There are many important questions that must be asked and answered in our lives. How will I make a living? Who will I marry? Where will I choose to live? What kind of house or car will I buy? Will I have children, and if so, what will I teach them?
But the one paramount question of life that stands above all others is, “what must I do to be saved?” If we ask this question of the many religions of this world, we will get many many different answers. May I suggest a novel new approach as a solution? Why don’t we just go to the bible and let God’s word answer that question for us, then we can be assured the answer is correct. Interestingly enough, that very question was asked and answered several times in the book of Acts. Let us look at one example.
As Paul and Silas came to Philippi in Macedonia, they converted Lydia, a seller of purple of the city of Thyatira. She heard, believed, and was baptized, attending to the things which Paul spoke to her (Acts 16:14-15). Then some days later, after purging a spirit from a young lady, they got in trouble with her masters, and were beaten and thrown in jail. In the middle of the night, as they prayed and sang praises to God, there was an earthquake that freed them from their bonds and opened the prison doors. The jailor was about to kill himself, believing that his prisoners had escaped. Paul assured him that no one had escaped and for him to do himself no harm. When the jailor called for a light, he fell down before them and brought them out of the prison and asked the most important question of his life. Sirs, “what must I do to be saved?” And they said, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shall be saved, and thy house. And they spoke unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their stripes and was baptized, he and all his straight way. And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house (Acts 16:16-34).
When the jailor realized the earthquake was by the power of God, he immediately asked what he must do to be saved. Paul told him, “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shall be saved.” But what does it mean to “believe?” Can we just say, “I believe” and be saved? I think not, for even the devils believe and tremble (James 2:19) Paul and Silas spoke unto him the word of the Lord and to all that were in his house (Acts 16:31-33). The word of the Lord they were taught, included baptism or they would not have known it was required. Contrary to what many say, baptism is not a work to earn salvation. Not by any stretch of the imagination can one construe that voluntarily submitting to someone plunging you beneath the water as a work. Baptism is simply a willing humble submission to the will of God, for remission of our sins that puts us into the body of Jesus Christ (Gal. 3:27).
What must I do to be saved can be answered today by the same steps the jailor from so long ago followed. First we must realize that we are sinners and are in need of salvation. We must have faith that Jesus can indeed save us. Then we must repent and change our actions and direction in life. Finally, we must be baptized for the remission of our sins, (Acts 2:38) which is the culmination of God’s commandments for salvation. When the jailor asked that vital question, he really wanted an answer, and when he followed through on that answer, his joy was great for his life was forever changed.
God is unchanging, (Mal. 3:6, James 1:17) and his word endures forever (Matt. 24:35). His requirements for salvation are the same today as they were 2000 years ago. Why not humbly submit to his will today, that your life may be complete and your joy full? Remember, this life is like a vapor that appears for a short time, then it fades away (James 4:14). Since there are but two places we can spend eternity, each of us must make a choice. We can either choose the wide gate that leads to destruction, or the narrow way that leads to life eternal with God, for there is no third choice (Matt. 7:13-14). Eternity is going to last a very long time, perhaps we should choose carefully where we are going to spend it.
We invite all who would, to come together with us each Sunday morning at Kedron on the Coopertown Road, Russellville, Kentucky, to worship God in spirit and in truth. We neither add to God’s word or take from it. Bible study at 10:00 and Worship at 11:00.