Is there a salvation formula?

Straight Talk

The Question

Please don’t be mad but the way to get saved is to confess with your mouth to another person Jesus is the Son of God, Matthew 10:32. There is only one way and it is written. Please pray about this – read the bible and tell me anyone being born again the way you say on your website.

Mark from Unknown location

The Answer
Part 1: What constitutes salvation?

What constitutes salvation?

Let’s look at the scripture you mention from Matthew 10:32 which says, “Everyone therefore who shall confess Me before men, I will confess him before my Father who is in heaven.” Actually, “salvation” is not mentioned in it. If your argument is about connecting salvation with confessing Jesus I would think a better scripture to use would be Romans 10:9, “If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved.”

My personal view is that salvation is not a formula. People come to receive Jesus as Lord and Savior many different ways. Only God knows the heart that is sincere in whatever experience they have. I myself did not experience salvation by confessing Jesus before men. It happened for me by myself alone sitting on a bed. Certainly after surrendering my life I have confessed many times to others who Jesus is but my salvation happened before I did that.

So what constitutes salvation? It is certainly more than intellectual assent. Even the demons have that much but are not saved. “You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder.” (James 2:19) Some would say that you aren’t saved until you are baptized and some churches baptize infants as an initiation that they believe makes the child a Christian.

Salvation was made available to all of mankind by the work of the cross through the shedding of the blood of Jesus for our sins. When we appropriate that shed blood to ourselves personally through faith we activate it. We believe, we receive and we surrender. We identify with the words of Jesus, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me.”(John 14:6)

There are lots of different ways people may explain the gospel message so I don’t feel I have a corner on it. I also don’t ever want to get tripped up over “words” which may not match my own to explain it. I’ll leave the final judgment about who is really saved and who isn’t to God.

“…for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)