How Can I Be Saved?
Being saved (or born again: Jn 3:3) is the greatest moment any person will have in this lifetime! In an instant, you become a “new creation” in Christ, and your past is forgiven and put behind you (2 Cor 5:17). You become a “child of God” (Gal 3:26)(Jn 1:12)(Rom 8:14-17), and God comes to live inside of you in the form of the Holy Spirit (Gal 4:6)(Rom 8:9)(1 Cor 2:12). The Holy Spirit is your “guarantee” that your eternal destiny will be with the Lord (Eph 1:13-14)(2 Cor 1:22)(2 Cor 5:5).
When I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior on Oct 27,1994, my whole life radically changed! (You can read how here.) I have seen the lives of thousands of others changed as well as they have made decisions for Christ. These changes can vary from person to person, but it is amazing to see and hear the numerous testimonies of Christians telling what Jesus has done in them. I find that for many, they feel like a large burden has been lifted off of their shoulders. For the first time in their lives, many have felt the “joy” (Ps 16:11)(Neh 8:10)(Isa 51:11)(Rom 15:13) and “peace” (Phil 4:7)(Jn 14:27)(Jn 16:33)(2 Tim 2:22) that comes with being a Christian. Some have been set free from addictions and bondages.
On the other hand, some do not have huge changes immediately, but God has promised in His Word that He will change us (1 Cor 6:11)(2 Cor 3:18)(Phil 1:6), and you can rest assured He will! Once you become a child of God, He promises to “never leave nor forsake you” (Heb 13:5)!
Jesus loves you so much that He died on a cross for YOU! He gave His life for your sins, and the sins of the world (Jn 1:29)(1 Jn 2:2)(2 Cor 5:19). God draws all men (Jn 6:44), and desires that “all” men would be saved (1 Tim 2:3-4)(2 Pet 3:9)(Ezek 18:23,32)(Mt 18:14). However, the Bible says that we can resist God’s will (Jn 5:40)(Mt 23:37)(Acts 7:51)(Mt 21:42)(Lk 7:29-30).
Therefore, at least one time in each person’s life, there will come a time when God the Father (and Jesus: Jn 12:32) will draw them to salvation, and the Holy Spirit will “convict them of their sin” (Jn 16:8). This can be felt. THIS is the moment when a decision needs to be made! Will you make a decision to “surrender” your life to Jesus, and accept His payment for your sins, or will you “resist” the will of God?
You may be at the bottom, with nowhere else to turn. You may be going through life always feeling like something is missing. You may be looking for a joy, peace, or love that you have seen in others who proclaim the name of Jesus. Whatever the reason, Jesus is waiting for you with open arms! You can make this decision today! Let me share what the Bible says you need to understand and do.
The first step is to admit you are a sinner.
(Rom 3:23) for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
(1 Jn 1:8,10) “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us”
(1 Kin 8:46) “If they sin against thee, (for there is no man that sinneth not)…”
You may be thinking: “I am not that bad of a sinner,” or, “I am not as bad of a sinner as most people,” or “I am a good person.” Let me address these individually.
First, if you think you are “not that bad of a sinner,” the Bible says you are wrong. We are told in (Eccl 9:3)(Jer 17:9)(Mt 15:19-20)(Gen 6:5) that the hearts of ALL men are wicked and evil. This includes you (and me)!
However, even if you have sinned less than anyone else on the planet, you are still condemned, and not going to Heaven. What you need to understand is that “no sin” can enter into Heaven, into the presence of a holy God. In other words, if you had sinned only ONE sin in your whole life: i.e. lying, stealing, cussing, impure thoughts, and more…, you would still not be going to Heaven!
Second, do you think that you are “not as bad of a sinner as most people?” You should understand that the standard for getting into Heaven is not how much “better” you are than other people; the standard for getting into Heaven is, “Are you sinless, just as God is?” (Again, because “no sin” can enter into Heaven.) You aren’t sinless, so you aren’t going to Heaven.
Third, do think you are “a good person?” The Bible tells us in a number of places that “NO ONE is good” (Rom 3:10)(Mt 19:17)(Ecc 7:20). All men are “unclean” (Prov 20:9)(Job 15:14). And, if you are thinking that your “good works” will get you into Heaven, (Isa 64:6) says, “But we are all as an unclean thing, And all of our righteousness are as filthy rags” (literally, “filthy rags” = a ladies used tampon). Therefore, your “goodness” or “good works” will not get you into Heaven.
Because you are a sinner, and have failed to meet God’s sinless standard for getting into Heaven, when you die, you are sentenced to everlasting punishment in Hell (Mt 25:41,46)(Mt 18:8-9)(Rev 14:10-11), separated from a relationship with God for eternity (2 Th 1:9).
(Rom 6:23) “For the wages of sin is death (Hell); but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
So, what can we do??
First, we must have “repentance,” and “repent.”
Over and over in the Bible, “repentance” and “salvation” are tied together:
(Acts 3:19) “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.”
(2 Cor 7:10) “For Godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.”
(Lk 13:3,5) “I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.”
