Accepting Christ As Your Personal Savior
In answer to the question: “What must a person do in order to be saved?” often the answer given is “One must accept Jesus as their personal Savior,” without explaining what is involved in doing so. Often these same people teach that baptism is not essential to being saved, but it is only an outward sign of inward grace i. e. one is baptized to show they are already saved. Let’s examine this in light of accepting Jesus as one’s personal Savior before one is baptized.
First, to be saved one must be “in Christ” where salvation is (2 Tim. 2: 10). The question is: “how does one get into Christ?” The answer is: one is “baptized into Christ Jesus.” (Rom. 6: 3; Gal. 3: 27). Second, Christ is the “Head” of the church. (Eph. 1: 22; 5: 23), which is His “body” (Col. 1: 18; 1 Cor. 12: 27). Third, Christ is the “Savior of the body,” which we have learned is the church. The question is: “how does one get into the church?” First Corinthians 12: 13 says: “For by one Spirit, we were all baptized into one body (church).” Fourth, one enters into Christ and into the body, which is the church, the same way and at the same time, when he is baptized. It follows then, that if one is saved before he is baptized, he is saved “out of Christ,” and “out of the church (body),” because one is baptized into both Christ and the church simultaneously.
Therefore, how can one accept Jesus as his personal Savior if he is not in the Christ’s church of which He is the Savior? In order for Christ to be one’s Savior, one must be in Christ and in His church, which Christ adds one to when he is saved, and one is saved when he is baptized. (Mk. 16: 16; 1 Pet. 3: 21; Acts 2: 37,38, 41, 47). One must accept Christ as his personal Savior, but the acceptance must be on Christ’s terms.