Faithlife Sermons

What Must I Do to be Saved?

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Text:  Acts 2:29-47

Thesis:  To prove what one had to do in the first century in order to attain salvation is

             what one must do in the twentieth century.


1.     This is the most important question that one can ask in their lifetime.

2.     The answer is of eternal consequence.

3.     Therefore, one must go to the Word of God in order to determine what God has said on the matter.

4.     One must decide if he will go to man for the answer or go to God who has the Words of eternal life (John 6:68). 

5.     An examination of Acts 2 will enable one to ascertain what one had to do in the first century in order to be saved, and what one had to do in the first century is exactly what one must do in the twentieth century (Heb. 13:8).

6.     We will look at 3 different points in Acts 2.

a.      The gospel was preached to the heathen.

b.     The gospel pricked the heart.

c.      The gospel has promise of Heaven.


I.      The gospel was preached to the heathen.

A.   The apostles preached Christ and Him crucified in the midst of them that put Him to death upon the cross.

1.     They were willing to preach the truth at whatever cost they might have to endure.

2.     They did not just try to focus on what the audience would like to hear, but rather what they needed to hear.

B.    The fundamentals of the gospel are the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ (I Cor. 15: 1-4).

C.    The apostles preached only the gospel and did not add their thoughts or their opinions to it.

D.   Therefore, the gospel and only the gospel was preached to the heathen.

II.   The gospel pricked the heart.

A.   The heathen were pricked at their heart when they heard the gospel preached (Acts 2:37).

B.    There is power when the Word of God is preached.

1.     The gospel is quick and powerful that pierces the soul and spirit (Heb. 4:12).

2.     The sword of the Spirit is the gospel (Eph. 6:17).


C.    Therefore, they saw necessity of asking the most important question known to man.

1.     “What must I do to be saved?” (Acts 2:37)

2.     This was the perfect opportunity to settle once and for all what is the answer to the world’s most important question.

3.     What did the apostles under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit say?

a.      They were told to repent and be baptized (Acts 2:38).

b.     Why were they told to be baptized if it was not necessary?

c.      The phrase “for the remission of your sins” is also found in Matthew 26:28.

1.     Christ says that His blood is shed for the remission of sins.

2.     We already had remission of sins before Christ died upon the cross if they already had remission of sins before baptism in Acts 2:38.

3.     Both verses contain the same sentence structure, and the both have the same meaning.


d.     The apostles are liars if baptism is not essential for salvation.


4.     The death, burial, and resurrection are the fundamentals of the gospel, and one can obey the gospel of Christ if he can find something that they are to do that includes the fundamentals of the gospel.                            

a.  Baptism includes the death, burial, and resurrection (Rom. 6:3-5).

b.  Therefore, one is obeying the gospel if he is baptized.            

5.     Are there any examples of anyone being saved, after the establishment of the Church, without being baptized?

a.      Every person that we read of in the Bible, after acts 2, were baptized in order to attain salvation.

b.     Those in Samaria were baptized after they heard the gospel preached (Acts 8:12).

c.      The Ethiopian eunuch was baptized after Philip taught him the gospel (Acts 8:38).

d.     Saul was told to be baptized in order to wash away his sins (Acts 22:16).

e.      Cornelius and his household were baptized after they were taught by Peter (Acts 10:48).

f.      The Philippian jailor was baptized after Paul and Silas taught him (Acts 16:33).

g.     No one argues that these people were not saved.

6.     Therefore, the only logical conclusion is that the heathen were taught that baptism was essential for salvation.

III. The gospel has promise of Heaven.

A.   Those in Acts 2 not only heard the gospel, but they also reacted to it.

1.     They heard what they needed to do, and they did it (Acts 2:41).

2.     James exhorts us to be doers of the Word (Jms. 1:22).

3.     What will we do with the gospel?

B.    Those in Acts 2 were added to the Church when they obeyed the gospel (Acts 2:47).

1.     We can have assurance that the same will be true for those today who obey the gospel just as those did in Acts 2.

2.     We are in Christ when we are baptized (Rom. 6:3; Gal. 3:27), and we know that being in Christ is being in His Church (Eph. 1:22-23).

C.    Those in Acts 2 were willing to do whatever the apostles taught regardless to what they had grown up hearing, what their family believed, or what someone else was teaching.

1.     We must be willing to obey God rather than man.

2.     There are numerous verses on baptism throughout the New Testament.

a.      Jesus himself taught it to be necessary (Mat. 28:19; Mark 16:16).

b.     Verses are found all throughout Acts concerning baptism.

c.      Peter teaches us that baptism does now save us (I Pet. 3:21).


3.     Therefore, it is imperative that we believe the teaching on baptism and obey the gospel of Christ.

D.   Those who obeyed the gospel were saved and had the blessed assurance of Heaven.

1.     We will have the same assurance if we obey the gospel.

2.     We will receive a crown of life if we have been faithful (Rev. 2:10), and we will be allowed into the kingdom of Heaven because we will be doing the will of the Father (Mat. 7:21).


1.     One must decide what he will do with the gospel.

2.     The gospel has not nor ever will change, and what was necessary in the first century is necessary in the twentieth century.

3.     We have looked at the fact that the gospel was preached to the heathen, and it pricked their hearts, which caused them to obey the gospel that gave them the promise of Heaven.

4.     The Holy Spirit himself is a liar if baptism is not essential for salvation, because He inspired the men as to what they were to write (II Pet. 1:21).

5.     The gospel is the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ, and baptism is a death, burial, and resurrection of an individual.  Therefore, being baptized is obeying the gospel.




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