Our question is not one concerning the geographical location in which you live, but in what spiritual state you currently abide. The Bible teaches that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). Sin separates man from God (Isa. 59:1-2). “The wages of sin is death” (Rom. 6:23), therefore man enters the lost state. If one dies in this lost state, then they will evermore be separated from God and experience everlasting destruction (II Thess. 1:7-9). One realizing they are in the lost state would certainly ask, what must I do to move to the saved state? Let us consider the road map to the saved state.
The first step out of the lost state is to enter into the believing state. When the Philippian jailor asked Paul and Silas, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” the answer he received was to “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 16:30-31). They then taught him the truth of salvation in Jesus Christ, for “faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God” (Rom. 10:17). When one believes that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, he is in the believing state. Unfortunately, many people live and die in the believing state, mistakenly feeling that they are in the saved state. However, the Bible clearly teaches that one is not saved by faith only. Those who believe in Christ have the “power to become the sons of God” (John 1:12), thus they are not the sons of God at that point.
On the day of Pentecost, when Peter and the other apostles had preached the word to those gathered there in Jerusalem on that day, the text says, “Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?” Peter instructed them to move on to the next state. He “said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins…” (Acts 2:37-38). They needed to enter into the turning state. One must feel the guilt of their sins and be remorseful. David said, “The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit” (Psalm 34:18). But, repentance is more than just feeling sorry for one’s sins. Not only must one be penitent, but that remorse must manifest itself with the determination to turn from the wrong and pursue the right. Paul said, “For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation…” (II Cor. 7:10). Yet, to be in this turning state is still not to be in the saved state. One must then enter the telling state.
The apostle Paul wrote, “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” (Rom. 10:9-10). Paul makes it clear that one must openly express his belief in Christ Jesus as the Son of God and the Savior of the world. Jesus had said that any that would not confess Him before men, He would not confess them before the Father (Matt. 10:32-33). When Philip preached Jesus to the Ethiopian treasurer, “they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God” (Acts 8:36-37). This man was in the telling state. But, the telling state is not the saved state either. There was one thing standing between where the eunuch stood and the saved state, the blood of Christ.
Having reached the telling state, one must pass through the blood of Christ to get into the saved state. Paul told the Romans, “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life” (Rom. 6:3-4). At the point of baptism, one is washed clean by the blood of the Lamb. Ananias told Saul, “And now why tarriest thou? Arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord” (Acts 22:16). In the great commission, Jesus said, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved” (Mark 16:16). The final step that moves one to the saved state is baptism. It is at this point that the Lord adds one to the church (Acts 2:41, 47). It is at this point that one enters into the body of Christ (I Cor. 12:13). It is at this point that one begins to walk in newness of life (Rom. 6:3-4). It is at this point that one is a new creature (II Cor. 5:17). And, it is at this point that one can begin rejoicing that they are in the saved state (Acts 8:39; 16:34). Those who reach this state indeed have the right to rejoice. Paul wrote, “Who hath delivered us from the power of Darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son” (Col. 1:13).
Now, back to the question we started with. In what state do you live? Where are you spiritually? Some may never have learned of and believed in Jesus Christ as the Son of God. Some may have entered the believing state and gone no further. Just where are you? Just keep in mind, the state in which you are living when you die will determine your eternal destiny.
(Editor’s note: Send any questions or comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org)