April 18: “The Evidence of Genuine Salvation”

6 Minute Read

Today’s Bible Reading:

Joshua 16:1-18:28
Luke 19:1-27
Psalm 87:1-7
Proverbs 13:11 

Today’s Bible Verse(s):

Luke 19:9-10 (NLT): “Jesus responded, ‘Salvation has come to this home today, for this man has shown himself to be a true son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.’”

Reflections on Today’s Bible Verse(s):

In Luke 19:1-10, we read about Zaccheaus, ‘the wee, little man, and a wee, little man was he’ (talk about being politically incorrect! HA).

In this story, we come to see that he had a heart change. He was saved from his sins and God’s wrath. That’s what Jesus said: “Salvation has come to this home today.”

Being saved happens in the realm of our mind and heart. But, since it occurs there, it tends to be subjective.

By that, I mean that it may seem difficult to understand if we are genuinely saved. After all, how can we KNOW that we are saved? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if God sent down a spiritual birth certificate from Heaven?

Well, first and foremost, we need to investigate whether we have placed our trust in Jesus to make us right in God’s eyes. His finished work on the cross on our behalf is the object of our faith. It must be true that we are NOT trusting in ourselves and our own perceived self-righteousness and, instead, are trusting in Jesus to forgive us and save us (see John 3:16; Ephesians 2:8-9).

For the purposes of salvation, that’s it. That’s all that is required. When we trust in Jesus, we enter into a relationship with God and spend eternity with Him one day.

But, how do we KNOW we are saved?

The story of Zacchaeus is one of the many stories and principles in Scripture that tell us that genuine salvation will change our thinking and our behavior. Jesus noted that Zacchaeus would give half of his possessions to the poor and was going to pay back fourfold those he had defrauded.

These actions didn’t save Zacchaeus. They simply demonstrated that he had really been saved. His new heart was shown in God-glorifying activities.

So, are you saved? Are you trusting in Jesus to make you right in God’s eyes?

If so, fantastic! But, here’s another question: Can others see Jesus in you? Do your words and actions (that proceed from your thoughts) reveal that you really are a child of God?

Those people who claim to be a child of God, and yet are not becoming more like Jesus and less like the world, need to read the sobering warning given by Jesus in Matthew 7:21-23. Salvation is trusting in Jesus, which cultivates a relationship with Jesus, out of which we gladly obey Jesus and do things for Jesus.

Matthew 7:21-23 (NLT): “Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter. On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.’”


Matt Ellis is the pastor of First Baptist Church in Polk City, Florida (fbcpolkcity.com). His latest book is God’s Grace in the Real World. Connect with him on FacebookTwitter, or LinkedIn.

Photo by Junior REIS on Unsplash

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I have an incredible wife that God gave to me on May 10, 1997. Since then, the Lord has blessed us with three wonderful boys. I am also the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Polk City, Florida.

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