2010-05-14 - What Must I Do To Be Saved?
Part 1 ~ Originally Preached 2002-06-30
Now look in Luke 10:25-28.
The same question is asked of Jesus by another man. Look also at the 2nd book of Luke - Acts 16:30.
Acts 16:30 - And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?
There a Philippian jailer asks Paul and Silas, "What must I do to be saved?" No matter how it is phrased that question is still asked today. "What must I do to be saved?"
Saved, like many words in English, has multiple meanings depending on context as E. Paul Hovey illustrates saying, "A publishing concern ran the following advertisement: 'You can save $2.00 on The Life of the Lord Jesus Christ'. Which leads one to question what we mean when we use the words save and salvation" Generally we may think saved means we have to be a "Christian" right? So then comes the question.
Well what is a Christian?
Think about that for just a minute. Early on members of the church were called "Followers of the Way". Later the world began calling them Christians. This watered down the truth I think because it's not enough to be a Christian as the word simply means Christ like. It is not enough to be good like Christ we must be followers of the Way. Jesus Christ is the Way. We must have a relationship with Him and dependence on Him.
A lot of churchy terms are used to describe this phenomenon -- saved,born again, believer and the list goes on and on. Churchy words like this can be confusing but I'll use salvation or being saved as these are the most commonly used. I hope you will understand just how I use them by the end. In any church whether it be this one or any other one, a lot of us here may claim to be saved but none of us here are completely saved. Huh? Let me repeat myself. No one including the saved is completely saved. So how can we be saved but not saved?
Remember the multiple meanings - well different Greek words are translated to what we see as saved or salvation and they can each have different meanings based on context so we must look at different meanings of saved.
Salvation is really a three-step program. There is a time, a life changing experience, after which we can say we are saved. Then there is an ongoing process of being saved. And in the future comes a final time of being saved. Whoa! Alarms went off for a lot of you just now but please hear me out ok. It will make sense and it will be scriptural I promise.
Many of us are familiar with the idea laid out by Paul in Ephesians 2:8 that salvation is by grace through faith. Well looking at Hebrews 11:1 we see a clear definition of faith. First faith is "substance of things hoped for". We hope for future things. So here we see faith has a future quality. Next faith is "evidence of things not seen". Now evidence is something left after the fact. So here we see a past tense to the faith. And finally by looking throughout the scriptures we can see mentions of faith as something that grows and shrinks, thrives and dies. So it has a present nature too. Just as faith has a past, present, and future so too does salvation.
Until next time...
All verses are from the King James Version unless otherwise specified.