Skip to main content

Teaching of Jesus: On Salvation

B.A, B.Ed., MA in Counselling, Theology and Education. Lives in South Africa with an interest in life.


Teachings of Jesus on Salvation

On at least two times Jesus was asked the important question: what must I do to be saved? This was central to the good news that Jesus came to deliver, after all that was why he came. Luke records in his Gospel account that Jesus came to “seek and to save the lost” (19:10). He was sent by his Father as a gift of love to deliver salvation: “For God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life”(John 3:16). John then continues in the next verse in his gospel: “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that through Him we may be saved.”(NKJV translation – used with permission)

Luke in his Gospel account, records that a teacher of the law, in trying to trap Jesus, asked him: “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”(Luke 10:26) In his answer Jesus lay down the basic requirement after referring to the law and summarising it up in just two principles: Love God and love your neighbour. In trying to then to possibly trying to justify his own lack of love for his fellow man (the Jews hated the Samaritans), the lawyer asked the vital question: “who is my neighbour?”

To this important question Jesus answered with one of the most powerful parables in the New Testament, the parable of the Good Samaritan. The example Jesus used shows clearly that loving your neighbour cuts across national, political and racial lines. In the time of Jesus the Jews hated the Samaritans with a deep rooted passion. They referred to them as dogs, and to even consider showing love to a Samaritan was beyond possibility, so Jesus used the parable to show that God’s love knows no boundaries. He was then saying to the lawyer: if you want to inherit the Kingdom of God you need to look out for and help those who are in need. Jesus told the lawyer: “Go and do likewise”. In other words if you want to inherit eternal life you need to show the same love to others that God showed when he sent his Son to bring his message of salvation to all the world.

The second example of a person asking the all important question about salvation comes from the man who is referred to as the “Rich Young Ruler” (Mark 10:17-22). Jesus again referred the young man to what was written in the law and when the man claimed that he had kept the law perfectly Jesus told him to sell his possessions and give the money to the poor and then to follow him.

Mark records in the same chapter that Jesus continued with his disciples with the statement: “How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the Kingdom of God.” When his disciple heard what Jesus taught about salvation they “were astonished”(Mark 10:24). Jesus often amazed with his teachings that went way beyond what people expected or believed. This statement recorded by Mark was no different. In fact Jesus backed it up with a more remarkable statement: “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God”. In the next verse Mark records that they were “greatly astonished, saying among themselves, ‘Who can then be saved?’” Why are riches an obstacle to salvation? In the parable of the sower some of the obstacles to receiving the word are described by Jesus as “the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches...” Mark 4:19). There is no evil in being rich but in order to follow Jesus a rich person needs to put aside an attitude of “I can do it on my own” and rather to submit to God - often a step that is difficult to take. But every statement on any Biblical topic needs to be understood in the light of other passages on the same topic. In the Gospel of Mark, Jesus taught that entry into the Kingdom of God needs to be received like a little child. (Mark 10:15)

Jesus brought this message to His world and backed it up with the miracles that He performed. In John 20:30, 31, John states this fact: “truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book, but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.”

Scroll to Continue

As Jesus was ready to depart this world he gave this instruction to His disciples in what is referred to as the Great Commission: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you, and lo, I am with you to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19, 20)

On the day of the first Pentecost after Jesus rose from the dead and returned to his Father in heaven, the crowd again asked the same question while addressing Peter: “What must we do to be saved?” The answer was simple to understand but perhaps difficult to obey: “Repent and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:37, 38)


NKJV Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


Miebakagh Fiberesima from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA. on July 31, 2021:

Johan, you're welcome.

Johan Smulders (author) from East London, South Africa on July 31, 2021:

Thanks for always commenting on my articles!

Miebakagh Fiberesima from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA. on July 29, 2021:

I agree with you. There is no other way. Thanks.

Related Articles