Are you wondering how to be saved, or questioning “How do I go to heaven?” The answers are clearly found within God’s Word. Sadly, many today aren’t teaching the full truth of what the Bible actually says. God loves you and wants you to be saved, more than you can ever know! 1 Timothy 2:4 says that God “desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
For several years I’ve wanted to publish a blog post outlining how to be saved according to God’s word. I wanted a clear, concise bible study in one simple place. Sadly, most of the top search results for “how to be saved” are filled with false teachings, and not outlining the full truth of what the Bible actually says about salvation.
As Christians, our aim is to take the word of God seriously and follow it as closely as possible — especially regarding how to be saved. The purpose of this post is to help people who are new to Christianity, or just want to learn more about God’s plan of salvation and what the bible actually says about it.
Recently, God placed a wonderful soul named Megan Marchesano in my path. She is an absolute inspiration, and her words on how to be saved could not be more clear or Scripture-filled. She has graciously allowed me to share this wisdom with you, and I pray you are blessed by it.
A little background: Megan suffers from a debilitating illness called Mast Cell Activation Syndrome which prevents her from eating. Each day, she has to give herself an IV bag of nutrients. Megan suffers more than most of us can ever imagine, yet she is filled with so much joy. (You can see a video about her story at the end of the post.)
She found the truth of the Gospel a few years ago at the beginning of her illness. Before this, she doubted God’s existence for a time, but now she spends every moment she can sharing the word of God. She uses her social media platforms to share bible studies, one of which I am publishing here.
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Many do not teach the full plan of salvation, as outlined in the Bible
I have learned so much since I started to truly read my Bible, and heartbreakingly there are many false churches and individuals who are like I was. They are sincerely misguided, and are not obeying Jesus or following his commandments.
God does expect for his followers to keep his commandments (John 14:15; 1 John 2:3-4), the greatest of these being to love him and to love others (Galatians 5:14; James 2:8). Those who do not keep his commandments and don’t love others do not know Jesus, according to the Bible (1 John 3:6; 1 John 4:8).
God is absolutely incredible, and he loves you so much. Please, read his word (the Holy Bible) and find out for yourself. This is how you will come to know him (Romans 10:17). I fell in love with God through reading his word, and it is the greatest love story ever penned.
The Bible Clearly Tells Us How to Be Saved
As you read, I think you will be surprised to see just how wrong the religious world can be, and sadly how many truly don’t know Jesus and are teaching and preaching error. The Bible warns about another Jesus and false teachers (2 Corinthians 11:4; Galatians 1:6-7; 2 Corinthians 11:13; 2 Peter 2; 1 John 4:1; Matthew 7:15).
In his warning, Jesus even goes as far as calling them ravenous wolves, and tells us that we will be able to know them by their fruit (their actions).
Furthermore, Jesus said that the path to eternal life is narrow, and very few would actually find it (Matthew 7:13-14). Jesus also said that on the very last day of this earth, when everything is destroyed, when he returns to judge the world righteously, and to take his followers with him for eternity… there will be MANY who have believed they were following him and heartbreakingly will be told to depart into everlasting fire because they did evil and never knew him (Matthew 7:21-23). They did not obey him and keep his commandments.
I would have been one of those people. So I write this to for a couple of reasons. Because 1) God loves you and wants for you to spend eternity with him. He gave you his word so that you could come to know him, and know how to be saved. 2) I love your soul, and I want for you to be saved too.
So, what does the Bible actually say about how to be saved? Let’s dive in!
Why do I need to be saved?
So here’s the deal… God is a righteous judge, and he will judge the whole world on the last day through his Son, Jesus Christ (Acts 17:31). Every person who has ever walked this earth will stand before God one day, and we will be judged according our actions, by the words that Jesus spoke and taught (2 Corinthians 5:11; John 12:48).
God has given us his law (his commandments). He has a standard that he expects us to live by, and we have all fallen short of this, and broken his law by our own choice and free will (Romans 3:23).
Moreover, our bodies are temporal and mortal, but our souls are eternal, and will live on forever after we die. Every soul that has ever existed will spend eternity in one of two places.
Those who have done evil will experience eternal punishment in the lake of fire and brimstone (Revelation 20:15), and those whom have done good will experience eternal life with Jesus in heaven (John 5:29).
Furthermore, God wants to have a relationship with us, but our sin separates us from God. The definition of sin, according to James 4:17 is: “So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.” And the penalty for our sin is death (Romans 6:23).
Since God is holy, righteous, and just, he cannot simply excuse sin. If he is a just judge, he has to punish us for breaking the law. What judge would be just if they let everyone who did evil go free, without punishment?
