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"Oops, I missed a step" Salvation. Romans 8:26-29 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. I was saved at the age of five. To be honest I do not remember a time that I did not believe Christ paid the price of my redemption through His Blood. (Having Godly Missionary parents, and learning to read from the Bible tends to have that effect.) So to be more accurate; At the age of five I made my profession known. And then at the age of 16, I confirmed that faith by being baptized at Gilead Baptist Church in Owosso, MI. We are to make sure our salvation: Philippians 2:11-13 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.12 Wherefore,my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. 13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and todo of his good pleasure. I bring this up to tell you that the greatest question I had as a child and as a young man was "Did I miss a step?" This question never came about from an unbelief in Christ or the Bible but from a strong desire to do all that I could to follow as closely as possible God's words for my "salvation". Now as every Bible Believing Christian knows it is the faith in Christ work which saves us and this salvation is free. The problem though is the "application process" or a set of requirements in order to "qualify" your faith. "Things you must do before this "event" that show you are truly "accepting" salvation "correctly" and things you must do after the event to "prove" you have been "saved". (Sounds harder then doing my taxes in order to get money that is already mine!) Also, each process is fully backed up by random verses which promote their process with a additional caveat that if you ascribe to any other model then you are not correct and are now bound for Hell! If their model is not popular among other Christians they will add the fact that Christ said "few there be that find it". Matthew 7:13-15 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14 because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.15 Beware of false prophets,which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. On one small point I appreciate the Catholics because they are honest and say it is all part of a "process of salvation" but for many Baptist (because they play gymnastics with words and separate the process in our minds) will pay lip service to "faith in Christ alone" but then doubt a person's salvation if they failed to complete a "process of sanctification" to which many unconsciously ascribe and link to saving faith. Some Christian Jews had this problem in: Acts 15:1 And certain men which came down from Judæa taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses,ye cannot be saved. Many say some things are needed before true faith can "become available" Some say a various level of repentance or sorriness for your past sins is needed before salvation. Another relies on various levels of hearers knowledge or the presenters accurately voicing the truth; they have to understand the events correctly as presented in the correct bible (1611 KJAV Pure Cambridge Edition only for English speakers or it won't work). Now we come to the "Free Gift" hopefully you chose the correct "pre-approval process. At this point you have three options (but be careful because if you chose wrong you don't understand salvation and will have to start over or go to Hell!)1. "Ask for salvation" by prayer. 2. Just acknowledge Christ work but don't say anything or it proves you do not believe Romans 3:19. 3. Be baptized by immersion before believers to show your belief. Romans 3:19 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. Now you are saved but you we're not really saved you did not give God Lordship authority or do not do these following things in six months/rest of your life or when we all discover a mistake in our model. By this time you understand what I'm getting at through my exaggerated examples and may even ascribe to a milder form of one or two points my intent is not to prove or disprove anything but to also share the model I used for salvation. Look. Believe. Follow. Simple desire of the heart words. John 1:33-37 And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God. 35 Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples; 36 and looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God! 37 And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. What I learned as a young man is that while information, knowledge, physical actions, etc can help me better understand Christ redemptive work and to grow in faith and wisdom, there are no steps, no process, no "things" I can do to pre-approve myself mentally or verbally. Ultimately Salvation is a matter of the Spirit and must be performed through the hearing the Spirit’s call and not from some steps,formula or process. These things will merely amplify what the Spirit has already done in my heart. The Spirit gives the birth and I merely cry Aba! Father! (Galatians 4:6) Galatians 4:6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Genesis 4:26c then began men to call upon the name of the Lord. Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord [from the heart's true desire] shall be saved. Acts 10:44 While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. Acts 11:15-17 And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning. 16 Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost. 17 For as much then as God gave them the like gift as he did unto us, who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ; what was I, that I could withstand God? At this point many out of concern will perhaps wish to present a step we must keep in mind or risk leading a sinner down a wrong path. Remove that link to head knowledge and let Christ work in the man's heart. Lift up Christ and let Him worry about the steps and you might be surprised that a few extra lost people find the narrow way into heaven without all our extra steps and sign post. We need to learn that: People "being saved" require a process and teachers but people which are saved required only a Saviour. John 12:32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. Hebrews 7:25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; [not head] and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. John 6:37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. Acts 22:16 And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.