In this post, I am going to consider “being saved and secure.” Whenever you begin to do personal follow-up with individuals, this will be the first lesson you will teach them.
Remember the background we’re coming from. We are dealing with new Christians. They’ve just been saved. They have a lot of questions. They don’t know the Bible like you know it. If you have been walking with the Lord for a while you are more mature than any new Christian.
You are going into the new Christians’ homes or they are coming to your house. The first thing you want to do is help them understand their salvation, and understand their security in the Lord Jesus Christ. This is why so many of them fall so quickly. We want to begin to preserve all those babies. Many of them get saved, and all at once all their old friends and companions and mama and daddy, everyone out there, are total strangers to them. They don’t have some close friend or some relative who is a Christian to begin to spend time with. They are isolated, they’re cut off. They don’t know any of God’s people yet, and the world begins to cut them off. This is an easy time for the devil to ensnare them. However, if they quickly begin to have personal association and acquaintance and personal fellowship with some believer, he begins to answer some of their questions and it will help them become stronger.
Remember this: After you have taught the contents of this study guide to five different people in one year, just think how much more secure you will be in all the various lessons. You will know them; it will increase your stability and your solidarity. Then anywhere you begin to witness you will be much more effective in helping them to walk in the things of the Lord.
The explanation of an experience. What is salvation? Salvation is the explanation of an experience. When you say someone has been saved, what are you saying? “Saved” is simply explaining to them what has happened. The word “salvation” is the explanation of an encounter the individual has had with Jesus. The word saved means they’ve been rescued, they’ve been delivered out of. They were going to hell, they were living a sinful life. Now that they’re saved they have a different kind of life. They need to know the NEW kind of life. If the Lord saves them, and we’re a witness to them and we have helped them to be saved from the old life, then we need to realize it’s our responsibility to help them understand the new life. So many times we get them saved, and say, “All right, now you’re not going to hell”; but we don’t know how to explain to them what’s happened and how they are not only saved, but secure. Our purpose then is to help them understand what their new life entails, what their new life involves.
Concerning salvation we have six particular thoughts we’re going to consider:Conviction is produced by the Holy Spirit. This is how YOU were saved. You were convicted by the Holy Spirit. Only one who has knowledge of the right way is able to convict of the right way. The Holy Spirit is the only One Who has the knowledge of the right way, therefore He’s the only One Who can convict them of the right way. The Holy Spirit’s dealing with the lost person is a manifestation of God’s love. When the Holy Spirit began to deal with you, it was a manifestation of God’s love. That was God saying, “I love you,” as you began to think about the possibility of becoming a Christian, or you began to think about the life you were living being rough, and that there must be something better in the world. With many people, as the Holy Spirit begins to deal with them, they begin to search. They don’t really know what they’re looking for, but a search begins to take place in their life. The reason for this is because of the convicting power of the Holy Spirit. We want to let them know that the tug at their heart (when they started thinking differently, started thinking about turning away from the old life, started thinking about going to church) was the ministry of the Holy Spirit. You want to be able to talk to these individuals and explain to them concerning the change that has taken place in their life, “You didn’t just start thinking about it on your own.” They need to realize that GOD drew them unto Him, that God loved them so much that He didn’t want them to go to hell, therefore the Holy Spirit began to cause them to think differently as they began to search.
Romans 5:8 tells us, “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” They need to realize that while they were still sinners, God loved them. God, by the Holy Spirit, began to deal with their life, and that’s what happened to them. Many times people have a salvation experience but do not know exactly what happened. Romans 5:8 says, “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” I want you to understand where we are. Hear what I’m saying. You will be saying similar things.
You need to be able to explain to the new Christian that when he was a sinner he wasn’t looking for God, didn’t care anything about God, but God commended His love to him, in that the Holy Spirit began to deal with him to draw him out of the life he was in. The first thing you help him to realize is that conviction is a product of the Holy Spirit of God. If he thinks he did it himself, there’s that old self, there’s that old flesh. It’s important for you to help him understand he was bound for hell; he didn’t know where he was going, and didn’t know what he was looking for. It was not luck; he didn’t just accidentally start thinking about God. You can share with him, “You just didn’t concoct this thing yourself. God, in His infinite wisdom, His infinite love and His compassion for you, had been dealing with you for years but you were never able to hear Him. But He kept on dealing with you, dealing with you, and finally you came to the place you were willing to listen. He was able to get you to listen to someone, or listen to a radio program, or read a book or go to church.”
