Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | October 10, 2022

Who is Saved and How Can You Tell?

Visually, There is no Difference Between the Spiritually Alive and the Spiritually Dead!

It has pleased the Lord to hide divine glory during this age of mortality. As Christians, we follow the same pattern practiced by our Lord Jesus Christ during the time of his mortality; there is no visible evidence to set us apart after our new birth!

At the point of the new birth, one of the most significant changes that takes place is Christians are indwelt by God, the Holy Spirit and become temples of the Holy Spirit. This union between the Christian and the Holy Spirit is eternal and unalterable!

The Bible is careful to point out all Christians are baptized into one body by the Holy Spirit. Just as there is one God, made up of three persons; the Church is one body made up of millions of individual born again believers!

In the Old Testament, when the glory entered the temple built by Solomon, signifying the presence of God, the Bible describes the scene in 2 Chronicles 7:1-2 where it is written:

7 When Solomon had finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the Lord filled the temple. And the priests could not enter the house of the Lord, because the glory of the Lord had filled the Lord’s house.”

A New Dispensation

After the First Advent of the Lord Jesus Christ and his ascension back to heaven, the Holy Spirit came to indwell Christians at Pentecost. This is described in Acts 2:1-4 where it is written:

“2 When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”

God provided dramatic evidence to authenticate the new dispensation which had started at that time and provided equally dramatic evidence to authenticate the inclusion of Gentiles in this new dispensation as described in Acts 10:44-45 where it is written:

44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word. 45 And those of the circumcision who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. 46 For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God.”

Visually, after these inaugural events, there was nothing to distinguish the new Christians from anyone else. The Lord was once again following the pattern used during the ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ and continues to use that pattern today.

What Does it Take to be Saved?

I like to refer to what Jesus Christ told Nicodemus on the night he came to visit Jesus. Jesus’ first recorded statement to Nicodemus goes directly to the most important issue facing Nicodemus in John 3:3 it is written:

Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

After Nicodemus expresses confusion, Jesus explains further in verses 5-8

Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

Jesus then selects an event in the Old Testament that illustrated what he must accomplish at his First Advent.

14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”

As we look to the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, we are saved! Simple faith is the basis for salvation; in Ephesians 2:8-9 it is written:

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.”

How Can You Tell if Someone’s Saved?

While there are no physical clues that might indicate the new birth, no halo’s or divine glory, we are given certain guides to help us determine if one is spiritually dead or alive. The first thing that comes to mind is the fruit of the Holy Spirit. In Galatians 5:22-26 it is written:

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.”

It is unlikely an individual, claiming to be saved, and manifesting these characteristics a majority of the time is doing so in the power of the flesh. The flesh, with its fallen sin nature produces a totally different kind of fruit, we have this described in Galatians 5:19-21 where it is written:

19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”

While Christians, on occasion, do sin, the presence of the Holy Spirit in their lives keeps them from making a practice of sinning! A vital point is given to us in 1 John 1:8-10 where it is written:

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.”

God knew his children would have to struggle with sin and provided a simple solution to the problem; we confess our sins to him and he is faithful to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness!

Personal Sin

A Christian’s personal sin has nothing to do with his salvation and everything to do with quality of life and a Holy Spirit led walk.

We follow a dangerous path when we try to judge others by any arbitrary standard! The Pharisees fell into that trap and accused Jesus Christ of doing his miracles by the power of Satan.

“But when the Pharisees heard about the miracle, they said, “No wonder he can cast out demons. He gets his power from Satan, the prince of demons.” Matthew 12:24 NLT

They so rejected his testimony and works to the point of sending him to be crucified. Jesus did not meet the standards for religious acceptability they had established so they condemned him as being of Satan and demanded his death!

I believe it would be prudent to avoid hasty judgment of others; using religious behavior as a benchmark for the new birth is dangerous territory!


  1. Thank you for your inspiration and edification in the posts that you provide into a world that needs Yeshua, the Christ, more than ever.

    Liked by 1 person

    • May the Lord bless and guide you as you seek to honor him with your life!


      • It is not me that deserves acknowledgement of any sort, but that we are vigilant in edifying the Body by our words, behaviors and accurate exegesis of God’s letter to His children.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Fortunately, God does not deal with us on the basis of what we deserve, but solely on the basis of his undeserved loving grace to his children.


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