Is receiving salvation by faith a one-time act that happens only at the moment one places his faith in Christ? Are faith and salvation only one time, past happenings for a believer, or are faith and salvation continual processes and realities looking forward to the culmination of salvation at the judgement?
Romans 10:9 - 13
ESV - 9 Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.
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Let me tell you, in my opinion, I would say that salvation is not a one time act. It is a continuous process, a process one should continuously work for it. It is a life long process one should follow according to the scripture by confessing,believing and being righteous all the time. Paul gave condition for that process. Living a godly life is ultimately the continuous process that one should develop. Being saved is not a casual experience. It can be achieved by grace through faith only. What, then, does verse 9 mean? Doesn't it condition salvation upon both faith and confession? Paul was writing to Romans that he reminded them that one escapes the eternal wrath of God simply by believing in Christ as his Savior. He also taught them that one escapes the wrath of God here and now by living a godly life (Rom. 1:18). Confessing to Christ is not a requirement for salvation from hell. Rather, it is a requirement for salvation/deliverance from God's wrath here and now. On the other hand, Romans 10:9-10 affirms that salvation from God's eternal wrath is by grace through faith. It is common in many Christian circles to speak of the “tenses” of salvation as a way of helping us to understand three uses of the terms “salvation” and “save” in Scripture. The “past tense” of salvation speaks of our deliverance from the penalty of sin. The “present tense” of salvation is our deliverance from the power of sin. And the “future tense” of salvation is our deliverance from the presence of sin. Romans 13:11 can be easily identified as the future tense of salvation. From the perspective of Romans, it may be beneficial to conceive of salvation in each context as a victory over the power of sin. Sometimes it refers to a positional victory over its enslavement, sometimes a present experience of victory over sin’s power, and finally the complete victory over every aspect of its power at the resurrection. With a heart a person believes resulting in righteousness and with the mouth he confesses resulting in salvation. This is a continuous process.
In my opinion, the Bible indicates that salvation itself is an act that occurs at a specific point in time when a person places his faith in Christ for forgiveness of sin and to gain eternal life. It is not dependent or contingent upon any prior or subsequent (imperfect) righteousness on our part, but is totally reliant upon faith and grace (Ephesians 2:8-9). Once an individual has responded to the call of the Holy Spirit by placing his faith in Christ, and has consequently had Christ's perfect righteousness imputed to him by God, and has been indwelt by the Holy Spirit, then sanctification begins, which is not a one-time act, but a subsequent lifelong process of "bearing fruit" and becoming more like Christ with the Holy Spirit's help. When Jesus went to the house of Zacchaeus in Luke 19:1-10, He proclaimed, "Today salvation has come to this house." He could not have said that (including saying it in the past tense, indicating a completed action) if Zacchaeus' salvation was dependent on his future conduct. Hebrews 10:14 says, "By one sacrifice, He has made perfect forever those who are being made holy." Again, "He has made perfect" is in the past tense, indicating that Christ's holiness was imputed to believers at the moment of salvation, justifying them, or making them righteous and acceptable to God. "Those who are being made holy" then refers to the subsequent lifelong process of sanctification (not justification), by which those who have already been saved become progressively more like Christ.
Here is my short and somewhat different answer on this topic: The direct answer is YES! The Bible(God's Holy Word), tells us that when we "believe on the name of Jesus Christ, that He is Lord and Savior and asking Him to save us of our sins to become cleansed of all unrighteousness, that we become SAVED from our sins"; we (each) are "a new creation IN Christ, the old has passed away.."(past tense!) (2 Corinthians 5:17) (Ephesians 2:8 KJV) Tells us that "For by GRACE are ye SAVED through FAITH; and that NOT of YOURSELVES: it is the GIFT of GOD". Notice that this 'event' is the GIFT given by Our Lord Jesus Christ and His atonement of His precious blood He shed on that cross at Calvary" for "anyone that calls upon His name" asking Him to forgive them of their sins and he/she shall be saved (Past Tense). THIS IS ALL EXPRESSED BY PURE FAITH! It is a one time event that we are SAVED. Many scriptures allude to each being like a newborn baby; in essence, we are a new creature and totally dependent for all sustenance, care, etc... No one is born physically more that once --and-- likewise, becoming a Child of God is only a 'one time occurrence'! (2 Corinthians 5:17) The Word tells us that we are indwelt by His Holy Spirit and cleansed of all unrighteousness and that "our sins are removed as far as the east is from the west" and gives us a 'pure heart'. (Psalm 103:10-12) 10-12 is very specific and important for understanding! (1 John 3:3). Jesus is NOT coming back to die on that cross again! Jesus did not die in vain, for it is accounted once for men to die and thereafter is the Judgement! (Hebrews 9:27) Either you have God's Holy Spirit living on the inside to 'guide you, direct you, to have Jesus in your heart because you have