But I CAN say that there seems to be a tension in Scripture. Committing sin does not cut us off from salvation. Yet dwelling in habitual sin without remorse or desire to repent should give us great cause to question our salvation.]]>
In my experience a lot of times seeing how they react to the Bible or their attitude toward Christ can say a lot. So often I put out some feelers or drop some lines and see if they bite, just to gauge them or see where they are coming from. And some times there is just a sense that I don’t know, this guy might not be saved. I wouldn’t say I know for sure but just have a little hesitation to believe it. And then based on how open he is with me to talk about God’s word or salvation then I just go from there.]]>
The Bible doesn’t leave salvation vague for the confessor to be assured by God. But it sure does take some discernment on third parties!
But I understand your point. Salvation is easy to gauge because it’s done entirely by God for us. And I think you indirectly answered the main question in your closing line, anyway. There should be some observable growth in someone who has been saved. My main hangup is that in a fleeting conversation with someone you don’t know very well, this can be hard to understand.
Thanks for the Biblical insights, brotha.]]>
In Romans 10:9-14 Paul mentions both believing and confessing the Lord’s name, but eventually emphasizes calling on the Lord’s name. If someone calls on the Lord’s name sincerely, then he must believe. I suppose Paul leaves us with “Whoever calls upon the Lord’s name shall be saved” because it is visible and before men and is a sure sign that someone has received the Lord. If we have any doubt we can help them by asking, “Wow, you must have believed into the Lord.” This conversation will clear up any doubt and we and they can know once and for all that they have been saved.
Then we can help them with 1 John 5:13 “I have written these things that you may know that you have eternal life, to you who believe into the name of the Son of God.” Have you believed? Then you have eternal life. We can know. Regarding our eternal salvation, we don’t have to live our life in suspense until we die and see what the Lord says then. We can know for certain that we have it and then get on to enjoying it by loving the Lord and growing in His life.
The Bible doesn’t leave vague something this crucial to God’s purpose and our destiny.
Sure loving God is a sign that someone is saved, but it is not the factor of His salvation. Like you point out, God’s love is. There may come days when our heart is cold toward God and it seems that our love is not there anymore. But this hasn’t shaken our salvation because our salvation is prepared and initiated by God. On days like this we can help people with Romans 8:16, “The Spirit Himself witnesses with our spirit that we are children of God.” There is a witness deep within every believer regardless of there condition that assures them that they are saved.
If they feel like they’ve done something to loose there salvation or that God could never forgive them for what they have done, then we can help them with John 10:28, “I give to them eternal life, and they shall by no means perish forever…”
God’s love is the source of our eternal salvation, His grace is the means of salvation, and His righteousness is the power of salvation.
As far as your last question, how can someone grow if they are not born again?]]>