SALV-7 - Repent, Confess, Be Baptized
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“Salvation: Lesson 7”
Introduction by narrator accompanied by a cappella singing:
THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST. Spreading the soul-saving message of Jesus. And now,
The greatest question ever asked comes in Acts 16:30-31. “Sirs, what
must I do to be saved?”
We welcome you today to our study on the subject of salvation. In
particular, we're going to be talking about God's plan of salvation and the
answer to that question, ‘what must I do to be saved?’ As you think about
Acts 16, you can imagine the scene in the prison in Philippi. Those walls
began to shake. The prison doors flew open. At that moment, a jailer, a
prison guard awoke. He realized his own fate, and he started to commit
suicide. He started to kill himself. But before he did, he heard these
encouraging words: ‘Sir, do yourself no harm, for we are all here.’ Upon the
heels of that encouraging statement, that greatest question that's ever
been asked comes: ‘Sirs, what must I do to be saved?’
Today we're going to think about that question and as near as I can
tell, that question is only asked two other times in the Bible. Acts 2:37, they
cried out, ‘Men and brethren, what shall we do?’ And then in Acts 9:6, Saul
of Tarsus said, ‘Lord, what would you have me to do?’
And so, what is God's plan of salvation? What does the Bible say a
person must do to be saved? To really help us understand this question
better and the importance of it, we might could ask the question by placing
emphasis on the different words inside the question. Let me illustrate. For
example, we could say ‘What must I do to be saved?’ This teaches us that
salvation is active. You can't just sit back and somehow expect you're
going to magically be saved. There's something man must do. Jesus said
that. Matthew 7:21, “It's not everybody that looks up in heaven and says,
‘Lord, Lord,’ that's going there but he who does the will of my father in
But then we might ask the question this way. What MUST I do to be
saved? This teaches us that salvation is imperative. We're not talking about
flippant, nonchalant, lackadaisical matter that you can just take it if you
want it or leave it if you want it. This is an imperative. You must be saved.
You cannot get to heaven, you cannot live with God, and you cannot be
forgiven of your sins, of all the essential things. This is imperative. You
must be saved.
But then we might ask it like this as well. What must I, do to be
saved? Salvation is personal. Friend, in all kindness, we're not asking what
did your mama do, or what did your daddy do? What did your grandpa do
or what did some person close to you do? The question is what must I do
to be saved? Salvation is personal for this reason. Romans 14:12 says, “So
then, each of us shall give an account of himself to God.” When I stand
before God, I'm going to give an account of my life. I'm going to give an
account of the things I've done or the things I haven't done. I'm going to be
saved or lost based on whether I followed God and his teaching or not. And
so what must I, the personal nature of it, is so important.
But then, we might also say, what must I do, to be saved? Not get, or
not feel, but do. Jesus said in John 14:15, “If you love me, keep my
commands.” “You're my friends if you do whatever I ask you,” John 15:14,
again implying that man has to do something to be right with God.
Then, the most important part of the question of all- What must I do to
be saved? This is a question of eternal importance. If I answer this question
according to the will of God and obey the gospel, the Bible says “The
righteous will go away into eternal life.” I can live in heaven with God for all
If I don't follow God, and I don't answer according to the teaching of
Christ and the Bible, friend, there is a place called hell. Jesus said, “It is a
place where the worm does not die and the fire is not quenched,” Mark
9:44. God wants you to be saved. We want you to be saved. And that's the
motivation behind our lesson today.
Before we look at this question and the answer to it, we want each of
us to stop for just a moment and we want you to consider two very
Number one, we want you to know, more than anything in all the
world, that the God of heaven loves you deeply. God wants all man to be
saved, 1 Timothy 2:4. God loved you so much, he sent his own son to die
for you, John 3:16. We love your eternal soul. The reason we're speaking
on the subject of salvation, I will promise you today, the motivation of that is
out of a love for eternal souls.
Now, there's a second thing, though, that we want you to do. As we
begin to think about this lesson, and as you begin to think about it in your
own mind, we want you to stop for just a moment and think about your own
salvation experience. I want you to think about when you were saved. Do
you remember where you were at? Maybe at camp, maybe you were in a
church building somewhere, maybe you were at home, wherever it may be,
and I just want you to think about where were you when you were saved?
