Summary: What to believe about Jesus for salvation, versus a wrong kind of belief. What we are saved from, and what we are saved to.
WHAT MUST WE DO TO BE SAVED?
The Apostle Paul and his companion Silas had responded to the call of God to take the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ to Macedonia. The first recorded convert to Christianity in Europe was a woman named Lydia, whose heart the Lord opened to give heed to what was said by Paul (Acts 16:14). How important it is for us to make a positive response to the Gospel!
However, after their initial success the devil raised up opposition, and Paul and Silas were wrongfully imprisoned. At midnight they prayed and sang praises to God, in keeping with Paul’s own teaching: “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say Rejoice” (Philippians 4:4). The other prisoners listened.
Suddenly, there was an earth tremor, and the doors of the prison flew open. Their chains came lose, and the prisoners might have all walked free, but they did not. God the Holy Spirit restrained them from taking this opportunity to escape: He had a much more important work to do, right there in the prison!
You can imagine the fear of the jailer when he awoke finding that the doors were open, and thinking that the prisoners had all fled. Rather than face his superiors, he drew his sword and was on the verge of taking his life - a thing a person should never do - when Paul called out, “Do not harm yourself, for we are all here” (Acts 16:28).
The jailer called for lights, and rushed in, trembling, falling at the feet of his Christian prisoners. That man asked the question which countless millions have asked ever since:
1) “WHAT MUST I DO TO BE SAVED?” (Acts 16:30)
It is amazing that we all have an inbuilt need to find the true God, and to be at peace with Him. We were all created in the image of God, and for fellowship with God. The entrance of sin into the world marred that image, and broke that fellowship.
The Bible teaches that it is impossible for us to attain heaven by our own efforts. The beauty of Christianity is God coming down to us, redeeming us by the sacrifice of His own Son; repairing the broken fellowship, and restoring the shattered image.
Paul’s response to the jailer, and to all who want to know how to get right with God, is, “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 16:31). Paul and Silas spoke the word of the Lord to him, and to his household (Acts 16:32), and before the night was finished the jailer’s household were rejoicing that he had believed in God!
2) BELIEVE WHAT ABOUT HIM?
“If you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9).
Christianity’s mission is to tell people everywhere about Jesus, praying that the day will come when the whole Earth will be filled with the knowledge of the true and living God through His Son Jesus Christ. Those who believe are accepted into fellowship with the Church on the basis of a public acknowledgement of some basic truths about God’s Son: