Sermon #1345                                           Miscellaneous Notes


          Title:            WHEN IS A PERSON SAVED?

          Text:            Acts 11:14

          Reading:       Psalm 80:1-19

          Subject:        The Time When God Gives His Salvation

          Date:            Sunday Morning - May 2, 1999[1]

          Tape #         V-26a



My text this morning is Acts 11:14. In Acts 11 the Apostle Peter explains what the Lord did for Cornelius and those people of his household in the tenth chapter. In verse 14, he tells us how that an angel of the Lord told Cornelius to send men to Joppa to fetch Peter to Caesarea to preach the gospel to them, assuring him that Peter, the messenger of God, by the preaching of the gospel, would show them the way of salvation in Christ. Now look at how the angel of the Lord described Peter’s work, which is the work of every man who preaches the gospel. God’s messenger to your soul is the man…


Acts 11:14  "Who shall tell thee words, whereby thou and all thy house shall be saved."


With that as our text, I want, by the power and grace of God the Holy Spirit, to answer one question in this message. It is a question that I am asked over and over again, as I travel around the country preaching the gospel, a question many of you have asked me to answer. Here is the question I want to answer in this message from the Word of God. – When Is A Person Saved?


1.    We know that Salvation is Of The Lord. Salvation is, in its entirety, from start to finish, the work of the triune God (Eph. 1:3-14).


2.    We also know that CHrist Alone Is Our Savior.


All the grace of God flows to believing sinners through the merits of Christ’s shed blood and righteousness. In the matter of salvation, Christ is all. If you have not yet learned that, you have not learned the gospel (1 Cor. 1:30-31).


1 Corinthians 1:30-31  "But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: 31 That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord."


3.    God’s saving grace, that redemption and salvation which was purchased and obtained for God’s elect by the blood of Christ at Calvary is Effectually Applied To and Wrought in Chosen Sinners by the Almighty, Irresistible Power and Grace of God The Holy Spirit.


“It is the Spirit that quickeneth. The flesh profitteth nothing. It is God the Holy Spirit who…


·        Gives life to dead sinners.

·        Creates a new heart within.

·        Brings faith, conviction, and repentance


4.    We also know, from the Word of God, that Salvation Is Wrought in The Hearts Of Chosen Sinners THrough The Instrumentality Of Gospel Preaching.


“Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” In order for Cornelius and his household to know the way of salvation, they had to have a gospel preacher proclaim it to them. By his wise and holy design, “It pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.”


The gospel we preach is “the power of God unto salvation.” It is written, “The preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved, it is the power of God.”


5.    I will tell you something else. Salvation is something a person experiences in his heart and soul.


We do not build our hopes upon feelings and experiences; but a would not give you a plugged nickel for a salvation that is not felt and experienced in the depth of a man’s soul. Life, freedom, pardon, forgiveness, and freedom are things we feel and experience. We do not all experience God’s grace the same way (Paul, -- Lydia, -- the Jailer); but all who are saved do experience God’s salvation.


Yet, even when these things are known with certainty, this question keeps coming up. – When Is A Person Saved?


1.    Some tell us that God’s elect were saved from eternity.


There are many who teach that election is itself salvation; but that is not so. Election is unto salvation (Eph. 1:4-6; 2 Thess. 2:13-14). Without question, chosen sinners, predestinated to be the sons of God, were saved in the purpose of God in Christ before the worlds were made. That is the very language of Scripture (Rom. 8:29-30). But there is more to salvation than election and predestination.


2.    Some imagine that a child is saved when it is brought by its parents to a priest or a preacher to have a little water sprinkled on its head.


3.    Others tell us that children are saved when they acknowledge the truth of the catechism and are confirmed in the church as Christians.


4.    In many churches, people are taught that a person is saved when he or she makes a decision for Jesus and professes faith in him.


A profession of faith is not the possession of faith. A decision for Jesus is not saving faith. Saying “the sinners’ prayer” is not calling n the name of the Lord.


5.    Multitudes imagine that a person is saved when he reforms his life and starts living right, starts living for the Lord.


Satan is a master deceiver. His ministers transform themselves into ministers of righteousness. If you think living a good life is salvation, or imagine that a person is saved because he quit some bad habits, you do not know what God’s salvation is.


