Acts 13:38-39, “Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.”
There is a simple way to test if a professed Christian is really saved. I once witnessed to a man who is a Seventh-Day Adventist (SDA). Ironically, I was more knowledgeable of his religion's beliefs than he was. This is often the case when I witness to Roman Catholics, Jehovah's Witnesses, SDA's and other religious faiths. When I shared the Gospel with the SDA man, he agreed that Jesus is the Son of God, the Christ. He believed that Christ died for his sins, was buried and resurrected three days later. At a glance, it would appear that he was saved to an unlearned Christian.
However, I knew better, having a thorough understanding of SDA dogma. So I mentioned that salvation is a gift, and that even if a Christian murders someone, they could never lose God's salvation. He then unwittingly confirmed to me that he in fact was not saved, by disagreeing. He said that even though eternal life is a gift, we can give that gift back to God by willful disobedience and sin. Dear reader, no one is saved who believes that God's gift of eternal life can be forfeited by sinning. You see, if you think you can lose it by sinning, then you also think that you must maintain a certain level of self-righteousness to keep it! That is not the Gospel mindset that a truly born-again believer has.
If you were to ask me, if I could murder someone and still go to Heaven, my answer would quickly be: “Yes, absolutely, because my salvation has nothing to do with the life I live. It was paid for on the cross by Jesus' precious blood. I am saved because of what Jesus did to pay for my sins on Calvary's cross, and not by any works of righteousness which I have done!”
My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus Christ, my righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.
If you are saved, Acts 13:39 says that God has justified you from ALL THINGS. Acts 13:39, “And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.” Once saved, always saved! It is not your righteousness dear friend that saves you, it is God's righteousness, through faith in Christ. Philippians 3:9, “ And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:”
A very popular heresy in tens of thousands of corrupt churches today is Calvinism. Calvinism teaches that if you are still living in open sin in your life, it is because you have never repented and turned from your sins, so your faith in Jesus Christ is invalid. These false teachers say that to be saved you must repent “AND” believe, requiring two steps to be saved. The Bible simply teaches that there is only one step of believing, which automatically includes repentance. Biblically, we repent “TO” believe, and they happen at the same time. That is why we find the word “believe” mentioned 85 times in the Gospel of John, but the word “repent” is not mentioned even once. The man who believes has also repented. Dr. John R. Rice (1895-1980) got it exactly right, who writes:
“Dear sinner, do not make this a difficult matter. There is one simple step between you and Jesus. When you trust Him, everything else is settled, and you have repented, you have come to Christ, you have received Him, you have done everything necessary to be saved.” —Dr. John R. Rice, a quote from his tract titled: “What Must I Do To Be Saved?”
Having said that, God does not give any of His children permission to sin. Romans3:31, “Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.” When a man gets saved, his relationship with Jesus Christ has changed. Jesus has gone from not only being that man's Creator, but now is also his personal Savior. And as such, that man's relationship with sin has also changed, in the sense that he now is made spiritually aware of his sinfulness by the indwelling Holy Spirit (Hebrews 12:6-8). 1st John 3:15, “Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.” That simply means that if you are truly saved, you have God's Holy Spirit living inside you. 1st John 3:24, “And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.” A genuine Christian will be convicted by the indwelling Holy Spirit when we sin, rebuking and exhorting us to depart from iniquity, love others and live a holy life.
The gift of eternal life is free. There are no strings attached nor obligations to live a certain way. A person who believes the Gospel, but lives a life of willful sin, is still saved. They are simply not right with God as a child of God (1st John 1:6). Their POSITION is right with God, but their CONDITION is wrong with God. The truth is that every believer lives a life of sin (Romans 7:14-25). “If you have to look at your life to prove that you are saved, it proves that you're not!” —Pastor Ralph Yankee Arnold; an excellent quote from the awesome YouTube sermon titled, “Why Lordship Salvation is WRONG!”