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What Must I Do to be Saved? PDF Print E-mail

 

Titus 1:1. “Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect…”

 

Paul had been raised a Jew, educated in the traditions and beliefs of Jewish religion, and had before prided himself on his devotion to the Jewish religion. He states,

 

Acts 22:3. “I am verily a man which am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city [Jerusalem] at the feet of Gamaliel, and taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers, and was zealous toward God, as ye all are this day.”

 

Yet Paul does not claim to be a member of the Jewish religion; he does not identify himself as a member of the world-wide Jewish church. He is a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ. This is who he is. Jesus is his religion, his belief, his gospel. Paul does not define himself with a particular church, or system of belief, or certain religious group.

 

Paul continues his testimony….

 

Acts 22:4,5. “And I persecuted this way unto the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women. As also the high priest doth bear me witness, and all the estate of the elders: from whom also I received letters unto the brethren, and went to Damascus, to bring them which were there bound unto Jerusalem, for to be punished.”

 

If there was righteousness to be had, Paul should have qualified. He says:

 

Phil. 3:4-6. “…if any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.”

 

In all this devotion, as honest and sincere as Paul was, and as correct as it was according to the law, it was not righteousness. In fact, what was it?

 

Acts 22:6,7. “And it came to pass, that, as I made my journey unto Damascus about noon, suddenly there shone from heaven a great light round about me. And I fell unto the ground, and heard a voice saying unto me, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?”

 

How can it be, that someone can be so devoted and zealous for the honour and glory of God, and yet be persecuting Him in so doing?

 

In Paul’s life, nothing according to the law was missing. He had dedication, he had zeal, he had goals, he had a mission. He had the backing of the established church, and was ordained as their representative. Yet he says,

 

Phil.3:7-9. “But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea, doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord….and be found in Him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.”

 

See, Paul realized that it was not just a finishing touch to his life that he needed to enter into heaven. It was not just one more thing he needed, and then he was fine. What made him righteous, was something completely different, something completely outside his ability to manage. What he needed to be righteous was Jesus. His previous life amounted to nothing in the scale of God’s righteousness. His satisfaction in being a Jew, and his devotion to the things of the law, stank in the estimation of God. When Jesus came to him, and Paul saw his real position before God, it humbled him, and from then on he only wanted what really mattered with God. He says,

 

Rom. 1:16,17. “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ [Jesus was a dirty word in the Jewish mind]: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first [because they had the more light], and also to the Greek [Gentile]. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed [in the gospel of Christ] from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.”

 

Then Paul continues:

 

Rom. 1:18. “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness.”

 

What did Jesus say to Paul on the road to Damascus… “Why persecutest thou Me?” Here was the rebuke, this was the wrath. Saul, even in his devotion and sincerity in his mission work, was working from himself--- the work was “of men”. In spite of its apparent dedication to God and his church; in spite of his obedience in view of the law, it was ungodly and unrighteous. Why? Because God had nothing to do with it.

 

And yet to Saul, his life was the truth; he believed he was working for God. All Saul did was in God’s name. He firmly believed he had God’s blessing for his work. After all, the respected elders and priests had given him the necessary papers. Saul believed he was ridding God’s church of heresy and unbelievers. Saul believed he was a missionary for God, bringing all to worship at the true church at Jerusalem. And it was while Saul was on another mission trip, when Jesus came to him, and Saul saw himself as God viewed Saul….persecuting God.

 

See, it’s how God sees you that really counts. And we are given the measure that God measures us by.

 

John 3:16,36. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life….He that believes on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believes not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abides on him.”

 

The measure is simple: is Jesus your Saviour? Is the righteousness you value, of God by faith; or is the righteousness in your life by you.

 

There is no other measure that God recognizes.

 

Acts 16:30,31. “And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.”

 

It is humbling to realize that the only righteousness that counts is what is given to you. You are made right, here and now, if you believe on Jesus, God’s Son. God is what you need. This is the power of the gospel --- God comes to you in Jesus, and offers the righteousness that is accepted in Heaven. Jesus is both the passport and the ticket price to enter heaven. And He is to all those who believe. Faith is the key that unlocks heaven, and feeds those who hunger and thirst for righteousness.