How can I be saved?

“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31 NIV), the apostle Paul told his jailer. Paul was echoing Jesus’ own message, which he repeated many time to many different people during his ministry.

Jesus told Nicodemus: “God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). He said to Martha, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?” (John 11:40 NIV).

God’s work of salvation is already done and complete. The Bible describes Jesus as “the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world” (Revelation 13:8 NIV), and “God chose him [Jesus] as your ransom long before the world began…” (1 Peter 1:20 NLT). “But God demonstrates his own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

The plan to save you was made and enacted long before you were born.

The gospel tells you if you believe in Jesus, and for as long as you believe in Jesus, you are already saved. “And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. The one who has the Son has this eternal life; the one who does not have the Son of God does not have this eternal life” (1 John 5:11-12).

“…he saved us, not by works of righteousness that we have done, but on the basis of his mercy, through the washing of the new birth and the renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us in full measure through Jesus Christ our Saviour. And so, since we have been justified by his grace, we become heirs with the confident expectation of eternal life” (Titus 3:5-7 NET).

So the Bible makes it very clear that salvation is not a result of anything we do: it is possible because of what Jesus has done. There is only one way we can be saved: by accepting the gift that is offered to us by trusting in Jesus for it. This is called faith. Ephesians 2:8 tells us that we are saved by grace through faith, but that even that faith is a gift from God.

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