What We Must Believe to Be Saved
Some people almost proudly say; “I don’t believe the Bible and that religious stuff, but I believe there’s a God,” hoping that’s enough for them to be okay when they die.
My purpose here is to address the real issue of what is required to be saved from perdition; that is saved from being judged, possibly unto “everlasting destruction” (2Thes. 1:9).
The one who would say he believes there is a God and hopes that’s enough to be saved would at first glance seem to be able to claim this verse,
6 … for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, … Hebrews 11:6 (KJV)
Reading this verse, one might believe it is sufficient to simply believe “God IS,” that God exists, in order to be saved. But this verse must be seen in context of the whole Bible. Since the Bible tells us “The Devils also believe [God is]” (James 2:19), it’s clear that this belief alone actually is not adequate for salvation… there is one more crucial step of faith that is required.
Despite the increase in rationalism, skepticism, and materialism there are those today who do believe that “God IS,” that a God exist. Most would say by believing in God, they simply mean that there is a supreme being, the Almighty, in Whose hand the ultimate issue of all things rests. And in times of difficulty some even try to turn to God in prayer. And though He is so great, they hope He hears them when they pray. They hope that if they live decent lives, trying to do their best, He will receive them in the hereafter.
But, is it really enough to simply believe that “God IS”?
Is it sufficient to simply to hope that all will be well because we have tried to do our best?
These questions strike at the root of the lack of confidence with which many try to still their fears.
Who can answer such questions except God Himself? And thankfully He has done that, for “God … hath spoken.”
1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, 2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Hebrews 1:1-2 (KJV)
To believe that there is but One God is good but that of itself is not enough, for He says;
19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: [but] the devils also believe, and tremble. James 2:19 (KJV).
Seeing that God has spoken, it’s not enough to only say “He IS,” because we also must believe His words by which He direct His hearers to His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
5 … This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; Hear Ye Him. Matthew 17:5 (KJV)
And ‘to do our best’ is of course good, but it is not sufficient. We certainly cannot do more than our best, but the point is that our best cannot reach the required standard of God for salvation. We should note that God cannot look upon Sin, and we’ve all sinned as sinners.
13 Thou [Lord God] art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity [sin]: … Habakkuk 1:13 (KJV)
6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him [Jesus] the iniquity [sin] of us all. Isaiah 53:6 (KJV)
Thankfully, since the Cross-death of Jesus the world is no longer alienated from God on account of sin, for we are reconciled to God… through His Son.
19 To wit, that God [The Father] Was In Christ, Reconciling The World Unto Himself, Not imputing [Counting] their trespasses [sins] unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation… 21 For He [The Father] Hath Made Him [Jesus] To Be Sin For Us [on the Cross in our stead], who knew no sin; [so] that we might be made the righteousness of God In Him [in union with Christ]. 2 Corinthians 5:19, 21 (KJV)
Now, since the Cross, the Lord Jesus Christ, NOT SIN, stands between God and man. Before Sin was taken away, it was the Sin that caused our alienation that was as a barrier between God and man. No amount of the goodness of man could surmount that barrier, but God made Christ to be the right-of way or the one and only mediator between God and man.
6 Jesus saith unto him, I Am The Way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. John 14:6 (KJV)
2 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he [Jesus Christ] ever liveth To Make Intercession For Them. Hebrews 7:25 (KJV)
For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; 1 Timothy 2:5 (KJV)
As the Lord Jesus Christ is the One and Only Mediator between God and Man, it remains for us to come unto God through Jesus Christ alone. God has manifested His love to the world in the gift of His Son. This provision of the Son is enough for all, but He has ordained that we must each, individually, believe on Jesus Christ in order to receive God’s gift of forgiveness and His everlasting life to be our new genuinely righteous life.
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, [so] that whosoever believeth in him should not perish [be destroyed], but Have [His] Everlasting Life. John 3:16 (KJV)
The Lord Jesus Himself said;
1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye [already] believe in God, Believe Also In Me. John 14:1 (KJV).
Thus, Jesus made it clear that to believe on Him does not mean for us to merely admire Him as a great teacher, but rather to acknowledge that He [Jesus] is GOD, worthy of honor, equal with the Father.
23a That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father… John 5:23a (KJV)
No matter if a man may profess to honor God, it will not avail if the essential issue concerning His Son is omitted, for as the Lord Jesus said;
23b He that honoureth NOT the Son honoureth NOT the Father which hath sent him. John 5:23b
The Lord Jesus Christ is therefore the One indispensable mediator between God and man. It is not a question of whether we simply believe that “God IS,” but rather whether we believe God concerning His Son. Neither is it a question of whether we have lived well enough, the essential point is … have we believed on the Lord Jesus Christ unto salvation, so that we have ‘redemption through His shed blood, for the forgiveness of sins’ Ephesians 1:7 (KJV)
Thus, Jesus asked Peter a key question and he gave the correct answer;
15 … But whom say ye that I am? … 16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. Matthew 16:15-16 (KJV)
The Apostle Paul, as “the Apostles to the Gentiles” declared the simple truth that faith in Christ alone brings salvation.
31 … BELIEVE on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved… Acts 16:31 (KJV)
8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of [religious] works, lest any man should boast. Ephesians 2:8-9 (KJV)