How to Find Salvation Through Jesus
If you’ve had questions about how to get saved, or if you’ve maybe heard about salvation, but it’s still not clear to you. Please pray for guidance, then read what’s here. I pray it helps you.
1. God is holy.
The definition of holy is: “exalted or worthy of complete devotion as one perfect in goodness and righteousness”
God is righteous. Everything is right with God – there is nothing wrong – he is sinless. He’s so holy that sin cannot be in his presence. Being holy is the highest standard. God loves what is right.
If you took out a key and scratched a car at a junkyard, there’s really no punishment for that, right? Take that same key and scratch a Ferrari at a dealer and you’re now in big trouble. God’s holiness is worth a trillion times more than a Ferrari. Any tiny scratch on God’s holy standard is unacceptable.
The Ten Commandments show us what God is like (Exodus 20 – NIV):
- You shall have no other gods before me.
- You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.
- You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.
- Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
- Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.
- You shall not murder.
- You shall not commit adultery.
- You shall not steal.
- You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.
- You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.
This standard is impossible for us to accomplish, which means…
2. You’re a sinner.
We have all sinned – even one sin is too much:
The Ten Commandments is God’s standard. Have you kept them all your whole life?
“For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins.”
Romans 3:23-24 (NLT)
Sin leads to death:
“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Romans 6:23 KJV
God is just. That means he’s a perfect judge. He has to punish the murderer, right? If he doesn’t, he’s not a just judge. That’s why he just can’t let everyone into heaven.
And do you think your good deeds offset the bad things you’ve done? Try that in a court of law. Will a judge take those things into account? Nope. You’re judged on your crimes.
If you’re guilty, are you going to go to heaven or hell?
God demands holiness and any sin makes you unholy…
3. You can’t pay back what you owe.
The Bible explains how there’s no way to pay what we owe for our debt of sin:
“All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.“
Isaiah 64:6 NIV
God is so holy that only a perfect sacrifice can cover sin. In the Old Testament times, before Jesus, animal sacrifices had to be made to cover sin. Only perfect animals could be sacrificed – no broken bones or anything.
4. Jesus was the perfect sacrifice for your sins.
Most people have heard of this Bible verse, but read it:
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Jesus was tortured (beaten unrecognizable) and he died to pay the price for your sins – all of them. He died and then rose again to conquer death. Jesus never sinned, so he was the perfect sacrifice.
God provided a way out – a way to get our sins repaid. We just need to believe Jesus’ blood took our place. ALL our sins are forgiven – past AND future.
If you want to pay for your debt of sin yourself, you’ll need to be in hell forever.
That leaves us with only 2 choices:
- Believe that Jesus is God’s only son who paid for our sins, and accept that free gift.
- Pay for our sins ourselves in hell forever, which is what we deserve.
So, you see… God does not send anyone to hell. It’s our choice. God saves us from eternal death and provides a way for us to get eternal life if we just receive what God already did.
But we must do more than just believe. We must submit our lives to God/Jesus:
“You believe there is one God. That’s good, but even the demons believe that! And they shake with fear.”
James 2:19 (ERV)
And if you’ve really committed your life to God, good works (fruit) will follow… that’s how you know. You’ll change.
Read this from The Passion Translation emails:
“Jesus was the greatest servant of all. The Son of God came to earth to lay down his life for others. The King of kings chose the humble posture of love when he died on the cross for the very people who put him there. Nothing about him is harsh, and he doesn’t rule with a heavy hand. It is our greatest honor to walk the path of perfect strength, exemplified with humility, just like our Lord.”
5. What Jesus did was a gift (God’s grace) – “Just Jesus”
It’s all about grace because we can’t do it.
“I mean that you have been saved by grace because you believed. You did not save yourselves; it was a gift from God. You are not saved by the things you have done, so there is nothing to boast about.”
You did not and cannot cover your sins by yourself (except for going to hell).
