"What Must I Do To Be Saved?"

                                                                                                    By Steve Flatt

There is no more important and urgent question in the world than the one asked by the Philippian jailer in Acts 16:30-"Sirs, what must I do to be saved?"

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Recognize the need.
    People fall into two groups:
    • Those that feel they are "pretty good" and do not recognize the need. Life is not a humanity test based on how good I am compared to everyone else.
    • Those with great guilt. Once convinced of God's grace, love, and forgiveness, they recognize their need.
Eph. 2:1-3
    1  And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins:
    2  Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
    3  Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
Rom. 3:23
    For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Realize the solution

Eph. 2:4-7

    But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
    5  Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
    6  And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
    7  That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
II Cor 5:21
    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.

Respond in faith

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.
The following two scripture references show the faith responses determined by God. In each case multiple faith responses were required God's people and they had to follow the instructions given exactly.

Josh. 6:1-21

    1  Now Jericho was straitly shut up because of the children of Israel: none went out, and none came in.
    2  And the LORD said unto Joshua, See, I have given into thine hand Jericho, and the king thereof, and the mighty men of valour.  3  And ye shall compass the city, all ye men of war, and go round about the city once. Thus shalt thou do six days. 4  And seven priests shall bear before the ark seven trumpets of rams' horns: and the seventh day ye shall compass the city seven times, and the priests shall blow with the trumpets.
    5  And it shall come to pass, that when they make a long blast with the ram's horn, and when ye hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city shall fall down flat, and the people shall ascend up every man straight before him.  6  And Joshua the son of Nun called the priests, and said unto them, Take up the ark of the covenant, and let seven priests bear seven trumpets of rams' horns before the ark of the LORD.  7  And he said unto the people, Pass on, and compass the city, and let him that is armed pass on before the ark of the LORD.  8  And it came to pass, when Joshua had spoken unto the people, that the seven priests bearing the seven trumpets of rams' horns passed on before the LORD, and blew with the trumpets: and the ark of the covenant of the LORD followed them.
    9  And the armed men went before the priests that blew with the trumpets, and the rereward came after the ark, the priests going on, and blowing with the trumpets.  10  And Joshua had commanded the people, saying, Ye shall not shout, nor make any noise with your voice, neither shall any word proceed out of your mouth, until the day I bid you shout; then shall ye shout.  11  So the ark of the LORD compassed the city, going about it once: and they came into the camp, and lodged in the camp.  12  And Joshua rose early in the morning, and the priests took up the ark of the LORD. 13  And seven priests bearing seven trumpets of rams' horns before the ark of the LORD went on continually, and blew with the trumpets: and the armed men went before them; but the rereward came after the ark of the LORD, the priests going on, and blowing with the trumpets. 14  And the second day they compassed the city once, and returned into the camp: so they did six days. 15  And it came to pass on the seventh day, that they rose early about the dawning of the day, and compassed the city after the same manner seven times: only on that day they compassed the city seven times. 16  And it came to pass at the seventh time, when the priests blew with the trumpets, Joshua said unto the people, Shout; for the LORD hath given you the city. 17  And the city shall be accursed, even it, and all that are therein, to the LORD: only Rahab the harlot shall live, she and all that are with her in the house, because she hid the messengers that we sent.  18  And ye, in any wise keep yourselves from the accursed thing, lest ye make yourselves accursed, when ye take of the accursed thing, and make the camp of Israel a curse, and trouble it.  19  But all the silver, and gold, and vessels of brass and iron, are consecrated unto the LORD: they shall come into the treasury of the LORD.  20  So the people shouted when the priests blew with the trumpets: and it came to pass, when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city.
    21  And they utterly destroyed all that was in the city, both man and woman, young and old, and ox, and sheep, and ass, with the edge of the sword.
I Kings 5:1-14
    When Hiram king of Tyre heard that Solomon had been anointed king to succeed his father David, he sent his envoys to Solomon, because he had always been on friendly terms with David. 2 Solomon sent back this message to Hiram:
      3 "You know that because of the wars waged against my father David from all sides, he could not build a temple for the Name of the LORD his God until the LORD put his enemies under his feet. 4 But now the LORD my God has given me rest on every side, and there is no adversary or disaster.5 I intend, therefore, to build a temple for the Name of the LORD my God, as the LORD told my father David, when he said, `Your son whom I will put on the throne in your place will build the temple for my Name.'

      6 "So give orders that cedars of Lebanon be cut for me. My men will work with yours, and I will pay you for your men whatever wages you set. You know that we have no-one so skilled in felling timber as the Sidonians."

      7 When Hiram heard Solomon's message, he was greatly pleased and said "Praise be to the LORD today, for he has given David a wise son to rule over this great nation."
      8 So Hiram sent word to Solomon: "I have received the message you sent me and will do all you want in providing the cedar and pine logs.9 My men will haul them down from Lebanon to the sea, and I will float them in rafts by sea to the place you specify. There I will separate them and you can take them away. And you are to grant my wish by providing food for my royal household."
    10 In this way Hiram kept Solomon supplied with all the cedar and pine logs he wanted, 11 and Solomon gave Hiram twenty thousand cors of wheat as food for his household, in addition to twenty thousand baths of pressed olive oil. Solomon continued to do this for Hiram year after year.12 The LORD gave Solomon wisdom, just as he had promised him. There were peaceful relations between Hiram and Solomon, and the two of them made a treaty.

