Holding to Truth

holding to truth in love for the building up of the Body of Christ

“What Must I Do to Be Saved?”

Believe on the Lord and you shall be saved

“What Must I Do to Be Saved?”

This was the anxious word of a despairing Roman jailer in the ancient city of Philippi.

A great earthquake had shaken the foundations of the prison he was guarding. And all the prison doors were opened. The prisoners’ escape meant his execution—his life for theirs. So he was ready to kill himself.

But the jailed apostles, Paul and Silas, comforted him saying that the prisoners were all there. Yet there was now a greater issue. It was not just a matter of  being saved from physical death, but of something deeper—the salvation of his soul.

Maybe this is the question you’re groping with today. If so you may want to read on…

Has an “earthquake” shaken your life and left you with no way to go on? Are you also crying out for help, not just for your body but for your troubled soul? (life is full of such “earthquakes”—family problems, financial troubles, health issues and much more.)

“Believe on the Lord Jesus, and you shall be saved…”–Acts 16:31a

The good news to that Philippian jailer is a word of comfort and hope to every troubled soul from that day until now.

Yet you might be asking, “How can I believe in a person that I’ve never seen? My friends tell me that Jesus was just a man. It’s just another false religion…”

Yet, deep within you, you know that there must be an answer…and nobody has one. Just more talk…more psychology, more philosophy…

“And they spoke the word of God to him…”–Acts 16:32a

Only the shining of God’s Word into your heart can generate the faith that enables you to believe in the Lord Jesus that you might be saved.

Listen to what the Bible says,

“So faith comes out of hearing and hearing through the word of Christ” (Rom. 10:17).

But what was the saving word that the apostles proclaimed? It was the wonderful person of Christ and the steps that He passed through to become your salvation and life.

Listen to what Jesus did for you so that you can be saved:

  1. Jesus Christ, God’s eternal Son, was incarnated, becoming a man in the flesh (John 1:14a).
  2. Jesus died on the cross for your sins and for those of the whole world (1 Pet. 2:24).
  3. Jesus was buried in the tomb for three days, while in His spirit He took a tour of Hades under the earth (1 Pet. 3:18).
  4. After three days, Christ rose from the dead and walked out of the tomb (1 Cor. 15:4).
  5. Christ who is God’s living Word, became the life-giving Spirit, ready and available to you—and to all people, everywhere (John 1:11 Cor. 15:45).
  6. As the Word and the Spirit, He has become as available to you as the air, the breath–very near to you–in your mouth and heart so that you can receive Him (John 20:22).

“The Word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart…the word of faith.”–Rom. 10:8

Since Jesus has completed His process and become the Word as the Spirit in your mouth and your heart, Romans 10:9 tells you to do two things to be saved:

That if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.

 First, “Confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord.”

This is to call on the name of Lord. Verses 12-13 continue by telling us that “the Lord is rich to all who call upon Him; for whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Try it right now. From your deepest part, simply declare,

 “Lord Jesus! O Lord Jesus! Lord, I open to You! Jesus is my Lord!”

 Second, “Believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead.”

To believe, is simply to receive. Don’t analyze. Just take what God freely offers. Receive God’s salvation with thanks. It is a choice. Choose right now to express your faith by saying out loud,

“Lord Jesus, I believe into You. I thank you that You died on the cross for all my sins and rose victoriously from the grave. Lord, I receive You right now as my Savior and life. Come into me. Fill me Lord. I love You. Amen.”

Finally, as a result, “you are saved!”  Simply thank and praise the Lord!

 “Lord, thank  you for saving me! Hallelujah, now I’m saved!

This is the good news of God’s salvation to all men. Take it. Believe it. Call on the Lord Jesus. Thank God! Share it!

If you’ve received Jesus Christ as your wonderful Savior and life, take a moment to testify of your salvation in a short comment.

References and Resources:

  • The completion of the experience of our initial salvation consummates in baptism. For help on this crucial practice, you may also want to read my post: 6 Reasons for a Believer to be Baptized.
  • If you enjoyed this post you may also enjoy viewing this video:  http://youtu.be/nlvOrTq4Bes
  • Here are a few songs  that may add to your appreciation of this post:

About Tom Smith

Hi. My name is Tom Smith. I'm the writer behind Holding to Truth in Love, and I love the Lord Jesus and His life-giving Word. Please feel free to send me an e-mail through the contact page if you have any questions. I hope you'd take a moment to subscribe to the Holding to Truth blog. Then you'll be sure not to miss a post. Thanks!

