As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one. (Romans 3:10)
For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. (Romans 3:23-24)
Has not God just chosen a select few for salvation? No!
For God has bound everyone over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all. (Romans 11:32)
How do we receive salvation?
But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,”that is, the message concerning faith that we proclaim: If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. (Romans 10:8-10)
This sounds like a formula? It is an absolute truth: the blood of Jesus washes away all sin. His sacrifice on the cross allows the gates of heaven to be opened to us. But His gift must be received.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)
Faith is the conduit for receiving all of God’s gifts.
And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. (Hebrews 11:6)
After having received salvation by grace is it possible to lose it? Scripture warns us against losing it.
Let us heed the words of the Apostle Paul:
I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Let us also consider the words of our Lord Jesus:
Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. (Matthew 24:12-13)
And this warning from Hebrews?
If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? (Hebrews 10:26-29)
Is baptism essential for salvation? It is essential but it does not stand alone:
Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. (Mark 16:16)
Is this not the Gospel which you have heard or have preached? It does emphasize accountability a little too much for some. But this Gospel is biblical! There is no other Gospel. The words of the Apostle Paul:
I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! (Galatians 1:6-8)
The words of our Lord Jesus concerning false gospels and messiahs:
At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you ahead of time. (Matthew 24:23-25)
Thanks be to God that there is the true Gospel. It is the good news. This is the Word of God for those who will receive Jesus as Messiah:
For He says,
“In the time of my favor I heard you,
and in the day of salvation I helped you.”
I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation. (2 Corinthians 6:2)
We have this encouragement from our Lord Jesus:
Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” (Luke 19:9-10)
Jesus said: “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.” (Luke 12:32)