WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE SAVED?

When we talk about following Jesus, we often talk about “being saved.” Just
what does that mean, and if it is important, how do we become saved? All
humans sin, for it is our nature to sin. We have to be responsible for our
sin, and take the consequences for our sin. The ultimate consequence for sin
is to receive the punishment that we deserve, which is to be punished
eternally with Satan in Hell. Therefore, to be saved means that we are saved
from the punishment that we deserve. If we are “saved,” that means the same
thing as if we say we have “received salvation.”

Many New Testament scriptures tell us that salvation is in Christ.  A few of
these scriptures are listed here:

1 Thes. 5:9 – “For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain
salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

2 Tim. 2:10 -  “Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect,
that they also may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus with eternal
glory.”

Acts 4:12 – “And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other
name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved."
Romans 1:16 -  “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of
God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the
Greek.” [Gospel means the good news that in Christ we may have forgiveness
of our sins.]

2 Cor. 7:10 -  “For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to
salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.”
Hebrews 2:9-10 -  “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the
angels, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that
by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone. In bringing many sons
to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything
exists, should make the author of their salvation perfect through
suffering.”

We see that we need to be saved and receive the gift of salvation, but how
do we do that?  Is there any place in the Bible that shows us how to be
saved?  Yes, there are examples in the New Testament that show us how to be
saved.

Look at Acts 2:37-40
[v.37] “ Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to
Peter and the rest of the apostles, "Brothers, what shall we do?" [38] And
Peter said to them, "Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of
Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift
of the Holy Spirit. [v.39] For the promise is for you and for your children
and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to
himself." [v.40] And with many other words he bore witness and continued to
exhort them, saying, "Save yourselves from this crooked generation."

Peter had told them that they had killed Jesus, the Son of God.  [They
believed then]  As they heard Peter preach the gospel, the came to believe
that Jesus was the Son of God, the Savior, and realized that they were
guilty of the sin of killing Him.  They had faith in Jesus, but they were
still not saved; they asked, “What shall we do?”  Peter said that it is
necessary [The answer was] to repent and be baptized to have your sins
forgiven, and to receive the Holy Spirit.  They were not saved until [they
obeyed what Peter preached] their faith led them to obey the command to be
baptized.  In Matthew 28:18-20, just before Jesus ascended to heaven, He
told Peter and the other apostles to “go and make disciples of all nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy
Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”   When
these people asked Peter what to do to be saved, he repeated Jesus command.

Look at another example from Acts 8:35-38.
[v.35]   “Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning with this Scripture he
told him the good news about Jesus. [v.36] And as they were going along the
road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, "See, here is water! What
prevents me from being baptized?"
[v.38] And he commanded the chariot to stop, and they both went down into the
water, Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him.”

In this case, Philip preached Jesus, and the eunuch asked to be baptized.
How did he know that he needed to be baptized?   Obviously, in preaching
Jesus, Philip surely taught him that he needed to be baptized as Jesus had
commanded.

In Acts 9, we see that Saul was baptized once he realized that he had been
fighting against the Lord.

Acts 9:18-19   “And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes,
and he regained his sight. Then he rose and was baptized; [v.19] and taking
food, he was strengthened.  For some days he was with the disciples at
Damascus.”

How did he know that he needed to be baptized?  Sometime later, the apostle
Paul (Saul’s name was changed to Paul) explained what he was taught by
Ananias, a Christian sent to him by God:

Acts 22:16  “And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash
your sins away, calling on his name.”

Acts 10 tells us about Cornelius and his family, and how God sent Peter to
teach them the gospel of Jesus.  How did they respond?  See what the
scriptures say.

Acts 10:47-48 [v.47]"Can anyone withhold water for baptizing these people,
who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?" [48] And he commanded
them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to
remain for some days.”

They had been taught about Jesus, and clearly understood that their response
to Jesus included baptism.

Read the entire book of Acts. You will find other examples where people
accepted Christ as the Savior of the world.  Baptism was part of their
response to Him.

So what does it mean to be saved?  It means to be free from the guilt of our
sins.  How do we become saved?  We become saved by the grace of God through
Christ --
·      by believing that Jesus is the Son of God who died for us;
·      by repenting of the wrong way we have lived and turning from lives of sin
to lives dedicated to God; and
·      by being baptized to have our sins forgiven.

God wants to save everyone.  He loves us so much that He gave his Son to die
for our sins.  Our sins are forgiven when we are baptized into Christ, and
God promises us the gift of eternal Life.  But no one who refuses to obey
and follow Christ will be forgiven of sin nor allowed to enter the kingdom
of heaven.  So long as we are guilty of sin, our only promise is that of
eternal punishment in Hell.

Have you been saved? Please answer the following questions Yes or No.

1). I am a sinner      ____Yes ___No

2). As long as I am guilty of sin, I am lost.   ___Yes ___No

3). Jesus is my only hope for salvation.   ___Yes ___No

4). I believe that Jesus is the Son of God, that He died for my sins, and
that He was raised from the dead and now lives with God in His Kingdom.
___Yes ___No

5). I have confessed that I believe that Jesus is my Savior  ___Yes ___No

6). I have recognized my sin, have repented of these sins, am sorry that I
have sinned, and have tried to change my life to live according to God’s
will.  ___Yes  ___No.

7). I have been baptized by being buried in water so that all of my sins,
past, present, and future, have been forgiven.  ___Yes  ___No

8). I am now saved by the grace of God, having accepted Jesus and followed
His will. ___Yes  ___No

Can you answer “Yes” to all of these questions? If not, do you think that
you are saved?  Do you want to be saved?  I pray that you do want to be
saved, and that you will accept Jesus and the salvation that He has promised
to everyone who will obey and follow Him.

 

 

 

--Contributed by John R. Morgan