Beginning with this article we will begin examining one of the most important questions you can ask? On many occasions this question was asked, though it might have been worded differently. Jesus was asked by the rich, young ruler, "Good teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" (Luke 18:18). On Pentecost, having been convicted of crucifying Jesus they asked, "Men and brethren, what shall we do?" (Acts 2:37). And as the Philippian Jailer stood before Paul and Silas after an earthquake shook open the doors of the prison where they were, the jailer asked, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" (Acts 16:30). Simply stated, for one to be saved he must hear the word of God, believe it and in Jesus, repent of his sins, confess Jesus Christ, and be baptized for the remission of his sins. This and the following articles will detail each of these steps.

One cannot be saved unless he hears the word of God. Romans 10:17 tells us, "So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." Paul praised the church at Thessalonica, "...because you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also works effectively in you who believe." (1 Thessalonians 2:13). James wrote, "...receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls." (James 1:21). These and other passages show the importance of hearing Godís word in order to be saved. And such is only logical. How can you know what to do in any situation if you do not somehow hear those instructions?

But the question is asked, how does one hear the truth? The answer is someone tells it to you. While that sounds simple, some teach that hearing requires more than that. Some teach that you cannot understand Godís word without God miraculously helping you. Others believe we must wait for the Holy Spirit to directly tell us what to do to be saved and that we are saved. But examples of such are not found in the Bible. In Romans 10:14, Paul is speaking about salvation (calling on the name of the Lord - 10:9-13 - more on this in another lesson). He says, "How shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?..." Thus Paul mentions that we learn the truth through hearing it from a man. There is not a single example in the scriptures of anyone being saved without hearing what he needed to do from a man or reading it in Godís word.

Some refer to the conversion of Saul (Paul) in Acts 9, where the Lord spoke directly to him on the road to Damascus. But consider that the Lord told him, "...Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do." (Acts 9:6). Later in his ministry, as Paul recounted this event, he spoke of Ananias coming to him and saying, "And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord." (Acts 22:16). Thus Paul was told by Ananias what he needed to do. The example of Cornelius is also mentioned. In Ac. 10 we do find that he saw a vision of an angel of God coming to him (Acts 10:3). But note that in verses 5 & 6 Cornelius was told to send for Peter who, "...will tell you what you what you must do". A little later, when Peter was recalling this event, he said the angel said to send for him, "...who will tell you words by which you and all your household will be saved." (Acts 11:14).

Thus we can see that the first thing one must do to be saved is to hear the gospel. What about you, are you willing to hear Godís Word? How can we help you better understand what God would have you to do? Just let us know?





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