Help the new Christian to understand that the convicting work was the Spirit of God, that God manifested His love to him before he ever cared anything about it. Help him understand that, when he was out there spitting in God’s face, cussing, doing all the things he was doing, off and on he was thinking about God or doing better. Do you think those thoughts just popped up automatically? That was the love of God; that was God, reaching out toward the individual.
Every Christian ought to rejoice because God has demonstrated that He loved them. There are many others who haven’t heard yet; God is dealing with them.Confession is made: Romans 10:9 and 13. This is how salvation comes about: First comes conviction, then confession is made. The inward work of repentance is birthed into words. The Holy Spirit begins to deal with a person, and when you’re talking with him you’ll be sharing these things. You will say, “The Holy Spirit began to deal with you. And you started thinking in your mind, inside; but as you began to think about God, the Spirit of God beginning to deal with you, a confession was made.” What is the confession that was made? Romans 10:9 and 13. “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” The 13th verse: “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
When the Holy Spirit began to deal with him and conviction began to come upon him, it caused him to speak words. Conviction caused him to come talk to you, or go to a service somewhere, or begin to watch someone’s life and try to find out and discover what God was doing and what God was saying. Therefore, the confession is made. This is the salvation experience.Conversion is experienced. First comes conviction by the Holy Spirit. Secondly, as he begins to think about it, he begins to meditate it inwardly, and then he makes the confession. Romans 10:13, “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Once he prays that prayer, he speaks those words, he confesses with his mouth and believes in his heart, what happens? Conversion takes place. The Holy Spirit comes to live inside of him. Conversion is an experience, but what takes place?
John 3:6 explains what happened. John 3:6 says, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” Explain to the new believer, “You had a natural birth; but when you asked God to forgive you of your sins and you asked Jesus to come into your heart, then the Holy Spirit of God touched your human spirit and recreated it, and you were born of the Spirit of God.” The new birth is the experience. Isn’t a natural birth an experience? And it takes a birth to get you into a world, right? You can’t get into a world without a birth. You can tell them, “Now how did you get into this world?” They say, “Well, I was born into it.” “All right, now you must be born again, born from above.” “How am I going to be born again?” That is what Nicodemus asked Jesus. The answer is to be born of the Spirit.
In the fourth chapter I will be dealing with teaching him the difference between spirit, soul and body. For right now you just want him to understand that he’s been born again. That means the Holy Spirit of God touched his human spirit, and it’s been recreated in the image of God. Now the Holy Spirit has a holy place to live. From the moment you asked Jesus to come into your life, the Holy Spirit had a holy place to live. He will not live except in a holy temple. Our minds and bodies are not holy. Some of the thoughts that go through the mind and some of the feelings that go through the body prove it. God requires a holy place to live; therefore He created Him a holy place to live. “Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit?” The recreated human spirit is a home for the Holy Spirit. God said, “I made Me a holy tabernacle, I made me a holy temple to come and dwell in.” Flesh is born of flesh, and spirit is born of Spirit.
Ephesians 2:8. Ephesians 2:8,9 explains what salvation is. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” You want to help the new Christian realize salvation is not of works. When many get saved they think they did it. They have never been taught that they just didn’t make up their minds and want to get saved, and so got saved. Many people have a concept that “when I got ready for God I just called Him up and He saved me.” Possibly in your witnessing you have encountered people who said, “Whenever I get ready I’ll let you know.” What they were saying was, “Well, whenever I get ready to be saved, I’ll let God know, and I’ll do it.” That’s pride, ego, and vanity, and needs to be nipped in the bud early. The new believer needs to understand that salvation is a gift of God. He didn’t concoct this thing or make up his mind. He simply made up his mind to accept what God offered him. He didn’t instigate it; he was not the motivating factor behind it. The Holy Spirit was the motivating factor behind it. It’s NOT of oneself, but is a gift of God. When a new believer begins to really understand that salvation is a gift of God, and begins to understand God’s grace, he’ll be able to accept the sovereignty and the power of God. If he becomes saved and he never realizes it was a gift of God, he never really comes to appreciate it like he ought to. He never comes to appreciate what God did through Jesus at Calvary.
