Moorhead Church of Christ   HOME ABOUT US MINISTRIES BECOMING A CHRISTIAN CALENDAR LINKS CONTACT
         
  becoming a christian  

 

 

1800 30th Avenue South
Moorhead, MN 56560

218.291.1992

Sunday AM Services
Bible Class 10:00 -10:45 am
Fellowship 10:45 - 11:00 am
Worship 11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Sunday PM Services
6:00 - 7:00 pm

Wednesday Bible Study | 7:00 pm

 

What must I do to be saved according to the Bible?

This is the most important question in the world that a sinner, who wants God’s salvation, can ask. The answer to this question is just as vitally important as the question itself. Jesus forewarns us that on the day of judgment there will be religious people that will be rejected from entering into heaven because they did not obey the will of the Father [Matthew 7:21-23]. This is a sobering consequence of disobedience. Being religious, reading the bible and going to church are not acceptable substitutes for obedience [John 3:36].

What must a sinner do to be saved? Some teach that there is nothing a sinner does to be saved. However, if this were true that no human response was required for salvation then all people would be saved regardless of what the Bible said. In John 3:16 Jesus says, "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” Notice here what Christ said that the sinner must DO in order to be saved from God’s wrath [Romans 2:5-8]. The sinner must BELIEVE in Christ. He is the Son of God [John 20:31] and Savior of the world [1 John 4:14]. He died on the cross shedding His sinless blood to pay the penalty for our sins. Belief, as Jesus said Himself is a “work of God” that sinners must DO [Jn. 6:29]. Anytime God tells us to do something it is a work of obedience. If we do what He says we will be righteous before Him. “Belief” in [John 3:16] entails much more that mental assent or “head knowledge.” It also entails trust and obedience.

Repentance

If one turns to Acts 3:19 a sinner also learns that he/she must repent of their sins. Acts 3:19 says, "Repent therefore and return, that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord” The word “repentance” means to have a change of mind about the sin one is doing with the result that sin will be discontinued as a way of life. The apostle John says those who practice sin practice lawlessness [1 John 3:4] and are of the devil [1 John 3:8]. If one truly believes in Jesus then one will DO what He has commanded as a work of obedience, and that is to repent of sins [Luke 13:3].

Confession

In Romans 10:9-10 it says, 9 “that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved;” 10 “for with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.” The English word here is translated from the Greek word “homologeo.” This word means “to declare openly by way of speaking out freely, such confession being the effect of deep conviction of facts” (Vine's Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words). The word “confess” here in Romans 10:9-10 does not mean repentance as some falsely claim. The apostle Paul, in Romans 10:9-10 is talking about a public profession of faith in Christ that He is Lord [John 12:42; 1 Tim. 6:12; Acts 8:37]. Paul is NOT saying this is all you have to do to be saved; otherwise he would be denying the necessity of repentance for salvation [Acts 17:30]. All that Paul is doing in the context of Romans 10:9-10 is affirming the requirement that sinners must make a public profession of faith in order to be saved. If one truly believes in Jesus then one will DO what He has commanded as a work of obedience, and that is to publically profess faith in Christ that He is Lord [Matthew 10:32-33].

At this point, many people under Christendom would say you are saved. However, is that what God actually teaches in the bible?

