Article - What Must I do to be Saved? [Part 2]
There is nothing more important in the entire world than your eternal soul. Jesus said, “What will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and looses his own soul” (Mark 8:36-37). God has made it possible for all people to be saved and live the best life (1 Timothy 2:4, John 10:10). Since this is the case we must ask the question, “What must I do to be saved?” Last week we noticed the first step in God’s plan of salvation was to hear/listen to God’s Word. This week let’s look at the second step in God’s plan of salvation.
The second step in the plan of salvation is belief. Jesus said, “If you do not believe that I am He, you will surely die in your sins” (John 8:24). True belief is always an active obedient faith in God. Jesus taught the multitudes that they could not just call him “Lord” and not do the things He said (Matthew 7:21). Believing in Jesus means that we are willing to trust and follow him with our whole heart. A beautiful example of this is seen in Acts 8. Phillip has just started teaching the Ethiopian Nobleman the gospel plan of salvation. As he teaches him about Christ the Bible tells us they came to a certain water and the nobleman wanted to be immersed. Phillip then tells him, “if you believe with all your heart you may” (Acts 8:37). From this text, we learn that belief is a conviction that Jesus is the Christ the Savior of our life. We also learn that we must be willing to do whatever Jesus says if we really believe in Him (Acts 8:38ff).
While we do not want to underemphasize the importance of belief, please understand that belief alone will never save anyone. In fact, the word belief never means mental acceptance only. Belief always means an active, obedient trust in God (Galatians 5:6). You and I understand this in every day life. For example, imagine I am out in the middle of the lake about to drown and a person comes along and throws me a life preserver. If I just believe that life preserver will save me and never do anything to “be saved” (Acts 2:40), will I be saved? Absolutely not! Just believing the life preserver would save me would have got me no closer to being saved. I must take steps of action such as reaching for the preserver, holding on and helping pull myself in. Likewise, there are steps of action associated with belief that one must take to be saved. It is so sad that there are thousands of denominational people who teach that all one must do to be saved is believe in Jesus and accept Him as your personal Savior. Nothing could be further than the truth. Did you know that the Bible never says faith only will save? In fact, the only time belief/faith only is ever used in the Bible, James says faith alone will not save a person (James 2:24). Isn’t it interesting that we say “faith only saves” and the Bible says the exact opposite? May we say with Paul, “Let God be true and every man a liar” (Romans 3:4).
Dear friend, have you really obeyed the gospel the way the Bible teaches. Or, did someone falsely convince you that belief alone would save? If you would like to study further about this matter, please contact usat www.thegospelofchrist.com. Also, please read next week’s article as we discuss the third step in God’s plan of salvation known as repentance.
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