Bulletin articles

Bulletin articles

Saving Faith

What must I do to be saved? Of all the questions that you might consider, there is none more noble or more serious. Without a doubt, it has the most far-reaching consequences — eternal life or eternal damnation. Finding the right answer to this question and obeying its instructions are essential to the well-being of your soul.

Unfortunately, in your search for the truth, you will hear and read a lot of different answers to this question. They obviously cannot all be the truth, so you must be careful which answer you choose and follow. Your eternal destiny depends on it.

Some of the most common answers to this question are: “Accept Jesus Christ as your personal savior… Believe in Him as Lord and ask His forgiveness… Let Jesus come into your heart.” All of these teach the same thing — all you have to do is believe; merely accepting Jesus’ Lordship is enough; faith alone will save you. To support this teaching, John 3.16 is often quoted: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

Is this the whole truth?

Faith is absolutely essential to pleasing God. The Bible says, “But 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 diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11.6). However, for such faith to please God, how must it manifest itself in a person’s life?

Consider the story of the Philippian jailer in Acts chapter 16. Paul and Silas had been wrongfully accused of law-breaking and had been thrown into the innermost part of the prison, under the watch of the jailer. That night, as Paul and Silas prayed and sang praises to God, a great earthquake shook the prison. All of the prison’s doors were opened and the prisoners’ restraints were loosed. The jailer was about to take his own life for fear that all of the inmates had escaped, but Paul told him not to harm himself because they were all still there. The story continues:

Then [the jailer] called for a light, ran in, and fell down trembling before Paul and Silas. And he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.” And they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their stripes and immediately he and all his household were baptized. Now when he brought them into his house, he set food before them; and he rejoiced, having believed in God with all his household. (Acts 16.29-34)

Notice that the jailer asked the question, “What must I do to be saved?” What was the answer given by Paul and Silas? “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved…” But also notice the rest of the story. This man knew nothing about this One on Whom he was to believe, so Paul and Silas “spoke the word of the Lord to him.” When learned who Jesus Christ was and what his responsibilities toward Him were, he demonstrated repentance as “he took them…and washed their stripes,” and then he was immediately baptized. The text tells us that the jailer “believed in God,” but only after his faith motivated him to obey God’s will.

The Bible always provides its own best commentary, and it tells us that Biblical belief is not the “faith only” doctrine that is so popular today. Rather, truly believing in the Lord Jesus requires that a person take action to obey His commandments. This is exactly what the Philippian jailer did. On the other hand, one who fails to follow Jesus’ instructions does not truly believe in His authority and Lordship (Luke 6.46).

Jesus said, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved” (Mark 16.16). The apostle Peter, by the inspiration of God, told sinners to repent and be baptized for the forgiveness of their sins (Acts 2.38). Do you have the faith and courage to simply obey the Lord’s instructions? “He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him” (Hebrews 5.9). On the day of judgment, will you be found among the obedient who will receive eternal salvation?

How Can I Be Saved?
Hear - Romans 10:17
Believe - Hebrews 11:6
Repent - Acts 2:38
Confess - Romans 10:9
Be Baptized - 1 Peter 3:21
Live Faithfully - Revelation 2:10

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