Thursday, March 2, 2023

Salvation and Transformation


How Do I Know I Am Saved?” 

I Mean—Truly Know, Without Any Doubt”


A dearly loved sister in Messiah asked me this question one day. She had already been a believer for a few years, but she was still learning and growing. Then she said...

I want to always do what's right in God's eyes but sometimes I still mess up in spite of my best intentions. Then I feel like a failure. Do you think God still loves me? Have I displeased or disappointed God? Will He turn His back on me? Sometimes I wonder.” 

Three Important Points About Salvation and Transformation

Here's what I shared with her, that I believe every believer needs to understand and remember:

  1. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is also called “The Gospel of the Grace of God” (Acts 20:24.) This is because When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior by faith, God's grace (His favor, goodwill, kindness that we did not earn, merit, or deserve) is poured out on us (Romans 5:15; 1 Corinthians 1:14,) and we are then saved by grace, not by our own "good works" or efforts, not by anything we could possibly do—or not do. We are saved Only because God's grace is immediately released over us from the moment we decided to put our trust in Jesus Christ for our salvation (Ephesians 2:1-9.)

  2. The “Good Works” (Matthew 5:16, Romans 2:10, Titus 2:6-8, Titus 3:8, aka: “works of righteousness”, “works of God”, “God's works”,) refer to actions that are pleasing in God's eyes. They are given to us to perform, not for us to get saved through them, but (a) so that we can start our lifelong practice/training in the Process of Transformation (2 Corinthians 3:18,)—of being transformed every day, more and more, into the image of Christ, (b) so that we can spend our lives no longer in service of the Power of Darkness, but in service of the Kingdom of the Son of His Love (Colossians 1:13.) (c) so that we can become servants of the Most High God proclaiming the way of salvation (Acts 16:17,) and (d) become servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God (1Cor4:1,) and (e) become fellow workers with God to establish His Kingdom in the earth (1Cor3:9.)

  3. God's transforming grace is with people who have a humble and contrite spirit, and a repentant heart (Psa 34:18, 51:3,17, Isa 57:15, Ezk 14:6, 18:30.) A humble spirit before God is one that has been broken. It has no pride or arrogance. It does not embrace, flaunt, hold on to, justify or seeks support for its sin. A contrite spirit is one that has been crushed, or that trembles at God's word (it is sincerely remorseful, conscious of guilt and of falling short, and wanting to make amends or corrections.) A repentant heart acknowledges its sin, and that sin is sin—no matter how much it wants it. And it makes every effort to turn away from what displeases God. It makes the decision and takes the hard, difficult steps towards making different choices--choices that truly honor God. This is the Big difference between the saved and the unsaved. Scripture says that God gives grace to the humble (Jam4:6, 1Pet5:5.) I believe that this is a different aspect of grace than the grace that is extended to every human being on earth today because of Messiah's sacrifice for us. Today, every single person on the planet enjoys the grace of God's patience--a postponement of judgement and execution for their sin (2Pet3:9.) But from the moment our heart and will are desperately hungry and thirsty for transformation in Christ, and we ask God to deliver us from sinning, He will also give us the grace that we need to achieve transformation and to have victory over the sin in our lives. This usually happens over time; but I've also seen transformation in certain instances happen suddenly—in just one moment. Either way, we will experience transformation.

We must realize that Full and Complete Transformation is Gradual—One step at a time. It's a Life-long Process and a Life-long Pursuit. It is Heaven's Pathway for Spiritual Growth.

Salvation is God's Amazing Gift to Us, Not Something We Could Possibly Earn

For by grace you have been saved through faith and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,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.~ Eph. 2:8-10.

The Complete Jewish Bible (CJB) by Messianic Jew David H. Stern, puts it this way:

For you have been delivered by grace through trusting, and even this is not your accomplishment but God’s gift.You were not delivered by your own actions; therefore no one should boast. 10 For we are of God’s making, created in union with the Messiah Yeshua for a life of good actions already prepared by God for us to do.

God is focused on the following attitudes of our hearts: humility, contrition, and repentance. And He will evaluate our actions based on these heart attitudes. 

'But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”' ~1 Sam 16:7 (NKJV) 

This is because God knows that: 

...all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, ~ Rom 3:23 (NKJV)

We will never be complete on our own in this life. We are now only complete in Messiah Jesus. So, when Father God looks at us, all He sees is Christ in us, and whether or not our hearts are humble, contrite, and repentant before Him, thirsting for transformation. So, God is never displeased or disappointed in us. He does not see us as failures and He will never turn His back on us. He will never leave us or forsake us (Heb 13:5,) and He will never forget us (Isa 49:15) because He sees our hearts, and our desire and efforts for transformation.

The Five Steps to Transformation

Our Part:

Step 1 – Believing and Trusting in Messiah. We are doing what pleases God, when we believe (trust) in Messiah as the One sent by God to deliver us from sin. 

'Then they asked him, “What must we do to perform God’s works?”Jesus answered them, “This is God’s work: to believe in the one whom he has sent.”' ~John 6:28-29 (ISV)

Step 2 – To come before God with a humble, remorseful, and repentant heart (Psa 34:18, 51:17, Isa 57:15, Ezk 14:6, 18:30.), whenever we have fallen short of God's standards; and to ask Him for—and be open to—transformation. Then give God time to bring about this transformation in us by His Holy Spirit. It will happen sooner or later; either all at once, or gradually. In His time and in His way, not in ours. We must remember that we are precious in His sight—our humble, contrite, and repentant heart is priceless to Him. We are His special treasure. In Christ, we are loved and holy unto Him. And since we all have our shortcomings, we must also be patient with others who are also looking forward to transformation, praying for them and allowing God to be the judge, because we can only see the external behavior--the flaws and failures. But only God truly knows every person's heart. 

God's Part:

Step 3 – God has woven Christ's spirit into our spirit. Now, we are God's brand new creation, created (transformed by God) into one-being with Christ, who equips and empowers us through the Holy Spirit, to live the life of righteousness God had already planned for us. By God uniting Messiah and us spiritually into one body/being, He gave us access to the full state of obedience of Christ (by grace, not earned ourselves,) and to the full power of the transformation God started in us, that we may continue growing, from glory to glory, into ever greater levels of understanding and obedience, in the righteousness of Christ: For we are God’s masterpiece, created in the Messiah Jesus to perform good actions that God prepared long ago to be our way of life.~ Eph 2:10 (ISV)

Step 4 – God is continually working in us, to make us willing and able to obey Him (Php 2:13)

Step 5 – We who believe can be confident of this: That God will keep us all growing in the transformation process, until the day Jesus Christ returns, when we all will be finally made complete.

...He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ. ~ Php 1:6 (NKJV)

By God's grace, we are only responsible for steps 1 and 2. And God Himself is responsible for steps 3, 4, and 5, We are spiritual beings being transformed by God Himself into the image of Christ, therefore He will complete the good work He started in each of us who are in Christ.

This is Why we can encourage ourselves with this powerful verse from scripture, Philippians 4:13:

...we can do all things through Christ who strengthens/empowers us.

The Living Bible puts it this way:

...for I can do everything God asks me to, with the help of Christ who gives me the strength and power.

This is such a beautiful encouragement to us. We are not helpless or hopeless. We are not gloomed into discouragement or doomed to failure. We are being transformed by Him, and have been strengthened and empowered in Christ!

Prayer for God to Make Us Complete

20 Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, 21 make us complete in every good work to do His will, working in us what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.~ Hebrews 13:20-21.


Isa 26:12Lord, You will establish peace for us, for You have also done all our works in us.


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