What must I do...?

Pastor Nixon delivered an awesome message today at the Collegedale Church. It is the first in a series on salvation. We watched as he eloquently unfolded to us the story of Paul and Silas singing hymns in the prison, and how the jailer was converted that night, along with his whole family. The jailer asked a question that each of us at some time has wanted to know: "What must I do to be saved?" The answer comes in the very next verse, as Paul and Silas replied, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved" (Acts 16:31). This is something that most of us have always been taught, and maybe we run the risk of knowing it with head knowledge, but never applying it to our lives. We know that salvation is not by works, but by faith, but we still sometimes feel that we must "live good lives" to really be worthy. Pastor Nixon related to us a little experiment he used to perform when he was teaching at Oakwood and CUC: he would ask his class how many of them were baptized, believing christians. Almost everyone would raise their hand. But then he would ask, "If you died tonight, how many of you believe you would be with Jesus at the resurrection?" Invariably, only two or three of the 25 or so students would tentatively raise their hands. The problem here is that too many of us, though we know the answer to the question the jailer asked, do not actually apply it. We do not have the assurance of salvation that comes from truly believing in Christ. Jesus said in John 5:24, "I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life." The operative there is not "might have", or "will have", or "has a good chance of having", but he "has eternal life." Here and now. All we have to do is believe. Jesus is everything we need, and He is the only path to salvation. I don't know about you, but sometimes I catch myself feeling unsure about whether or not I am saved. Now, I know that a life connected to Jesus will by default demonstrate his character - we will live a good life when He is living in us; I also know that awareness about one's condition is healthy, and to just blindly assume salvation without true belief is presumptuous, but we can have that assurance, if we can but believe in Him. The only thing left for me to do is cry out to Him. "Lord, I believe, help Thou mine unbelief!"


jonas said...


Paul said...

that last "If" is can be a really big one. Belief in Jesus causes us to act for Him. If we are not acting for Him, we need to double check our belief.

Of course, we can only believe by His power, but the asking is our responsibility.

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