Steps to Heaven
“And a highway will be there; it will be called the Way of Holiness. The unclean will not journey on it; it will be for those who walk in that Way; wicked fools will not go about on it.” (Isaiah 35:8)
The purpose of this brochure is to point you to that way as set forth in the Bible.
YOU CAN KNOW YOU ARE SAVED
You do not have to doubt or guess or wonder whether or not you are saved. God has made it possible for you to know that you are in a saved relationship with Him. “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.” (I John 5:13). Your salvation is not based upon your feeling, your good works, or your moral goodness. Your salvation is based entirely upon the Word of God. I know that I’m in a saved relationship with God because the Bible says so.
WHO HAS SINNED?
The Bible says we are sinners. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23).
WHO IS GOOD ENOUGH?
Man’s best efforts are not enough to earn heaven. “So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.”’ (Luke 17:10). Anyone who is saved must be saved by a means other than his good works. “He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy.” (Titus 3:5).
ETERNAL LIFE IS A GIFT
Realizing that I was a sinner, unable to save myself, and that the wages of sin is eternal death (eternal separation from God), I rejoiced to learn that I could still have eternal life as a gift from God. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23)
THE GIFT IS ACCEPTED THROUGH FAITH
The Bible tells us more about the gift of eternal life in Ephesians 2:8-9 – “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.” Notice that this scripture does not say that we are saved by grace alone, but that we are saved by grace through faith. We must have enough faith in Jesus Christ to obey Him, or God will not save us by His grace (unmerited favor).
SALVATION BY GRACE DOES NOT EXCLUDE OBEDIENCE
To help us understand that being saved by God’s grace does not exclude the necessity of obedience, the Bible declares in Hebrews 5:9 that “he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.” God saved me by His grace when I had sufficient faith in Christ to obey Him.
WHAT IS SAVING FAITH?
Faith is the first step. “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) This faith does not come by some mysterious feeling or experience; but, rather “faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ’ (Romans 10: 17). Many people feel they have faith without really knowing what faith is. It is not a mere intellectual believing, for the devils do that. James 2:19 declares “even the demons believe that and shudder.” Nor is it simply trusting in Christ for earthly needs such as health, finances, etc. “If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men.” (I Corinthians 15:19) Saving faith is when we stop trusting in ourselves, our good works, or our moral goodness, and start trusting in Christ alone for our eternal salvation. It is when I am willing to stop ruling my life and allow Christ to become the Lord of my life. This means to depend upon what Christ has done, rather than our good works, to get us to heaven.
REPENTANCE IS OUR DECISION OF FAITH
Next, there is one’s decision of faith. This is when we decide to turn from the practice of sin and accept Jesus as our Savior from sin. The Bible refers to this in Acts 20:21 – “turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus.” Jesus declared, “Unless you repent you too will all perish” (Luke 13:3). Repentance is a change of mind that leads to a change of conduct. It was a great day in my life when I decided I was willing to turn away from sin that I might look to Christ as my Savior.
CONFESSION IS OUR DECLARATION OF FAITH
Next, there is one’s declaration of faith. Jesus said, “Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven” (Matt. 10:32-33). God’s Word further says in Romans 10:10, “For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.” You will be glad when you openly declare your faith in Jesus as God’s Son and allow Him to become Lord of your life. You will do exactly the same thing the Ethiopian nobleman did when he declared, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God’ (Acts 8:37).
BAPTISM IS THE DEMONSTRATION OF OUR FAITH
Finally, there is the demonstration of one’s faith. Keep in mind that the Bible declares in Hebrews 5:9 that Christ is the “source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.” Jesus said, “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned’ (Mark 16:16).Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins” (Acts 2:38), Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on the name of the Lord’ (Acts 22:16). For, “this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also” (I Peter 3:21). It is not until we submit to baptism that we demonstrate that we are depending on Christ as our sole support. “You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ (Galatians 3:26-27). It is in baptism that we demonstrate our faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. “Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life” (Romans 6:3-4). So, when we are baptized into Christ, we are demonstrating our trust in His death, burial and resurrection for our salvation. It is certainly grand to know through the Bible that we are in a saved relationship with God.
God has done His part to make possible your salvation. Have you done your part? If not, you need to obey the Gospel now. God’s grace provides salvation; our faith accepts salvation. Grace is God’s hand reaching down to save us; faith is our hand reaching up to accept His salvation. If you will express your faith in God’s grace by obeying the Gospel, you will be saved. If we may assist you in your obedience, please call us.
Copyright 1975 by David Powers