8 Replies

  1. Alison Jordan

    What about baptism? Isn’t that as important as repenting and having faith?
    In Acts 2:38 (KJV), “Then Peter said unto them, repent and be baptized everyone of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of your sins.” “And now why are you waiting? Arise, and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord” (Acts 22:16). Salvation is a gift from God. Even though salvation is a free gift from God, God has laid down certain conditions upon which He will give it. One condition to receive His gift is faith: Hebrews 11:6, “But without faith it is impossible to please Him.” Another condition of His free gift is repentance: Luke 13:3, “Unless you repent you will all likewise perish.” Another condition is baptism: Mark 16:16, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved.” Still another condition is living a faithful Christian life: Revelation 2:10, “Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.” The conditions include doing all “the will of the Father,” Matthew 7:21. These are God’s conditions. Believing in God and Christ with all our heart, repenting of all our sins, confessing Christ and being baptized are all equally important to our salvation. If any one of these is lacking, then we will not be saved. You can’t have one without the others.

    1. Tom Smith

      The full salvation that we receive in Christ includes many aspects. So what we present to one person at a given moment may depend on their immediate need and God’s leading to us at that time. Such a post as this, is not intended to be a comprehensive review of the Christian teaching of salvation for theological study. It’s simply one portion or serving of the Word of life to impart faith to a sinner–a troubled soul in need of the salvation in Christ.

      As far as the importance of baptism in God’s complete salvation, you may want to read my previous posts: “6 Reasons for a Believer to be Baptized” and “Enjoying Christ as the Light of Life, the Baptizer and the Son of Man.” In the second post, I mention both repentance and baptism with a personal word of testimony about both.

      I’ll consider speaking further on more aspects of God’s salvation in upcoming posts. Thanks for your comments. If you’d like to discuss these truths in more length, I’d be happy to do so by way of email in a spirit of Christian fellowship.

  2. This is a very clear and wonderful presentation of the gospel. I appreciate that Christ has accomplished all the work through His death and resurrection. Now, the word is near us – in our hearts and even in our mouths. To receive Christ and to experience salvation, we simply need to open our heart and our mouth to call upon His name. This is wonderfully simple.

    God desires all men to be saved, and He was incarnated, crucified, and resurrected so that He could give life to man (John 10:10). We simply need to receive this wonderful Savior and what He has prepared for us.

    1. Tom Smith

      I’m so glad that God could even use a life-threatening earthquake to cause a typical sinner to cry out, “what must I do to be saved?” May all the troubling situations in this world today cause many more lost and despairing people to resound this same cry! May our speaking the Word be so wide-spread and prevailing that the Word would be there–in their mouth and in their heart, ready …so when they cry out, the Savior as the Word and the Spirit could immediately get in. Lord, loose the Word and prepare the needy people’s hearts to receive Your wonderful gospel. Thanks for the encouraging comment.

  3. Nelson Kiu

    What is the relationship between God’s complete salvation (judicial and organic) and these two steps?

    1. Tom Smith

      Nelson, confessing with our mouth that Jesus is Lord and believing in our heart that God raised Him from the dead results in immediate salvation (Rom. 10:9). This simple action of faith initiates our experience of God’s complete salvation in both its judicial and organic aspects. This is to say that based on our faith into Christ, judicially, the righteous God justifies us in His Son (Rom. 3:22-26) and forgives us for all our sins (Eph. 1:7). Based on this same faith, Paul says that “the righteous shall have life and live by faith (Rom. 1:17). To have the eternal life is to be regenerated (John 3:16, 6; 1 Pet. 1:3, 23). Regeneration is the beginning our experience of God’s organic salvation, the process that will continue through transformation and consummate in glorification (Rom. 8:30). Although our initial experience of salvation seems quite small and simple, it opens a door to the life-long experience of God’s complete salvation, both judicial and organic. Thanks again for a very insightful comment.

      1. Nelson Kiu

        Thank you. I was reading footnote 1 of Mark 16:16 (RcV version) – how do we define the phrase “FULL salvation”? Said footnote says that “To believe and be so baptized are two parts of one complete step for receiving the FULL salvation of God”. Based on what we have established, the salvation in Rom. 10:9 refers to the initiation of our experience of God’s COMPLETE salvation in both judicial and organic aspects, whereby the salvation in Mark 16:16 refers to our separation from the world. Unless our receiving the FULL salvation of God has something to do with our being delivered from the world (the Mark 16:16 salvation), otherwise I don’t quite see the difference between the salvation in Rom. 10:9 and Mark 16:16. Hope this makes sense.

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