When it comes to our salvation, we need to remember to put God first. There are some hard things to understand in the Bible, but how to be saved is not one of them.
God has told us in his word how to be saved. We find that those who followed Jesus had to believe that he was the son of God: “I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins” (John 8:24).
In another passage, the Holy Scriptures tell again of the importance of faith. “But without faith, it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (Heb. 11:6).
Some would stop here, but God’s word tells that there is more to be done. God commands that we repent of our sins. “And the times of this ignorance God winked at, but now commandeth all men everywhere to repent” (Acts 17:30). Why is it so hard to keep God in the proper place? If God is in the proper place in our lives, we will seek to follow his teachings without addition or subtraction. The Bible tells us how to attain salvation.
The first step in the plan of salvation is that of developing faith. Jesus came to earth, and after he began his ministry, he did many signs and wonders that are recorded in the accounts of the gospel.
John tells us why these things were done (John 20:30,31). After studying about Jesus and the things he did, our faith develops in him. Our faith leads us to continue studying, which leads us to realize we have to make a change in our lives if we are to be pleasing to God. Repentance is the next logical step.
Jesus during his earthly ministry taught about man needing to be willing to confess that he was the Christ (Matt. 10:32). Paul wrote to the Roman brethren, “For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (Rom. 10:10).
God’s plan leads one to desire to be baptized, knowing that it is during baptism that our sins are washed away (1 Peter 3:21). If sins are forgiven before one is baptized, why did Peter write that baptism saves us, for it is the blood of Christ that cleanses us of our sins. “In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace” (Eph. 1:7).
The beauty of God’s plan is seen when one looks at the plan itself. Study God’s word and lean about Jesus. This allows our faith to develop so that we are ready to repent of our sins and eager to tell others that Jesus is the Son of God and that it is his blood that cleanses us from our sins.
Just as God provided all things for man when he placed him in the Garden of Eden, he has provided all man needs for salvation. What place in your life have you placed God?