I’m sure not many Christians have comprehended it. If you’ve never been taught these things you can be a Christian for many years but never come to the fullness of it because you’ve never realized that you didn’t instigate your salvation experience. When you begin to see the truth of this, it helps you to be appreciative. It helps you to be thankful. Most people, even after they’ve been serving the Lord for years, still think they did it. All you did was respond — God initiated it. A new Christian can get hold of this, and it will help him become strong in the Lord quicker. We want to help him understand that it’s a gift, not by works.
I thought when I got ready to come to the Lord I’d straighten my act up and then I’d go to church. “Lord, look what I’ve done. I don’t beat my wife any more; I quit stealing; I quit my cussing — now look at me, Lord.” With that attitude, you’ll never come completely to understand the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, that you didn’t work to get it. It will help you appreciate the Lord more, when you understand His grace. Remember — God extended His love and reached out to YOU.
II Corinthians 5:17. The human spirit is a recreated spirit still in a natural body. II Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature (a new species, a new kind of being): old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” This is what the Bible says. Do you know why many people who come to Jesus cannot begin to break themselves of a lot of their old habits and old patterns? Because they have not realized salvation was a gift of God, and that the old things have passed away. They are a “new creature.” They don’t realize they are a new species of being. They don’t realize that the Holy Spirit now lives in them. God Himself now tabernacles Himself in them. “Greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world.”
As I kept on studying, I began to understand about my salvation experience. I began to understand about my new birth experience. I began to understand and see what happened to me. The more I began to understand what had happened to me, the more I began to appreciate God and His grace, and be more thankful for it.
Conversion is experienced. You become a new creature in Christ. Like produces like: flesh, flesh; Spirit, spirit. It’s a gift of grace, not merited by works.
Change is manifested: The new life on the inside is shown on the outside. Proof of an inward work is revealed. As you are talking to the new Christian, you say, “Now that you’ve had a salvation experience, have you felt like changing, or have you stopped anything yet?” They will likely say, “Yes; I cussed only one time today, and when I did I kind of felt bad about it. I’ve been kind of watching it a little bit more.” What’s happening? The new life is beginning to bring about a change. What we’re wanting to do is encourage him that the new birth will manifest a change in him, that what has happened inside of him is going to begin to progressively come out. There are many more things the Spirit of God will deal with, maybe the way he treats his wife, or husband, or boss. Tell him, “The Lord is going to begin to deal with you about a lot of these things, because now the Holy Spirit is inside of you and He desires to manifest Himself. He wants the new life (that’s inside of you) to begin to take over the old life. He wants you to learn a new way of living. He wants you to learn the ways of God, and the things of God.”
Proof of an inward work is revealed. Some may come and make a profession of faith, but when you begin to share these things with them, you may find they didn’t really have an experience. “You mean, Brother Willis, they could pray that prayer and not be saved?” Sure! Did you ever pray any prayers and didn’t get what you requested? You didn’t pray in faith, right? Well, they didn’t pray theirs in faith. Being convicted is not getting converted. Here’s how the Lord made this real to me. It’s one thing to smell a pie and tell how good it is, and it’s something else to eat it. I can remember when I was young, and we lived in the country. My mother could bake! I’d pass by the kitchen window, and man, I could smell the good things she was baking, and I would be drawn to it. I could look at the pie and tell you how it would taste, and how good it would be. But it wasn’t tasting it.
Some people respond because they’re searching and seeking, and they become convicted. The Holy Spirit begins to convict them, but they begin to condemn themselves because of the life they live and the problems they’re in, and they don’t ever come to a genuine experience with the Lord. How are we going to know? By the change; no change — no new birth.
On the other hand, many do have a new birth experience, but the devil snatches the seed away because we have not been prepared to help them before the devil comes and snatches it away. He can talk them out of their salvation. They may come and receive the Lord, but they go out the next day and get angry again, and the devil says, “See there, you’re not saved.” They go out and cuss, and the devil says, “If you’d been saved you wouldn’t cuss,” and they say, “Oh, I guess I didn’t really get it.”
Did you ever have any questions or doubts after your salvation experience? You had a million and one questions — thoughts were going through your mind. The devil is going to plant these thoughts, but by the mature Christian’s getting to them quickly enough and beginning to share with them what happened, they will hear the words, “You were born again. Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Did you do that?” “Yes.” “Well, then according to the Word of God you are saved.” I’ve seen more faces change when I would have them pray and ask the Lord to come into their heart; then when I’d get through I’d ask them, “Now according to Romans 10:13, are you saved? Or lost?” And they’d say, “Well, according to that I’m saved.” I’ve seen their eyes light up, and tears come to their eyes and they would say, “I’m saved.”
