IF THE QUESTION HAS NOT CHANGED, WHY SHOULD THE ANSWER?
Ask any Christian you meet. They all have an answer for this question. Sadly, the answers vary and differ greatly amongst the many, although the question is the same. But there should only be one answer to this great question. In fact, the Bible gives this answer very plainly, but why are not many Christians providing the very answer that the Bible gives to this question? Something is wrong -- dead wrong.
This question has been around ever since the Gospel was first preached. The question has not changed today:
Upon hearing the Gospel preached to them, some people asked the apostles what they must do about it. In other words, "How can we be saved?" Ever since that day the question was first asked, multiplied millions have likewise asked it. People will continue to ask it today and tomorrow. What must they do to be saved? These people were told by Peter that they crucified Jesus Christ and buried him in a grave. God, however, resurrected Him, as foretold by David. The words of David regarding his soul not being left in hell could not have referred to David, himself. David is still buried to this day. He was not resurrected. But the man Jesus Christ was resurrected, and that was the act of God in making Him Lord and Christ. This was the information that prompted the people to ask what they should do about it -- how can they be saved?
Notice the answer given to these people. I have heard people give a completely different answer to this same question when you read Peter's answer to this question. Too many will not tell others who ask the same question what Peter the apostle told those people. The question has not changed, so why should the answer change? Why should we provide people with a different answer than what Peter gave to them?
Look at Peter's answer, and ask yourself if you would tell people who asked this question the same thing that Peter told them.
Acts 2:37-39 Now when they heard [this], they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men [and] brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, [even] as many as the Lord our God shall call.
The Kingdom of God had come in power and the disciples were filled with the Holy Ghost. And upon this birthday of the true Church, people asked Peter how to be saved and Peter told them about three major things needful to their salvation.
Acts 2:40 And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.
In other words, what he just said in verses 38 and 39, along with other words, concerned the issue of saving oneself from this untoward, or crooked, generation. It regarded SALVATION. What Peter told them in Acts 2:38-39 regarded instructions concerning how to be saved.
People still need salvation. In fact they need the same salvation provided for everyone since Jesus Christ resurrected. And the question remains the same: "What must we do?" However, an overwhelming number of Christians will not provide people with the answer that Peter gave to them. They will say something totally different, like "Accept Jesus into your heart," or "Make Jesus your personal saviour." Or they will take only PART of what Peter said and omit the rest. But so VERY FEW will ever tell people the entire words that Peter gave to the people who asked this question on the birthday of the Church.
Drill the words that Peter spoke into your heart. Check out your own answer that you would have given before you read this article and see how far off others might have led you.
You will hear many excuses from others who refuse to give the answer Peter gave. I have heard the most outrageous explanations from people. Some say that Peter was immature in those early church days, and later learned afterwards that one simply has to believe and nothing more -- no baptism and no repentance. Hilarious! We need to realize that Peter was filled with the Spirit. When one is filled with the Spirit and ministers under that influence, one is not going to give a false doctrine. Saying that Peter was immature and grew to learn more afterwards is saying that Peter preached a false message!
The same person explained that the way to be saved is correctly found in Romans and not the Book of Acts.
Roma 10:9-10 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.The man said this above explanation is the way to be saved, and it does not contradict Peter's words because Peter was immature and simply did not fully know how to be saved properly. He said that Peter was still too legalistic, having just come freshly out of Judaism.
Legalistic? Again, Peter was filled with the Holy Ghost and ministered those words. Peter was never told by any man that David's words in the Psalms were prophecies of Christ's resurrection. The reason he knew about that was due to the revelation he was receiving from God after being filled with the precious Holy Spirit. And his message was so empowered by God that it pricked the hearts ofd the people listening. That is God's Spirit working. When a man or woman speaks the word of God in anointed power of the Spirit, it pricks the hearts of the listeners. And do you think God would give Peter the words to prick the listeners hearts with conviction, causing them to cry out for an answer of what to do, and then leave Peter to give a false answer to the same people? Would God bring Peter that far to the point of moving the listeners to want to know how to be saved, and then abandon Peter at the very point of time when the answer was ready to be received? Of course not. God gave Peter the words to say beforehand to bring the people up to the point of hearing the answer they needed to hear.
It is nonsense to say that Peter's understanding was lacking and that he told them more than was necessary to be saved!
Others scornfully asked, "Do you mean to say that you believe you have to repent to be saved?"
Again, they refer to Romans. But Jesus, Himself, twice said that repentance was necessary for salvation.
Luke 13:3 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.And let everything be established with two or three witnesses!
Luke 13:5 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
Others say that water baptism has nothing to do with salvation. Yet Peter commanded it to the gentiles in Acts 10:48, even after they already received the Spirit baptism! Peter also wrote of it saying that it "saves" us (1 Peter 3:20) as water saved Noah's family in the flood.
The big point to notice is that Jesus referred to "keys" (plural) when He told Peter that He would give him the keys to the Kingdom, in Matthew 16. And with the issue of Kingdom in the crux of the conversation to Nicodemus in John 3, Jesus said that we cannot enter the Kingdom unless we are born of water and of Spirit. Notice the dual aspect. This agrees with the thought of there being "keys" to the Kingdom.
Every single instance when people were saved in the book of Acts, we read that they were water baptized in Jesus' name, and Spirit baptized, speaking in tongues. In a debate I posted about Spirit Baptism and speaking in tongues (at my maturity page on this website) one said to me that the cases in Acts were highlights of very important and historical events in church history, and not to be considered as the norm for all conversions in the early church. I disagree. All that Acts shows is the common experience of salvation that all new believers experienced. And it shows the non-contradictory pattern of water and Spirit baptism as Peter first commanded it in Acts 2:38, as obedience to Jesus' commands for them to preach this message in Luke 24:47-49.
Luke 24:47-49 And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of these things. And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.
It was never before preached, so we cannot look to the days before this command was given, since Jesus said it would BEGIN to be preached, starting at Jerusalem, after He left them.
Despite all the arguments people will give, Peter still said we must repent, be baptized in Jesus' name and receive the Holy Ghost in answer to the question of what to do to be saved.
Will you answer this question the way Jesus wanted the Apostles to answer