All who desire to be saved must obey God, by following his will "And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully" (2 Timothy 2:5).
The Bible is God’s word, and in it is found the instructions on how to please God. Under the Law of Moses, sacrifices of animals were made for certain things as described in the book of Leviticus. As one studies the Bible it is seen that now under the Christian dispensation, one does not have to offer blood sacrifices as did the children of Israel.
Today, man is to present himself as a living sacrifice to God. First, in obeying the gospel, by having faith that Jesus is the Son of God, turning from sins, confessing Jesus as God’s Son before men, and being baptized for the remission of our sins.
Secondly one must continue to give ourselves. Paul wrote, "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God" (Romans 12:1, 2).
Paul wrote that the gospel is the "power of God unto salvation," "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek" (Romans1:16).
The gospel message is the key to man’s salvation. When Jesus was speaking to Peter near the coast of Caesarea Philippi, he told Peter he would give to him the keys to the kingdom of heaven.
Peter used the keys on the day of Pentecost; he preached the gospel of Christ. He reminded his listeners of the prophet Joel had prophesied of the day that had arrived, of how David spoke of the savior, telling of the resurrection of Christ. He told them how Jesus had performed miracles, signs and wonders which they knew about, and declaring, "that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ" (Acts 2:14-36).
They realized their condition and their need to do something. They stopped his sermon and asked what they needed to do, Peter’s response was, "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call" (Acts 2:38, 39).
Salvation can be obtained, but one must make the effort. Obeying the gospel is the right step toward salvation but then one must live faithfully. Many have made the mistake of thinking that since they have been baptized, it really does not matter what they do because they are going to heaven. Each and every Christian is responsible to keep pure.
When sin is committed, one must repent, humbling themselves before God and asking his forgiveness.
The warning given by the Hebrew writer should cause all Christians to desire the opportunity to come back to God. "For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden underfoot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God" (Hebrews 10:26-31).
The gospel is the power of God, and if one desires to be saved he must obey the gospel and live for the Lord each day.