What Do We Need to Do to Be Saved
“What must I do to be saved?” (Acts 16:30).
From the time of the fall of man, when sin came into the world, the soul of man has longed and searched for happiness. It is impossible for the sinful soul to find rest without God.
Sin separates man from God and creates a great gulf in the relationship between God and man. People have tried for many years and in many different ways to bridge this gulf of separation, but nothing man tries in his own strength works for him to be at peace with God.
Many people try pleasing God by fulfilling the law. They try to not break one law, but they sin anyway—if not in one way, then in another way. The Bible tells us no one will be justified before God by the works of the law.
Other people think they can please God with good works. But no matter how hard people try, they cannot be saved by their own works. Good deeds can never cover or outweigh our sins.
Religion is another very popular way people try to get closer to God. Many people think that if they find the right religion, become a member of a fellowship, and try to follow all the rules this is all that is needed for salvation. They are greatly deceived! No religion can save a person from sin.
All methods by which man tries to gain salvation based on what he does are doomed to fail. Man does not have the ability to save himself. If people could save themselves, then Jesus would not have needed to leave heaven, suffer, and die. There is only one way to be saved, and everyone can find that way, whether youth or adult. How can we find the way?
“Jesus said: “Verily verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life” (John 6:47).
“And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house” (Acts 16:31).
“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17).
Salvation is an act of God, not of man. People do not need to think of a way to be saved or work for something to give them salvation. They only need to accept the conditions God has laid out in the Bible.
The first condition or the first step every person needs to take is to believe God and His Word. The first sin of people was unbelief. Eve doubted God’s word—Did God really say the truth? Would they really die if they ate of the forbidden fruit? Disobedience followed unbelief. Eve took the fruit, ate of it herself, and gave some to Adam.
People lost spiritual life because of unbelief, and we can only come to God through faith. “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (Hebrews 11:6). Without faith we cannot please God, and without faith no one can be saved.
How do we get faith? The Bible says that faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. If you carefully read the Bible, you will hear the call of Jesus: “Come unto Me and I will give you salvation!” Obedience to this Word is how faith begins.
- What is the first step a person must take in the way of salvation?
- Where does faith come from?
Repent of Our Sins
“Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out” (Acts 3:19).
The second step that needs to be taken in the way of salvation is to acknowledge that you are a sinner and repent of your sins before God.
It is not easy to admit that you are a sinner. Usually a person tries to justify himself: “I am not all that bad. There are many people who are worse than me. I never killed anyone. I never stole anything. . . .”
But God says all people have sinned and deserve to die for their sins. If you believe this, you understand that you are a part of the sinners to be punished with eternal death. This is revealed to you by the mercy of God. God, through His Holy Spirit, is opening your eyes so you can see yourself the way you are.
You can choose to ignore God’s Word and stay in the number of the perishing, or you can choose to fall on your knees and say, “Yes, Lord, I am a sinner! Forgive me! I am sorry I did not love You and did much evil—I was not obedient; I deceived and offended others; I used bad words. . . . Now I know that You died for me. Free me from all evil. I ask you, Jesus—cleanse my heart, accept me as one of Your children, and lead me to heaven! Amen.”
Jesus wants to hear this kind of prayer. He is seeking all those who are lost and stained by sin and is calling them to Himself. Jesus stretches out His helping hand to people in sin and saves them.
But repentance is not everything.
- What is the second step we need to take in the way to God?
- Who helps us see that we are sinners?
Turn Away From Sin
“Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, as newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby” ( 1 Peter 2:1, 2).
After asking God for forgiveness for your sins, you need to turn away from sin and turn your whole heart to God. This means you can no longer act as you did before. If, before repentance, you lightheartedly joked, lied, insulted others, tried to take revenge whenever you could on anyone who offended you, and committed all manner of evil, your life should be different now. All your strength must be put into serving God and staying away from places where it is easy to sin.
If your sins have hurt other people, you will want to make restitution. This means you will apologize to those you have wronged and will make things right with them as far as possible. In this way, your conscience will be cleared before God and man.
Reading God’s Word gives us strength and tells us how to live right. For the person who has repented, turned to God, and is spiritually alive, the Bible becomes his measure for life, his compass for the way, and his daily food. If you ignore God’s Word, you will soon die spiritually and become a stranger to God.
