“ . . . receiving the end (the goal or result) of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” 1 Peter 1:9
Well, well, well. Houston, we have a problem.
Many christians maintain that, at the moment of man’s belief, he is indwelt by the Holy Spirit. That, at the moment he “goes forward,” and sincerely prays a prayer, or makes a decision, he is saved, and his salvation is eternally sealed.
At best, such actions by a man demonstrate the “beginning” of his belief, not the “end,” or result, of it.
Once one believes, he then has the ability to be saved (“shall be” is not “is”) . The covenant will be given only to those who believe, but the initial belief is NOT the covenant. The Father determines when the one who has believed is completed in that belief by the giving of His covenant—THAT is the “shall be saved” promise.
As Yahoshua said in Luke 8:13, some will believe with all joy for awhile, but they will eventually fall away during their time of testing, having no root (the source of life, who is the Holy Spirit). So, human belief, by itself, is not salvation.
Countless multitudes of people have been misled when they have been told to “come forward and say a prayer,” and then have been told that they are saved at that moment. That is not salvation. The covenant is given by Yah, it is not decided by man.
And, when it is given, the Spirit Himself will personally and directly tell the believer he is a child of Yah. The Holy Spirit’s confirmation is unique to each believer, as that is the testimony the believer will receive.
Salvation is not the beginning of one’s faith (belief), but the end result of it. The period between belief and salvation is the “patience” that James speaks of.
For more information: Between Belief and Salvation