God is just, but he does not want to punish us for our rebellion (Romans 3:26). He desires to show mercy, and for us to know him (Hosea 6:6; Matthew 12:7). So he sent his Son, Jesus Christ, to redeem us and to pay the price for our sins so that we could be saved from its punishment!
Who is Jesus Christ?
Jesus Christ is God’s son. Although he is eternal and lived in heaven beforehand, Jesus willingly left the comforts of heaven and came down to earth. He took on a human body for our sakes (Philippians 2), lived a perfectly sinless life, experienced what we as humans go through, and then took the punishment for our sins by dying an excruciatingly painful death on the cross.
He died in our place. Then, he was raised from the dead on the third day, and ascended back to heaven. This is the Gospel (or good news)! Jesus is now currently sitting on the right hand of God the Father, reigning over his church (the body of saved believers), and waiting until the day when he will return for the judgment (Acts 2:30-35).
How can I be saved by God? What are the steps to be saved?
In order for us to receive forgiveness of our sins through Jesus, and therefore eternal life, we must accept the salvation which Christ has made possible. There are six steps which we must take to receive this salvation, as outlined in the Bible.
First, we must hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Bible teaches that “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God” (Romans 10:17). One is not a Christian because his parents are. Faith cannot be inherited (Ezekiel 18:20). Each person must believe in Jesus Christ for himself.
Christianity is based on solid teaching (Matthew 28:19-20). Unless one has heard the Gospel and learned that Jesus Christ died for his sins, was buried, and rose from the dead on the third day, he cannot be saved (1 Corinthians 15:1-4).
The apostle Paul wrote: “How then 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?”(Romans 10:14). One must first hear the Gospel before he can believe it.
Second, one must believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God (Matthew 16:16). Jesus said: “…if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins” (John 8:24).
The jailor at Philippi asked Paul and Silas, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They told him to “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household” (Acts 16:30-31). Jesus also said: “He who believes and is baptized will be saved, but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:16).
One comes to believe in Jesus Christ when he hears the Gospel taught. Faith comes only by hearing the Word of God (Romans 10:17). This is the reason it is so important that the Gospel be preached to the whole world (Mark 16:15).
Hebrews 11:6 also tells us we cannot please God without belief. “And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.”
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Third, one must repent of his sins in order to be saved (Acts 17:30-31). Jesus commanded that “repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem” (Luke 24:47). Repentance is a result of being sorry for one’s sins (2 Corinthians 7:10).
When the Jews on Pentecost Day learned from Peter that they had crucified the Son of God, they “were cut to the heart” (Acts 2:37). They wanted to be forgiven of their sins, so they asked, “What shall we do?” They were told to “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins…” (Acts 2:37-38).
When one repents, he turns away from his sins (1 Thessalonians 1:9). He shows he has repented by doing good works (Matthew 3:8).
Fourth, one must confess that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God (Matthew 16:16). This great truth is the very foundation upon which the church of Christ is built (Matthew 16:18; Acts 4:11-12; 1 Corinthians 3:11).
Jesus said that we must be willing to confess Him before men if we want Him to confess us before the Father (Matthew 10:32-33). The apostle Paul wrote: “But what does it say? ‘The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart’ (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (Romans 10:8-10).
When Philip preached Jesus to the Ethiopian eunuch, the eunuch asked, “What hinders me from being baptized?” Philip told him he could be baptized if he believed. The eunuch then confessed, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God” (Acts 8:35-38). We must make this important, yet simple confession also in order to be saved.
5. Be Baptized
Fifth, one must be baptized in order to be saved. Jesus said: “He who believes and is baptized will be saved” (Mark 16:16). Please note that baptism follows belief. One who does not believe the Gospel cannot be truly baptized.
Therefore, babies cannot be baptized for they are too young to (1) have sin, (2) hear the Gospel, (3) repent of sins, and (4) confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
Baptism also follows repentance. On Pentecost Day, Peter told those who asked what to do to be saved to “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized…” (Acts 2:38). One cannot be truly baptized who has not truly repented.
Baptism is a burial in water (Romans 6:3,4; Colossians 2:12). The original Greek word means “to immerse” — or completely submerge under water. It is a picture of the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. Therefore, sprinkling and pouring are not proper baptism.
Baptism is done in order to be saved, according to God’s Word (Mark 16:16; 1 Peter 3:21). One is not saved before he is baptized, as many denominations teach.
Look at Acts 22:16, in which Saul desires to become a Christian. He is instructed: “And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptized and wash away your sins [emphasis added], calling on his name.” Saul was clearly told to have his sins washed away through baptism, and it is “for the remission (forgiveness) of sins” (Acts 2:38).
