What Must I Do to be Saved?
The Philippian jailor asked Paul and Silas, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” (Acts 16:30).
What is the Only Condition for Salvation?
Salvation is by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ. Faith is the only condition for salvation. In more than two hundred cases where there is a condition given for salvation in the New Testament, faith or belief is stated to be the one and only condition. So-called ‘problems passages’ must be interpreted in the light of the more than 200 passages that are clear.
The three main words that the New Testament uses in connection with faith is ‘pistis’ (used 243 times, meaning ‘faith’, ‘assurance’, ‘belief’), ‘pisteuo’ (used 246 times, meaning mainly ‘to believe’, but sometimes refers to believers or the concepts of ‘committed’, ‘entrusted’) and the word ‘peitho’ (used 55 times, with the root-meaning ‘to cause belief in’). Faith means to believe, to be persuaded of, to place confidence in and to trust in the sense of relying upon.
In the case of the question of the Philippian jailor, the Holy Spirit inspired this answer in Acts 16:31: “Believe on the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved”. Another clear passage is John 1:12 which states: “But as many as received him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to them that believe on His name”. The ones who become children of God are the ones who receive Christ.
What does it mean to receive Christ?
The second part of the verse in John 1:12 provides the answer: by believing that Jesus is really the Jewish Messiah.
Do you just have to acknowledge Christ’s existence? No, more is needed than just acknowledging existence. The believer’s faith must be placed in Christ as his (or her) substitute and as his (or her) Saviour from the penalty of sin. This implies you know you are a sinner in need of a Saviour. One must personally trust Christ for one’s salvation. The object of our faith is God. The content of our faith is the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ for one’s sins (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:1-4).
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