A photo of a woman walking in a field facing the setting sun.

Understanding Salvation for New Believers

At some time or another every person will need to make a decision about Jesus Christ. Each of us needs to decide to believe on Jesus or not. Understanding salvation will help you know why you believe on Jesus and what He did for you.

Oh, and you will also grow a strong faith from understanding salvation and all that it means.

A photo of a woman walking in a field facing the setting sun. Text overlay is Understanding Salvation: Helping New Believers Grasp the Truth

Save this on Pinterest to read later!

Let’s take this in simple terms. Much has been written about the steps to salvation, the doctrine of salvation and what the gospel message is all about. I don’t want to rewrite what has already been said but I do want to make this truth simple for readers to grasp it allowing you to have a full understanding of salvation. Your spiritual growth depends on this.

Understanding What Salvation Is Not

Understanding salvation begins by explaining what salvation is not.

Salvation is not:

  • a way to escape the fires of hell while continuing to live in sin.
  • a ‘feel good’ message that will save you from hell.
  • earned by doing good works to get into heaven.
  • a free gift that can be exploited.
  • sitting on the fence of indecision, having a toe in on both sides, living like a saint one day and the next day, living and practicing sin.
  • and you can’t consider yourself saved because your mother is born again or your friends go to church.

I’ve seen many times at church family camps or in services where people go to the front to pray the prayer of salvation but then nothing changes in their lives. They continue to live as they always did without any inner change.

They may have said the salvation prayer but nothing changed in their hearts. We could question if they were saved or not but instead I’d rather look at their fruit. If they are still living like the world, chances are the prayer they prayed were empty words and not from a heart of sincerity.

Understanding What Salvation Is

In Christian circles, you may hear the term “get saved” or “be saved.” This is a reference to salvation and being saved from hell.

Quite simply, salvation means to be saved from peril.

The Bible speaks of such peril as being saved from our sins and the resulting penalty of spiritual death and separation from God.

Salvation is a one-time “event” for a lack of a better word. When a person makes the decision to believe on Jesus, his salvation is by faith in Jesus and what He did on the cross for everyone everywhere.

Sometimes believers will recommit their lives to Christ but this is different than being born again. Once you’re born again, you’re born again.

To sum this up, we are saved FROM

  • our sins, past, present and future.
  • eternity in hell with fire and brimstone.
  • a life of guilt under the curse of the Law, Deuteronomy 28.

We are saved TO

  • a life of forgiveness from all our sins, past, present and future.
  • eternal life in heaven to be with God forever.
  • a life of freedom from guilt and shame for our sins.

We are saved BY and FOR

  • Jesus Christ for a life of reconciliation between us and God

Understanding Salvation by Faith

Salvation is part of the good news of Jesus Christ. Jesus died a horrible death on the cross to give people everywhere the opportunity to believe on Jesus, John 3:16.

Christians are people who have taken that step to receive salvation by faith. This is a gift of God to us. This gift cost Jesus His life and yet is it given to us freely. We do not have to do any work to earn it. Salvation is not a reward system for all the good things you have done.

The thing about understanding salvation is that you don’t have to earn it. All of your good works, the good and kind things you have done for others, will not be your guarantee of a place in heaven. The Bible clearly states that we are saved by grace and not by works, Ephesians 2:5,8-9.

{By the way, the Book of Ephesians is a great book for the new believer to read as it capsulizes so much truth that you can relate to in six chapters. For example, you’ll even discover your identity in Christ!}

Another good thing to know is that God does not play favourites with His children. He does not prefer me over you, or you over someone else. We are on the same playing field with God. He loves us all the same and desires to give to us the things that we need, and, God judges us all the same, Romans 2:11.

Not only does God love us the same, we all have the same opportunity to know Him. The Holy Spirit draws us to Jesus and often uses other people to plant a seed inspiring us to believe on Jesus. What we do with that seed is up to us. We will pursue to learn more about Jesus or we won’t.

