When I was asked to write an article for the Camp Hope Newsletter I was told that it should be no more than 500 words long. That may seem like a lot but that first sentence was 26 words long and at the end of this one we are up to 52.
So I thought in the search of brevity, what would the apostle Paul do? Sure he was famous for some of the longest sentences and legal arguments in the New Testament; some that spanned multiple verses in the Bible. But along the way Paul gave a short ten-word response to a seven-word question raised by a Philippian jailor. The question that was asked was, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” To this Paul and Silas answered “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved.”
The same simple answer that was given back in the days of Paul and Silas is the same simple answer that we should give today. We never read in the Bible an account of someone ‘repeating a prayer after me’ or even ‘asking Jesus into your heart.’ I know that some people reading this will be shocked at what I said but the Bible is full of verses and examples that make it clear that only believing faith in Jesus Christ will save us.
In the answer given by Paul and Silas we see the important requirements of salvation. First, what do I need to do? Believe. This is not an acknowledgement of some historical event or character. From all of the historic documents available and personal knowledge I believe that Richard Nixon was the 37th president of the United States but believing in Richard Nixon will not get me to heaven. To believe is to put your faith and trust solely into the hands of another, having faith that they are who they say that they are and trust your life to them.
That is why it is so important that the second part of Paul’s answer was, “who do I need?” Believe in the Lord Jesus. Salvation comes only by one man, Jesus Christ. We are told that no one can come to the Father but through Him. He is the only Son of God, the only Messiah and the only one who pleased a Holy God by bearing all our sins at Calvary. Jesus Christ is the only one qualified to be our Savior and as a result the only one where our belief results in salvation. There is no other name under Heaven by which you must be saved.
I have jumped the gun a little bit but the next part is, “what will happen?” The answer is simple you will be saved. The Philippian jailor went from being suicidal to having eternal life and all because he believed in the Lord Jesus. What a great message to share with people! Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved. (500 on the nose)