What Must I Do To Be Saved?

No question is more important than this. We make many important decisions in life regarding matters such as education, marriage, and occupation. But none is as transcending as that which affects our soul’s eternity (Matt. 16:26). Unfortunately, religious groups give contradictory answers, but the result is misunderstanding if we isolate a verse or fail to accept all that the Bible says on a subject. In this lesson we shall survey the greatest story ever told as we learn why Christ died for us and what we must do to be saved by God’s grace.

I. Salvation is God’s Desire for All Men, 1 Tim. 2:4,6.

A. The provision of salvation is solely by God’s grace, Eph. 2:8-9.

1. Why did Christ have to die? That God might be JUST, Rom. 3:26.

2. The just penalty for sin is death, Gen. 2:17; Ezek. 18:20; Rom. 6:23. Justice demands death for all who have sinned.

3. All men have sinned, Isa. 59:1-2; Rom. 3:23; 5:12.

4. God so loved us that He gave His only begotten Son to die in our stead, John 3:16; Rom. 5:6-11; Isa. 53:1-7.

B. Salvation is not by grace “ONLY.”

1. If it were, then all should be saved, Acts 10:34; Rom. 2:11.

a. God wants all to be saved 2 Peter 3:9 1 Tim. 2:4. b. Christ died for all men, 1 Tim. 2:6.

2. But all men will not be saved, Matt. 7:13-14.

3. The dividing line between lost and saved is man’s part, which is faith, John 8:24; Heb. 11:6

4. Grace teaches obedient faith, Titus 2:11-12.

C. God is the JUSTIFIER of believers, Rom. 3:26.

1. We are saved by grace through faith, Eph. 2:8; Rom. 3:24-25.

2. Salvation cannot be earned by meritorious works of either: (1) the law of Moses (Rom. 3:28-4:12); or (2) our own righteousness (Rom. 10:3; Titus 3:5).

3. We must have an obedient faith to walk with our Savior, Heb. 5:8-9. Christ Himself described this kind of faith as a “work of God,” John 6:29.

D. Salvation is not by faith “only.”

1. Saving faith is a faith that obeys God, James 2:14, 17, 24.

2. Those with “faith only” will be lost, John 12:42-43; Jas. 2:19.

3. By obedient faith we become servants of righteousness, Rom. 6:17-18, as we walk in the works God ordained, Eph. 2:10.

E. Grace and faith illustrated in Israel‘s deliverance from Egypt.

1. By grace - Israel did not escape by its own strength.

2. By faith - They obeyed a “work of God” by sprinkling the blood, Exo. 12:3-14; Heb. 11:28.

a. Were they safe after the lamb was slain?

b. Or because they “trusted” in the Lord only?

c. They were safe only when by faith they obeyed, Ex. 12:20-30.

II. When Do We Apply the Atoning Blood of Christ?

A. If Saved, Must Be Through His Blood.

1. Rev. 1:5 - Washed from sins in His own blood.

2. Matt. 26:28 - Blood shed for remission of sins.

B. Baptism Is Said To Accomplish the Same.

1. Acts 22:16 - “Arise and be baptized and wash away thy sins.”

2. Acts 2:38 - “Repent and be baptized ... for the remission of sins.

C. Why?

1. Not two different ways of salvation, nor a contradiction in the Bible.

2. Neither is baptism a work of man which “earns” salvation.

3. Baptism is God’s way of reaching the death of Christ, Rom. 6:3-5.

4. Hence, “Baptism doth also now save us,” 1 Peter 3:21.

III. Examples of Conversion from The Book of Acts

A. Explanation of the chart (p. 4)

1. Before Christ ascended into heaven He commissioned His apostles to go into all the world and preach the gospel (Mk. 16:15-16; Matt. 28:18-20). As we study the book of Acts we learn how the apostles fulfilled this commission. The examples of conversion give us insight as to what Christ authorized the apostles to preach in telling men what they must do to be saved by the blood of Christ.

2. The left-hand column is a list of eight cases of conversion.

3. To the right of each is noted everything specifically stated which these men and women did to be saved; if blank, the command was not specified.

B. Conclusions

1. Since God is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34-35), His commandments for salvation are the same to all men.

2. Preaching and Baptism are specified in every case.

a. Though some steps are not mentioned, these two are always specified by God.

b. Preaching and baptism are not more important than faith, repentance, and confession, for all are essential. But as though in answer to the omission of these by modern preachers, God’s book has been specific that both hearing the gospel and baptism into Christ are necessary.

IV. Baptism as Revealed in the New Testament Contrasted with Man’s Teaching

A. By The Authority Of Christ, Mark 16:15-16 (no passage teaches baptism is a church ordinance to be voted on by man.)

1. In the name of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, Matt. 28:19-20

2. In obedience to the command, Acts 10:48

B. Results Of Baptism (Remissions of sins nowhere taught as preceding baptism.)

1. For the remission of sins, Acts 2:38

a. Parallel statement with Matt. 26:28

b. Sins are washed away, Acts 22:16; 1 Peter 3:21

2. Puts one into Christ, Galatians 3:27; Rom. 6:3; 1 Cor. 12:13

3. It is the new birth, John 3:5; Romans 6:4

C. Things Which Must Precede (Join with) Baptism. (Infants can do none of these.)

1. Receiving the word, Rom. 10:17; 6:17-18; Acts 2:41

2. Believing Christ is the Son of God, Acts 8:12; Mark 16:16

3. Confession of this belief, Acts 8:35-38; Romans 10:10

4. Repentance, Acts 2:38; Luke 13:3.

D. Significance of Baptism (Sprinkling gives no likeness to death, burial, and resurrection in Christ.)

1. Puts us into death of Christ, hence into His blood, Rom. 6:3.

2. Buried with Christ, Rom. 6:4.

a. Signifies the mode as well as what is accomplished, Col. 2:12; Acts 8:35

b. Original word “baptidzo” means to “immerse, submerge.” Sprinkling was not authorized until 1311 A.D. and then by the pope at Rome.

3. Raised together with Him, Col 2:12.

a. Salvation based on resurrection of Christ, 1 Pet. 3:21.

b. We also rise to walk in newness of life, Rom. 6:4-11.

E. Only “One Baptism” For Men Today, Eph. 4:5.

1. It does make a difference how we are baptized, Luke 6:46.

2. If we were not baptized in the manner by Christ, then we should be baptized again, Acts 19:1-7.