Project Description

What is the path to salvation?

Peter answered this question for a crowd that asked him essentially the same thing in Acts 2. They asked, “What must we do to be saved?” In that instance, he answered them succinctly, but the truth on the path to salvation – your eternal salvation – runs through the entire Bible. The great plan of God to “redeem us from all lawlessness” was revealed in the very first pages of the Bible. It’s why “God has appeared” as Paul writes to Titus.

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.

The Apostle Paul, Titus 2:11-14

Getting to the truth about your path to salvation can be known. Why would God leave it ambiguous? Answering just a few basic questions with Scripture reveals the plain truth about the path to salvation. Click on any answer below to go directly to the list of Scriptures answering the question.

sound doctrine: path to salvation

Follow your heart

Can I simply follow my own heart?

Due to selfish pride and a rise in Humanism, many believe have bought into "following their own truth."

The heart should be the very last thing we should trust1,4,5. It is where evil thoughts and deeds are spawned6,7. What’s worse, our heart/mind can deceive us1,4 into thinking we are doing right. We must focus on God’s will and not our own2,5 and should be asking God for help3 and wisdom7.

All footnoted Scripture found here. It's God's answer, not man's.
Prayer

What if I've said the 'sinner's prayer?'

It's hard to find religious leaders today that don't promote this as the single, only necessary act of salvation.

There is literally no passage that describes a “sinner’s prayer” or any prayer related to or connected with one’s being saved or converted. The only passage used to justify such a prayer1 does connect “calling on the Lord” to being saved, but no prayer is mentioned.

Actually, in the full context1, Paul qualifies “calling on the Lord” not as any sort of prayer. Rather, he ties it to belief (heart) and confession (mouth). Further, we see the phrase used again by Paul2 to describe the ongoing worship that the saved engage in as a local church. Indeed, we can go to other passages to see a complete more definition, including in Paul’s own conversion. But never do we see anything about a “sinner’s prayer.”

All footnoted Scripture found here. It's God's answer, not man's.
Share the Gospel

What role does the gospel play?

An individual must hear the gospel in order to know God’s will1,6. Not only does Paul tell us this plainly in his letters, but we see it played out in conversion stories in Scripture2,3,4,5. Interestingly, we see visions playing a role in all of these examples2,3,4 – even visions of Jesus, Himself5 – yet, in every case the fundamental pattern1 is followed (e.g. preacher sent, hearers hear, believers “call on him“), thus fulfilling what Isaiah writes, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”1

It should also be noted the role that prayer plays in each of these examples:

  • In Philippi2, Scripture says that Paul and Silas met an eventual convert at a “supposed place of prayer” (vs 13); presumably, Lydia was there praying when Paul and Silas met her,
  • The Ethiopian eunuch is coming from Jerusalem where he had journeyed specifically to worship God3 – no doubt praying during that time,
  • Cornelius is told by the angel of God in his vision that his prayers have been answered4 – Cornelius was praying,
  • Ananias5 is told by Jesus to “look for a man of Tarsus named Saul, for behold, he is praying” (vs 11)

If there were such a thing as a “Sinner’s Prayer” to recite for one’s salvation, why was it necessary for all of these ‘praying people’ to hear the gospel (and be baptized)?

All footnoted Scripture found here. It's God's answer, not man's.
Holy Spirit

Isn't it just God's grace alone that saves me?

If we are to follow all Scripture without Scripture weighting, we understand that our salvation is not simply one thing. It’s not grace3 (alone). It’s not faith1,2 (alone). It’s not baptism5 (alone). It’s all of these and more4,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16!! All working together, which is the very point James is making12.

It’s all made possible with God’s grace3 in the sending of His Son1 and our belief2 in Him. But even in the immediate context of these “anchor” passages1,2,3, we see that it’s more. There and other places we see the necessity for obedience to His word1,2,3,6,8,9,11,12,13,14,15,16. We see the working/setting apart by the Holy Spirit7,8,13,14. We also repeatedly see the critical role that baptism plays5,15. Scripture never presents anything optional or ceremonial about baptism. Along with belief and confession2 with an open heart10, it is one of the very first acts of obedience4,7,8,15. Just as Paul emphasizes grace in one passage3, Peter (and Jesus15) emphasizes baptism in another5.

God has made provision for our salvation1,2,3,6,7,8,10,14,16; things we can only understand from His word2,9,10,11,13,16. It’s up to each of us to respond1,2,3,4,5,6,8,9,10,11,13,14,15,16.

All footnoted Scripture found here. It's God's answer, not man's.

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get all of the questions about salvation

answered by scripture with the Bible Study Framework

  • Baptism for the forgiveness of sins

    Is baptism for the forgiveness of sins?

    Baptism "for the forgiveness of sins" is a statement Peter makes in his sermon on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:38 ). The preposition "for" comes from the Greek word "eis" which is defined by [more]

  • Plan for a Savior

    What was God’s plan for a savior?

    God's plan for a savior is fundamental to His plan of salvation. Messiah, or "lit. 'the anointed one,' is a saviour or liberator of a group of people". We can read about the life of [more]

  • Judged according to works

    Will we be judged according to works?

    The idea that we will be judged according to works is a remarkably contentious one. It would seem that the thought of being "judged according to works" requires that God's grace must be denied. In [more]