The short and very sufficient answer to “How can I be saved?” is this: Put your faith in Jesus Christ. If you remember nothing else, remember that salvation comes through faith in Jesus Christ alone.
What Is The Gospel?
God saves people through the gospel. The word “gospel” means “good news.” But what is this good news exactly, and how can this good news save you and give you a new life? 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 is perhaps the best place to look when seeking to understand what the gospel really is and means:
Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, 2 and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.
3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures….”
Here we can see that people are saved by the gospel (1 Corinthians 15:1-2) when they truly believe its claims (1 Corinthians 15:2), which are that Jesus died for our sins, was buried, then rose from the grave on third day, and all of this was in accordance with Scriptures (1 Corinthians 15:3-4).
Realize You Are A Sinner And The Punishment Of Sin Is Death
To be saved by Jesus, you have to first admit you need to be saved. But saved from what? Sin. What is sin? Sin is our willful disobedience towards God. Romans 3:23 states, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Every single human who has every walked this planet, including you and me, have sinned against God.
The Bible says that because we have sinned we cannot have fellowship with God and we will eventually reap what we sow if we do not turn to Jesus. Romans 6:23 explains, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Sin causes spiritual, emotional, relational, economic, social, environmental, and even physical death. Everything bad and evil is because the human race has fallen and we now live in a broken world.
Sin has separated us from God. But God loves us so much, he made a way for our relationship with him to be completely restored. Jesus is the way, for he said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).
Jesus took the death we deserved. He took our place so we could escape the punishment that belonged to us.
Put Your Faith In Jesus, Confess, and Repent Of Sin To Be Saved
Although the wages of sin is death, God offers us all the free gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. None of deserve this gift, but God offers it to us because he loves us, “but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
But how do we receive this gift? The Bible says that although Jesus paid for your sins, you still must put your faith in Jesus to receive his grace. If you choose not to believe in Jesus, you cannot receive God’s gift of salvation through Jesus Christ.
There are at least three main ingredients in someone ready to receive salvation from God.
The first is faith in Jesus: “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9). Putting your faith in Jesus means you believe he died on the cross for your sins, he rose from the grave, and you now know you can never save yourself through works but only through believing in Jesus.
The second is confessing your sins: “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:8-9). To be forgiven by God, all we need to do is confess our sins and he will wipe us clean with the blood of Jesus.
The third is repentance of your sin:“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” (Acts 2:38). Repentance is the next step after confession. Confessing is asking forgiveness. Repentance is about turning your life away from sin and running back to God. Repentance is about living for God. Being baptized is an act of repentance and obedience to God. You are saved by grace, through faith, and for good works done unto God.
What Happens After You Put Your Faith In Jesus Christ?
After you put your faith in Jesus Christ and he saves you, you will now go to heaven when you die. The mistake, however, would be to assume this is the only change that has now happened to you.
Many things happen to you at the moment of your conversion, even if you don’t feel them or sense any change. According to Scripture, as soon as you put your faith in Jesus:
- The Holy Spirit enters into you (Ephesians 1:13). The Holy Spirit will now give you a conviction of sin (John 16:8), he will open your eyes to God’s truth, especially in the Bible (1 Corinthians 2:12-14), and he will help you produce the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:16-26). The Holy Spirit changes you in many ways.
- You will be transformed into a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). This means that your sinful nature will still remain in your body, but now you have a new nature too. The real you is the new nature you have received in Christ (Romans 7:14-25). You have a new identity now in Christ.
- You are completely justified in the eyes of God. This means that when God looks at you now, he sees the perfections of Christ. You are totally pure in his sight. Although you will feel a conviction when you sin, you should never feel condemned ever again (Romans 8:1). But you are also now in the process of sanctification. The rest of your life, God will be training you to live holier and holier as you mature in his truth. You will never be sinless until heaven, but as Christians we should now be sinning less and less as we mature throughout our lives. We all will have seasons of backsliding, but we will also always confess and repent. If we do not repent of our known sins, it means we are not really a true Christian.
- After you put your faith in Jesus, this should be followed by a water baptism. Water baptism is simply a symbolic act where you demonstrate to the world that God has brought you out of death and into life through Jesus. Going under the water represents how your old man died with Christ, and coming out of the water represents how you have been raised to new life in Christ. We are baptized in the Spirit once at the moment of our conversion. Therefore you should only be water baptized once to symbolize your spiritual baptism. (Acts 2:38, Romans 6:4)
Are You Ready To Be Saved By Jesus Christ?
If you are ready to be saved, then put your faith in Jesus, ask God to forgive you of your sins, repent by turning from your old life, and now seek to live for God in obedience to him. There is a lot more to learn, but your journey with God begins here.
There’s no magical prayer that will save you, but praying these words are a way of doing what we’ve talked about in this article. Pray this prayer in faith if you want to become a Christian, be saved from sin, and have a personal relationship with God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit):
I believe Jesus Christ came to earth, died on the cross for my sins, and rose from the grave. I put my faith in Jesus. I confess all my sins to you and ask for your forgiveness. And I pray that you would help me to repent of my old life. Help me to follow you now. Thank you for saving me. In Jesus name, Amen.
If you’ve just now become a Christian, please email me and let me know (firstname.lastname@example.org). I would love to celebrate with you and send you some helpful resources!