What does a person have to do to be saved?

The following material is only a summary. Use it only as a guide and never feel limited to draw from other passages that address the same subject.

Romans 3:23

“...for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,...”

A person must realize he is a sinner.

Romans 6:23

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

 The word “death” in this passage means separation.  Here it means separation from God.

A person must understand that since we have all sinned, our payment (“wages”) for sinning is separation from God eternally (“death” or hell).

Since eternal life is a “gift”,  a person must understand there is no way to work hard enough to deserve it.  Only God can give this gift and we must be in Jesus to get the gift.

Romans 5:8

“...God demonstrates his own love for us in this:  While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

Since Christ died for us while we were still sinners, we can accept His forgiveness while we are still sinners. Some say, “I’ll be saved as soon as I break a few of my sinful habits.” That is doing things backwards, according to this verse.

Romans 10:9

“That if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

The word “Lord”, in this passage, is far more than just a second name for Jesus.  It is also His title or description.  The word “Lord” means master, ruler or boss. A person must be willing to publicly admit that he is accepting Jesus as his boss.

The word “believe” also has a far deeper meaning than just mental acknowledgment or confidence.  Biblical belief has always been a combination of both confidence and obedience.  (See James 2:14-26.)  Yes, as this verse says, belief will save you, but only if it is true biblical belief that is full of confident obedience. 

This verse specifically says we must have confident obedience to the power of the resurrection. In the last passage of this study, Romans 6:3-4, we will see what a person must do to obey the power of the resurrection.

Romans 2:4

“Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you towards repentance?”

The word “repentance” refers to the act of turning ones life around, walking in a new direction or following after a new master.

In order to be saved a person must take responsibility for their actions, reject their earlier lifestyle and begin a pattern of disciplined change.

All of the material thus far has been about our approach to God for salvation. But the Father wants much more. He wants to bring us into the family. It is not enough to just come back to God. We must come inside!

In the remaining material, we will uncover the doorway that leads us inside the salvation of God. Romans 6:23 says, “...the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” The word “in” is such a small word, but it means so very much. Eternal life is not found by just coming back to God, eternal life is found by coming inside. 

But how does a person get inside Christ Jesus? The answer is simple and found only a few verses earlier in Romans 6:3, “Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus....” Verse four goes on to say that “a new life” comes after one is baptized. Baptism is undoubtedly the door that gets us inside.

Let’s notice this passage more closely.

Roman 6:3,4

“Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?  We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.”

In this passage, we are told that baptism is the door that leads “into Christ”. It is a very important step.  We also find that baptism is a duplication of the greatest event in history - the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus.  Every time a person is baptized, he/she duplicates the very steps that Jesus went through to save us from our sin. Baptism is like an instant replay of Christ’s defeat of Satan. Baptism is God’s favorite instant replay and He loves to see it over and over again.

Please consider a few very important questions about this God-sanctioned doorway. It is very important that you let God answer for Himself even if it means you have to reject a pre-held position or even the teachings of a most trusted friend. Let God speak.

According to this passage, how does a person get “into Christ”? 

According to this passage, is it possible to bury a person in water if you only sprinkle or pour water on their head? The word “baptism” in this passage means to immerse, surround or cover over.  We know this for many reasons, but the most obvious is that it is called a burial.

According to this passage, does the “new life” come before or after the burial (baptism)?

According to this passage, is baptism just an outward sign that you were saved at an earlier time? Remember the answer to the last question.

If baptism is the step that washes away your sins and gives you a “new life”, does salvation come before baptism?

Have you been baptized (immersed in water) for the forgiveness of sins?

Are you willing to do things God’s way?

Baptism is not a popular concept among many in the religious world. Many preachers delete baptism from their sermons and only preach that which is convenient. God once warned of a time like this. He said, “...the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.” (II Timothy 4:3) 

Are you looking for God’s message or are you looking for someone to say only what you want to hear? Are you sincerely interested in finding salvation according to God’s plan?  If you are, then now is the time for you to be honest with yourself and with God.  Are you saved?  Are you inside Christ? Review the following biblical steps for yourself:

1.  You must understand that “all have sinned”, including yourself, and that salvation can only be found in the free gift of God. (Romans 3:23, 6:23, 5:8) 

2.  You must believe that God raised Jesus from the dead. (Romans 10:9, 10)

3.  You must accept Jesus as your personal Lord and master, then confess that fact before men. (Romans 10:9, 10)

4.  You must be willing to repent or turn from following after evil and focus your life on Christ. (Romans 2:4)

5.  You must be willing to die to your own selfish desires. You must be buried in water like Jesus was buried in a tomb and you must be raised out of that water to walk a “new life”. (Romans 6:3, 4)

Have you done these things?  There is no greater feeling than knowing you did it God’s way. As we learned earlier, many on the day of judgment will expect to go to Heaven yet be turned away because they failed to do it God’s way.  Please do not risk your eternal salvation on a feeling or on a confidence that comes from being part of the “majority”.  Real goodness comes only from God.  His opinion is all that matters.  How will He judge you?

I leave you with the same advice that was also given to Paul when he was confronted with the decision that you are now facing.

“And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on his name.” 

Still got questions? Take a look at the closing chapters of the book “These are the Days of Jeremiah” by Sonny Childs. (Note: Orders for this book are processed through PayPal.)

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