Overview Salvation in Acts.docx
Biblical Exercises for Spiritual Health & Fitness in 2014 Series
The Discipline of Disciple-Making:
What Must I Do to Be Saved?
Acts 16:31 explained from Acts 2-28
God has given us an amazing picture of salvation in Acts. Salvation has only one Door (Christ), but has many descriptions (these accounts). Every one of us who comes to Christ, finds that He does what these accounts describe when He enters our lives.
Each of the 22 different individual portraits of salvation God records for us, are the way to eternal life; but all of them are true about the life of everyone going to Heaven. You see, when God saved us He made us new creations, and transformed us into the sons and daughters of God.
Welcome to the Gospel of God, written down for us in Acts. For the opening thirty years of Christ’s church, from Christ’s Ascension in AD 30 until Paul’s arrival in Rome to await trial in AD 60: God has given us a Divine Summary of the Gospel. Paul, Peter, James, Jude, and John all explain the doctrine surrounding salvation; but the Book of Acts gives the actual words of the actual messages, when salvation is offered and received.
In the study of the sharing of the Gospel, there is really nothing more vital than the words we have before us today in Acts. Today we are going to step back and look at the entirety of this history of the Gospel’s spread. Right almost in the middle of Acts these most famous words are spoken by the jailer of Philippi to Paul: “What must I do to be saved?”
The answer can be found in the sum of all the parts as well as in the simple response of Paul in Acts 16:31: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved.” Salvation is both simple and profound. It is impossible yet so constantly effective. Salvation can be perplexing, confusing, and incomprehensible to so many, but to those who believe and respond it is always the power of God.
Join me in Acts 16:31, as we listen to this simple explanation of the Gospel by Paul.
Acts 16:31 (NKJV) So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.”
What Does it Mean to Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ?
To the jailer’s simple question, we can answer with God’s complete record of all that He wanted us to know, to hear, and to see in these 28 chapters. What Must I do to Be Saved? Simply believe that Salvation is:
- Coming to Christ and Away from Religion (Acts 2:21, 37-38)
- Wanting Jesus More than My Sin (Acts 3:19,26)
- Seeing Jesus Christ as the Only Door to Salvation (Acts 4:12)
- Finding that the Holy Spirit has Changed My Life (Acts 5:31-32)
- Receiving a New Heart (Acts 8:21-23)
- Believing with all your heart (Acts 8:35-37)
- Wanting Jesus as the Lord to Obey (Acts 9:1-6)
- Knowing the Peace of Sins Gone (Acts 10:36,39-43)
- Turning to the Lord in repentance (Acts 11:21)
- Having both the Penalty & Record of ALL my sins forever gone (Acts 13:38-48)
- Turning from Useless Things to the Lord (Acts 14:15,21,27)
- Asking God to purify my heart (Acts 15:7-9)
- Heeding God’s Word from an Opened Heart (Acts 16:14-15)
- Believing in God the Son as the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 16:31-34)
- Following Jesus as the New King of my life (Acts 17:6-7)
- Reaching out to God as True Creator & Repenting of all Idols (Acts 17:22-34)
- Believing & Worshipping God (Acts 18:8-13)
- Entering God’s Kingdom & Following God’s Way and no longer mine (Acts 19:8-26)
- Repenting & Believing in the Kingdom of Christ (Acts 20:21-25)
- Following the Way of God’s Righteousness, Self-control & Judgment (Acts 24:14-27)
- Experiencing God-opened Eyes & God-turned Living (Acts 26:18)
- Entering God’s Kingdom & Living God’s Way (Acts 28:28-31)
The Testimony God Gave Us
The book of Acts is a report that God gave to us, of how the Apostles Christ personally trained, and the disciples they trained, shared the Gospel message in every possible setting.
What we get is to see how the eyewitnesses and those they trained, shared with the world what happened in the life, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus.