It’s also not by works – it’s a gift. Grace is a gift.
You can’t earn a gift. If you do, it’s a reward, not a gift. Gifts don’t have any strings attached or they cannot be called gifts.
Grace means “unmerited favor” and that’s what it is.
You are not worthy to be saved. That’s the whole point of grace and mercy (and love). You don’t deserve God’s grace. It’s a gift from God. Nobody can take it away from you. And don’t try to prove yourself worthy of it because you’re not worthy and nothing you can do will make you worthy of God’s grace. Just accept it. That’s what God wants:
“Where, then, is there room for boasting? Do our works bring God’s acceptance? Not at all! It was not our works of keeping the law but our faith in his finished work that makes us right with God.”
Romans 3:27 TPT
It’s just Jesus – not Jesus plus anything. Why? Simple… God wants all the glory! He’s not going to share the credit. It’s just Jesus.
The true gospel is just this simple. Man has tried to bring in works, which is religion – a bunch of rules to follow, but that’s making salvation Jesus plus other things, as if what he did was not enough.
Here’s some hard-hitting truth…
Saying to Jesus that he lived a perfect, sinless life and sacrificed his life, but that you need to also do something on top of all that, is a slap in his face. That’s not salvation. When you add anything to what Jesus did, that’s not complete belief in him, and you’re not saved in that case. God wants and deserves ALL the glory for salvation.
The works or good things we do are a RESULT of our faith in Jesus. That fruit proves our faith. It’s natural when we understand the enormity of God’s grace / all he did for us. This is how to read what James says:
“So you see that people are made right with God by what they do. They cannot be made right by faith alone.”
James 2:24 ERV
Our fruit proves our faith. It’s working out your salvation. It’s showing you believe. True salvation bears (produces) fruit (the good things we do). You’ll want to do good things when you realize what you’ve received.
Here’s the formula – for all you logical thinkers (like me):
- Salvation is belief (faith) in God’s grace (Jesus’ blood sacrifice).
- That faith seals the Holy Spirit inside of us (we’re transformed).
- The “Fruit of the Spirit” (read Galatians 5) proves our faith.
Again, when there’s true salvation, you’ll see fruit (good works) BECAUSE of faith.
A tree bears fruit if it’s connected to a water source and is in good soil. God is the source. God flowing through us bears fruit. Our flesh cannot do that. Our flesh is selfish and not good. God overpowers our flesh if we let him once we receive him.
Again, it’s just receiving. It’s not a reward for doing anything. This is difficult for many of us to wrap our heads around – because of religion.
You can’t just say you believe (say a prayer once and just move on like normal), it needs to be in you / a part of you – a true commitment. When that happens, good things come out. That’s the proof of your faith… simple. Accept the gift of grace and let it flow through you where good works/fruit comes out naturally because you’ve been transformed by God’s Holy Spirit.
For example, you can’t just say you’re a fan of your favorite team. If you’re really a fan, you watch the games, know the team, and cheer for them because you believe in them. You’re a true fan. It’s kind of the same thing.
Let God’s Holy Spirit clean you – just like Jesus washing his disciples’ feet. You just need to believe, receive, and God does all the work for you. He will change you. You don’t need to do it yourself. If you try to do it yourself, you’ll fail and end up in a cycle of failure. Ask God to change you and he will. Sometimes it’s right away, but more likely, it’s over time. Stay close to God.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Matthew 11:28-30 NIV
- God loves you for who you are – not for what you do.
- What you do / don’t do shows how much you love God.
- God even loves his enemies.
- God can’t love you more.
- Give your burdens to God and he will help you.
God is the same to you on your best days as your worst days. He doesn’t change. It’s us who change, not him. He’s perfect, we’re not.
6. Jesus’ righteousness gets LEGALLY (or financially) transferred to us.
If you want to think more logically about this, think about getting saved as a financial transaction because that’s basically what it is:
“But no one earns God’s righteousness. It can only be transferred when we no longer rely on our own works, but believe in the one who powerfully declares the ungodly to be righteous in his eyes. It is faith that transfers God’s righteousness into your account!”
