Paul wrote that the gospel is the “power of God unto salvation.” The gospel message is the “key” to man’s salvation.
When Jesus was speaking to Peter near the coast of Caesarea Philippi, he told Peter he would give to him the “keys” to the kingdom of heaven. On the day of Pentecost, Peter used the keys; he preached the gospel of Christ.
He told of how Joel had prophesied of the day that had arrived, of how David spoke of the savior, telling of the resurrection of Christ. He told them how Jesus had performed miracles, signs and wonders that they knew about, and declaring that, “that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ” (Acts 2:14-36).
They stopped his sermon and asked what they needed to do.
Peter’s response was, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call” (Acts 2:38, 39).
All who desire to be saved must strive to obey God by following his will. “And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully” (2 Tim. 2:5).
The Bible is God’s word, and in it one finds the instructions on how to be pleasing to God. To be pleasing to God, one does not have to offer the blood sacrifices as did the children of Israel – that was under the Law of Moses.
Christians are under the law of Christ. Christians are to present themselves as sacrifices. Christians give themselves to God. First, in obeying the gospel, by having faith that Jesus is the Son of God, turning from sins, confessing Jesus as God’s Son before men, and being baptized for the remission of sins.
Then one must continue to give themselves to God. Paul wrote, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Rom. 12:1, 2).
Salvation is for everyone, but it takes effort. Obeying the gospel is the right step to take in order to obtain the crown, but then one must live a faithful life.
So many have made the mistake of thinking that since they have been baptized, it really does not matter what they do because they are going to heaven. This is far from the truth.
Each and every Christian is responsible to keep themselves pure and clean. When a Christian sins in a public manner, they need to repent, humbling themselves before God and asking his forgiveness. One should want all to know that they have a contrite heart, eager to make amends for what they have done.
The warning given by the Hebrew writer should cause one to desire the opportunity to come back to God.
“For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, … He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden underfoot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? … It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:26-31).
If a person desires to be saved, they must obey the gospel and live for the Lord each day.