The greatest question that has ever been entertained in the mind of man is the question, "What must I do to be saved?" (Acts 16:30). It is the most important question a person could ever ask because of what is at stake, man's eternal soul! Man has provided various responses to this great question. The denominational world's response usually goes something like this: "Admit you are a sinner and acknowledge that Jesus Christ died to be your Savior. Be willing to repent and invite Jesus into your heart through prayer for Him to be your personal Savior." While this may sound all well and good, the only problem with the so called "sinners prayer" for salvation is that the Bible nowhere teaches such a plan. Since it is by the Word of God that one day we all must be judged, (cf. John 12:48; Romans 14:12), we must be concerned then with what the Word of God teaches regarding salvation from sin. If we would be saved, we must go back to the Bible plan of salvation. Notice the words of Jesus and what He taught regarding the question, "What must I do to be saved?"
Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me" (John 14:6). He, alone, has the words of eternal life (cf. John 6:68). There is no other Savior but Jesus; there is no other way but His way. To have eternal life you must obey the words of Jesus.
Jesus said, "I said therefore unto you that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins" (John 8:24). Faith in Jesus as the Son of God is essential to be pleasing unto God. However, mere mental assent will not save a sinner, but it is an obedient faith that justifies (cf. James 2:14-26). Man is not saved or justified "by faith only" (James 2:24).
Jesus said, "I tell you, Nay: but except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish" (Luke 13:3). Godly sorrow will produce repentance when one fully understands the depth of God's love and the horrendous magnitude of sin. Our sin crucified Jesus. He died for you and me! This marvelous knowledge of God's amazing grace should cause us to sorrow over our sin and lead us to change our lives to cease from sinful living.
Jesus said, "Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess before my Father which is in heaven" (Matthew 10:32). The confession that Jesus Christ is the Son of God must be done from the heart and with the mouth (cf. Romans 10:9-10). It is this confession the Ethiopian Eunuch made when he said, "I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God" (Acts 8:37).
Jesus said, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned" (Mark 16:16). Jesus did not say, "He that believeth and is NOT baptized shall be saved," as many in our religious world teach today. Nor did Jesus say, "He that believeth and is saved shall be baptized." Jesus said what He meant, and He meant what He said. He could not have said it any plainer or any simpler. According to Jesus, baptism (immersion) is essential to the salvation of your soul. Salvation from sin comes only after one believes, repents, and is baptized "in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins" (Acts 2:38). If you have a problem with this teaching, you will have to take it up with the Lord on the Day of Judgment.
Jesus also said, "Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life" (Revelation 2:10b). Baptism is just the beginning of the Christian life. The child of God must endeavor to be faithful to the doctrine of Christ in teaching, worship, and practice of it in daily living. The reward for a life of faithful service will be eternal life with Jesus in Heaven (cf. 1 Peter 1:3-4).
Have you obeyed the Bible plan of salvation? If not, why not? -1311 Sanlor Ave, West Milton, Ohio 45383.
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