God is holy. Because of sin, each of us became unholy. God could not and cannot ignore the sin that made us unholy. The apostle Paul described our problem like this, "...you were dead in your trespasses and sins" (Ephesians 2:1). He described God's remedy for our problem like this, "But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ by grace you have been saved, and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast." (Ephesians 2:4-9).
Because of His love for us, God sent His son, Christ Jesus, to pay the penalty for sin. What a wonderful expression of love! Because of the blood of Jesus, God is willing to forgive sin. We do need the forgiving grace of God. But how do I accept the forgiving grace of God?
It is evident that the Ephesians, to whom God addressed the previously mentioned scriptures, had accepted the grace of God. What did they do?
The Ephesians had heard and believed the gospel, "In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation - having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise" (Ephesians 1:13).
The apostle Paul, the author of the letter to the Ephesians, had actually been their teacher. He was the one who led them to the point of salvation. Luke, the author of the book of Acts, records the series of events leading to the salvation of those who lived in Ephesus. After they had heard and believed, they were baptized, "When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus" (Acts 19:5).
Indeed, the Ephesians had been saved by grace through faith, "For by grace you have been saved through faith ..." (Ephesians 2:8). For the Ephesians to be saved by grace through faith, they needed to hear, believe, and be baptized. For you to be saved by grace through faith you, too, need to hear about Jesus becoming the sacrifice for your sin. Believe that He did, indeed, die for you, and become baptized in response to your faith.
What must I do to be saved is a most necessary question in all the earth. Many different and differing answers often are given; but, how do the scriptures answer this question?