When you begin to witness and share with the new Christian, when you get to Romans 10:13 you want to tie it down for him. You want to say, “Now it says in the Word of God that whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Did you pray that prayer?” He will probably say, “Yes.” “Then according to the Word of God, now are you a Christian? Are you saved or are you lost?” The new Christian needs that assurance. Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. He needs to hear these things concerning salvation, in order to build his assurance that he has been converted, that he is a Christian.
This should be done on a one-on-one basis, going to their homes and talking to them. They will have questions in the midst of it; and as they begin to ask their questions, if you don’t know the answers you just tell them, “Well, I never thought about that. I tell you what I’ll do — I’ll find out some information on it for you this week, and bring you back an answer.”
Read Luke 15:11-32. This passage is about the prodigal son. The father had two sons; one of them said, “I want what is mine. I’m going to go out and have myself a good time.” He left and went to a foreign land. He went over there wining, and dining, and blew all his money. The next thing he knew he found himself starving to death, so he got in the pigpen with the pigs and began eating the husks. The Scripture says he finally “came to himself.” That is what happens to a lost man; he’s out there in the pigpen, eating the husks of life. The Word can help him come to himself. It says this man came to himself, and he said, “Even the servants in my father’s house eat better than this; I’m going to go home.” What did he do? An inward work took place, and it was outwardly manifested — he left the pigpen and went to his father’s house.
Encourage the new Christian, that an outward change is the evidence of an inward work. Tell him, “God doesn’t expect you to grow up overnight.”
Continuation is expected. The new believer needs to be encouraged to continue with the Lord. Hebrews 10:35,36 says, “Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God ye might receive the promise.” Romans 10:13 states, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” The new Christian needs to have patience AFTER he has done the will of God (receiving Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord), and realize that God wants him to continue. He wants him to be more like Him.
We are born to live, grow and develop, not to die. Let the new believer know, “God expects you to continue to grow; you’re just a baby. You’re not born to die; you’re not born to backslide. You’re not born to let the devil steal this precious pearl away from you. You’re born to continue; God wants you to grow, to increase. God wants you to begin to understand the Bible. God wants you to realize that the Bible is true and that God will help you.” Each one of us will have different examples and different illustrations we will share with new believers, as to how it happened to us and how we received Jesus, and how that they are expected to continue.
Conquest is defined. Acts 1:8 says we are to be witnesses in Jerusalem, Judaea, and unto the uttermost parts of the earth. Encourage them in the beginning that their conquest is defined. They are to be witnesses. They’re born to be carriers of the new life. They’re born to reproduce. They’re born to infect others with new life, not death. Encourage the new Christian, “It’s not only that you might have eternal life yourself, but that you might grow and mature in the Lord; then you will be able to share this experience with others.”
We want them to realize they’re not only saved but they can be secure. The Jesus Who saved them is able to keep them.
- God’s will. No father desires his children to die. That is the first things we can tell them: “Listen, God loves you, and no father desires his children to die, and God is your heavenly Father.”
- Birth and its results are to go on. When a child is born into the world the plan is for it to go on, for maturity to come forth in the child’s life; for that child’s hands and arms and legs and eyes and everything in that child to develop. It’s God’s will and God wants to take care of every Christian. It’s like a farmer planting some corn seed. He wants to see those seeds come up and produce ears of corn. Therefore, he’ll cultivate them, he’ll water them. Let the new believer know, “God through Jesus has saved you. It is His will for you to live this spiritual life. He doesn’t want you to miss any of His blessings.”
- Relationship started is developed and fulfilled in staying. You can explain to them, “Now you’ve come to Jesus, but the relationship is going to develop and be fulfilled as you stay with it.” You can’t learn about someone if you don’t spend time with them, can you? So you can say, “Now your relationship with the Lord is going to develop, and it will be fulfilled as you stay with it.” You may express it in different ways; you may come up with an idea about this that will help them understand.
- God’s power:
- Is sufficient. Philippians 1:6, “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” You can tell the newborn Christian, “God’s grace IS sufficient.”
