What Must I Do To Be Saved?

This was the question that the Philippian jailer posed to Paul and Silas after the midnight earthquake in Acts 16:30. Their answer was short and simple, “Believe on the Lord, Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.”

I was asked by a fellow believer at my church recently, “What exactly do you think a person must believe in order to be saved?”

The content of saving faith has been a hot topic recently among some of the blogs that I frequent. The answers run the gamut of a broad spectrum of extremes, with many other positions between the two.

Believe on the Lord, Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.

There are two texts that I believe shed some light upon exactly what it is that we must believe in order to be saved:

  1. Romans 10:9-10, That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
  2. I Corinthians 15:1-4, Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye received, and wherein ye stand; by which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.

Both Acts 16:31 and Romans 10:9-10 refer to Jesus as being “Lord”. This recognition of His lordship is where I believe we find the element of repentance imbedded in saving faith. This recognition is not a work of the flesh, but is indeed a “change of mind”, realizing that it is to Jesus that we are accountable and that it is He who holds the keys to eternity. He alone has the authority and the ability to provide salvation to those who believe. It is an awareness that we are a sinner, that we are not “okay” as we are and that we have a definite need to be forgiven of God.

When the angels announced His birth to the shepherds in Luke 2:11, they stated, “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.”

His work as Savior was coupled with His lordship, even at His birth.

These texts also refer to Him by His name, Jesus. One must know in whom they are believing to be saved. Rom. 10:14, How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? It is not enough to receive Him as a mere teacher or prophet, one must believe that He is the Son of God, receiving Him as the light of God come into the darkness of this world. (John 1:12)

These texts also refer to Jesus as “Christ”. There can be no salvation apart from a belief in what Jesus did as the “anointed one” to cover our sins. The Lamb of God, slain from the foundation of the world is the only worthy sacrifice for our redemption. It is only through the message of the cross that one understands their need of salvation. One must understand that they are a sinner in need of divine forgiveness and that Jesus has provided access to that forgiveness by His death, burial and resurrection.

If you are reading this post and have never put your faith in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, I would encourage you to take this step. Anyone who calls on the Lord will be saved. Come to Him in faith, believing that He is the Son of God and that He died and rose again to cover your sins and you can receive His gift of eternal life.

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20 responses to “What Must I Do To Be Saved?

  1. Gordon,
    Great message. Thanks for posting the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ, though I know you have done it before in other articles.
    Great message.
    God bless you.
    T.A.

  2. To all who may pass by,

    My family and I are getting out of town over the long weekend for a little mini-vacation. I will be back Monday night, so if you leave a comment, don’t worry, I will respond as soon as I get opportunity.

    In the meantime, I would appreciate your prayers for my son, Clay. He is scheduled to have an odd-looking mole surgically removed from his back on Tuesday. Please pray that everything will go well and that we will get a good report from this.

    God is good and He does all things well.

  3. Good post, Gordon. No fluff here! 😉

    We will be praying for Clay, and hope you all have an enjoyable, restful time.

  4. will pray about that mole

  5. Don’t you love it that it says to believe in your heart.. don’t need to be smart.. just need to bow with your heart.. a child can do it.. and we need to become childlike in heart to do it as well.. indeed.. a glorious message!

    Happy Sunday, Bob

  6. Thanks, everyone, for your thoughts and prayers for Clay.

    We had a wonderful trip. I will write about it soon.

  7. Brother Gordon:

    This was an excellent, Bible based articulation of the Gospel that must be preached to the lost and believed by them for the reception of eternal life.

    Belief in who Jesus is, and what He did to provide salvation is the way of salvation.

    I especially appreciate how you presented and kept the balance of faith and repentance for salvation. The doctrine of repentance is a sharply debated doctrine.

    Thanks,

    LM

  8. Brother Gordon:

    From the thread under the lead article that currently appears at my blog, I inserted a link to, and word of encouragement to my guests to read your article here.

    Kind regards,

    LM

  9. Bro. Lou, thanks for the kind words and the link. As always, I appreciate your heart for the Gospel.

    God bless.

  10. Hi, Gordon, thanks for the visit. I hope that Clay’s mole proved to be nothing. That is always a little disconcerting.

  11. Gordon:

    I want to provide your guests with an example from the two opposite extreme interpretations of the Gospel.

    This first is from the reductionist interpretation that is known as the Crossless gospel from the GES’s ReDefined Free Grace Theology.

    In the latest copy of the Grace Evangelical Society’s Grace In Focus news letter an article by Bob Wilkin appears. It is titled Scavenger Hunt Salvation Without a List. Dr. Wilkin states:

    To be born again, eternally saved, all one needs to do is believe that Jesus Christ guarantees everlasting life to all who simply believe in Him for it..(passage list)..What about the virgin birth, the Trinity, Jesus’ bodily resurrection, Jesus’ post-resurrection appearances, Jesus’ substitutionary death on the cross, Jesus’ sinless life, Jesus’ miracles, the indwelling ministry of the Holy Spirit, the convicting work of the Holy Spirit, the hypostatic union, and on son? Knowing these things certainly makes it easier to believe in Jesus for eternal life. But does it follow that we must believe these things to be saved? No.”

    This second (three-part) example is from John MacArthur’s, The Gospel According to Jesus. These are examples of adding to the Gospel, which frustrates grace (Gal. 2:21).

