Q. If a Christian, a born-again believer, is defined as one who has asked for and accepted Christ as their Savior and is trusting in Him for their salvation, then why do some pastors continue to insist that there is something that has to be seen as evidence from their own subjective viewpoints for the salvation to be genuine?
I totally get the idea of admonishing believers to live, out of gratitude and with the help of the Holy Spirit, in a manner that bears fruit in our life. But to associate this admonition with salvation is dangerous in my opinion, and results in some people improperly assuming the position of judge over others.
A. This issue should have been put to rest long ago based on the wording of John 6:28-29.
Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?” Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”
John 1:12-13, John 3:16, John 6:40, Ephes. 2:8-9, Titus 3:4-7, and others confirm this.
They all tell us our salvation is based on belief, not behavior. The behavioral changes that follow salvation are the regenerative work of the Holy Spirit. But these are not for the purpose of providing evidence to outside observers. They are for the purpose of helping us live lives more pleasing to the Lord. They happen at different times and in different ways that are unique to each believer, as we allow it, and are no one else’s business.
2 Corinthians 5:17,21 and Hebrews 10:12-14 tell us that from God’s perspective we’re perfect from the time we’re saved, and He’s the only judge that matters.