So just what is it that you, personally, need to
do if you have come to see that you are, indeed, a sinner in
need of a Savior? How can you personally obtain this
reconciliation with God, His blessings in your daily life
now, and assurance of eternal life in His Family?
Well, there are several things you don't
need to do!
You don't need to spend months or years
trying to personally "change yourself" by working really
hard on your faults all under your own power. Some people
think that they need to do this to show God that they are
really, really sincere, before He will accept them as His
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and
this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by
works, so that no one can boast.
You don't need to spend months or years
reading the Bible from cover to cover first, to make sure
you understand every single detail of everything that might
be a "sin," before you can admit that you are a sinner.
You don't have to commit to membership in
some particular church denomination that has a detailed list
of their own of everything you must do before "qualifying"
for salvation, and try to live up to what is on that list.
You don't have to reach a certain age that is
considered "adulthood," such as 18 or 21, to be sure you are
mature enough to understand the serious nature of sin and
the need for salvation. If you can read this article and
understand it, you are "old enough."
Then what do you need to do?
Face the reality which most people avoid: That
the fate of all mankind is permanent death,
unless Someone outside our world intervenes and saves us.
Understand what you need saving FROM, and what
you can be saved TO:
FROM the fate of oblivion--which would mean that all of
the striving after accomplishment, and the suffering of this
life, was ultimately all for nothing
TO not just “eternal retirement” in a heavenly Old Folks’
Home, but a full life for all eternity, as a part of God’s
Family, unlike anything imaginable now:
1 Corinthians 2:9
No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what
God has prepared for those who love him.
And, in this life now, TO release from fear of the future,
help through the trials of life, and blessings in every facet of
life, e.g., healthier family relationships, empowerment to
use all your talents and gifts, etc.
Understand and admit that YOU, PERSONALLY are
your way ultimately to that permanent death—and in need of a
Find out how and through whom salvation is
God is your creator, and as such, He has the answers to your
problems in this life, and to your ultimate fate.
The only one qualified to pay the penalty for your sins for you
is one who was completely sinless—Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
Salvation is a gift from God, and it is His earnest desire that
all men and women receive it.
Jesus Christ has made the opportunity for salvation possible for
every human who believes.
If you have reached this point in your life, and
are convinced it is time for you to take that Biggest Step that
you will ever take, you are ready to:
Understand and meet the simple prerequisites
to being eligible to receive that salvation:
faith in God, repentance, and acceptance of Jesus
as not just your Savior, but also as your Lord.
Humbly request that salvation—
sincerely and wholeheartedly reaching back to the One who is
reaching out to you.
Once you have taken that Biggest Step by meeting
those simple prerequisites, it will be time to:
Fully appreciate and nurture salvation
once you have received it.
After you have taken that Biggest Step, repenting
and putting your trust in Jesus, and humbly requesting
salvation, what can you expect? Just what is it that you need to
“fully appreciate,” other than a promise of the resurrection
some day? And how do you “nurture salvation”?
For most people, death is a long way off—at least
in their own minds and emotions—and the promise of eternity is
often not an incentive enough to make serious decisions
affecting the present.
A short time after He was crucified, resurrected,
and went back to Heaven, Jesus' followers received an amazing
22-24, 29-33, 36-39
When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one
place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came
from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting.
They saw what
seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on
each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and
began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled
Now there were
staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under
heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in
bewilderment, because each one heard them speaking in his own
language. ... [Peter addressed the
crowd, saying,] "...this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:
'In the last days, God says,
I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
your young men will see visions,
your old men will dream dreams.
Even on my servants, both men and women,
I will pour out my Spirit in those days,
and they will prophesy.'"
Israel, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited
by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did
among you through him, as you yourselves know. This man was
handed over to you by God's set purpose and foreknowledge; and
you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by
nailing him to the cross. But God raised him from the dead,
freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible
for death to keep its hold on him.
can tell you confidently that the patriarch David died and was
buried, and his tomb is here to this day. But he was a prophet
and knew that God had promised him on oath that he would place
one of his descendants on his throne. Seeing what was ahead, he
spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not
abandoned to the grave, nor did his body see decay. God has
raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of the fact.
Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the
Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now
see and hear. ...
all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you
crucified, both Lord and Christ."
When the people
heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the
other apostles, "Brothers, what shall we do?"
Peter emphasized to the crowd that they had been
responsible for the death of Jesus. In one way, you might say
that we all were responsible for Jesus' death. No, we didn't put
the nails in His hands, and we weren't in the crowd screaming
"Crucify him!" But our personal sins are part what made His
death as the ultimate sacrificial Lamb without blemish
necessary. So Peter's answer to those people is the same answer
he would give to us today.
"Repent and be baptized, 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. The promise is for you and
your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the
Lord our God will call."
What did Peter mean by the promise of the "gift of the Holy
Just before His crucifixion, at His last supper
with his disciples, Jesus said this:
I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do
what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than
these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever
you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the
Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do
it. If you love me, you will obey what I command. And I will
ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be
with you forever—the Spirit of truth. The world cannot
accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you
know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I
will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.
John 16:7, 12-15
But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going
away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but
if I go, I will send him to you. ...I have much more to say to
you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of
truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will
not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he
will tell you what is yet to come. He will bring glory to me by
taking from what is mine and making it known to you. All that
belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit
will take from what is mine and make it known to you.
