Article - What Must I Do to Be Saved? [Part 1]
The Bible says that our Lord and Savior came to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10). If we are honest with ourselves, we will realize that Jesus came to seek and save everyone of us. The Bible says, “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). God also tells us that our sins separate us from Him and bring about spiritual death (Isaiah 59:1-2, Romans 6:23). The good news in this picture of redemption is that God does not want anyone to be lost. God wants all people to be saved (1 Timothy 2:4). Jesus Christ gave Himself as a sacrifice for all people to be saved (Hebrews 2:9; 1 John 2:1-2). The Bible tells us that we can know the truth about salvation and be saved (John 8:32; 1 John 5:13). That being true, each person must ask a very important question. What must I do to be saved? Over the next few weeks, we are going to examine in detail exactly what the Bible teaches one must do to be saved. As we do this, I want to ask you to honestly examine yourself and see if you are saved the way the Bible teaches (2 Corinthians 13:5). Let us notice the first step in God’s plan of salvation.
1. Hear God’s Word. The Bible says, “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17). And, “without faith it is impossible to please God” (Hebrews 11:6). In the past, I am afraid that we have underemphasized the importance of hearing God’s word. What does it mean to really hear God’s word? Please understand that hearing God’s word does not mean you just accept anything someone says, even if they say it is from the Bible. By hearing God’s word, two very important principles are taught.
First, hearing God’s word means that we recognize its authority. As God said on the Mount of Transfiguration, “This is My Beloved Son in whom I am well pleased, hear Him” (Mark 9:7). The Bible is the ultimate and final authority in all matters of religion (Matthew 28:18ff, Colossians 3:17, John 12:48). When there is a Bible question or when someone needs to know what to do to be saved, we must let the voice of God be the final authority. The question of Romans 5:4 should stand out in our minds. “What do the Scriptures says?” Too many times we hear the voice of other men or commentaries or church manuals over the voice of God. When we decide to hear God’s Word we are saying we will let God have the final and only say on this matter.
Second, hearing God’s word means that we give a diligent effort to study, search, seek and test. In the process of hearing, one must use the reasoning capabilities God has given him to discern truth from error (I Thes. 5:21).We need to be good hearers like the noble Bereans who “…received the word with all readiness of mind, examining the Scriptures daily whether these things were so” (Acts 17:11, ASV). Let us be careful and intelligent in how we hear (Luke 8:18), what we hear (Mark 4:24), and Who we hear (Mark 9:7). To hear God’s word requires that we engage our ears and our mind and make an intellectual decision about what is said based on the Bible as our authority.
Dear friend, who have you been listening to on the matter of salvation? Do we listen to God alone? Or, do we listen to God and someone else’s opinion or teaching? Remember, only the voice of God and His Word will matter on The Judgment Day (John 12:48). Remember to read next week’s article as we will discuss the very important but highly misunderstood step of belief.
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