Or are you merely hoping you “got it right”? Can you explain to someone else what the Bible requires for salvation? Paul wrote to make sure we know.
is in Christ,
a new creature;
the old things
2 Corinthians 5:17
New American Standard Bible (NASB)
You HAVE TO get the if out of that equation! There are no “if‘s” about it, if you are “in Christ”. You should be able to personalize that verse and say something like,
Therefore, since that very moment in time
in which I humbly repented
and actually turned
to Jesus Christ as my Savior,
I am now, here on earth,
and God Himself has transformed me here on earth into
a brand new type of creature. I am not a mere human, even though I look the same;
the old me, that which fell way short of God’s glory,
passed away in that moment of salvation
in which I was changed forever by God;
behold, now and forever more –
the new things of God
have come into my life
and I am no longer what I used to be.
I am a brand new creation. (Paraphrased and personalized by author)
Has this happened to you?
Being made a brand new creation happens in the twinkling of an eye. But if we break it down into its parts, then; you have spoken to God, repented of your sins, declared that Jesus is the One sent by God to pay the price of forgiveness, and you are consequently following Him day-by-day. That is called “being born again. If you sincerely turned to God in repentance and acknowledged Jesus as God in the flesh, then by faith you are “in Christ”, and, in that moment — you passed from death to life, and God Himself has made you a brand new creation! Wow!
After that, the goal of life is nothing more, nor anything less, than to “be filled up to all the fullness of God”:
in your hearts
and that you,
being rooted and grounded in love,
may be able to comprehend
with all the saints
the breadth and length and height and depth,
and to know the love of Christ
which surpasses knowledge,
that you may be filled up
to all the fullness of God.
Ephesians 3:17-19 NASB
Even in Paul’s day and age, people were always trying to require more things for salvation than even God Himself required! Even right after Jesus’ resurrection from the dead, soon after He ascended back into heaven, Christian Jews were trying to require that Christians observe Jewish laws. They philosophized that Judaic traditions and laws were necessary for followers of Christ. Some even wanted Christians to get circumcised! But Paul said those things were definitely not necessary for salvation. In Galatians he said:
14 But may it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. 15 For neither is circumcision anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation. 16 And those who will walk by this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God.
17 From now on let no one cause trouble for me, for I bear on my body the brand-marks of Jesus.
18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brethren. Amen. – Galatians 6:14-18
In Colossians Paul goes into more detail, warning us that our focus should be on Christ and His teachings – not on the deceptions and traditions of mere men.
Colossians 2:6 Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so [e]walk in Him, 7 having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established [f]in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing [g]with gratitude.
8 See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, [h]rather than according to Christ. 9 For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, 10 and in Him you have been made [i]complete, and He is the head [j]over all rule and authority; 11 and in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ; 12 having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. 13 When you were dead [k]in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, 14 having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. 15 When He had [l]disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through [m]Him.
16 Therefore no one is to [n]act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath [o]day— 17 things which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the [p]substance [q]belongs to Christ. 18 Let no one keep [r]defrauding you of your prize by delighting in [s]self-abasement and the worship of the angels, [t]taking his stand on visions he has seen, [u]inflated without cause by his fleshly mind, 19 and not holding fast to the head, from whom the entire body, being supplied and held together by the joints and [v]ligaments, grows with a growth [w]which is from God.
20 If you have died with Christ [x]to the elementary principles of the world, why, as if you were living in the world, do you submit yourself to decrees, such as, 21 “Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch!” 22 (which all refer to things destined to perish [y]with use)—in accordance with the commandments and teachings of men? 23 These are matters which have, to be sure, the [z]appearance of wisdom in [aa]self-made religion and self-abasement and severe treatment of the body, but are of no value against fleshly indulgence.
Colossians 3 Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 [a]Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. 3 For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.
In churches nowadays, I wonder what things your leaders require of you – which are NOT required by God!? Beware, the sneaky teachings that are not of God.
Who are you following? Are you truly following Christ and Christ alone? Or have you been deceived into holding onto traditions, empty philosophies, useless rules, decrees of men, pet doctrines of empty suits? It’s a worthless pursuit – following church leaders. At best you will have labored in vain. But it could be that they lead you away from Christ forever.
There will be no empty, deceptive, religious, stupididiotic ways of man in the Kingdom of Creator God! Only what is of Christ our God! If you settle for less, then you just might settle outside of heaven.
Make sure that in all things you are “holding fast to the head” (Colossians 2:18-19), not some big …toe.