Romans 10:13 – For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
Do not be deceived: we are saved not by works, not by some combination of works and faith, but by faith alone. Evidence of this is given in Galatians 3:6, which reads: “Even as Abraham belived God, and it was accounted unto him [Abraham] for righteousness.” God is the author and finisher of our faith, but Abraham is called the father of faith. So, the father of faith, the founder of Judaism and the line through which Jesus Christ came and established Christianity and made possible a personal relationship with God through His death and resurrection, was himself made righteous and therefore saved not according to anything that he did, but rather what he believed. And it is fortunate that it was not on the basis of what Abraham did, because even as the father of our faith, Abraham did a lot of bad things. He was born to a family that practiced a false religion (moon god worship), so he almost certainly did the same at some point. He also lied, rebelled against God, and disobeyed God, especially when he took Hagar as a wife and had Ishmael with her. In doing so he was true to the desires of his his wife Sarah and to the wicked practices and traditions of the time, but make no mistake, it was not what God wanted to happen, and was the cause of much trouble later. And not only that, but the son of Abraham (Isaac) and his grandson (Jacob, later renamed Israel) ALSO did a lot of bad things. But in spite of the bad things that they did, they believed, and because of that belief they were considered righteous – or saved – by God.
Indeed, sometimes it is BECAUSE of our sins that we ultimately believe, because the guilt that comes from the bad things that we do and the mess that we create when we do wrong drives us to seek help, relief, and answers, and it is the search for that which leads us to God. To the contrary, those who convince themselves that they never do anything wrong and are saved already because of who they are and what they do, people like that almost never find God because they already are the righteousness of God in their own eyes.
I mentioned that Abraham had a son with Sarah? Well, they had Isaac when Abraham was very old and impotent, and Sarah was very old and had been infertile her whole life. So, there was no way that they were going to have a child through natural means no matter what they did. The only way that it was going to happen was if God did it, and the only way that God was going to do it was if they believed. Romans 4:15 – 21 explains this beautifully. So, just like Abraham and Sarah were not going to have a child by anything that they did, you are not going to be saved by anything that you do. But just like they had Isaac by believing that they would have a child, you can be saved just by believing what God said in the Bible about your salvation.
God predicted through His prophet Joel in Joel 2:28 and fulfilled it with the declaration by His Son Jesus Christ in John 3 and Romans 10 (among other places) that we are saved merely by A) asking God to save us and B) believing that we are saved as soon as we do so and by doing so alone. Some people teach that there is this special process that you have to go through before and in order to be saved: that Calvinistic doctrine and similar are wrong. Others believe that in order to be really saved or for your salvation to be “proven” you must speak in tongues. That is a doctrine that was created by the “Jesus Only” or “Oneness Pentecostal” group of false Christians who deny Trinity, and is now common in the Word of Faith movement. Both contradict the Bible. The Calvinists believe that Jesus Christ’s death on the cross only accomplished partial redemption and salvation. The anti – Trinitarians believe that righteousness is accomplished by works and proven by outward signs: they are what Paul refers to as “of the circumcision” (meaning Jews who believed that person had to follow the law and – if male – had to be circumcised in order to be saved). There is also a false doctrine of “baptismal regeneration” and a similar one of “salvation by baptism”, which teaches that salvation is either accomplished or completed by virtue of baptism. While being baptized is a requirement of Christianity, it is NOT a requirement of salvation, but rather serves as a testimony to MEN (not to God) to represent what God has already done inside you through your faith in His ability and willingness to save you.
We cannot be saved by our own efforts. Why? Because what man does through his own effort can be either undone or nullified, as the power of man is limited. But God’s power is unlimited, unchallengeable. So, what God does for you cannot be undone or nullified. Therefore, if your salvation is due to some process, that process can be interrupted. If your salvation is due to works, then those works can be corrupted or undone. Now Calvinists to their credit do teach that one cannot “lose their salvation” through the sin or flaws that exist in all humans, but they wrongly teach that sin is not accomplished until you become completely aware of and therefore filled with guilt over all the sin that you have done and that you were born into, how evil you are, how you have hurt and angered God, etc. and tell God you are sorry, and then God takes you through this process where He gradually removes the sin out of you and saves you over time. Anti – Trinitarians do not teach this, but they do teach that if you commit “a really bad sin” or if you “sin over and over again”, then your salvation will be lost, and you will have to “be saved again.” So both are of the circumcision and therefore “legalists”: Calvinists regarding what needs to be done in order to be saved, anti – Trinitarians regarding what needs to be done after you are saved. As both believe to some degree in works and process, they both deny grace. Now while the Calvinist error is not fatal, it is problematic, especially regarding their utterly false and damaging belief that children cannot be saved because they are too young to be conscious of the depths of their sin, what it means to be a sinner, how they have hurt God, etc. Anti – Trinitarians, meanwhile, are just completely wrong; they willfully specifically deny the Bible on every point regarding salvation and the very nature of God.