Salvation Is: Coming To Christ And Away From Religion By Repenting & Receiving The Spirit
Message one (Peter): The first Gospel presentation is in Acts 2. Peter preaches the first sermon after Christ’s death, burial, resurrection, and sending the Holy Spirit down to indwell the Church. What does he say? Note in Acts 2:21, 37-38:
And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’
Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” 38 Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Salvation Is: Wanting Jesus More than My Sin
Message two (Peter): As we move on we find the second Gospel presentation in Acts 3:19,26:
- 19 “Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord,
- 26 “To you first, God, having raised up His Servant Jesus, sent Him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from your iniquities.”
Salvation Is: Seeing Jesus Christ as the Only Door to Salvation
Message three (Peter): We come to the third Gospel presentation in Acts 4:12:
“Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
Salvation Is: Finding that the Holy Spirit has Changed My Life
Message four (Peter): The next Gospel Presentation comes in Acts 5:31-32, as Peter is again speaking, declaring the way of salvation:
“Him God has exalted to His right hand to be Prince and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. 32 “And we are His witnesses to these things, and so also is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him.”
Salvation Is: Receiving a New Heart
Message fIVE (Philip & Peter): The next Gospel Presentation is no longer directed just to Jews, now Samaritans, half Jew and half Gentile, are getting the message. Now we see for the first time a false believer. Jesus warned of this in the Gospels, now we see it. Note Acts 8:13:
Then Simon himself also believed; and when he was baptized he continued with Philip, and was amazed, seeing the miracles and signs, which were done.
So he believed and was baptized, but something was missing. Listen and note the report in Acts 8:21-23:
“You have neither part nor portion in this matter (what matter? Salvation), for your heart is not right in the sight of God. (Wow, what makes a heart right in God’s sight Peter?) 22 “Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you. 23 “For I see that you are poisoned by bitterness and bound by iniquity.”
Simon believed and was baptized but did not receive the Holy Spirit, which was the seal of true conversion and New Birth.
This means that belief and baptism without repentance was insufficient.
He never repented of his sin so he was never saved! Salvation again is stated by Peter to involve a turning from sin, which is called repentance and conversion.
Salvation Is: Believing with All Your Heart
Message SIX (Philip): The next Gospel Presentation is in Acts 8:35-37:
Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture, preached Jesus to him. 36 Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, “See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?” 37 Then Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” And he answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”
Salvation Is: Wanting Jesus as the Lord to Obey
Message Seven (Jesus): The next Gospel Presentation is in Acts 9:4-6 which records the conversion of Saul of Tarsus, into Paul the Apostle. This event is described at length in Acts 22 and again in Acts 26.
Acts 9:1-6 (NKJV) Then Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest 2 and asked letters from him to the synagogues of Damascus, so that if he found any who were of the Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. 3 As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. 4 Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” 5 And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” Then the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads.” 6 So he, trembling and astonished, said, “Lord, what do You want me to do?” Then the Lord said to him, “Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”
Salvation Is: Knowing the Peace of Sins Gone
MESSAGE EIGHT (Peter): The next Gospel Presentation is in Acts 10:35-43 where salvation is described as believing, receiving remission of sins, and God granting repentance.
Acts 10:36, 39-43 (NKJV) The word which God sent to the children of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ—He is Lord of all— 39 And we are witnesses of all things which He did both in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem, whom they killed by hanging on a tree. 40 Him God raised up on the third day, and showed Him openly, 41 not to all the people, but to witnesses chosen before by God, even to us who ate and drank with Him after He arose from the dead. 42 And He commanded us to preach to the people, and to testify that it is He who was ordained by God to be Judge of the living and the dead. 43 To Him all the prophets witness that, through His name, whoever believes in Him will receive remission of sins.”
Salvation Is: Turning to the Lord in repentance
MESSAGE NINE (Peter & others): The next Gospel Presentation is in Acts 11:17-21 where salvation is described as believing and turning.
Acts 11:17-21 (NKJV) If therefore God gave them the same gift as He gave us when we believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could withstand God?” 18 When they heard these things they became silent; and they glorified God, saying, “Then God has also granted to the Gentiles repentance to life.” 19 Now those who were scattered after the persecution that arose over Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to no one but the Jews only. 20 But some of them were men from Cyprus and Cyrene, who, when they had come to Antioch, spoke to the Hellenists, preaching the Lord Jesus. 21 And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number believed and turned to the Lord.
