Today I want to talk briefly about something near and dear to the heart of every Christian. Salvation. As a Christian, someone may ask you an important question. What must I do to be saved? Not every person is going to ask the question in this way. Some might want to know what they need to do to get to Heaven. Others might want to know what to do to not go to hell. Others still might ask you about your life and why it’s the way that it is. There are endless paths a person might take to finally get to this question. We should know the answer. 

It might seem ironic to bring this issue up with Christians. After all, if we’re Christian, then we’re saved, right? Well, not necessarily. There’s a lot of misinformation out there about what it takes to be saved. Misinformation is nothing new. Look at this verse from Acts.

Certain people came down from Judea to Antioch and were teaching the believers: “Unless you are circumcised, according to the custom taught by Moses, you cannot be saved.”

Acts 15:1 (NIV)

We might wonder, “Who were the certain people?” A little later in Acts 15, we read about one such group who might be those “certain people.”

Then some of the believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees stood up and said, “The Gentiles must be circumcised and required to keep the law of Moses.”

Acts 15:5 (NIV)

I found it interesting that the events in Acts 15 took place about 20 years after the death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, so it wasn’t exactly “new.” Newer than now, yes. In addition, it was about 10 years since the first gentile conversation that took place in Acts 10

Another point of note concerning verse 5 here is how it describes the people who stood up and said the Gentiles have to be circumcised and follow the law of Moses. They were Pharisees, but they were also called “believers.” This reminds me some people may believe, but what do they believe? I think these Pharisees believed that Jesus was the Messiah sent by God to restore the kingdom of Israel. However, their understanding of salvation was incorrect. This tells me some people are believers today and may call themselves Christians, but they may also have an incorrect understanding of salvation. 

This is easily evident through searching on Google, “What are the requirements for salvation?” While many Christian-based sites correctly point the way, there are still some that have added a point or two. When we search through forums on the web, we see how confused people are regarding their salvation. 

If we keep reading through Acts 15, we’ll get to Acts 16, where we discover someone who asked the very question we’re considering today. 

He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”

Acts 16:30 (NIV)

The answer is…

They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.”

Acts 16:31 (NIV)

This doesn’t mean that everyone in the jailer’s household was saved by one person’s belief. If you’re wondering who the jailer is, then I invite you to read Acts 16. I highly recommend the entirety of Acts. You can read or even watch a word-for-word account of it on YouTube (Acts of the Apostles). How cool is that? 

In Paul’s letter to the Romans, he gives a little bit more detail about what we need to do to be saved.

If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

Romans 10:9 (NIV)

This is the one and the only requirement for salvation. Some people say that water baptism and baptism in the Holy Spirit are also requirements for salvation. They are not. These same people may point to Scripture as evidence. Perhaps something like what the Apostle Peter said in Acts 2.

Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Acts 2:38 (NIV)

However, we have this intelligence from Ephesians.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.

Ephesians 2:8-9 (NIV)

Baptism is a work. We get water baptized to show other people that we’re standing for God. It’s a metaphorical process where we identify with the death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior. I’m not saying we shouldn’t get baptized, nor am I saying that it’s not a powerful experience. It’s just not a requirement for salvation. 

Another interesting and perhaps more succinct passage of Scripture against baptism being a requirement for salvation can be found in the Gospel of Luke. 

But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”

Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”

Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

Luke 23:40-43 (NIV)

This thief certainly wasn’t baptized in water before he died. I also suspect he wasn’t baptized by the Holy Spirit either, yet what did our Lord say to him? “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” Not only did this man go to Heaven, but he was also the first person to go there with Jesus! 

So there you have it. When someone asks you what they need to do to be saved, you can now tell them. 

If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

Romans 10:9 (NIV)

Do you know God? God knows you, and He loves you. He sees you as significant because you are. No one is insignificant to Him. He’s with you today, right now, and He wants you to know Him. Jesus died for your sins and mine so we could be free of guilt, be freed from death, and live eternally with Him. Eternal salvation is just a prayer away. 

Pray this prayer with me to accept the gift of salvation today:

Lord Jesus, forgive me for all my sins. I repent from my ways. Wash me in your blood and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. I believe that you died on the cross, were buried, and on the third day, God the Father raised you from the dead. Right now, Lord Jesus, I open the door to my heart, and I receive you into my heart as my Lord and personal Savior. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer, then congratulations! You are on the first step of a brand new life. Allow me to be the first to welcome you to my family, the family of God. There are abundant resources available online for new Christians. You can visit here for more information on what to do next. You can also leave me a comment, and I’ll do my best to help you on the next step of this incredible journey.