“The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas.He then brought them out and asked, “Men, what must I do to be saved?” (Acts 16:29-30).
What would you tell him?
There are multiple popular responses to this statement.
- Pray the Sinner’s Prayer, ask to receive/accept Christ as Lord and Savior
- Obey four Spiritual Laws
- Don’t do anything, just believe.
Growing up I’ve always heard it said, “You have to obey the Gospel.” In this day and age, that statement might easily be misconstrued. For the sake of simplicity, let’s just boil this statement down to, “let’s look at what the Bible says.”
Looking in the Bible, if you were to perform a topical search on anything to do with “saved” or “salvation” you might be surprised to find that the New Testament mentions at least fifteen things that “save us.”
1.JESUS Matt. 1:21; Lk. 19:10; Acts 4:12; 13:38; 1 Tim. 1:15
2.GOD Col. 1:13-14; 1 Tim. 2:3-4; 2 Tim. 1:9; James 4:12; Jn. 3:16
3.GOSPEL 1 Cor. 15:1-2; Eph. 1:13
4.MESSAGE Acts 11:14; 1 Cor. 1:21
5.WORD James 1:21; Jn. 5:34; 2 Tim. 3:15
6.FAITH / BELIEF Jn. 3:16, 20:30-31; Rom. 5:1-2; 10:9-10; 1 Cor. 1:21; Gal. 3:26, Acts 16:29-31
7.GRACE Acts 15:11; Eph. 1:7, 2:5-9
8.CALLING ON NAME OF THE LORD Acts 2:21; Rom. 10:13
9.BAPTISM Mk. 16:15-6; Acts 2:38; 17:13-14, 22:17; Gal. 3:26-7; 1 Pet. 3:21
10. WASHING/REGENERATION Titus 3:5
11. REPENTENCE Acts 3:19; 5:31; 2 Cor. 7:10
12. CONFESSION Rom. 10:9-10; Mt. 10:32-33; 1 Jn. 1:9
13. YOURSELF Acts 2:40; Phil. 2:12; 1 Tim. 4:16
14. OTHERS James 5:20; Jude 23
15. BLOOD Rom. 5:9; Eph. 1:7
Some Questions for Consideration:
- Considering the scriptural source, are there any of these items which we are free to disregard?
- Would you agree that Salvation is perhaps a more complex subject that might require further contextual study in the Bible?
There is simplicity in the gift of Salvation that comes from Jesus Christ.God’s good grace and mercy that is being offered to us doesn’t require, as Namaan’s servant would say, “some great thing,” (r. 2 Kn 5:13 ) but it does require a response and an action on our part.Among those include repentence, confession and baptism.
It does not take a scholar, or years of training and learning to understand any of the above; however, this shows us that the Bible certainly has more to say on the topic of salvation than simply repeating a prayer as the ticket into heaven. There are certainly aspects of some of the more popular doctrines for receiving the gift of Salvation that are valid, but they often stop too soon. It starts with belief/faith in Jesus (Acts 16:31). It starts with confession / acknowledgement of sins and need for a Savior, bu the Bible does not specifically say you are saved by any of these items in and of themselves.
I certainly hope you’ll prayerfully study these things and thoughtfully consider what the Bible has to say about Salvation and being saved and give careful thought to what we are being told. Let us follow the example of the Bereans and study these things to see if they are true. (r. Acts 17:11)
Many blessings to you and God be with you in your Christian walk.