Gospel Gazette Online
Volume 19 Number 9 September 2017
Page 16

Questions and Answers

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How Can I Know that I Am Saved?

Louis Rushmore, Editor

Louis RushmoreSomeone asks, “How can I know that I am saved?” It is no wonder that anyone would ask such a question in view of multiple world religions and thousands of so-called Christian denominations—all of which offer their own solutions to the need for salvation. Therefore, no one ought to depend on manmade—but rather divine in origin—answers to so important an inquiry. Forget what mere man has to say, and instead, resort to what God through His inspired revelation has recorded for our inspection and application to our lives.

First, it is possible to know that one is saved. By “know,” we refer to knowledge rather than to simply feelings, which can be shifting, unstable and unreliable. “Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments” (1 John 2:3 NKJV). The “Him” in this verse refers to Jesus Christ (v. 1), who saves from sins (v. 2). The sense is that we know that we know Jesus Christ as our Savior “if we keep His commandments.”

Thus, keeping the commandments of our Lord is essential to receive the forgiveness of sins. Not only can one know that he or she is saved initially from sins by Jesus Christ upon keeping the commandments of our Lord, but continued obedience to the commandments of Jesus Christ result in continual or ongoing salvation. “But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7).

Turning to Jesus Christ and His commandments demonstrates that people living today turn to the New Testament rather than to the Old Testament for instructions and to answer the question of human salvation. Old Testament dispensations of Patriarchy (e.g., Adam and Eve, Abraham, Noah, etc.) and Judaism (e.g., Moses, etc.) have been superseded by the New Testament (Romans 7:6-7; 2 Corinthians 3:7-11; Ephesians 2:15-16; Colossians 2:14).

Just what are the commandments of Jesus Christ regarding salvation? Note that the New Testament is inspired by the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 14:37; 2 Peter 1:20-21; 2 Timothy 3:16-17). The inspired words of Jesus Christ and the apostles have the same source, and they are in agreement (2 Peter 3:2). Essentially, the New Testament of Jesus Christ is equivalent to the commandments of Jesus Christ.

Nevertheless, Jesus Himself sufficiently addressed the human side of salvation—mankind’s participation. A person who wishes to obtain forgiveness of sins must believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God—the Savior. “Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins” (John 8:24). Jesus also taught the need to repent of or turn from one’s sins (Matthew 4:7). Further, our Lord taught that he or she who desires to be saved must be willing to acknowledge faith in Him to others. “Whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 10:32). Jesus taught that the point at which salvation from sins occurs is upon one’s immersion in water for the remission of sins. “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe [and consequently refuses to be baptized] will be condemned” (Mark 16:16).

This succession of commands obeyed results in salvation from past sins, and Jesus Christ then adds him or her to His church (Acts 2:47), and the Holy Spirit, likewise, participates in placing one into His church (1 Corinthians 12:13).

The church belonging to Jesus Christ (Matthew 16:18; Romans 16:16) began about 2,000 years ago in Jerusalem (Acts 2) and differs from manmade denominations. The name of a local congregation glorified a member of the Godhead and may be associated with a geographical location (1 Corinthians 1:2), instead of exalting a person or a human doctrine. Each congregation of the Lord’s church was independent and locally governed when fully organized by elders (Acts 14:23). Observing other New Testament instructions regarding Christian worship, Christian living and Christian service is equivalent to continuing to obey the commandments of Jesus Christ, by which one remains in a saved state.

On the divine side, God’s grace (Ephesians 2:8) and mercy (Titus 3:5) saves one from sins initially and continuously thereafter as long as a person continues to obey (Hebrews 5:8-9) New Testament instructions. Man’s participation in his own salvation occurs following study of God’s Word (Romans 10:17; 2 Timothy 2:15), whereupon a person implements divine instruction in his or her life to believe that Jesus is the Christ, repent of sins, confess Jesus as Lord and submit to immersion in water for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38). Immersion or baptism imitates the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ (Romans 6:3-5), being baptized into the death of Christ, wherein he shed His blood (John 19:34), which saves from sin (Revelation 1:5). Christians ought to continue obeying New Testament instructions all of their lives (Revelation 2:10). However, someone who is already a Christian can repent and pray for forgiveness on those occasions when sin enters into one’s life (Acts 8:22; 1 John 1:9). A person can know that he knows he is saved by following New Testament instructions.

Women Wearing Pants

Someone inquires if it is appropriate for women to wear pants—slacks or trousers. This section of Gospel Gazette Online is dedicated to providing biblical answers to religious questions. However, the Bible does not specifically speak to this question. To answer this inquiry, we will need to appeal to biblical principles, culture and modesty.

Following the sin of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, God determined that men and women must wear clothes. God replaced the unsatisfactory fig leaf aprons that Adam and Eve fashioned for themselves instead with animal skins, which covered them more fully (Genesis 3:7, 21). Moving forward from Patriarchy under which Adam and Eve lived, under Judaism, men and women were prohibited from wearing clothing of the opposite sex (Deuteronomy 22:5). This verse is likely the basis of the question posed herein. Despite the teaching of this passage, both the garments and the adornments worn by biblical era people often resembled that of the opposite sex. Sometimes, the differences were subtle, as is still the case around the world where men and women persist in wearing clothing comparable to biblical era clothes. For instance, in one Asian nation, both men and women wear a garment comparable to a skirt; whereas men tuck and secure their garment in the front, women tuck their skirt on one hip or the other. There may be a difference, also, in the print of the skirts respectively for men and for women. Nevertheless, there is a distinction between the appearance of men and women, part of which has to do with the difference of the length and styling of the hair between men and women.

The New Testament, to which everyone now living is amendable (Romans 7:6-7; 2 Corinthians 3:11; Ephesians 2:15; Colossians 2:14; Hebrews 8:6-13), does not specifically reinstitute Deuteronomy 22:5. Yet, the New Testament does maintain the respective and differing roles between men and women (2 Timothy 2:8-15; Titus 2:3-5; 1 Corinthians 11:3-15; 14:34), which were implemented by God under Patriarchy and maintained as well under Judaism.

Men and women are supposed to be discernible from each other, irrespective of possibly wearing similar clothing and jewelry. One of the ways men and women can be discerned from each other has to do with the differing length and style of their hair, though the Bible does not state how long is long and how short is short hair. In addition, both sexes and especially women, need to dress modestly (1 Timothy 2:9; 1 Peter 3:1-6).

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