Can you be saved and an unengaged believer?
When it comes down to being saved, there is a difference between just coming to know Jesus as your Lord and Savior and being saved, versus being a committed follower of Jesus Christ.
When somebody gets saved, when an individual’s eyes are opened and they come to faith in Jesus Christ, they are forever saved. You cannot lose salvation. It’s not a trial run, like God wants to see how good you are now and put you on the team later. Once you are on the team you’re on the team.
What Paul talks about in Romans is progressive growth through the life of a believer which is called sanctification. Those who are growing in grace through sanctification are what some call “committed followers” of Jesus. But this creates a hierarchy within Christianity where you have your “go-getters” and the people who sit down and say “I’m saved, I don’t have to worry about that”.
We have to be very cautious in not being pharisaic, as that is the extreme where that (comparison) could go. If we are so caught up in looking at the fruit of others’ lives – “well they didn’t attend bible study this week so they must be tripping or lacking somewhere” – when we begin to compare, that is exactly what the Pharisees were doing.
When you are saved the Holy Spirit indwells you, and you are compelled to go, you are compelled to do…because you recognize the love God has demonstrated for you. God doesn’t just save you to sit you, He saves you to send you. So when you know you are committed to His Word and you are committed to His work, you get up and go. You don’t want to sit on the bench.
But the reality is there are some Christians that just sit on the bench, and why? We talked a bit about this in Jude…there are some people who don’t know their bible well. Some people who are not in a strong expository teaching church. So they feel like christianity is a sense of convenience – “It keeps me out of hell”. That’s the comfort some people have – the Americanized Christianity where you can just come, sit in your chair, drink your coffee, go home, listen to the word, hallelujah. That’s not true Christianity.
True biblically Christianity is when we see people not only being convicted by the Holy Spirit and their eyes have been opened, but as the Philippians see they now have to participate. Why? Because God is doing a special thing and we want to be involved in that.
A true committed follower of Jesus is somebody who is not just sitting, they are moving. A true believer is someone who has the Holy Spirit dwelling in them, That’s growth of spiritual maturity. You can still be saved and be spiritually immature. Those who experience this spiritually maturity are those who are pressing in. It’s not about what I do, it’s about what He did.
So yes, people can be saved and just sit and not be engaged. But you have to think, where is their maturity level?