The free gift in a cereal box might be priceless in the eyes of a child, but as he grows up, he quickly realizes the worthlessness of the shiny, plastic ring or the baseball card printed with cheap ink on cheap paper. The free gift that God offers is truly priceless, and it never loses its value. What is this free gift? “[T]he free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).
Arguably, the most important question that can ever be asked and correctly answered is “What must I do to be saved?” (Acts 16:30). Many works of men claim to tell us the answer to this question; however, we must remember that it is God who we will give an account to, not men (Romans 14:12). As God is the only One able to offer salvation, only He can answer this question. Where can the answer be found? It is found only in Scripture (the Bible). “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
Ultimately, the gift of salvation is free, and there is nothing a person can do to earn his or her own salvation (Ephesians 2:8). God has done His part in what it takes for our sins to be forgiven (1 John 4:8-10). It was before we knew we needed salvation, while we were enemies with God, Christ died for our sins (Romans 5:10). However, like all gifts, we must accept the gift of salvation. “[H]ow will we escape if we neglect so great a salvation” (Hebrews 2:3)?
What is it that we are seeking salvation from? We are seeking salvation from our sins and the eternal consequences of those sins. Those consequences are eternal destruction and being away from the presence of the Lord forever (2 Thessalonians 1:8-9). Since God is perfect, our imperfections separate us from God, and our sins make it impossible for God to look at us (Isaiah 59:1-2). Jesus Christ is coming back one day to divide all of mankind into two groups: the goats and the sheep (Matthew 25:32-33). To the sheep, Jesus will say, “Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” (Matthew 25:34). To the goats, He will say, “Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matthew 25:41). There is no one who desires to hear the latter of the two. The question is, if the Lord were to come right now, which of the two would you hear?
We can know we have eternal life (1 John 5:13)! When the apostle Paul wrote to the Philippians, he knew that he had eternal life. He said, “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21). Do you want to know you have eternal life? If you died today, or if the Lord were to come back right now, would you go home with Jesus to heaven forever?
Before we can even know what God wants from us, we must first hear (or read) God’s Word. “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ” (Romans 10:17).
As we travel through the Scriptures, we will quickly learn who the Main Character is. That is, Jesus, the Christ. Our primary goal is to be with our Father in heaven. Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me” (John 14:6). He also said, “unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins” (John 8:24). After hearing the Word, next, we must believe that Jesus is who the Bible says He is. So, who is Jesus? He is the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6). He is the Son of God (Mark 1:1). He is God (John 1:1-3, 14; Colossians 2:9; Hebrews 1:8).
Jesus is also the mediator between God and man (1 Timothy 2:5). A mediator is a go-between for two parties (like a bridge between two lands- you cannot get from one side to the other, except across the bridge). Why do we need a mediator? We are separated from God because of our sins (Isaiah 59:1-2). Jesus is the only human to have ever existed without sin (2 Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 4:15). Since we have all sinned (Romans 3:23), and since our sins separate us from God, only Jesus can be the bridge between God and mankind. Jesus is the only one who can reconcile us to God (Romans 5:10). Jesus said, “unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins” (John 8:24). Do you believe that Jesus Christ came to earth to become a mediator between you and God and to become a sacrifice for you (Romans 5:10; Philippians 2:8)?
Third, to be cleansed of our sins, we must repent of our sins. Our Savior said, “unless you repent, you will all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3, 5). To have forgiveness of our sins, Peter said, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins” (Acts 2:38). Walking toward sin is simultaneously walking away from God.Repentance is a change of mind that leads to a change of action (example: 2 Corinthians 7:10). There must be a deep, godly sorrow in our innermost being, understanding that we are separated from God, and that we need forgiveness. Before we can begin walking toward God, we must first turn from sin. Then, we can begin traveling in the opposite direction of sin: toward God. We give up sin in order to serve the One True God.
Fourth, the Bible says we can be saved if we confess our belief in Christ with our mouths (Romans 10:9-10). Jesus said if we confess Him before men, He will confess us before God (Matthew 10:32-33). Before the Ethiopian was baptized and had received eternal life, and before he went on his way rejoicing, he made the confession, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God” (Acts 8:37).
Finally, to receive the forgiveness of our sins, we must be immersed (baptized) in water. There are many blessings found in Christ (Romans 3:24; Ephesians 1:3; 2 Timothy 2:1; and others). Among those blessings are salvation (2 Timothy 2:10), the forgiveness of sins (Colossians 1:14), and eternal life (Romans 6:23). We must be in Christ to receive these blessings. How do we get into Christ? We are “baptized into Christ” (Romans 6:3-4; Galatians 3:27). Jesus said, “He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved” (Mark 16:16). When we obey Jesus’ commandment, God washes our sins away (Acts 22:16; 1 Peter 3:21), adds us to His body of believers (Acts 2:41, 47), and clothes us with Christ (Galatians 3:27).
There is only one way to God. That is through Jesus Christ (John 14:6). There is only one baptism (Ephesians 4:4-5). Have you obeyed God (John 14:15; Mark 16:16)? If you died today, or if the Lord were to come back right now, would you go home with Jesus to heaven forever?
As you have traveled the Scriptures to answer the most important question, you must answer one question from God: “Now why do you delay? Get up and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on His name” (Acts 22:16)!
If you have any further questions regarding the salvation found in the Bible, do not hesitate to ask us. If we can be of any assistance in your obeying God’s Word, please let us know.
Searching for Truth
“…you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free” (John 8:32).
Do you know where you’re going when you die? What if the Lord were to come right now? Would you go home with Him forever?
Please click here to watch a few videos with an open heart and a mind focused on eternity.