True Salvation – What Is It ? What Is Required For Salvation ?
In Part 1 of our 2 part series of articles on True Salvation we discussed how most people in the world today, even most members of evangelical churches, are not truly saved. We also looked at What Is Salvation ? And we also studied the first 3 parts of the Gospel message, which points us to true salvation through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Now we will look at something very important – what is required for salvation ? There are many people today that believe in their heart that they are saved, most of which are members of churches. Even mainline evangelical churches. They are under the impression that because they said a quick prayer about confessing their sins and asking Jesus to be their Lord and Savior that they are saved… that they have a restored relationship with God and eternal life in heaven. The Bible clearly shows what is required for salvation.
4: What is Required for Salvation ?
If you want to be saved… if you want to have a restored & reconciled relationship with God, and peace with God, and eternal life in heaven with God, what is required for salvation ?
The Bible clearly shows that there are 3 things that are required for a person to truly be saved. Jesus states the first 2 requirements in these verses:
- “Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news !” – Mark 1:14-15
What is required for salvation ? Repent is the first requirement in order to be saved and have a restored relationship with God. Repent means to be going in 1 direction, and then to turn around and go the opposite direction. It means that you must decide to turn away from your sins and from sinning against God and displeasing Him and from living to please yourself. Then you must decide in your heart to turn back to God and live to please Him.
When we are living for ourselves and living in sin, we are going down the road of sin. The problem with this road is that it will lead you farther and farther from God, and cause you to have a broken relationship with God. This road will never give you the satisfaction and peace that living for God will give you.
What is required for salvation ? The second thing that Jesus mentioned in Mark 1:15 is “believe the good news”. The good news (the Gospel) is that Jesus loves you very much and that He came and died on the cross to take away your sins and to pay the price for them, and to take away your punishment. He literally took our place on the cross and took our sins on Himself, and He also took the punishment that we deserve.
The word believe in this verse does not mean that you believe in your mind that Jesus exists. Most religions in the world today believe in Jesus in this way in one form or another. Some believe Jesus was a good man, some believe He was a good teacher, and others believe He was a religious prophet.
The word for believe in the Bible means that you need to believe with all of your heart that Jesus loves you, and that He died on the cross to take away your sins and your punishment, and that He rose again on the 3rd day and is alive and then He went back to heaven. Believe means that you need to place all of you faith, and all of your confidence, and all of your trust, and all of your hope in Jesus Christ alone. We do not put our faith & confidence & trust & hope in a religion, or in a church, or in a pastor or church leader, or in our own good works, or in anything else. You must put all of your faith & hope & trust & confidence with all of your heart in Jesus Christ. 100%.
What is required for salvation ? The 3rd thing that God’s word shows is another requirement for salvation is found in John 1:12 and other verses.
- “Yet to all who did receive him (Jesus), to those who believe in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” – John 1:12
To receive Jesus Christ is the 3rd requirement for salvation. What does this mean ?
- First it means that you need to willingly invite Jesus into your life and receive Him as your Lord and Savior.
- Savior means that Jesus will forgive you for all of your sins, and He will take away all of your punishment for your sins. And He will give you the gift of a restored personal relationship with God, peace with God, and eternal life in heaven.
- Lord means something totally different. This is where most people have a big misunderstanding of what is required for salvation. People say a quick prayer and ask Jesus to be their Lord and Savior, but they have no idea of what Jesus being your Lord really means. And they have no intention in their heart to really make Jesus the Lord of their life.
Nearly everyone wants Jesus to be their friend. Nearly everyone wants Jesus to protect them, and take care of them and their needs, and even give them things they want and desire. Nearly everyone wants Jesus to be their Savior and save them from their sins and the eternal punishment of hell.
But most people do not really want Jesus to be their Lord. The Lord of their life. Which means to give up control and ownership and the rights to their life to Jesus. It may mean you need to give up your dreams and goals and plans, and accept Jesus’ will and plans instead. It may cost you a lot. Their is a cost to follow Jesus as Lord & Savior and be His disciple (a disciple is a learner & follower of Jesus). You need to commit your life to Jesus, and commit to follow Him as your Lord and Savior.
