This is the most important question one can ask! It was asked some three times in the New Testament (Acts 2:37, 16:30, 22:10). God is certainly interested in our salvation as he “desires all men to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth” (1Tm 2:4). As a matter of fact, “God demonstrates His own love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Rm 5:8). It was in the gift of God’s son on the cross that we are able to have our sins forgiven (Matt 26:28). The question is; “how do I appropriate the gift of Christ’s sacrifice”.
God has done his part in that “the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men,” (Titus 2:11). This however does not say that all men are going to be saved, but that salvation is available to all men. The Bible does say that Jesus “became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation,” (Heb 5:9). Salvation is available to all men if they will simply do the will of their Father in heaven ( Matt 7:21).
What then must I do to obtain this salvation through Christ?
1) We must hear the word of God. In Acts 11:14 we read of the saving of Cornelius and his house. Notice that Peter was to speak to him words by which he would be saved. Only the sacred writings are “able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus” (2Tm 3:15). We must know the truth of God’s word. (Jn 8:31-32)
2) We must have faith or believe. Jesus himself said in Jn 8:24 “for unless you believe that I am He, you shall die in your sins.” “And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him” (Heb 11:6). This saving faith will lead us to obey God as Abraham did in Heb 11:8.
3) We must repent of our sins. The Lord is “not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance” (2Pt 3:9). Repentance is a change of heart that will result in a “turning around” in our life. In Matt 3:8, John the Baptist admonished those of his day to ”bring forth fruit in keeping with repentance;” In other words, the change brought about in our life should be evident to those around us.
4) We are also told that we must confess our belief in Christ to our fellow man. In Rm 10:10 we read “for with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.” In Acts 8:37 we read that the Ethiopian eunuch confessed “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”
5) In order to complete our initial obedience to God and utilize the gift of Christ, we must also be baptized in water for the forgiveness of our sins. In Acts 2:38 “Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.’” In Acts 22:16 Saul was told to “Arise, and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on His name.” Our sins are washed away in baptism, not by water, but by the blood of Jesus Christ. When we are baptized, we are baptized into the death of Christ (Rm 6:3-4). It was in his death that Christ shed his blood for our forgiveness(Matt 26:28). It is only in baptism that we come into contact with the cleansing blood of Jesus. This is why Peter could later write that “baptism now saves you– not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience..” (1Pt 3:21).
This has been a brief summary of what God has outlined for us to do in obedience to him. At this point we are added to his church (Acts 2:47) as the saved. The saved are baptized believers (Mk 16:16). God then expects the saved to continue to make progress in their spiritual lives(2Pt 3:18) and be fruitful in his work (1Cor 15:58). They then may receive an eternal reward as God’s faithful children (Rev 2:10).
Are you saved according to God’s word, according to his way? Are you then a member of his church as found in the New Testament? We would love to help you know the truth, be saved by the blood of Christ and become a member of the church of the New Testament! Contact us at [email protected]