What must I do to be saved?
This is truly the greatest question to ask and find the answer to. The first step in finding salvation is to recognize we need saving! The facts are these: God is holy, righteous, and just, and ALL have sinned against Him. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)
This fact cannot be denied by any honest person. “If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.” (1 John 1:10)
Sin is defined as transgression of God’s law, and God, who is altogether holy, cannot fellowship sin. “Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.” (1 John 3:4)
“But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear.” (Isaiah 59:2)
Thankfully, in His great love and mercy, God made a way for all people to be saved from their sins! "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)
What are the consequences of unbelief? Jesus said, "Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins." (John 8:24)
Who is He? "Simon Peter answered and said, 'You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.'" (Matthew 16:16)
At the beginning of John’s gospel account, we learn Jesus Christ shares the Divine Nature as God. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1)
“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14)
"For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily;” (Colossians 2:9)
What did God the Father say about Jesus? "But to the Son He says: 'Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your Kingdom.'” (Hebrews 1:8)
What did Jesus say about Himself? "Jesus said to them, 'Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.'" (John 8:58)
So, Jesus is the Eternal Word, the Son of God, and therefore, Deity. The Eternal Word became a man (John 1:14). Being both divine and human, Jesus fulfills a very special role. “For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time,” (1 Timothy 2:5-6)
Understanding these facts, let’s move on to the question at hand: how can we be saved? “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.” (Romans 1:16)
So the gospel is the power of salvation, but what IS the gospel? ('Gospel' means “good news”)
"Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you--unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures," (1 Corinthians 15:1-4)
What did Jesus provide by doing these things? “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace” (Ephesians 1:7)
"For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life." (Romans 5:10)
Is it important how we respond to the gospel? “In flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
(2 Thessalonians 1:8)
Yes, it is extremely important!
How do we “obey the gospel”? Well, if we believe Jesus is Lord and Christ, we must also repent of our sins (turn away from them). Jesus said, "I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish." (Luke 13:3)
Furthermore, the Bible says we must confess our faith in Christ. “That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." (Romans 10:9-10)
This is not the end, however. The Bible teaches our faith must include being baptized into Christ.
“Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.” (Romans 6:3-6)
"For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ." (Galatians 3:26-27)
“There is also an antitype which now saves us--baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,” (1 Peter 3:21)
“But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.” (Romans 6:17-18)
Baptism is immersion in water and resembles the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. In baptism, through faith, the believer accesses the atoning blood of Christ and is cleansed of all sins -- reborn!
These are the steps to be saved and to become a Christian! "Jesus answered, 'Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God'" (John 3:5).
Afterward, this beautiful statement applies to you: “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)
“Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them.” (Acts 2:41)
“…And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.” (Acts 2:47)
Christians must live and worship faithfully, walking ever closer to our Lord and Savior.
“And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.” (Acts 2:42)
"But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ." (2 Peter 1:5-8)
In summary, to be saved you must:
HEAR the gospel (Romans 10:17)
BELIEVE the gospel (Mark 16:16; John 3:16)
REPENT of your sins (Luke 13:3)
CONFESS Jesus as the Son of God (Matthew 10:32; Acts 8:37; Romans 10:9-10)
BE BAPTIZED (Mark 16:16; John 3:5; Acts 2:38; Acts 22:16; Romans 6:3-4; Galatians 3:27; Colossians 2:12; 1 Peter 3:21)
LIVE BY FAITH (Luke 9:23; Hebrews 10:38; Revelation 2:10)
Understand this as well, as a Christian you will face persecution. “Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.” (2 Timothy 3:12)
However, following Jesus is the ONLY way to be saved. Therefore, it is the best life to live! "Jesus said to him, 'I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.'" (John 14:6)
Dear friend, will you read the following words and give God your answer today?
'And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.' (Acts 22:16)