We cannot deny this truth that Paul wrote in Titus 2:11, that by His grace, salvation has appeared to all men. We each need to make a decision what to do with this free gift of salvation. We need to decide if heaven will be our eternal destination or not.

Understanding to Believe on Jesus for Salvation

In the book of Leviticus, the priest made sin offerings for the people by sacrificing an unblemished first-born yearling bull. This was a regular offering to God for the forgiveness of their sins. This went on for hundreds of years until one day when God’s perfect plan came to fruition.

From before the beginning of time, God planned for a ‘final, once-for-all’ offering to take place. His Son, Jesus, would be the final offering for the sins of mankind, Hebrews 10:10.

Jesus lived on earth for the express purpose of dying for our sins. Not just your sins and my sins, but for the sins of the whole world, 1 John 2:2, John 3:16.

He paid the penalty of death, that is, spiritual separation from God, by offering His life in your place, Romans 6:23. He did this because we have all sinned and fall short of the glory of God, Romans 3:23.

The Sin That Keeps You Out of Heaven

There is one sin that will keep you from gaining entrance into heaven. What it boils down to is simply this, the sin of unbelief.

Many people say they will believe it when they see it but most don’t really mean it.

For example, Jesus went from village to village teaching and healing many from their sicknesses. And yet, there were still many people who did not believe Him, Matthew 13:58 & Mark 6:6, basically stopping Him from continuing to work in their midst. They saw the miracles yet they did not believe on Jesus.

Not believing in Jesus Christ as the Son of God who died, was buried, was resurrected and ascended into heaven is the sin of unbelief and it will keep you out of heaven.

Let’s look at what is needed before you make a decision to believe on Jesus. If you make a decision without knowing what you are believing in, more than likely you won’t stick with that decision. So, let’s see what you need to know about salvation by faith.

A photo of a woman walking in a field facing the setting sun. Text overlay reads Understanding Salvation Means Knowing the Gospel Message.

Steps to Understanding Salvation

Let me show you that in understanding salvation, you need to hear about the One who provides salvation. Once you have heard the Gospel message, then you are able to complete the next steps. It’s kind of like ‘informed consent’ and it allows your decision to be sincere.

Step 1 – Hear the Gospel Message

The Holy Spirit’s role is to draw people to Christ. So, the first step in understanding salvation is that you need to hear about

  • God and that He is holy and just, righteous and yet full of mercy.
    • God does not tolerate sin of any kind
    • sin is not allowed in heaven
    • sin is a barrier between mankind and God
    • all mankind has sinned and falls short of the glory of God, Romans 3:23
    • the penalty of sin is spiritual death, Romans 6:23a
    • sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to give you the gift of eternal life, Romans 6:23b
  • Jesus Christ,
    • why He died on the cross for you, John 3:16
    • what His death on the cross provided for you, Matthew 26:28
    • how, through His death, He obtained the keys of hell and death, Revelation 1:18.
    • His resurrection, how prophecy was fulfilled and He now sits at the right hand of His Father, Almighty God, Ephesians 1:20.
    • provided the gift of eternal life by being your substitute when He died on the cross in your place, Romans 6:23b, Romans 3:25
  • Holy Spirit,
    • came to dwell in believers after you believed on Jesus, Ephesians 1:13
    • sealed you with the promise of His coming, Ephesians 1:13

This is the finished work of the cross that we all need to know and accept as we believe on Jesus, Acts 16:30-33. If you had to shorten the gospel message, it would be :

Jesus died, was buried, He resurrected on the third day and He ascended to heaven.

These four points help you to expand on the full details as you share the gospel with others.

Step 2 – Believe on Jesus

Now that you know what the Gospel is about and why it had to be done this way, the next step is to believe on Jesus and the finished work of the cross.

It would be difficult to say that you believe on Jesus with no idea of who He is or what He has done for you. So, yes, finding out about Him is the first step so you can make an informed decision to believe on Jesus. So, if you’re not sure, read Step 1 again and click on the Scripture references provided.

Very quickly, the next step will fall into place.

