What Must We Do to Be Saved?
There are times when someone says they want to “receive Christ” and they make a confession and then, based on that, they think they are saved. To me it seems like that is not enough. So I’ve always wanted to know exactly how someone is saved.
Do you remember in the second chapter of Acts when the people raised their voices in the crowd and said, “What must we do to be saved?” Can you read verses 36-40?
“Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.”
When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”
Peter replied, “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. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”
With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” Acts 2:36-40
So the man asked the same question that you just asked: “What must we do to be saved?” Peter walked with Jesus every day and knew Him personally as a friend. After Jesus ascended He spent another six weeks with Peter and the others. Peter was with Jesus personally for many days and years, so when Peter answers the question we should listen.
Did Peter say, “Every head bow and every eye close”? Did Peter play beautiful music and make everyone cry? Did Peter say, “Bow your head, say a prayer, and sign a card”? That’s not what Peter said.
I understand why people would say we need to pray to Jesus to have Him forgive our sins, because Peter spoke of those who call on the name of the Lord (Acts 2:21; 1 Peter 3:21). They cry out with a good conscience towards God and are saved. So, I understand why men would teach, “We must bow our heads and say a prayer.”
But when Peter was asked that specific question, “What must we do to be saved?” he did not say, “Let’s all say a prayer together and come forward.” Peter said, “Repent, every one of you and be baptized.” In my answer to people when they ask me, “What must I do to be saved?” somehow I must capture what Peter said and not just tell a person to bow their head and ignore what Peter said.