How to be Saved
By Rev. D. Earl Cripe, Ph.D.
[This article is a response Rev. Cripe made to a man asking how he might receive salvation.]
Jesus said, I AM THE TRUTH, THE WAY, THE LIGHT AND THE LIFE.
The first thing on which we need to be clear is that Christ is the answer. Christ is revealed in the Bible, the Word of God. Unfortunately, this does not refer to many books that are being called Bibles today. In modern translations, men have deliberately changed things to suit themselves. Not many things, perhaps, but still modern translations are unreliable. I am talking about the King James Bible when I say “The Bible.”
How is one saved? Let me see if I can put it in simple words for you. By Nature, we are the children of Adam. We come from him and we have his legacy. That legacy includes natural birth, our life, such as it is, and whatever it is, and death. Yes, death is a part of Adam’s legacy. And then after that there is an appearance before God in judgment.
In Romans 3:10, God Himself tells us that there is no hope for Adam’s children after death. All they have is mortal life, and that is all they are going to get. They will be judged and destroyed by the righteous God when they come before Him.
The great Flood, the Law at Mt. Sinai, Jesus’ own coming and teachings to the nation of Israel, and every religious endeavor that man has devised, has attempted to reform and change Adam’s children so that they could deserve to have eternal life before God. But everything has failed. That is because Adam’s children are basically evil and they cannot be reformed in the sense that the law of God requires it.
But then the Bible tells about another Adam, a “Last Adam”, who came into this world as a man. He came to do what the first Adam could not do. He came to keep the righteous law of God in spirit and in truth and to earn eternal life from God. This last Adam was called Jesus the Christ. Jesus means “Jehovah our Savior” and Christ means “the Messiah”, or “the Anointed one of God”, who would come and save the people from their sins. Once Jesus Christ kept the Will of God (and that duty was fulfilled on the Cross when He said, “It is Finished,” meaning the work that the Father gave him to do in this world), He agreed to take our place in the judgment of God, and to die and go into hell for us, so that we could have the eternal life that He had earned. This he did and God accepted His death as a complete sacrifice for sins.
Up to this point, many men have heard the story and agree with it. But there is a part of the Gospel with which most religious men do not agree. Here is what God requires in order for you and me to be saved: We must come to the place in our lives where we acknowledge that we are children of Adam. We are the enemies of God, we are evil by nature, we can do nothing to save ourselves and that we have no hope. We must recognize and believe that Jesus Christ is a different race of man, a new Adam. In this family, there is no evil, no death, no sin, and no end to life. We must truly be willing to give up on this old life of Adam. That means pride, lust, the praise of men, material possessions, and vices such as drugs, sex that is illicit, alcoholism, and so on. We must be willing to die to this old world — really die to it. We must ask God to baptize us, by the Holy Ghost into the death and the resurrection of Jesus Christ give us a new birth into a new world — the world of Jesus after His resurrection. If we do that, and do it honestly, God will respond and give us eternal life.
Let us be sure that we understand this. We do not have to do good works. We do not have to deserve it. We do not have to promise God things, like that we will be a preacher or a missionary. But we do have to confess that we are lost sinners without hope, we do have to truly want to get out of that world, we do have to want to get into the new world and we do have to recognize that you can only get out of the family of the First Adam and into the Family of the Second Adam by death and resurrection. Physically, that will not happen for us until the resurrection on the last day. All of those who belong to Jesus, the Bible says, will be resurrected to be with Him on that day. But when we come to God in faith, honestly asking to be baptized into the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, The Bible promises us that God will do that. “He that comes to me,” Jesus said, “I will in no wise cast out.”
Do not expect emotions, feelings, or any other natural manifestation. You may have them, and you may not. We are talking about faith, not sight. The truth that we are born again relies upon the promise of the Bible and of God who authored it, not upon our feelings or what we see or think, and not on what others tell us. If you do not believe that God will do what He says He will do, then do not bother. If you believe that He will, then ask God to baptize you into death and resurrection of His Son, and you will be born again because the Bible promises it.
Do not believe the lie that you should speak in tongues, have visions, emotions, hallucinations or any of that other false religious stuff. You will soon know, in the spirit by faith, that you are a child of God.
What do you do then? I have a couple of tings for you in that regard.
I am sending you a copy of my commentary on Romans. This is the most fundamental book of the Bible. I want you to read a little in it every day. Do not stop until you have read it all. Then start over and read it again. Do this at least three times. Don’t worry if you do not understand everything. You will understand some things, and that is the spiritual food that will make you grow.
Tell people what you have done if you want, but you do not have to, at least not right away. I am not talking about being hidden or secretive. I am saying that it is better to let the people see the real change in your life, than to tell them about it and then not go on and show it.
Start in the Book of Galatians and read a little in the Bible every day. Ask God to give you understanding by faith, through the Holy Ghost who has now come to live in your spirit and will stay with you until you die. He will do it if you are faithful and if you ask.
Do not take any religious books and begin reading hem until you first ask me about hem. There is so much junk out there it is unbelievable, and there is not a way in the world to side track a new Christian faster than to give him a book that sounds good but is not.
If you have access to a computer that is on line, check our web site as www.godspointofview.com. Look at the questions and answers. Also, you can download books with very little money. My recommendation is that you stay with Romans, Galatians, Hebrews and Genesis for now and stay away from Revelation for a while. However, if you are determined to read it, it will not hurt you if you seek God’s guidance on it and do not start to use your imagination.
I trust that these things will help you and I will pray that they do. One further thing you must do is go to church. Do it next Sunday. I do not want you to wait. If you do not know any good churches, I recommend you one. If you cannot go there, find a Community Bible church, a First Baptist church, a Grace Brethren Church, or even an Evangelical Free church. If nothing else is available, go to a Calvary Chapel, but be careful what you hear. No church is perfect and some are not worth going to and should not be gone to. But you must go to church. God insists on it and the fellowship of other Christians is needed. Do not go to a church where there is a woman preacher, a church that sanctions homosexuality, or a church that does not believe in the Bible as the only guide to the faith and practice of the church. Stay away from Mormon churches, Jehovah Witness churches or charismatic churches.
Yours in Christ
God's Point of View (C) 2020