asked Him to forgive you of all your sins --or-- it is of paramount importance to do so ASAP! Anyone that doesn't have Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior needs to 'Hear His calling and put their faith and trust IN Him NOW! As a "newborn" Child of God, the process of "becoming more like Christ" begins just as a newborn baby. (1 John 3) Each has to learn, grow, develop and be "molded as the potter shapes the clay". (Isaiah 64:8) We all will fall and stumble and make mistakes (sins), but we have God's everlasting promise that "He is faithful and just to forgive us of all our sins (unrighteosness)...." (1 John 1:9). Living faithfully as one of His children is how we are to then live our lives as much as we possibly can. God tells us that "we will suffer for His namesake". Since the very night I called out His name in 1979, I have experienced much of what I speak. The Bible tells us that "iron sharpens iron" and that "we are His workmanship" and will complete a mighty work IN us. "We walk by faith, not by sight". "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." (Ephesians 2:10) I thank God daily that He reached down and saved a sinner like me! "Praise God that we have a Savior! And, His name is Jesus Christ!" ~~~Andy~~~
We know that Eph 2:8-9 tell us how we are saved and it is really that simple, by Gods grace through faith. His favor through His faith. Rom 12:3 For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith. Perhaps it is this faith that God has given each one of us so we cannot take credit for what Jesus had done on the cross. For us to "Do" anything to attain salvation would bring us to Isaiah whereas he says our works are as filthy rags. There does seem to be in the Christian church a confession unto salvation as found in Rom 10:9-10 however we can see in verse 13 “Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.” So we seem to either not understand what Paul is writing or to whom he is writing. Perhaps verses 9-10 come from a believing heart or the grace and faith provided by God for our salvation otherwise it would be a "Work" "Doing something" instead of just believing and receiving. As Tim Maas describes above in Heb 10:14 it has been done, a one time thing, Jesus said on the cross that "It is finished", "It" being the complete work of salvation completed by Him and as we know no other man can save not even oneself by any "Act of doing." 2 Cor 4:13 But having the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I believed, therefore I spoke,” we also believe, therefore we also speak, Can the the same spirit of faith be the faith of Jesus, Note; DARBY Wherefore *I* also, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which [is] in you, and the love which [ye have] towards all the saints, So in my opinion it is a one time act for salvation, but as we believe we continue to confess not for the sake of salvation but because we believe. As we believe in a particular vehicle or vitamin or helpful hint around the home we also confess that particular product to others because we know and believe it will help them but we know we get no value or reimbursement from the company we endorse. So as with salvation, we confess because we believe but our value was a one time thing- meaning the inheritance and the kingdom of God is ours so there is nothing more to attain because we have attained it all in Him. Phil 2:12 So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. This verse can cause confusion which many believe you must work to gain and or maintain your salvation but the truth is that because you are saved you do the work of the ministry as well as all the good things pointed out in the beginning of the chapter. Christ did all the work and confessing for us so in order for Him to get all the credit, glory etc it is His grace and faith that brings salvation to all men not anything we can do. Titus 2:11-15 For the grace of God has appeared, [f]bringing salvation to all men, 12 [g]instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of [h]our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, 14 who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds. 15 These things speak and exhort and reprove with all [i]authority. Let no one disregard you. As we can see His grace has done it all, it gives us faith and helps us to deny the bad and teaches us to do and say the good. Here is an article on faith that may help http://graceoveryou.blogspot.com/2015/02/faith-and-law.html
Salvation is one of the 'already and not yet' concepts in scripture. Different verses say we 'have been' saved (I Cor 6:11, Tit 3:4-5, etc.), that we are 'being saved' (II Cor 2:15, I Pet 1:8-9, Phil 2:12-13, etc.) and yet others that we 'will be' saved (Rom 5:9-10, I Thess 5:8, I Cor 3:15, I Cor 5:5, etc.) Faith brings salvation and leads to final salvation from the moment we first believe - but it is not a 'one-time act.' Faith must be a continual state. "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but hold eternal life." 'Believes' here is active (a present active participle in the Greek) - an ongoing belief, not a one-time or temporary belief. It is these abiding believers that God wills not to perish, but to hold (present tense as well) eternal life. I Jn 5:10-12 also describes this: Whoever believes (continual) in the Son of God has the testimony in Him that God has given eternal life, and that this life is in the Son. He who holds (continual) the Son holds (continual) life - he who doesn't hold the Son doesn't have life. I Cor 15:1-2 shows that a temporary, one-time belief is in vain: "Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, and in which you stand firm. