Salvation - What Must We Do?
Salvation: Ultimately, it is why we need the Lord. Jesus would tell His disciples, "The Son of man did not come to destroy men's lives but to save them" (Lk. 9:56). Jesus, and His Father, want people to be saved. That is why Jesus came to earth. That is why Jesus went to the cross. That is why Jesus came from the tomb. That is why Jesus serves today as Mediator (1 Tim. 2:5). Jesus saves.
"So is there anything we must do?" There must be, for not everyone is saved. If Jesus died for all, which He did (1 Jn. 2:2), why will many people find themselves lost (Matt. 7:13)? It is because of disobedience. We must obey. Does obedience set aside God's grace? Not at all. "The grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age..." (Tit. 2: 11,12). We are saved by God's grace. It is unmerited favor. We are not saved because we obey, but in obeying we are saved by God's grace.
So, what must we do?
1.) We must hear the gospel - "Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God" (Rom. 10:17). In order to believe the truth, we must hear the truth. A man does not believe the truth by hearing a lie. We must hear the Word of God.
2.) We must believe the gospel - "Without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him (Heb. 11:6). Many hear the gospel, but they do not believe. They do not have faith. We must have faith.
Let us pause here for a moment, for many believe there is nothing else a man must do to be saved. Look carefully at our Hebrews 11 passage again. Who does God reward? Must a man diligently seek the Lord to be saved? Yes. Let's press on.
3.) We must repent of our sins - "Unless you repent you will all likewise perish" (Lk. 13:3). That is not the Lord's goal. He wants us to be saved. We must turn from our sins. The Lord, "now commands all men everywhere to repent" (Acts 17:30).
4.) We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God - "With the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation" (Rom. 10:10). This is more than just recognizing Jesus as the Son of God, for even the demons do that (Mk. 1:24). No, when a person makes this confession, they are recognizing Jesus' authority and they are submitting and committing themselves to Him. We must confess.
5.) We must be baptized - We are baptized for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38). We are baptized into Christ's death (Rom. 6:3). As we are baptized, we put on Christ (Gal. 3:27). As we are born of water and the Spirit, we are born again (Jn. 3: 1-5).
As our sins are washed away, we are saved. Mind you, we are not in heaven yet, so we must faithfully press on (Php. 3: 12-14). If we sin going forward, we repent of those sins (Acts 8:22). We must be faithful finish the race the Lord has set before us, regardless of how long and what hurdles we face along the way (1 Cor. 9:24). Thankfully, we have the Lord's example, and the Lord's help. He is the Author of our faith and as we complete our race, He is the finisher of it as well (Heb. 12:2).