What Must I REALLY Do to Be Saved?

Categories: How to Share Your Faith

By Wayne Haston

This article is part of the series Good Soil Basic Seminar - Overview Series.

October2019 What Must Ido To Be Saved

The gospel of Jesus Christ is really quite simple and easy to understand when presented properly. But in many cases Christians have made the gospel sound complicated by using terminology that is not Biblical or, even worse, by using Biblical terminology theologically-incorrectly or unclearly. With this in mind, I came up with a list of 50 things that unbelievers are sometimes told they need to do in order to be saved! Here’s the list:

Some Actions that Unbelievers Are
Often Told to Take in Order to Be Saved
Accept ChristGet SavedAsk Jesus to Save You
Give your life to GodBe BaptizedGive your heart to Jesus
Be born againBe ConvertedHave your sins forgiven
Humble yourself before GodBe washed in the bloodInvite Jesus into your heart
Become a ChristianLook to Jesus and liveBelieve in/believe on Jesus
Make a faith commitmentCall upon the LordMake Jesus your Lord
Cleanse your heartMake your peace with GodObey the gospel
Come to JesusCommit your life to JesusPray "the prayer"
Confess Jesus as Lord"Pray through" (at a mourner's bench)Confess publicly with your mouth
Prepare to meet your GodConfess your sins to GodPut your faith in Jesus
Convert to ChristianityReach out to JesusDecide (make a decision) for Christ
Cry out to God to be savedReceive JesusReceive the gift of salvation
Deny yourself and take up the crossRepent of your sinsDraw near to God
Surrender your life to Christ/GodDrink/take water of life freelyTrust Jesus
Enter the narrow gateTurn from your sinsFollow Jesus
Turn to the LordForsake all to follow JesusTurn your life over to God
Get right with GodYield your life to Jesus/God

Suppose you went through this list and checked off the actions that you think have legitimate Biblical support as actions that result in salvation. Let’s say that you selected 20 of them. Would you think of these as separate action steps to salvation? Or, would you think of these simply as different ways to describe a single heart-action that results in salvation?

Wouldn’t you agree that the simple “believes in Him” truth of John 3:16-18 is sufficient, even though this heart-action might be expressed in the New Testament through the use of a variety of metaphors and synonyms?

John 3:16-18 (NKJV)

16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. 18 He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
Why is this issue so important that I would write an article to address it?

Throughout the Good Soil Evangelism and Discipleship Basic seminar and The Story of Hope, we emphasize that “faith” (believing/trusting) is the heart-action step that results in the salvation of a sinner. More specifically, it is faith that is focused on God’s provision for man’s spiritual needs—the death and resurrection of God’s Son, Jesus Christ.

Yet, frequently we are asked the “But what about ...” questions:

• But what about turning from sins; when does the unbeliever do that? • But what about calling upon the name of the Lord (“praying the prayer”); when does the unbeliever do that? • But what about receiving Jesus and God’s gift of salvation; when does the unbeliever do that?

These actions (and many of the others in the table above) are mentioned in a few passages in the New Testament. But the New Testament clearly teaches that there is one single heart-action that brings salvation and it is “faith” in Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 2:8-9 (NKJV)

8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.

Because of the various synonyms and synonymic metaphors used in the Bible to describe the act of “saving faith,” some people seem to think that (genuine) faith in Christ is only one step that must be preceded or followed by other steps—turning from sins, praying a prayer, receiving the gift of salvation, and so forth. They fail to differentiate between the synonyms (and synonymic metaphors) for “faith in Christ” and the heart-action of (saving) faith in Christ itself. Consequently the synonyms are misunderstood to be separate steps to salvation.

Does it not make better Biblical sense to think that a sinner is turning from his/her sins, calling upon the Lord in his heart, receiving God’s gift of salvation, when he or she sincerely places his or her trust in Jesus Christ as Savior?

This series of articles summarizes the content of a Good Soil Basic Seminar:

We All Want to Share Our Faith Effectively

From GoodSoil on Vimeo.

Learn More About Personally Sharing the Gospel

To learn more about personal evangelism and discipleship visit here!

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