Just as Jesus shed His blood for the remission of sins (Matthew 26:28), so we are baptized in order to receive the remission of sins. In baptism, the sinner’s sins are washed away by the blood of Jesus (Acts 22:16).
When a person completes each of the steps listed above, he/she is added by the Lord to His church (Acts 2:41, 47). He is born again (John 3:3-5; 2 Corinthians 5:17). He is in Christ where all spiritual blessings are to be found. (Ephesians 1:3; Galatians 3:26,27).
In short, he is a Christian (Acts 11:26; Acts 26:28; 1 Peter 4:16)!
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6. Remain faithful to God
The Bible makes it clear that anyone who is willing to come to Christ and humbly submit himself to His terms and commandments can and will be saved. However, there is more to becoming a Christian than just being saved.
A person must continue to grow as a Christian, (2 Peter 3:16-18), obey Jesus (Hebrews 5:9), abide in his teachings and keep his commandments (John 15:6; 2 John 1:9; Matthew 7:21-27).
It’s essential to remain faithful to God all the days of your life. Revelation 2:10 says, “Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life.”
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What is the sinner’s prayer?
Many denominations teach people to say a “sinner’s prayer” in order to be saved. Just check the out the search results for the query “How to be saved” — almost every article on the first page includes this well known prayer.
Would you be surprised to know that this prayer is not found anywhere in the bible? Really! Check for yourself! The “sinner’s prayer” is a man-made idea.
Since it is not biblical, saying a sinner’s prayer because a religious leader instructed you to, (and thinking you are saved) is huge mistake.
Instead, read the Bible for yourself and see what it says about God’s plan of salvation. If you read through the book of Acts in particular, you will see many accounts of people who are converted to Christianity.
There is not a single example of someone saying a “sinner’s prayer.” Instead, each person repents of their sins and is baptized for forgiveness in the name of Jesus.
To study with someone in-depth on the plan of salvation, you can sign up for a free online bible study course at World Bible School. Or, reach out to me at [email protected] — I’m thrilled to study with you!
And, here’s a fantastic video which explains more about the false teaching of the sinner’s prayer.
I want to thank Megan again for allowing me to share her words here. If you want to learn more about her story, watch the video from Gospel Broadcasting Network below.
Are you saved and going to heaven someday? If not, will you contact me at [email protected] so I can study with you?
Jesus is absolutely “the way, the truth, and the life”, and it is absolutely “by grace, through faith…and not by works, that no one may boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9) that we are saved. I’m curious about your point that children are born without sin (under point #5, Baptism)…How do you reconcile this with the numerous passages in both testaments that describe all mankind as fallen and that we have a predisposition to sin (e.g., Psalm 51, Proverbs 22, and Ephesians 2)?
Don’t get me wrong here: kids deserve as much love and instruction as we can give, but the way it seems to read in Scripture, that doesn’t make them innocent. It just seems that, if sin is in complete opposition to God, then a child without sin would have no reason to go against God, and therefore wouldn’t need to be saved. If that were true, then Paul’s words in Romans 3:21-31 would be wrong, right?
Just trying to understand. Please forgive me if any of this comes off as abrasive. Thank you for your discourse and wholesome content.
Soli Deo Gloria.
I agree with Adam. Love the blog, sounds like you have a heart for the Lord, but babies are born with a sin nature.
Thanks for commenting Kristi. I humbly ask, where do you find that in Scripture?
Bill Lee says
Mary, I read you article and, first, I would like to say how pleased and totally shocked I was that you included baptism as part of what I refer to as ‘initial justification’. I’ve read and listened to countless Protestants (I’m assuming you are Protestant 🙂 and you’re the first one to teach what the Bible teaches that baptism is necessary for salvation.
This belief was taught by the Catholic church from the beginning and the teaching was retained by the Eastern Orthodox Churches after they split from the Catholic Church in 1054. Even Luther and Calvin taught baptism was necessary for salvation. My research indicates the Switzerland theologian Ulrich Zwingli, a contemporary of Luther, is the person responsible for passing on the teaching that baptism was merely symbolic and not necessary for salvation.
You’re also the first (I’m assuming again Protestant:) who correctly ties Jesus’ words to Nicodemus…you must be ‘born again’ or ‘born of water and spirit’ …to baptism.
The phrase ‘born again’ underwent an evolution and re-difinition from the Puritans through the Great Awakenings to eventually mean a one-time decision and spiritual conversion that the saved personally proclaimed typically reciting the sinner’s prayer at the altar call. Men like Edwards, Finney, Moody, Graham, Bright and others helped develop these teachings and traditions.
