrote this in his letter to the Galatians: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance” (Gal. 5:22-23).

 

People who are committed to worldly pursuits, instead of following Jesus, may have a certain code of ethics, and they may try to lift themselves above their selfish desires, and seek to be a “good person.” 

 

They may have high moral standards, and appear to be respectable and display righteousness by doing good deeds; but, it is still true that the flesh “is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts.”   

 

The works of the flesh that can still be seen are: “Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulation, wrath, strife, seditions, heresy, envyings, murder, drunkenness, and such like.”

 

However, after twenty-one centuries of mankind blowing its own horn about the progress that’s been made, and attempts at social reform, every newscast shows the immoralities committed around the world.

 

It is still true that one cannot “gather grapes of thorns and figs of thistles.” 

 

It is still true that “a good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.”

 

I think most of us would agree that all Christians do not bountifully produce the fruit of the Spirit. 

 

Unfortunately, many are walking after the flesh. 

 

And I believe that when Christians fail to produce the fruit of the Spirit, that unbelievers will think they are also unsaved. 

 

The Bible declares, “Herein is the Father glorified that we bear much fruit.”

 

I hope that when people see our lives, they will believe we are saved. 

 

So, we may consider the signs of the fruit of the Spirit in our lives an indication of our salvation.

 

This isn’t so much a sign for us as it is a sign to those around us. 

 

But, when you can see the works of the flesh, it is a sure sign that the person may be lost.

 

There is one final sign of salvation, and that is-

 

A LONGING FOR CHRISTS RETURN

 

In 1 Thessalonians 1:9-10, Paul wrote, “How ye turned to God from your idols to serve the True and living God, and to wait for His Son from heaven.” 

 

Here is a true indication of salvation. 

 

Those who really love Jesus will love His appearing; and they will know they are the children of God, because the unsaved don’t find any joy in such an expectation.

 

Their attitude toward the “blessed hope of His return,” will mark them as children of the evil one. 

 

To them, Christ’s return will be a fearful and terrible thing, because all the goodness that flows from God’s people will have left with them.

 

For the unsaved, Christ’s return will be like a thief who steals all hope for heaven; they are children of darkness. 

 

The true Christian is a child of the day, not of the night; he is watching and waiting for his Lord, just like someone who waits for morning.

 

Christians should be praying just like John: “Even so, come, Lord Jesus.” 

 

Like Peter, the Christian should be testifying about the coming of Jesus; and like Paul, he should love it.

 

Dr. George Dowkont, of New York City, said his seven year old boy asked him: “Papa, when is Jesus coming?” 

 

The father answered, “I do not know, my son, He may come at any time.” 

 

“Then,” the boy said, “You’ve got to be on the job all the time, don’t you?” 

 

That’s a very smart boy, because the true Christian will always be watching.

 

I read that the Scottish people in the ancient past used to stand by the ocean shores, and, holding up their hands toward France, would morn for their deceased king and cry: “Come back Charlie, come back Charlie.” 

 

And those who believe in Jesus and His return, will be holding up their hands toward heaven and crying: “Come back Lord Jesus, come back.”

 

Conclusion

 

Those are the signs of salvation. 

 

I hope that everyone here is saved, and that if you had any doubts about it, they have been replaced by a sure confidence you are a child of God. 

 

But if you still have doubts, you need to make sure of your salvation by giving yourself to Jesus, and receiving Him as Savior and Lord.

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