How to be Saved
By Christopher Jethro
Last Updated: Dec 13, 2017
Last Updated: Dec 13, 2017
It is not a coincidence that you are here, God has been reaching out to you in subtle ways your entire life. The most important decision you will ever make is the choice to either accept or reject Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior (indifference towards Jesus Christ is also categorized as rejection). In order to be saved, one needs to receive Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior. However, it is important that we take a step back and make sure that the reader understands the true Gospel.
The True Gospel
There is one God who created all things, with mankind being His grand creation. God deeply loves people and man was created to have intimate fellowship with Him, but we have been separated from this relationship with God because of our sins (anything morally wrong in God’s eyes). Because God is infinitely holy and a Good Judge, He cannot let people get away with their wrongdoings. Like criminals guilty before a just judge, as sinners we find ourselves having to answer to Yahweh, the Judge of the universe, upon death.
God’s original intention of intimacy with people would be ruined if all are doomed to eternal separation from God in Hell. However, the Good News (i.e., Gospel) is that because God loves us, He provided a perfect solution to this problem: 2,000 years ago God became a man (Jesus of Nazareth) and willingly suffered and died via a crucifixion in people’s place. Three days later, He literally rose from the dead, thus proving His Divine identity and conquering death. When a person is guilty of a crime, they must pay the fines. In Christianity, God paid your fines for you. By accepting Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, the payment for sin at the Cross will be attributed to your soul.
When a person goes to jail, another person may pay their fine to bail them out. The person who pays the price didn't experience the punishment (jail time) for that person, but they paid the price (money) for their crimes. Likewise, we deserve an eternal punishment in Hell - that is the penalty for sins. Jesus' death on the Cross was not him experiencing your eternal suffering in Hell, but Him paying the price to bail you out of the "jailhouse" of Hell. Jesus' infinitely holy blood was the payment for your sins.
At the Cross of Jesus, the love and justice of God come together. God’s justice is that He can't let sin go unpaid for. God’s love is that He doesn’t want to have to punish His beloved creation, so He died in our place. When a person is guilty of a crime, it doesn’t matter how many good deeds they have committed, they still have to face the penalty. In this same way, salvation (forgiveness of sins) can only be experienced by accepting the atoning blood of Jesus. Salvation is God’s free gift to the world for those who respond.
Upon accepting Jesus into one’s heart, not only does one become completely forgiven for all the bad things they have ever done, but God adopts you as His child, and God (the Holy Spirit) comes to live inside of you. Now, an intimate fellowship with God can now be experienced through Jesus Christ. Day by day, Jesus’ followers are made more and more like Christ (more loving, more patient, more generous, etc.) through various tests and trials that refine our character. When a Christian dies, they will spend eternity with God, living in the Paradise of His presence, forever.
Scriptures about the Gospel
- The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23).
- There is one God, and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus. (1 Timothy 2:5).
- I [Jesus] am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through Me. (John 14:6).
- For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not condemned; he who does not believe has been condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. (John 3:16-18)
- If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. (Romans 10:9)
- Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. (Mark 16:15-16)
The Salvation Process
Without Christ, we are sinners guilty before a holy God and are on our way to Hell. In order to be saved, one must be humble enough to acknowledge that they too have sinned, understand the weight of their wrongdoings, and thereby recognize their need for a Savior. Good deeds and heartfelt apologies are not enough for God to forgive you. The price must be paid without exception. Jesus has paid the price of your sins for you by dying on a cross, but you can only receive this payment by making Him your personal Lord and Savior. Jesus is the only way to be forgiven of your sins, He is the only way to Heaven, and He is the only way to Father God. Only Jesus saves.
Salvation is not some mechanical three-step process for going to Heaven. The decision to receive Jesus into your heart and life must be a genuine decision. It cannot be a cursory decision. It must be a heartfelt and committed decision. You must truly trust in Jesus alone for forgiveness of sins. If your decision to become a true Christian is authentic, then God the Holy Spirit will come to live inside of you. Receiving the indwelling of the Holy Spirit is what it means to be born again. “Born again” has nothing to do with reincarnation; it is a spiritual rebirth where God supernaturally changes you from the inside out.
- Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. (John 3:3)
- Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. (John 3:5)
True salvation is about much more than simply going to Heaven after you die. True salvation is about becoming reconnected to your Creator God, entering into an intimate relationship with the Lord, receiving a new identity as a child of God, and becoming a new creature in Christ. When you come to Jesus, God will adopt you as His child.
