The subject of "what Must I DO to be Saved?" is one of the most important questions you ever could answer. Our whole eternal destiny depends on the correct answer to this question. It seems strange that the vast majority of mankind goes around in a hurry everyday without giving much thought to the saving of their souls. Have you given much thought about your soul?
The FIFTH Bible Study that we recommend with anyone is a study on BIBLE CONVERSION because without this we can never be saved and spend eternity with God.
Man cannot save himself - "it is not in man that walked to direct his steps" (Jeremiah 10:23). The sinner cannot dictate to God what he will do to save himself. Neither morality nor good works are sufficient to save the soul (Titus 3:5). Preachers cannot devise a creed or catechism that will be of any benefit.
HOW WAS YOUR CONVERSION?
We must recognize Jesus as the Savior - "I am the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me" (John 14:6).
We must submit ourselves to the will of God - "What will thou have me to do?" (Acts 9:6). Many come to the Bible, find God's answer, and then refuse to do it! Others hear what they must do, but obey only those requirements that seem reasonable to them, leaving undone divine requirements of equal importance.
The book of Acts has two examples of conversion. The first, is found in verses 1-12 which tells of how the Samaritans hearing Philip preach Christ unto them, believed and were baptized. The latter case is found beginning with verse 26. In this account we learn about about an interesting man. "an eunuch of great authority" (he would be like our Secretary of the Treasury) and yet he was a religious man, he "had come to Jerusalem for to worship." An angel called Philip from his labors in Samaria and sent him out to a deserted place. The Holy Spirit told Philip To GO join the chariot, the eunuch invited him up and Philip began with the scripture that the eunuch was already reading and taught him about Jesus.
As they continued to travel, they came unto some water. The eunuch had been sufficiently taught to know what he must DO to obtain salvation. Notice what happens next. The eunuch sees water and now see water is how he gets INTO Christ (Romans 6: 3-5, Galatians 3:27)...he requested to be baptized! At this point he heard the Word , He believed, He was ready to change and now make his confession that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. The chariot was stopped, both the preacher and the eunuch went down into the water and he was baptized.
As he he rejoiced all the way home can you imagine the story he had to tell when he reached Ethiopia. This may be how the gospel first came to be preached in East Africa.
This Is Our Program Suggested Study Guide
Fifth Study -Bible Conversion
1. What is your personal understanding of conversion?
Conversion is a popular subject is the religious world and mean many different things among these many groups. What does the word mean? The Cambridge Dictionary defines the word CONVERSION as a process in which someone changes to a new religion or belief:
Have you been converted to Christ?
While this definition may capture a glimpse of what conversion means we must look to the Bible to get a better understanding of what conversion meant.
2. Have you participated in the necessity of the new birth?
John 1: 9-13
What does the Bible teach is necessary to become a child of God? Belief plus being born again of God are necessary. Note: All people are created by God but ONLY those BORN AGAIN of GOD are His children (Christians according to the Bible).
What is essential to enter the kingdom of God? What two elements does new birth involve? How many "birthdays" should a Christian have? Can you name your BIRTH or BORN days?
3. Where would you start to look to find people coming to Christ?
Many have asked where would I look in the Bible to find out exactly how to be born again (become a Christian)? One could start in the book of Acts, because it records the time period after Jesus' death, when the New Covenant came into effect or "a force". On the Day of Pentecost we see how about 3000 souls were converted to Christ and added by the Lord to His church.
In light of this subject we would like to discuss "the thief on the Cross".
As is commonly the case when baptism is mentioned as part of God’s plan of salvation, some pointed to the thief on the cross as a reason why baptism is not essential. The thief, mentioned in Luke 23:39-43, was promised by Jesus that He would be with Jesus in paradise after their deaths that same day.
1. This is the very first sermon under the New Covenant time period. On this day we can see how people became Christians.
2. Did these people believe? Yes, they would not have asked about what they needed to do if they did not believe the message.
3. Notice that they were pricked in the heart. What does that mean? Why were they pricked in the heart? They were pricked in the heart because of Peter's statement that they had crucified Jesus whom God had made both Lord and Christ.
In what sense did we and they crucify Jesus?
We are all responsible for His death because He died for our sin. It was not the nails that held Jesus to the cross, it was the fact that if He did not endure the cross, none of us could be saved. Are we pricked in the heart because of what Jesus did for us?
4. How does God making Jesus Lord and Christ and our repentance go together?
Discuss: How do we show that Jesus is both Lord and Christ in our lives? How would we treat Jesus if we had the proper understanding of Him being both our Lord and Christ?
5. Peter tells then to repent and be baptized. What is the part that God does when we repent and are baptized? He forgives our sins and gives us the gift of the Holy Spirit? These two acts on the part of God removing the barrier between us (sin) and Him and provide a relationship with Him by giving us another part of Himself (the Holy Spirit). This puts us in the position of being right with God, being a Christian. How does this passage relate to being born again of water and the spirit?
1. Baptism is in water.
2. Baptism is part of the message of good news about Jesus.
3. Baptism is done immediately at the request of the individual not the convenience of a church.
4. The rejoicing of new birth follows baptism.
4. Why are our sins forgiven when we repent and are baptized?
1. What does this passage say happens when one has a Biblical baptism?
We are "baptized INTO His death"
We are "buried with Him through baptism INTO death" When one buries something does he sprinkle a little dirt on it? No, he puts it under the ground or makes sure it if fully covered (no longer exposed). The Bible TEACHES that baptism is immersion. The word baptism means to dip,plunge ore to immerse.
We are raised to live a NEW life.
This promise was given to all people following that day.
2. Who saves men? Jesus, but what specifically about Jesus, His death in our place on the cross. Jesus' death is the only thing that can pay for our sins, but where do we come in contact with that death?
In baptism we participate in the actual death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This is the NEW birth. This is WY in Acts 2:38 baptism is for the forgiveness of sins. Jesus death pays for our sin and we come in contact with that death in baptism.
Discuss: What have you learned about the importance of baptism? There are religious leaders (preachers) that teach that baptism is not essential to salvation. What is the consequences of people believing this?
5. What if I was baptized for reasons other than those stated in the Bible (as an outward sign of an inward grace or change, or to join a church, etc..)?
1. This passage says that we are raised with Him through tour faith in the working or operation of God. Our faith that God will do what He promised to do in baptism causes Him to raise us with Christ. What is the working or operation of God in baptism? It is the removal of our sin and giving us His Spirit as stated in Acts 2:38. That is why if one is baptized for other reasons he cannot have the faith in the working of God that is needed to raise him with Christ. One cannot have faith in something happening that one is not aware of. For a baptism to be what it needs to be Biblically, it needs to be done with the correct understanding and faith in that understanding (Romans 10:17).
Discuss: How one must obey from the heart that "Form of doctrine" before they can be made free of sin. How can we obey something we did not know at the time? How can a person be taught WRONG and saved RIGHT?
1. This is a Bible account of Paul's conversion. Notice the following:
Did Paul believe after having seen Jesus? Of course he did. It is like believing in a truck that is headed towards hitting you.
Did Paul repent after seeing Jesus? Yes, see Acts 9:7-9, Paul did not eat or drink for three days. That is very penitent. (After being confronted with Jesus and who He really is and represents what was your response?)
Even though Paul believed and was penitent was his sins forgiven BEFORE baptism? No, his sins were not washed away until baptism (verse 6).
Discuss: This is very important to understand because many people have been misled to believe that they were saved in many ways Before they were ever baptized if they were baptized at all.
1. This passage mentions the need to believe and confess to be saved. This passage has been used many times to attempt to make a case that one does not need to be baptized. The story goes that since this verse says "If thy shalt CONFESS with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt BELIEVE in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, THOU SHALT BE SAVED". There is it is folks ....you are not saved according to many people today based off this one verse. This verse does not say you have to hear God's word even though this is how the honest seeker obtain Faith. Without faith we CANNOT please God (Hebrews 11:6). This one verse does not mention that one must Repent yes even Jesus said unless we repent we will all perish (Luke 13: 3, 5). This one verse does not mention baptism even though the writer of this book Paul was baptize (we just read that above), Jesus taught the way to make His disciples was to teach them and then BAPTIZE them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit (Matthew 28: 18-20). Does Romans 10:9 negate all of these other verses of scriptures? Does the Bible contradict itself? Of course NOT! Read verse 10
Many people try to make their case without reading the very next verse! Verse 10 ...Let's READ IT .."For with the heart man Believeth UNTO righteousness; and with the mouth Confession is made UNTO salvation." Did you see that? People must learn that UNTO is not INTO. UNTO means that you are on your way! INTO means that you are there!!
Discuss: How many people have been taught to be on their way to salvation and never get there? How does this related to Matthew 25: 1-13 special note: verse 10 "but while they were on their way..." NIV version.
Are you on your way to being saved correctly? Are you on your way to making a decision to reject religious practices that you now know are not in the Bible? Are you on your way to repenting and making the changes in your life that God requires? Are you on your way?
OR will the DOOR be eternally shut because you waited too long to be ready?
What did you learn most from this lesson?
Many people have been baptized but have they been FULLY converted? We will conclude with this in Lesson Seven.