All men stand in need of salvation because all men have sinned (Rom. 3:10,23). When speaking to a man once about the salvation of his soul, he responded, “saved from what?” Many may have asked this same question: “saved from what? What do you mean saved?” Webster defines “save” as: “to deliver from sin; to rescue or deliver from danger or harm; to preserve or guard from injury, destruction, or loss.”

Everyone who has reached the age of accountability stands in need of the forgiveness of their sins (only the humbleness and attitude of little children characterize heaven, Matt. 18:1-4). It is because of sins and transgressions that men are separated from God! The prophet Isaiah announced this truth, being guided by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. In Isaiah 59:1-2 we read that God is willing to save us. He is willing to hear our cries but cannot because our iniquities have separated us from him, our sins have hid his face from us that he will not hear. Notice that we have separated ourselves from him, and not he from us.

God cannot tolerate sin. No sin can be in his presence. “But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience” (Eph. 5:3-6). “Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience” (Col. 3:5-6). “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death” (Rev. 21:8).

Sin destroys! Men are therefore lost and undone — doomed because of it! Sins must be forgiven before entrance can be gained into eternal bliss. Therefore, will you be saved from your sins?

God is willing to save sinful man. He “is longsuffering to usward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). God would “...have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim. 2:4).

There are two parts in man’s salvation: God’s part and man’s part. No one will be saved without both parts being present. God has accomplished his part. Jesus Christ went to the cross and died for every man (Heb. 2:9) to make it possible for every man to have forgiveness of sins. Jesus said himself, “I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do” (John 17:4). When he hung on the cross he said, “It is finished” (John 19:30). Jesus fulfilled all prophecy concerning himself (the Messiah) and completed God’s part of the redemptive plan. The only part lacking is OUR part! God is the one that requires man’s part.

Sin is against God’s will. Sin bars us from God’s presence and keeps us out of heaven. If we are not godly, then we are ungodly. Peter said, “...the heavens and the earth are... reserved unto fire against the day of judgement and perdition of ungodly men” (2 Peter 3:7). That same destruction belongs to all those who reject God’s will. Knowing this, Peter writes, “...what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation [living] and godliness” (2 Peter 3:11). Those who are lost certainly need to count that God’s longsuffering has given them another day to “repent and be baptized” in order to be saved (2 Peter 3:15). There is no promise of tomorrow (Prov. 27:1). Right now you can do something about your soul’s lost condition. “For he saith...behold, NOW is the accepted time; behold, NOW is the day of salvation” (2 Cor. 6:2).
What CAN you do? What MUST you do to be saved? What must a person do to have their sins removed so that he/she can stand before God pure and holy, being covered by the blood of Jesus? There are eight examples of conversion recorded in the book of Acts. When they are read carefully we notice that: 1) hearing the Gospel (Acts 2:37; 4:4; Rom. 10:17), 2) believing Jesus is the Son of God, the savior (Acts 8:12,37), 3) repenting of sins (Acts 2:38; 17:30), 4) confessing Jesus as the Son of God (Acts 8:37), and being 5) baptized in water (Acts 2:38; 22:16) is essential to receive forgiveness of sins. In all eight examples we are specifically told they heard the Gospel and were then baptized!

No one of these five things is any more important than the others and certainly no one of them can be left out. People must hear (Rom. 10:17) the word of God to have a deep abiding faith (Heb. 11:6) that leads them to repent (a change of attitude (heart) and action of life, Acts 17:30). That being done, they must then confess (Rom. 10:10) they believe in Jesus as the Son of God and be baptized (immersed, Acts 2:38) into water for the forgiveness of their sins. As these five things are completed in baptism, the individual is raised up from the water to walk a newness of life (Rom. 6:4). How can one have a “newness of life” without being baptized? How can one be a “new creature” (2 Cor. 5:17) and “all things be new” without being baptized? He cannot! It is in water baptism he becomes a new person and not before! Water baptism puts one INTO Christ (Rom. 6:3; Gal. 3:27).

Salvation is IN Christ (2 Tim. 2:10). How do we get INTO Christ? The Bible answer is by “water baptism.” The only two verses that state this are Romans 6:3 and Galatians 3:27. Both say one is baptized INTO Christ. No place else is such a statement found! Baptism is the culminating act that completes one’s obedience in the salvation of their soul. Are you now ready to obey today?
Please study these things and obey God’s will before it’s too late!

By Garland M. Robinson

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