Pertaining to infant baptism, I take issue with your conclusions based on Scripture and early church teachings. The reason many deny infant baptism is due to the fact that the first Christians were all adults gathering around the Apostles to hear the Gospel. What you don’t consider is 1) we can safely assume many of the adult women brought their children and infants and 2) there is more than one passage that mentions that salvation through belief, repentance and baptism is a promise that is for you and your CHILDREN and that WHOLE HOUSEHOLDS were baptised.
Early church writings indicate that the only debate was whether to baptize infants at birth or on the 8th day in fulfillment of the OT 8th day circumcision since baptism took the place of OT circumcision.
In the attached infant baptism article, Irenaeus of Lyon is mentioned first. His writings are circa 180 AD. He heard the preaching of Polycarp who was himself a disciple of the Apostle John. Both these men were martyred by the Romans for refusing to deny Christ.
“The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not bear the guilt of the father, nor the father bear the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.”
Ezekiel 18:20 NKJV
In regard to Romans 3, verses 13-15 clearly do not apply to babies because it says their mouths are full of deceipt, cursing and they shed blood. A baby can do none of that.
Jesus tells us to be like little children so if they are full of sin, they couldn’t enter heaven.
“and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.”
Matthew 18:3 NKJV
Hope this is helpful!
Stephanie this comment is spot on! Thank you!!
Rena Stamps says
Thank you for the outline on “How to be Saved”. I know someone I’m sending your web site to. Even-though, she is no longer corresponding with me, I’ll never stop trying to break down her wall. I think one of the hardest individuals to reach out to are the ones that have never been to church or never heard anyone speak of Jesus. It’s like Bro Rob said this past weekend, we have so many lost souls here in the United States that need to hear the true gospel .
Thanks for this article.
Thanks that’s simple truth for plain people
Richard Harp says
Adam thank you so much for your response. Your manner and approach can be defined as precious. Meek. Mild. I am very humbled by your ability to do so. So this alone is a win and God is glorified.
This is a challenging topic to be sure. I am also sure there is a better place to begin than where I choose, but my first thought is where sin is defined in
“ to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.”
Does an infant know to do good? Does an infant know to do evil? They have done no evil, therefore, to them it cannot be sin based on James 4:17. Romans 3:23 that you cited “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”
all who have sinned fall short. Have infants actively sinned? If so, When did they do this?
Psalm 51 that you cited was the Psalm David wrote following his evil sin with Bathsheba. David chose this as an adult.
You cited Proverbs 22 and all these are powerful passages. Verse 6 says to “train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart.” When can you train a child? An infant cannot be trained in the way he should go until verbal communication takes place. When he is old indicates the ability to stay or depart. Not when he/she has not begun the training process.
I am sure there is more to be discussed and I thank you so much again for reaching out. God bless you
Mary, thank you. I pray God will bless your efforts to share the truth.
Very Well written! A simple very comprehensive guide on how to get saved!
I am curious how the thief on the cross would have been able to enter the
Kingdom of heaven that day as Jesus said he would, since he had not been baptized? So then, either Jesus was wrong, or you are wrong to teach that a person must be baptized to be saved. Which do you suppose it is?
This is a great question Heidi, thank you for asking! The thief was not subject to the New Testament command to be baptized into Jesus’ death (Romans 6:3-4). In the same way, Moses, Abraham, and David were not under this command since they lived before it was implemented. They all lived before the cross under a different law code. They could not have been baptized into Jesus death, because he had not yet died!
The beginning of the church of Christ and Christianity did not happen until after Christ’s death, on A.D. 30 in Jerusalem (Acts 2). An accurate look at the biblical data forces us to conclude that the thief on the cross is not an example for how people are to be saved on this side of the cross. Using this as an example also forces us to ignore the many other passages of Scripture which confirm the need to be baptized for remission of sins. Thanks again, and please reach out with any more questions you have.
Thad Fister says
Jesus said. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved. He did not say, He that believeth and is saved shall be baptized.
The Bible says that the Lord will have mercy on whom he will have mercy. The New Testament Covenant did not start until Jesus died.
“For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth.”
Hebrews 9:16-17 KJV
Yes, today a person has to be baptized to be saved according the all the accounts in the book of acts. Acts chapter 2, 8,10 Peter commanded Cornelius and friends and family to be baptized. Ananias told Paul to arise and be baptized and wash your way your sins.
“And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.”
Acts 22:16 KJV
How can a person be saved if his sins are not washed away.