- And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. (John 17:3)
Two requirements: repentance and forgiveness
When you go to Jesus for forgiveness of sins, it is understood that you are also choosing to repent of your sins. Otherwise, it makes no sense to ask God for forgiveness for a sin that you plan to keep on committing willfully. Jesus said, “Unless you repent you will all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3 & Luke 13:5). To repent essentially means to “change the way you think”. In other words, you must change your mindset so that you no longer desire to sin, but instead you choose to live a holy life. Everyone struggles with sin on a daily basis, even Christians, but that is different. Deliberate, intentional, willful committing of sin is unacceptable. We must repent, meaning we make an active effort to live righteously in both our thoughts, words, and deeds.
Repentance of sins is not always easy but fortunately God will give you the strength you need. Repentance is very likely to involve turning away from people, places, and situations which cause you to sin. Repentance begins in the heart. It is a desire to no longer sin but to be right with God. If this is how you feel, then God is working on your heart. Resolve in your heart to repent of any sins, and do not hesitate to accept Christ as your personal Savior. He can give you grace to make any necessary life changes.
- If your right eye makes you stumble and leads you to sin, tear it out and throw it away [that is, remove yourself from the source of temptation]; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. If your right hand makes you stumble and leads you to sin, cut it off and throw it away [that is, remove yourself from the source of temptation]; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body than for your whole body to go into hell. (Matthew 5:29-30, AMP)
- Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived! The sexually immoral, idolaters, adulterers, passive homosexual partners, practicing homosexuals, thieves, the greedy, drunkards, the verbally abusive, and swindlers will not inherit the kingdom of God. Some of you once lived this way. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-11, NET)
- Peter said to them, "Repent, and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." (Acts 2:38)
Secondly, you must forgive anyone who has wronged, hurt, or offended you in any way. It is of utmost importance and completely necessary that you forgive others. For some, this is very difficult. God understands and will help you if you have been very wronged by some particular people in your life. Please note that forgiveness is a choice and is not dependent on how you feel towards the person. Choose to forgive others first, then hurt feelings will be healed later. If you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins (Matthew 6:15, Mark 11:26).
Are you ready to be saved?
One can receive Jesus as their Lord and Savior (and thus be saved) by simply praying to Him. If you understand what it means to be saved, and are ready to receive Jesus, then you can repeat the following sample prayer below. This prayer must be honest and heartfelt; a true commitment to the Lord Jesus as you repent of your sins. Feel free to tailor the words of this sample prayer to make it personal to you:
“Yahweh, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob,
I confess to You that I am a sinner and that I need Your forgiveness.
I am sorry for my sins and I repent of my sins.
I believe that You died for me and rose to life three days later.
Thank you Jesus for having died on the cross for my sins.
I now accept You, Jesus, as my Lord and Savior.
I humble myself before You. Save me.
Forgive me of all my sins. Wash my soul in your holy blood.
Remove my sins and iniquities and make me white as snow.
I welcome You, Jesus, into my heart. Come into my life.
I believe you are the Son of God and I confess that you are Lord.
Change me into the kind of person You want me to be.
Make me born-again by the Holy Spirit.
I will now be your disciple and help build Your Kingdom.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.”
Welcome to the Kingdom!
If you prayed that prayer and meant it, then you have been saved regardless of whether or not you feel any different. If you have just become saved, then I personally warmly welcome you into the Kingdom of God as my new brother or sister in Christ! I pray that God will physically, emotional, and spiritually heal you in any areas needed and that God will do a deep sanctifying work to burn out anything which needs to go. I pray that God will make you more and more like Jesus every day, like Love, and bless you with patience, understanding, and hope as you may go through any of life's trials. I bless you to experience God's presence in life-changing ways. May the Lord guide you into your destiny, help you to step into your true calling, and equip you with a supernatural courage to share the Good News (or Gospel) with others.
Stay strong in the faith and use your talents wisely for the Kingdom of God. We are in the end times and Christ will return soon. Remember, as a Christian you should do these things: love God, trust God and His Word, remain faithful to Jesus, remain humble, pray to God every day in prayer, read your Bible daily, share the Gospel with others, and get plugged into a Spirit-filled Christian church where the Bible is the final authority. Pursue a relationship with God through prayer, be established in sound doctrine, develop a Biblical worldview, and seek the Lord in all things.
For your first Bible, ultimately the Bible that you actually consistently read is the "best version" for you. However, I might recommend the classic King James Bible. It remains an accurate translation, based on trustworthy manuscripts, and has the lovely poetic touch of Early Modern English grammar absent from other translations. (I would highly advise utilizing the site kjvtoday.com which helps explain the language and textual choices of the KJV.) If the KJV archaic grammar is too difficult for you, then the New King James Version (NKJV) is also a commendable choice which does not contain any archaic grammar.
- If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. (Romans 10:9-10, NIV)
- So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God's Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, "Abba, Father." For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God's children. (Romans 8:15-16, NLT)
- For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39, NIV)