INTRO: The questions that is the title of this lesson is two thousand years old. What must I do to be saved? Unfortunately, the answer one receives may not be accurate. In the religious world answers to this question vary ... and are often in conflict with each other. How tragic. The most important question one can conceive ... and there is no universal answer. Confusion! Yet, careful study of the New Testament does provide the answer God wants us to have. Lets address some aspects of this crucial question for a little while.
I. TO BE SAVED ONE MUST RECOGNIZE HE IS LOST
A. Im O.K., Youre O.K.
1. this idea pervades thinking today
2. if its true, then lost is not a relevant word
3. but, then, neither is saved
4. everything is O.K. - no problem
B. But is everything O.K.?
1. not according to what scripture says
2. Rom 3:23 with Eph 2:1 with Col 2:12,13
3. this sounds very problematic to me ... scripture does not recognize the Im O.K.; youre O.K. idea
4. Acts 11:12-14 here was a man whom scripture identifies as an exceptionally good man (10:2) ... who was obviously not saved even in his goodness; and if one is not saved, he is lost
II. TO BE SAVED ONE MUST HAVE BIBLICAL INSTRUCTION
A. Why? Because there are so many diverse answers!
1. so, we simply must go to the Source
2. the manuals, disciplines, creeds of today are not dependable for this instruction
3. over years of time, beliefs and ideas have evolved away from scriptural teaching
B. Note 2 Tim 3:15 ... here is one great reason for scripture
1. Rom 1:15,16
2. scripture is the inspired revelation of truth
3. and the great news is that you really can understand its instruction
C. What do we find in scripture? For example ...
1. Acts 16:30 believe on th Lord Jesus
2. Acts 17:30 repent of sins, past self will
3. Acts 22:16 be baptized
4. the instruction is simple, forthright
5. but, you ask why are these instructions different?
6. simple: in scripture each person is answered in keeping with where he is - for example - Acts 2:38 ... no word about belief ... but already they are believers, etc.
III. AND TO BE SAVED THAT INSTRUCTION MUST BE APPLIED
A. At Acts 16:14,15 she attended unto ...
1. not in one ear and out the other
2. we absolutely must do something with the instruction
3. we must take the instruction very personally ... this is not a generic message for others
4. each of us must act on the instruction
B. Notice Acts 16:30-33
1. instruction led to personal action!
2. this lost man became a saved man
3. his being saved hinged on the application of the instruction
4. in scripture this is always the case
C. Still, Acts 24:24,25 - People make their choices!
1. here is a lost man who knows hes lost
2. but he rejected the offer ... he did not apply the message ... for whatever reason
3. and he remained lost
4. too often this is the case
CLOSE: What must I do to be saved? Of all the questions you will ask, none will be as important as this one. What are you going to do with the answer?
Cecil A. Hutson
14 October 2001
You Must Hear the Gospel
You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)
You Must Believe
You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)
You Must Repent
You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)
You Must Confess
You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)
You Must Be Baptized
Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!
You Must Be Faithful Unto Death
Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)