For the past three articles, we have been studying the inexhaustible theme of salvation – all that Christ has done and is doing to accomplish our eternal life. Today we will consider what we must do to be saved. Is there something we must do?
We must clearly understand that Christ alone provided all that was needed for our salvation. We have nothing to add. There is nothing we can do to make ourselves worthy. We cannot earn eternal life. Christ's gift to us includes His righteous life and His death on the cross which paid the penalty for our sins. So the question remains, what must we do to be saved? We must accept and put to use the offered gift. The Bible tells us how that happens.
"And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life" John 3:14, 15. As we fix our mind's eye on Jesus, as ancient Israel was to look at the brass serpent and live, we "are changed into the same image from glory to glory" 2 Corinthians 3:18. We place our active faith (belief) in Him.
While we cannot earn our own salvation, we must cooperate as God works in us. "Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed . . . work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure" Philippians 2:12, 13.
We are told in 1 John 1:9 "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." He takes care of making us aware of those sins. Having confessed, we will want to follow Peter's admonition. "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins" Acts 2:38.
Our primary task is to not resist God's work in and for us. Said another way, we accept every bit of His gift which puts us in a position of no condemnation. "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit" Romans 8:1.
We are provided with promises, fully trusting in which will make us more and more like our Maker. "Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature" 2 Peter 1:4. How miraculous is that! Praise God that we can be "confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ" Philippians 1:6.
Kathryn Irizarry is a member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church