HOW TO BE SAVED — WHAT HAS GOD PROVIDED FOR MAN’S SALVATION?
How to be saved has been outlined for every man in the preaching of the Gospel. The Gospel is the good news about Jesus Christ. “For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. . .” (2 Corinthians 5:19). God, fully knowing that man would fall, provided a means of reconciliation for man; He knew that there was nothing that a man could do to make mankind acceptable to God.
God sent Jesus Christ, who provided restoration for man with God by giving His own life, shedding His own blood. There was no other way to eradicate the effect of sin except by blood. “. . .Without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sins” (Hebrews 9:22). This shedding of blood indicated that the penalty for sin had been paid; a life had been sacrificed for the lives of all who have sinned. Jesus Christ’s willing submission to the massacre on the cross paid the price for our sins and affected the means of reconciliation. “Because one person disobeyed God, many people became sinners. But because one other person obeyed God, many people will be made right in God’s sight” (Romans 5:19).
HOW TO BE SAVED — WHAT MUST A MAN DO TO BE SAVED?
How to be saved is within the reach of every human being on the face of the earth. When Jesus Christ died on the cross, He provided salvation for all. “‘And when I am lifted up on the cross, I will draw everyone to myself.’ He said this to indicate how he was going to die” (John 12:32-33). Salvation has been provided; it now must be accepted. Once a man or woman recognizes the need for salvation and realizes that God has provided for their salvation through Jesus Christ, he or she must go on to embrace it.
Salvation is simply a process of confessing and believing. A man must confess that Jesus is Lord, which signifies his realization that Christ must have full rule over his life with all of His righteous requirements. This confession of Christ as Lord also assumes that it is Christ who will work and fulfill His own righteousness within man.
Next, he must believe that God has raised Jesus Christ from the dead. This belief in the death and resurrection of Jesus carries with it the realization that the penalty has been paid for sin and power is provided for man to live a life free from sin. Thus man’s relationship to God is restored. “For if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved. As the Bible tells us, “For if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved” (Romans 10:9-11). Do you feel unworthy to “go to heaven”? Peace with God is within your reach.
Do you understand that you are a sinner, and you believe that Jesus Christ came as the one and only Redeemer of sin? Are you ready to receive God’s gift of His Son, Jesus Christ? If so, believe in Christ, repent of your sins, and commit the rest of your life to Him as Lord:
“Father, I know that I have broken your laws and my sins have separated me from you. I am truly sorry, and now I want to turn away from my past sinful life toward you. Please forgive me, and help me avoid sinning again. I believe that your son, Jesus Christ died for my sins, was resurrected from the dead, is alive, and hears my prayer. I invite Jesus to become the Lord of my life, to rule and reign in my heart from this day forward. Please send your Holy Spirit to help me obey You, and to do Your will for the rest of my life. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.”
“Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38).
If you decided receive Jesus today, welcome to God’s family. Now, as a way to grow closer to Him, the Bible tells us to follow up on our commitment.
- Get baptized as commanded by Christ.
- Tell someone else about your new faith in Christ.
- Spend time with God each day. It does not have to be a long period of time. Just develop the daily habit of praying to Him and reading His Word. Ask God to increase your faith and your understanding of the Bible.
- Seek fellowship with other followers of Jesus. Develop a group of believing friends to answer your questions and support you.
- Find a local church where you can worship God.
HOW TO BE SAVED — WHY DOES MAN NEED TO BE SAVED?
How to be saved is the most important quest of any human life. This quest begins when a man or woman first realizes their true state before a holy God.
The intimate and sweet fellowship that the Father longed for with man, the crown of His creation, was lost when Adam and Eve disobeyed God’s commandment in the Garden of Eden. When Adam and Eve sinned they lost their right to eat of the tree of life which would have enabled them to live forever. They were expelled from the garden and as such denied the loving relationship that God desired to have with them. Their sinful state made them unfit to linger in the presence of God. Far from being a minor event, this Fall and expulsion of man was the cataclysmic turning point of history and set humanity on a descent which continues to this day.
