God’s Plan of Salvation
What Must I Do To Be Saved?
What must I do to be saved? It is a timeless question that has been asked many times. Despite the confusion created by man, God’s Holy Word is unambiguous in answering this question.
By studying Ephesians 1:3-8, we can clearly see that God made provisions for the salvation of all men before the foundation of the world. While this salvation is available to all men, it can only be realized by following Christ. According to John 3:16 Jesus said, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life”.
Steps for Salvation
The New Testament outlines five distinct steps in our path to salvation -- they are: Hear, Believe, Repent, Confess and Be Baptized.
Step 1 – Hear
The first and foundational step in our path to salvation occurs when we hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ. According to John 6:45 Jesus said, "It is written in the prophets, 'AND THEY SHALL ALL BE TAUGHT OF GOD.' Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father, comes to Me.”
As we learn about God and His grace which is extended to us through Jesus our Lord and Savior, we begin to develop faith. Romans 10:14-17 says, “How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, "HOW BEAUTIFUL ARE THE FEET OF THOSE WHO BRING GOOD NEWS OF GOOD THINGS!" However, they did not all heed the good news; for Isaiah says, "LORD, WHO HAS BELIEVED OUR REPORT?" So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.”
It is important to understand that hearing the word and having faith means nothing unless we act on it. James 1:22 says, “But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.”
Step 2 – Believe
The second step in our path to salvation is believing. If we have faith, we will actively seek God. And if we actively seek God, He will guide us to salvation through His Holy Word. Hebrews 11:6 says, “And 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 seek Him.”
Jesus said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.” John 5:24
True belief is manifested in action. James 2:24 says, “You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone.”
Step 3 – Repent
The third step in our path to salvation is repentance. According to Romans 3:23 we all need to repent because “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
Repentance in this context starts with Godly sorrow, which acknowledges that we are sinners. 2 Corinthians 7:10 says, “For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death.”
When we repent of our sins there is joy in Heaven. Jesus said, “I tell you that in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.” Luke 15:7
Step 4 – Confess
The fourth step in our path to salvation is a confession that Jesus is the Son of God. Jesus said, “Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 10:32-33
With respect to this confession Romans 10:9-10 says, “if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.”
In Acts chapter 8 we find the example of the Ethiopian eunuch who made his confession prior to being baptized. According to Acts 8:37 the eunuch stated, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”
Step 5 – Be Baptized
The fifth and final step in our path to salvation is baptism. In his Great Commission to the Apostles Jesus said, “He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned.” Mark 16:16
It is important to note that Jesus said that both belief and baptism were necessary for salvation.
In preaching the Church’s first sermon on the day of Pentecost Peter told us two things about baptism: first, that we are baptized in the name of Jesus Christ; and second, that we are baptized for the forgiveness of our sins. Acts 2:38
Peter further expanded on the importance of baptism when he said, “baptism now saves you--not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience--through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 3:21
Some Additional Points for Your Consideration
God’s love is so great that he does not want to see any of us lost -- He wants us all to follow His Plan of Salvation. 1 Peter 3:9 tells us that “The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.”
The members here at Eastside are committed to assisting you in securing your salvation. We welcome the opportunity to answer any questions that you may have. Please feel free to contact us, and even join us for worship service or Bible study.