What must I do to be saved?


A jailor asked this question two thousand years ago just after some people prevented him from killing himself. Thankfully, the people who stopped him knew the answer... 'Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved - you and your household.' Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him... (Acts 16:31-32).

He clearly heard the right answer as shortly afterwards ...he was filled with joy, because he had come to believe in God'he and his whole household (Acts16:34).

Our need of salvation

All too often, people are unaware of their precarious situation - we need to be saved from the consequences of our sins.[1] Jesus says the most important commandment is to ...Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind (Matthew 22:37). It follows that the worst thing we can do is break this commandment. Should we then die with our sins unforgiven, we will never be able to come into God's presence.[2] For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life... (Romans 6:23). Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:15).

God offers to help us but waits for us to respond.[3] Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me (Revelation 3:20). Therefore, when we hear the gospel, it is important we do not dismiss it[4] how shall we escape if we ignore so great a salvation?... (Hebrews 2:3).

How to be saved

There is nothing we can do to make up for our own sins. Instead ...Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the scriptures... (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). Christ's death enables us to have our sins forgiven,[5] but His resurrection goes even further. We can break free from every bondage to sin because Jesus lives and has power over all the power of the devil.[6] Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them (Hebrews 7:25).

What must I do
to be saved?

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Our salvation does not happen automatically; rather we need to invite Jesus as Lord[7] into our hearts. Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God (John 1:12). We therefore need to acknowledge we have sinned before God,[8] ask Him to forgive us, receive Jesus as Lord and determine from now onwards to love Him with all our heart, soul and mind.[9]

When we make this prayer, we take it by faith that He has heard us.[10] 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).

We can know we are saved because of God's promises to us[11] ...whoever comes to me I will never drive away (John 6:37).