Man without God makes his own plans, follows his own counsels and lives by his own rules. Nevertheless, because man was created for fellowship with God, there remains a dissatisfaction and longing within man that can only be fulfilled by God Himself. As man is now hopelessly decadent and God is perfectly holy, there exists the need for God and man to be reconciled so that the fellowship may be restored.
- God Has A Plan For Our Lives
Two great moments in our lives are when we are born and when we discover why we were born.
Our life did not happen by chance. Psalm 139:13 says that God was working in our lives even before we were born. God loves us. We are special to Him, and He has a special purpose for our lives in this world and for our everlasting life in heaven!
- God’s Plan Cannot Happen For Us Because Of Our SinThe Bible says that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23 NIV). Sin is disobeying God’s laws and not doing what He wants us to do.Everyone knows there is a difference between right and wrong, even people who have never heard of God’s law or read the Bible. Jesus taught that God’s two most important laws are to love God and to love our neighbor the way we love ourselves (Mark 12:28-31). The second of these two laws means that we must act toward others as we want them to act toward us. This law has become known as “The Golden Rule.” We know what we do not want other people to do to us. So when we do those things to others, we know we have sinned. That is why anyone can understand that they have sinned.
- We Must Be Forgiven To Have God’s Plan For Our Lives
When we sin, we must be punished. The Bible says the punishment for sin is death (Romans 6:23). The death the Bible is talking about is not just our body dying. It means our spirit, which lives forever, will be in everlasting punishment in hell. Jesus explained hell is like a “lake of fire,” and that everyone who goes there is separated from God forever and burns in fire that never ends (Mark 9:47, 48). Our sin separates us from God both in this life and also after this life.
We can’t have God’s plan happen in our lives when we are separated from Him. Our sin comes between us and God. It separates us from His plan for us.
Many things in our lives have gone wrong because of our sin. God still has a plan for us even though we have sinned, but our sin must be forgiven to allow His plan to happen.
- God Made A Way For Us
To Be Forgiven
God made a way to forgive us, save us from everlasting punishment and receive His plan for our lives. He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to be punished for our sins. God loves us so much that He gave His Son to die for us, as payment for our sins.
John 3:16-18 says, that “For God so loved the world so much that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because He has not believed in the name of the only Son.”
Three times in the book of Mark, Jesus told His followers that He had to suffer and be killed. He also said that He would come back to life after three days (Mark 8:31, 9:31, 14:27, 28). He said, “Even the Son of Man did not come to be served by other people, but to serve them and to give His life to pay for the salvation of many people” (Mark 10:45).
Jesus gave His life to be punished for our sins and pay for our forgiveness! We do not have to be condemned for our sins anymore. He will forgive us and save us from everlasting punishment in hell. He will give us a new life! All we must do to receive this gift is ask Him to forgive our sins and come into our heart, Jesus said, “The person who believes and is baptized will be forgiven, but the one who does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:16). Romans 10:9, 10 says, “That if you confess with your mouth, that ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved” (NIV).
God’s plan to save man from death was to give His only Son as a sacrifice for our sins. His Son Jesus was born as a man, but He lived His life without sinning. Men lied about Him and judged Him guilty of things He had never done. Then they hung Him on a cross to die. The very large curtain in the temple was torn into two pieces when Jesus died. It was torn from top to bottom to show it was not done by men. God did this to show that His Son’s death had made a new way for us to come back to God.
Jesus never sinned, but He was punished for sin. So death had no power over Him, and He came back to life after three days. Now He gives everlasting life to anyone who receives Him.
You received everlasting life if you confessed your sins to God and asked Him to forgive you through His Son.
