What Must I Do To Be Saved

What Must I Do To Be Saved?

No greater question has ever entered the mind of any person! And no greater quest has been pursued than the answer to this important question! What must I do to be saved? Have you ever asked that question? If not, why not? How do you think this question can be answered? Will the answer be found in the creeds, catechisms, or councils of the various denominations? Certainly not! For they all teach something different in answer to this question. Where, then, can the answer to life’s most important question be found?

Many people were saved in New Testament times. And, they were all saved under the direction and doctrine of the apostles who had been commissioned by Jesus himself to go into all the world and to preach the gospel so that people could be saved (Matt. 28.18–20; Mark 16:15-16;Luke 24.45–49). If it can be discovered how people in the first century were saved, then the answer will be found to how people can be saved in the twenty-first century. This is especially true if it is discovered that every person saved in New Testament times was saved in the same way. Let’s see.

Jews on Pentecost.The record of the conversion of 3,000 Jews on the first Pentecost after Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection is recorded inActs 2.14–41. What did they do to be saved?

  • In verses 14–35, 38–40, theyheard the gospel.
  • In verses 36, 41, 44, theybelieved in the gospel.
  • In verses 37, 38, they were told torepent of their sins.
  • In verse 47, Luke implies they hadconfessed their faith in Jesus.
  • In verses 38, 41, they werebaptized for the remission of their sins.
  • In verses 38, 47, these things are said to have resulted in their beingsaved.

Samaritans.The record of the conversion of the first Samaritans is inActs 8.5–13. What did they do to be saved?

  • In verses 5, 12, theyheard the gospel.
  • In verse 5, it is said that theybelieved in the gospel.
  • In verses 9, 10, Luke toldof their sinsof which theyrepented.
  • In verses 10, 12, Luke implies theyconfessed their faith in Jesusinstead of Simon.
  • In verses 12, 13, they werebaptized for the remission of their sins(cf. verse 16).
  • In verse 16, it is said they had beensaved(baptism in the name of Jesus is for the remission of sins according toActs 2.38).

Ethiopian Eunuch.The record of the conversion of the first African is inActs 8.26–39. What did he do to be saved?

  • In verse 35, heheard the gospel.
  • In verses 36, 37, hebelieved in the gospel.
  • In verse 36, herepented of his sins(he had been worshiping God under the Law of Moses that was no longer in effect and turned to serve God under the New Covenant).
  • In verse 37, heconfessed his faith in Jesus.
  • In verse 38, he wasbaptized for the remission of his sins(according toActs 10.47,48, baptism in water is the same as baptism in the name of Jesus Christ, which according toActs 2.38is for the remission of sins).
  • In verse 39, he went on his way rejoicing knowing he was nowsaved.

These are the first three recorded cases of conversion in the New Testament. Do you notice anything similar among them? Yes, so far all of the people who were saved did exactly the same thing to be saved. They firstheard the gospel, then theybelieved in the gospel, next they obeyed the gospel byrepenting of their sins,confessing their faith in Jesus, and beingbaptizedor immersed in waterfor the remission of their sins.

If you stopped your search right here, you would know what they did in the first century to be saved and would then know what you need to do in the twenty-first century to be saved. But consider the following chart that documents the cases of conversion that are recorded in the New Testament:

cases of conversion chart

As you can see, every case of conversion in the New Testament involved the peoplehearing the gospel,believing the gospel,repenting of their sins,confessing their faith in Jesus(as commanded inRom. 10.9,10), and by beingbaptized into Jesus Christ for the remission of their sins. Wow! This sounds a lot different than what you hear in most churches today, but this is exactly what they did in the first century to be saved and this is exactly what all people in the twenty-first century must do to be saved!

A common passage connected with salvation isEphesians 2.8,9, “for by grace have you been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not of works, that no man should boast.” But, if you’ll notice in the chart, before Paul said this to the Ephesians they too hadheard the gospel,believed the gospel,repented of their sins, and had beenbaptized in the name of Jesus for the remission of their sins. Today, if you want it to be said of you that you have been saved by grace through faith like it was said of the Ephesians, then you must do what they did before this can be said of you.

Also consider that Jesus said, “Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 18.3, NASU). What does it mean to be converted? After studying all the passages where this word and its various forms is found, B.F. Manire summarized the meaning of conversion by stating: “Conversion [is] defined as the turning of the whole man in heart and life from the love and practice of sin to the love and service of God, including a change of state, or relationship towards God.” We see then that conversion is summed up in three categories: 1) a change of heart, 2) a change of conduct, and 3) a change in relationship with God. So how is a person converted?

Have you been saved? Have you obeyed the gospel? Have you been truly converted? If not, why not? Please let us know how we can assist you in answering life’s most important question, “What must I do to be saved?”

The following articles on this subject may also be of interest to you. In 2007 we ran a series of 13 articles connected with salvation. The articles are as follows:

Church of Christ in Galena 2014