Have you ever been thrown off by this question? If so, this blog will give you a couple different ways to reply:
Option 1: “Yes.”
That is a good option, but it’s a bit boring for me. Let’s look to the Bible to come up with a better response.
Salvation is a process which begins when a person first becomes a Christian, which continues through the rest of their life, and concludes on the Last Day.
The Bible teaches that we are saved by faith amongst many other things, but it all starts with FAITH!
The Greek word for faith is Pisteuo which means entrusting your life to a cause.
The early Christian understood of the word “faith” to mean Trusting God through our actions. Think Obedience or Faithfulness. It did not mean a simple belief of the mind; it is not believing without evidence, but it is an act of the mind and the will.
To the early Christians, belief was not a one-time thing and it involved action. You cannot separate faith from action. The Greek language has something called a “perfect tense” which we often translate into our English “past tense”. So a better translation of when the Bible says, “whoever believes in Him will have eternal life”, would say, “whoever is believing in Him is having eternal life.” – John 3:16
“Faith without works is dead.”- James 2:17 There is no faith, without action. Our actions as Christians are a manifestation of God’s grace working in us. It is not only an expression of our faith, but a necessary part of it. The Bible says, “I will show you my faith through my actions.” – James 2:18
In addition to faith, the Bible tells us that we are saved through many ways (How we are “saved”):
Baptism – Mark 16:16
Water and the Spirit – John 3:5
Endurance - Matthew 10:22
The blood of Jesus – Romans 5:9
The story of the Cross – 1 Corinthians 1:18
The faith of others – Luke 5:20
Righteousness – Isaiah 56:1, Matthew 25:46
Works – Revelations 3:15, James 2
Effort – Phil 2:12
Perseverance until the end – Matthew 24:13
The name of Jesus; Matthew 1:21
Righteousness and faithfulness. 1 Sam 26:23
Receive Him – John 1:12
Keep His word – John 8:51
Ask to be Remembered – Luke 23:42
Obedience – John 3:36
Grace – Ephesians 2:8
Forgiveness - Matthew 18:35
Saved by Fire – 1 Cor 3:15
Belief – John 3:16
Charity – Matt 25:40-46
Love – 1Cor 13:13
Hope – Romans 8:23
Mercy of God – Romans 3:23
Confessing Jesus with your mouth … – Romans 10:9
Not saying “Lord, Lord”, but doing God’s will – Matt 7:21
Not searching Scriptures, but coming to Jesus – John 5:39
Etc. Etc. You get the point …
As Christians, we know that we are saved by “Faith through the Grace of God” (Ephesians 2:8). We know that we cannot earn salvation (it is a free gift from God) and we are NOT saved by works alone and we are NOT saved by faith alone. In fact, the only place the words “faith alone” appear together in the Bible is in the book of James where it says “you are saved by works and not by faith alone.” – James 2:24
So the next time you are asked the question: “Are you saved?”, feel free to respond with the following (Option 2):
I was saved, I am saved, I am being saved and will be saved. I was saved by the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I was saved at my baptism; I am saved through my faith in Him: I am being saved everyday by God’s grace and the Holy Spirit living in me; I will be saved at the second coming. Like the Apostle Paul, I am working out my salvation with fear and trembling and I will be saved through endurance and by persevering until the end.
James 2:14-26: “What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? … In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.
You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone. …. As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.” - St. James