Romans 4:5 TPT
It can only be transferred when we no longer rely on our own works, but we trust and have faith in grace alone. This includes what is often called “repentance.” Repentance is a changing of your mind / turning to God (believing in Jesus). It’s not us trying to get ourselves clean. You don’t get clean before taking a shower, right?
As I said in the last point, we cannot do it on our own. You can try, but you can’t do it yourself. You’ll keep failing, over and over. This is why trying to get yourself perfect before coming to Jesus does not (cannot) work.
Let’s say that again, we do not need to turn from our sin (get perfect) and then accept Christ – that’s the wrong order. It’s just Jesus. Change your mind (repent) and believe in Jesus and he will take care of cleaning you up. He will help you turn from your sinful ways. Jesus washed his disciples’ feet. HE did the cleaning.
Also, you’re not saved one minute and then not saved the next. Jesus doesn’t have to keep dying on the cross every time you sin. He did it once. The last thing he said before he died was, “It is finished.” That one time was powerful enough to cover everyone’s past and future sins forever. Don’t have wavering faith, but have faith that is solid and rooted in Jesus.
The thief on the cross, next to Jesus who asked to be remembered was saved. Did he do any good works at all or attend church? No! The fact this happened was to show that it just takes belief / faith. That’s it. It’s just Jesus.
7. Here’s how to get saved…
Now that you know God is holy, that you have sin you cannot repay except for eternity in hell, that your works don’t save you, but only God’s graciousness can, do you want to receive the free gift of salvation?
Here’s what the Bible says about how to get saved:
“If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved.”
– Romans 10:9-10 New Living Translation (NLT)
That’s it. Say it in your own words, out loud, believe it (commit yourself to Jesus) and receive the gift of salvation!
It might sound like this:
“Father God, I know I’m a sinner. I cannot save myself, no matter what I do. Only you can save me by your grace. I declare that Jesus is Lord, and I believe his sacrifice covers my sins. He took my place and then rose from the dead. Through that, and only through that am I made right with you and I am now saved.”
Now, start turning your life toward Jesus (ask for his help). Again, you don’t need to be perfect – in fact, don’t even try because you can’t do it. Give yourself over to Jesus. He will transform you.
8. You’re only convicted, not condemned.
Now, this is the GOOD NEWS:
“So now the case is closed. There remains no accusing voice of condemnation against those who are joined in life-union with Jesus, the Anointed One.”
Romans 8:1 TPT
God’s Holy Spirit will convict you by letting you know what you’re doing wrong, but you’re still saved – you never lose it. Holy Spirit is sealed in you. What God seals cannot be unsealed (if so, he’s not God):
“And because of him, when you who are not Jews heard the revelation of truth, you believed in the wonderful news of salvation. Now we have been stamped with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit.”
Ephesians 1:13 TPT
The devil wants to hold up a mirror and make you look at yourself and all the bad things you’ve done or are doing. Doing that takes your eyes off God. The Devil is going to try to do this to you a lot. The Devil did this to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden and they hid from God. God doesn’t do this. You just get conviction, not condemnation.
There is NO condemnation for us who are in Jesus.
You do not have to strive anymore. Just come to God and receive what he has done for you… that’s it.
9. It’s not religion. It’s relationship.
Here’s a simple view of this:
- Religion is man’s attempt to reach God.
- Jesus is God’s attempt to reach man.
Matthew 7:21-23 says: “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’”
- The Holy Spirit lives in us – we’re saved
- “Know” is like how a husband knows his wife (intimacy)
- Lawlessness is denying what Jesus did on the cross and to deny union with him.
“Anyone who wanders away and does not remain faithful to the teaching of Christ has no relationship with God. But those who remain in the teaching of Christ have a wonderful relationship with both the Father and the Son.”
