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How to Get Right with God to be Saved

All have sinned. Many want to know how to get right with God. Can mere devotion lead you to salvation, or do you need to join the body of Christ?


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Chuck Horner: I’m Chuck Horner, pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in South Hayward. My question is what must we do to be right with God to be saved?

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Brother Bob Pellien: Welcome everyone, and thank you particularly so much, Mr. Horner, for your question for today. And your question is a question that’s, well, it’s often heard from people who are really seeking to understand about God’s ways. The problem is that many people, however, have made the mistake of drawing their own conclusions, even their own strategies, let’s say, about how to put themselves right with God. 

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QUESTION: What must one do to be put right with God?

Brother Bob: But as always, here in the Church Of Christ, and on this program, That’s in the Bible, the answer to your question will always come from this book—the Holy Scriptures.

Can devotion alone lead to being saved?

So what has the Apostle Paul, for example, said, Mr. Horner, about your question? Did he provide any warning or guidance to us? We turn to the book of Romans 10, verse 2 and 3. He gave this warning:

I can assure you that they are deeply devoted to God; but their devotion is not based on true knowledge. They have not known the way in which God puts people right with Himself, and instead, they have tried to set up their own way; and so they did not submit themselves to God’s way of putting people right.

[Romans 10:2-3 Good News Translation]

Brother Bob: So Chuck, the answer to your question is not, therefore, just being devoted to God as so many people think. Chuck, what will be the danger if one would just choose their own way of putting themselves right with God? Their own strategy to do that? Here in Proverbs 14, and let’s listen together what’s recorded here in verse 12. It says this:

There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.

[Proverbs 14:12 New King James Version]

What does the Bible say about the second death?

Brother Bob: So clearly here, Chuck, the Bible teaches that although it may seem right to a person—their own strategy, their own idea, maybe just being devoted or whatever—but the Bible says what seems right to a person may in fact lead them to death. And it’s not only the death referred to here. It’s not only the ending of our biological life, it’s also the infliction of a second death—a death. And how does the Bible further describe that death? It’s mentioned in the book of Revelation chapter 20, verse 14 like this:

Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

[Revelation 20:14 New King James Version]

Brother Bob: The Bible calls it a second death, a death in the lake of fire. So in fact, what if a person will decide to make the next step and say, “Well then I guess if it’s not my own strategy that I need to implement to make myself right with God, then what do I need to do?” Maybe they’ll conclude, “Well I just need to be worshipping God. As long as I’m worshipping God, then I’ll be right with God.” The Lord Jesus answers that question, Chuck, like this. In the book of Matthew 15, verse 9, he said it like this:

And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’

[Matthew 15:9 New King James Version]

All have sinned

Brother Bob: So although they may make their own conclusion like, “Well all I need to do is to be worshipping,” Jesus responds how? He said, well, their worship will be in vain. Why would it be in vain? If they’re still using doctrines or commandments of men as the basis of their worship that makes the worship vain or useless. So we must acknowledge that this vain worship is the result of man’s being separated from God in the first place. Separated from God due to what? The iniquities and sins, as was mentioned by the Prophet Isaiah in 59: 2. Because of sin, because of iniquity, man has become separated from God:

But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear.

[Isaiah 59:2 New King James Version]

Brother Bob: In fact, if we read Apostle Paul’s statement in Colossians 1: 21, what did he call people that have been separated from God because of sin? He referred to them as, “enemies:” 

And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet know He has reconciled

[Colossians 1:21 New King James Version]

Brother Bob: And who has committed sin? Romans 5:12 makes mention all people have committed sin. People need to be reconciled to God, need to have themselves put right with God. 

Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned-

[Romans 5:12 New King James Version]

Brother Bob: But it is not just by saying, “Well I’m going to worship, I’m going to be devoted, I’m going to do this, I’m going to do that.” If then, it’s not just following what we, ourselves, may think is the good way or think is the right way of serving God, putting ourselves right with God, maybe following some trending, religious ideology of the times. Then what must you mean all people do to achieve the needed reconciliation with God? Is it, like others would say, is it just proclaiming that we have faith in God, faith in Jesus, and then automatically we’ll be saved? Again we turn to the Holy Scriptures once more to the words of our Lord Jesus in the book of Matthew chapter 7, verse 21:

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father in heaven.

[Matthew 7:21 New King James Version]

Joining the body of Christ

Brother Bob: What’s to be done? We have got to do the will of the Father in heaven. What is the will of the Father in heaven that all must do in order to put themselves right with God? Again we turn to the Bible. Ephesians 1:9 and 10:

Having made known to us, the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth- in Him.

[Ephesians 1:9-10 New King James Version]

Brother Bob: So Chuck, that’s the will of God that you, me and all people have to comply with. The will of God that all would be gathered together in one, in Christ. When the first century followers of Christ in the Apostles heard the Apostles teaching these things, how did they comply? How did they fulfill that will of God and thus make themselves right with God? Romans 12, verse 4, verse 5:

For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.

[Romans 12:4-5 New King James Version]

Brother Bob: What did they do? They all joined together in one body with Christ as the head. They joined together. Although they were many, they joined as one in Christ. And they joined in that one body. All of them were so many. What was the one body into which they joined together? In Colossians 1: 18, the body was identified:

And He is the head of the body, the Church

[Colossians 1:18 New King James Version]

Brother Bob: That body is the Church. Which Church is the body of Christ, according to the Bible? Here in Acts 20, verse 28, the name of the Church is made mentioned like this:

Take heed therefore to yourselves and to all the flock over which the Holy Spirit has appointed you overseers, to feed the church of Christ, which he has purchased with His blood.

[Acts 20:28 Lamsa]

Brother Bob: The Church? Church Of Christ. So then, Chuck, the Bible responds to your question, how do we put ourselves right with God? The Bible tells us how not to do it and the Bible tells us how to do it.

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Find a congregation near you:

Brother Bob: And the Bible tells you, me, and all people who want to be saved to fulfill the will of God, which is to be part of the body of Christ, the Church He shed his blood for, the Church Of Christ, the Iglesia Ni Cristo. Chuck, that’s in the Bible.

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Brother Bob: There’s no question that is too basic, no question that cannot be answered by the Bible when it comes to our lives and of course, our salvation. And we’ll respond to them here on this program.

If you’d like to learn more about these basic, fundamental teachings found here inside the Church Of Christ, visit There, you’re going to find various religious programming that will answer your spiritual questions. Thank you for joining us today and we’ll see you again next time on That’s in the Bible.


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How to Get Right with God to be Saved