Two great moments in our lives are when we are born and when we discover why we were born. We were created for a reason—a divine purpose. Our lives are not accidents or fate. God has a personal plan for each of us. His purpose in our lives can only be accomplished because of Jesus Christ.
The life of Jesus Christ is the turning point of all history. Our calendar is hinged on His birth. Who was this man from the small town of Nazareth in the Middle East? Hundreds of years before He came, prophets announced His coming. Many great men have appeared in this world, yet none were divine and announced beforehand, except this one man—Jesus.
Were Jesus’ followers telling the truth about Him? The proofs that Christ came back to life from death were so convincing, the early Christians gave their lives rather than deny that Jesus was the Son of God.
The apostle Peter was a fisherman who traveled with Jesus for more than three years, listening to His teaching and observing His life. Peter was one of Jesus’ first followers and became one of His closest friends. In a letter Peter wrote to churches late in his life, he said, “We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.”1
The Book of Acts in the New Testament, records a simple and clear presentation Peter gave about Jesus Christ to a Roman named Cornelius:
“I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right. You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, telling the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all. You know what has happened throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached — how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him. We are witnesses of everything he did in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They killed him by hanging him on a tree, but God raised him from the dead on the third day and caused him to be seen. He was not seen by all the people, but by witnesses whom God had already chosen—by us who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead. All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”2
Peter said that God wants to forgive us and bring peace into our lives. Jesus Christ opens the way to peace—peace with God and peace with others. Other people have sinned against us, and we have sinned against other people. We can do something about both—by asking God to forgive our sins and forgiving others for their sins against us.
The life of Christ calls for a decision. Was He just a great teacher and spiritual leader? Or was He who He claimed to be — the Son of God who has the power to forgive sin and grant everlasting life to all who will believe on Him? Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life.”3
Life has only two roads, and we are on one of them. One leads to death and eternal punishment—the other to everlasting life.
Jesus Christ taught that every person will exist for eternity. The apostle Paul wrote to the Roman Christians: “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”4 He also taught that being saved from sin’s penalty is simple: “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.”5
We all know in our hearts that we have sinned. Even if we have never read a Bible or do not understand what it means to sin against God we can know we are sinners, because God created each of us with a conscience. We know what we don’t want others to do to us. We don’t want them to steal our possessions, lie about us or be unkind to us. When we do to someone what we don’t want done to us, our conscience lets us know we have done wrong.
The penalty for sin is death. That is why all people die. But 2,000 years ago, Jesus Christ, the holy Son of God, became a man. For 33 years He lived without sin. Then He was killed. He paid the penalty for sin without committing the crime. So death had no power over Him. After three days, He came back to life again.
He is alive! And now He offers forgiveness of sin and the gift of everlasting life to everyone who will ask Him.
You can receive Christ as your Savior right now, this moment! You don’t have to be in a church or special place, or have the help of a minister or priest. (If you need a better understanding before you make this decision, to read more find the links titled “Guidance for Life” and “The Life of Christ” on this Web site.)
You can pray now, wherever you are. God is listening. Tell Him in your own words that you are sorry for your sins and that you want to receive Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord. Ask God to help you change your heart and life. It’s your prayer He wants to hear. You can pray the following prayer, but it is not enough just to say the words. You must mean it from your heart:
“God, I know I have sinned. I believe Your Son, Jesus Christ, died to take the punishment for my sin. I believe Jesus came back to life from death and has the power to forgive my sin and change my life. Forgive me. Come into my life and change me. I want to live for You and follow Your plan for my life. I believe You have forgiven me, and I thank You for hearing my prayer, in Jesus’ name.”
God has forgiven you if you prayed this prayer and meant it from your heart. God knew before you were born that you would receive His Son as your Savior. Now you can begin the life He has planned for you! Step by step God will lead you to what He has chosen for you. He will show you the way to live and will teach you each day as you grow spiritually and become the person He planned for you to be.
In the next link on this Web site, “The Jesus of History,” you can learn the story of Christ.