What Must I Do To Be Saved?

Acts 16:27-31, "And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled. 28 But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here. 29 Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas, 30 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?  31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house."

The Keeper of the prison at Phillipi feared for his life when God sent an earthquake to shake the foundation of his jail. He saw that all the doors and shackles were loosed. He knew that if anyone escaped, he would be executed by his superiors. He decides to implement a cowards way out. He would thrust himself through with his own sword rather than endure the cruel devices that would claim his life by the hands of his masters. He has come to a point in his life where he knows he will enter the realm of the dead. His heart is fearful of what is to come. He is at the most important of crossroads. He is now serious of his eternal soul's destiny. Just in time he hears a voice imploring him not to harm himself. He is reassured that no one had escaped and that he was in no danger. He calls for a light, springs in and falls down before Paul and Silas. After bringing them out he asks the question foremost on his mind. "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?"

He apparently understood that these two men had an answer to his question. How did he know these two beaten and discarded prisoners had the answer? Two ways. First is how they reacted after the horrible beating they took. They were rejoicing that they were able to suffer for Christ's name sake. Second, The Holy Spirit witnessed to his soul that these men were the real deal. The question he asked is one that we all must have answered if we are to profit from God's good graces; "What must I do to be saved?" There is no simpler answer than what Paul gave in verse 31: "...Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, ..."

Romans 3:22-24. "Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: 23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; 24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:"

Understanding that we are all bound for Hell is a good starting point for us to realize that time is short upon this Earth. One second we are here and the next we'll be off to another place altogether. Making a sound decision as soon as possible to avoid this place called Hell is paramount. Whether we believe Hell is real or not has no bearing on us making it to Heaven. One can believe that Hell is a fantasy and not think twice about it. One can know they are on their way to Hell, take religious steps to avoid ending up there, and still miss the mark. Being baptized one or more times in one's life has no bearing on us going to Heaven either. Belonging to a 'Church' doesn't even come close to meeting God's requirements. Reciting the Plan of Salvation, reading Gospel tracts, or even this message will not get us there. The Phillipian Jailer was confused when asking his question to Paul and Silas because he thought, like many others, that there are things we must do to gain everlasting life. He thought that he had to work, or do some deed to get there. That's a lie from the Devil himself. The true answer lies in the words, 'believe', 'grace' and 'faith.' Faith in Whom we 'believe': Jesus Christ of the Bible and by His 'grace' alone are we saved.

The Jailer asked amiss. He should have asked, "Sirs, Who can I know, to be saved?" Paul didn't mince words. He didn't try to correct him. He shot straight from the hip and said, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ,..." Paul focused on the only Person in the universe Who could make salvation a reality. He didn't ask the keeper of the prison to be 'willing.' He didn't ask him to do spiritual calisthenics. He didn't ask him to give a tithe or get wet in a baptistery. He didn't ask him to hand out literature or recite verses from Scripture. He simply said to believe.

Baptism comes after salvation. Belief in Christ for salvation, is salvation! One may exercise their belief in Jesus just by calling on Him. It's as simple as that. Romans 10:13 says, "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." Whosoever means you. Calling is simply acting on your belief in Jesus. Those who do not have the ability to ask with their tongue, may ask with their heart and soul.

Paul tells of God's formula for salvation in Ephesians 2:8-9, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast ."

Grace is God giving us something which we do not deserve. Faith is an ultimate trust. God has given every person the measure of faith ready to be exorcised towards God. Salvation is a Gift, free of charge, from the Ultimate Gift Giver, God the Father through His Son, Jesus Christ. Verse 9 says, "Not of works, lest any man should boast." God doesn't want anyone to take credit for the work Jesus did to purchase salvation for them. That's why he says, "and that not of yourselves."

If the reader decides to believe on Jesus Christ and calls on Him to receive everlasting life, God says he or she will be saved. That's a promise from God which cannot be altered. Mark the date and time in your Bible so that when Satan comes a calling to fill your mind with doubts, you can always point back to the time and place you were saved by the grace of Jesus. Someone may ask, "What do I say to get this salvation?" Just ask Him to save you the way you would ask something of your father with a child-like and innocent belief. The One Person we can all put our whole trust in is Jesus. He will not turn you away. He's as safe as it gets. It's as simple as that.

No structured 'prayer' will save us. Only a heart felt belief and crying out to Jesus will. Don't make the mistake thinking that repeated prayers are necessary. Ask once and receive once and for all. Once we have His gift of everlasting life, it's ours for good. One cannot lose salvation once Christ has preserved us because God Himself seals us until the day of Redemption. Eph 4:30, "And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption." We are bought with a price; His blood. If we are bought, we are not our own any longer. We belong to Him. We are sealed through His Spirit, Whom happens to be God as well. And we know that He is not willing that any should perish. We can know that we have eternal life. 1John 5:13, "These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God, that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God." The word "have" in verse 13 is a present tense word. That means we have eternal life NOW! This everlasting life began the moment we trusted and asked Christ to save us.

If the scrutinizing reader thinks that I am avoiding repentance, I'll address that right here. Repentance is a change of mind regarding belief in Christ. If one is counting on their religion to get them to Heaven, they need to 'repent' (change their mind of that) and turn to Jesus alone. What is happening is a change of mind from belief in religion to belief in Christ alone. That's repentance unto salvation. Forsake all of the religious stuff you've been doing and rely on Jesus Christ all by Himself to save you. It's got to be ALL of HIM and NONE of YOU. Jesus does all of the saving. You are the one being saved. Let's not get our roles reversed as most religious sects do. Repentance is not getting better by quitting your sins as a condition to being saved. That's known as "Works Salvation." Jesus' brand is "Grace through Faith Salvation." No works by the one being saved are allowed. 

If you sin after you are saved, then you can repent of them as a way to restore your fellowship with Christ. When we sin as a believer, we do not lose the kinship with Christ, we just hide from him as Adam ans Eve did in the Garden after they sinned. At that moment they severed fellowship with Jesus. If you'll recall, Jesus went looking for Adam. He didn't break fellowship with them. When we repent of the sin, confess the sin to Him (NOT Mary, the Saints or a priest), ask Him for forgiveness and receive His cleansing, the guilt we feel is gone. "For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus" ~ 1Timothy 2:5. If the reader wants to know more about the doctrine of 'Repentance' I have a detailed post in this blog entitled, 'Two Types Of Repentance' you can look at later.

Now that I am saved, what's next? Get baptized as soon as possible. Don't worry. Baptism doesn't get or keep you saved. It just gets us wet. But, it is the first command our Lord gives us after we are saved to let the world know we now belong to Him. It's almost like a marriage ceremony where witnesses are present to share in the joy of those who are joined in Holy Matrimony. After all, Christ is the Bridegroom and we are the Bride! It's only done one time, after salvation. Then ask God to lead you to a good home based church family that'll teach Jesus' way to be what He wants us to be as His disciple, child and Bride.

If you have made the decision to be saved by Jesus, I praise God for that. I'll see you in Heaven. I'd like to hear about it so that I can rejoice with you. Don't worry; I don't have any literature to send you or money to ask for. I just would like to know that the Devil lost another one. If you're still undecided, I have only one question for you. What are you waiting for; A BETTER OFFER? Time is short. Don't let another moment go by without knowing for sure that you belong to Jesus Christ. Just because you were baptized as an infant in His name doesn't mean that you are any relation to Him. I pray that you get this settled today.