What Must I Do to be Saved?

Everyone should ask themselves the important question, “What must I do to be saved?” Many people believe they are saved, yet 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” (Matthew 7:21). To be saved, it is necessary to believe that Christ will forgive our sins. Then we must repent of them, live a holy life, and love one another. Because there are many teachings advanced by a multitude of religions, the question may well be asked, “What really is the truth?”

What Is Meant by Being Born Again?

Many people try to serve the Lord without first experiencing the new birth, but are they saved? Jesus said, “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3). When Jesus left this world, He sent the Holy Spirit. “And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment” (John 16:8). The Holy Spirit will bring man to an awareness of sinfulness. When man begins to feel the burden of his sins, he will feel condemned in his heart. If he humbles himself and through faith in Jesus cries out to God with all his heart, then God will forgive him. “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out” (Acts 3:19). Repenting of sins includes being sorry for them, forsaking them, and turning to a new way of life. When this happens, the Holy Spirit enters the heart and one is born again. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Who Needs This New Birth?

“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Inspired by the Holy Spirit, the prophet Isaiah foretold the suffering of our Lord Jesus for the sins of mankind. He said, “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way” (Isaiah 53:6). Jesus clearly told Nicodemus, a seeker of the truth, that one cannot see the kingdom of God unless he is born again. This spiritual birth is the work of the Holy Spirit. All who want to be saved need to experience this birth.

All who are weary and tired of their burden of sin are invited to come to Jesus and find forgiveness. Jesus invites: “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30). Jesus suffered, shed his blood, and died on the cross “for our sins: and not for ours only, but for the sins of the whole world” (1 John 2:2).

Repentance

Complete text of: What Must I Do to be Saved?

Repentance, confession, and restitution are all part of coming to the Lord Jesus with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy” (Proverbs 28:13). “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). If we have wronged our fellow man, we should confess and acknowledge our sins, and make restitution where needed. “And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord: Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold” (Luke 19:8).

Faith and Obedience

Once we have experienced the new birth, we endeavor to live faithful Christian lives. Jesus instructs his followers; “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me” (Matthew 16:24). We are also admonished to keep ourselves unspotted from the world (James 1:27). “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world” (1 John 2:15-16).

The Christian will be able to accomplish this by following the leading of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will give direction and the strength to live a godly life. “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth” (John 16:13). The results of this effort will bring about a changed heart; a life of faith that will produce obedience. “By works was faith made perfect” (James 2:22). The Christian is now living for Jesus instead of living for himself.

The indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit inspires a deep love in the Christian’s heart. He will seek the fellowship of other born-again Christians. The unity of this fellowship encourages an open-hearted sharing with one another. This is a support to the Christian and helps him to grow spiritually.

When we are born again, our names are written in the book of life. “And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:15). Our sins are forgiven, and we experience joy and peace in our hearts. Satan will try to rob us of this gift of salvation by tempting us to disobey, but God has promised to protect and deliver us if we are faithful. “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” (Romans 8:1). “Godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come” (1 Timothy 4:8).

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Trouble Begins

Trouble and problems are everywhere. Sickness, unhappiness, and many evils are a part of life. Where did it all begin? Has it always been this way? The Bible, God’s Word, has the answers to these questions.

The first two chapters of the Bible tell about a beautiful garden called Eden. God created it for Adam and Eve to live in. God made them perfect and without sin. 

Eden was a place of peace and happiness. There were no problems or sickness. It was a very happy and beautiful place to live. He gave them every good thing from the garden to eat. In the midst of the garden, he planted the tree of knowledge of good and evil. God told them that they would surely die if they ate the fruit of this tree.

Complete text of: Trouble Begins

Sadly, the tranquility in the garden did not last. One day the devil, God’s enemy, came to Eve in the form of a serpent. He asked Eve if God had said they should not eat of the forbidden tree. “Yes,” said Eve, “God said we would die if we ate of it.” The serpent replied, “You will not die when you eat of the tree; you will become like gods knowing good and evil.” When Eve looked at the fruit of the tree, she reached out her hand and took some.

It was good to eat, and she shared some with Adam. As soon as they had eaten, they knew that something was wrong. They became afraid of God. When God came to talk to them, they hid themselves because they were ashamed of their sin. God asked them if they had disobeyed his command and spoke to them about the problems they would always have. Trouble had entered the world because of their disobedience. Toil, sickness, and death would now be part of every life on earth.

When God told them they would die if they disobeyed, He meant both physical and spiritual death. Before their disobedience, they were pure in heart and sinless. After they disobeyed, they became defiled in heart and were sinners in God’s eyes. Since that time, this spiritual death has come upon every person who has been born. Man’s nature, the very being of mankind, has changed from pure and sinless to selfish and sinful.

The Bible tells us in Psalms 14:3 that there is nobody who does good. In the New Testament we read that there is nothing good in our sinful nature. At times we want to do good, but we do evil instead. Other times we know we should not do evil, but we lack the power to do good, all because of our sinful nature (Romans 7:18-20).