So believe in God, acknowledge that you are a sinner, repent before God, and turn from your sin. These are the steps you need to take to be saved. Jesus Christ is waiting for you. Do not postpone your acquaintance with Him.
- What step do you need to take after repentance, so you can be saved?
- How does the Bible help us become closer to God?
Receive Salvation by Faith
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8, 9).
Everyone, children and adults alike, enjoy receiving a gift. When someone gives you a gift, does the thought of paying for the gift even enter your mind? Of course not! You might have a great respect for the person who gave you the gift, but you do not give money for the gift, because it is a gift. It was given to you free and without price.
Salvation is God’s gift to man. It is a very precious, very expensive gift. Jesus has paid for salvation with His own life. You cannot work for or buy salvation. You can only receive it as you would receive a gift.
If you believe in Jesus Christ and His Word, have acknowledged that you are a sinner, and have repented before God, you can be assured that you have received the gift of salvation. You need to go on believing with all your heart what is written in the Bible—that God forgives repentant sinners and gives them eternal life. Sinners who have turned to God and have received salvation become holy and are called the children of God, or lambs of Jesus.
Perhaps you think, “But I am too sinful. I am unworthy of this gift.” Remember that Jesus came to this earth to save sinners—ones just like you who need salvation. No one deserves to be saved or can do anything to deserve the gift of salvation. God gives this gift to us by His love and mercy and not according to our merits.
The Bible says, “By grace ye are saved.” Grace is a gift of undeserved mercy from God. By God’s grace, we are saved from eternal destruction!
- Why do we need to pay for salvation?
- Do you want to be saved from eternal destruction?
Live in Obedience to God
“And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again” (2 Corinthians 5:15).
“But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you” (Romans 6:17).
If you have believed God’s Word, repented of your sins, and by faith have received salvation, then Jesus Christ is now your Lord and Savior. Your name is written in the book of life with those who are saved and redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ. You are a very happy person, and the Bible tells us the angels in heaven are rejoicing about your salvation. The day is coming in the future when you will enter eternity with all the saints. You will see God with your own eyes and live with Him forever.
For now, a new unknown path is ahead of you. Without God’s help, it is impossible to walk this path. Satan will try to get you to return to your old life, and you will need to battle with your bad habits and desires along with other kinds of temptation.
The gift of salvation can be lost and needs to be carefully protected. It is not easy to protect the gift of salvation, but the Lord will help you if you love Him with all your heart and diligently try with all your strength to live the way the Bible teaches. This means the Good Shepherd is always with you and will never leave you, when you obey God in everything.
Read the Bible every day, especially the New Testament, which was written after Jesus was here on this earth. The New Testament is the guide for the Christian’s life today. Read carefully, remember what you read, and try to live by what is written. If you sin, do not become discouraged—ask forgiveness from God and avoid sin in the future. Pray and ask God continually for help and strength to obey His Word. He has promised to be with you and guide you to eternity!
- How do we need to live so that we will make it to heaven?
If You Have Recently Begun to Follow Jesus
“He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned” (Mark 16:16).
Jesus said, “I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18).
A person who is following Jesus in his daily life will desire the fellowship of other believers. He will want to meet with them to read the Bible, pray, and sing together in worship to his Savior and Lord. Being in presence of other believers for fellowship and teaching is very helpful for every believer to remain stedfast in the faith.
The assemblies of those who have been called out from this evil world and separated unto God are called churches. These churches have been in existence ever since the day of Pentecost, (the day when God’s Spirit was given to the believers, soon after Jesus ascended into heaven). Churches exist to this present day, and churches will exist until the end of time.
God has designed that born-again followers of Jesus are initiated into the church by being baptized with water. Baptism is a testimony before God and man that a person is finished with his past life of sin and is committed to living a new life. It signifies that he is now a new creature in Christ Jesus. Old things are passed away and all things have become new. He is now choosing to identify with and to suffer affliction with God’s people rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin, which last only for a time. Baptism is the response of a good conscience before God, and symbolizes the outpouring (baptism) of the Holy Spirit.
We urge you to find a group of believers who are serious about following Jesus and all the teachings of God’s Word. Join yourself to such a group of believers. Remain faithful to Christ and His church as long as you live. May God bless you in your new walk with Him!
And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his SON JESUS CHRIST. This is the TRUE GOD, and ETERNAL LIFE. (John 5:20)