Question: “What does a person have to believe in order to be saved? That would be great to know because I watched a Grace Evangelical Society video and others and I know salvation is by faith alone, but I’m not sure what the ‘saving facts’ are. God bless.” (Edited for clarity)
Answer: Wow, what an excellent question. Let’s start laying out what we already know to be true.
- The gospel message is, “… that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; And that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.” (cf. I Corinthians 15:3-4)
- Salvation is described…
- by Jesus as, “… that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (cf. John 3:16).
- by Paul as, “… Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved…” (cf. Acts 16:31).
- by Peter as, “… that whosoever believeth in Him shall receive the remission of sin.” (cf. Acts 10:43).
Salvation is simply, believing the gospel, which states, that Jesus, the Son of God, paid for your sin on the cross, was buried, and rose again. The moment a person places their faith in Jesus, they are…
- Justified – “And by Him all that believe are justified from all things…” (cf. Acts 13:39)
- Sanctified – “By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” (cf. Hebrews 10:10)
- Delivered from condemnation – “… He that heareth my word, and believeth on Him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.” (cf. John 5:24)
- Given eternal life – “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that you have eternal life…” (cf. I John 5:13)
- Sealed – “… in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise.” (cf. Ephesians 1:13)
I take issue with the term “saving facts” because it implies that the facts are what saves a person. Jesus is the One Who saves. The gospel message tells the truth of Jesus as the Christ, Who can take away the sins of the world (cf. John 1:29; I John 2:2). Faith is not what saves. Faith in Jesus Christ is what saves. The gospel message contains what a person must believe to receive eternal life, forgiveness of sins, and even peace with God (cf. Romans 5:1-2)! I use an illustration that contains seven points which help a person understand.
- We are all sinners (cf. Romans 3:23)
- The wages of sin is death (cf. Romans 6:23)
- Perfection is required to enter Heaven (cf. Revelation 21:27)
- Good works cannot pay for sin or make one perfect (cf. Ephesians 2:8-9; James 2:10; Hebrews 10:1)
- Jesus Christ, the Son of God, died on the cross to pay for all the sins of all the world (cf. John 3:16; I John 2:2)
- We are saved by believing on Jesus Christ’s payment for our sins (cf. John 3:16, 5:24, 6:47)
- Once we believe on Jesus then we are given eternal life, which can never be lost (cf. I John 5:13; Ephesians 1:13-14)
There are some points in this illustration that many people may already believe. For example, an American most likely has already heard all those points, yet they are not aware that faith alone in Jesus is what saves. They may be thinking their good works can save them. I won’t know unless I talk with them. What are the saving facts for that person? None! They need believe on Jesus instead of their good works! I may speak with someone who truly believes they have never sinned. I know they need to understand God’ definition of righteousness and how they have failed to meet that definition. What are the saving facts for that person? There are none. They need to see their need for a savior and that Jesus has made the payment for the sin which condemns them! My point is this… Jesus is what saves a person, not facts about Him. The facts, or points, or gospel message, all point a person to Jesus. Believe on Him and you will receive everlasting life.