All scriptural references are from the New American Standard Bible unless otherwise noted
There tends to be a lot of misunderstanding of what it takes to obtain Salvation. Some believe it is through baptism, some believe it is through faith, some through works, and some believe it is through God's undeserved mercy. Then there are those who believe "once saved, always saved," and those who believe you must live a clean, moral life as the only way to remain saved. Yet others say that everyone is saved purely through the blood of Christ. The purpose of this page to present these beliefs with what the Bible actually teaches regarding these matters. As always, test all teachings with Scripture:
ONCE SAVED, ALWAYS SAVED?
Jesus Christ came to save us from the curse of death brought on by sin (John 3:16-17, John 12:47, Romans 5:12,17, 1 Timothy 1:15). His sacrifice enables us to obtain Forgiveness for our sins, which is what releases us from sin's curse (Romans 3:24-26). However, in order for us to obtain this forgiveness, we must first be repentant of our sins (Luke 24:47). Being repentant requires that we do our best to discontinue living a sinful life. Going along with this line of thought is Hebrews 6:4-6, which states that if we come to learn the truth about God, Jesus, and the heavenly Kingdom, but then remove ourselves again from those truths, then we no longer have any repentance. And as the Bible shows, without repentance there is no forgiveness (Luke 24:47, Acts 11:18). Without forgiveness, there is no Salvation (2 Corinthians 7:10, Luke 1:77). Therefore, even though you can become "saved", you can also lose that Salvation if you don't repent from the sins you commit later.
SALVATION THROUGH BAPTISM?
Baptism in John's name was for repentance, whereas Baptism into Christ's name is for receiving forgiveness (Acts 2:38, Hebrews 9:22, 1 John 5:5-7). In order to be forgiven though, we first need to be repentant, as is explained in the above paragraph. Forgiveness through Christ's baptism cannot be obtained without first accepting the blood of Christ (1 John 5:6). Therefore, baptism alone will not save you.
SALVATION THROUGH FAITH AND WORKS?
Many seem to believe that Salvation can be obtained by Works. They cite the Scripture at James 2:14-26. However, the passage here never states that Salvation is obtained in this manner. It merely states that, for those who do have faith, their faith is useless without works. On the other hand, Salvation is obtained only through faith in Christ's blood (Romans 3:25, Romans 5:9). Therefore, we must also have faith in The Blood as well. Those who are unwilling to acknowledge The Blood of Jesus are, in effect, rejecting it (1 Peter 2:4 compared with Matthew 21:42, Mark 12:10). Rejecting his sacrifice leaves us with no salvation (Hebrews 10:29-31), no matter how many good works we perform.
SALVATION THROUGH THE BLOOD OF CHRIST?
Scripture strongly shows the main point of Salvation originates with the Blood of Jesus that was shed for us (Romans 3:25, 5:9, Ephesians 1:7, Hebrews 9:11-14, Hebrews 9:25-28, 1 John 1:7, 1 John 5:5-7). Of course, the very faith in Christ's blood would actually move a person to become baptized, and show faith with works, but that doesn't mean baptism and works are the primary components of Salvation. It is the common thread of faith in the Blood that leads one to Salvation. Though having faith means that we will show our faith by our actions/works and baptism, all of that is nothing if we don't accept Christ as our redeemer.
As we can plainly see, the main "ingredient" for Salvation is faith in the Blood of Christ. Of course, true faith would be shown by one's actions / works, but it is the original faith that leads to those works. By the same token, baptism is also a showing of faith, but again -- it is the original faith that saves, not the baptism itself.
It is also worth noting that a person can get baptized and display many works, but that doesn't mean the person has true faith. Without that faith, the baptism and works do not save. This is why faith is the main requirement for Salvation.
May you receive the Lord's blessing along with your Salvation.