    13 King Solomon conscripted labourers from all Israel-- thirty thousand men. 14 He sent them off to Lebanon in shifts of ten thousand a month, so that they spent one month in Lebanon and two months at home. Adoniram was in charge of the forced labour.

What is the faith response God requires for one to become a Christian?
Let's look at the New Testament examples of faith responses.
  • Acts 2: 37-38
  • When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, "Brothers, what shall we do?" 38 Peter replied, "Repent and be baptised, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

  • Acts 2:41
  • Those who accepted his message were baptised, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.

  • Acts 4: 4
  • But many who heard the message believed, and the number of men grew to about five thousand.

  • Acts 8:12
  • But when they believed Philip as he preached the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptised, both men and women.

  • Acts 8:13
  • Simon himself believed and was baptised. And he followed Philip everywhere, astonished by the great signs and miracles he saw.

  • Acts 8:35-39
  • Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus. 36 As they travelled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, "Look, here is water. Why shouldn't I be baptised?"37 And Philip said, If thou believest with all thy heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (in the King James version and the American Standard version) 38 And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptised him. 39 When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing.
  • Acts 9:18
  • Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul's eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptised,

  • Acts 10:46b-48a
  • Then Peter said, 47 "Can anyone keep these people from being baptised with water? They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have."48a So he ordered that they be baptised in the name of Jesus

  • Acts 11:20-21
  • Some of them, however, men from Cyprus and Cyrene, went to Antioch and began to speak to Greeks also, telling them the good news about the Lord Jesus. 21 The Lord's hand was with them, and a great number of people believed and turned to the Lord.
  • Acts 14: 1
  • At Iconium Paul and Barnabas went as usual into the Jewish synagogue. There they spoke so effectively that a great number of Jews and Gentiles believed.

  • Acts 16:14-15
  • One of those listening was a woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth from the city of Thyatira, who was a worshipper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul's message. 15 When she and the members of her household were baptised, she invited us to her home. "If you consider me a believer in the Lord," she said, "come and stay at my house." And she persuaded us.
  • Acts 16:29-33
  • The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. 30 He then brought them out and asked, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" 31 They replied, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved--you and your household." 32 Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. 33 At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his family were baptised.
  • Acts 17:12
  • Many of the Jews believed, as did also a number of prominent Greek women and many Greek men.

  • Acts 17:34a
  • A few men became followers of Paul and believed.

  • Acts 18:8
  • Crispus, the synagogue ruler, and his entire household believed in the Lord; and many of the Corinthians who heard him believed and were baptised.

  • Acts 19:1-5
  • There he found some disciples 2 and asked them, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?" They answered, "No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit." 3 So Paul asked, "Then what baptism did you receive?" "John's baptism," they replied. 4 Paul said, "John's baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus." 5 On hearing this, they were baptised into the name of the Lord Jesus.
  • Acts 20:21
  • I have declared to both Jews and Greeks that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus.

  • Acts 22:7-10,16
  • I fell to the ground and heard a voice say to me, `Saul! Saul! Why do you persecute me?' 8 "`Who are you, Lord?' I asked. "`I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you are persecuting,' he replied. 9 My companions saw the light, but they did not understand the voice of him who was speaking to me. 10 "`What shall I do, Lord?' I asked. "`Get up,' the Lord said, `and go into Damascus. There you will be told all that you have been assigned to do.' 16 And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptised and wash your sins away, calling on his name.

    Other passages to consider--

  • Mark 16:16



    Whoever believes and is baptised will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.

  • Acts 2:38



    Peter replied, "Repent and be baptised, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

  • Acts 22:16



    And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptised and wash your sins away, calling on his name.

  • Rom. 6:3-5 Purpose of baptism:



    Or don't you know that all of us who were baptised into Christ Jesus were baptised into his death? 4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.

    5 If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection.

  • I Peter3:21
  • and this water symbolises baptism that now saves you also-- not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a good conscience towards God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ,

  • Titus 3:5
  • he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit,

Do you really think God expects us to be baptized as a part of our faith response?

Do you think he really expected these individuals to do their God determined faith responses?

  • Israelites - march around Jericho seven times. Joshua 6
  • Israelites - look on the bronze snake to be saved Numbers 21:7-9
  • Naaman - Dip seven times in the Jordan River II Kings5:10-14
  • Peter - Dip his nets into the water again after fishing all night without a catch. Luke 5:4-6
Yes, God expects us to be baptized as part of our faith response.

Conclusion: From the scriptures above, we see a developing pattern that answers the question "What must I do to be saved?"

  • Hear the Gospel. "How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?" (Romans 10:14).
  • Believe. " And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him." (Hebrews 11:6).
  • Repent of past sins. " In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent."(Acts 17:30).
  • Confess Jesus as Lord. "Behold here is water; What doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, if thou believeth with all thy heart thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God" (Acts 8:36-37).(King James Version}
  • Be baptized for the remission of sins. "Peter replied, "Repent and be baptised, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." (Acts 2:38).
  • Live a Christian life. "But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light." (1 Peter 2:9).

When you have made a decison to become a Christian and would like to talk to someone or study more about God's Gift of Salvation, email or call (615) 865-1836, leave a message with your number and some one will contact you.

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