We must be willing to do what Paul said when he exhorted the Corinthians: “Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves.” So let’s “examine ourselves” in regard to how a person should respond to the gospel. What do the Scriptures teach?
The question “What must I do to be saved?” has a scriptural answer, and that answer involves the doing of some things. If we’re not willing to do the things the Lord commands, we need not expect that the gift of forgiveness will be bestowed.
The Bible teaches that there are conditions attached to the reception of God’s grace. Some individuals will accept those conditions and receive God’s gift, but others will refuse those conditions and forfeit the gift they might have received.
By God’s grace, our salvation has been made possible. The way back home has been opened up — and the decision now rests with us whether we will receive His gift or refuse it. It is time for us, as the old hymn said, to “trust and obey.”
Christ having died for us, God can consider us just without being unjust to His own law. Paul said it this way in Romans 3:26: “It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.”
In Romans 1:5 and 16:26, Paul wrote that the preaching of the gospel of Christ was “to bring about the obedience of faith.” What would obedience be if it was “of faith,” and how would that be different from any other kind of obedience?
If God is our Creator, the He alone has the right to say how we can be reconciled to Him. A partial (or merely “helpful”) solution will not do. Either the solution comes down from God and saves us in eternity or it does not save us at all.
If you’re thinking of becoming a Christian, consider that obeying the gospel will involve believing the truth about Christ and confessing it in the presence of witnesses. I hope you won’t be afraid to confess Christ . . . and keep on confessing Him as long as you live.
In a predominantly “Christian” nation, many will say they’ve accepted Christ when they haven’t really done so. To them, Jesus would say, as He said two thousand years ago, “Why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say?” (Luke 6:46).
It is common to hear people speak of “accepting Christ.” Rightly understood, this is a biblical concept. But as is often true when ideas pass into the popular culture, the original idea of accepting Christ is quite different from the popular one.