by Richard Mansel
The most important question ever asked is, “What must I do to be saved?” (Acts 2:37,38; Acts 16:30). It exemplifies a concern for the status of our souls and a willingness to find a solution. The question deserves an honest answer from the only source that matters, God’s Word.
Christ is the author of our salvation (Hebrews 5:9) and it will only be found in him (John 14:6). In Scripture, we find out how we must be saved by teaching and example (Acts 2:37,38; Acts 8:27-39; Acts 22:16). Scripture contains all that we need to know to be saved (2 Timothy 3:16,17).
All “have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23, NKJV). Because of this sin, we are all separated from God (Isaiah 59:1-2).
Man has no capacity to save himself. Without Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, man would be totally without hope. God’s grace provides an avenue of salvation. We can only return to God because he sent his son, Jesus, to die so we could have our sins forgiven (Romans 5:6-11).
When we hear the gospel message about Christ dying for our sins, we must make a conscious decision to accept it as the absolute truth. Once we do so, it becomes a part of our very being. Faith is an absolute affirmation that Christ is the Son of God, that he died for the sins of the world and he is the Savior of the world (Hebrews 11:6).
“Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17).
Once we have accepted the truth of our sin and the absolute need for a Savior, we must repent of our sins (Luke 13:3,5; 2 Corinthians 7:9,10). Repentance is a turning away from a life of sin and to Christ as our new source of life (Acts 9:35). We leave the paths we have trod and stand behind Christ firmly to the end (Mark 9:34).
Now that we have accepted the truth of the gospel and turned our life to Christ, we are ready to confess to the world that Jesus is our Messiah. “Therefore, whomever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 10:32). On the contrary, if we cannot confess him, then we are not worthy of Christ.
Once we have accepted Christ and made him a part of our lives through faith, repentance, and confession, our sins must be washed away through the waters of baptism (Acts 22:16). Not that the waters have powers within themselves, but that we must be washed in the blood of Christ (Romans 5:9; cf. 2 Kings 5:8-14).
Baptism is immersion (Acts 8:38; Romans 6:3,4). It is the manner in which we enter the body of Christ (Galatians 3:27; Romans 6:3,4). Without being in Christ, we have no hope of salvation (Ephesians 1:3-6).
While salvation is because of Christ’s selfless sacrifice, man must submit to him in order to be saved. Even after we have obeyed the gospel, we still must have grace in order to be saved (Ephesians 2:8,9).
After being immersed for the remission of sins, we walk in Christ and live a life bringing glory to him (Ephesians 2:10; Ephesians 3:20,21). We remain faithful until death because we cannot imagine being without Christ (Revelation 2:10). We take up his cross and teach his truth to all who will listen as we follow his highway of holiness (Mark 8:34; Matthew 28:18-20; Isaiah 35:8). It is the greatest journey ever conceived.
“Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” (2 Corinthians 9:15).