Also see: (Mt 4:17)(Acts 11:18)(2 Pet 3:9)(Mk 1:15)(Lk 5:32)(Ezek 18:30)(Acts 17:30)
“Repentance” (as a noun) means to “change your mind,” and “repent” (as a verb) means to “take action.” In regards to sin, in the Old Testament, “repent” is often translated as to “turn” from sin (i.e. 1 Kin 8:33-34, 2 Chr 7:14). Repentance is made up of three connected, and inseparable “elements:” intellectual, emotional, and volitional (Berkof – Systematic Theology). Intellectually, we must “change our mind” about our sin, and feel “personal guilt” over it. Emotionally, we must feel “sorrow and remorse” for our sin, and feel heartbroken that we have sinned against a holy God who loves us so much. Volitionally, we must “take action” to “turn” from our sin.
The “primary” sin you have committed, that you must feel “personal guilt” over, and “sorrow and remorse” for, and “take action” to “turn” from is failing to make Jesus the Lord and Savior of your life (which is sin: Jn 16:9, Jn 8:24). You have put yourself before Jesus. In essence, you have committed the sin of idolatry, which is defined as “anything or anyone that we love or worship more than God, place ahead of God, or put in place of God.” God hated this sin so much (Deut 7:26)(Deut 27:15), that the first two of His 10 Commandments addressed it (Ex 20:3)(Ex 20:4-5).
In repenting of this sin, you are “turning” from “you” being in control of your life, and “surrendering” your life to Jesus. In surrendering to Jesus, you are expressing a desire to become more and more like Him, which is the goal of all Christians (2 Cor 3:17-18)(Eph 4:13)(Phil 3:12-14). You are committing to follow the “greatest Commandment,” which is, to “love the Lord your God with all of your soul, heart, and mind” (Mt 22:36-37)(Mk 12:28-30). To do these things, you must commit to live your life according to God’s Word. This will entail a desire to “turn” from the things in your present life that the Bible calls sin. (You may “struggle” to overcome certain sins may after being saved, but you will have a “new” power to help you, with the Holy Spirit living inside of you!)
The Bible says that once you are saved, the life you leave behind is called the “old man,” and you become a “new man” (Eph 4:20-24)(Col 3:5-10). In addition, (Acts 26:20)(Mt 3:8) say that if we have truly “repented,” our lives should look different than they did before.
***For more on the importance of “Repentance,” please go here.
Next, while on earth, Jesus lived the sinless life that we could never live:
(1 Jn 3:5) “And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in Him is no sin.”
(1 Pet 2:22) “Who did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth.”
(Heb 4:15) “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.”
After living a sinless life, Jesus then died on a cross to pay for our sins:
(1 Pet 2:24) “who his own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.”
Putting these two things together, when a person accepts Jesus’ sacrificial payment for their sins, the Bible says that the “sinless” life that Jesus lived is “imputed” to us. “Impute” means to have something counted or credited to a person’s account. From a Christian point of view, it means that Jesus’ perfect righteousness, sinlessness, and goodness is credited to those who are saved (“born again”).
(2 Cor 5:19,21) “to wit, that God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them… (21) For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.”
(Rom 4:7-8) “saying, Blessed are they whole iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. (8) Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.” (Also see: Ps 32:1-2)
(Rom 4:24-25) ”but for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on Him that raised Jesus from the dead; (25) who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.”
Next, we need to look at two important verses in (Eph 2:8-9): “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: (9) not of works, lest any man should boast.”
We learn three things from these verses:
(1) Salvation is available because of God’s grace. A good definition of “God’s grace” is: “God’s free, unmerited, undeserved favor being bestowed upon sinners who are not worthy to receive it.” A.W. Tozer gives this definition: “Grace is the good pleasure of God that inclines Him to bestow benefits on the undeserving.” We can “only” receive the grace of God for salvation through Jesus’ sacrifice for us (Rom 3:22-24)(Eph 1:7)(Rom 5:17)(Acts 15:11)(2 Tim 1:9)(Gal 2:21)(2 Cor 8:9)(Heb 2:9).
(2) Grace is received by “faith” (Rom 5:1-2)(Rom 4:16). Belief (Acts 18:27), and humility are also connected with receiving grace: (1 Pet 5:5)(James 4:6)(Prov 3:34).
(3) Salvation (“grace”) is a “gift” to all who would accept it (Titus 2:11). There are never any works that we can do to earn this (Titus 3:5)(Rom 4:4-5)(Rom 3:27-28)(Gal 2:16)(Rom 11:6). If we could “work” to earn our salvation, it would cause us to have pride (to “boast”), and God “hates” pride (Prov 6:16-19).
Finally, we must “believe” that Jesus was “raised from the dead.” This is called “The Resurrection.”
After Jesus died on the cross, He was laid in a tomb (Mt 27:57-61)(Mk 15:42-47). On the 3rd day, Jesus arose from the dead. The Resurrection of Jesus is the key upon which the Christian faith is based. Paul tells us in (1 Cor 15:14), “and if Christ be not risen, then our preaching is in vain, and your faith is also in vain.” (1 Cor 15:17) continues, saying that if Christ was not raised “ye are yet in your sins.”
