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Sin is a plague, and we are all infected. The entire earth is under quarantine, because of this disease. The only antidote is the blood of Jesus, the Messiah, the Son of God. He offers this cure to every human … Continue reading
What must I do to be saved? That’s a good question. It’s a question many have asked. I asked that question many years ago. So did the prison guard in Acts 16:30. Paul and Silas had been thrown into prison after preaching the gospel in the city of Thyatira and casting a demon out of a possessed fortuneteller. They were praying at midnight, and everybody in the prison heard them. Then there was an earthquake and all the doors opened, and the chains fell off all the prisoners. The guard woke up and thought they had all escaped, so he was about to take his own life. Paul yelled out and told him not to hurt himself because they were all still there. Then the guard got a light and ran to where Paul and Silas were. He fell on his knees, shaking. Then he asked them the question, “What must I do to be saved?”
There are several different beliefs on salvation; how we receive it, and how it’s applied to the debt we all owe. We’re born into this world already sinners, because Adam chose to sin, and passed that sinful nature along to all his descendants. Rom 3:23 says, “All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” Rom 6:23 says, “The wages of sin is death;” Wages are something we earn. It’s our reward for work we have done. In this case, not good works. By sinning, we have earned death. We all deserve to die because we are all sinners.
Now, most Christians will agree with me on that point, and most will agree that Jesus came to earth, lived a sinless life as a man, and died to save the human race. By the way, did you know that just the death of Jesus alone was not enough to save us? Without his resurrection, the plan would have been incomplete (1 Cor. 15:12-23). He died and rose again to save us from sin.
Still, there are several different beliefs on how salvation works. Some believe you have to work and earn salvation. Some believe we have to be perfect before God will even consider doing anything for us. Still, others believe the death of Jesus on the cross secures everyone who will ever live, and we don’t have to do anything or change anything to be saved. They say everyone is saved, simply because Jesus died to save us. Well, as you know, I like to see what the Bible says, so let’s do that now.
First, let me say that the Bible is clear that we are saved by grace, through faith, and there is nothing we can do to EARN salvation. That grace comes from God (1 John 1:17), and faith comes from God (Romans 12:3 Heb. 12:2), so do we have to do anything to be saved?
Bro. Charles Spurgeon said in order “to be saved, we must first know that we need saving, and what we need to be saved from. We must know that salvation is available, and we must know where to go, and what to do to receive it.” All that comes from HEARING. God gives us faith (Romans 12:3 Heb. 12:2), and that faith comes from hearing the word of God.
“So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
2 Timothy 3:15
“And that from a child you have known the holy scriptures, which are able to make you wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.”
The next few verses show that we are saved through faith.
“For by grace you are saved through faith;”
“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:”
“And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts through faith.”
“For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.”
“Even the righteousness of God, which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all, and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:”
Clearly, righteousness comes by faith, and faith comes by hearing the word of God. We have to HEAR the word to BELIEVE.
“I tell you the truth, they that HEAR my word, and BELIEVE in him who sent me, has everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.”
“And they said, BELIEVE in the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved, and your house.”
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, so that whoever BELIEVES in him should not perish, but have eternal life.”
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that BELIEVES; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.”
These verses show that we have to BELIEVE in Jesus to be saved. This next point is a subject of controversy, but if you believe God’s word it’s clear. The next few verses show us that Jesus is the ONLY WAY TO BE SAVED.
“Jesus said to him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no one comes to the Father but through me.”
“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is no other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”
“He that BELIEVES in the Son hath everlasting life, and he that BELIEVES not the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”
So to recap, we must first HEAR the word of God. Specifically the gospel, which is the good news about Jesus coming to save us. Then we must BELIEVE in the Son of God. What else must we do?
“From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, REPENT for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
“So REPENT, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;”
“But showed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should REPENT and turn to God, and do works fit for repentance.”
“So remember how you have received and heard, and hold fast, and REPENT.”
