What does it mean to be “saved”?

There is no more important question that can be asked than “What must I do to be saved?”

A thoughtful person wants to do whatever is necessary to be right with God. This life is brief and eternity lasts a long time.

Be sure of the grounds of your acceptance with God. Know what the Bible says about salvation.

Session 1

What must I do to be saved?

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Session 1 ... transcript

What must I do to be saved?

A prison warden, trembling with fear at the power of God, fell before Paul and Silas, and asked “What must I do to be saved?”

By "saved", he didn't mean, "What must I do to escape the ordinary and have a better life?" He meant, "What must I do to be spared from the coming judgment of God?"

Here was a man desperate for the truth. "What must I do to be saved?"

His heart was open. This was no time to tell him half the story, and then add "difficult" bits later.

Here is the simple answer he got: "Believe in the Lord Jesus." That's the condition for getting right with God.

"Believe in Jesus. Have faith in Jesus. Trust in Him.

That's it. Believe in the Lord Jesus. Meet the condition, and there is a promise that follows ... "You will be saved".

Meet the condition ... receive the promise.

We may note in the Bible story that the jailer, and his family "confirmed" their belief by being baptized. But baptism wasn't made a condition for salvation.

And they didn't have to pass a theological test.

And they didn't have to examine themselves and first confess and repent of all their sins. In accepting Jesus as Saviour, they were repenting, in the primary sense of the word ... they were turning to God, in Jesus.

They were not trying to justify themselves by presenting any merit of their own. They were turning to God.

Believe in Jesus and you will be saved.

One of the best known scriptures in the Bible is in the Gospel of John, chapter 3, verse 16.

"God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that all who believe in Him shall not perish but have eternal life."

Once again, there is a simple condition on view ... "believe in Jesus". And a promise for those who meet the condition ... "you will live forever". Meet the condition ... receive the promise.

There are more than twenty verses in the Bible that present this truth. A huge weight of Scripture confirms what I am saying.

Go to our website, where this video session is embedded, and you can download a pdf with the Bible references.

Now the key word in these verses is the word that is translated "believe", in most English Bibles. This word is so important that we are going to examine it in the sessions ahead.

However, right away it needs to be said that the people who heard, or read this word in the original language would have understood two things that we don't automatically get when we hear or read the word "believe" in English today.

The first is that the grammar of the word in the original language indicates a belief that is ongoing. We'll explain this in the sessions ahead.

And the second is that the "believing" that is called for is more than a mere acknowledgement. It's more than a sort of "Oh, yeah. If you say so" response.

These days, if we ask someone, say: "Are you going to the meeting tonight? They may reply, "I believe so." And we aren't surprised if what they are really saying is: "I'm not sure. I'll try to make it."

In other words, we are used to people using the English word "believe" in a vague way. But that wasn't the case with the use of this word in the original language.

Again, we are going to examine this word in the sessions ahead.

However, I do realise that this may start to sound like it's a bit hard.

"Belief?" "Believe?" "How can I know if I really do believe?"

Well you can. The studies that are coming up will help you. They'll put Bible truth deep inside you, and they'll help you with the vital question (ongoing): "Am I really right with God?"

However, there is a Bible verse that you can take on board now, and hold onto, because it give you specific conditions and a specific promise.

Romans chapter 10, verse 9 says: "If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved."

The promise is emphatic. And the conditions are also specific:

Confess that Jesus is the Lord, and

Believe that God raised Him from the dead

The wonderful thing about this verse is that it isn't talking about a state of belief that you may or may not be sure of ... it's focused on the fact that you either accept or don't ... that Jesus was raised from the dead.

Do you believe that? You must.

And as for confessing with your mouth that Jesus is the Lord, that's specific too.

The Bible says that no one can say "Jesus is Lord" except by the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:3). It's a miracle of God when someone is able to say, "Jesus is Lord".

It's the Holy Spirit who gives enlightenment, and it's the Holy Spirit who enables that utterance, those words from your mouth.

When you come to faith (real believing) in Jesus, then you receive the Holy Spirit. And the Bible says that if you don't have the Holy Spirit then you don't belong to Jesus, but if you do have the Holy Spirit, then you do belong to Him (Romans 8:9).

Being able to confess Jesus as the Lord is proof that the Holy Spirit is at work in you, and proof that you have come into the salvation of God.