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What must I believe to be saved?

what must I believe to be saved

The question of what we must believe to be saved takes us to the core of the gospel. It is about knowing who we are and why Jesus entered the world to save us. Once these truths are believed and accepted, we receive the gift of eternal life (Romans 6:23) and become children of God (John 1:12–13).

Faith is necessary for salvation—we must believe certain truths in order to be saved. “It is through faith that a righteous person has life” (Romans 1:17, NLT), and “without faith it is impossible to please God” (Hebrews 11:6). The truth we must believe is the gospel, the good news that Jesus died for our sin and rose again the third day (see 1 Corinthians 15:1–8). We must have faith in the truth of this gospel. In other words, we must trust Christ and His work on our behalf. Salvation is found in no one else (Acts 4:12).

Part of receiving the gospel is admitting that we have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). This is important because it acknowledges why Jesus entered the world to save us. If we do not believe we need to be saved, we will not care about salvation. Passages such as Acts 16:31 and Romans 10:9 say that we must believe in Christ to be saved, and this belief starts with admitting that we have not lived up to the perfect moral standard of a holy, righteous, and just God (see 1 John 1:8–10). Indeed, we cannot meet the demand of His perfect moral standard because of our depravity: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9; cf. Matthew 7:21–23).

The seriousness of sin is seen in its consequences: spiritual death and the reality of divine wrath. In John 3:36, Jesus contrasts those who believe in the Son and those who do not, saying, “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.” The consequence of sin is more than dying; it is also being eternally separated from God in a fiery hell. The gospel, however, is a message of hope: we can have eternal life through faith in Christ. So, while sin separates us from God, belief in Christ draws us close to Him (John 17:3). In Christ, our sins are forgiven (Acts 13:38).

To be saved, we must believe that Jesus died on the cross for our sin. The only way to fix our sin problem is through faith in the sacrificial death of Christ on the cross. As the incarnate and perfect Son of God, Jesus is the only one who could absorb the punishment for our sins and save us from God’s wrath (see Isaiah 53). He is the only one who could die in our place (1 Peter 2:24).

To be saved, we must believe in the resurrection of Christ. The physical, bodily resurrection of the Lord is the cornerstone of the Christian faith. This momentous event proves that Jesus overcame Satan, sin, and death. If He did not rise again, then we would remain stuck in our sins (1 Corinthians 15:17). But He did rise from the grave, powerfully demonstrating that all who believe in Him will overcome sin and death and will live with Him for eternity. As Jesus told His disciples, “Because I live, you also will live” (John 14:19).

The gospel is not complicated. We aren’t required to perform religious rituals, say a series of incantations, or understand a cryptic set of facts. Just the opposite: we must cease from our works, lay down our pride, and accept the grace of God by faith. To be saved, we must believe that Jesus, the Savior, died for our sins and rose again to life eternal. We place our full trust in Him. We stake our eternal destiny on Him and His goodness. He forgives and saves us, not because of anything we have done or could do, but because He is loving, kind, gracious, and merciful (Titus 3:5). Today, will you believe in Him for salvation?

Have you made a decision for Christ because of what you have read here? If so, please click on the “I have accepted Christ today” button below.

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Questions about Salvation

What must I believe to be saved?
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This page last updated: April 11, 2024