What must I do to be saved?
Having a home in heaven when this life is over is something every Christian can look forward to. This is only possible because Christians have been saved from their sin through the grace of God and Jesus' sacrifice on the cross. So how do you become a Christian and receive this wonderful gift?
The first thing you must do is HEAR the Word of God. This is more than just listening with your ears; it is understanding and accepting what the Bible has to say. Approach the scriptures with an open mind and an open heart, and you will hear the Lord's invitation.
When you let God's Word take root in your heart and your faith begins to grow, you will come to BELIEVE that God is the Creator of all things and that He has all authority over His creation. You will also learn that He loves you and desires to have a relationship with you, but sin separates you from Him. That is why God sent His Son Jesus to earth to be the sacrifice that cleanses people of their sin. Believing that Jesus is God's Son who died on the cross and was resurrected from the dead is an essential step in obtaining salvation.
You must also be willing to CONFESS what you believe. God does not want you to keep your faith a secret; He wants you to openly share what He has revealed to you through His Word. Don't be ashamed to tell others that you believe in God and accept His Son Jesus as the Savior of the world.
Knowing that sin separates you from your loving Creator should motivate you to REPENT of your sin. Make the decision to not let anything come between you and your God. This means making a commitment to avoid anything that the Bible describes as offensive to Him. Repentance is a change of heart, mind, and action that focuses on pleasing God instead of self.
Your acceptance of God's grace is completed when you submit to His command to BE BAPTIZED. Obedience to God demonstrates your desire to please Him; it is the natural result of the changes that have taken place in your heart. But above all else, baptism puts you in contact with the saving blood of Jesus Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit. Baptism is merely an immersion in water, but it is essential to your salvation. In His wisdom, God has chosen a simple form of submission to save people from their sin.
Once you have been baptized into Christ for the forgiveness of your sin, all that remains is to LIVE FAITHFULLY. God adds those that have been baptized to the church, and they become Christians, disciples of Christ. Like all of us, you will still have much to learn and will constantly find areas of your life that need some tweaking. But God has given you a new life that is free from sin, so continue to submit to His will and live every day in an effort to follow the example of Christ. If you remain faithful to the end, God will raise you to eternal life in heaven.
Don't forget the amazing fact that your salvation is a gift from your Heavenly Father! He does require His children to follow the plan of salvation, but this is not something we can do on our own outside of His abundant grace. No matter how hard we try to do the right thing and live a good life, we cannot earn our salvation. God has chosen to save those that believe in His Son. That is God's gift to the world, and all we have to do is accept it according to His plan.