This Biblical Christianity website encourages people to know and to live, God’s Word; thus enabling us to live now as God intended for us to live, and preparing us for eternal life in God’s kingdom.
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Because of who God is, a God of love and compassion as well as righteousness and justice, He could not consign us to an eternal hell without providing a just way for us to avoid it. The Bible has several ways to describe this provision for us in Christ: to be saved, to be redeemed, to be born again, and in general to be reconciled to God.
In fact, God knew about the future failure of mankind before creation, and already had a plan in mind of how He would accomplish our redemption (Eph. 1:2-10; 1 Peter 1:18-20).
The price that Jesus paid for our redemption was tremendous, and obviously one we can never repay. Not only has He redeemed us, but He has also prepared a glorious eternal dwelling place for us as well as permanent employment with benefits beyond our ability to imagine. You can read about some of this in the last three chapters of the book of Revelation. God planned that this present life here on earth would be our proving and training time before entering into His perfect environment. When we understand His intent, we are better prepared to cooperate with and benefit from His marvelous plan.
The above question was addressed to the Apostle Paul in the Scripture below. Let’s examine it to see how he responded.
ACTS 16:28-34.... But Paul shouted. Do not harm yourself, for we are all here! Then [the jailer] called for lights and rushed in, and trembling and terrified he fell down before Paul and Silas. And he brought them out [of the dungeon] and said, men, what is it necessary for me to do that I may be saved? And they answered, believe in the Lord Jesus Christ [give yourself up to Him, take yourself out of your own keeping and entrust yourself into His keeping] and you will be saved, [and this applies both to] you and your household as well. And they declared the Word of the Lord [the doctrine concerning the attainment through Christ of eternal salvation in the kingdom of God] to him and to all who were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night and bathed [them because of their bloody] wounds, and he was baptized immediately and all [the members of] his [household]. Then he took them up into his house and set food before them; and he leaped much for joy and exulted with all his family that he believed in God.
Before we can be saved, we must have sufficient knowledge about God and the salvation that He has made available to us, and how we are to respond in order to receive it. Some people know what God requires but they won’t submit themselves to Him; others, don’t even know that God exists. Obviously, we need to find out where people are, or what they believe before we can attempt to lead them to the Savior. There are times when what people already believe must first be more correctly aligned with what the Bible teaches.
In the above Scripture Paul first tells the jailer the simple basic requirement, believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved. We are not told how much the jailer knew about Jesus, nor even what Paul went on to explain to him about Jesus. We only know from verse 32 that there were some additional things that Paul declared to him concerning God’s salvation plan.
The reason that I use the Amplified Bible is because it explains more fully, as in this passage, what a reader of the Greek text would understand by Paul’s comments. The additional meaning, that cannot be readily understood from our English translations, is inserted in the Amplified text enclosed in parentheses ( ) for actual textual meaning, and in brackets [ ] for implied meaning. By this method the Amplified Bible shows us more precisely what the jailer understood Paul to say. It means more than to merely believe that Jesus came from God and was God, died on the cross for our sins, rose again from the dead, and ascended to the right hand of God; it means to know in my heart that Jesus did it for me, and as a result I commit myself into His care, keeping, and service.
Some of the information that Paul may have given to the jailer, and that we now have in the Bible is: Luke 13:1-5; Jn. 8:23-25; Isa. 9:6-7; Matt. 1:20-23; Jn. 4:25-26; Jn. 14:6-11; Rom. 5:6-11; and Rom. 10:9-13. Let’s take a look at them.
LUKE 13:1-5.... Just at that time there [arrived] some people who informed Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. And He replied by saying to them, do you think that these Galileans were greater sinners than all the other Galileans because they have suffered in this way? I tell you, no; but unless you repent (change your mind for the better and heartily amend your ways, with abhorrence of your past sins), you will all likewise perish and be lost eternally. Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them – do you think that they were more guilty offenders than all the others who dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, no; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish and be lost eternally.
When John the Baptist and Jesus first began their ministry, they both proclaimed, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand" (Matt. 3:2, 17). Also, Jesus instructed His disciples, "And that repentance [with a view to and as the condition of] forgiveness of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem" (Lk. 24:47). So the first thing that we have to know and decide about is, am I ready to repent and turn away from sin. God will help us, but we must be willing!
JOHN 8:23-25.... He said to them, you are from below; I am from above. You are of this world (of this earthly order); I am not of this world. That is why I told you that you will die in (under the curse of) your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He [Whom I claim to be – if you do not adhere to, trust in, and rely on Me], you will die in your sins. Then they said to Him, who are You anyway? Jesus replied, [why do I even speak to you!] I am exactly what I have been telling you from the first.