Today, many people are unhappy because of their sin nature. People selfishly want their own way. Many lie, cheat, and steal. Some hold grudges and live in bitterness and hatred, because they will not forgive. Many homes have been broken as a result of selfishness and sin. Does this sound familiar to you? Can you identify with these issues? Do you have any of these problems?

This is not a hopeless situation. God has a wonderful plan for us! Because of God’s love for us, He sent his Son Jesus to die on the cross and take the punishment for our sins (John 3:16). Through the power of God, Jesus overcame death and arose from the grave. Because He arose from the dead, we can have victory over our sinful nature if we accept his sacrifice for our sins.

We need to surrender our entire life to God including our wants and desires and ask Him in faith to forgive our sins. Then He forgives us and we become a new person! (2 Corinthians 5:17)

The new condition of our heart will reflect in our outward walk and choices. Before God’s forgiveness, we were separated from Him. Now, we are his child. The Bible has a beautiful way of saying this. “Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature” (2 Peter 1:4). When Jesus forgives our sins, he gives us a new heart (Ezekiel 36:26). The divine nature includes love, joy, and peace which God places in our heart.

How different our outlook on life becomes! We now choose to live for Christ, and sin does not dominate our life. God helps us love those who have mistreated us, forgive those who have hurt us, and have the power to be kind, loving, and patient. Homes that were unhappy can be filled with joy and fulfillment.

This change does not mean we will never make mistakes, but we can take them to God for forgiveness. God gives us the power to resist temptation and overcome sin. We will put others’ wants and desires before our own.

God’s plan for sending Jesus into this world to die and rise again was first to save us, then to give us power to live joyful and thankful lives, and to be of service to others!

Read the Bible today!

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Alcohol-Have You Counted the Cost?

“Who hath woe? Who hath sorrow? Who hath contentions? Who hath babbling? Who hath wounds without cause? Who hath redness of eyes? They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine. Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright. At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder” (Proverbs 23:29-32).

The Bible portrays a very true picture of the results of using alcohol. Woe, sorrow, babbling, and wounds are part of that picture. Much more could be added to the list of woes of those who tarry at the wine.

Many respectable people have become degraded through the use of alcohol. It has brought about the abusing of their families, stealing, murdering, and unfaithfulness to marriage vows.

Many young husbands and wives look forward to a life of companionship and trust, only to have alcohol shatter the possibilities of a happy life.

Complete text of: Alcohol-Have You Counted the Cost?

Alas, that first drink was carelessly and casually taken. Too little thought was given to the future. As time went on, more and more alcohol was needed to alleviate the unending stresses and pressures of life. Misunderstandings, arguments, and feelings of not being appreciated became more frequent until hope for anything better disappeared. Alcohol became a crutch to get through these problems. Money that the family needed in the home was spent for drink and was gone. To find time together as a family appeared impossible. Finally, it seemed alcohol became the only answer to the many problems. It temporarily blurred or blocked out the worries and frustrations of life. But with the return of sobriety, the problems just multiplied along with the desire for another drink. The user of alcohol has been captured by it and become its servant, wounding himself and others. He seems to be on an endless treadmill—without any hope. But wait! There is hope and an answer for that terrible thirst.

Jesus Is the Answer

Jesus offers water that satisfies the thirst of man. In Jesus’ day He met a woman who had come to a well for water. He told her He could give her water that would satisfy her, and she would never thirst again. Every soul of man thirsts for this satisfying water, for it heals the soul. (John 4:5-26)

God has a beautiful way. He says: “I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely” (Revelation 21:6). Jesus is that living fountain. Come to Him just as you are. Tell Him that you are unable to help yourself. Tell Him that you now realize that it will take Him to deliver you from the devastating grip of alcohol. You know from past experience that willpower alone is not enough to overcome this intense temptation.

Come to God as a sinner and repent of your selfish and sinful life. Believe that God will have a way for you. You will find the grace to totally surrender to Him. The blood of Jesus Christ will wash away your sins and you can receive the promise found in Isaiah 1:18, “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” When God forgives, He does not leave us empty but fills our hearts with love and grace.

When the love of God has filled your heart, a deep satisfaction and contentment will come over you. You will be his child. Your spirit will be free and open, and you will have an assurance of salvation. You will know one to whom you can go in confidence when tests and difficulties come. As your spiritual thirst is satisfied, there will be strength to deal with the desire and craving for alcohol. The wounds can be healed, and the scars that remain will serve to remind you of God’s marvelous grace. Won’t you come and drink of that living water? “Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out” (John 6:37).

Support and Fellowship of God’s People

It is very important to continue to seek God’s will in other areas of your life. God’s church is a haven where you can find fellowship and support in the trying times that will surely come. God would like to replace the unwholesome comradeship of the past life with a new companionship. The fellowship of God’s people will help you to find direction for the future and support when temptations assail you.

“And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; 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: 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. But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:1-6).

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