Jackson Drive Church Of Christ
Preacher: Scott Richardson
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"But exhort one another daily, while it is called To-day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin." Hebrews 3:13
WHAT MUST I DO TO BE SAVED?
During the course of Paul's second missionary journey, he and Silas traveled to the region of Macedonia; establishing churches in the cities of Philippi, Thessolonica and Berea. While in Philippi, they were beaten and imprisoned because of their teaching. Yet while in prison, Paul and Silas prayed and sang praises to God (Acts 16:25). In doing so the prisoners heard them. It is worth noting that in these dire circumstances Paul and Silas used the opportunity to praise God and to teach and influence those around them. The record continues in Acts 16:26-30, “And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundation 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?” The jailer may have at least partly wanted to know how to save his physical life, but it is obvious from the answer that Paul and Silas gave, that his spiritual state was under consideration.
What must I do to be saved? Much is implied in this question. 1) Something has to be done. What? 2) The “what” must be done. It is required. 3) Who must do what is required? You and I must do these things. 4) The result of you and me doing what must be done, is salvation.
This is an urgent matter. The Philippian jailer realized this. He “sprang in, and, trembling for fear, fell down before Paul and Silas...and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” (Acts 16:29-30 ASV). We need to have this same urgency. The most urgent thing in your life is your salvation! Why? Because without it you are lost! You are separated from the Almighty God, who created you and loved you so much that He gave His Son to save your life! It is urgent that you be right with Him! It is urgent that you be ready to stand before Him in judgment. And you will stand before Him in judgment; it is inescapable. Rom. 14:10b-12 - “...for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ...So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.” Since we know this and since we know that the heavens and the earth (this world) will pass away, “what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God...” (II Peter 3:7-14). It is most urgent that you and I be saved! Because if we are not saved, we are lost! That is justice. We are worthy of death because of our sins, but thanks be to God that He “is longsuffering...not willing that any should perish” (II Pet. 3:9), and He has provided the means by which we can be saved.
What does it mean to be saved?
What are we saved from when we are in a saved condition?
1) We are saved from our sins. Isaiah 59:1-2 says, “Behold, the Lord's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither His ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid His face from you, that He will not hear.” Our sin separates us from God, and separation from God produces death. “For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 13) For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify (put to death) the deeds of the body, ye shall live” (Rom. 8:6,13). If we are to be saved, we must be saved from our sins. We will examine God's plan of salvation later in this study. Keep in mind that God's plan is the only one that will reconcile us to Him.
2) We are saved from the wrath of God. In Romans 1:18 Paul says, “...the wrath of God is revealed from Heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness.” He goes on to say in chapter 5, “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him” (Rom. 5:6-9). When we are saved, we are saved by the blood of Christ and saved from the wrath of God which is against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men.
3) We are saved from everlasting punishment. Our sins separated us from God, but as long as we are living, something can be done to change that. However, if we continue to walk in darkness, not only are we separated from God as we live our physical life, but we face eternal separation from God in everlasting punishment. When Christ comes again there will be a separation, and it will be final. Jesus said, “When the Son of man shall come in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then shall He sit upon the throne of His glory: And before Him shall be gathered all nations: and He shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And He shall set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on His right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” (Matt. 25:31-34). He continues by saying, “Then shall He say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels...And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal” (Matt. 25:41,46). We find in the account of the revelation to John that this heaven and earth will pass away, “and He that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And He said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful” (Rev. 21:5). “He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death” (Rev. 21:7-8). A wide range of sinners are included in this passage; from the fearful and unbelieving, to murderers and idolaters. But their condition is the same. They all have their part in the lake of fire, and they are all separated from God. We do not have to be on this list. We can be saved from everlasting punishment, but we must obey the commandments of God in order to be saved.
Do you see the urgency of your salvation? Of all the things that we concern ourselves with, nothing is more pressing.
What has God done to save us?
God is the Creator. He is God. It is His right to establish rules for His creation. Understanding that salvation is being saved from separation from God, it is only reasonable that God determines how we can be right with Him. It is very important that we recognize God as being God rather than trying to conform Him to our specifications. What has He done to save us and free us from the bondage of sin?
1) God has given us clear instruction concerning how we are to live. This has been the case since the beginning of time. God did not create man and leave him clueless as to how he was to conduct his life. In the case of Adam and Eve, the first man and woman, God placed them in the garden and gave them very clear and unmistakeable instructions to follow. In Genesis 2:16-17 we find that “the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” Adam and Eve understood the command. Even the serpent understood the command. As the serpent approached Eve “he said to the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die” (Gen. 3:1-3). All parties involved understood what God said to do, yet the serpent lied, Eve partook of the forbidden tree and then gave it to Adam and he ate also. All heard and understood God's law, but all violated God's law. The justified result was God's punishment.
Times have not changed. Throughout all of time, God has given man clear instructions to follow. It is simply up to us to obey Him. But His laws are not oppressive. They are for our good (Deut. 6:24). “God is light and in Him is no darkness at all” (I John 1:5). He has no part with darkness (sin), and those who walk in sin have no part with God. It is to our advantage to do what God says to do. It is only sensible to follow God because His ways are good and right. To follow God is to follow one who loves you. On the other hand, Satan has no interest in what is good for you, and works constantly and tirelessly to cause as many as possible to be lost. Isn't that obvious in the case of Eve? Satan knew the right way, he knew God's law, yet he blatantly deceived Eve. Who's side do you want to be on?
2) He gave His Son to save us. Since our sins separate us from God (because “in Him is no darkness at all”), if we are to have any hope, something had to be done to give us a way to reconcile our relationship with God. Since God is the creator of all things, He is the only one with the authority to provide that way. The wonderful love of God has been extended to all of mankind. Notice the following scriptures.
“In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (I John 4:9-10).
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
“But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8)
We could list passage after passage of scripture that shows God's love for us, but hopefully we get the point. God's love forus is so great that He “spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all” (Rom. 8:32). God has provided the way for us to be saved. Do you appreciate what He has done? Will you do your part to be saved?
What must I do?
What must I do to be saved? That is the question under consideration in this study. You must do something. God, in His grace has provided the means of salvation. He is faithful in His part. But the Bible is very clear about the fact that not all will be saved, and not all who think they are saved will be saved. Jesus said, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of Heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in Heaven” (Matt. 7:21). We must do something. What must we do? Jesus said he that doeth the will of the Father will enter the kingdom of Heaven.
If we are to do the will of the Father, we must apply ourselves to learning the will of the Father. We can know truth, but we have to put forth the effort to learn it.
We must recognize our purpose in life. Eccl. 12:13 says, “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep His commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.” That is our purpose.
We must recognize God as the source of all things. He is the source of creation, the source of righteousness, the source of justice, the source of promise, and the source of provision – the provision for our salvation.1 God is the source of life, and if we want to live we must do it His way. The created are dependent upon the Creator.
We must humble ourselves and submit ourselves to God. “God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you...Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He shall lift you up” (James 4:6-10). We should not care what the Lord requires of us. We should just want to know what that is, and then do it.
What must you do to be saved? Obey God's plan of salvation. --D.S.
GOSPLEL PLAN OF SALVATION
Romans 10:17 – Faith comes by hearing the word of God.
Acts 2:38; Acts 22:16; Rom. 6:3-6 – Baptism is for remission of sins.
Colossians 1:21-23; John 15:1-10; Revelation 2:10 – Continue faithful until death.
1 Richardson, S. Scott; Discovering the Book of Genesis.