Salvation is an act of God's grace whereby God forgives a person's sin and places the Holy Spirit in his heart. Man may receive salvation and thereby enter into a relationship with God because of the work of Jesus Christ in his death and resurrection. This salvation is eternal and is received through faith alone in Jesus alone.
Salvation occurs in three stages:
1) Justification -This is the initial work of salvation. It means a person is declared just, not guilty of sins before God. The justified person is instantly assured of his place in heaven. Justification occurs when a person receives Jesus.
2) Sanctification- This is the ongoing work of salvation which creates godliness in the life of a Christian. Sanctification begins at the moment of justification and continues throughout the earthly life of a Christian. The goal of sanctification is to create in the Christian the character of Jesus Christ.
3) Glorification- This is the final work of salvation which takes place when a Christian reaches eternity. God completes our glorification so we will be fit to live in heaven with him and all the saints and angels. To be glorified means we are complete, perfected into what God originally made us to be.