What Must I Do To Be Saved?Bro. David Chancellor
5/1/2005 6:00 PM
And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one's bands were loosed. 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. But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here. Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas, And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house.
"What must I do to be saved?" If someone were to ask you this question, could you answer it? We need to know the answer. Jesus is the means of our salvation. When the jailer asked the question, he acknowledge that something was needed. You have to know that you need to be saved before you can be saved. You can’t be a Christian by natural birth or church attendance. It is more than becoming aware that God exists or making a "statement of faith." You have to realize and acknowledge your need of God.
There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
Repentance is needed. If people do not repent, they will not find salvation. There is a need for godly sorrow to move on the heart. Without repentance, men find religion but they don’t find God. To find deliverance from sin, we have to realize that we need to be delivered. Repentance is acknowledging that we’re not in any condition to come into the presence of God. It is realizing that there is something between you and God, and wanting to tell God that you’re sorry that it’s there. Too many people want to go to God with an insincere apology. Repentance is part of salvation. You can’t be saved without it.
1 John 1:8-9
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
"If we confess…" Confession is part of repentance. The "apology" needs to get personal. We have to acknowledge to God what we did. It is admitting to God what you did wrong. It is acknowledging that you deserve the punishment. Confession is admitting to the wrong done and seeking forgiveness. If you are trying to hide something from God, he’s aware of it. It is needful for us to acknowledge out need of forgiveness.
These people thought that they didn’t need forgiveness, just to "find God" and that would be it. It doesn’t work that way. When we confess a thing to God, we can put it behind us. We have to admit that we need deliverance from sin. Confession is necessary to salvation. Repentance and confession go together.
Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
We must forsake… As we come repenting and confessing, we have acknowledge that the thing is detrimental and separates us from God. Forsaking means that we don’t want to do it again. The desire to go that way isn’t there anymore. Forsaking requires the help and grace of God. It recognizes the need for God’s help to change course. We have to forsake our way and go God’s way. We see our dependence on God to walk in his way. We have to put the old ways and sinful things behind us and turn ourselves to God, to live for him completely.
But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
Paul told the jailer to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. We have to believe that Christ lives and that he is willing to forgive us and help us. "Whosoever…" Someone may look like a hopeless case, but if they come repenting, confessing, forsaking sin, and calling on God, they can be saved. Jesus came so that we could have new life. Realize that he did it for you. "Whosoever surely meaneth me…" Whosoever is anyone who comes to God acknowledging his need and seeking help. It is taking what Christ did and making it personal. This is the only way someone can walk away changed – to believe what Christ did was done for him. Christ came to bring deliverance from the power of sin.
For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death. But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.
This helps us to understand what it means to be saved. Before we were saved, there were things that we were ashamed of. After being saved, the fruits of our lives were changed. When faith takes hold, something happens. We’re able to confess and forsake the old ways and walk in new ways. You can’t earn your salvation. There’s no act of merit that will save you. Salvation will bring a change in us and our ways. Be prepared to answer when someone asks, "What must I do to be saved?" – repent, confess, forsake and believe.