Salvation Baselines

It all comes down to two things. See the radical simplicity and consistency.


Created: 2009/11/07. Updated: 2013/8/16.

The Way Back, Home


The classic declarations

In scripture the questions of “What must we do to be saved?”, or, “Who will be saved?” have several common replies.

  • In Acts 2:38 the apostle Peter said:
  • ...“Repent, and each of you be baptized...”
  • In Romans 10:9 the apostle Paul said:
  • if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;
  • In 1 John 4:14-15 the apostle John said:
  • 14 We have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.
    15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.

    Accepting or Rejecting Jesus

    I usually say that it’s all about accepting or rejecting Jesus. To accept Jesus can be seen as two steps:

    1. You first need to know who you are accepting, that is who he is and what he did.

    2. Then you have to accept Jesus for who he is, that is accepting his authority, Lordship, over you as the son of God.

    So although the Bible uses slightly different terminology in different places, it always comes down to accepting Jesus, knowing what he has done on the cross and his authority as the son of God.

    It’s always two steps

    Jesus would talk about “I in you and you in me” (John 14:20, John 15:4). Here are the steps again:

    1. Knowing and believing what Jesus did on the Cross would seem to be like accepting Jesus into us.
    2. Placing ourselves under his authority is to place ourselves in him.

    And by his authority what did Jesus tell us to do? He commanded us to love one another as he loved us (John 15:12). In fact this is the one rule that all the Old Testament law was based on (Matthew 22:37-40).

    The two ordinances of baptism and communion

    The once off baptism to remind us of the once off sacrifice he made to separate us from our sin (Step 1). Then an everyday reminder, as often as we eat and drink, to stay in fellowship with him and under his mantle of love (Step 2).

    The end times challenge

    Suppose I describe the two salvation steps as:

    1. Recognising that the blood of Jesus has marked us. That’s just a common symbolic reference to His sacrifice for us on the Cross – the spilling of His blood.
    2. Understanding that Jesus’ ascension declared Him to be the son of the one true and living God.

    Now look at the two quintessential tests for the Church during the end times. You must not worship the beast and you must not receive the mark of the beast. It is repeated clearly in all the following references: Revelation 14:9-11, 16:2, 19:20, 20:4. This level of repetition makes it very important.

    Now let’s look at how these two things attack the two essential steps in salvation:

    Never forget or deny what Jesus did and our response to who Jesus is.

    Finally, recall how Revelation 7 describes those who serve Jesus during these times as being sealed. Later it describes those who have white robes, made so by the blood of the Lamb, and they also receive the honour to serve Him. The end times seem to bring everything back to the fundamentals — there are no subtle theological twists. You either have the mark of the blood and serve Jesus, or you have the mark of the beast and serve the beast.

    Summary

    It always comes down to these two things:

    1. Knowing what Jesus did on the cross.
    2. Accepting his lordship over our lives.

    It’s not about rules and rituals. However you have achieved these two things, you are in! The way you stay in is the same way you got in.

    Scripture quotations taken from the NASB®

    back to top