·        Saul Of Tarsus

·        The Pharisees

·        Judas

·        Demas


Bro. Donnie Bell once said, “Satan's master plan is to get man religious without Christ. He would rather you be WHITEWASHED than WASHED WHITE in the blood of the Lamb. White washing will not save! I must be washed white in the BLOOD OF CHRIST.”


6.    Many believe a person is saved when he is baptized and joins the church.


7.    Then there are some who tell us we cannot know God’s salvation on this earth at all, that we will not be saved until judgment day and find out who was chosen and who as not chosen.


None of those notions about salvation are true. They are totally without foundation in the Word of God. If all these opinions are wrong, if they are all false, what s true? WHEN IS A PERSON SAVED? Will you listen to the Word of God? Will you hear the Words of our Lord Jesus Christ himself? Let us say with the prophet, “Let God be true and every man a liar.” This is what our Master said…


Matthew 5:20  "For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven."


Matthew 18:3  "And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven."


Luke 13:5  "I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish."


John 3:5-7  "Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God…Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again."


But when is a person saved? That is the question I want to answer. I have searched the Scriptures and found seven plain answers to that question.


I.     Galatians 1:15-16 – A person is saved When God Is Pleased To Save Him.


Galatians 1:15-16  "But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me by his grace, 16 To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood."


“The salvation f the righteous is of the Lord.” If ever you are saved, you will be saved at the time appointed by the will and pleasure of God; and you will be saved by God graciously revealing his Son in you. Salvation does not come by man’s decision, but by God’s revelation. It is God who chose who would be saved. He regenerates. He calls. He gives life. He gives faith. He pardons. He justifies. He saves. It is by his grace and power that we are born again. Has God revealed his Son in you?


·        Who he is?

·        What he has done?

·        What he did it?

·        Where he is now?


II.  John 16:8-11 – A person is saved When He is Convicted and Convinced By God the Holy Spirit of Sin, Righteousness, and Judgment.


John 16:8-11  "And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9 Of sin, because they believe not on me; 10 Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; 11 Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged."


Holy Spirit conviction is more than legal fear, the dread of God’s wrath, or the terror hell. Holy Spirit conviction is being convinced by the power and Word of God of…


A.  SIN.

·        My Nature

·        My Deeds

·        My Heart

·        My Unbelief



·        The Divine Nature

·        The Divine Requirement

·        The Divine Work



·        Justice Satisfied

·        Judgment Finished


Have you experienced Holy Spirit conviction? Has God the Holy Spirit convinced you of your sin, God’s righteousness, and the judgment of sin in Christ?




The Bible knows nothing of a door-mat named “Jesus,” or a fire-escape from hell called “Jesus”. This Book teaches the Lordship of Jesus Christ. The Word of God demands that you and I bow to the authority of the Son of God. It knows nothing of a salvation which allows a person to accept Jesus Christ as his Savior while refusing to bow to him as his rightful, sovereign Lord and Master.


Romans 10:9-11  "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. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed."


Salvation is nothing less than the bowing of my heart to the dominion of Christ. Faith’s first, constant, and last act is surrender to Christ. Where there is no submission to the Son of God, there is no faith in him. Believers are people who willingly surrender themselves to…


·        His Word.

·        His Sovereignty.

·        His Righteousness.

·        His Providence.


All to Jesus I surrender.

All to Him I freely give.

Humbly at His feet I bow.


Matthew 10:37-39  "He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. 39 He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it."


IV. 2 Corinthians 4:6 – A person is saved When He Sees The Glory Of God In The Face Of Jesus Christ.


2 Corinthians 4:1-6  "Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; 2 But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God. 3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: 4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. 5 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake. 6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ."


Psalms 143:2  "Enter not into judgment with thy servant: for in thy sight shall no man living be justified."


Job 25:4  Bildad asked, "How then can man be justified with God? or how can he be clean that is born of a woman?"


How can God be just and yet justify the ungodly? How can he both forgive sin and punish it? How can he be both merciful and true? How can justice be completely satisfied and yet grace be freely granted? Find the answer to those questions, and you have learned the gospel.


There is only one answer. It is found in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sin-atoning sacrifice of God’s dear Son. Here we see both the wisdom of God and the power of God. It is in the cross of Christ that the redemptive glory of God is revealed.


