Is the only requirement for salvation belief in Jesus Christ?
Yes and no. While it is true that salvation comes from faith in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, the reality of what true salvation is often misconstrued and misunderstood. The truth is a person must believe in their heart that God raised Jesus from the dead and confess with their mouth that He is Lord (Romans 10:9). The Christian belief is faith in Jesus Christ is the only true way to Heaven.
I can believe in Jesus Christ as a person, but that doesn’t save me.
I can believe in Jesus as a great teacher, but that doesn’t save me.
The Bible teaches us that it’s through confession with your mouth and belief in your heart that you will be saved.
What Must Someone Believe To Be Saved?
When a person desires to be saved, they are on the right track. God’s heart and His ultimate desire are for all to be saved (1 Timothy 2:4).
1. We All Sin
Firstly, we need to acknowledge that we’re a sinner. This comes from our inherent sinful nature as humans. Though this comes by nature, it is an active choice we’ve made.
We must acknowledge that we aren’t “good” people.
For the heart that isn’t being transformed by God, this can often be a hang-up for people. We naturally think we are good when we compare ourselves to the worst of human society. The truth is we have fallen short.
Are You A Good Person? (3 Question Test)
- Have you ever told a lie? (what do you call someone who lies–a liar)
- Have you ever stole something, even if it were small? (what do you call someone who steals–a theif)
- Have you ever lusted after a man or woman? (Jesus said if you even so much as look at a woman, you have committed adultery in your heart with her.)
By these three commandments from the Old Testament, we fail the test. We are admitting we are liars, thieves, and adulterers at heart.
Do you see it? We’re all in need of a Savior to rescue us from where we are destined to go–hell. We must turn away (repent) from this life as we embrace Jesus Christ as our Savior.
2. Eternal Life Is A Gift
Secondly, we have to realize the penalty of our sins. Romans tells us that the penalty for the sins in our life is death. There is nothing we can do to stop this sentence placed on us.
We can go to church every day for the rest of our life and never tell another lie and it’s not going to save us.
Salvation is a gift from God when we believe in Jesus.
3. God Demonstrated His Love For Us
Some might die for someone they consider a friend or family member, but who would die for their enemy?
Jesus Christ, that’s who.
God Almighty in the flesh came to this earth to die for His enemies.
To die for me and you.
4. Jesus Died & Was Raised
I already shared part of this in a previous section, but it needs to be said again. It’s not only crucial in our salvation to believe it, but it’s what all Christianity hinges on.
The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
This surrender to God can be difficult for people. Some Christians are able to give it all up at once, others, it takes time.
Learning to trust God fully can be difficult, but there is hope (read the article I wrote about trusting God completely).
Do You Need Baptism To Be Saved?
You do not need to be baptized in order to be saved, but it is an important step for every new believer.
I want to pause here and make you aware there are people and churches out there that would disagree with that statement I just made. There are some who believe that baptism is essential in salvation, but from what I’ve read in the Bible and know about God, I don’t believe this outward expression is saving people’s souls, but merely an expression of what transformation God did on the inside already through the working of the Holy Spirit.
God, throughout all the Scriptures, tends to focus on the inner man, and the heart, not the outward appearance. This is why I believe baptism does not save the soul, but instead, God does through the work of the Holy Spirit.
Also, Paul doesn’t seem to be concerned about Baptism when he appears to lose track of the number of people baptized in this passage.
Also, the baptism spoken of in 1 Peter 3 seems to be the work of God, not of water.
I encourage you brothers and sisters in Christ to do your own research on the topic and speak to God through prayer about it. He will give you peace.
As you start to grow in your faith, I encourage you to start learning everything you can about God in His Word. In addition to the Bible, I encourage you to check out my recommended resources here.