2 John 1:9 TPT
Remain faithful to God. Strive to have that wonderful relationship.
“So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
Romans 10:17 NKJV
Increase your faith by studying God’s word (the Bible). Ask Holy Spirit for wisdom and guidance and you’ll get it.
Relationship starts when you just start talking to God about your day, how you’re feeling, etc. like you would a friend. Spend time, sitting before God (he might not start talking for a while, but just sit and wait). Spending time with God is how God knows you. You’ll start hearing him talk back to you in your spirit (which is the best thing ever).
10. What if you sin, though?
You’re dead to sin. That’s very clear:
“So let it be the same way with you! Since you are now joined with him, you must continually view yourselves as dead and unresponsive to sin’s appeal while living daily for God’s pleasure in union with Jesus, the Anointed One.”
Romans 6:11 TPT
“But God clearly shows and proves His own love for us, by the fact that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Therefore, since we have now been justified [declared free of the guilt of sin] by His blood, [how much more certain is it that] we will be saved from the wrath of God through Him.”
Romans 5:8-9 Amplified Bible
See that? It says we were sinners. That’s in the past (this is also GOOD NEWS!). A change has taken place, and old labels are gone. We’re not considered sinners anymore. And while we were still sinning, Jesus saved us, which means we do not need to get cleaned up before coming to Jesus.
And then, here:
“Keep in mind that we who belong to Jesus Christ have already experienced crucifixion. For everything connected with our self-life was put to death on the cross and crucified with Messiah.”
Galatians 5:24 TPT
We are free!
Actions still do have consequences. You reap what you sow into. Doing sinful acts still leads down the road to death (stuff that isn’t good), so you’ll have a crappy life and probably die sooner, but you’re still saved. And sin is not fruit (it’s the opposite), so it’s not proving faith/belief in Jesus.
Committing sinful acts does not mean you lose your salvation – no. That’s legally settled, so don’t walk around on eggshells. It’s still just Jesus and nothing else added. Even so, this does not make you immune to sin’s consequences. The wages (results) of sin still leads to death. Sin’s consequences come with curses. You don’t want those on you. Stop sinning and ask God for help since it’s very, very difficult (impossible, really) to do it on your own. God wants to help, so repent (turn from) that sin and ask God for help.
Jesus’ blood was powerful enough to cover every sin (past and future). But, the chances are, if you really have faith in Jesus (really believe and commit), then you’re transformed, and you won’t want to sin. There’s a renewing of your mind that takes place as God’s Holy Spirit now lives in you – you will want to do good things. So, if you’re really saved, you won’t have urges to do sinful acts. And it might take some time to shed sinful acts from your life, so be patient – God is patient with you and his Holy Spirit is working in you if you keep seeking him and keep believing.
Think about the most patient person you know. Now, can God be less patient than them? Nope, not possible. In fact, he is 100 times (or more/infinitely) move patient, so… relax. God isn’t out to get you. He loves you!
People who have been saved will still do sinful acts. Hey, we’re all on our own journey and God is working on all of us. This is why we rely on his grace.
Know that God did not send Jesus to die for you so you would keep doing sinful acts. The way to get free from sin is to give those sins to God (confess them) and he will take care of them. He will help you not want to do them anymore. We can’t do it ourselves because…
Our sin died on the cross with Jesus. We now have a new life that’s free from sin. We’re still going to mess up, of course. We can come to God and thank him for forgiving us – that shows your heart to God, which is more fruit. We don’t have to keep asking to be saved, over and over again. Being that way can start to become religious where it’s us having to do something on top of what Jesus did. Just thank your father God for the forgiveness and sacrifice you’ve already accepted.
“Get Right With God?“
When you hear, “you better get right with God” – as a born-again believer, you cannot get right with God. You are already right with God – be happy! This really only applies to non-believers. Anyone saying this to believers has a religious spirit. It is good, however, to repent (turn from) any sin you are in, confess it, ask God for forgiveness, and ask God to help you stay away from doing that again.