Barry Newburg says
When Jesus said the repentant thief would dwell with him in heaven, He, Jesus was speaking as Lord and He, Jesus could do anything He wanted including calling ten thousand angels to rescue him. Never forget who died for you on the cross. My God can do anything.
Jeff Thoele says
Augustine is acknowledged as the key exponent of the Western doctrine of original sin, building on foundations laid in the early church, and the doctrine assumed particular importance within Augustine’s own thought. It has been said of Augustine that ‘his approach to solving the problem of evil shaped his whole theological vision’. Initially, this was in response to his past in Manichaeism, which ‘has a dualist worldview that maintains that good and evil are two equally fundamental realities in eternal opposition’. It is within this context that his doctrine of original sin is best located. The doctrine of original sin has two aspects. First, it describes the origin of sin in the disobedience of Adam: the ‘originating original sin’ (peccatum originale originans). Second, it describes the sinful condition with which every human being is born: the ‘originated original sin’ (peccatum originale originatum). It thus has both an explanatory and a descriptive role. For Augustine, the explanatory role of original sin is particularly significant.
Augustine tends to speak simply of ‘original sin’, as something contracted from Adam, without making those distinctions. This concept of contracted sin introduced another problem. If all are born in sin, then Jesus was born in sin. To solve this problem the early church leaders developed the concept of Immaculate Conception. The doctrine where Jesus’s mother Mary, was born sinless and remained sinless.
Thad Foster says
Mary had to receive the promise of the Holy Ghost just like the rest of the120 on the day of Pentecost. Jesus was without sin. That is why his sacrifice was accepted.
“For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.”
Hebrews 4:15 KJV
Praying this will touch some soul today!! Thank you,Mary!!
Thad Foster says
I was impressed but when I did not read any mention of Jesus talking to Nicodemus regarding being born again of water and a Spirit. On the day of Pentecost acts 2:38 Peter reply repent and be baptized everyone of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. You may notice that Peter said to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins. Also in acts chapter 8 acts chapter 10 and acts chapter 19 we see that all the believers were baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. The Bible says there is salvation and no other name. Also everyone that received the Holy Spirit spoken tongues. Please take a close look at Acts 10 when Peter went down to Cornelius‘s house which of course was the first Gentile with family and friends. They received the Holy Ghost the same way that the 120 did on he day of Pentecost. How did Peter and those that accompanied Him know (for they heard them speak with tongues) Acts 10:45-46. It is the initial sign that one has received the Holy Ghost. Acts 2,8,10, and 19 bare this out.
Please look at Acts 8 when Phillip went down to Samaria the people believed were baptized and had great joy. This did not mean that they had received the Holy Ghost. If you will notice in v. 17 when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God they sent Peter and John down to them and they lay their hands on them and they receive the Holy Ghost. You might also notice the story of Simon the sorcerer. He offered the disciples money for them to give him powered that on him so ever he laid his hands they would receive the Holy Ghost. What do you think he saw? Undoubtably he saw the recipients speaking and other tongues when they received the Holy Ghost. He did not see them raise their hands and say I except Jesus as my personal savior that’s for sure.
Also Acts chapter 19 verse one Paul went down to Ephesus found certain disciples and he said under them have you receive the Holy Ghost since you believed. Now these were disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ and they believed that Jesus was the Lord they were baptized under John‘s baptism but when Paul found that out he told them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. “And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.”
Acts 19:6 KJV
We have to repent, be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. What is a Ghost? It is a spirit of a departed one. Christ and you I hope of glory.
Oh one more thing. Please google – Was the baptismal formula ever changed?
The Catholic Church admits that the formula of baptism was changed from the name of Jesus Christ to the titles father son and Holy Ghost and the second century. No other name given under heaven whereby we shall be saved. Jesus said you should be hated by all nations for my NAMES Sake
Thank you so much for your comment. This is very informative. I am so thankful for your in-depth look at the conversions in the book of acts. It is these examples that give us an understanding of the first century Church! The same Church we must preserve now! God be praised!
As kindly as I can ask. Have you ever wondered why the Apostles including Paul baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ and not the titles Father,Son, Holy Ghost ?
“Beware of him, and obey his voice, provoke him not; for he will not pardon your transgressions: for my name is in him.”
Exodus 23:21 KJV
The name of the Father is Jesus
“I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.”
John 5:43 KJV
The name of the Son is Jesus
“And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.”
Luke 1:31 KJV
The name of the Holy Ghost is Jesus
“But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.”
John 14:26 KJV
Tradition tells us to be baptized in the titles nit scripture.
Mathew 28:19 was understood by the prince of the Apostles which spoke the first sermon on the day of Pentecost.
Without the name spoken there is no authority.
