When Were You Saved?
Once I was at a lunch counter and reading a biblical commentary when a couple saw me and asked me if I were saved. I told them I was. They said that they were saved at a Billy Graham campaign some 12 years before and I congratulated them, but at the same time I told them I was saved in Christ long before that. They asked when I was saved? I then told them that the apostle Paul tells when I was saved and that it required not the slightest work on my part (whether that work was good or bad). They wanted to know where Paul said that. I told them to read II Timothy 1:9, Here is what the apostle stated as a foundational position of faith regarding our salvation.
"Who has saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began."
I told them it was wrong to tell people what they have to do to get saved when salvation is "not according to our works." I informed them further that it was not proper to tell people how to GET saved, when they ought to be told how they GOT saved thats right, how they GOT saved in Christ Jesus before the world (or ages of man) ever came into existence. This is why "grace" is the only ingredient in the salvation secured for us by Christ. Our own works, no matter how good they might be, have nothing to do in the matter. And though it is true that a person has to express a faith and belief in Christ and his plan of salvation, even that faith, belief and will-power to accept the Gospel is a gift from God (Philippians 2:13). The fact is, all people who are now saved were saved in Christ, before Adam and Eve were ever placed on earth. This is exactly what Paul taught, and it is the real Gospel of Christ.
By the way, the couple did not like me showing them II Timothy 1:9. They left saying that I had better repent and do proper works (like working up a belief and working up a faith in Christ) or else I was on my way to an ever-burning hell from which I would never escape. They were as deceived as they could be on how salvation is obtained in Christ. I prefer Pauls teaching in the above verse and elsewhere.
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