The greatest question a person can ask is: “What must I do to be saved?”. Fortunately, we have the answer to this great question supplied to us through the Word of God. God has given us all things pertaining to life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3), He has given us instruction in righteousness, and would not have us to be ignorant concerning how to properly obey Him and be saved. We can open our Bibles and search the Scriptures to find out how to be pleasing to God. Without faith it is impossible to please God (Heb. 11:6), therefore God has given His Word to establish our faith (Rom. 10:17). One can examine the Scriptures and learn of Christ and begin to believe, as one must believe Jesus to be saved (John 8:24), and make the great confession that Jesus is the Christ (Matt. 16:16-18; Rom. 10:9-10) after repenting of sin (Acts 2:38), and then put Christ on in baptism to have their sins washed away (Gal. 3:26-29; Mark 16:16; Acts 22:16). God has given everything we need to know to be sure that we do what is required to be able to enter heaven, however, there are many that obey these commands, life according to the Scriptures, and still have doubts about whether they will be able to “make it to heaven”. God would not have us to be unsure of salvation (Titus 1:2) and has promised if we obey His commands, we will have eternal life with Him. Let’s notice how we can be assured of our salvation.
If we were to take a poll, asking how one can be assured of salvation, we might receive a multiplicity of answers. Some might say they are assured of their salvation because of the way they feel. It is true there is a sense of relief that comes when one obeys the commands of God, and as one has their sins washed away and are forgiven by God there is much rejoicing that takes place, but feelings are not always the best guide in life, especially when dealing with matters of eternity. One may feel hungry, and feel like eating a large amount of food, but after doing such they may become sick because they have overeaten. A person that is battling chronic illness can feel optimistic about their chances of fighting the disease but, sadly, sometimes those feelings are realized to be deceptive when the reality of what is going to happen begins to sink in. When pertaining to our immortal soul, we may feel different when we obey the Gospel, but are feelings are not sufficient to assure us of salvation. Some might answer they know they are saved because their conscience is clear. Before Paul had his sins washed away (Acts 22:16), he caused great havoc among the church (Acts 8:1-2), but when speaking of the things he did prior to his obedience to the Gospel, he stated he did everything with a clear conscience (Acts 23:1; 1 Tim. 1:13; Phil. 3:4-6). Paul had a clear conscience before obeying the Gospel, but his conscience was deceptive. Some might say they can be assured of their salvation because their family has done things the same way they are doing them. Some people are adamant, spiritually speaking, about the fact they know they are saved because their parents did things the same way they are doing, and some may say several generations in their family has done things a certain way and they can be assured they are saved because they are following the traditions of their family. Some will not obey the Gospel because they feel as if they are condemning their families if they do so, but when one is presented the truth of God’s Word, and that truth is different from the traditions of families, may we always have the attitude of the apostles that would “rather obey God than men” (Acts 5:29).
The only way for one to be assured of salvation is to allow faith to be the guide. Faith is the “substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen” (Heb. 11:1). The Christian is to “walk by faith and not by sight” (2 Cor. 5:7). Without faith it is impossible to please God (Heb. 11:6). What is faith and how do we obtain faith to be saved? Faith is obtained through the Word of God (Rom. 10:17), it is based on the evidences provided in the written Word of God, it is not some false pretense or false hope that is based upon man’s ideas or feelings, but is factual evidence provided to man from God. We can be assured of salvation because of faith when we do as God commands in His Word. God assures us He will save those that obey Him (Heb. 5:9; Acts 2:47). When the Gospel was preached in Jerusalem, and many were “pricked” in their hearts, asking “what must we do to be saved?”, they were given instructions to obey to be saved (Acts 2:37-38), and those that gladly received these instructions, and obeyed them, were saved, and added to the church (Acts 2:41-47). God’s Word assures us that one can be reconciled to God by the offering of Jesus Christ (Eph. 2:4-7). God has designed a way to be saved and that way can be learned from the Scriptures (Isa. 35:8; John 14:6). There is a way that seems right to man (Pro. 14:12), but remember man is unable to direct his steps (Jer. 10:23). Man cannot trust his ways but must trust in the commands of God to be assured of salvation.
God’s promises have never failed. When God made a promise to save Noah if Noah kept the commands given to him, God kept His promise. God promised Abraham that He would make of Him a great nation (Gen. 12:1-3) and God kept His promise. When God promises the sinner that He will save them if they obey His commands, God will keep His promises (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38). One can be assured of salvation if we allow God’s Word to direct our lives, and if we keep His commands, God will keep His promises.