Common Questions about Salvation: Finding Faith in
Our life in Christ begins with a decision in the heart to
accept Him as our Lord and Savior. This decision is the
starting point for a glorious journey of discovery and
relationship as we migrate towards our ultimate destiny and
purpose. A key characteristic of life in Christ is this
passion for discovery, (Proverbs 25:2) and a refusal to settle
until we have accomplished all that God has called us to do
In keeping with this, the following section details a
number of core elements of the faith and the journey upon
which you have just embarked. It is presented in the form of
questions and answers and while these can be read simply for
information, we encourage you not to stop there. Let this be
the beginning of your quest. As you read the questions and
answers let them speak to you about the nature and character
of Christ. Ponder the majesty of His Word, His mercy through
salvation and His amazing omnipotence in creation.
This section is by no means comprehensive and can in no way
replace systematic study of the Word of God. It simply seeks
to provide you with a starting point and a helping hand as you
begin your journey. Enjoy every moment of it!
Understanding the Faith - Responses to some frequently
Q1. What is salvation?
A: Salvation is God’s plan for the redemption of mankind.
Genesis, the first book of the Bible, gives an account of
creation, the first man (Adam) and his early existence in a
perfect environment in close relationship with God. This
relationship was broken when Adam and his wife Eve disobeyed
the commandment of God. Through this act sin entered the world
and Satan, the devil, gained dominion over the earth (Read
Genesis Chapters 1-3).
God had previously warned Adam that the consequence of
disobedience would be death, (Genesis 2:15-17) and so man
became subject to death. Because we are all descendents of
Adam and Eve we are all born into the world under the curse of
sin and death (Romans 5:12-14). This is the reason why the
world is in such a state of decay. Mankind has strayed from
God’s perfect standard established and described in the early
chapters of Genesis.
God, however, did not leave man without hope. He developed
a plan for mankind’s redemption. While this plan would provide
a way of escape from the curse, it must be consistent with
God’s character as a God of justice and righteousness. This
meant that if mankind’s sin was to be forgiven someone else
had to pay the penalty for its disobedience. Enter JESUS
CHRIST! God (the Father) sent his Son, Jesus, into the world
to die for man’s sin (John 3:16, 17).
Through Jesus’ death and subsequent resurrection, the curse
of sin (and Death) is lifted from man and he inherits the
righteousness (or righteous standing before God) that comes
from Jesus. If this seems like an unfair exchange, it is! Man
has done nothing to deserve this treatment. It is a gift of
God. The Bible calls it GRACE, which in its simplest
definition is God’s unmerited favor (Romans 5:15-21). This in
essence is salvation. Jesus died so that all mankind could be
free from the curse of sin which resulted from the
disobedience of Adam and Eve.
On an individual basis salvation must be appropriated or
accepted. Like any other gift, we cannot enjoy its benefits
unless we personally agree to accept it. We must accept Jesus
as our personal Savior, believing that he died for us
specifically, that he was resurrected and returned to Heaven,
to His Father, where he is alive at this very moment
interceding on our behalf (Acts 16:30, 31; Hebrews
7:25;10:12). We must commit to serving Him as our Lord and
being obedient to His commandments, (John 14:21). This is not
Salvation is a journey that begins with the New Birth. It
is not a final destination. When we accept Christ as our
Savior (the New Birth), our spiritual relationship with God is
restored. We are positionally transferred from the oppression
of the kingdom of darkness (Satan’s domain) into the divine
order of the Kingdom of God (Colossians 1:13-NIV). From that
instant we start a journey which will end with us becoming
For each believer, the Soul (mind, will and emotions) is
being reformed in accordance with God’s standards. The
believer is on a journey towards perfection (1 John 3:2). At
the end of the age, when Jesus Christ returns to physically
establish His Kingship on earth, our bodies will be redeemed.
At that time, we will receive resurrected immortal bodies (1
Thessalonians 4:15-17; 1 Corinthians 15:35-58).
This whole process constitutes the package that we call
salvation. It is a journey, not a final destination. Our
responsibility therefore is to keep moving on to the next
level in God as we journey towards immortality (Proverbs
Q2 Does membership of a Church guarantee me
A: Based upon the Biblical definition of salvation as
outlined above, membership in a church community or even a
religious denomination does not determine one’s status before
God. The Bible makes it clear that the acceptance of Jesus’ as
our personal Lord and Savior is the only pathway to salvation
(Acts 16:30, 31; 4:12; John 14:6)
Q3 How do we know that the Bible is the Word of God?