Salvation Is: Having Both The Penalty & Record Of ALL My Sins Forever Gone = Forgiveness Of Everything
MESSAGE TEN (Paul): The next Gospel Presentation is in Acts 13:38-39, 48 where salvation is described as forgiveness of everything to all who believe.
Acts 13:38-48 (NKJV) Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through this Man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins; 39 and by Him everyone who believes is justified from all things from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses. 40 Beware therefore, lest what has been spoken in the prophets come upon you: 41 ‘Behold, you despisers, Marvel and perish! For I work a work in your days, A work which you will by no means believe, Though one were to declare it to you.’” 42 So when the Jews went out of the synagogue, the Gentiles begged that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath. 43 Now when the congregation had broken up, many of the Jews and devout proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas, who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God. 44 On the next Sabbath almost the whole city came together to hear the word of God. 45 But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy; and contradicting and blaspheming, they opposed the things spoken by Paul. 46 Then Paul and Barnabas grew bold and said, “It was necessary that the word of God should be spoken to you first; but since you reject it, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, behold, we turn to the Gentiles. 47 For so the Lord has commanded us: ‘I have set you as a light to the Gentiles, That you should be for salvation to the ends of the earth.’” 48 Now when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and glorified the word of the Lord. And as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed.
Salvation Is: Turning from Useless Things to the Lord
MESSAGE ELEVEN (Paul): The next Gospel Presentation is in Acts 14:15, 21, 27 where salvation is described by Paul after his journey through Asia Minor as: turning to God who opens the door of faith.
Acts 14:15, 21, 27 (NKJV) and saying, “Men, why are you doing these things? We also are men with the same nature as you, and preach to you that you should turn from these useless things to the living God, who made the heaven, the earth, the sea, and all things that are in them, 21 And when they had preached the gospel to that city and made many disciples, they returned to Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch, 27 Now when they had come and gathered the church together, they reported all that God had done with them, and that He had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles.
Salvation Is: Asking God To Purify My Heart
MESSAGE TWELVE (Peter & James): The next Gospel Presentation is in Acts 15:7-9, 19-20 where salvation is described as turning to God and away from what offends God’s Word and people.
Acts 15:7-9 (NKJV) And when there had been much dispute, Peter rose up and said to them: “Men and brethren, you know that a good while ago God chose among us, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel and believe. 8 So God, who knows the heart, acknowledged them by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He did to us, 9 and made no distinction between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.
Acts 15:19-20 (NKJV) Therefore I judge that we should not trouble those from among the Gentiles who are turning to God, 20 but that we write to them to abstain from things polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from things strangled, and from blood.
Salvation Is: Heeding God’s Word From An Opened Heart
MESSAGE THIRTEEN (Paul): The next Gospel Presentation is in Acts 16:14 where salvation is described as the Lord opening a person’s heart to heed His Word.
Acts 16:14-15 (NKJV) Now a certain woman named Lydia heard us. She was a seller of purple from the city of Thyatira, who worshiped God. The Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul. 15 And when she and her household were baptized, she begged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay.” So she persuaded us.
Salvation Is: Believing In God The Son As The Lord Jesus Christ
MESSAGE FOURTEEN (Paul): The next Gospel Presentation is in Acts 16:25-34 where salvation is described as believing.
Acts 16:25-34 (NKJV) But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. 26 Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were loosed. 27 And the keeper of the prison, awaking from sleep and seeing the prison doors open, supposing the prisoners had fled, drew his sword and was about to kill himself. 28 But Paul called with a loud voice, saying, “Do yourself no harm, for we are all here.” 29 Then he called for a light, ran in, and fell down trembling before Paul and Silas. 30 And he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” 31 So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.” 32 Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. 33 And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their stripes. And immediately he and all his family were baptized. 34 Now when he had brought them into his house, he set food before them; and he rejoiced, having believed in God with all his household.
