Becoming a Christian
"What must I do to be saved?" (Acts 16:30)
This is a great question. We hope you want to know the answer. The Bible tells us.
Let's first understand what salvation is all about. The Bible teaches that being saved is about being rescued by God from the darkness of sin and its consequences and being transferred into a relationship with Jesus Christ, where we can be cleansed and have forgiveness (Colossians 1:13-14).
But why do we need to be saved? Because God is a holy and just God, and to sin (to break God's laws) deserves death (Romans 6:23). God's justice demands death as payment for sin.
So can we be saved? Yes! Thankfully, God is not only a just God, but a very loving God. God IS love (1 John 4:8). He created us in His image and does not want us to perish (2 Peter 3:9; 1 Timothy 2:3-4). If God were only a God of justice and not a God of love, then we couldn't be saved, because our sins deserve death. However, because of God's great love, He did two things...
- God extended mercy to us by offering His Son Jesus to die in our place and atone for our sins (1 John 2:2). The death of Jesus satisfies God's justice and appeases Him by paying the judicial penalty for sin.
- But God did MORE than NOT giving us what our sins deserve. God gave grace... something we don't deserve! He gives us the opportunity to be His children and to live with Him in heaven forever after we die! (Ephesians 2:4-7)
It is only in Jesus Christ that this mercy and grace is found (John 14:6), and one enters Christ by faith (Galatians 3:26-27; Ephesians 2:8). Let's understand what this means. This doesn't mean simply believing in the mind that Jesus is the Christ and that He died and was resurrected. The demons believe those things (James 2:19). Saving faith is ACTIVE; it MOVES a person to submit to God's will (James 2:14-26; Hebrews 11:6). We see this in New Testament teaching:
- The gospel produces this faith. Its message moves/pricks our hearts about who Jesus is and what that means for us. Its message further calls on a response from us (Romans 10:17; John 8:24; Acts 2:36-41).
- This faith stirs one to repent - to turn from sin and turn to God (Acts 2:38; Acts 3:19; Luke 13:3).
- This faith compels one to confess - to pledge one's loyalty to Christ as Lord (Romans 10:9-10; Matthew 10:32; Acts 8:35-38; Acts 22:16).
- This faith moves one to enter the death and resurrection of Christ through baptism. In baptism, we clothe ourselves with Christ (Galatians 3:27). When we are baptized into Christ, we die to sin and receive new life (Mark 16:16; Romans 6:3-7).
- Having entered Christ, this faith drives us to walk with Him. We learn to follow all of Christ's will for us (Matthew 28:19-20). When we sin, we repent of those sins and confess them to God, and He cleanses us (Acts 8:22; 1 John 1:8-9). We worship and work with other disciples to help one another grow and to serve together in God's kingdom (James 5:16; Hebrews 10:24-25; Hebrews 12:28).
We would love to study with you further about your relationship with God. There is no greater need that one has than to be right with Him. Feel free to send us a message and we would be happy to serve you.