Remember, it’s the devil that will hold our sins against us and say we’re not good enough or we’re not a “good Christian.” Those are complete LIES meant to make us be less effective. Quit looking at yourself – you’re good now. Look at God looking back at you with pure love.
11. What about baptism?
Baptism is not required for salvation, but it’s a way to show you’re serious about your faith in Jesus’ blood sacrifice for your sins. It’s a public declaration, which is important to do. It shows your old life passing away and a new life beginning. It’s going deeper in obedience, which is good. You really should get baptized.
Baptism alone does not get you saved. Babies aren’t saved or cleansed from original sin when they’re baptized because they have not confessed with their mouth that Jesus is Lord. Salvation through baptism a twisting of the truth (which the Devil likes to do).
I encourage you to go and get baptized once you’ve accepted God’s gracious gift – even if you were baptized before as a child. It’s an amazing experience.
12. What about Holy Spirit?
This is SO important. Once you’re saved, God’s spirit is sealed in you. You now have God’s power. It’s not just your spirit in you, it’s God’s spirit and your spirit (think: body, soul, spirit). You also get a direct line of communication with God. You’ll hear God speak to you in your head. It’ll sound like you’re voice, but you’ll know those thoughts didn’t come from you and you will get peace along with what he says.
You do not need to go through an intermediary like the Jews in the Old Testament or like Catholics do with a priest. You have a direct line with God now. You are a priest, a saint.
Jesus was around after he rose from the dead, but then he left pretty quickly. He left so that Holy Spirit could come because then we’ll do greater things than Jesus did:
“I tell you this timeless truth: The person who follows me in faith, believing in me, will do the same mighty miracles that I do—even greater miracles than these because I go to be with my Father!
John 14:12 TPT
We can prophecy, heal, and do miracles. Have child-like (simple) faith and go do that.
13. What is our job then?
Jesus gave us new commandments to replace the Ten Commandments and he told us what to do.
His instructions are given in the Great Commandment:
“One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, ‘Of all the commandments, which is the most important?’
‘The most important one,’ answered Jesus, ‘is this […] Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.’”
Mark 12:28-31 NIV
These actually sum up the Ten Commandments perfectly. What we’re supposed to do is given in the Great Commission:
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”
Go tell others.
It doesn’t say to keep looking only at yourself, trying to make yourself better. It says go tell others this good news. Love other people and tell them what Jesus did. Do that and you’ll have great rewards in heaven. Also, once you take your eyes off yourself (the mirror) and help others, your own problems often tend to go away.
And remember that what you do now (the good – the fruit) proves your faith. If you really made a commitment, you’ll want to do good things, not bad things:
“Delightfully loved ones, don’t imitate what is evil, but imitate that which is good. Whoever does good is of God; whoever does evil has not seen God.”
3 John 1:11 TPT
Doing good things will be much easier, too! God is helping you now. Get help from God in faith:
“For anything we do that doesn’t spring from faith is, by definition, sinful.”
Romans 14:23 TPT
Have a relationship with God now. Go deep. Ask Holy Spirit for guidance as you read the Bible and you’ll understand it. I highly suggest reading the book of Romans in the Passion Translation version. Read the book of John, too. I also really like James and Ephesians. Corinthians, Hebrews, Colossians – they’re all good. There’s more to learn – just get into God’s word, the Bible. Get into a good church in your area – one that believes in salvation by grace.
Still doesn’t make sense / still have questions?
Ask God. If you’re still not sure, ask God for help, and he WILL give you wisdom and understanding. He will. Take that step and ask him.
Read the Bible – start in the New Testament and ask Holy Spirit for wisdom and understanding before each time you start reading.
Talk to a local pastor or friends you have who follow Jesus.
Version 1.40 - 2/9/2024