The word "Counselor" in this passage (KJV:
"Comforter") translates the Greek word Parakletos, which
implies a comforter, a consoler, an advocate, and an
intercessor. Up until this time, Jesus had been with His
disciples in person, teaching, exhorting, and comforting them,
and leading them to understand truth. Now He is promising
them—and "anyone who has faith" in Him down through history—that
He will be "with" them even after He returns to Heaven, through
the presence of the Holy Spirit. Peter explained to the crowd in
Acts 2 that if they "repent and be baptized," they too will
receive the gift of the presence of that Holy Spirit.
In addition to the role of Counselor, the Bible
speaks of another aspect of the gift of the Holy Spirit. Paul
Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He
anointed us, set his seal of ownership
on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit [KJV
"earnest"], guaranteeing what is to come.
And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of
truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were
marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a
deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of
those who are God's possession [KJV: Which is the earnest of
our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased
possession—to the praise of his glory.]
If you arrange through a realtor to buy a house
from a homeowner, you will often be asked to pay "earnest money"
to the homeowner until the actual signing of the deed and
transfer of ownership. This is a "deposit" or a "down payment"
that shows that you are making a "good faith," sincere,
"earnest" offer to buy the house, and fully intend to go through
with the purchase, paying the full amount required. Without this
earnest money, the homeowner might be concerned that, if he
takes the house off the market and you fail to go through with
your offer, he may lose other, more legitimate offers during the
time period when he thought you were going to buy it.
So in these passages, the Bible is indicating
that God will send the gift of the Holy Spirit as an assurance
to you that you will, indeed, be ultimately inheriting eternal
At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and
enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in
malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when
the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, 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, whom he poured out on us generously through
Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his
grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.
The Holy Spirit is said to be your Comforter and Guide, and the
presence of the Holy Spirit is said to be a deposit giving you
assurance of your standing as an heir of God. But the Holy
Spirit cannot be seen with human eyes. So how do you know the
Holy Spirit is present in your life?
At His last supper, Jesus also had this to say:
John 15: 5-9
I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and
I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do
nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch
that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up,
thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my
words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given
you. This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit,
showing yourselves to be my disciples.
So what is it that will cause you to "bear fruit"
if you remain connected to Jesus?
So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify
the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires
what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary
to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so
that you do not do what you want. But if you are led by the
Spirit, you are not under law.
The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality,
impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred,
discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions,
factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn
you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not
inherit the kingdom of God.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience,
kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to
Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions
and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let
us keep in step with the Spirit.
In other words, you know that the Holy Spirit is
present in your life when you find that there are continually
positive changes in your life as you seek to be led by God, and
you are bearing the kind of fruit described!
Nurturing Salvation Day by Day
A believer doesn't just sit around waiting for Eternity! There
is an exciting, fulfilling life for each Christian planned by
God for this lifetime also. And there is a way of living that
will bring the best results in all aspects of life, from family
relationships to the workplace, recreation, and friendships. You
can find out more about that way of living in the written Word
of God, the Bible. Studying and applying the principles and
admonitions in the Bible to your own life, and following the
lead of the Holy Spirit, will provide the answers you are
seeking to bring the most meaning to your living.
The Apostle Paul wrote advice to a young minister named Timothy
in the first century that still holds true in the 21st
2 Timothy 3:14-17
But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have
become convinced of, because you know those from whom you
learned it, and how from infancy you have known the holy
Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation
through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and
is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in
righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped
for every good work.
The End—and the Beginning
When the famous ship Titanic sank in the waters
of the North Atlantic on a dark night in April 1912, it was a
great tragedy for hundreds of families whose loved ones were
lost at sea. But there was no doubt great rejoicing in many
homes when so many other families learned that their
loved ones had been among those rescued from perishing.
The Bible says there is another great cause for
rejoicing that has happened all down through history from the
first century to the 21st century, and it's not just
in earthly homes.
... there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God
[in Heaven] over one sinner who repents.
Whenever a sinner takes that Biggest Step and
truly repents, turning wholeheartedly to Jesus as his Savior,
his Rescuer, his Lifesaver, that means that he has been rescued
not just for the rest of his natural lifetime, but for eternity!
All of those Titanic survivors were eventually mourned by their
families, when they finally died a natural death. For all
physical human beings eventually die from old age, disease, or
injury, even if they have been rescued from an untimely death
once—or even a dozen times—in their lifetime. But the rejoicing
in heaven over each sinner that repents is a rejoicing that will
never need to stop.
What about you? Are you ready for that Biggest
Step? Have you come to realize that you are one of those sinners
who need to repent? Have you come to believe that God really
does want you to be saved, and has provided the way to that
salvation through the blood of His Son, Jesus? And have you
chosen to repent of your sins and look to Jesus as your Savior
and Lord? If so, what should you do next?
You don't need to first look for a church
organization to join. And you don't need to find a big
evangelistic crusade meeting headed by a famous televangelist so
he can somehow help you get to God. God is as close as a prayer
away, and is just waiting for you to tell Him about your
decision, and ask for His salvation.
After you do that, you should ask Him to guide
you through the Holy Spirit to where you can find fellowship
with spiritually mature Christians who can help you grow. For
now, that may be with a large group that meets in a big
building, or with a handful of people who meet in someone's
living room. God knows where you can best be nurtured in His way
of life at this time.
And you'll want to arrange to be baptized, as an
outward sign of the inward commitment that you have made.
From then on, you need to look to God to guide
all your future steps, both small and great, on your path
to eternity with Him.
If you want to learn more about baptism, or about
other aspects of the topic of salvation, click on the
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the other articles in the Steps to Salvation series.
otherwise noted, all Biblical quotations in this article are
from THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION (NIV).
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society.
Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights