We know that "SALVATION IS OF THE LORD". Salvation is altogether the work of God's free, sovereign, and effectual grace(Eph. 1:3-14). Salvation was PLANNED and PURPOSED by God in eternity, before the world began. Salvation was PURCHASED for God' s elect by the substitutionary death of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, at Calvary. Salvation is PERFORMED in the hearts of God's elect by the irresistible grace and power of God the Holy Spirit in regeneration. He gives us life and faith in Christ. Salvation is PRESERVED by the grace and power of God. Paul tells us that we may be "confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ". Peter tells us that we are "kept by the power of God". And our salvation will be brought to PERFECTION by the grace of God in Christ. Jude was so confident that God would perfect his work in us that he spoke forth God's praise for it, saying - "Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen". We know that in its commencement, in its continuance, and in its consumation, "Salvation is of the Lord".
We know also CHRIST ALONE IS OUR SAVIOR. All the grace of God flows to the believing sinner 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 yet learned the gospel (I Cor. 1:30-31). Christ is all our RIGHTEOUSNESS, all our REDEMPTION, all our SANCTIFICATION, all our ACCEPTANCE WITH GOD, and all our HOPE.
And we know that God's saving grace, that grace which was given to us in God's eternal purpose and purchased for us at Calvary by the blood of Christ, THE GRACE OF GOD THAT BRINGS SALVATION IS EFFECTUALLY APPLIED TO THE HEARTS OF GOD' S ELECT BY THE HOLY SPIRIT. "It is the Spirit that quickeneth, the flesh profitteth nothing."
But the question that I am asked over and over WHEN IS A PERSON SAVED? According to the Word of God, no man will ever be saved until he is convinced in his own heart that he is a sinner, deserving eternal wrath and condemnation from God. A PERSON WILL BE SAVED WHEN HE IS SO CONVINCED OF HIS OWN SIN THAT HE IS ABLE TO JUSTIFY GOD IN HIS OWN CONDEMNATION. The only person who will ever call upon Christ in faith and seek mercy from him is that man or woman who is so fully aware of his corruption of heart, sinfulness and guilt, that he is able to take sides with God against himself. A person is saved when he can speak to God, as David did, saying - "Against thee, thee only, have I sinned and done this evil in thy sight: that thou might be Justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest. Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me'. This is what I am saying, YOU MUST RECOGNIZE AND CONFESS YOUR SIN, the vileness of your heart, the corruption of your nature. YOU MUST REPENT OF YOUR SINS, the wickedness of your thoughts and deeds. AND YOU MUST ABHOR YOUR RIGHTEOUSNESS. Yes, even your righteousness the best of your thoughts and actions, is as filthy rags before a holy God. You must be broken and humbled before God, you must be made to loathe and abhor yourself, or you will never come to God in true repentance and faith, crying
"GOD BE MERCIFUL TO ME: I AM THE SINNER!"