Salvation is not the result of a sinner’s prayer. It is not a death bed plea. It is more than belief. It is more than a confession. It is more than repentance. No one is born to salvation. No one is saved as the result of being sprinkled, baby or adult. Yet, salvation requires baptism, but not separate and apart from belief, confession, and repentance. I don’t mean to confuse you, for truly salvation is identifiable in 4 separate ways.
Obedience To The Gospel
Every Christian convert in the new testament was saved by their obedience to the gospel of Christ. What is the gospel of Christ? It is simply the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ (1 Cor 15:1-4). How does one obey the gospel of Christ? Initially, one is taught the gospel, for faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God (Rom 10:17). This faith must originate in the heart and confessed with the mouth before the witness of men (Rom 10:8-10). Then one must repent of their sins and have them washed away by baptism (Acts 2:38 f; Acts 22:16). No one can consider themselves saved separate and apart from their obedience to the gospel.
Added To The Lord’s Church
By our obedience to the gospel we are added to the Lord’s church by Jesus Christ (Acts 2:47). This is significant because no one can be saved separate and apart from the Lord’s church. This is the church Christ built, died and paid for with his own blood (Mt 16:18 f; Acts 20:28). Jesus is it’s head and it is governed by qualified elders (Col 1:18 f; Acts 14:23). It’s name is the church of Christ and the saints are it’s members (1 Cor 12:13,27 f; Rom 16:16). However, in order to be saved we have just begun.
Continuance In The Doctrine Of Christ
Only a baptized believer is commanded to continue in the doctrine of Christ (2 Jn 9 f; Acts 2:42). What is the doctrine of Christ? This is the teaching of Christ and his apostles. The apostles worshiped each Sunday to partake of the Lord’s supper in remembrance of the Lord’s death (Acts 20:7 f; 1 Cor 11:24-26). The apostle’s taught us to give of our means each Sunday, not grudgingly or out of a necessity, but freely (1 Cor 16:1-3 f; 2 Cor 9:6,7). They sang with their mouth and made music in their hearts to the Lord (Eph 5:19). They preached the Word of God in and out of season (2 Tim 4:2-5). They sang and prayed with the Spirit and understanding also (1 Cor 14:15). In short, they worshiped God in Spirit and in truth (Jn 4:23,24).
All Christians are taught to live a godly and moral life. This means that they abstain from adultery, fornication, homosexuality or any work of the flesh (Gal 5:19-21). However, to do all of these does not end our walk on the strait and narrow path which leads to life everlasting (Mt 7:14).
Tested and Tried
Jesus said no one can be a Christian unless they take up their cross and follow after Him (Lk 14:27). The servant is not above his Master (Lk 6:40). As Jesus suffered, so must we, not for wrong doing but for good (1 Pet 2:20-21). All who have obeyed the gospel of Christ and have faithfully continued in the doctrine of Christ will suffer persecution (2 Tim 3:12). All the saints will suffer the same afflictions (1 Pet 5:8-10). It is by these trials and persecutions we know that we are on the right path (Gal 5:11). If we endure trials and temptations we will receive a crown of life (Jam1:12).
Conclusion: If you are numbered among the saved, then you have obeyed the gospel of Christ, you are continuing in the doctrine of Christ and his apostles, and you have taken up your cross (trials and persecutions) and followed after Christ.