Questions of the Week

You are very wise to verify an important truth like salvation from Scripture.  Sometimes people will come up with an idea and say that it’s in the Bible, when in fact it’s not.

You can be sure that the Bible is full of information about salvation, and it is very clear that we are saved only by God’s grace through Jesus Christ.  Now, to be clear, there isn’t a Bible verse that says, “You must accept Jesus Christ as your Savior before you die in order to be saved,” and that’s not what you’re asking.  What you want is evidence that this is what the Bible teaches.  So what we’re going to do is take you through a few verses that point to this.  You can look up these verses on your own.

First we have to find what the Bible says about the human condition.  Here you need to read Romans 3:23, which says that every person has sinned and falls short of God’s perfect standard.  Next, you have to see that there’s a death penalty for sin (for that go to Romans 6:23).  The conclusion of Scripture is unmistakable:  Every person is a sinner, and sin leads to death.  Not good for the human race!

Now go to John 3:16, the most popular verse in the Bible.  This verse makes it clear that God sent Jesus into the world so that all who believe in Him would have eternal life.  Everyone still dies in the physical sense, but those who put their faith in Jesus will have eternal life.

Finally, we need to know that there is no other way to have eternal life, except to go through Jesus Christ.  He is the only way to be saved from eternal death (John 14:6, Acts 4:12).  And there’s no other way to receive salvation through Jesus except through faith.  Our good deeds won’t do it (Ephesians 2:8-9).

There are many other verses we could show you, but these are some of the clearest.  Hopes this helps answer your question.  May God bless you!


12 Responses to “Does the Bible say you have to believe in Jesus to be saved?”  

  1. 1 Adam

    That is definitly true!!!†

  2. 2 Christine

    What about the scriptures that include Baptism to be truly saved as well as speaking your belief. Sometimes it makes it sound like it goes hand-in-hand.

    It gets confusing… by speaking you are saved, but you don’t receive the true effect of the Holy Spirit until you are Baptized.

    Mind you, when I first accepted Christ (1 year ago) sans Baptism, I KNOW I received the Holy Spirit because there was no way I could have been the person I was after that without the fruits of the Spirit!

    The only time I got confused is when I felt a yearning to get Baptized and the Church I happen to be going to (Church of Christ)(I was raised Catholic)was trying to tell me I am not saved UNTIL I get Baptized.

    I have been through scripture and I see scripture that points to both arguments. It’s like God is saying Yes and Yes! Most concrete is Matthew 28:19-20, right from Jesus’ mouth! Please advise. (By the way I got Baptized because I felt it so deeply into my heart to do so out of obedience not because the Church of Christ scared me into thinking I wasn’t saved after this whole year!) ~ Christine

  3. 3 Stan

    Actually, there is no Scripture that says you have to be baptized to be saved. Jesus told His disciples to go out and make disciples, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit (Matt. 28:19-20). But notice the order. We are to make disciples (which actually follows conversion), and then baptize. Baptism is a natural follow up to salvation, but Jesus didn’t make it a requirement for salvation. Baptism is a witness to the salvation that has already taken place. It is important for a believer to be baptized as a witness of a life changed by the person and work of Jesus, but it is not a prerequisite for salvation.

    Now, if you are referring to the baptism of the Holy Spirit, that is definitely required, but everyone who calls upon the name of Jesus for salvation is baptized into the body of Christ by the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:13). In other words, you can’t be saved without this Holy Spirit baptism! Jesus affirmed this when He said, “the Holy Spirit gives new life from heaven” (John 3:6). And you experienced this yourself.

    As for why you got baptized, you did it for the right reason. What to go! It shows what you can do when you seek God’s wisdom through His word and through prayer.

    Stan

  4. 4 shelia Pipkin

    Hello,

    I’m Shelia Pipkin and I have a question but it does not concern the question of the week. will we be punish by God if we do not tithe ten percent of our income. Please give me some insight on this issue.

    Sincerely,
    shelia Pipkin

    July 20, 2006

  5. 5 Stan Jantz

    Shelia–

    Nowhere in Scripture does it say that God will punish us if we don’t tithe ten percent of our income. In fact, the ten percent tithe is an Old Testament principle that applied to the nation of Israel. In the New Testament age–the age of the Church–there is a new principle that supersedes the Old Testament “law,” and it’s this: God loves a cheerful giver (2 Cor. 9:7). God wants our giving to be a matter of the heart. He wants us to give willingly out of a grateful heart, not because we are obligated.

    Now, having said that, there are benefits to giving to the Lord and His work. First, there is the benefit of seeing our resources help others in ministry. Second, God will muliply what we give, no matter what the amount. Third, the Lord will bless us if we give, maybe not with direct financial benefits, but with spiritual blessings. Not giving to God means we don’t enjoy these benefits and blessings.