Luke 1:37 says, “For with God nothing shall be impossible.” Many Christians think it’s impossible for God to keep them. They say, “Well, I’m a Christian, but my life has been a mess. My family problems, my job problems, my drinking problem” But you want to let them know, “Hey, it is God’s will to KEEP you, God’s will to HELP you.”
We want to impress upon the new Christian the validity of the Bible. Philippians 1:6 says, “Being confident of this very thing, that he which has BEGUN a good work in you (what good work did HE begin? He saved you) will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.”
Luke 1:37 says, “For with God NOTHING shall be impossible.” The new Christian needs to realize that NOTHING is impossible with God.
- Is unchanging. Malachi 3:6 records, “For I am the Lord, I change not.” The new believer needs to know that God is unchanging. God was willing to save him. God said He would finish the work He started in every Christian. God said that nothing is impossible. And God does not change. God is not going to change His mind about you. God dealt with you, didn’t He? Therefore, He will never change His mind about you.
- Is proven. Psalm 119:89,90, “For ever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven. (Well, that’s good — how do you know?) Thy faithfulness is unto all generations (well, how is that going to prove God’s power?): thou has established the earth, and it ABIDETH.” You can look at it and say, “Hey, is there still earth?” He says, “Yes.” You say, “Well, God is still here. He established the earth, and it still abides. Do you still have air to breathe? God’s power has not been diluted. He created the earth, put it into operation, and it’s still working.”
- God’s condition: discovered in the Word.
- Meditate it. Joshua 1:8, “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for THEN (notice the word ‘then’) thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and THEN thou shalt have good success.”
- Study it. II Timothy 2:15, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed” If you’re out on the job, how do you keep from being ashamed when the boss comes around? Do you work, of course. If you don’t want to be ashamed, then study the Word. Psalm 119:11, “Thy word have I hid in mine heart (stored in my heart) that I might not sin against thee.” When you store the Word in your heart, how does it keep you from sinning against God? If you have the Word stored in your heart, it says, “Don’t do that; do this.” The Word stored in your heart tells you what not to do, and tells you what to do. If you don’t have any Word stored in your heart, when you face something you will fall.
Encourage the new believer to meditate and study.
- Confess it. Confess the Word. Proverbs 6:2 says you are snared by the words of your own mouth. Proverbs 18:21 says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.” Most of us didn’t know anything about confessing the Word until we received the Holy Spirit. For years as a pastor I didn’t, but we don’t want the new ones to wait all those years. We want them to be able to get hold of all the nuggets and gold that God has given us. Mark 11:23 says you can HAVE what you say.
- Do it. John 14:21, “He that hath my commandments (how did you get them? studying, huh? meditating?), and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.” Here’s how I confess it: “I have His commandments and I keep them, because I love Him and He loves me; and the Father loves me, and Jesus loves me and He manifests Himself to me.” That’s how I interpret it.
James 1:22-25, “But be ye DOERS of the word, and not hearers only” You know the great sin that has been committed at charismatic churches and fellowships around the country is that they have been hearers only. They have heard and have not done. When you keep on hearing and don’t DO, the knowledge you have received will load you down and kill you. It becomes a weight that weighs you down. Why? Because you get all that knowledge and don’t do it, and you become disobedient to the Scripture with true knowledge. “For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way” “But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty (what is the perfect law of liberty? the Word of God), and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.” Look at verse 24 now — “For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.” In other words, he comes face to face with the truth; he hears it, he doesn’t do anything about it. He’s a hearer and not a doer. He is deceived.
Verse 26, “If any man among you seem to be religious” Notice — “seem to be religious”? Who is a person who seems to be religious? He comes to church all the time and doesn’t do anything. You see him every time the door is open. He seems to be religious, but he doesn’t obey the Word. The only part he obeys is the outward part. A year or two later you don’t see him anymore. Do you know why? Because if he had been obeying the Word, he would have stayed and grown. You can’t be driven off if you are obeying the Word. “If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain. Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.”
We want to encourage the new Christian to live an unspotted life, to do the best he can to stay away from the things of the world.
I would recommend that you make 3X5 Scripture cards on all of these Scriptures, as well as those you are studying and meditating. This will provide you with a wealth of Scripture concerning salvation, and serving the Lord.
II Corinthians 5:17
I Timothy 2:5,6
I John 1:9
I John 5:10
I John 5:11,12