In relationship terms, you need to have a committed relationship with Jesus. He is not interested in having a casual relationship with you. He loves you too much, and He is totally committed to you. He proved His love and commitment to you by dying on the cross for your sins and taking your punishment for you. He wants you to be as committee to Him as He is to you. And He wants you to love Him as He loves you. Jesus wants you to continually surrender you life and your will to Him, and live to please Him, and follow Him and His word and His ways and His will for your life.
In Luke 9:22-23 Jesus gives us the picture of what it really looks like and means for Him to be your Lord, and for you to be truly saved: “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed and be raised up on the third day.” And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me.”
- When Jesus says “if anyone wants to come after me” He is not talking about following Him. He is really saying “if you want to go where I am going”… in other words, if you want to be saved and then have eternal life and go to heaven where I am going…”.
- Making Jesus your Lord means you need to deny yourself. You need to deny your will and follow His will. You need to deny control of your life, and let Jesus control your life. You need to deny your wants and desires… and follow what Jesus wants and desires.
- “Take up your cross daily” is a very misunderstood saying of Jesus by many people. Many people think that this means that they have to live with some physical problem or illness, or with a person that cause them a lot of trouble and grief. Jesus does not mean this at all.
- For Jesus the cross was God’s will for Him. Jesus had to submit and accept His Father’s will of dying on the cross so we all could be saved and have a restored relationship with God. Jesus is talking about how we need to daily submit to His will for our life, and not live to follow our own will. It is a daily act of submission to our Lord Jesus and His will.
- After denying yourself and taking up your cross (God’s will) daily, then you can follow Jesus as your Lord. You cannot be a true and obedient follower (disciple) of Jesus unless you first deny yourself and then submit your life & will to Him daily. To truly have Jesus as your Lord and Savior means to faithfully and obediently and passionately follow Him as your Lord… your Master… your King.
Saying this in a quick prayer is one thing, but actually doing it with all of your heart is quite another. The truth is that most people do not really and fully submit their life and will to Jesus as their Lord, and thus do not meet the requirements for true salvation. That is why Jesus said what He said in Matthew 7:21-23, and what He says in Matthew 7:13-14:
- “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.”
What is required for salvation ? The 3 requirements clearly shown in God’s word are:
- Believe in Jesus Christ
- Receive by faith Jesus as your Lord and Savior (not just Savior)
When you have truly met these 3 requirements for salvation, then there is a transformation that takes place in you and your life. Salvation is Transformation. People that say a quick prayer about confessing their sin and receiving Jesus as Lord and Savior but not really meaning it, their life is no different after they say the prayer. There is no change or transformation in their heart, or in the way they live their life. They may go to church, and even be active in their church, but Monday through Saturday their life is no different. True Salvation is Transformation.
If you have never truly repented from your sins and turned back to God, and placed all of your faith & confidence & trust & hope in Jesus, and truly received Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, but you are ready to do so, then you can do it right now.
Through prayer, you can talk to God and do the things He says you need to do to truly be saved: repent from your sins, place your faith in Jesus, and invite Jesus Christ to come into your life and be your Lord and Savior, and commit to follow Him:
“Dear Lord, Thank you for loving me very much, and for sending Jesus to die for and pay the price for my sins. Lord, I have sins in my life. Please forgive me for all of my sins. I am sorry that I have sinned against you. And dear Lord Jesus, please come into my life, and be my Lord and Savior. I commit my life to you, to follow You and Your will & ways. And I repent and turn away from my sins, and I turn back to you with all of my heart. Please give me peace with God and eternal life in heaven. Please teach me your word and ways, so I can follow You as my Lord. And help me grow closer to you. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.”
If you have done these things – you truly repented of your sins, put all of your faith and hope in Jesus Christ, and received Him as your Lord & Savior and committed your life to Him, and you meant it with all your heart – then you for sure have a reconciled relationship with God, peace with God and eternal life, and new life in Jesus.
- “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” – Romans 10:13
- “Those who have the Son (Jesus) have life. Those who do not have the Son do not have life. These things have I written, that you may know you have eternal life.” – I John 5:12-13
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