Do you remember how old you were? Maybe you don't because maybe
somebody told you were saved as a baby. Maybe you were 10, maybe you
were 12, or maybe it was later in life. Whatever the age, I just want you to
think about where you were, how old you were. And then I want you to
think about, what did I do by which I knew I was saved? Maybe somebody
told you to come down front and make an altar call. Maybe somebody told
you to say the sinner's prayer. Maybe you did other things. All I'm asking
you right now is to draw up in your own mind, to remember in your own
mind, your salvation experience. As we think about God's plan of salvation
today, we just ask you to compare the two. If what you've done matches
what God says you must do, then friend, that's wonderful. That's the
greatest thing ever.
But if they don't, then we encourage you today to make those
changes where they're necessary.
So in our lesson today, and in the lesson that will precede this, that
will follow this as well, we're going to be asking and answering two very
important questions. What must I know to be saved? And what must I do to
Now friend, I understand and I realize there are things the Bible
teaches. There are things that I must know to be saved. How do I know
that? Jesus said, in John 8:32,”You shall know the truth and the truth will
make you free.” Must I know God's truth to be free? Absolutely. The Bible
says in Ephesians 5:17, “Do not be ignorant, but understand the will of the
Let us mention today three things specifically that one must know if
he's going to be saved. What must I know to be saved?
Number one, I must know that outside of Christ, I am lost in sin and
headed down the road to destruction. Friend, that's not pleasant for
anybody. It's not something we like to think about. But you know what? If
I'm going to be saved, I've got to come to terms with the fact that outside of
Christ, I'm lost in sin and I'm headed down the wrong path to destruction.
Now how do we know that's the case? The Bible says in Romans 3:10,
‘there's none righteousness, no, not one.’ ‘Nobody is perfect,’ Romans
3:23. People who are of an accountable age in mind, the Bible says, all
have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. None righteous, all have
sinned. What's the consequence of sin? ‘The wages of sin is death,’
Ezekiel 18:4. ‘The Lord's ear's not heavy that he cannot hear. His arm's not
short in that he cannot save. But your sins and your iniquities have
separated you from your God.’
When I sin and when you sin, when we're in sin, we're lost. We're in a
state of spiritual death and we are separated from the God of all love and
the God of salvation. Jesus said, “Unless you believe that I am he, you will
surely die in your sins.”
I understand nobody likes to talk about sin. We don't like to think
about it. I cannot figure my own path to heaven. Until I come to terms with
the fact that I'm lost and I need God, salvation is not going to be something
I'm concerned about. Do we really understand how lost we are without
Secondly for a person to be saved, not only must he realize he's in
sin, but that person must realize he cannot save himself. No matter how
hard I try, no matter how many good things I may do, I'll never earn or merit
my own salvation. This is the way Jeremiah said it in the long ago. The
Bible says in Jeremiah 10:23, “Oh Lord, I know the way of man is not in
himself. It is not in man who walks to direct his own paths. I can't save
myself.” John 6:68, Jesus had made some hard statements. At that point in
time, some decided to walk with Jesus no more. Jesus turned to the rest
and said, “Do you want to go away also?” And Peter said, “Lord, to whom
shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” I need to trust in the Lord
with all my heart and lean not on my own understanding. ‘Yes, there is a
way that seems right to a man, but the end thereof is the way of death,’
Proverbs 14:12. This is why, from scripture, we realize that salvation is in
Christ. If I'm going to be saved, I cannot do it myself. I cannot make my
own way of salvation. Nobody can tell me of themselves and through their
own path how to get there. I've got to follow God's plan to be saved.
Thirdly once I realize I'm lost in sin, and once I realize I cannot save
myself, I've got to come to terms with the fact that if I'm going to be saved,
it'll be God who saves me. The Bible teaches that we're saved by the grace
of God. “By grace are you saved through faith, and that not of yourselves."
It is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast.” I'm saved by
God's grace, God's wonderful favor, unmerited favor, toward me. ‘The
grace of God that brings salvation,’ the Bible says, ‘has appeared to all
man.’ It's here and it's available for everybody, Titus 2:11-12. And friend,
it's found in Jesus Christ, John 1:17. The Bible says I'm saved by the good
news, or the gospel of God or of Jesus Christ. I'm not ashamed of the
gospel; it's the power of God unto salvation, Romans 1:16.
We are to receive with meekness the implanted word which is able to
save our souls, James 1:21-22. Paul said to Christians in Rome, ‘God be
thanked, though you were the slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart
that form of doctrine to which you were delivered.’ I'm saved by obedience
to the will of God. Jesus said, “If you love me, keep my commandments,”
John 14:15. Jesus said, “It's not everybody who just goes out and says,
‘Lord,’ that's going to heaven, but who does the will of my father in heaven,”
Matthew 7:21. Friend, I'm saved through and in the church of the Lord
Jesus Christ. The Bible says in Acts 2:47, that when men and women
obeyed God's plan of salvation, ‘the Lord added to the church daily those
who were being saved.’ I'm saved in the church of the Lord Jesus Christ
that he purchased with His own blood.
