How to be Saved?
No greater question could ever be asked! Truth be told, we were all born with a bent to go our own way. We lived in defiance against God! We lived in rebellion against Him! We all lived, lusting after the things that brought pleasure to ourselves! We didn’t want anybody, especially God, telling us what we could and couldn’t do! The Scriptures say, “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned – every one – to his own way.” (Isaiah 53:6) Again, “All have turned aside.” (Romans 3:12)
Yet, despite our rebellion against God, He demonstrated His love for us by sending His only begotten Son to save us – to save you! Do you want to be saved? Do you want to know for sure that Heaven will be your home? Then let us together see the way to be saved and know it!
Why Do We Need to be Saved?
The answer to this question is one that is vital to understand. If we don’t comprehend it, we will not come up with the correct answer to the question of, “How to be Saved?”
What we must see, is that your and my relationship with God was broken. It is this relationship that must be put right for us to be saved! So, then, we must continue to ask questions and answer them, in order to get to the bottom of this.
The next question is, how was our relationship with God broken? The simple answer is, it was broken by our sin, and sin is rebellion against God! This is precisely what happened in the beginning of mankind’s history! Adam and Eve, the first two people God created, decided that they would rebel against God and eat from the tree of knowing right from wrong! How did this affect you and I? We read in God’s holy Word, “Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men…for as by the one man’s [Adam’s] disobedience the many were made sinners.” (Romans 5:18-19) Yes, by Adam’s sin, we were all counted as sinners, and sin we all do! “For there is no distinction: for all have sinned.” (Romans 3:22-23)
You see, God is holy, that is, without sin. And because God is holy, He must be separated from sinners, and this is precisely as it is written of Christ, that He is, “Separated from sinners.” (Hebrews 7:26)
Someone might ask, “Does it matter that we are separated from God?” Yes, it certainly does! For we are, “Dead in trespasses and sins,” and, “Whoever does not believe is condemned already.” (Ephesians 2:1/John 3:18) We’ll get to the believing part of this verse later. However, we see that the sinner is dead in sins and condemned. So, what is it that condemns us, and to what? We read it like this, “But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.” (Revelation 21:8)
We know also that God’s judgement is coming. Right now God is waiting for people to have a change of heart and cry out to Him to save them! As it is not God’s desire to see people perish, but much rather to see them saved! This is why we read, “For God so loved the world that he gave his [uniquely] born Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” (John 3:16-17)
However, God’s judgement will eventually come, as it is written, “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. But the day of the Lord [Judgement Day] will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done in it will be exposed.” (2Peter 3:9-10)
So, then, by now you should be getting a clear picture of why we need to be saved!
Can I Do Anything to be Saved?
Here we have yet another question of great import! We could ask the question this way, Is there anything that I can do that would mend the separation between myself and God? If I do enough good, if I give enough, if I get baptized, if I join the “right” church, if I keep the commandments, if I obey, if I invite Jesus into my heart, if I go forward at an altar call, if I say the sinner’s prayer, if I turn from my sin – are any of these what God requires? Well, let us see what God says! He says, “All our righteousnesses are as filthy rags.” (~Isaiah 64:6) Again, “Not because of works done by us in righteousness.” (Titus 3:5) Yet again, it, “Is not your own doing.” (Ephesians 2:8) And once more, “To the one who does not work.” (Romans 4:5) Yes, repeatedly the Scriptures testify that we have no part in this saving work!
You see, it could be that we have not comprehended the seriousness of our sin and its terrible consequences! For, “The wages of sin is death!” (Romans 6:23) Again, “Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.” (Hebrews 9:22) We must come to accept that I am a helpless sinner! That is, we come to see this, “For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh.” (Romans 7:18) Therefore, truth be told, I can do absolutely nothing to save myself! I can do nothing to take care of the separation between myself and God! I can do nothing to gain eternal life!
Salvation is a Gift by God’s Favour
Indeed, our verdict was not good! We are all declared “guilty”! For, “All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” Therefore, we hear this, “Obviously, the law applies to those to whom it was given, for its purpose is to keep people from having excuses, and to show that the entire world is guilty before God.” (^Romans 3:19)
As we sit before the Judge, we can hear the gavel fall! We hear the voice, “Guilty!” Then we also hear the chilling news, “The wages of your sin is death.” All our pleadings of all the good we have done – don’t avail – they were all counted as “filthy rags.” That is, when the Judge Himself says, “Wait! I love you! I will show my love for you in this way, I will send my uniquely born Son, Jesus Christ, to take the wages of your sin – which is death – for you!” This is what we read, “For God so loved the world [in this way], that he gave his only [uniquely born] Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16) Yes, “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)
The penalty has been paid in full for you! Jesus cried from the cross, “It is finished”! (John 19:30) Jesus took your place! This, that the separation between you and God could be removed! “For…while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son.” (Romans 5:10) Now, this is good news! This is the reason we read, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23) Did you get that? Eternal life is “FREE”!
I Want to be Saved!
Before I promised that we would get back to talking about “believing,” and here we are! Indeed, believing, is like claiming a gift! You don’t do anything to earn, merit, or deserve it! Neither are there stipulations to keep it! So with the free gift of eternal life! You don’t hold onto the gift by obedience or maintaining faith! Otherwise it would be as we read here, “But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace.” (Romans 11:6) As we see, we are saved by God’s grace from A-Z! It is the only way!
We also need to see that Jesus is the only Saviour, as we read, “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) We can, therefore, clearly see, that this excludes all of my own efforts!
So, how do I actually get saved? One must believe that God’s grace is enough for you! You must come to place your full confidence in Jesus to save you, that what He did for you is enough! It is coming to rely on Christ and not yourself!
Let us look at just a few sample Scriptures, of hundreds, to prove that “believing” in Christ’s finished work for you is enough!
“And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.” Romans 4:5
“Whoever believes in him is not condemned.” John 3:18
“The *gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes.” Romans 1:16
*“The gospel…that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures.” (1Corinthians 15:1-4)
We also have this marvellous promise to rest upon! “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10:13
You see, all your sin was heaped on Christ. Not one sin was omitted, even in your future! In turn, when you trust Christ alone as your Saviour, His righteousness is counted to you! Therefore, you are forever accepted in the Beloved! As we read, you are, “Accepted in the Beloved [Jesus Christ].” (~Ephesians 1:6)
It is because we have placed our faith in Christ alone, that we can confidently say, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1) And again, “And by that will we have been sanctified [made holy] through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” (Hebrews 10:10)
Remember, God loves you so much, that He sent Jesus to save you! And remember God’s promise! “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved”!
Victor J Reimer
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Photo credit: “Deep thought” by Rawle C. Jackman
*Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version (ESV), copyrighted © 2001 by Crossway. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
^Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007.
Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188.
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