Summary: “What must I do to be saved?” This lesson examines three times in scripture where this question was asked and considers the answer given in each case.
"What Must I Do To Be Saved?"
Reading: Romans 10:1-10
Today’s lesson will consider the question, “What must I do to be saved?” We will examine three times in the scriptures where this question was asked and we will consider in each case the answer given to the question.
Before we get to the questions I’d like to share an illustration with you that I believe will help us in understanding our study today. This is the illustration of the Blind Men and the Elephant.
Most of us have heard this story in one version or another but it is the story of six blind men who try to learn about the elephant. Each one examines a different part of the elephant and each comes away with a different conclusion. One believes the elephant to be like a wall, having felt the broad side. Another believes the elephant to be a spear, having felt the tusk. The blind man feeling the trunk envisions a snake, the one feeling the leg believes the elephant to be like a tree. The fifth claims the elephant to be like a fan having felt the ear and the last claims the elephant to be like a rope having felt the tail. This story was the basis of a poem by John Saxe and one of the last stanzas provides us application to our lesson today:
And so these men of Indostan
Disputed loud and long,
Each in his own opinion
Exceeding stiff and strong,
Though each was partly in the right,
And all were in the wrong!
And with this illustration in mind let us consider the text we read this morning: Romans 10:1-10
1. For many this text is considered to contain the answer to our question “what must I do to be saved?” As they believe, according to this and other “proof” texts, all that is required is to believe. But this is taking the approach of the six blind men.
2. To arrive at the truth we cannot handle the scriptures as if there is only one verse or one section of verses in the Bible.
3. One must examine the totality of God’s word in order to see the whole elephant.
a. Psalm 119:160a “The sum of Your word is truth,”
b. Matthew 4:4b Jesus says, “It is written, ‘MAN SHALL NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE, BUT ON EVERY WORD THAT PROCEEDS OUT OF THE MOUTH OF GOD.’”
c. 2 Peter 3:16 Peter writes that there are some who mishandle the scriptures and distort them to their own destruction.
d. 2 Tim. 2:15 Paul told Timothy that we must “accurately handle” the word of truth.
One part is not enough to know the whole of the elephant; one part is not enough to know God’s plan of salvation. We need the whole picture to understand and to get it right. Those who use partial texts for “proof” are missing the whole picture and are in jeopardy of missing out on salvation. There is more even in the text we read earlier, turn back to Romans 10:11-14. In these verses we can see three elements of salvation, not just one; Hear, Believe, and Confess.
Let us examine now the scriptures where the question was asked “what must I do to be saved?” and consider the answers given beginning with:
I. THOSE ASSEMBLED ON THE DAY OF PENTECOST (Acts 2:37).