WHAT MUST I DO TO BE SAVED?
The first thing that we should learn in studying this question is the deep concern that God has for our salvation. The great love, mercy and grace that God has shown and the many things that God has done for my salvation should all encourage me to be concerned about my soul. John 3:16 tell us much about God's love. Here we find:
The extend of God's love. "For God so loved the
world…" His love includes all races, the rich, the poor,
young and old. God's love is for all.
The depth of God's love. "…God so loved the
world…" God loved the world so much that He gave
the supreme sacrifice for salvation.
The proof of God's love. "….He gave His only
begotten Son…" Since God was concerned enough
to give His only begotten Son that I might be saved,
should I not be concerned about my salvation? God
is greatly concerned about my salvation. He has
shown such great love, He has done so much for me.
Let me now show my appreciation to God by learning
what He wants me to do to be saved.
THE QUESTION CLEARLY STATE
There are many important questions, the most important one being: What must I do to be saved? The question is not what must Abraham do to be saved in the Patriarchal Age. It was necessary for Abraham to leave his homeland in Ur of the Chaldees (Genesis 11:31; 12:1-3). It was necessary for Abraham to offer his son Isaac on the altar (Genesis 22:2). It is not necessary for us to do that today. God does not require this of us to have our sins forgiven. The question is not what must David do to be saved in the Mosaic Age. David offered burnt offerings (2 Samuel 24:24-25). God does not require this of us to have our sins forgiven. The question is: What must I do to be saved in the Christian Age?
God has required people in different ages to do different things to be saved. In the Patriarchal Age God required Noah to build an ark to be saved. God does not require us to build an ark to be saved. If we spent our entire life building an ark this would not please God; it would not save us from sin. During the Mosaic Age God required the people to keep the day of atonement on the tenth day of the seventh month each year (Leviticus 16:29-30). The priest offered animal sacrifice to atone for the people's sins. God does not require this of us and if we kept the day of atonement each year and offered exactly the same sacrifice they offered it would not please God, it would not forgive our sins. God did not tell us to do that. The question is: What does God teach us to do to be saved in the Christian Age?
THE QUESTION AS ASKED IN THE BIBLE
Although God has required people to do different things in different ages to be saved, one great principle has always been true. The principle is that God always requires man to have faith and to obey. Noah obeyed God. "Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he" (Genesis 6:22). Abraham obeyed God. "By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went" (Hebrews 11:8). The Bible teaches us to obey today. Jesus said, "And why call ye me Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?" (Luke 6:46). "Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered: and being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him" (Hebrews 5:8-9). In no age or dispensation could men please God without faith and obedience, and this is true today in the Christian Age.
How thankful we are that the way of salvation is plain, simple and within the grasp of all. In the Bible no person ever failed to be saved because he could not understand what Christ wanted him to do. No person ever failed to be saved because he could not do what Christ asked to be done.
On the day of Pentecost 3,000 people asked, "Men and brethren, what shall we do?" (Acts 2:37). They were told what to do (Acts 2:38) and did it (Acts 2:41). Saul of Tarsus asked, "… Lord, what wilt thou have me do?" (Acts 9:6). He was told, "Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do" (Acts 9:6). The jailer asked, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" (Acts 16:30). He was told what to do (Acts 16:31), taught the word of the Lord (Acts 16:32), and obeyed the Lord to be saved the same hour of the night (Acts 16:33-34). In the New Testament when sinners were convicted of sin they asked what to do to be saved. The question was never "What must I get?" or "How must I feel?" but "What must I do?" It is scriptural and important for us to study the question: What must I do to be saved?
THE QUESTION ANSWERED
Faith is the first step that one should take to be saved. "But without faith it impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder to them that diligently seek him" (Hebrew 11:6). How does one get this saving faith? "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God" (Romans 10:17). "But these things are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that, believing, ye might have life through his name" (John 20:31). Since it is impossible to please God without faith, then faith must be the first step for the sinner. The Bible clearly teaches that the sinner cannot please God without faith and this faith comes by hearing the word of God. The things written in the Bible were written that we might believe. Our faith must be based upon the word of God.
Repentance is the second step that one should take to be saved. Peter commanded people on Pentecost to "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins …" (Acts 2:38). God commands men everywhere to repent (Acts 17:30). Paul preached to the Gentiles "…that they should repent and turn to God, and
do works meet for repentance" (Acts 26:20). Repentance is not merely feeling sorry for sins, rather godly sorrow works repentance or brings repentance (2 Corinthian 7:10). Repentance means to turn away from our sins, give up our sins, to forsake sin.
Confession is the third step that one should take to be saved. Jesus taught us to confess him before men (Matthew 10:32). "For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation" (Romans 10:10). Since we are to confess Christ and the confession is made with the mouth, it follows that we are to confess with the mouth, Jesus as Lord. These are not empty words, for we are acknowledging Christ as our Savior and promising to follow or serve him as our master. We have an example of the confession being made "unto salvation". Philip preached Jesus to the eunuch from Ethiopia (Acts 8:35). While hearing Jesus preached the eunuch asked, "See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?" (Acts 8:36). Philip answered his question by saying, "… If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest", and the eunuch answered, "…I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God" (Acts 8:37). Upon this confession Philip baptized him and when the eunuch came up out of the water he went on his way rejoicing (Acts 8:38-39).