But to summarize, go back to Abraham’s righteousness as described in Romans 4:15 – 21. Just as Abraham did not consider his impotence, his wife’s being barren, or their own age, you do not have to become consumed with grief concerning your own rottenness. You know that you are a sinner and that only God can save you from your sins and the punishment for your sins, that is all that matters. And do not think about how you have been unable to live righteously in the past, or be overwhelmed at the daunting task of having to live for God in the future. Just know that you are saved by what you believe, not by what you do. Know that you are getting something that you do not deserve; that is being freely given. If it is something that you do not deserve but was given to you, then what sense does it make to go out and try to get a job and work for it? Where is the gain in trying to earn some money to try to make it appear that you were worthy to receive it? Look, you were going to get it anyway, and God knows it. So rather than trying to make yourself worthy or appear worthy of the gift, just accept the gift and THEN WORK to show your LOVE and your GRATITUDE towards the giver. And just as Abraham had hope against hope that he would have a child, you need to have hope against hope that no matter what you have done or will do – for you will sin! – that God is going to save you anyway. You are not putting your faith in your own ability not to sin, but rather God’s ability to save you no matter what you do so long as you have faith.
It seems unfair? Well yes, it is unfair. But if God is willing to abide by those terms, who are you to say no? Just take what God is giving you and be happy, stop beating yourself up over it. Jesus Christ took the beating over your sins when He went to the cross for you, and since Jesus Christ is God, there is nothing that you can add on top of God Himself taking on such humiliation by dying the painful death of a criminal at the hands of sinners! “And being fully persuaded of what he had been promised, he did not waver but was able to be perform.” You have been promised salvation in the Bible, and if you are sure of what the Bible says, you will know that you are saved by belief alone, and you will be able to believe in your salvation because you will believe in the God that saved you. If you fall short, however, you will never believe in your salvation because you will reject God’s Word that promised you salvation in the way that the promise was made, you will never believe in your salvation, and you will never trust the God that saved you. You will always try to add to it with your own efforts, the way Abraham did when he had the child with Hagar. Abraham failed to believe that God would give him a child the way God said that he would, with Sarah. So he tried to help God with his own works and had a child that God never intended.
Once you read the Bible, especially John 3 and Romans 10, it is obvious that all that need happen for you to be saved is to A) know that you need to be saved, B) know that only God can save you and C) know that God will save you no matter what if you cry out to Him and D) cry out to Him. If you have never done so, or even if you have and are not sure, you can accomplish A – D right here, now, today. This prayer is all you need, say it, believe it, and be ready to both go to Heaven and serve God with the rest of your time on earth!
This is my personal version; quite a bit longer than the salvation prayer in the Bible.
Father God, the One True God of Heaven Who Created The Land, Sea, and All Things In The Earth, Above, And Below,In The Name Of Lord Jesus Christ.I Am Sorry For All My Sins. Please Forgive me.I believe that Jesus Christ was conceived by the Holy Spirit (or Holy Ghost)Born of the Virgin MaryDied for my sins on the crossRose from the dead on the third dayAscended into heavenAnd is the one begotten Son of GodAnd is God and part of the One GodThat is The Father, The Son, and The Holy Ghost (or Holy Spirit)And who was God and man while on Earth.
I submit that you are greater than I and all elseI submit myself to your complete authorityAnd promise to zealously seek and obeyYour will and your will aloneAll the days of my life.
I humbly request, Father God, In The Name Of JesusThat I be baptized with the Holy Spirit (or Holy Ghost)And receive evidence thereofAt the time that you in your infinite wisdomWould deem appropriate.
I believe that if I have said this prayer and fully believe and have faith in the contents therein that I am saved.I believe that this prayer and belief is all that is necessary to be savedAnd will hold fast to my salvation and the belief thereinWhatever the words or actions of any man or spiritSave God himself.
The Word Of God is the only Truth there isAnd I renounce all else.
In the name of my Lord and Savior Jesus ChristI thank you God for having mercy on meI thank you God for saving meI thank Jesus Christ for dying for my sins on the cross and rising againFor defeating death, hell, and SatanAnd thereby through him giving me the victory over the sameAnd thereby through him making a way for me to enter heaven.Thank you Father for accepting me into the Body of ChristFor my salvationAnd for my entrance into heaven should I sincerely obey and serve you henceforth and for the rest of my life.
In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.