Look what the disciples said to Jesus after they returned.
“But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.”
John 14:26 KJV
Remember the man at the gate beautiful.
“Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.”
Acts 3:6 KJV
There are many churches that baptize in the Name of Jesus.
“Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.”
Jude 1:3 KJV
I would love to discuss this with you further if you would like to.
Bill Lee says
Thad, you stated “The Catholic Church admits that the formula of baptism was changed from the name of Jesus Christ to the titles father son and Holy Ghost and the second century.”
However, Scripture reveals something you did not consider.
“Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. ”
The church fathers all agree that Matthew was written in Palestine to the Jews in the Aramaic language which Jesus spoke and was written circa 50 AD and certainly before the destruction of the Temple in 70 AD by Rome.
I loved the passage but one thing that was left out was that we need to be born again through the Holy Spirit not just being Baptized. Baptized is good because it is identifying Jesus death,burial,and resurrection. But, once Jesus returns to the Father He will send us a comforter who will be in all of us simply because He can’t in whom can keep us on the right path. In John 3:1-8 There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:
2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.
3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?
5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit
The Holy Spirit is indeed a precious GIFT for all of us who believe! What an amazing comforter and helper.
I wish to be saved, but I am a child and my parents refuse to let me be baptized. Is there anything I can do? :/
Baptism does not save you
Agreed, baptism in itself does not save. Jesus blood saves. But the way we come into contact with that blood is through baptism of obedience (see the many Scriptures cited in the article above).
Bill Lee says
1 Peter 3:21
“and this water (Noah’s flood) symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ… ”
I suppose you could say the Christ’s blood is the principle way but the material way is through baptism. That’s the way Jesus set it up. Baptism is a sign that effects what it promises. Namely the washing away of sins.
Thad Foster says
Truly we are saved by grace but in the Bible there was always a response to faith.
Please read Acts 2, 8, 10, 19
Baptism is a central part of being saved.
Peter said to be baptized in the Name of Jesus for the remission of sins Acts 2:38
The apostle Paul was told to go to Ananias and he would tell him what he needed to do.
“And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.”
Acts 22:16 KJV
“For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: by which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:”
1 Peter 3:18-21 KJV
Hey I wed ssw as just reading this comment, as a teen girl. I believe in Jesus but am not part of. church yet,norhave been able to be baptized. I am praying that I might be soon. Question though. Because iam a tad worried. If I die today, wanting to be baptized but a not yet, if I’m not truly saved would I just go to hell just like that? Please help
I completely understand your concerns and that feeling is natural. I would encourage you to share this post with your parents and discuss it further. Any questions you have, we would be happy to assist you. Remember it is not a human being who can tell you what you must do for salvation, but what the Bible says. There also will be a church of Christ in your area where you can study this topic further. We will be praying for your study.
What church should I attend being so many?
Great question. Here is a great video on the topic. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TH79F0Hn56U
Personally, I have found the church of Christ to be very close to the Scriptures in everything they do.
There is nothing mentioned in these steps to express the importance of an actual relationship with Jesus?! This is what the religious leaders in Jesus day did! There were sets of rules to follow and they were superior and saved bc they felt they kept to the standard! But deep down the doer only operates on fear! Jesus stood right in front of them but they couldn’t see him for who he really is! True belief in someone and of their qualities and who they are requires having a relationship. They crossed ever t and dotted every i but refused to encourage the only thing that really matters! Only through relationship where you actively seek to spend time with someone and talk to them do you develop trust! In my personal testimony I followed all those steps but in my heart nothing happened! I was spiritually dead with no true anchor! It has only been through my personal relationship with Jesus that I have truly accepted him as my savior and loved him! I say the Lord constantly there for me, constantly moving in my life, constantly loving me even when I absolutely failed him by pushing him away and making huge mistakes and turning back to him many times and all those times he has been right there with open arms just like the prodigal sons father! Never did I truly believe in my heart until each time he was always there and no matter how many dumb things I do he is still there! It is in that I am filled with deep love for him and reverence and through that example he has taught me to love others which in the words of Christ himself is the most important and is what is needed to follow all other commitments and to truly believe in him! Without love you follow out of obedience bc of fear of eternal damnation. In every other road to salvation the believers never actually know or experience Jesus! They follow lists of rules and still feel empty at the end of each day!! Why?! Bc they don’t truly KNOW him! Truly there’s no depth there or genuine love! Here I am messy and so imperfect but I truly know the Lord! I know he’s gracious and merciful bc I’ve experienced him! Therefore You don’t have to be perfect and mark all the boxes and then go to him! You go to him in the middle of the good, bad, and ugly! I struggle with all sorts of things! Daily with depression, daily with pain, daily to keep it together and all of that makes me tired and makes me not care what I do or don’t do but HIM!! His devotion to me makes me want to be devoted to him! Do I fail? Yup!! But he doesn’t stop his love for me as a good father wouldn’t stop loving his child! He has taught me what true love and devotion look like! Right now I’m in a season of my life where I struggle with complete numbness! I certainly do not have any desire to read the Bible or pray, or follow a list of to do’s! But I know out of the deep parts of my heart I am still needing him! Even as my fleshly body pushes him away, my spirit, the part that eternally belongs to him cry’s for him! When your numb it is so hard to even care! I sat in church one day feeling so condemned by the message as it had to do with spending ritualistic time with Jesus and I hadn’t been. That feeling of condemnation made me in my heart feel further from him but during prayer time at the end of service he gave me a vision. In my minds eyes I say him clearing the room of everyone but me not to say they weren’t important by any means but to show me I’m important too and he came to me and sat down! In my heart I knew he was telling me he’s still there and even when I’m not going to him he’s coming to me! After all isn’t relationship give and take, ups and downs, for better or worse but you are still there for each other and still loving one another! This is how I can sing and also believe in my heart “How great is our God!”
