Christian Living

What Must I Do To Be Saved?4 min read

December 20, 2016 3 min read


What Must I Do To Be Saved?4 min read

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Five Things

It’s the most important question you can ever ask. Yet if you ask ten different churches, you’ll get ten different answers. But what does the Bible say? We cannot afford to get this one wrong.

5 Things God Wants You To Know

1. You need a Savior.

Everyone – from the best to the worst – is lost without Jesus. “Surely there is not a righteous man on earth who does good and never sins” (Ecc. 7:20). “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).

2. You cannot save yourself.

No matter how good you are, you will never “earn” your way into heaven. “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death” (Prov. 14:12). “ Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).

3. God wants you to be saved.

He takes no joy in a lost soul. “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that He might bring us to God” (1 Pet. 3:18). “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28).

4. You have a choice.

God did not predestine you personally to be saved or be lost. He wants you – and everyone – to be saved, but He isn’t going to force you one way or the other. “…not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance” (2 Pet. 3:9). “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

5. God has provided a way for you to be saved.

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes” (Rom. 1:16). “He himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By His wounds you have been healed” (1 Pet. 2:24).

5 Things God Wants You To Do

1. Believe in Jesus Christ & His Kingdom.

You must believe that Jesus is the Son of God. “…so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His name” (John 20:31). You must believe that He is the Lord and King. “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31). You must believe in His kingdom (the church). “He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son” (Col. 1:13; cf. Acts 8:12).

2. Repent of your sins.

You must submit your life to the Lordship of Jesus. “Unless you repent, you will all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3). “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins” (Acts 2:38, cf. 3:19).

“Repent” is kind of a churchy word – but we need to get comfortable with it. Someone who is repenting means they are (a) making amends for the wrongs they have committed in life (cf. Luke 19:8-10), (b) continually fighting against sin in their life (1 John 3:19), and (c) committing a lifelong process of becoming more like Jesus (Gal. 2:20).

3. Confess Jesus before men.

Not just one time, but for the rest of your life. Your life must be a living testimony to the Lordship of Jesus. “So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven” (Matt. 10:32). “For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved” (Rom. 10:10).

4. Be baptized.

This is not a mere formality. If preceded by belief & repentance, it is the very point at which the grace of God saves you. “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved” (Mark 16:16). “He commanded them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ” (Acts 10:48).

We must point out that you must be baptized before you can be saved (1 Pet. 3:21). It is the moment your faith comes in contact with the saving blood of Jesus (Rom. 6:4). Baptism is how we enter into Christ (Gal. 3:26-27).

5. Live for Jesus.

By repentance and baptism, motivated by faith, we become God’s children – adopted into the royal family. But our salvation is not secure unless we live faithfully to God. We must walk in the light of Jesus. “If we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7).

For the rest of life on earth, we must add to our faith the Christian virtues (2 Pet. 1:5-7). Our salvation is conditional on our continuing as God’s children. And if we are His children, God will dwell in us. And if He is in us, His fruit will be obvious in our lives – love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Gal. 5:22-23).

Your comments are welcome and encouraged, even if they are in disagreement. However, please keep your comments relevant to the article. For my full comment policy, click here.

Ben Giselbach is the pulpit minister at the Edgewood church of Christ in Columbus, GA. He and his wife Hannah have two children, Ezra & Colleyanna. Ben is a graduate of Freed-Hardeman University and has written three books in his You Are A Theologian Series: Thinking Right about the Bible, Thinking Right about God, and Thinking Right about Salvation.
  1. Keith Pitts

    Hey, Ben, good article. I have seen two more things that I like to include when I offer the invitation. Since none of it matters without love, I start with Jn 14:15, we must love him. Then faith, repentance, confessing him, baptism, live faithfully (Rev 2:10), then worship faithfully (Jn 4:24). You and your family have a wonderful Lord's birthday and Christmas.

  2. Barry Kean

    Read Titus 3:5 Your close my friend, you "almost" have it right.

    • Ben

      Barry, I assume by your comment that you are suggesting that Titus 3:5 proves that baptism is not essential to salvation. You are mistaken about this. Baptism is not a "work done by us in righteousness" (Titus 3:5); it is not a work which merits anything from God. Baptism in fact "saves us," "not as a removal of dirt from the body," but it saves us "through the resurrection of Jesus Christ" (1 Peter. 3:21). Titus 3:5 can be seen as a commentary on John 3:5, where being "born again" occurs after the "washing of regeneration" (Titus) = "born of water" (John) & "renewal of the Holy Spirit" (Titus) = "born of Spirit" (John). It is profoundly wrong to suggest that baptism is a mere work of human merit. Rather, it is an act that has been commanded by God (Acts 10:48), "for the forgiveness of sins" (Acts 2:38), and the "resurrection" from that action is a "working of God" (just as belief is a "work of God," John 6:29). Salvation through baptism is a working of God; not a work of human merit (Colossians 2:12).

      • Sergio Jose Castrillo

        The washing of regeneration is of the Spirit not of water.

  3. Bobby

    Amen Thanks be to God for his Grace and Mercy that is if we are obedient...otherwise his son our savior died for nothing and we have no hope of eternal life...

  4. Melissa

    Thank you so much for sharing the truth of God's word so simply (though, really God's plan is already simple; it's mankind who've added confusion). Thank you also for including biblical references for your readers. I plan to print this out and keep it in my Bible for a quick reference for Bible studies. God bless!

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