Baptism

Many religious teachers relegate baptism to nothing more than a symbolic display or a show. Accordingly, a forgiven sinner is baptized before others for them to see that the forgiven sinner now belongs to Christ. But notice at what point the apostle Peter taught that a sinner is forgiven in the salvation process. In Acts 2:38 he said, “...Repent, and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” It is after baptism. Peter drew the line of salvation AFTER one was baptized and not before. Baptism is the final step a sinner takes in the salvation process. It is in baptism that God confers His gift of grace. Bible baptism was always by an immersion in water [John 3:23; Acts 8:38; Colossians 2:12]. In recounting his own salvation, the apostle Paul repeated what he was commanded by Ananias in Acts 22:16, “And now why do you delay? Arise, and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on His name.” The water in which one is baptized has no magical properties. Baptism is simply an act of obedience to the will of God. The apostle Peter said baptism brings salvation. In 1 Peter 3:21 he said, “And corresponding to that, baptism now saves you-- not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience-- through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” The answers to the following three questions prove that one cannot be saved without first being baptized for the forgiveness of sins: (1) Can a person be saved outside of the blood of Christ? The answer is “no” [Hebrews 9:22]. (2) Where was the blood of Christ shed? The answer is - on the cross [Matthew 26:26-28; Col. 1:19-22; Acts 20:28]. (3) According to the Bible, how does one get into the death of Christ to make contact with the blood He shed which forgives sins? The answer is – baptism [Ephesians 1:7; Revelation 1:5]. Notice what the apostle Paul said in Romans 6:3-6, “3 Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection, 6 knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, that our body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin.” Baptism is the point where the old sinful self dies and a new creature is raised up with Christ [Ephesians 2:4-6; Colossians 2:12]. It is the point at which a sinner, by faith is forgiven and clothed with Christ [Galatians 3:26-27]. Bible baptism is always for lost people and not for saved people [Acts 2:38; 22:16; 1 Peter 3:21]. If one truly believes in Jesus then one will DO what He has commanded as a work of obedience, and that is to be baptized [Mark 16:16; John 3:3-5].

If one has said the “sinner’s prayer” or “accepted Jesus into their heart” for salvation then according to the Bible they are not saved. The gospel is the power of God unto salvation [Romans 1:16]. The gospel is the death, burial and resurrection of Christ [1 Corinthians 15:1-4]. The Bible teaches belief, repentance, confession AND baptism for the forgiveness of sins are all necessary for salvation. Baptism is how one obeys the gospel. The gospel must be obeyed to escape God’s vengeance [2 Thessalonians 1:7-9]. Will you believe what your church teaches about salvation or will you believe what God has said about salvation? Your soul is hanging in the balance.

Also, one who has been baptized as a baby cannot possibly be saved according to the Bible for the following reasons: (1) Children are not born with the guilt of Adam’s sin or “Original Sin” to begin with [Ecclesiastes 7:29; Deuteronomy 1:39; Romans 9:11]. (2) Sin is something one does [1 John 3:4]. It is not something one inherits [Ezekiel 18:4, 20; Romans 3:23; 5:12]. People are lost when they get to the age where they understand the difference between right and wrong and the accompanying spiritual consequences if they sin; but they go ahead and violate the law of God anyway [1 John 3:4; James 4:17]. Once this occurs they have made themselves sinners and are in need of salvation [Romans 5:12; 6:23]. (3) Babies do not possess the ability to believe in Jesus [John 3:16; 8:24]. (4) They have no sin to repent of and do not understand what repentance is. (5) Babies cannot talk so they cannot publically profess faith in Christ. They do not know what it means to confess Christ. (6) Babies that are baptized are baptized without their consent. Baptism is something one willingly submits to [Acts 2:38; 22:16; 16:30-34]. Babies, as human beings are not given a choice of whether or not they will be baptized. Bible baptism is always for lost people and not for saved people [Acts 2:38; 22:16; 1 Peter 3:21]. (7) Bible baptism is always by immersion and was never substituted with sprinkling or pouring [John 3:23; Acts 8:38; Colossians 2:12].

Since babies are not candidates for baptism to begin with, the baptism of those who were baptized as babies is invalid later in life when they reaches the age where they understand right and wrong and decided to sin. It is at this point one becomes spiritually lost and in need of salvation. According to the Word of God, the gospel message is the power of God unto salvation [Romans 1:16]. The gospel is the death, burial and resurrection of Christ [1 Corinthians 15:1-4]. The Bible teaches belief, repentance, confession AND baptism for the forgiveness of sins are all necessary steps a sinner must DO in order to be saved. Baptism is how one obeys the gospel. The gospel must be obeyed to escape God’s vengeance [2 Thessalonians 1:7-9]. Will you believe what your church teaches about salvation or will you believe what God has said about salvation? Your soul is hanging in the balance.

Additional passages relating to the salvation of sinners: Acts 2:36-42; 8:4-12; 8:26-39; 16:13-15; 16:23-34; 18:4-11

 

       
   
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


© 2012 Moorhead church of Christ