Paul also tells us in (Rom 10:9-10) that our salvation hinges on our believing in the “Resurrection,” saying, “that if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. (10) For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” (Also see: 1 Th 4:14)
***Note: You can read about the resurrected Jesus in the Bible in these verses: (Mt 28:1-8)(Mk 16:1-20)(Lk 24:1-53)(Jn 20:1 – 21:23).
Some other reasons why the Resurrection of Jesus is so important:
(1) Jesus victory over death and evil showed that we have a Savior who is ALIVE. Death could not contain Him (Acts 2:24).
(2) It shows that because He overcame death, we can overcome it as well through Him (Jn 14:19)(1 Cor 6:14)(Rom 8:11)(Phil 3:21)(1 Cor 15:20).
(3) Jesus is now seated at the right hand of the Father making intercession for us (Rom 8:34)(Heb 7:25)(Heb 9:24)(1 Jn 2:1)(Isa 53:12).
(4) It shows us that Jesus is indeed the Son of God (Rom 1:4).
(5) Jesus prophesied His resurrection at least 15 times before He died. His resurrection proves that His promises are trustworthy. See: (Mt 16:21)(Mt 17:9)(Mt 17:22-23)(Mt 20:18-19)(Mt 26:32)(Mk 8:31)(Mk 9:9,31)(Mk 10:34)(Mk 14:28)(Lk 9:22)(Lk 18:33)(Jn 2:18-22)(Jn 10:17-18)(Jn 16:16-22)
*** For more on the importance of the “Resurrection,” please go here.
Do you receive and believe the things you have read? If you do, there is one more verse to consider. In (Rom 10:13), it says, “For whosoever shall call upon the Lord shall be saved.” “Calling” in this verse is equal to praying. You are praying a prayer that many call a “sinner’s prayer.” It is simply a way for you to cry out to Jesus (the “Lord”) in prayer, and surrender your life to Him, asking Him to save you from the penalty of your sins, and give you a new life. Here is a sinner’s prayer you can pray:
Dear Lord Jesus,
I confess that I am a sinner, and I desperately need Your payment for my sins.
Jesus, I repent of placing myself before You, and I surrender my life to You.
Please forgive me, save me, and send the Holy Spirit to live inside of me, to help me to become more and more like You.
I believe that You shed your blood on the cross to pay for my sins, and after dying, You were resurrected from the dead, so that I can have eternal life in Heaven with You.
I confess You are Lord (God), and I accept You as My Savior.
In Your Holy name I pray Jesus,
My friend, if you made this decision right now, you have a new life today! It is your spiritual birthday and the first day of your new life. I am overjoyed to have you as a new brother or sister!
The Bible says that at this moment the angels in Heaven are rejoicing (Lk 15:10). God now literally lives inside you in the form of the Holy Spirit! Amazing huh? The Holy Spirit will help you in many ways. He will: teach you (1 Jn 2:26-27)(Jn 14:26), lead you to truth (Jn 14:17)(Jn 15:26), comfort you (Jn 14:18)(Acts 9:31), help you to pray (Rom 8:26), and more.
As a new Christian there are several things that you should do to strengthen yourself in this new life you have.
1. Get a Bible, and read a little each day. I have a link on the site (here) where you can find Bibles online to read if you don’t have one yet. I urge you to check out several versions. The NKJV (New King James Version) is my favorite version, and my top recommendation. I also use the NASB (New American Standard Bible) quite a bit. If these are difficult for you to understand, the NIV (New International Version) is easier to read, and the most popular version today. I must also mention the KJV (King James Version) Bible, which is a popular version that has been around since 1611. It is written in Old English though, and can be difficult to understand.
When buying a Bible, I recommend getting one with “study notes.” I started my walk with the Lord by reading the “Life Application Study Bible,” and it helped me a lot. It comes in several versions, including the ones I recommended: NKJV and NASB. Two other study Bibles I use extensively are the “Zondervan NIV Study Bible,” and the “Nelson’s NKJV Study Bible.”
2. Find a good Bible preaching church: Church is a blessing in many ways. It helps you to find fellowship, to find other believers to pray with and for, and it gives you a place join with believers in worship. It is where you can be taught what the Bible says. It is a place to participate in taking the Lord’s Supper, and rejoice in people getting baptized. Baptism is something you will want to do soon. The Bible tells us to do this (Acts 2:38,41)(Act 22:16), and it is a sign to others of your new faith.
***Note: For more on why going to church is important, you can go here.
3. Pray: Praying is how we communicate with God. We are told to pray to God the Father, asking in Jesus’ name (Jn 15:16). God is there for you anytime. Go to Him with your needs (Mt 21:22)(Jn 15:7). You may not get all that you ask for, but the Bible says that He has a perfect plan for you (Prov 3:5-6)(Prov 16:3.9). Trust in Him, and His plan. Look for His blessings, and thank Him (Phil 4:6)(Col 4:2). Praise and worship Him for what He has done. When you sin, go to Him and confess and repent.
I pray that this site will bless you and help answer some of the questions you might have in your new walk with the Lord. If you have made this decision today, please let me know in the comments below, so that I can pray for you.
May the Lord bless you, and keep you always!