The Path to Righteousness!
The Straight and Narrow way!

by Larry C. Hamner

December 8, 2006

What must I do to be Saved?

As saints of the most high and followers of Christ we often speak of “being saved”. But really, just what does it mean to be saved? Its something we as Christians ought to give some serious though to. Most church folk take the position that ours is a religion of salvation; we start off being lost, we except Christ into our heart, and“ZAP!”,“KAPOW!”, we're saved. Now that we're saved we go to heaven instead of hell. This is probably the most commonly accepted rendering among Christians as to what it means to be saved. True being saved is having eternal life in Heaven, but it is also realizing that God loves you and has plans for your life here on Earth. When we except Christ into our lives he rescues us from the penalty of sin, which is eternal punishment in hell. He also rescues us from the power of sin in this life. To be saved is simply to be rescued from sin and its consequences, consequences wrought in this life and in the world to come. There are four basic elements to salvation or “being saved”, forgiveness and cleansing of sins; regeneration or being born again; becoming part of God's kingdom and holy family while at the same time being freed from sin and its consequences.

Forgiveness of Sins

According to the bible there are four requirements for forgiveness of sins. The first requirement is that of SACRIFICE, there must be a sacrifice, thus, Jesus died making the ultimate sacrifice. “And according to the Law, one may almost say, all things are cleansed with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. ”(Heb 9:22NASB) Next there must be CONFESSION, we must acknowledge our sins if our relationship with God is to be restored. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. ”(1 John 1:9 NASB) Once we have confessed our sins we must repent, i.e. turn from our sins. REPENTENCE, is also a very necessary component of forgiveness of sins. “Peter said to them, Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. ”(Acts 2:38 NASB) Finally, we must forgive in order to get forgiven FORGIVENESS OF OTHERS is central to the forgiveness of our sins. “For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions. ” (Mat 6:14-15NASB) Although forgiveness of sin is at the heart of the gospel of salvation it is not all there is to salvation!


We often hear the term “born again Christian” in fact, however, all who are true Christians are “born again” or “saved”, whether they express it as such or not. Have you received the Holy Ghost since you believed? Paul asked this very question of John the Baptist disciples and it remains a question that each believer should ask him or herself and give some serious thought to the answer. A believer who hasn't received the Holy Ghost is laboring under a severe handicap and is destine for failure.

“Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.”(John 3:3-6KJV)

“Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;”(Titus 3:5KJV)

Being born again saved carries with it the idea of being made new, in other words there is AN EXTREME MAKE OVER of our nature and character. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (2Co. 5:17KJV) The phrase “born again” literally means “born from above.” When you're born again you don't Think, Talk, Act, Look, or Worship like the World! Being born again is the second of the four elements of the plan of salvation. Our first birth is a physical one our second birth, the one Jesus was referring to with Nicodemus, is a spiritual one. With the physical birth we inherited a carnal and sinful nature. It is imperative that we fully understand what it means to be born again, because the indwelling and filling of the Holy Spirit is essential for spiritual growth in Christ.

The Kingdom of God

Jesus through the suffering of the cross formed a new community a body of Holy Ghost filled followers and charged them to live radically different then the world around them. My fellow Christians salvation is about more than just a ticket to heaven, it's about relationship and community as well. It's about belonging to God's family, becoming a part of his kingdom, honoring and obeying our King. The prophets of old foretold of the messiah that God would send who would bring us into a new and right relationship with God and neighbor. The essence of the kingdom of God is that of community, God's people living in harmony with God and each other. When we are saved we enter a community, the body of Christ, an interconnected organism where the actions of each individual has an effect on the entire body.

“A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have loved one to another.” (John 13:34-35 KJV)

“Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you. Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you. These things I command you, that ye love one another.” (John 15:15-17 KJV)

“So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.” (Rom 12:5KJV)

”Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honor preferring one another;” (Rom 12:10 KJV)

“Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.” (Rom 12:15-16 KJV)

“Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.” (Rom. 13:8 KJV)

“For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men. Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.” (Rom. 14:17-19KJV)

“We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let every one of us please his neighbor for his good to edification. For even Christ pleased not himself: but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me. For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope. Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God.”(Romans 15:1-7)

“That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.”(1 Cor. 12:25KJV)

The kingdom of God is not a bunch of individual Christians. The “one another” commands are not just a good idea, but they demonstrate the new relationships that are now a reality of God's kingdom. When we're saved we enter a community, God did not call us to become lone Christians but to become part of his earthly kingdom.

The Consequences of Sin

Is there sin without consequence? Never!? There is never a sin that goes unseen or unpunished by God. Some of the consequences are mental while others are physical. Some are recompensed in heaven and others on earth. Because the consequence of sin is not manifested instantly the far reaching consequences of our actions are often unrecognized.

“Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.”(Pro 14:34KJV)

“Now be ye not stiffnecked, as your fathers were, but yield yourselves unto the LORD, and enter into his sanctuary, which he hath sanctified forever: and serve the LORD your God, that the fierceness of his wrath may turn away from you.”(2Ch 30:8KJV)

“Therefore have I poured out mine indignation upon them; I have consumed them with the fire of my wrath: their own way have I recompensed upon their heads, saith the Lord GOD.”(Ezek. 22:31KJV)

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;”(Rom. 1:18KJV)

“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”(Rom 6:23KJV)

“Be ye therefore followers of God as dear children: And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savor. But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them. For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.”(Eph. 5:1-10KJV)

“Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience:”(Col 3:5-6KJV)

There's a price we pay for sin. Whenever we disobey God there are real consequences that affect us and those around us. The consequences are most often seen in the absence of blessings in our lives. In other words, sin hinders us from experiencing all that God has for us. We live in an age when man wants sin without consequences. We want alcohol without hangovers. We want drugs without its ill effects. We want illicit sex without disease. We want homosexuality without Aids. We want adultery without broken homes, and the adverse effect of illegitimacy and the absences of both parents in the home. The list goes on, but regardless of what we want there is a consequence to sin! The unseen consequence of our actions, and what we don't reconize is there is no sin that goes unnoticed or unrewarded by God? “ Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”(Gal. 6:7KJV)

Thus to be saved is to be delivered from the consequence and destruction of sin. When our sins have been forgiven. When we've been born again. If we have forsaken this world and become a member of God's Kingdom. If we are no longer under the power and condemnation of sin. Then and only then can we say WE ARE SAVED and have a ticket to heaven.

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