Am i unsaved? I have not been baptized! Do I go to hell bc of that? Some of my pain has been caused by religious leadership! One of many examples is I asked to be baptized and was denied! This person by this check list you’ve written should be saved 5 times over but didn’t have the compassion and love of Christ to baptize me! I wasn’t going to church at the time and felt strongly I needed to partake in this and was told no! I’ve struggled with Christian relationships ever since walking away from that so called spiritual advisor and now don’t currently feel I have a home church so I’m still not baptized but I know the Lord and love him! If I die tomorrow will I go to hell?! You see it’s easy to follow check lists when your life is going good and there’s support around you but what about all those out there who don’t have that? Who feel ostracized and struggle with the church bc of being hurt! I know your not supposed to let a bad experience rob you but it’s easier said then done! I only recently started warming back up to the Lord bc for so long I was so angry, broken, and felt so much guilt and judgment! Now I’m still working on letting humans back in! Maybe I’ll never fully get there bc to much damage has been done! But I know Jesus! Do I have to live in fear of my salvation?
Just know Jesus as your Lord and savior and have a relationship with him! Go to him in every season and with everything as much as possible and all the day through! It’s not supposed to be complicated and ritualistic or stir up fear in you if you don’t know if you missed a step! It’s supposed to be natural and come out of the place he created in us to have relationships! It’s supposed to feel like home bc it is our home for all eternity! I’d rather walk into a house filled with imperfect family members who have not figured it all out yet and have fights and cry and argue but that can also laugh and dance and love then some cold dry emotionless family with parents bent on following tons of rules and loving based on performance only any day!
I see the heart of what you are saying. The intent was never to minimize having a relationship with Jesus. Truly, He is my best friend and I could do nothing without him. I am nothing without him. The intent of this post was to say this — obedience to his word still matters. “ If you love me, you will keep my commandments” John 14:15. YES, we should have a real relationship with him based on love. And that love should propel us forward to obey his word. Not that we are going to be perfect (goodness knows I’m not!). But to show a heart of submission that wants to follow his will. I am so sorry you have been hurt by religious leaders and were denied baptism. That is so wrong. But, don’t give up on your quest to obey the words of Jesus to put him on in baptism. It’s not a work – it’s simply showing that you trust and love Him. Find a Church of Christ in your area and I know you will find someone willing to study with and baptize you. Thank you for reminding us of the life changing, love filled relationship Jesus wants to have with each one of us. It is truly the greatest gift!
Brad Babel says
This was correct until Baptism.
Jesus baptizes one way. Salvation is sealed by the baptism of Jesus.
Water has nothing to do with it.
The teacher should study this out. Pray.
Prayerfully may the narrow road be found and the kingdom truly seen.
New birth is necessary.
This happens one way.
In the many Scriptures noted above, water baptism is commmanded and demonstration throughout the New Testament for salvation. It is also a baptism based on faith which leads to a new birth.
First, let me establish that I DO believe we should be baptized!
However, does not Paul assert that “the righteousness of faith” does NOT demand human merit or effort. Did not CHRIST already achieve ALL that was necessary for our salvation? How do we then reconcile the idea that WE have to physically do something, (even being baptized in water) to be saved?
6 “But the RIGHTEOUSNESS OF FAITH speaks in this way, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heave?’” (That is, to bring Christ down from above.”