Step 3 – Repent of Your Sins

Once you have made the decision to believe on Jesus, the next step is to repent for your sins. Holy Spirit will convict you of sin and when He does, let Him move you to the admission that you are a sinner in need of saving.

While we know that Jesus’ death provided the forgiveness of our sins, this doesn’t mean that we don’t have to repent of them.

Repentance means to turn away from the direction we were going. In other words, the life of sin you lived needs to be left behind while you begin to walk in a new life of truth and strive to be holy as He is holy.

So, the new believer needs to acknowledge that she is a sinner, though now, she is a saint. All mankind, since the fall of Adam and Eve, is born into sin and now we need to repent of that sin and move forward to a life of obedience in Christ.

Upon your repentance, Jesus forgives you of your sins. His death on the cross provided that forgiveness and has wiped away your sin as far as the east is from the west, Psalm 103:12. That is, past, present and future sins have been forgiven on the cross of Calvary!

By the way, you may wonder why you have to repeatedly repent of your sins. The answer is that we sin all the time and because of that, we need to repent for our daily sins. This post, If All My Sins Are Forgiven Why Must I Continue to Repent by The Gospel Coalition explains this is detail.

Step 3 – Confession of Your Faith in Christ

The third step is to tell others about your decision to believe on Jesus and what He has done for you, Romans 10:9-10.

A printable of the Gospel Message.
Click to download free handout!

This isn’t a decision you can keep to yourself, it needs to be told. Why? Because this is exciting news for you and you will want to tell everyone!

However, I know that there are times when telling others will be difficult. Your family and/or friends may not appreciate your good news and may make things hard for you. Stand firm in your decision and pray for Holy Spirit to give you courage as you tell others of your new life in Christ.

>>>> Grab your free download file to help you share the gospel with others. <<<<<

Once you have done these three steps, the next thing you will need to do is to begin living your life in obedience to God.

So, Are You Ready to Decide?

Are you ready for eternity? Are you ready to accept the finished work of the cross? Are you ready to believe on Jesus and all that He did for you?

If you are, then you need to pray what is called the prayer of salvation. There is no one prayer, each are different as there is no ‘formula’ for a salvation prayer.

However, all salvation prayers have some common key elements

  • believing on Jesus, that He died, was buried, was resurrected and ascended to heaven
  • accepting that He substituted His life for yours on the cross, Romans 6:23
  • acknowledging that you are a sinner in need of salvation
  • thanksgiving for the forgiveness of your sins, past, present and future

Let’s pray together with sincerity of heart:

Father God, thank You for Your Son, Jesus, coming to earth to die in my place for my sins. Thank You, Jesus, for the sacrifice You made on my behalf. Thank you for the forgiveness of all my sins, past, present and future. Thank You that I am forgiven and am now being made brand new in Jesus. I am now a new creation in Christ Jesus. I have been set free from the penalty of death and can now live a life pleasing to God. Thank You for salvation in Jesus Name. Amen!

If you prayed this prayer with a sincere heart, the angels in heaven are singing and rejoicing (Luke 15:10) that you have made a decision to come home!

Congratulations on your decision to believe on Jesus!

Next Steps of Understanding Salvation

Like a newborn baby who needs his mother to care for him, you need to be cared for as well. It is important that you make time to learn about God through reading your Bible. This post, 6 Small But Important Steps for the New Believer will help you with the next steps after your decision to follow Christ.

I have a great Bible reading plan for you as well. It is a 3-year reading plan that doesn’t rush you through your reading. This time frame will allow you to ponder what you’ve read and maybe even do some deeper study as well.

And if you’re looking for an online Bible Study group for women, you can check this out to see if it is a good fit for you.

I trust that you now have a better understanding of salvation and that you can confidently say that you know what it is all about.

I’d love to hear from you. Please take a moment to tell me

  • if this is the first time you have heard of the gospel message or
  • if you have a better understanding of salvation now.

Oh, and if you would like to stay in touch with me, why not sign up below?

Oh, right, don’t forget to grab your free download file up above!

Understanding Salvation for New Believers 1

So, what are your thoughts about this?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.