How Can I Be Saved?
This is probably the most basic, yet complicated, questions a person can ask.
The wonderful thing about this topic is that God doesn’t expect you to understand all of the nuances of salvation in order to receive it. There are, however, things that a person does need to know before they can be saved.
Admit You Are A SinnerEvery person that has ever lived is a sinner (Romans 3:23).
Realize The Penalty For Sin.The result of Sin is separation from God (Romans 6:23).
Believe That Jesus Christ DiedGod loves you unconditionally and has made a way for you to be saved from your sin condition (Romans 5:8)
Jesus, Gods Only Son, died to save you from your sins (John 3:16).
Believe That Jesus Christ Rose From The GraveJesus overcame death, and the grave, so that you could be with Him in Heaven (1 Corinthians 15:3-4).
Trust Jesus Christ Alone As Your SaviorJesus is the only way to God/Heaven (John 14:6).
You simply have to repent of your sins, through prayer to God, to receive salvation. (Romans 10:13)
To be Saved…
You must understand that you cannot earn salvation by any action that you can perform. There is nothing we can do to work our way in to heaven (Ephesians 2:8-9). Therefore you must have faith that Jesus’ work upon the cross paid for your sins because you could not pay the penalty yourself. Once faith has entered into your life you must make this confession, both with your mouth (Confession of the mouth) and your life (Baptism & lifelong submission to Gods will for us).
The beginning steps of salvation starts with prayer. We must pray to God asking for His forgiveness of our sins. If you have never prayed before it is a simple process. Though prayer can be done at any time in any manner, if you are just beginning your prayer life, it is good to find a quiet place where you can close your eyes and have an honest, heart-felt conversation with God. This prayer should include your acknowledging God for the wonderful loving/forgiving God that He is, as well as your lost condition. Talk with God about how you know that your sin keeps you from being with Him, also that you are aware that Jesus’ work on the Cross paid the price for your sins, and that Jesus’ actions allow you to be with Him in Heaven. Pray to God telling Him that you accept that work as a payment for your sins, and to show your faith, you repent of your sins and never want any part of sin again (this doesn’t mean you will not sin, it means sin becomes disgusting to you and you plan to turn away from sin from this point on), and that you would like Him to come in to your life and change your life because you realize that the only way you can overcome sin is if He lives inside of you.
Be sure to thank God at the end of your prayer because Gods word says He is Faithful and Just to forgive you of your sins when you ask for forgiveness (1 John 1:9). If you truly did this from your heart you are, at this point, saved.
Once you have prayed a prayer like this it is time to show that you received Jesus in your life. You can do this by repenting daily of your sins (those times that we fall short of what God has asked of us), planning to never return to those sins again. Then beginning every day by living a new life under the rule and reign of God the Father. Once you have began to do this on the inside, it will become evident on the outside. But to show God, and others, that you are not ashamed of Him, the next step of obedience requires joining a local body of believers (a church) and getting baptized with water (trust me, a celebration will come when people realized you have received the salvation of Jesus).
(If you prayed a prayer similar to the one above, and have chosen to surrender your life to Christ, we encourage you to join us, or any local body of believers, and let us know. We want to celebrate with you over this wonderful news!)
It is wonderful when a New Christian desires to know more about the salvation that they are saved unto. While the list of topics below is not an exhaustive repository, it is a good beginning step to learning more about the Salvation that Jesus shared with you through the love that He showed all of us on the Cross.
Mankind was created perfect
The Bible gives testimony in Genesis 1:31 that the first Man (Adam) and Woman (Eve) to be placed upon this earth by God was created perfect and without sin. As a matter of fact these two people literally walked with God in the Garden of Eden, never having known shame, guilt, pain, embarrassment, sadness, hardship, or even Death. This truly was a perfect time in mankind’s history.
Mankind has declared war upon God by sinning
Merriam Webster defines Sin as “a vitiated state of human nature in which the self is estranged from God”. The Bible says that all of mankind has sinned and fall short of Gods glory (Romans 3:23). The Problem of Sin began shortly after mankind was created (Genesis 3:1-6). Though we do not know how long after creation Adam and Eve decided to disobey God, what we do learn from Gods Word (The Bible) is that God told Adam and Eve that they were not to eat of the “Tree Of Knowledge of Good And Evil”. Never having encountered deception, it was easy for one of the most crafty of Gods creations, the serpent, to convince Adam and Eve that the fruit on this tree was not only good to eat, but would in fact make them into gods.
Once Adam chose to eat this fruit he, unwittingly, declared war upon God through his First act of disobedience, ushering sin into the heart of mankind and throughout the entire world (Romans 5:12). By eating the fruit he, in effect, called God’s Truth a lie and announced his own wisdom. This declaration of war is passed down from generation to generation to every decedent of Adam, by inheritance (literally: every person that’s ever lived).