We ask you today to consider these things. Do you realize that
without Christ you're lost in sin? That you are headed down the path to
destruction? That you cannot, no matter what, save yourself? And that only
by the gospel and obedience to God's plan of salvation you can be saved?
Friend, if you realize those things, then the next logical question is what
must I do to be saved?
John 7:17, “If anyone wants to do his will, he shall know concerning
the doctrine.” What does the doctrine of Christ teach? I've got to know to do
the will of God. Like the Philippian jailer, Acts 16:30, what must I do to be
saved? Friend, as we think about this idea, we want to mention God's steps
in the plan of salvation that man must do to be pleasing to the father.
The first step is we've got to hear or listen to the word of God. I want
to direction your attention to a passage in the Bible, in Romans 10:17.
Notice these words with me. The Bible says, “So then, faith comes by
hearing and hearing by the word of God.” Now, that passage teaches us
that if we want to have faith, we've got to hear the word of God. Now, how
do I know then, that hearing is essential? Because faith is essential.
Hebrews 11:6 says, “Without faith, it's impossible to please God.” Must I
have faith to please God? Yes, how do you get faith? The way I get faith is
essential, wouldn't you agree? Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the
word of God. Psalm 95:7, in the long ago, David said, “Today, if you will
hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the day of rebellion.” To be
saved and to get faith, I must hear the word of God. Friend, I want to ask
you to think with me today about this. What does it mean, according to the
scriptures, to hear the word of God? Does it mean that whatever anybody
says, I've got to hear and accept that as gospel truth? Does it mean I got to
listen to everybody? What does it mean, really, how does the Bible define
hearing God's word?
Friend, to hear God's word means these things from scripture.
Number one, hearing the word of God means I recognize the absolute and
final authority of the Bible. Do you remember the Mount of Transfiguration,
where Jesus takes Peter, James and John, in Mark 9 and Matthew 17, up
on that high mountain? The Bible says “He is there transfigured before
them. He begins to shine. His clothes are so ultra-white, and they're so
amazed as Moses and Elijah are there, discussing with Jesus. And Peter,
because he's afraid, and really doesn't know what to say blurts out, ‘Lord,
it's good for us to be here. Let's make three tabernacles, one for you, one
for Moses and one for Elijah.’” One account tells us before he even finished
getting those words out of his mouth; this voice came down from heaven.
Listen to what it said, “This is my beloved son, in whom I'm well pleased.
Hear ye him.”
Friend, if I'm going to be saved, hearing correctly means that I
recognize the authority of Jesus Christ as the son of God and that I
recognize the authority of the New Testament. Jesus said it this way in
Matthew 28:18. Jesus said, “All authority,” not some, not a little, not most,
“All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth.” If Jesus has all
authority, how much does that leave for everybody else? You can't have
more than all. He's the final authority. The New Testament, His new
testament, is our final authority today. ‘Whatever I do in word or deed, I'm
to do all in the name of or by the authority of Jesus Christ,’ Colossians
This is why we want to illustrate this as being so important in
salvation. When I stand before God on that great judgment day, what
standard am I going to be judged by? Jesus said in John 12:48, “He who
rejects me and does not receive my word has that which judges him. The
word that I've spoken will judge him in the last day.” Friend, I'm going to be
judged by the words of Christ. His words are the final authority. God said,
listen to him. Therefore, to hear the word of God correctly, I first must
recognize the absolute authority of Jesus Christ and His new testament.
Secondly to hear the word of God correctly, I must search. I must
seek, and I must prove that what I'm being told or what I'm trying to be
taught is according to the word of God. How do we know that's the case? I
want you to think with me about, probably the perfect example in the Bible
of hearing. Acts 17:11, these are the Bereans and ‘they're more noble than
those in Thessalonica.’ And it says, ‘these were more fair-minded than
those in Thessalonica,’ Acts 17:11, ‘in that they received the word with all
readiness, readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily to see if
these things were so.’ Did they say, ‘Paul, we're just going to take your
word at it and that's right. We believe you because you're Paul.’ No. They
said, ‘Paul, we've heard what you had to say. We appreciate you coming
today. We've written these things down and we've taken notes. Now we're
going to check it.’ What do you mean we're going to check it? They
searched the scriptures daily to see if these things were so. They took what
Paul said. They listened intently, but it wasn't the final word until they
checked it in the scriptures.
