You hear the word – the evidence of the gospel to be saved. Your heart is pricked. Are you persuaded by the evidence? Are you ready to make a change by submitting yourself to Jesus? Do you believe?
Do you believe that you’re a sinner and that your sins have separated you from God? (Rom. 3:23)
Do you believe that Jesus died for your sins and rose again to redeem you back to God? (1 Cor. 15:1-4; Col. 1:14)
Are you ready to receive the gift of God’s grace and mercy through Jesus’ shed blood? (Eph. 2:4-9; Rom. 5:6-11, 20-21)
Are you willing to entrust your life to Him and do whatever He says to receive this gift? (Rom. 6:17-18, 23)
Are you ready to believe in the power of the gospel to save you? (Rom. 1:16)
If so, then based on your belief you are ready to take the next steps to be saved.
But wait a minute. Many people reading this may think I’ve messed up. Why didn’t I say that based on your belief you are saved? Because that would be ignoring many other scriptures that prove that believe is not the only thing we must do to be saved.
Believe is the precursor of everything we do to be saved. When someone has been persuaded by the evidence, so much so that with their heart they are willing to place all their trust in Jesus to surrender their life to His will, they will do whatever His word says to receive His promise of eternal life and His word says to do more than just believe. Believe is the driving force behind everything we do to be saved. With it, we receive all that God has promised if we do what He has asked us to do; yet without it, we will have nothing no matter what we do. (Acts 8:36-37; Rom. 6:3-9; Rom. 10:8-17; Heb. 11:6)
If believe is all we have to do, then it makes other scriptures confusing and out of harmony like when Jesus says in Mark 16:16, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.”
According to Jesus’ words, can we just believe to be saved? No. We must also be baptized. How would it make any sense to say just believe when Jesus says otherwise? Some may argue that the exclusion of baptism in the second part of that verse is proof of being saved after believing; but remember, believe is the precursor to baptism. It is unnecessary to repeat baptism in the second part because not believing necessarily means not being baptized.
Further more, we have a whole book full of conversion stories that we can study to see the gospel in action to give us more clarity. Here’s a quick list of some conversions from the book of Acts and what they did to be saved based on their belief:
⁃ The people on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:38, 41) – repented, baptized
⁃ The Samaritans (Acts 8:12-13) – baptized
⁃ The Ethiopian (Act 8:36-38) – confessed, baptized
⁃ Saul (Paul) (Acts 9:18, 22:16) – baptized
⁃ Cornelius and his household (Acts 10:47-48) – baptized
⁃ The Philippian jailer and his household (Acts 16:31-33) – baptized
It’s very apparent that these conversions are in direct alignment with Jesus’ command to believe and be baptized to be saved. You will also see repentence and confession within those conversions, and even though they are not specifically mentioned in every one, there are plenty of other scriptures to support their necessity to be saved. I will go into more detail on this in the next blog posts that address these steps.
So, with all that said, to be saved you must believe but will you stop there? Will you take the other necessary steps to be saved like repent? Repent will be the topic of the next blog post. Stay tuned.