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“But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak.—Heb. 6:9

Salvation is a spiritual experience held in common by all true Christians. It is an experience referred to with the terms “saved” and “born again.” Many well intentioned people have believed, and do believe, that church membership, baptism, living an upright and moral life or simply repeating a so-called “sinner’s prayer” is synonymous with, or a substitute for, a genuine experience of salvation. But this is a terrible mistake with tragic consequences. To all professed Christians the Word of God says, ‘Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith “ (2 Cor. 13:5a).

In other words, an examination of the genuineness of ones experience of salvation, is in order. For a non-Christian, an explanation of what constitutes a genuine experience of salvation is in order. The stakes in both cases are much too high to have it any other way. So, here is a synopsis for professed Christians, and for those who make no pretense of being a Christian; Following are seven things that occur within the context of a genuine experience of salvation:

AWARENESS. This is comes about as a result of two things: First, sinners must be exposed to the Word of God. Consider the following: Romans 10:17 says, “Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God;” First Peter 1:23 tells us that we are “born again … by the Word of God which liveth and abideth forever.” A genuine salvation experience always begins with a sinner being made aware, by way of the Word of God, of his lost condition -- that, "All have sinned and come short of thew glory of God" (Rom. 3:23) -- and of the good news of the Gospel message, that “God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16) and that God “is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Pet. 3:9); that God would “have all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Pet.2:4). Secondly, sinners are made aware of their need for salvation as the Holy Spirit works in conjunction with the Word to convict them of their need to be saved and convinces them of God’s willingness to save them. This is what is being referred to when saved people are described as those who have been “born of the Spirit." This awareness has always precedes an experience of salvation.

ADMISSION. No one has ever experienced salvation who hasn't first admitted to themselves and to God that they are lost in sin, spiritually dead, and destined for an eternity of separation from God in a place of suffering; a place prepared for the devil and his angels that is inhabited by all those who die a Christless death. This admission, accompanied by “repentance toward God, and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 20:21) always results in salvation. But a genuine experience of salvation never takes place where this admission is not made. Did your experience of salvation include the humbling of yourself before God along with an admission of your sinfulness? Consider these passages of Scripture: Ps. 51:5; Luke 18:9-14; Rom. 3:9, 10-12, 23; 5:12; 6:23; Eph. 2:1-3; John 3:3, 7; Matt. 25:41, 46; Luke 16:19-31; Rev. 21:8).

ACKNOWLEDGMENT. A genuine experience of salvation includes an acknowledgment by sinners to themselves and to God (1) of their need of Christ and the work that he finished through His death and resurrection to save them , and (2) of their faith in Christ alone to save them. Did your salvation experience include a placing of of your faith in the Person and work of Christ to save you? Any experience that is minus this kind of heartfelt acknowledgment is woefully insufficient in terms of be effectual to the saving of the soul. Please read Acts 4:12; Eph. 2:8, 9; 1 Tim. 1:15; Acts 16:30, 31; Heb. 7:25).

AN APPEAL. Simply put, sinners, in order to be saved, must personally humble themselves and ask to be saved. This is emphasized in Jesus’ account of a proud Pharisee and another man who “standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast saying, God be merciful to to me a sinner.” Jesus went on to say of this latter man, “I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for everyone that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted” (Luke 18”13, 14). The Bible teaches us that the Lord “is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Simply believing, giving mental assent that Christ is who He says He is and has done what the Bible says He has done and will do has never saved anybody. The devils believe like this and tremble (James 2:19). Believing isn’t the same as beseeching. Realizing that Jesus Christ is the Savior isn’t the same as receiving Him as Savior. Acknowledging that “the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ” isn’t the same as accepting the gift of “eternal life trhough Jesus Christ (Rom. 6:23). Was asking the Lord for to come into your heart and be your Savior part of your salvation experience? Please read Rom. 10:3; 6:23; John 1:12; Ps. 40:1-4; Isa. 55:6, 7).

ASSURANCE. A genuine experience of salvation is always accompanied by God-given assurance of salvation. The moment a person is saved, his or her body becomes the temple of the Holy Ghost. The indwelling Holy Spirit then seals them permanently and securely into God’s family, and begins making His presence and their position known to them: We’re taught this in Romans 8:16: “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.” We have His abiding presence within to guide us, to strengthen us, to convict and to comfort us for as long as we live (1 Cor. 3:16; Rom. 8:9; Rom. 8:16; John 10:28, 29; Heb. 13:5). This is why, when a person has had a genuine experience of grace, they don’t need to be told or convinced by anybody else that they are saved. They have the witness of the Holy Spirit with their Spirit that they are saved. Did you receive this God-given assurance at the time you professed to be saved?

APPARENCY. When a person genuinely experiences salvation, it becomes obvious right away. They will begin to confess it with their lips and their lives. A genuine experience of salvation always produces both immediate and progressive change in ones attitude and lifestyle. It cannot be otherwise; because at the time of salvation, God imparts His own divine nature into those who have become His children through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. They become “partakers of the divine nature” (2 Pet. 1:4). The old nature is still present, but a new nature is now alive and active, militating against the desires and influence of the old sin nature; overriding and overcoming it more and more as the new believer continues to “grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Pet. 3:18). The apostle John was speaking of this new nature when he wrote, “Ye are of God little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is within you than he that is in the world” (1 John 4:4).

JOY. One outcome of salvation is a consciousness of an inner joy unlike anything a person has ever known. This is a supernaturally imparted joy. Jesus said, these things have I spoken unto you that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full" (John 15:11). When people were saved in the city of Samaria, we're told that "there was great joy in that city" (Acts 8:8). Salvation never ever stirs the negative emotions; a genuine experience of salvatioin doesn't make people depressed and sad. "But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee" (Ps. 5:11). "My soul shall be joyful in the Lord: it shall rejoice in his salvation" (Ps. 35:9). The kingdom of God is described as "righteousness, peace as joy in the Holy Ghost (Rom. 14:17). The best the world has to offer is happiness, spelled, more accrately "happenness" because whether or not one experiences it depend on what happens around them and to them day by day. But joy is independent of what happens on the outside because it is gernerated by something wonderful that has happened within them. See also, Neh. 8:10; Hab. 3:18; 2 Cor. 7:4; Heb. 10:34; Acts 13:52.

Here are seven outstanding and inevitable things that accompany a genuine experience of salvation. You know whether or not you can identify these things with any experience you’ve had. You know right now, whether you are or aren’t saved, don’t you? You also know that if you aren’t saved right now, you can be saved right now, if you want to be. The only question right now is whether you will receive Jesus Christ as your own personal Savior or continue to reject Him, perhaps until it becomes too late for you to be saved. You will have a genuine experience of salvation when you want this more than anything else, and from your own heart and in your own words, express your own "repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ" (Acts 20:21). The decision is yours and nobody else’s.

NEED A “NUDGE?” God says:

“He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of “—John 3:18

“Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool”—Isa. 1:18

“Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation”—2 Cor. 6:2b

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