“As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: so be zealous, and REPENT.”
“I tell you, No: but, except you REPENT, you will all likewise perish.”
We must HEAR the word of God. We must BELIEVE in God and his Son. We must REPENT, which means to reconsider or think differently (to turn away from sin). Is there anything else?
1 John 1:9
“If we CONFESS our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
If we don’t CONFESS, the opposite is true.
“If you will CONFESS with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and will BELIEVE in your heart that God has raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
Because with the heart man BELIEVES unto righteousness, and with the mouth CONFESSION is made unto salvation.”
So in addition to HEARING, BELIEVING, and REPENTING, we must also CONFESS our sins to God, and CONFESS Jesus with our mouths.
“Then Peter said to them, REPENT, and be BAPTIZED every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
“He that BELIEVES and is BAPTIZED will be saved, but he that BELIEVES not will be damned.”
“And Jesus answering said to him, Allow it to be so now: for thus it becomes us to fulfill all righteousness.”
1 Peter 3:21
“The like figure whereunto even BAPTISM does also now save us (not the washing away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:”
Many argue that BAPTISM doesn’t save us, and they’re right. BAPTISM alone won’t do anything for us, but it is part of the salvation process, and it is necessary. Jesus received the Holy Spirit after he was BAPTIZED (Mark 3:16). He and his disciples all gave us an example to follow (Matthew 3:13, Mark 1:5, Acts 9:18). Like most church doctrines, baptism is not a suggestion, it’s a command.
“And he COMMANDED them to be BAPTIZED in the name of the Lord.”
“Then Peter said to them, REPENT, and be BAPTIZED every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
The last thing is to LIVE a GODLY life.
After we’re saved, we need to live a holy life. We can’t do this on our own. We can only do it by trusting in Jesus to guide us. We’re not perfect, but God wants us to aim for perfection. Jude 1:24 says he is able to keep us from sinning, but we have to allow him to do so. We grow as Christians by getting to know Jesus through reading the Bible and communicating with him daily through prayer. We need him to give us the strength to overcome sin in our lives. The closer we get to him, the further away from sin we will grow, and before we know it, we are a completely different person. We become holy, but as I said it is through the work of Jesus. A close, personal relationship with him is essential. This involves talking to him, and listening to him, and obeying him.
If we continue to live the same old life, without listening to God, and allowing him to change us, then we will grow further away from him, and we will be lost.
“But IF the wicked will turn from all his sins that he has committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he will surely live, he will not die. All the sins that he has committed, will not be mentioned to him. In his righteousness that he hath done, he will live.”
That’s salvation. Now, look at this next verse closely.
“But when the RIGHTEOUS turns away from his righteousness, and commits sin, and does according to all the abominations that the wicked do, shall he live? ALL his righteousness that he has done will NOT be mentioned. In his trespass that he has trespassed, and in his sin that he has sinned, in them, he will die.”
In John 10:27-28, Jesus said, No one is able to pluck his sheep out of his hand. But, 2 Chronicles 15:2 says, If we forsake him, he will forsake us. No one can take us from God and his protection, but we can choose to leave him. He will not make us stay with him if we decide we no longer want to be in his hand. That would be slavery, not salvation.
So, contrary to popular belief, we can’t live any way we want to and stay saved. The “Once Saved, Always Saved” doctrine is not biblical. To remain saved, we must obey God. So, heed his warnings. This is serious. Jesus is our only hope. Cling to him for dear life, and obey his rules. If we truly love him we’ll want to obey. It’s not always easy, but he is able to keep us from falling if we just trust him (Jude 1:24).
So, to receive salvation, we must
God is there with us through each step, and he’s longing to see every one of us come to him and be saved. So, if you’re not saved, what are you waiting for?
© 2016 Teddy Lynn – All Rights Reserved
My book The Journey To Heaven is available in paperback and digital format on Amazon.com.
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