Friend listen carefully, this is where so many people are duped when
it comes to religion. So many people are told something and it sounds good
or it's popular. It's what people want to hear, so they just accept it, hook,
line and sinker without checking it. I have a personal responsibility with
anything I hear to check it by the scriptures and so do you. The Bible says,
“Prove all things. Hold fast that which is good,” 1 Thessalonians 5:21. The
Bible says, “Test the spirits to see if they're of God.” Why? “Many false
prophets have gone out.” How do you know somebody's not telling you a
lie? Study to show yourself approved unto God, 2 Timothy 2:15.
And then thirdly, as it relates to hearing, I want to listen with an ear
toward eternity. Luke 8:18, Jesus said, “Take heed how you hear.” Mark
4:24, “take heed what you hear.” How are you listening? Who you listening
to? Mark 9:7 “hear ye him.” Do you remember that little statement in every
one of the seven letters, or letters to the seven congregations in Asia
Minor? Here's what Jesus said, “To him that has ears to hear, let him hear.”
What's Jesus saying when he mentions that? When Jesus says to those
Christians in Asia Minor, to him that has ears to hear, let him hear, what's
he saying? How many people you know that don't have ears? What did
God give your ears for? Do you have ears? And what are they to be used
for? You've got ears. Jesus is saying, ‘to him that has ears to hear, let him
hear; God gave you ears for a reason. Listen to my voice. Obey that. Listen
with an ear toward eternity and with a heart that is directed toward pleasing
And so what must I do to be saved? Friend, to be saved, you
absolutely must hear the gospel of our Lord and savior, Jesus Christ.
Again, as we started at the outset of this lesson, we want you to think
about this great question, what must I do to be saved? We want you to
think about your own salvation. We want you to think about what the Bible,
what you've done and then what the Bible says. Do you realize that without
Christ you're lost in sin? Do you realize that you cannot save yourself? And
do you realize that you must be obedient to the gospel to be right with
If so, then have you heard the word of God? Do you believe? The
Bible teaches you must believe. Do you believe in Jesus as the son of
God? John 8:24, Jesus said, “Unless you believe that I am he, you will
surely die in your sins.” Do you really believe Christ is the way, the truth
and the life? No man comes to the father except by him, John 14:6. Would
you, once you have believed, be willing to repent of sin? Jesus said in Luke
13:5, “Unless you repent, you'll all likewise perish.” Would I turn from sin
and maybe a life in sin or things in my life that are sinful and not right,
would I turn from that and turn to God, Acts 3:19? Would you be willing to
confess the beautiful name of Jesus before men? The Bible says in
Romans 10:10, “With the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with
the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” Would you, to be saved and
to have that sin which separates you from God completely removed, would
you be baptized? Jesus said, listen to the simplicity of it. Jesus said, “He
that believes and is baptized will be saved. Him that does not believe shall
be condemned.” Did Jesus say you've got to believe and be baptized to be
saved? You bet he did. That's the exact wording of Mark 16:16. If I don't
even believe, I'm not even a candidate to be baptized. But if I believe and
I'm baptized, I will be saved. Think about the words of Peter in Acts 2:38.
Peter said, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of
Jesus Christ for the remission of your sins.”
Do you want your sins removed? Do you want that barrier that is
separating you from God to be taken out of the way? Baptism is for the
removal or remission of sins. John 3:5, Jesus said it this way: “Unless a
man is born of water and the spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.”
Do you want to live with God forever? Do you want to be a part of God's
kingdom? You've got to be born of water and the spirit. And then, once one
obeys the gospel, that person must be faithful unto death. Romans 6:4
describes the conversion process: “We die to sin, we're buried with Christ
in baptism, we're raised up out of the water, just as Jesus was raised up
out of the grave, to walk in newness of life.” We've got to strive every day to
be faithful unto death.
And so friend, we ask you today, out of love and concern for lost
souls, have you really answered the question, what must I do to be saved
according to the Bible? Have you done the things that we've talked about
If not, they're not hard to do. We'd be happy to help you with any of
Study Questions for:
“Salvation: Lesson 7”
1. What great question is asked in Acts 16:30-31?
2. According to Matthew 7:21, who will be in Heaven?
3. According to Romans 14:12, who will give an account of himself to God?
4. What will we do if we love Jesus according to John 14:15?
5. What does Jesus say of hell in Mark 9:44?
6. According to 1 Timothy 2:4, what does God want?
7. According to James 1:21-22, how shall we receive the word?
8. How does faith come according to Romans 10:17?
9. According to Matthew 28:18, who has all authority?
10. According to John 12:48, what will judge us?