What Must You Do To Be Saved?

by Leon King

Sirs, what must I do to be saved? -- Acts 16:30.

    Only one time in all the Bible is the question asked, "What must I do to be saved?"  It happened in the city of Philippi, a city in Macedonia. That part of the world is now called Greece. A jailer who had been charged with the responsibility of taking care of prisoners was the person who asked the question. One of His prisoners was Paul, who had been put in prison for preaching about the Lord Jesus Christ. As Paul and his companion, Silas, prayed and sang praises to God in the prison, God sent a great earthquake which loosed everyoneís bands and opened the prison doors. The jailer called for a light, sprang in, and trembling, fell down before Paul and Silas. He brought them out of the prison and asked, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?"


   Their answer was clear and directly to the point. "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house." --Acts 16:31. Notice the record:

Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas, And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed <their> stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway. And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house. -- Acts 16:29-34.


    What does it mean to be saved? Who is the Lord Jesus Christ? What does it mean to believe on Him? Letís answer these questions one at a time.

I. What does it mean to be saved?

     To be saved is to be delivered from some danger.  All men are in danger of dying and instantly lifting up their eyes in a burning hell.  If God doesn't save them, that is where they will go the very instant they draw their last breath on this earth.  The Bible says that all men are inherently depraved and sinful. Not one person is righteous. There is not a just man upon earth that does good and sins not.  Many people do "good things" in the sight of men, but God searches the heart.  He sees the motivation for every action that a man takes.  There is no person who does good in his unsaved state before God. So, all men are in need of being saved.

As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. -- Romans 3:10-12.


Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. -- Romans 3:19.


    Since all men are guilty before God, all men are under the judgment and condemnation of God. They are already condemned because of their sins.  All men live their lives awaiting the execution of Godís righteous judgment on their sins. God would be totally just and righteous to cast every person into hell this very moment because of their sins. Men are plagued with adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, wrath, strife, envyings, murders, drunkenness, and rebellion. All of these things come from a wicked, depraved heart.  It is the things that come from a man's heart that defile him.  All of these things we named are but symptoms of men's wicked hearts before God.  Manís greatest need is to be rescued from this condemnation. If a person is not saved, he will perish from the presence of the Holy God in a place called hell, then following the judgment for his works, will be cast into the Lake of Fire.


II. Who is the Lord Jesus Christ?


    Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of the living God. He was begotten of God himself. He was born of a virgin named Mary two thousand years ago. He is the Messiah, God's anointed one. That is what Christ means. He was God in human flesh. He is the savior of His people. He is the lamb of God which takes away the sins of the world. He is Lord of all. He died on a cross outside Jerusalem, was buried, and rose from the dead after three days and three nights.


    He showed himself alive after he came from the grave to more than five hundred witnesses who were before chosen of God.  He spent forty days after his resurrection appearing to his disciples.  When the forty days were expired,  he ascended back to heaven to sit at the right hand of the throne of God. He promised to return for His people. Let us notice the Scriptures about His name.


1. Lord. The best meaning of Lord is master. Jesus is the master of all. He is God who came to earth in the likeness of human flesh.


Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. -- Acts 2:36.


The word which <God> sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: [he is Lord of all]: -- Acts 10:36.


Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of <things> in heaven, and <things> in earth, and <things> under the earth; And <that> every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ <is> Lord, to the glory of God the Father. -- Philippians 2:9-11.


2. Jesus.  Joseph became engaged to Mary of Nazareth to be his wife. Before they came together as husband and wife, she was found to be with child. Godís angel told Joseph to take her because the one conceived in her was of the Holy Ghost. The angel instructed Joseph to call the baby, "Jesus." Jesus means "Savior."


And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ. -- Matthew 1:16.


And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. -- Matthew 1:21

3. Christ. Christ and Messiah both mean "the Anointed One." The Lord Jesus was Christ. He was the Messiah that had been promised many hundreds of years before he came. The Old Testament contains many references to his coming into the world.

And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born. -- Matthew 2:4.

And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. -- Matthew 16:16.

He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ." -- John 1:41.

The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things. Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am <he>. -- John 4:25-26.

III. What does it mean to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ?

   To believe is to have faith in Him. Both belief and faith have the idea of trust and confidence in. Belief would certainly include who He was and why he came into the world. So what is the end of believing? It is that the one believing might be saved. What is he believing? It is that the Lord Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners? How so? It was by dying for their sins on a cruel cross. By believing, the person knows and acknowledges himself to be a sinner in the sight of a Holy God.  As a sinner in the sight of God, he realizes that he is under the just condemnation of a righteous, holy God whose good and holy law he has broken.  God has said, "The soul that sins shall die."  Jesus Christ died in the stead of His people - and paid for all their sins in His own body on the cross. 


    The Lord Jesus Christ came to save sinners. He came to save His people from their sins. He had a people whom he knew before the world was. His peoplesí names were written in the book of life before the world was. Do you believe this?


He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. -- John 3:18.


Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved!