What Must I Do To Be Saved?

What Must I Do To Be Saved?
By: C.D. Coon

ACTS 16:25-34

In each person’s life there comes a time when he feels some type action must be taken, or some type experience undergone in order for him to be saved. The above question is a cardinal one of paramount importance to each generation. We are right in coming to the conclusion something must be done on our part in order to be saved. The consensus we are lost, without God, a sinner, doomed, or whatever term we employ, is absolutely correct. Since all have sinned (Romans 3:23), we must become aware of our need of salvation from sin.

This unending question goes on arising to besiege each individual somewhere in life. I join you in the quest for salvation. I too want to be saved from sin and everlasting punishment, but the question remains regarding salvation, “WHAT MUST I DO?”

This lesson proposes to explore, fairly and scripturally, the proper plan of action that will initially save us from our sins. Later we will study the continual conduct required to retain our status of SAVED.

Erring here spells eternal doom; finding truth and obeying it will mean eternal joy in heaven in the end. We must have God’s intervention and help to find and obtain salvation.

Saved or Save both have several connotations in the Bible ranging from physical to spiritual deliverance. This lesson deals exclusively with salvation or deliverance from sin to the extent that we are a ready candidate for heaven if we die, or the Lord returns for the church.


SAVED – comes from the Greek word SOZO meaning to save, deliver, protect, heal, and preserve. Webster stated that in theology it means to deliver a person or soul from sin and punishment; redeem from spiritual death.


Note the following scriptural references that denote action on our part in order to be saved:

1. “…Receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.” (James 1:21). Emphasis here is on the WORD.

2. “Who so walketh uprightly shall be saved…” (Proverbs 28:18). Emphasis here is on WALKING UPRIGHTLY.

3. “…Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.” (Luke 7:36-50). Emphasis here is on FAITH.

4. “Who shall tell thee words, whereby thou and all thy house shall be saved.” (Acts 11:14; Read Acts 10:1-48 – 11:1-18). Emphasis here is on WORDS SPOKEN.

5. “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved…” (John 10:9). Emphasis here is on ENTERING IN THE DOOR (JESUS).

  1. “…Even baptism doth also now save us…” (I Peter 3:21). Emphasis here is on BAPTISM.

    7. “…Save yourselves from this untoward generation.” (Acts 2:40).Emphasis here is on SAVING YOURSELF.

    8. “Look unto me, and be saved, all the ends of the earth…” (Isaiah 45:22). Emphasis here is on LOOKING INTO GOD.

    9. “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” (Acts 16:31). Emphasis here is on BELIEVING.

    10. “For by grace are ye saved through faith…” (Ephesians 2:5,8) Emphasis here is on GRACE AND FAITH.

    11. “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:13). Emphasis here is on CALLING ON THE NAME OF THE LORD.

    12. “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his  mercy he saved us…” (Titus 3:5). Emphasis here is on MERCY.

    13. “…He that endureth to the end shall be saved.” (Matthew 10:22).  Emphasis here is on ENDURING.

    14. “For we are saved by hope…” (Romans 8:24). Emphasis here is on HOPE.

    15. “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved…” (Mark 16:16). Emphasis here is on BELIEVING and BAPTISM.

    16. “That if thou 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.” (Romans 10:9). Emphasis here is on CONFESSING and BELIEVING.

    You have heard these Scriptures used separately and combined, as a course of action on one’s part in order to obtain salvation from sin.

Note these Scriptures are throughout the Bible, some spoken by Prophets, Apostles, Jesus, Solomon, and Paul. Who is right? Do these verses contradict each other? Do we use just one verse, all sixteen verses together, or three or four verses together, to obtain a formula for salvation?

I contend we must use all sixteen verses IN CONTEXT along with the rest of the Word of God as it relates to obligatory action on our part. We are in gross error to tell a sinner simply to believe, just singularly be baptized, have hope, endure, or use one single verse alone. All are pertinent in relation to the rest of God’s Word on the subject.

I present to you other scriptures you must consider in relation to your soul’s salvation. May we carefully and rightly divide the word of truth at this juncture (II Timothy 2:15). The following are progressive steps we must take to obtain this great salvation. Details of each point will be covered in subsequent lessons.



From the Bible we learn that it is essential to believe God and His word or we will never take another positive step toward being saved. Faith is an absolute prerequisite in coming to God. Yet faith or believing alone is insufficient to obtain salvation from sin. Study the following scriptures, along with others as they relate to salvation.

1. “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.” (Hebrews 11:6).

2. “… Whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16).

3. “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Romans 10:17).

  1. “In whom ye also trusted… believed… were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise.” (Ephesians 1:13).

    5. “…It pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.” (I Corinthians 1:21).

    Refer to any of the first sixteen verses that relate to faith and believing.



    Repentance, is one of the cardinal doctrines of the Bible. It is an action on our part that follows our believing in God and His word. God’s Word plainly and simply teaches that we must repent.

    1. “…Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:3).

    2. “…Repent ye, and believe the gospel.” (Mark 1:15).

    3. “…I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” (Mark 2:17).

    4. “…Now commandeth all men every where to repent.” (Acts 17:30).

    5. “Not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” (II Peter 3:9).

    6. “And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations beginning at Jerusalem.” (Luke 24:$7).

  2. “Then Peter said unto them, 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.” (Acts 2:38).

    After you believe, you must repent. Repentance means feeling sorry for your sins; making an about face; having a change of mind and heart; asking God to forgive you of all past sins.

    The following is another step of affirmative action to be taken.


    Water baptism, by immersion, in the name of Jesus Christ, is an essential part of salvation. You will note in the Scripture, that it is the means by which the blood of Christ washes away sin (Acts 22:16). We have remission of sins through baptism in His name (Acts 2:38).

    1. “…Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” (John 3:5).

    2. “…Baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” (Matthew 28:19). Note the fact that NAME here is singular. The name must be used in baptism; not the titles Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

  3. “Be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins…” (Acts 2:38).

    4. Study these verses on the subject of baptism: (Luke 24:47; Acts 22:16; I Corinthians 6:11; 1 Peter 3:20-21; Romans 6:3-4; Colossians 2:12; Galatians 3:27; Acts 2:41; 8:12-16; 10:44-48; 19:1-7).

    Refer to any of the first sixteen verses of this lesson that relate to water baptism.



The Holy Ghost is the comforter Jesus sent back into the heart and soul of man. Christ’s church, which He purchased with his own blood (Acts 20:28), began on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4). Here many received the Holy Ghost evidenced by speaking with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them the utterance. This experience is available today and is essential in our lives (Romans 8:9).

1. John the Baptist speaking of Jesus said, “…He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire.” (Matthew 3:11; Mark 1:8;Luke 3:16; John 1:33).

2. “For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.” (Acts 1:5; John 7:37-39; 14:16-17; 15:26; 16:7-13). Jesus is teaching about the Holy Ghost in these verses.

3. “And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” (Acts 2:4).

Experiencing the Holy Ghost is life’s most exciting event. We are highly honored of God to have this great gift. Many Scriptures give us insight on this glorious experience (Romans 8:9-11; Joel 2:28-29; Acts 2:1-18; John 3:1-8; Acts 8; 10; 19:1-6).

Being saved from sin and ready for heaven is life’s most important pursuit. Salvation is more valuable than wealth, fame, or even life itself. God’s Word is the ONLY source we have telling us how to receive salvation.

I wish there were one chapter or one book of the Bible giving a step by step detailed analysis of everything we have to do. God has chosen to place nuggets of truth here and there in His Word to be sought out by you and me. This is the purpose of this lesson.

Try, as I may, I cannot accept the idea that if I simply believe in my heart, and make a confession with my mouth, that this alone constitutes salvation from sin. I have read too much about faith, repentance, baptism, and the Holy ghost to accept this proposal.

Dare we accept fragments of truth on such a vital matter as salvation? Can we dwell on faith and ignore baptism? Shall we demand baptism and skip repentance? Can we be saved by accepting one part of the plan and rejecting the rest of the Bible?

When we search out truth in its entirety and obey it; we can be saved. Don’t be deceived by any person or any denominational teaching! Read your Bible: obey it: this will save you.

The Queen of Sheba traveled from the utmost part of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon (Luke 11:31), but a greater than Solomon is here – Jesus Christ. How much have you sought after Him and His plan of salvation? Never forget this one verse in your searching for salvation.

“Neither Is There Salvation In Any Other; For There Is None Other Name Under Heaven Given Among Men, Whereby We Must Be Saved.” (Acts 4:12).

(The above material was published by Christian Development Publications.)

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