Salvation is the most important matter in the Christian faith. If you want to know how to be saved according to Jesus, you’ve come to the right place.
If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: You must repent of your sins, believe in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, and dedicate your life to following Him.
In this comprehensive article, we will dive deep into what the Bible says about salvation and how you can be sure of your eternal destiny.
What Salvation Means
Forgiveness of Sins
Salvation begins with the forgiveness of sins. When someone repents and believes in Jesus Christ, their sins are washed away and forgiven. God no longer counts their sin against them (Psalm 103:12). This forgiveness comes through the atoning sacrifice of Jesus on the cross.
Jesus paid the penalty for our sins so that we could be set free (Romans 6:23). Forgiveness of sins is an incredible gift that we receive when we put our faith in Christ.
Reconciliation with God
Not only does salvation bring forgiveness of sins, but it also reconciles us to God. Sin had separated us from a holy God (Isaiah 59:2). But through Jesus’ sacrifice, the barrier between God and man has been removed.
When we repent and believe, we are brought near to God, into a relationship with Him (Ephesians 2:13). We become His children and He becomes our spiritual Father (John 1:12-13). This personal relationship with God is only possible through Christ’s redemptive work on the cross.
Forgiveness of sins and reconciliation with God open the door for us to receive the gift of eternal life. By putting our faith in Christ, we pass from death into life (John 5:24). Physical death is not the end.
Jesus promises that those who believe in Him will live forever with God in heaven (John 3:16). Salvation rescues us from the eternal punishment we deserve because of our sin. Instead, we gain the eternal life that Christ purchased for us.
Salvation offers the incredible hope of spending eternity with God in the perfection and joy of heaven.
Why We Need Salvation
We Are All Sinners
The Bible teaches that all human beings inherit a sinful nature from the fall of Adam and Eve (Romans 5:12). We have a natural tendency towards selfishness, pride, anger, lust and other sins that displease God. The prophet Isaiah states, “We all, like sheep, have gone astray” (Isaiah 53:6).
No one is exempt from sin – we all need forgiveness and salvation.
Sin Separates Us From God
Our Holy Creator cannot tolerate sin or have fellowship with sinners (Habakkuk 1:13). When we sin, we cut ourselves off from God’s presence and blessings. The consequence of sin is spiritual death (Romans 6:23) – eternal separation from our loving Father.
The Old Testament shows through events like the exile that sin creates a huge chasm between us and God. All religions acknowledge this moral gap humanity faces.
We Cannot Save Ourselves
Despite our best efforts, we cannot make ourselves righteous before God through religious rituals, moral living or penance. Prophet Isaiah said, “All our righteous acts are like filthy rags” before the perfection of God (Isaiah 64:6). Just one sin makes us a lawbreaker and the penalty must be paid.
Salvation depends fully on God’s mercy and grace to pardon our sins. We need a Savior to bridge the gap between us and God. Buddhism, Islam and other faiths also grapple with this human dilemma.
How to Be Saved According to Jesus
Jesus taught that repentance is the first step to salvation. To repent means to turn away from sin and turn towards God (Luke 13:3). True repentance involves godly sorrow over sin and a commitment to forsake it (2 Corinthians 7:10).
It means having a change of heart and mind that leads to a change in behavior and lifestyle. According to Jesus, unless one repents, they will perish (Luke 13:5). Repentance prepares the heart to receive God’s gift of salvation.
Faith in Christ
Jesus also emphasized that salvation comes through placing one’s faith in Him. He said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). To be saved, one must trust that Jesus’ sacrificial death on the cross paid the penalty for their sins, and His resurrection conquered death and achieved victory over sin.
According to Romans 10:9, “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Salvation comes by God’s grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone (Ephesians 2:8-9).
Jesus taught that truly receiving salvation must be evidenced by a transformed life characterized by following Him in obedience by the power of the Holy Spirit. He said, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me” (Luke 9:23).
This involves repenting from sinful lifestyle and embracing a new life patterned after Jesus’ teachings and example. According to Jesus, those who follow Him demonstrate genuine salvation by loving others (John 13:35), bearing spiritual fruit (Matthew 7:20), persevering through trials (Matthew 10:22), and defeating sin (John 8:31-36).
What Happens After Salvation
The Indwelling of the Holy Spirit
One of the most amazing things that happens after we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior is that God sends the Holy Spirit to dwell within us (John 14:17). The Bible tells us that our bodies become the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19).
This means that God’s very presence resides in every believer. What an awesome privilege!
The indwelling Holy Spirit acts as our Counselor, Helper, Comforter, and Advocate (John 14:16, 26). He guides us into truth (John 16:13) and convicts us of sin, enabling us to live righteously (John 16:8).
The Spirit also bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God (Romans 8:16) and will one day receive our full adoption into God’s family (Romans 8:23).
Membership in God’s Family
When we put our faith in Christ, we are adopted into God’s family as His children (Ephesians 1:5). We become heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17). This means we share in Jesus’ inheritance and have access to all spiritual blessings (Ephesians 1:3).
As God’s children, we can come boldly before Him and call Him “Abba, Father” (Romans 8:15). We are no longer slaves to sin but have become sons and daughters of the Most High God. He showers His love upon us and disciplines us as a Father who wants the very best for His kids (Hebrews 12:7-11).
We enjoy intimate fellowship with God through the indwelling Holy Spirit.
Certainty of Eternal Life
Perhaps the greatest blessing of salvation is the promise of eternal life. Jesus said, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish” (John 10:27-28). Once we accept Christ, we can be assured that our souls are secure for eternity.
Our inheritance in heaven is guaranteed and sealed by the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13-14).
What confidence this brings! We do not need to fear death anymore because our life is now hidden with Christ (Colossians 3:3). No one can snatch us out of God’s hand (John 10:28-29). When we die physically, our spirit goes to be with the Lord to await the future resurrection (2 Corinthians 5:8; 1 Thessalonians 4:14).
We can look forward to the promise of eternal life in paradise.
In closing, the way to salvation through Jesus Christ is clear in Scripture. By turning from sin, trusting in Christ’s atoning work on the cross, and committing to follow Him, you can be secure in your relationship with God now and for eternity. Don’t put off this most critical decision.
I encourage you to accept God’s gift of salvation through His Son Jesus today.