The Bible tells us that the Jailer in Philippe addressed the same question to Paul and Silas saying, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” (Acts 16:30). The apostles answered him, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31).
What does the phrase “believe in the Lord Jesus” really mean?
When Adam and Eve sinned, they fell and were sentenced to eternal death (Romans 3:23). Their pure nature became corrupt (Psalm 51:5; Ecclesiastes 7:20) and sin separated them from God (Isaiah 59:2; Matthew 25:46).
But God, moved with infinite compassion, planned a way of salvation to humanity. Christ, the Son of God, offered Himself to redeem mankind by dying on their behalf. Christ got incarnated and bore the penalty of man’s sin by His death on the cross “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). God’s love for fallen humanity led Him to give all that He had for their salvation (Romans 5:8).
So how can we have this gift of salvation? The Bible tells us: “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31). The word “believe” simply means that we accept by faith God’s free gift of salvation (Ephesians 2:8-9).
In addition, we need to confess our sins to the Lord, ask for forgiveness, and repent of our sins. And the Lord promised, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
Then, the love of God accepts the repentant sinner, the confessed sin are taken away, and the sinner stands before the Lord covered with the perfect life of Christ (Col. 3:3, 9, 10). This initial step when the sinner turns from his sin and accepts Christ is called justification and it is received instantaneously (Rom. 5:1).
But the good news is that God doesn’t just forgive all past sins, He also promised to give the sinner all the grace necessary to live victorious life over sin (Matt. 5:48). And He has made provision that every sin may be successfully resisted and overcome (Rom. 8:1–4).
God invites the sinner to come to Him as he is – weak and broken. And He promises to do give him a new heart. This is the work of conversion is done by the power of the Holy Spirit. The sinner should not wait to cleanse himself for without God he can do nothing (John 15:5).
As the believer connects daily with God through the study of His Word and prayer, he receives the grace necessary to live a righteous life. God does the work of transformation in his life and gives him a new nature that hates sin (Philippians 2:13).
Jesus said, “I am the vine, you are the branches: He that abides in me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit: for without me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). This process of sanctification is a day-by-day cleansing from sin and growth in grace (Rom. 6:19).
In His service,
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