The second thing that we must know is who Jesus is. In verse 24 above Jesus says, "for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins." The following Scriptures will help us understand who the "He" was that Jesus was referring to. He was and is the promised Savior, who is also our God!
ISAIAH 9:6-7.... For to us a Child is born, to us a Son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder, and His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father , Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and of peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David and over his Kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth, even forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.
MATTHEW 1:20-23.... But as he was thinking this over, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, Joseph, descendant of David, do not be afraid to take Mary [as] your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of (from, out of) the Holy Spirit. She will bear a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus [the Greek form of the Hebrew Joshua, which means Savior], for He will save His people from their sins. All this took place that it might be fulfilled which the Lord had spoken through the prophet, Behold, the virgin shall become pregnant and give birth to a Son, and they shall call His name Emmanuel – which, when translated, means, God with us.
JOHN 4:25-26.... The woman said to Him, I know that Messiah is coming, He Who is called the Christ (the Anointed One); and when He arrives, He will tell us everything we need to know and make it clear to us. Jesus said to her, I Who now speak with you am He.
JOHN 14:6-11.... Jesus said to him, I am the Way and the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father except by (through) Me. If you had known Me [had learned to recognize Me], you would also have known My Father. From now on, you know Him and have seen Him. Philip said to Him, Lord, show us the Father; then we shall be satisfied. Jesus replied, have I been with all of you for so long a time, and do you not recognize and know Me yet, Philip? Anyone who has seen Me has seen the Father. How can you say then, show us the Father? Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in Me? What I am telling you I do not say on My own authority and of My own accord; but the Father Who lives continually in Me does the (His) works (His own miracles, deeds of power). Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me; or else believe Me for the sake of the [very] works themselves. [If you cannot trust Me, at least let these works that I do in My Father’s name convince you.]
The above Scriptures tell us conclusively that Jesus was God's Son who came down from heaven and took upon Himself a human body to save us from suffering the due penalty of our sins and to reconcile us back to God, and that there was no other way for this to be accomplished. Only Jesus can save us, and this is why it is so important that we know and believe in our hearts who He truly is!
The third thing that we must know is what Jesus did for us and has made available to us; we need to know what to trust Him for. When we know what to trust Him for, then we can stop trying to do in our own strength what only He can do, and rest in Him!
ROMANS 5:6-11.... While we were yet in weakness [powerless to help ourselves], at the fitting time Christ died for (in behalf of) the ungodly. Now it is an extraordinary thing for one to give his life even for an upright man, though perhaps for a noble and lovable and generous benefactor someone might even dare to die. But God shows and clearly proves His [own] love for us by the fact that while we were still sinners, Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One) died for us. Therefore, since we are now justified (acquitted, made righteous, and brought into right relationship with God) by Christ’s blood, how much more [certain is it that] we shall be saved by Him from the indignation and wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, it is much more [certain], now that we are reconciled, that we shall be saved (daily delivered from sin’s dominion) through His [resurrection] life. Not only so, but we also rejoice and exultingly glory in God [in His love and perfection] through our Lord Jesus Christ, through Whom we have now received and enjoy [our] reconciliation.
ROMANS 10:8-13.... But what does it say? The Word (God’s message in Christ) is near you, on your lips and in your heart; that is, the Word (the message, the basis and object) of faith which we preach, because if you acknowledge and confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and in your heart believe (adhere to, trust in, and rely on the truth) that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart a person believes (adheres to, trusts in, and relies on Christ) and so is justified (declared righteous, acceptable to God), and with the mouth he confesses (declares openly and speaks out freely his faith) and confirms [his] salvation. The Scripture says, No man who believes in Him [who adheres to, relies on, and trusts in Him] will [ever] be put to shame or be disappointed. [No one] for there is no distinction between Jew and Greek. The same Lord is Lord over all [of us] and He generously bestows His riches upon all who call upon Him [in faith]. For everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord [invoking Him as Lord] will be saved.
Therefore, all those who are ready to repent, and can believe this Gospel or good news (Mk. 1:15) in the above way, and will call upon the Lord — have God’s promise of salvation. This is the gift of eternal life that God has offered to every person who: (1) has become convinced in his heart of the truth of what God has said in the Scriptures, (2) is ready to surrender to Jesus as Savior and Lord, (3) and calls upon God to make him a new creature in Christ.
We must choose a king and kingdom that we will serve, either God or self. When we choose for God we are under His care and keeping, when we choose for self we are manipulated by Satan and will share his fate. "For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his life [his blessed life in the Kingdom of God]? Or what would a man give as an exchange for his life" (Matthew 16:26). The choice is yours. Nobody can make it for you, and you cannot choose for anyone else.