Salvation Is: Following Jesus As The New King Of My Life
MESSAGE FIFTEEN (Pagan description): The next Gospel Presentation is in Acts 17:1-7, where salvation is described by pagans, who observed the process they saw happening as lost people believed and received Christ, as: getting a new King of your life.
Acts 17:1-7 (NKJV) Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. 2 Then Paul, as his custom was, went in to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures, 3 explaining and demonstrating that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and saying, “This Jesus whom I preach to you is the Christ.” 4 And some of them were persuaded; and a great multitude of the devout Greeks, and not a few of the leading women, joined Paul and Silas. 5 But the Jews who were not persuaded, becoming envious, took some of the evil men from the marketplace, and gathering a mob, set all the city in an uproar and attacked the house of Jason, and sought to bring them out to the people. 6 But when they did not find them, they dragged Jason and some brethren to the rulers of the city, crying out, “These who have turned the world upside down have come here too. 7 Jason has harbored them, and these are all acting contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying there is another king—Jesus.”
Salvation Is: Reaching Out To God As True Creator & Repenting Of All Idols
MESSAGE SIXTEEN (Paul): The next Gospel Presentation is in Acts 17:22-34 where salvation is described as God commanding all to repent.
Acts 17:22-34 (NKJV) Then Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus and said, “Men of Athens, I perceive that in all things you are very religious; 23 for as I was passing through and considering the objects of your worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Therefore, the One whom you worship without knowing, Him I proclaim to you: 24 “God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. 25 Nor is He worshiped with men’s hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things. 26 And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their pre-appointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, 27 so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; 28 for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’ 29 Therefore, since we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, something shaped by art and man’s devising. 30 Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, 31 because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.” 32 And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked, while others said, “We will hear you again on this matter.” 33 So Paul departed from among them. 34 However, some men joined him and believed, among them Dionysius the Areopagite, a woman named Damaris, and others with them.
Salvation Is: Believing & Worshipping God
MESSAGE SEVENTEEN (Paul): The next Gospel Presentation is in Acts 18:8-13 where salvation is described as believing, and being drawn by God to worship Him.
Acts 18:8-13 (NKJV) Then Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his household. And many of the Corinthians, hearing, believed and were baptized. 9 Now the Lord spoke to Paul in the night by a vision, “Do not be afraid, but speak, and do not keep silent; 10 for I am with you, and no one will attack you to hurt you; for I have many people in this city.” 11 And he continued there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them. 12 When Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jews with one accord rose up against Paul and brought him to the judgment seat, 13 saying, “This fellow persuades men to worship God contrary to the law.”
Salvation Is: Entering God’s Kingdom & Following God’s Way And No Longer Mine
MESSAGE EIGHTEEN (Paul): The next Gospel Presentation is in Acts 19:8-26 where salvation is described as a Kingdom, following a Way, which people follow instead of their own way.
Acts 19:8-26 (NKJV) And he went into the synagogue and spoke boldly for three months, reasoning and persuading concerning the things of the kingdom of God. 9 But when some were hardened and did not believe, but spoke evil of the Way before the multitude, he departed from them and withdrew the disciples, reasoning daily in the school of Tyrannus. 10 And this continued for two years, so that all who dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks. 11 Now God worked unusual miracles by the hands of Paul, 12 so that even handkerchiefs or aprons were brought from his body to the sick, and the diseases left them and the evil spirits went out of them. 13 Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists took it upon themselves to call the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, “We exorcise you by the Jesus whom Paul preaches.” 14 Also there were seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, who did so. 15 And the evil spirit answered and said, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?” 16 Then the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, overpowered them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. 17 This became known both to all Jews and Greeks dwelling in Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified. 18 And many who had believed came confessing and telling their deeds. 19 Also, many of those who had practiced magic brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they counted up the value of them, and it totaled fifty thousand pieces of silver. 20 So the word of the Lord grew mightily and prevailed. 21 When these things were accomplished, Paul purposed in the Spirit, when he had passed through Macedonia and Achaia, to go to Jerusalem, saying, “After I have been there, I must also see Rome.” 22 So he sent into Macedonia two of those who ministered to him, Timothy and Erastus, but he himself stayed in Asia for a time. 23 And about that time there arose a great commotion about the Way. 24 For a certain man named Demetrius, a silversmith, who made silver shrines of Diana, brought no small profit to the craftsmen. 25 He called them together with the workers of similar occupation, and said: “Men, you know that we have our prosperity by this trade. 26 Moreover you see and hear that not only at Ephesus, but throughout almost all Asia, this Paul has persuaded and turned away many people, saying that they are not gods which are made with hands.