Baptism is the fourth step that one should take to be saved. The Bible clearly teaches that baptism is a condition of salvation just as faith, repentance or confession is a condition. What does the Bible say about baptism and salvation? Jesus said, "He that believeth, and is baptized, shall be saved; but he that believeth not, shall be damned" (Mark 16:16). Peter said, "…Repent, and be baptized everyone of you in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins…" (Acts 2:38). Ananias said to Saul of Tarsus (Paul), "…arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord" (Acts 22:16). Paul said, "…we are buried with him by baptism…we also should walk in newness of life" (Romans 6:4). Each time that baptism and salvation are mentioned together in a passage of scripture, baptism always comes before salvation. It is the point of baptism that Christ promised to forgive the sinner. Please read the following scriptures in your Bible and notice the order in which baptism and salvation occur.
In Mark 16:16 you will notice that "believe comes before "saved". Does the fact that "believe" comes before being saved make necessary for one to believe to be saved? Surely so. You will notice also that "baptized" comes before "saved". We can clearly see that if "believing" coming before salvation makes believing necessary to salvation then baptism coming before salvation also makes baptism necessary to salvation.
In Acts 2:38 "repent" comes before remission of sins. Does the fact that "repent" comes before "remission of sins" make repentance necessary to remission of sins? Surely so. You will notice also that "baptized" comes before "remission of sins". We can clearly see that if "repentance" coming before remission of sins makes "repentance" necessary to remission of sins then baptism coming before remission of sins also makes baptism necessary to remission of sins.
WHAT IS BIBLE BAPTISM?
Bible baptism requires one to believe. "He that believeth, and is baptized, shall be saved…" (Mark 16:16).
Bible baptism requires repentance. "…Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins…" (Acts 2:38). Since infants can neither believe nor repent they are not subjects of baptism. Infants do not need to be baptized to be saved for they are not lost, they are safe.
Bible baptism is immersion. It requires going "…down…into the water…" and coming "…up out of the water…" (Acts 8:38-39). It requires a burial. "Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death…" (Romans 6:4). "Buried with him in baptism…" (Colossians 2:12). Sprinkling is not baptism for it does not require a burial. It does not require going down into the water or coming up out of the water.
Bible baptism brings us into Christ. "For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ, have put on Christ" (Galatians 3:27).
Now let us illustrate how plain the way of salvation is. Let this circle represent Christ, for the Bible says that salvation is in Faith is the first step for we learned in Hebrews 11:6 that we cannot please God without faith. This first step is essential but one is not yet in Christ. Repentance is the second step and we cannot be saved without repentance (Luke 13:3). As essential as this step is, the person is not yet in Christ where salvation is found. The third step is confession and if we do not confess Christ before men then Christ will not confess us before the Father (Matthew 10:32-33). This third step must be taken and the person is nearer salvation than when he started at faith, but he is still not in Christ. The fourth step is baptism and here the Bible declares that we enter into Christ. "For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ, have put on Christ' (Galatians 3:27). This is in harmony with the other scriptures we have studied showing baptism to be a condition of salvation. Each one of the steps is necessary but it is at the point of baptism that we enter into Christ where salvation is.
If you have not taken these steps to be saved we persuade you to do so at once. When you take these steps to enter Christ, at the same time you become a member of his spiritual body (1 Corinthians 12:13), a member of the church (Acts 2:41; Colossians 1:18). You are a Christian (Acts 11:26).
God has shown His love for us by sending Christ to die for us (Romans 5:8). Christ has shown his love for us and has made the way of salvation plain. We persuade you to believe in Christ, repent, confess Christ and be baptized into Christ today. If we can assist you please call on us.
Christ (2 Timothy 2:10).
SECTION 1 - ANSWER IN A FEW WORDS
Name three things that we learn about God's love in John 3:16
How did God show His love for us?
Of the many important questions, which is the most important?
What is the one principle that has been true in all ages?
The question of our lesson clearly stated is what does God teach us to do to be saved in what age:
The first step in salvation is
The second step in salvation is
The third step in salvation is
The fourth step in salvation is
Name the step in salvation that brings us into Christ
SECTION 2 - MULTIPLE CHOICE
In the Bible _________ failed to be saved because they could not understand what Christ wanted them to do.
no personmany people
In the New Testament when sinners were convicted of sin they asked
what to get?how they should feel?what to do?
Faith comes by
personal experiencesfearhearing the word of God
In the Bible baptism comes _____ salvation.
Infants _____ subjects of baptism.
Bible baptism is
in Christout of Christ
believe into Christare baptized into Christ
When we are baptized into Christ
we also become a member of the churchdo not become members of the church
We are a Christian ______ we come into Christ.
SECTION 3 - YES OR NO
God told Noah to build the ark in the Patriarchal Age.
Today we should keep the day of atonement.
Christ became the author of eternal salvation to all that say Lord, Lord.
When Saul of Tarsus asked, "Lord, what wilt thou have me do?" he was told to pray through.
When the jailer asked, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" he was told to believe and was not baptized until three months later.
Our faith must be based on the word of God.
Repentance means to turn away from or forsake sin.
When we confess Christ we are promising to follow Christ or serve him.
When faith comes before salvation (Mark 16:16), this makes faith necessary to salvation.
When baptism comes before salvation (Mark 16:16), this makes baptism necessary to salvation.
SECTION 4 - MULTIPLE OF CHOICE
________ was called to go out into a place which he would later receive for an inheritance.
_________ was told to arise and go into the city and it shall be told thee what thou must do.
The ______ on Pentecost asked men and brethren what shall we do?
________ went down into the water, was baptized and came up out of the water (Acts 8:38-39).
The jailerThe eunuch
_______ said to Saul arise and be baptized and wash away thy sins.
SECTION 5 - WHICH SCRIPTURE
God's love for us.
Faith is necessary.
How faith comes.
Repentance is necessary.
Confession is necessary.
What we are to confess.
Baptism is necessary.
Baptism brings us into Christ.
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