You must know the gospel. Otherwise you cannot believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. Our Lord said: ‘Ye shall know the truth; and the truth shall make you free’. Sinners are saved by the knowledge of the truth, and Christ is the Truth.
You cannot be saved if you believe the devil’s lie. I do not suggest (and the Word of God does not teach) that a person must be a learned, educated, well-read student of the Bible to be saved.
I do not suggest (and the Word of God does not teach) that a person must believe a specific creed, be a part of a specific church, perform specific deeds, or experience specific emotions in order to be saved.
What the Word of God does teach is that salvation is the result of a specific, God-given knowledge; knowledge which comes by the power of the Holy Spirit through the preaching of the gospel.
Hear what God says in his Word, and believe the gospel: ‘And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent’ (John 17:3).
And again: ‘Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
‘And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, how beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God’ (Romans 10:13-17).
Saving faith is a heart knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ as he is revealed in the gospel. Faith is more than knowledge; but faith is not a leap in the dark. Faith is walking in the light! Some things are essential to a saving knowledge of Christ.
If you would be saved you must know God in his true character. He who is God is sovereign, holy, just and true.
If you would be saved you must know yourself in your true character. You are a lost, depraved, helpless, spiritually dead, doomed, damned sinner. The wrath of God is upon you. Without Christ, you have no hope.
If you would be saved you must know the Lord Jesus Christ in his true character. The Lord Jesus Christ is both God and man, the God-man Mediator, God incarnate in human flesh, God come to save.
This great Mediator died at Calvary as the sinner’s Substitute in the place of his people. By his death he satisfied the law and justice of God, and put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. Now, he sits upon the throne of universal monarchy as the sovereign Lord over all flesh, giving eternal life to whom he will by the power of his grace, through the merits of his blood. Oh, hear this and rejoice – the Lord Jesus Christ is mighty to save!
If you would be saved you must know what happened on the cross. There is no salvation apart from the knowledge of ‘how … Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures’.
The Lord Jesus Christ died upon the cursed tree by an act of his own sovereign will, as a Substitute for chosen sinners, making satisfaction to the justice of God and successfully redeeming all for whom he died.
If you would be saved you must be reconciled to God in your heart. There is no salvation to be had apart from the reconciliation to God as God. Therefore, I call upon you now, in Christ’s stead, ‘Be reconciled to God’.
May God grant you life and faith in Christ by the power of his omnipotent, irresistible grace, for Christ’s sake.