A: The Bible is a collection of 66 books written by men
under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. In the Bible God has
revealed Himself and His will for mankind. “All Scripture is
given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine,
for reproof, for correction, for instruction in
righteousness.”(2 Timothy 3:16).
Some facts about the Bible:
It is God’s direct speaking to man
It was written over a period of some 1800
There are over 40 different authors used by God to
write the various books.
They wrote along a consistent theme: Creation, The Fall
of Man, the Redemption story, and God - His nature and His
It has been translated into over 1000 languages and is
the most widely read book in human history.
It is a book of history, philosophy, poetry and
No other book can satisfy the longing heart of man like
the Bible does. It is a life-giving book. It has changed
lives and made a great impact on the entire
It condemns evil without any compromise, because God
hates evil and injustice.
It reveals God’s promises and His will for us. All of
the promises of the Bible do come to pass in the lives of
those who meet the conditions.
A large proportion of the Bible’s prophecies, written
thousands of years ago, have been fulfilled.
The God revealed in the Bible is a miracle-working God.
Millions of people have been healed of diseases and saved
from sin by trusting the God of the Bible. Unfortunately,
many have been condemned by refusing to obey Him.
Jesus believed in the Scriptures. He quoted the Old
Testament seventy-eight times. His disciples quoted the Old
Testament more than two hundred times. Many Old Testament
predictions were also fulfilled in the New
No scientist, historian or geologist has ever
conclusively proved the Bible to be wrong about
Secular history supports the accuracy of the Bible. For
example many of the events recorded in the New Testament are
confirmed by early historians like Josephus and
We do not need the original manuscripts of the Bible to
prove to us that it is true, because God has proved that His
Word is true in our lives many times. He has answered our
prayers so consistently that we cannot reasonably doubt His
truth. He has healed, supplied our needs and saved our souls
in accordance with His Word. The God of the Bible is
FAITHFUL and TRUE. He can be fully trusted. Read Psalms
Q4 What is faith? How do I exercise faith? How do I build
up my faith?
A: Faith is the single most important quality required by
the believer. The Bible gives us a definition of faith: “Now
faith is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of
the things (we) hope for, being the proof of things (we) do
not see and the conviction of their reality (faith perceiving
as real fact what is not revealed to the senses.)” Hebrews
Faith is an absolute necessity for Christians. It is the
basis of our salvation. We must believe in our hearts that God
is real, that Jesus really died for us, that He was
resurrected and that salvation is real (John 1:12; Romans
1:16-17; Romans 10:9-10).
The Word of God states:
- We are justified by faith - Romans 5:1
- We are God’s children by faith - Galatians 3:26
- We are kept by the power of faith - 1 Peter 1:5; 1; 1
We exercise faith by believing God’s Word and acting upon
it even when the natural evidence is contrary.
Our faith increases when we:
- Consistently study and apply the Word of God, Romans
10:17 - the Bible is the foundation for our faith. To
increase in faith we must meditate on the Word and believe
- Obey the Word, Luke 11:28 - it is obedience that
releases the power and the blessings in the Word of
- Obey the Holy Spirit, John 16:12-14 - the Holy Spirit is
our teacher, our instructor and our guide. He will teach us
new things and take us into the deeper things of the
- Seek out accurate, solid teaching of the Word. Use
discernment - we must accept teaching that builds faith
rather than destroys it. Testimonies of victories and
overcoming in the face of trials and obstacles or difficult
circumstances strengthen our faith.
- Put our faith in God through Jesus Christ, Psalms 20:7 -
we must learn to trust God more than we trust people. People
will fail us but God will never let us down.
- Finally, blind faith is dangerous. We must keep our
spiritual eyes open and our spiritual ears tuned to the
voice of the Holy Spirit. Read Psalms 18 and 27.
Q5 What do we mean when we say ‘Jesus is Lord’?
A: When we say ‘Jesus is Lord’ we mean that we have given
Jesus Christ absolute control over every aspect of our lives.
We recognize that through His death and resurrection Jesus has
purchased the life of each person who has accepted the gift of
salvation. He has redeemed us from the curse of sin and death
and that gives Him the right to exercise Lordship over us. It
means we must obey His commands and live our lives in a way
that would please Him and glorify Him, (1 Corinthians.6:19,
20; John 14:21).
Q6 Do I need to be baptized?
A: The original Greek word translated as “baptize” means to
immerse, to dip, to submerge or to bury in another substance.
Therefore baptism involves complete submersion in the water
not simply sprinkling with it.
