Depending on who you ask, you will find that many different answers are given to this most important question, “What must we do to be saved?” How could this be?
Just as there is only one answer to the question, “Who is Jesus?”, there is also only one answer regarding salvation. In order to find the answer, we must be willing to go to the right source of information and bring with us the right attitude as we study. To find the answer, we must look carefully at the historical record of the New Testament, seeking to discover what the apostles of Jesus told people they should do in order to be saved. When we find this information, we will have an accurate and clear answer to this most important question.
But here, we seek to expose some answers that are not found in the New Testament, although these answers are widely taught and are widely followed by many. In order to discover whether these answers are true or not, we must be willing to compare them with the answers given to us in the New Testament itself. By doing this, we can discern between that which is right and wrong. Since our eternal welfare hangs in the balance, we need to consider these matters with the greatest of care.
Have you ever heard or even followed any of the following false ways of salvation? If so, we would encourage you to challenge those who have taught these things and bring to their attention what you can plainly read in the New Testament. Also, most importantly, we would encourage not only to read the following words on this page, but to continue on and look at what the New Testament does say about how we should be saved. Then, having read it and believed it for yourself, humbly obey it and receive the grace that God desires for all. If we can be of any assistance in these matters, please contact us.
This common teaching says that babies should be taken by their parents to the properly authorized priest or other religious official (depending on which organization it may be) and be sprinkled with water (what they call “baptism”) so that they can be saved.
Underlying this teaching are several false assumptions – the most basic of which is the belief that people are born into the world lost n sin. Therefore, they need to be “baptized” so they can be cleansed from sin. Since they have done nothing to be lost, then they do not have to do anything to be saved.
Challenge – where in the New Testament do we have any examples of babies being baptized? Where is it stated that we are born in sin? Where does the New Testament teach that baptism is sprinkling of water?
Wait Until The Holy Spirit Falls Upon You Because Only The Spirit Can Save You
Some teach the we can do nothing about our salvation because we are so lost in sin. Therefore, God, by a direct act of the Holy Spirit, can save us. However, we must passively wait for the Spirit to come because there is nothing we can do to respond to the gospel. Bet, if and when the Spirit comes, we will automatically and miraculously be cleansed of sin.
This teaching is based on a misunderstanding of the role of the Holy Spirit in our salvation. But, when we read the New Testament, we see that people are told to DO something in response to the saving gospel of Jesus. They are not told to simply wait for some mysterious encounter with the Holy Spirit.
In fact, the role of the Spirit was to reveal the saving words of the gospel to Jesus’ apostles so they could tell others how to be saved. Also, the Spirit allowed them to perform miracles so they could confirm that this message was from God and not man.
Pray To God And Ask Him For Forgiveness and At That Moment You Will Be Saved
Perhaps, this is the most common answer given, at least among groups that can be classified as Protestant or Fundamental Christian churches. In order to be saved, people are taught to pray “The Sinner’s Prayer”, acknowledging sins, the need for salvation, that Jesus is Savior and Lord and asking Him to forgive. At that moment, they are told, they will be saved, forgiven.
The problem here is a misunderstanding of our response to the gospel. Where did the apostles of Jesus tell people to pray this prayer in order to be saved. When we examine the record, we will find that people are told to believe in Jesus, repent of their sins and be baptized (fully immersed) in water for the forgiveness of sins. But, the prayer that is so commonly taught by word and in print, is nowhere to be found.
We close this section with the words of the apostle Peter the first day the gospel of Jesus Christ was preached on the earth:
ACT 2:36 “Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ– this Jesus whom you crucified.”
ACT 2:37 ¶ Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brethren, what shall we do?”
ACT 2:38 And Peter said to them, “Repent, and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
By Gary Hunt