Romans 3:19-26  "Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. 20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. 21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; 22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: 23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; 24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: 25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; 26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus."


No one is saved until he is made to see, by divine revelation, the glory of God in saving sinners through the substitutionary sacrifice of his Son at Calvary.


Psalms 85:10-13  "Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other. 11 Truth shall spring out of the earth; and righteousness shall look down from heaven. 12 Yea, the LORD shall give that which is good; and our land shall yield her increase. 13 Righteousness shall go before him; and shall set us in the way of his steps."


Proverbs 16:6  "By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil."


How can God in justice forgive sinners and save them by his grace? -- Substitution!


2 Corinthians 5:21  "For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him."


Through the sacrifice of his dear Son as our propitiation, to make atonement for our sins, God is as just as if he never showed mercy and as merciful as if he had no justice. He is both just and the Justifier, or as he says in Isaiah 45, “A JUST GOD AND A SAVIOR.” “Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift!”


V.  Isaiah 45:22 - A person is saved When He Savingly Looks to Christ By Faith.


Isaiah 45:22  "Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else."


John 3:14-16  "And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: 15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."


This is God’s remedy for sin – LOOK! Look away to Christ and be saved!


A.  What does it mean to look?


1.    To look to Christ is to acknowledge my guilt and sin, and my need of a Savior.

2.    To look to Christ is to acknowledge the Lord Jesus Christ as the only one who can save.

3.    To look to Christ is to trust him.


B.  What must we look to Christ for?


·        Faith.

·        Life.

·        Atonement.

·        Forgiveness.

·        Righteousness.

·        Peace.

·        Acceptance With God.

·        Sanctification.

·        Assurance.

·        Perseverance.


B.  When shall I look to the Son of God?


1.    Look to Christ now. –“Today, if ye will hear his voice, harden not your heart.”

2.    Salvation begins in looking to Christ.

3.    Salvation continues as we look to Christ (Heb. 12:2).

4.    Salvation is consummated looking to Christ (1 John 3:2).


Do you look to Christ? May God give you grace to look away from yourself to the Lord Jesus Christ, --away from religious feelings and doings to Christ, --away from religious customs and traditions to Christ. Look to Christ and live forever.


VI. Luke 9:11 – A person is saved WHEN HE NEEDS GOD’s SAlVATION.


Luke 9:11  "And the people, when they knew it, followed him: and he received them, and spake unto them of the kingdom of God, and healed them that had need of healing."


There’s never been a sinner in the history of the world who needed grace who didn’t get grace. There has never yet been a sinner who need salvation who was not saved. Never yet was there a sinner who looked to Christ who was not saved by Christ.


If you leave here today without Christ, lost, under the wrath of God, it will be because you have no need of him, you do not want him. It will be because, in your proud, smug self-righteousness, you have no need of healing.




Matthew 11:28-30  "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."


Come, ye sinners, poor and wretched,

Weak and wounded, sick and sore;

Jesus ready stands to save you,

Full of pity joined with power.

He is able, He is willing, doubt no more.


Come, ye needy, come and welcome,

God’s free bounty glorify!

True belief and true repentance,

Every grace that brings you nigh;

Without money, Come to Jesus Christ and buy.


Let not conscience make you linger,

Nor of fitness fondly dream:

All the fitness He requireth

Is to feel your need of Him.

This He gives you, --‘Tis the Spirit’s rising beam.


Come, ye weary, heavy laden,

Bruised and mangled by the fall;

If you tarry ‘til you’re better,

You will never come at all.

Not the righteous, sinners Jesus came to call.


Jesus Christ, the risen Savior,

Pleads the merit of His blood.

Venture on Him, venture wholly,

Let no other trust intrude.

None but Jesus can do helpless sinners good.


VII. John 1:12 – A person is saved When, Walking in the light of Divine Revelation, He receives and confesses Jesus Christ As His Lord And Savior.


John 1:12-13  "But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God."


All who trust Christ confess him, and confess him in the way he has prescribed.


Matthew 10:32-33  "Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. 33 But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven."




How can I reason with your soul? How can I persuade you now to flee away to Christ? God help you now to fall before him and sue for mercy. Else you will fall before the dreadful sword of his wrath forever.


Jeremiah 17:14  "Heal me, O LORD, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved: for thou art my praise."



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