What Must I Do To Be Saved?
Regardless of who you are, or where you live, we find people from all walks of life are concerned about the condition of their souls. In this concern, people will ask, "What must I do to be saved?". This question is something worthy of our consideration and deserves a Bible answer.
When someone asks, "What must I do to be saved?" this says a great deal about that person. It tells us that a person recognizes that he is lost. If he did not recognize the lost condition of his soul, there would be no motivation for the question. This one recognizes a truth that God declared in the long ago: "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). Because of sin, the Bible describes us as being spiritually dead (Ephesians 2:1, 5; Colossians 2:13). The person asking, "What must I do to be saved?" now sees that he is lost and needs salvation.
Furthermore, to ask, "What must I do to be saved?" suggests this person recognizes salvation is not found internally. In other words, one cannot save himself. If this one could, he would have already done it. The Bible declares that man cannot save himself; rather Christ came to save men's souls (Luke 19:10; I Timothy 1:15). When our Lord died (I Corinthians 15:3), His blood was "shed for many for the remission of sins" (Matthew 26:28; I Peter 1:18-19). Therefore, this one asking the question "What must I do to be saved?" needs a Savior (Christ), since he is lost in sin.
Asking, "What must I do to be saved?" shows that one recognizes that there are conditions for salvation. The Bible does not teach unconditional, universal salvation, else we would be saved already, and would have no need to ask the question "What must I do to be saved?" (Titus 2:11; Matthew 26:28). There are conditions which must be met by men in order to enjoy the salvation promised by Christ (Matthew 7:21; Luke 6:46).
The question "What must I do to be saved?" shows urgency. This person recognizes that there is something to his salvation that is a "must." "Must" is the strongest word in the English language. There are no options or exceptions given when something is a "must." The question also shows that one recognizes that salvation is an individual matter. Therefore, one cannot be saved "for" someone else. Each one must accept the Lord's conditions for salvation. Each one comes to the Lord on His terms, or not at all.
Notice also that in asking, "What must I do to be saved?" that one is not asking what God has done to bring about salvation. We recognize God's hand in our salvation, for without God, we could not be saved. God loves us and sent His Son to die for us (John 3:16; Romans 5:8). Christ "tasted death for every man" and shed His blood for us (Hebrews 2:9; Matthew 26:28). Furthermore, it is the Holy Spirit who was sent to guide the writers into all truth and give them God's soul-saving word to teach to mankind (John 16:13; II Peter 1:20-21; Mark 16:15; Romans 1:16). While God has done all He is going to do to bring about man's salvation, the Bible reveals that there are a few things which man needs to do if he is going to be saved.
When one asks, "What must I do to be saved?" we find that the Lord answers by telling us to:
1) Believe in Christ. Jesus said, "if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins" (John 8:24). This faith comes through hearing God's word (Romans 10:17). Without faith, it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6).
2) Repent of your sins. To repent is to turn away from sin and wrongdoing and determine to live for Christ.It is a change of mind which results in a change of life. Some have equated repentance with sorrow, but it is more than that (II Corinthians 7:10). Jesus said, "I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish" (Luke 13:3, 5). Paul told those on Mars' Hill, "And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent" (Acts 17:30).
3) Confess your faith in Christ. The Bible says, "For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation" (Romans 10:10). The Ethiopian eunuch made this confession when he told Philip, "I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God." (Acts 8:37). It is this confession which Christ said was the basis upon which the church was built (Matthew 16:16-18).
4) Be Baptized. Finally, we find that if one wishes to be saved, he will be baptized in water for the remission of sins. We see this happening in Acts 2:38, when after the people had heard the gospel (Acts 2:22), and believed that Jesus is "both Lord and Christ" (Acts 2:36), the people asked, "what shall we do?" (Acts 2:37). Peter's response was that they needed to "repent and be baptized ... for the remission of sins" (Acts 2:38). On another occasion, after Philip "preached Jesus" to the eunuch (Acts 8:35); when "they came to a certain water," the eunuch asked, "what doth hinder me to be baptized?" (Acts 8:36). When he was told to believe in Christ, and he confessed his faith (Acts 8:37), "he (the eunuch) commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him" (Acts 8:38). The teaching of Philip and the response of the eunuch parallels not only Acts 2:36-38, but also Mark 16:15-16.
Friend, this is what the Bible says you must do to be saved. Don't delay any longer. Let us help you "put on Christ" (Galatians 3:27). Why not be saved from your sins today? "...behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation" (II Corinthians 6:2) "To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts" (Hebrews 3:15).
For further study and consideration ...