In the 16th chapter of the Book of Acts, a prison keeper discovered that his prisoners (Paul and Silas) had not escaped after a supernatural earthquake caused all the doors to be opened. Once the jailer knew his prisoners had not fled, he rushed in and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” What was he talking about? What did he need to be saved from?

Have you ever stolen anything? Have you ever told a lie? Have you ever lost your temper and said hurtful things? If you answered “Yes” to any of these questions, then you have committed what the Bible calls “sins”. All sins are committed against God because, when we sin, we break His law. The Bible says that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). That means that your sins have created a separation between you and God, a fatal separation that no human being can fix.

God is perfect, merciful, loving, and kind, and He is also just. Because God is just, all sin must be a punished. Romans 6:23 says “the wages [punishment] of sin is death.” This does not mean “physical death.” The punishment described here is spiritual death and permanent (eternal) separation from God. The Bible tells us that “it is appointed unto men once to die, and then face the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27); this means you live once, you die once, and then you face God’s perfect judgment for every sin you’ve ever committed. There are no second chances.

This is what so terrified the keeper of the prison in Acts 16. The jailer was asking Paul and Silas what he must do to be saved from spiritual death and eternal separation from God. Paul and Silas answered the jailer, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved.”

Jesus Christ is the most important person throughout all human history. More than that, Jesus is God (John 1:1 and 14; Colossians 2:9). Jesus has all authority in heaven and on Earth (Matthew 28:18). Jesus came to Earth to pay the penalty for our sins (1 John 2:2). Because of who He is and what He did, Jesus can forgive you for your sins (Matthew 9:2; Luke 5:20-24; Luke 7:36-50).

Perhaps you are asking, “What must I do to be saved?” The Bible provides the answer. First, admit that you are a sinner. Confess your sins to God and ask Him to forgive you. Second, recognize that there is absolutely nothing you can do to save yourself; no human being can do that. Only Christ can save you. And Christ stands ready to give you the free gift of salvation; all you must do is ask. Third, renounce everything in your life that is displeasing to God, and make a deliberate choice to change. Just remember, you don’t have the power to change; only God can do that in you. This is why you MUST have faith to be saved. You must have faith that Jesus loves you, that He has forgiven you, that He is changing you into the person He wants you to be, and that He will complete His work in your life and invite you to spend all eternity with Him in heaven.

If you have questions about salvation, about the Bible, or if you want to talk to someone about becoming a Christian or finding a church, please feel free to contact us. You can use the “Contact Us” link at the top of the page and someone will get in touch with soon.