7 or, “‘Who will descend into the abyss?’” (That is, to bring Christ up from the dead).
8 But what does it say? “The word is near your in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the WORD OF FAITH which we preach):
9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made UNTO SALVATION.
11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on HIM will not be put to shame.”
12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the Lord over all is rich to all who all upon Him.
13 For “whoever calls on the name of Lord shall be saved.” (Joel 3:32)
Why would Paul leave out the act of getting baptized to be saved in this important passage? Did he forget? Or did he count the idea of us confessing with our mouth our true belief and complete FAITH in the finished work of Christ on the Cross to be sufficient to be saved?
It just seems to me according to these passages that it is Jesus, and HIS blood sacrifice and work on the Cross that saves us, and not any of my works, including baptism.
I’m having trouble reconciling what seems to be conflicting ideas. Either Jesus’ work was complete, or rather, His sacrifice was insufficient and requires an extra step to be done by ME to get the job done.
A lot of people get hung up on the concept of baptism being a work that we do in order to be saved. I completely believe that Jesus completed all the work on the cross and that there is nothing I can do to earn my salvation. However, even based on the scripture you referenced, it says that a person has to confess with their mouth. Does it then follow that confessing with your mouth is a work? At the end of the day we need to realize that obedience to God‘s word is not the same as earning our salvation through works. We see a pattern all throughout Scripture of people having to obey God‘s Commandments in order to please him. It is a test of what is happening in our hearts. Jesus says “if you love me, keep my Commandments.“ baptism is not a work that I do to earn salvation, it is an answer to God for a good conscience, and it is simply me obeying him and receiving salvation from him. If someone gives you a gift, can you receive the gift without opening it first? That’s how I view baptism. It is opening the gift that God has freely given us. But we have to obey his word first. Hope this is helpful.
Jeffery hobbs says
If a person has not received the baptism of the Holy Spirit can that person go to heaven even though they have been saved?
How does one know if the Holy Spirit has entered them or that someone has received the Holy Spirit?
The apostles revived the baptism of the Holy Spirt and it was evident with tongues of fire. The Apostle Peter says that we receive the Holy Spirit at the same time we are baptized/saved.
36 “Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.”
37 Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”
38 And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. – Acts 2:36-38
Later in acts 8 we see specifically how the early Christians were Baptized.
36 And as they were going along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, “See, here is water! What prevents me from being baptized?”
38 And he commanded the chariot to stop, and they both went down into the water, Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him.
39 And when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord carried Philip away, and the eunuch saw him no more, and went on his way rejoicing. – Acts 8:36-3
Baptism is from the Greek word Baptizo “to submerge under water” this took place and must be done today for forgiveness of sins.
Richard Red Hawk says
I was baptized as an adult by a priest in the catholic church. I was not submerged in water . I was standing there with him praying on me and making the sign of the cross on my forehead. Is this a real baptizeism or not? I have been worried about this a long time.
Water baptism is illustrated throughout the bible, and the literal word means to immerse or submerge under water. in Acts 8, and other passages, they go down into the water. I recommend signing up for a free bible study at worldbibleschool.org, someone there would love to study with you further!
Bill Lee says
Mary, I have considered you interpretation of the meaning of ‘ they go down into the water’ to only mean full immersion but Scripture are is not clear and it can also be interpreted to mean walking down in the water, say waist deep, and having water poured over the head. This is how ancient Christian paintings depict it
Also, we have the Didache (Teachings of the Apostles) circa 50 AD on baptism…
“Now concerning baptism: this is how to baptize. Give public instruction on all these points, and then baptize in running water, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. If you do not have running water, baptize in some other. If you cannot in cold, then in warm. If you have neither, then pour water on the head three times in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.”
Church fathers only began speaking about infant Baptism the latter part of the 2nd Century with Irenaeus. Infants and children were to be included in the list of those baptized, but his own words stated that they were innocent. Infant baptism wasn’t a practice until the 5th Century with Augustine. There are no first century examples of infant baptism unless you assume the theology based on households being baptized together MUST include infants. The problem with this, is the necessity for Repentance, belief, and confession in salvation.
An infant cannot confess that Jesus is Lord. An infant cannot change the way they think in repentance. The only thing an infant can do is be baptized by an adult who chooses for the infant.
Acts 2:38-39 And Peter said to them, “REPENT and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.”
The words “and for your children” is referring to a generational promise as well as a cross cultural promise for “those who are afar off.”
We also have the old testament passage that defines that there is an age of accountability
He shall eat curds and honey when he knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good. For before the boy knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good, the land whose two kings you dread will be deserted. Isaiah 7:15–16
(Written by my husband Richard)