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly (continual) to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed (past) in vain. So we see that it isn't merely having the Son for a moment in faith that grants us life eternal, but continually holding the Son through faith. If salvation was all in the past, it could not be said that "our salvation is now nearer than when we first believed" Rom 13:11. Nor would we have any hope left to look forward to - it would already be fulfilled (Rom 8:24-25). Salvation, through abiding faith, is a process that begins the moment we first believe, continues as we believe, and is ultimately fulfilled as believers receive all the promises of God at the Ressurection and judgement. Some of the nuances of this process include: Redemption - we are delivered from sin and reconciled to God through the blood of Christ from the moment we first believe (Eph 1:7, Col 3:13-14), yet believers still await the redemption of their bodies at Christ's return (Rom 8:23-25, Luke 21:28) The Holy Spirit is a guarantee that God will make good on this promise to believers. (Eph 1:13-14, Eph 4:30, R) Forgiveness - Forgiveness is also 'already and ongoing' process. We have been forgiven (Eph 4:32, Col 3:13, etc.), and we are continually forgiven by Christ (I John 1:9, Matt 6:12, etc). Sanctification - this is also a past and present process. We were sanctified (Heb 10:10, I Cor 6:11, Heb 10:29) and we are being sanctified (I Thess 4:1-3, I Thess 5:23, Heb 10:14.) Justification - this, too, is already and not yet. We have been justified by faith (Rom 5:1-2, I Cor 6:11), we are continually justified as we abide in that faith (Heb 11:17-19, Gen 12; Gen 15; Gen 22) and believers will yet be justified (Rom 2:13, Rom 3:20.) Eternal life - We begin a new life the moment we first believe in Christ (Rom 6:4-14), We hold eternal life as we believe (John 3:16), and we hold the hope of future eternal life in the age to come (Tit 1:2, Luke 18:29-30, I Tim 6:19, etc.) This is why there are so many warnings and exhortations in scripture to abide, not merely sojourn for a time, with Christ (John 15:1-17, I John 2:28); to hold fast to faith (I Tim 1:19, Heb 10:23, Heb 4:14, Heb 3:6); and to not defect from Christ back to sin (Heb 6:4-6, II Pet 2:20-22, II Tim 2:12, I Tim 1:1, Heb 10:26-27, etc.) See also: - What does it mean in Rom 3:27 that boasting is excluded because of the law that requires faith? Http://ebible.com/answers/27255?ori=167400 - https://ebible.com/questions/7882-is-salvation-created-by-faith-or-is-faith-created-by-salvation
Yes, it is a one time act of faith believing that Jesus died for all our sins, that He took the punishment we deserve on his finished work on the cross. Romans 4:5 It is by faith alone. We are saved when we first believed it and are sealed unto the day of redemption by the holy spirit that has joined His spirit to our spirit so that we have His righteousness given to us as a free gift. Romans 4:1-8 Salvation is the free gift of God by faith alone. Ephesians 2:8-9 We accept the free gift of salvation by faith alone, without works, so no one can boast that they did anything for their salvation which is free. Jesus paid it all and we did nothing for it but believe. And as the song Amazing grace says, we were saved when we first believed. Salvation is eternal life paid for by Jesus so that we do not have to go to hell to pay for our sins that He paid for, which is all of them. Where sin abounds grace much more abounds. Their are no works for salvation which is free. It cost Jesus everything but cost us nothing. He paid our debt that we could not pay. Galatians 1:7-9 Jesus is our only savior by faith alone. If persevering in the faith would save us, then it would be by persevering in the faith. If we have to do anything to be saved other than believe on the lord Jesus Christ to be saved, then it is by our works and not faith. I John 5:13 No one who comes to Jesus believing that He paid for all our sins and gave us His righteousness can ever be lost. Jesus went to the cross to take the penalty of all our sin so that we could be saved by His perfect life, death, and resurrection. He took our place before God and took the sins of the whole world on Himself so that any one who would believe it will be saved from hell because we can not have to pay for our sins because He did it for us. So yes, we were made righteous before God when we first believed it and can never be cast away. Our righteousness is nothing but filthy rags, but the righteousness He gives us is perfect. We no longer trust in our own righteousness but on the righteousness that comes by faith alone. Romans 4:5 John 6:47 We are saved from hell when we first believe it. So if you have trusted Jesus to save you, you have eternal life given to you as a free gift. John 3:18 says, if we believe it we can no longer be condemned, but if we do not believe it we are condemned already. What did Paul tell the Philippian jailor? Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and though shalt be saved and thy house - just believe it to receive it by faith. You do not have to do anything to be saved but believe that Jesus paid for all your sins. Past, Present, and Future. It is the gift of God. It is immediate when we first believed.
This short answer to your question is yes. A good read of Galatians will clarify this greatly. I would also recommend consideration of Hebrews 10:12
Hebrews 10:26 "For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins" Matthew 24:13, "“But the one who endures to the end, he shall be saved." There is no "sinners prayer" in God's Word. Salvation for us now after Jesus was risen is Acts 2:38 " Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost"
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