You don’t have to attend church or hang around Christians very long without hearing about salvation or being saved.
In the previous post, we examined what the Bible says about salvation, why salvation is important, what it is, and why Christians talk about it all of the time.
Now we know what it is, but how do we become saved.
This is actually a very common question.
Do you know who the first person was to ask this question? The first person to ask, “How can I be saved” lived 2,000 years ago. And the Bible records this historic moment in Acts.
The apostle Paul and his friend Silas had been thrown in prison because they were proselytizing. There was no freedom of religion in Rome at that time – only the state religion.
Not much later, Christians would actually be tortured in horrific ways – we can read their stories in Book of Martyrs
But in this case, they are in prison and they start singing songs to God and praying. Sometime around midnight there was a huge earthquake that shook the whole jail. The cells were opened and all of the chains broke off of the prisoners.
The prison guard was terrified, because if a prisoner escaped on his watch, he’d be executed. In fact, he was so terrified, that he almost committed suicide.
But Paul and Silas stopped him and assured him that not one prisoner chose to escape. At that point, he realized that the earthquake was an act of God and he fell to his knees and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” Acts 16:30
Thankfully, the Bible doesn’t leave us in the dark about how to become saved.
How to Become Saved
1. It is by grace.
What is grace? It God literally saying to us: “I love and accept you as you are right now.”
Here’s the thing: you can’t buy salvation by doing good things. You can spend the rest of your life helping your neighbor, volunteering at the homeless shelter, fostering children, or sponsoring children in 3rd world countries around the world. These are all good things that people should do, but these things will never make God love us or accept us anymore than He does right now.
And these things will not balance out the mistakes we’ve made or the bad things we’ve done.
God’s love and grace is not something we earn, it’s not something we deserve…..but it is something we have anyway.
Salvation and living for eternity in heaven will never be earned, no matter how good a person you are.
Salvation is given because Jesus was good enough. He was perfect, and He sacrificed His life so you could escape hell.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God not of works, lest anyone should boast.” – Ephesians 2:8
2. Only Jesus can save
All religions do not lead to God nor to heaven. There is only one God, and He does not morph into Buddah, Allah, various Indian gods, goddesses, prophets, such as Joseph Smith…
There is no Pope who can absolve you of sin.
There is only One who can save you and forgive your sin and that is Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ is exclusive in this respect, not inclusive. And for this reason: He knows that all other religions, all other faiths that mimic Christianity, all other people claiming to have the power to forgive sin – they are all counterfeits that the devil has created to distract you from the truth.
“Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” – Acts 4:12 (emphasis mine)
3. You must believe
Jesus’ sacrifice didn’t give the human race a free pass to heaven, but it is a gift you can receive if you believe Him.
After the prison guard asked Paul and Silas how to be saved, they answered him with this simple statement: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.” – Acts 16:31
But our understanding of “believe” and the context of the word in the Bible are not entirely the same.
When we think of believe, we mentally assert that something is true, believable.
But the word believe in biblical context literally means that you commit yourself to something. That you dedicate yourself to it.
It isn’t enough to just raise your hand and say, “Yes, I believe Jesus is real. I believe God is the only true God”, but not dedicate yourself to Him. The word “believe” in this context means that Jesus Christ becomes your passion, He becomes your dedication, He becomes your life purpose.
4. It is for everyone
From Genesis to the Gospel of John, we see God reach out to only one people group on planet earth – the Jews.
There is a reason for that. God chose them to be a special race on earth to demonstrate His sovereignty and power. That really hasn’t changed.
But when we get to the book of Acts, we read about a moment that changed all of history for all time.
God gives Peter a vision and calls him to take the gospel to the Gentiles – that is Bible-speak for anyone who isn’t a Jew.
This was incredible, because Jewish law didn’t allow Jews to relate to non-Jews on an equal level. Certainly non-Jews were not included in Jewish community.
But God does have a way of circumventing human tradition and doing His own thing, and here we see God reaching out to all mankind, the entire human race, and including them in His redemptive plan.
Salvation is for everyone: the rich, the poor, the homeless, the drug addict, the drunk in a ditch, the terrorist, the housewife, the frazzled mom of a toddler, the socialite, and the mogul in a corner office living in a penthouse.
“For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior,who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” 1 Timothy 2:3-4
“The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” 1 Peter 3:9
5. It is only the beginning
Does this seem too easy to you? Too good to be true?
It’s not, but it also isn’t the end of the story.
I know there are many people out there who believe that simply believe God exists gives them a ticket to heaven, and that’s the end.
But it’s not the end.
Salvation is only the start of this life. You’re saved. Now what?
In the next article we will examine the four things that we must do as Christians after we become saved. You’ll find it in the article: What Comes After Salvation (This link will be available on March 13)
Do you want to become saved today? Now that you understand these 5 truths about salvation, I invite you to allow Jesus Christ to save you today.
You don’t have to become saved in a church. You can become saved right where you are — right now!
Simply pray this prayer with me:
“Dear Jesus, I know I have done things that I shouldn’t have done and I know that I will never be good enough to cancel them out. I know that the only way I can stop feeling guilt for those things is to accept your free gift of salvation and choose to dedicate myself to You and Your Word.
I choose to receive your gift of salvation right now and ask you to come live in me and become the Lord of my life. Thank you for choosing to die for me and thank you for your grace that gives me eternal life with you! Amen
Welcome to the family of God!