“Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
These are the words of the Philippian Jailer in Acts 8. Going against today’s popular opinion, the Jailer recognized that there was something one must do to be saved.
If you asked your pastor this question, would he take the same steps that Peter takes with the Jailer? Before you answer, compare all the conversion stories in Acts and then answer.
- Jews @ Pentecost. Acts 2:38
- Samaritans. Acts 8:5-13
- The Eunuch. Acts 8:36-41
- Saul of Tarsus. Acts 9:1-9
- 22:16; 26:12-19
- Cornelius. Acts 10:33-48
- Lydia. Acts 16:13-16
- The Corinthians. Acts 18:8
- The 12 men from Ephesus. Acts 19:1-5
Would your pastor teach all these things?
Hearing is the first MUST of salvation. Without hearing and understanding you cannot move any further. To LISTEN to the word of God, or to hear, is to understand and goes beyond the physical sense of hearing.
To hear you must LET the word of Christ get through. “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly;” [Colossians 3:16] Most people cannot hear because they’re talking over the message or the messenger. “But they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and rushed upon him with one accord;” [Acts 7:57]
A good hearer INVESTIGATES the message to see if it is so. “Now these were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of the mind, examining the Scriptures daily, whether these things were so.” [Acts 17:11]
A good listener will SEEK clarity by asking questions. The good evangelist encourages people to seek for clarity and loves getting questions, even if they challenge the message. “Understandest thou what thou readest? And he said, How can I, except some one shall guide me? And he besought Philip to come up and sit with him.” [Acts 8:30-31]
The same word you must hear also encourages you to TEST or prove for accuracy by the word, what is being said. “Test all things; hold fast what is good.” [1Thess 5:21; 1John 4:1]
Another way you can tell if you have heard & understood is by EXPLAINING back to the speaker what you have heard. This is a great practice for anyone trying to learn something new. “Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture, preached Jesus to him. Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, “See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?” [Acts 8:35-36]
Lastly, we must understand by the verses at the beginning of this article that hearing is NECESSARY to salvation. This disqualifies babies (they are safe; Matt 19:14). Salvation will not be separate or apart from the revealed word of God. God is expecting us to study, to read, to learn.
1. All quotation are from the ASV