Steps to Salvation
Introduction. Perhaps the greatest question of all time was asked about 2000 years ago in Acts 16:30: "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" While you will find many different and conflicting answers from today's religious groups, let's return to the Bible to see that it says on this all-important topic. Note the hyperlinks below to related topics in our archives where you will find additional information to study.
The Need for Salvation. The need for man to do anything at all to be saved is based on a number of foundational truths.
A. God exists, created the universe, has revealed Himself to mankind through the Bible, and requires mankind to obey Him. See Bible, Bible Origins, Christian Evidences, Creation, Evolution, God, and Nature of God.
B. Beginning with Adam & Eve listening to the Devil's lie in the Garden of Eden, everyone has sinned by violating God’s will. Sin separates one from a holy God. A sinner can’t save himself since no amount of good deeds can erase or offset one’s sinful acts. Failure to restore this relationship will result in eternal separation from God in Hell - Isa. 59:1-2; Hab. 1:13a; Rom. 3:9-10, 23; Eph. 2:1-3. See Adam & Eve, Devil, After-life, Hell, Judgment, and Sin.
C. While God cannot tolerate sin, He still loves the sinner. And while the sinner cannot save himself, God can save the sinner by offering His own sinless son, Jesus, as an atoning sacrifice for mankind - John 3:16; Rom. 5:8; 2 Cor. 5:21; Eph. 2:4-5; Titus 3:5-7; 1 Pet. 3:18. This offering is for all mankind. See Blood of Jesus, Cross of Christ, Forgiveness, Grace, Jesus, Love, and Predestination.
Man Needs to Respond. While God has done what He alone can do to make salvation possible for the sinner, He still requires the sinner to actively respond to take advantage of this gracious gift.
A. It is God's will that all men should turn to Him - 2 Peter 3: 9; Ezek. 33: 11; Acts 3: 19. See Age of Accountability, and Ignorance.
B. We must have faith, and be willing to seek out the Truth - Heb. 11: 6; Psa. 119: 9. See Belief, Faith, Truth.
C. We must be willing to hear God's Word - Rev 2: 7; Matt. 11: 15; Rom. 10: 17.
D. True faith will cause us to render obedience to God's will - Eph. 2: 10; John 14: 15; 1 John 5: 3; Rev. 22: 14. See Obedience.
E. We have to take an active part in achieving salvation - John 6: 27; Phil. 2: 12-15. See Salvation.
How to Become a Christian. There are several initial acts of obedience that are an active proof of our faith and result in having our previous sins forgiven and becoming a new Christian.
A. We must believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah, the sinless Son of God who died for our sins - Acts 10: 43; 16: 31. See Belief, Blood of Jesus, Jesus, Messiah, and Son of God.
B. True belief will produce repentance - Acts 2: 38; 3:19. See Sin and Repentance.
C. This change of life & attitude will produce in us the desire to publicly confess Jesus as the Son of God - Matt. 16: 15-16; Acts 8:37; Rom. 10: 9-10; 1 John 4:15. See Confession of Christ.
D. As an act of humility, faith and obedience, we will immediately submit to baptism (immersion in water) in order to have our sins washed away - Acts 22: 16; Gal. 3: 27; 2 Cor. 5: 17; 1 Pet. 3:21; Acts 2: 38. See Baptism.
The Need to Live Faithfully. As new Christians, we should desire to remain faithful at all times (Rom. 6: 4).
A. We can read of many who were faithful to God in Heb. 11. Rev. 2:10 teaches us that God expects us to remain faithful, even unto the point of death. See Obedience, Contend, Perseverance, Suffering, and Zeal.
B. And yet God knows Christians will sin and expects them to repent and pray for forgiveness (1 John 1:5 thru 2:6). See Apostasy, Repentance, Confession of Sin, Prayer.
How to Live as a Christian. We will diligently study God's word and allow it to guide us in all aspects of our everyday life.
A. By carefully studying the Bible, we can understand how God wants us to live. See Authority, Bible Study, Law of Moses, Law of Christ, and Unity.
B. The Bible contains a number of important principles to guide our daily activities. See Christian Living, Conscience, Entertainment, Golden Rule, Judging, Life, Racism, and Self-control.
C. Part of living as a Christian is what we do with our bodies. See Dancing, Dress, Drinking, Drug Abuse, Meat Eating, Smoking, Suicide, and Tattoos.
D. A Christian will also be careful how we talk. See Gossip, Lying, and Profanity.
E. The Bible has much to say about a Christian's sexuality. See Pornography, Virginity, Fornication, Homosexuality, and Abortion.
F. Marriage and family are important topics in the Bible as well. See Dating, Marriage, Annulment, Family, Fatherhood, Motherhood, Home, Divorce, and Women.
G. A faithful Christian will have the proper attitude toward money and material possessions. See Debt, Gambling, and Greed.
Worshipping with Fellow Christians. We will seek to gather with other Christians in a faithful local congregation to worship God publicly, encourage each other, and preach the Gospel to the lost.
A. It is important to find a local group of faithful Christians and to avoid man-made denominations. See Church, The True, Denominationalism, False Teaching, and Kingdom.
B. The local congregation will follow the New Testament pattern regarding organization and work. See Autonomy, Church Government, Church Benevolence, Church Building, Institutionalism - Church Funded, Social Gospel, Sponsoring Church, and Women Leaders.
C. God expects Christians to come together regularly on the Lord's Day for worship. See Attendance, Sabbath, Lord's Day, Worship, Giving, Lord's Supper, Music, and Prayer.
D. Faithful congregations will encourage their members to live right and practice scriptural discipline when they do not. See Fellowship.
The Second Coming. We will look forward to Jesus' Second Coming when all the dead will be resurrected from Hades, the earth will be destroyed, the Judgment will occur, and the saved will go to Heaven.
A. Christians will have a proper understanding of what happens after death. See After-life.
B. Christians will also understand what to expect during the "end times" and when Christ returns. See Premillennialism, Rapture, Armageddon, and Second Coming.
C. In addition to gratitude and love for God, Christians should also be motivated by understanding what awaits both the faithful and the unfaithful in eternity. See Judgment, Heaven, and Hell.