Water baptism is an act of obedience to the Word of God,
which symbolizes the death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
It is an outward sign of an inward, spiritual transformation
that, by faith, has occurred in the heart of the believer,
(Matthew 3:15;1 Pet 2:24;3:21;Galatians 3:27;Col 2:12-13).
All believers who have given their lives to the Lord Jesus
are expected to follow this commandment after their
conversion. It is a sign of surrendering, dying, and being
resurrected with Christ. It is not for non-Christians, but
only for those who believe and are willing to serve and walk
with the Lord - those who have faith and have repented of
their previous life, (Matthew 28:19; Acts 10:47; Romans 6:3-5;
Acts 8:12; 8:38; 9:18; 16:33; 22:16).
Baptism does not remit sin. One is not saved by being
baptized but by believing on the Lord Jesus Christ. However it
is a very meaningful and life-changing experience. It can
produce a supernatural experience and a deeper walk with the
Lord. Baptism must not be a ritual but a spiritual experience
- a new phase in our Christian life signalling a new level of
commitment (Mark 16:15-16).
There is not a single scripture in the whole Bible that
supports infant baptism - the baptism of babies and young
children. Faith and repentance are two requirements for
baptism which infants are not old enough to understand.
How important is Baptism?
It was important enough that Jesus himself was baptized
(Mark 1:9-11; Matthew 3:13-17).
It was important enough that it was practiced in His
ministry (John 4:1).
It was important enough that Jesus commanded that it be
carried out by all who believed in Him (Matthew 28:16-20; Mark
It was important enough that the earlier disciples of Jesus
baptized their new converts as soon as they gave their lives
to Christ. It did not matter whether it was in the desert, in
prison or at night.(Acts 8:12,38; 9:18;10:47).
It was important enough that when the jailer got saved at
midnight, Paul and Silas, though in pain and behind bars, had
to baptize him and his household. It could not wait.
Q7 What is the Baptism of the Holy Spirit?
A: Every believer in Christ has the Holy Spirit deposited
on the inside of him. It is the Spirit of God who brings
people to Jesus Christ. It is through the power of the Spirit
that we accept and work for Christ (John 3:3-8; Romans 8:9-10;
Galatians 4:6) but baptism with the Holy Spirit is a different
experience from salvation (Read John 14:16,17; Luke 24:49;
It was on the day of Pentecost when the disciples assembled
in a room in Jerusalem as Jesus had commanded that the baptism
of the Holy Spirit was first received. Baptism with the Holy
Spirit is available for all believers (Acts 2:38, 39.) However
it is possible to be spiritually birthed in Christ and not be
baptized with the Holy Spirit.
In the salvation experience there is an impartation of new
spiritual life, but in the baptism of the Holy Spirit there is
an impartation of new spiritual power.
Baptism in the Holy Spirit means to be baptized into power
to serve (Acts 1:5, 8; Luke 24:49)
- It equips the believer to do the work of God.
- It helps to make God’s Word real.
- It helps to bring about a radical transformation in the
- It provides for an impartation of supernatural
- It opens doors to the Gifts of the Spirit (1 Corinthians
- It brings about a special kind of boldness. This helps
us in our prayer life, as well as in witnessing to others,
Acts 4:29, 31, 33.
Q8 What is the Body of Christ?
A: This is a descriptive term used in relation to the
Church of Jesus Christ in the earth. When Jesus was on earth
He declared that He would build His Church and the gates of
hell would not prevail against it (Matthew16:18).
The Greek word for Church is “ekklesia” which literally
translates as ‘called out ones’. The implication is that the
Church is comprised of persons who have responded positively
to the call of the Lord. Note that it is Jesus Himself who is
doing the building and we have already said that it is being
done through the ministry of the Holy Sprit and in His power.
Jesus Christ is described as the Head and the Church is
collectively referred to as the Body (Ephesians 1:22, 23; 1
Corinthians 12:27).The symbolism is very appropriate. Just as
the various parts of the human body take directions from the
head, so too the Church as the body of Christ must be directed
by Jesus (its Head), executing His commands and representing
Him in the earth.
To successfully carry out the mandate given to it by the
Lord, the individual members of the Body of Christ must
fulfill the missions assigned to them. Apostle Paul stresses
the importance of each member playing the role assigned to him
by the Lord so that His ultimate purpose may be fulfilled
(Read 1 Corinthians 12:12-31). In this context the building of
relationships among believers both within the assembly and
across the Church is of vital importance (1 John 3:10-23).
Q9 What is ‘Lifestyle Christianity’?
A: ‘Lifestyle Christianity’ refers to the practical
application of the doctrines and teachings of the Kingdom to
our daily lives.
