In John 5:34, Jesus says, “Not that the testimony I receive is from man, but I say these things so that you may be saved.”
Jesus spoke and taught during his ministry on earth so that we all might be saved (Luke 19:10). Because it leads to salvation, we must obey all he taught. The following are not a trite formula, but rather the simple truths spoken by Jesus:
1) Believe Him.
“I told you that you would die in your sins, for unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins” (John 8:24).
The foundation of obedience is faith in Jesus as the Son of God. He is the only one through whom man is saved (Acts 4:12).
2) Repent of sin.
“No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3).
“If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me” (Luke 9:23).
Believing Jesus illuminates our sinful state. A life of complete change from sin is the only life that can follow Jesus. We must put our old lives to death daily, or we’ll experience death in the life beyond.
3) Confess Him before others.
“So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 10:32-33).
Followers of Jesus must acknowledge him as the Son of God. This commitment is expected when we obey Christ and every day thereafter. The pull to deny him is strong at times, but we must always confess our discipleship (John 12:42-43).
4) Be immersed.
“Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:15-16).
The gospel is for all. Thus, the need for baptism is for all as well. We meet Christ at his death (Rom. 6:3-4) and are born again through immersion for the forgiveness of sins (John 3:3-5).
Many well-meaning souls claim, “all we need is Jesus” to be saved. They don’t want to exclude or offend others by specifics and difficult commands. Yet, the honest reading of scripture guides us to the expectations of salvation, straight from the Savior.