Salvation Is: Repenting & Believing In The Kingdom Of Christ
MESSAGE NINETEEN (Paul): The next Gospel Presentation is in Acts 20:21-25 where salvation is described as repentance, faith, and entering into God’s Kingdom.
Acts 20:21-25 (NKJV) testifying to Jews, and also to Greeks, repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. 22 And see, now I go bound in the spirit to Jerusalem, not knowing the things that will happen to me there, 23 except that the Holy Spirit testifies in every city, saying that chains and tribulations await me. 24 But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God. 25 “And indeed, now I know that you all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, will see my face no more.
Salvation Is: Following The Way Of God’s Righteousness, Self-Control & Judgment
MESSAGE TWENTY (Paul): The next Gospel Presentation is in Acts 24:14-27, where salvation is described as a Way of Worship, that involves righteousness, self-control, and averts judgment; and that message makes the lost to fear.
Acts 24:14-16; 24-25 (NKJV) But this I confess to you, that according to the Way which they call a sect, so I worship the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the Law and in the Prophets. 15 I have hope in God, which they themselves also accept, that there will be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust. 16 This being so, I myself always strive to have a conscience without offense toward God and men. 24 And after some days, when Felix came with his wife Drusilla, who was Jewish, he sent for Paul and heard him concerning the faith in Christ. 25 Now as he reasoned about righteousness, self-control, and the judgment to come, Felix was afraid and answered, “Go away for now; when I have a convenient time I will call for you.”
Salvation Is: God-Opened Eyes & God-Turned Living
MESSAGE TWENTY-ONE (Paul recounting Christ’s words): The next Gospel Presentation is in Acts 26:17-20 where we see the Gospel Message directly from Jesus, who is at work doing soul winning on Paul right here in the Book of Acts.
Jesus describes salvation as opened eyes, turning, receiving, and being sanctified. Jesus who saved Paul, explained to him that the same miraculous events of salvation, accomplished by God’s power, was what God also wanted to see happen in the lives of lost people everywhere Paul preached:
Acts 26:17-18 (NKJV) I will deliver you from the Jewish people, as well as from the Gentiles, to whom I now send you, 18 to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.’
So what did that mean to Paul? He explains it in v. 19-20:
“Therefore, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision, 20 “but declared first to those in Damascus and in Jerusalem, and throughout all the region of Judea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent, turn to God, and do works befitting repentance.
What did Paul tell the lost pagans? Did his message differ from one he had for the Jews? No, one Gospel, one salvation, one faith!
Salvation Is: Entering God’s Kingdom & Living God’s Way
MESSAGE twenty-TWO (Paul): is the final Gospel Message is in Acts 28:28-31 where salvation is described as coming into God’s Kingdom. The starting message in Acts is: repent; and the concluding message is: enter God’s Kingdom, both rarely if ever used today.
Acts 28:28-31 (NKJV) “Therefore let it be known to you that the salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles, and they will hear it!” 29 And when he had said these words, the Jews departed and had a great dispute among themselves. 30 Then Paul dwelt two whole years in his own rented house, and received all who came to him, 31 preaching the kingdom of God and teaching the things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ with all confidence, no one forbidding him.
What Does it Mean to Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ?
Coming, Wanting, Seeing, Finding, Receiving, Believing, Knowing, Turning, Having, Asking, Heeding, Following, Reaching, Entering, Repenting, & Experiencing… Christ!