What Must I Do to Be Saved?
This question is one of the most important questions of our lives because our eternity will depend on how we answer. There are many false ways being taught now from "all you have to do is believe in God" to "all you need to do is live a good moral life". I agree we must believe in God and live a good moral life, but we need to see what God says and not just believe what I or any other man thinks is acceptable to God to be in a saved condition here on earth.
If we are asking this question, we must believe there is a Heaven and a Hell. After this life, we will either be in comfort and paradise or a place of pain and torment for eternity. Although the false ways are many, God is specific in His word regarding this subject. The Bible has two testaments, the Old and New. All through the Bible, God has always set the standard of how we are to live. In the Old Testament, He spoke directly to man, and then gave man the Ten Commandments to live by (Exodus 20). This ended when Jesus came to this earth from Heaven to fulfill the Old Testament Law and the Ten Commandments. Although Jesus instructed us to keep some of the same commands, we are under New Testament Law, which Jesus began at Jesus death. (Hebrews 9:16, 17)
We cannot take just one verse from the New Testament to know all we must do to be saved. We must examine the Bible to know fully how to obey God's word.
First, we must hear what we must do to be saved. However, we must hear the right teaching in order to be pleasing to God, not just anything that has religious content. Jesus says whoever hears these sayings of Mine and does them is like a wise man. (Matthew 7:24) So we see from this passage that it will be Jesus' word that will save us and not man's. The previous verses (vs. 21-23) teach us the outcome of the false teacher. Paul, the apostle, teaches in Romans 10:17 that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. Again, it does matter what we hear, only the word of God will produce faith in God and in His power to save us. This leads us into our next step toward being saved.
Belief, in God's plan (faith), was taught by Jesus in Mark 16:15-16. He taught His apostles, to "go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature and that he who believes and is baptized will be saved, but he who does not believe will be condemned". This teaches that it's very important we believe in the gospel (the good news of Jesus life obeying God our Heavenly Father, overcoming death and being resurrected from the grave). In John 8:24, Jesus says we will die in our sins if we do not believe that Jesus is the Son of God. When we believe that Jesus has the power to save us we must act upon that faith. Remember what we said above about the false teachings of "believing only" or "faith only" will save us? Please look at James 2:19. Believing is essential, but there is more that must be done, verse 20 states that faith without works is dead. If believing is all that is necessary, the demons would have been saved.
We are to be ashamed of the sin in our life and know in order to be saved we must change to do God's will. This is referred to as repentance. Peter, the apostle, taught repentance in Acts 2:38 to those who recognized they were in a lost condition, from doing their own will and crucifying Jesus. Acts 2:37 says, these people were cut to the heart and asked, "what shall we do"? Peter could have said, just believe there is a God and go your way living the same as you always have, or just hear and obey anything that makes you feel good. Instead he was very direct saying, "repent and be baptized everyone of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of your sins". Paul says in Acts 17:30, 31 that God commands all men everywhere to repent because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world. We find in II Corinthians 7:10 that godly sorrow produces repentance to salvation. This teaches we must have godly sorrow. Only true godly repentance will lead us to salvation. Please see Romans 10:9,10.
It's important to act upon our faith as stated earlier. Another step we find in God's word is confession. In Matthew 10:32, Jesus says if we confess Him before men, He will confess us before His Father in Heaven. Verse 33 goes on to say that if we deny Him before men, that Jesus will deny us before His Father. So we must acknowledge our faith by confessing we believe that Jesus is the Son of God. A good example of this is written in Acts 8. Philip had taught the Ethiopian eunuch about Jesus (v 35). The good confession was made in verse 37. Paul teaches confession is important for our salvation is Romans 10:9, 10.
In some of the verses we've read so far, we see that baptism was included in the teaching of Jesus and His Apostles. Mark 16:16 says he who believes and is baptized will be saved. Acts 2:38 says repent and let everyone of you be baptized. Acts 8:36 says the eunuch was taught about Jesus and this prompted him to ask to be baptized.
Some want to stop after being baptized, feeling they've done what was taught and now just need to lead a life that is pleasing to themselves. Revelation 2:10 teaches us we must be faithful children of God until death in order to get the crown of life. This is also spoken of in James 1:12 which says blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been proved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.
What must I do to be saved? I must Hear, Believe, Repent, Confess Jesus as the Son of God, be Baptized for the remission of sin, and live a faithful life.The question is indeed the most important one you will answer. Please think seriously about your response before answering. We can have peace of mind here on earth, if we are obedient and faithful to God; our salvation is promised to us by our Heavenly Father. We know that God cannot lie, (Titus 1:2) and that God is not slack concerning His promise, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. (II Peter 2:9)