    Stan

  6. 6 joyce

    where can i find scripture that tells me that God changed the law after mal 3? in that case is the 23 psalms void. does this mean that thy shall worship no other god void? isn’t the old testament a fore shadow of the new? are you saying that the old testament isn’t important? why does God expect us to read it? why do you read it? this is to Stan concernig titheing. do you teach from the old testament scriptures? do you believe in blessing and curses?

  7. 7 Stan Jantz

    The best answer I can give you is to refer you to Galatians 3:15-29. Here the apostle Paul explains the relationship between the law and God’s promises, and why the law was given in the first place:

    “Well then, why was the law given? It was given to show people how guilty they are. But this system of law was to last only until the coming of the child to whom God’s promise was made” (Gal 3:19a).

    Then Paul answers an important question:

    “Well then, is there a conflict between God’s law and God’s promise? Absolutely not! If the law could have given us new life, we could have been made right with God by obeying it. But the Scriptures have declared that we are all prisoners of sin, so the only way to receive God’s promise is to believe in Jesus Christ” (Gal. 3:21-22).

    If we could keep the law perfectly, that would be great. We would be justified and made right with God. But nobody can keep the law. All have sinned. So it was necessary for God to send Jesus Christ as our substitute law-keeper. Jesus lived a perfect life, and He was the perfect sacrifice for sin on our behalf, so that we are justified, not by keeping the law, but by believing in Jesus Christ.

    So it’s not that the law is void. The point is that the law can’t save us. All it can do is show us that we are sinners. Besides that, Jesus came to set a higher standard. Here’s an example. Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount that the law says, “Do not commit adultery” (in fact, that’s one of the Ten Commandments). But Jesus raises the standard when He says, “anyone who even looks at a woman with lust in his eye has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matt. 5:28). Jesus isn’t doing away with the law (we still shouldn’t commit adultery), but we shouldn’t take pride in keeping that law. We need to examine our hearts to see if we violating the higher standard set by Jesus.

    Now, let’s apply tithing to this principle. It’s not that tithing isn’t a good idea. But if we think that by giving God our 10%, we have fulfilled the law, and therefore God is pleased, then we are only fooling ourselves. Jesus would say that the attitude of our heart is more important than “giving the minimum.” That’s why Paul said:

    “You must each make up your own mind as to how much you should give. Don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. For God loves the person who gives cheerfully. And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others” (2 Cor. 9:7-8).

    Stan

  8. 8 Aunonymous

    I am really confused about all this. People tell me that I have to be saved in order to go to heaven and if I don’t I will go to hell. Is there any verse that says you have to be saved in order to go to heaven? Do I have to give my life up to Jesus and say I am a sinner and all that or do I just have to believe in him? Please help me shed some light on this! Thanks so much

    Aunonymous

  9. 9 Rene Melendez

    To A(u)nonymous,

    There are many scriptures (verses) that tell us that if we die in the same spiritual condition that we were born with, we will perish, be “cast into the lake of fire”, be condemned, etc. Everyone knows what John 3:16 says. John 3:18 says: “He that believeth (in Him) is not condemned (At the final judgement)but he that believeth not is condemned already (At the final judgement) because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten son of God (Jesus). We must be born again.(Of the Spirit). In other words “born once, die twice, born twice, die once”. There is nothing to be confused about. God is not the God of confusion! There are far more Scriptures that speak very clearly about being saved than those which we don’t understand. Yes you must confess (preferably in the presence of witnesses) that you are a sinner. Otherwise, there is no reason to get saved in the first place. That’s why Jesus died for us. Because the wages of sin is death. Jesus took your place and paid the wages of your sins. To not accept and confess Jesus as your loving Saviour is to accept eternal death. (spiritual death) We are all born; by sin; spiritually dead and out of favor with God, and the only way to get back on good terms with God is the way He tells us to; through Jesus Christ. Do not get hung up on all the little intricacies people have introduced concerning salvation. It is clear “He that believeth (on Jesus, and receives Him as Saviour)shall be saved, he that believeth not shall be damned”. I strongly suggest that you join a Bible study group of your age or with whomever you are comfortable. Prayerfully (yes pray) and ask God the Holy Spirit to teach you and remove confusion from your study of His Word. In time you will have the basics and can move on to more difficult subjects.

    God Bless You,
    Rene Melendez

  10. 10 Stan Jantz

    Rene–

    Very good advice, especially when you say, “Do not get hung up on all the little intricacies people have introduced concerning salvation.” People have added many things to salvation by faith alone in Christ alone. We need to know what the Bible teaches us.

  11. 11 El gato

    Stan, you are incorrect. Nicodemus asked Jesus “What must a man do to be saved?” and Jesus answered him “Repent and be baptized.”

  12. 12 Stan Jantz

    What translation is that? And what verse?