It is based on our understanding that we have given our
total lives to the Lord. There is really no separation between
the secular or “worldly” and the spiritual or “religious”
sides of our lives. No such distinction can be validated in
the Word of God. Every aspect of our activity and existence on
earth must come under the government and the jurisdiction of
the principles of the Kingdom of God. This was so in the case
of Jesus, our primary role model.
If a man’s heart is aligned to God’s Word and he is fully
committed to the Lord, every aspect of his life would fall in
line. The Lord’s priorities would become his priorities. Any
other approach would place him in danger of becoming like the
Pharisees who focused on ritual, form and a false sense of
righteousness but had rotten hearts. They drew Jesus’ most
hostile criticisms (Matthew 3:7; Matthew 23:27-36).
Q10 Why is the reformation of the Church necessary?
A: Reformation is necessary simply because if the global
Church is permitted to remain in its current state of extreme
materialism, lethargy, selfish demands for personal blessing,
warped principles and political and cultural corruption, it
will never fulfill its mandate from the Lord.
The Church at the end of the age is called to execute
judgment on the powers of darkness (Psalms 149:5-9). It has
been mandated to come to a place of maturity and spiritual
development so that it can fulfill the prophetic purpose of
God as indicated in the Word.
It is only then that the Lord will return to physically
establish His Kingdom on earth (Hebrews 10:12,13).
The Church in scripture which accomplishes this mission is
a strong, unified, fearsome, military unit (Joel 2:1-11;
Psalms 48:1-8, 12-14). It is well armed (Ephesians 6:10-18).
It is attractive to the nations as a source of light in a very
dark world; as the recipient of a great wealth transfer; as an
object of beauty; as the only possible hope in a world that
has lost its way (Isaiah 60:1-12).
Sadly the general condition of the Church in the earth
today is very deficient compared with the Biblical template.
There is disunity, deception and much doctrinal error. It for
this reason that Jesus Christ Himself as Head and builder of
His Church has initiated a reformation process directing His
Apostles, Prophets, Teachers, Pastors and Evangelists
(Ephesians 4-16).The end result of this process will be a
Church that is victorious and all-conquering.
We in Elijah Centre must be thankful that we have been
called by the Lord to play a very active role in the
Q11 What is the role of an Apostolic community?
A: Two characteristics of apostolic ministry outlined by
the Apostle Paul are:
- Apostles, together with Prophets, are foundation
laying ministries in the building process (1 Corinthians
3:10; Ephesians 2:20), and
- Wisdom is a key weapon in the apostle’s arsenal. The
apostle is described as a ‘wise master builder’ (1
Corinthians 3: 10) - the Greek word (Architekton)
implies both design and construction capability. This word
points to capacity not only to discern the accuracy of the
form of the purpose of God, but also the capacity and
ability to actually cause it to come to pass.
In this time of reformation the apostolic community has a
focused role in leading the process.
Deuteronomy 6:4-9 provides a good type or pattern for
apostolic ministry in a time of reformation. Moses is called
by the Lord to function, effectively, as an Apostle to the
children of Israel. He is transmitting to them the Lord’s
requirements of them if they are to live successful lives
pleasing to the Him and to pass these Godly values to the next
Teach God’s laws to their children (v7).
This speaks of a rich community life and a commitment to
continuity of the values and the Godly principles guiding
Bind God’s laws on their hands
This implies a commitment to act in a way
consistent with the values. There is no room for passivity
or for hypocrisy.
Be as frontlets between their eyes
This speaks of the mentality that must be
developed among the people. There must be a certain focused
attention given to the things of the Lord.
Write the laws on the doorposts and gates.
The Gates symbolize the outer dimensions
of people’s lives and the points of access to their inner
lives. It is important that these strategic points be
‘policed’ by Kingdom values and laws.
The Lord will not leave His people without the guidance of
His Word. Being a good leader, He provides us with
instructions to follow. These are guidelines given to us so
that we can build lives that are pleasing to Him. (Exodus
19:6; 1 Peter 2:5). Our built up lives must demonstrate:
- A removal in our minds and operations of the false
division between the spiritual and the secular.
- A sense of empowerment, reflecting the power of
presentation and the power of representation given to us by
the Lord through the Holy Spirit.
- A sense of personal ruler-ship operating in divine
- A recognition that spiritual law dictates the operations
of natural life.
Apostolic ministry in this time of reformation is crafting
a people for the Lord that live in this reality of abundant
life. This is the process described in Ephesians 4:12 & 13
- activating the people into their purpose so that they can
withstand attacks of deception and become fully mature in