What is required to be saved?

What is required to be saved?

By Harlan Brown
April 9, 2020

An acquaintance asked me, "Harlan what EXACTLY is required to be saved in your viewpoint?" I thanked him for the question and then gave the following response (without the added subheads and links):

I believe that Ephesians 2:8-10 sums up what is required to be saved: "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them."

Faith that saves

Faith that saves must be a living faith, not a dead faith. Faith without works is dead. Works do not save us; rather, they are evidence that our faith is a living faith. See James 2:14-26. Reformed theologian R.C. Sproul, in the "Saving Faith" episode of his "Foundations" series, cited the three constituent elements of saving faith:

  1. notitia = the content of faith -- the information -- that which is believed.
    Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God (John 3:16-18).
    Jesus is the Savior, who died for our sins (1 Cor. 15:3) and whom God raised from the dead (Rom. 8:11 & 10:9).
  2. ascensus = assent -- the intellectual affirmation of the truth of the data.
  3. fiducia = trust + affection (for Christ).
    "The Lord redeems the soul of His servants, And none of those who trust in Him shall be condemned" (Psalm 34:22).
    "In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee [footnote: down payment, earnest] of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory" (Eph. 1:13-14).
    Affection for Christ involves such love that we want to repent of our sins and obey Him. "For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation" (2 Cor. 7:10).
    Even though we will not be perfect in this physical life, we must seek to be perfect and to totally obey God. "Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect" (Matt. 5:48 CSB). Partial obedience is total disobedience. See http://cybergroundrr.yolasite.com/essay-partial-obedience.php.
    I agree with theologians such as R.C. Sproul and Dr. Michael Brown when they say that repentance and belief are two sides of the same coin. The website https://www.crosswalk.com/faith/spiritual-life/what-is-salvation-also-why-it-s-needed-and-how-to-get-it.html expounds the concept as follows: "Repentance and belief are really two sides of the same coin. Repentance means that we are changing our mind about God and about ourselves. We are laying down our own foolish efforts to save ourselves. We are turning away from self-sufficiency. At the same time we are turning towards Christ. We trust that He alone is the one who can save us. We are entrusting ourselves to him."

What is required to be saved

The Southern Baptist website http://www.sbc.net/knowjesus/theplan.asp summarizes what is required to be saved:

  1. I acknowledge I am a sinner in need of a Savior - this is to repent or turn away from sin.
  2. I believe in my heart that God raised Jesus from the dead - this is to trust that Jesus paid the full penalty for my sins.
  3. I confess Jesus as my Lord and my God - this is to surrender control of my life to Jesus.
  4. I receive Jesus as my Savior forever - this is to accept that God has done for me and in me what He promised.


The statements given above express my viewpoint. Of course, my viewpoint is not what matters. What really matters is what God's word, the Holy Bible, says.

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