Because of this Sin condition, mankind cannot live with God in heaven. The reason for this is that once sin enters into the presence of God it is eradicated (Exodus 33:20). Mankind being full of sin would, in turn, be eradicated as well.
Our sin condition causes mankind to lose our physically eternal nature and become mortal, having a decreasingly short time to live upon this Earth. Once we physically die our Spirit (which is still eternal) must go somewhere. Being that there are only two places that the Spirit can go (Heaven/Hell), and knowing that mankind, in his war upon God, has eliminated the option of Heaven, we are forced into an eternal death in Hell.
God Still Loves Mankind
In spite of our sin condition, God still chose to love mankind.
Unfortunately, there is nothing mankind can do individually, or as a whole, that can reconcile our relationship with our Father/God. But the Bible tells us that God chose to implement a plan that would allow mankind to rejoin him in Heaven for all of eternity.
God sent His Son Jesus (John 3:16), which was God in the flesh (Colossians 2:9), to pay the penalty for, not only one man, but rather mankind as a whole. The penalty for sin, was death. Not just any death, but the death of a righteous man (Death claimed the death of Adam, who was righteous when he was created).
God came into this world as a sinless man. He was not a descendant of Adam, He was born with only an earthly mother (He had no earthly father – Luke 1:26-37) therefore he didn’t inherit the sin condition. Neither did He commit any sin while he was on this earth (1 Peter 2:22), making him righteous, and the perfect sacrifice for the Sin Condition of mankind. We read in the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John) that not only did God come in the flesh, but that He lived here for 33 years, and in the prime of His earthly life, was crucified for all of mankind’s sins (Matthew 27:32-56).
Gods sacrifice is offered to anyone that will receive it.
God, not willing that anyone would go to Hell when they die (2 Peter 3:8-10), offers salvation from an eternal Hell to anyone that would trust in the work of Jesus upon the cross as their means of salvation. However, had Jesus simply died upon the cross salvation could never have been offered. Three days after Jesus died upon the cross, he rose from the grave (Mark 16) and went to heaven, effectually paving the path for anyone that is willing to confess that Jesus’ way is the only way to be in Heaven with God when they die and submit their will, here on earth, to Jesus’ will.
Mankind doesn’t have to earn Salvation
Knowing that there is nothing that mankind can do to get to Heaven (Ephesians 2:10), because we are not Righteous, God allowed Salvation to be offered, as a free gift, by simple faith and belief (Ephesians 2:8-9). In this way it is by God’s Grace, not man’s work, that mankind is able to spend eternity in Heaven with God instead of an eternity in Hell in pain and torment away from God.
Mankind is a new creation once Salvation is obtained
Jesus Death/Burial/Resurrection didn’t merely pave the way for mankind to enter Heaven. The individual that accepts the work of Jesus on the cross doesn’t merely have his sins payed for, he becomes a new creation outside of the sin condition of Adam (2nd Corinthians 5:17). The concern about this new creation is that, even though mankind is made sinless with the work of Christ, we are still susceptible to sin entering back in as long as we are in this sin-ridden body. However, this too was taken care of through Jesus’s work. Jesus sent a helper, the Holy Spirit, that not only teaches us how to live a life more pleasing to God (Romans 8:26-27), but works with Jesus’s sacrifice to atone for any sin that we may commit after we are saved (1 John 2:1-2). In this way we are saved from our sins when we receive Jesus’ work upon the cross (Justification - Romans 8:30). But, when we fall short, Christ intercedes on our behalf, before the Father, cleansing us on a continual basis (Sanctification - Hebrews 10:10) until we receive our new bodies in Heaven (2 Corinthians 5).
Being a Christian means living a different and Holy life
Though we are not perfect it is, and should be, the goal of every Christian to live a life in which God would have us to live (1 Peter 1:16). However, when we fall short of that goal, Jesus intercedes on our behalf (Romans 8:34). In this way we make a choice to turn away from sin, and our own ways, on a daily basis and turn to Gods ways. When we do this we are choosing God and His way over ourselves and our own ways. Being saved does not mean we can keep on living in sin, we are created for a new life and purpose (Romans 5:20-6:4).
Our first step of obedience to God is being baptized (Acts 2:37-38). Baptism is the act of the believer telling all, who gather to watch, that we have in-deed been spiritually buried, with Christ, in our sins and raise from those sins, with Christ, unto a new life free from sin and unto eternal glory in heaven (Colossians 2:12).
Once we have been baptized we are now to follow in the footsteps of Jesus, meaning we are to live a life that Jesus would have lived had he come living our lives. This is known as the Great Commission (Matthew 28:16-20). This Great Commission calls every Christ Follower to put other people’s Spiritual life and needs ahead of their own physical life, and place their physical life before the life of one’s self. Love, Godly Love (Agape Love), is the fuel behind the life of every Christian. A self-sacrificial love that causes one to consider the well-being of others before themselves (Ephesians 5:1-11).