    That is the kind of response the Lord Jesus called for: wholehearted commitment. A desire for him at any cost. Unconditional surrender. A full exchange of self for the Savior. It is the only response that will open the gates of the kingdom. Seen through the eyes of this world, it is as high a price as anyone can pay. But from a kingdom perspective, it is really no sacrifice at all.” (TGATJ: Revised & Expanded, p. 148. )

    The gospel Jesus proclaimed was a call to discipleship, a call to follow Him in submissive obedience. . . . Forsaking oneself for Christ’s sake is not an optional step of discipleship subsequent to conversion; it is the sine qua non of saving faith.” (TGATJ: Revised & Expanded, pp. 27, 142.)

    Let me say again unequivocally that Jesus’ summons to deny self and follow him was an invitation to salvation, not . . . a second step of faith following salvation. . . . Those who are not willing to lose their lives for Christ are not worthy of Him. . . . He wants disciples willing to forsake everything. This calls for full-scale self-denial–even willingness to die for His sake if necessary”. (TGATJ: Revised & Expanded, pp. 221, 226.)

    LM

  12. It has been my privilege to have known Dr. Lance Ketchum. He is well known in IFB circles through his ministry of Evangelism, Revival, Church Planting. He is a prolific writer on many important theological discussions.

    He has just written an article that looks at the historical context of the current debates over the one true Gospel of Jesus Christ..

    You and your guests read The Evolution of Soteriological Reductionism for a thorough and scholarly review of the history of how men have come to arrive at the Crossless gospel.

    LM

  13. Lou,

    This comment is directed at you . Why must you try to force Bro Gordons guests to read your articles. If we were interested in what you had to say I asure we would visit your blog in our own time ? You are trying to hijack heavenly heartburn which is Bro Gordons blogsite as you have done many others with your forceful tactics !!!

    There are many out there that likes only peanut butter on their sandwich ! I like peanut butter but I like to add mayhaw jelly to mine because I am doing the best I can to follow Gods Holy Word and applying it to my life hopefully to make the last leg of my journey ! Why must you not believe what others have said to you about this ? Jesus walked this earth many years ago and did not force anyone to follow his commandments and I believe He left us to make those decisions for ourselves whether we wanted just peanut butter or top lt out with mayhaw jelly ! [ The best jelly in the world ? ]

    You can lead a mule to water but you can’t make him drink !! I asure what Bro . Gordon teaches won’t lead no one astray from the word of God ! I think that you are obsesed with ” The Crossless Gospel ” and need to preach and teach everyone about the True Word of God and let the Holy Spirit direct Gods People but do it on your own blog !

    Bro. Gordon if I am out of place just plant your number 10 on my bottom next Sunday cause I’m able to forgive my transgressors ? You know I visit your blog to read your words and the words of your guest ?

    Blessings.
    Ron.

  14. Dear rrjb:

    I am sorry you found offensive my linking to what I feel is an important contribution to the debate over the true nature of the Gospel. IMO, the article does fit the theme of this thread.

    In any event, one of the reasons well-meaning, but unsuspecting believers fall into and adopt heretical views of the Gospel is often because they did not recognize there errors early on.

    Advocates of Lordship Salvation and the Crossless Gospel are as subtle as the Mormon or JW’s in their initial presentation of their beliefs.

    I can pick up John MacArthur’s The Gospel According to Jesus and Zane Hodges’ The Gospel Under Siege and appreciate much of what is contained in both books. However, there are elements in each that reveal their egregious errors both of which are radical departures from the one true Gospel of Jesus Christ. LS errs by addition, the CG errs by subtraction. Both are non-saving messages.

    The problem is that many Christians who read these books (and similar works) come to them trusting the writer often by reputation only. They are not looking for or expecting that there may be some elements of heresy in their interpretation of the Gospel. The errors are very subtle; they do not jump off the page crying for attention. The errors are woven in among very balanced and orthodox sounding terms, and are therefore easily missed.

    That is a great concern of mine when I see folks I have known personally swept up into either one of these errors because they just did not recognize the danger at first glance. If you were on a path and saw a sign that read, “If you continue on this road you will fall into a ditch,” would you turn around and go another direction? Of course you would. Well, those signs are in the works by MacArthur and Hodges, but they are not easily detected and that is why so many fall into the doctrinal traps.

    There are biblical admonitions that guide my course of action. I invite you to read Acts 20:28-31; Romans 16:17-18.

    I hope this explains my purpose and goals. You may not agree with me or appreciate my heart about this, but at least you know my heart.

    LM

  15. I disagree with your conclusion that those two texts in Romans and 1 Corinthians are about receiving eternal redemption.

    I think the first concerns deliverance from a world under judgement and the second concerns obtaining the kingdom inheritance promised to the saints.

  16. Brother Gordon:

    Mattew C appears to be a new handle for Dyspraxic Fundamentalist (DF). DF is one of the men who aggresively propagates the Crossless/Deityless gospel of the GES.

    MC, are you one and the same as DF?

    Matthew is on record stating that even if a lost man openly rejects the deity of Christ he (the lost man) can still be born again.

    Wanted to share this with your guests in case Matthew (DF) tries to propagate the Crossless heresy here.

    LM

  17. Bro. Lou, I am aware of Matthew’s beliefs, we have been involved in discussions before.

    I appreciate your concern. Rest assured, I believe I and my readers are capable of drawing our own conclusions. I do not wish for this thread to degenerate into a debate such as those that are occurring in other blogs.

  18. Thanks Gordon, all yours.

    Lou

  19. Matthew, I would say that your conclusions, vis a vis the texts in Romans and Corinthians are correct.

    Deliverance from a world under judgement and obtaining an inheritance in the Kingdom are both realized through salvation (eternal redemption).

    It seems to me that to place either of these texts outside the realm of the Gospel would be to limit the scope of our salvation, causing us to have to seek another level of deliverance and inheritance after we are saved. If we are indeed saved to the uttermost, we receive the total package the moment we believe.

    God bless.

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