It has been correctly stated that, in effect, for every action there is a corresponding reaction of some sort or another. You can remember as a child going to the doctor’s office and the tap of his instrument on your knee cap. There was a reaction to that. You hit your finger instead of the nail with a hammer: and you reacted painfully from it. You eat too much food and do not exercise over a lengthy period of time: your body reacts. Or you do not eat over a period of time: again, your body reacts.
The same thing is true in the spiritual realm, with specific regard to salvation. Upon receiving Christ as Savior, we are simultaneously indwelt by the third Person of the Godhead: The Holy Spirit. We receive a new nature as well. We are given eternal life. We have a reservation in heaven awaiting us. We have been redeemed, reconciled, justified, adopted, become joint-heirs with Christ, God becomes our heavenly Father, and we become His children through the new birth.
And also, when someone truly is saved, the soul reacts in certain ways. It is important in an increasing apostate age to affirm what the Bible has taught all along: If saved, there will be results. They may not be as instant as they should be. They may not be as plentiful as they should be. But nevertheless, the Word of God states that they will be there, they will surface, and it is important that we recognize this. If we receive the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior by faith, and depend totally upon Him for our salvation, then it is logical that we would believe that He saved us from our sins. His shed blood on our behalf paid the sin debt we could never pay. His literal and bodily resurrection was the result of the satisfaction of the Father that sin was in fact, fully paid for – and could never be repeated. Our repentance – Godward, our faith – Christward, and we were born from above – born again.
If I, like II Cor.5:17, states, am a new creation in Christ Jesus, isn’t it just a bit strange and weird for some to be proclaiming that it does not matter after salvation how you live? Do those two statements have anything in common? New creation in Christ vs. live as you please! Are they not like light and dark, truth and error? How am I to tell that I have been saved? From just a profession of words with absolutely nothing in the life to back it up? We see Eph.2:8-9 quoted often in regards to salvation, and properly so: salvation is by grace and not works of any kind. Yet, the 10 th verse is ignored as having no bearing on us, when it fact, it tells us what one of the results of our salvation is. “For ye are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works: which God hath before ordained, that ye should walk in them.”
In the parable of the sower, in Matt.13, the seed that falls on good ground is received, springs forth and is rooted, and bears fruit in various degrees. This represents those that are saved. The other groups may have professed to be saved, but the results were lacking because the faith was dead. Hit a knee with an instrument on a corpse and there will be no result. He is dead. James argued against empty professions. He did not argue for works for salvation – but he did after salvation. Why? Because salvation produces results in the believer’s lives: works, good works, fruit. And listen, if we want to run around claiming the positional side of salvation, why aren’t we running around just as hard claiming the practical side of salvation?
Matthew 7:13-21, is a key passage to be familiar with. In verses 13-14, the issue is salvation: the false way is broad, the true way is narrow. The false way is that nothing matters, the true way, that everything matters. Beginning in verse 15, the passage addresses the false prophets who proclaim the broad way: they too produce fruit, but it is evil. They cannot produce good fruit. There is the other side of this truth that maintains that a child of God, who has received Christ by faith as his only way of salvation, and entered in at the narrow gate, produces good fruit. He produces this kind of fruit only because of who he now is in Christ. The passage ends very solemnly in verses 21-23. It reverts back to the very people who taught the wrong way, and those who believed the wrong way. Yes, they did certain things in their lives. They produced fruit, but it wasn’t of the nature of the born again believer, and therefore cannot be considered to be good fruit. And the Lord declares that He never knew them as His children by faith alone in Christ. That is the mark of the religious and churched unsaved. It has to be a devastating blow to realize that they had believed a lie, lived a lie, reproduced a lie, and now will spend eternity separated from God with that lie ever before them.
Ephesians 2, presents the contrasts of what a person was before they were saved, and what they are now that they are saved. Take the time to read the chapter and mark the various contrasts. And then examine your life to see where you really are in the scheme of God’s Word.
Biblical salvation realized is not spiritual perfection. That will be granted in heaven when we are free even from the presence of sin in an incorruptible body. We are stuck in this body until either the Lord returns for us or we go to Him in death. The old nature forever wants to do what he wants, and it is not spiritual: but praise God for the new nature, which is also in us after salvation, who is forever wanting us to do the spiritual thing and is backed by the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit of God. We who are saved all wish that we could never have given in to the old nature – even once. However, we know that has not been the case. Yet, we have realized the sin, repented of it, confessed it to the Lord, and desire not to ever return to it through His strength. The lost may desire to stop sinning, but they cannot. They do not have the result of salvation. The saved do, and are without excuse for not producing works and fruit pleasing to their Father and Holy God.
Biblical salvation produces positional AND practical results. To emphasize one to the exclusion of the other is to pervert and corrupt the purity of the gospel of Christ.