Before one can be saved one needs to first realize their need. For that we have the law.
Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. — Galatians 3:24-25
God gave the law to Israel back in Exodus chapter 20.
And God spoke all these words, saying:
“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
“You shall have no other gods before Me.
“You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.
“You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.
“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.
“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.
“You shall not murder.
“You shall not commit adultery.
“You shall not steal.
“You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.”
And in the New Testament, Jesus clarifies:
But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. — Matthew 5:28
And in first John:
Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. — 1 John 3:15
And what does that mean for us?
Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin. — Romans 3:19-20
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, — Romans 3:23
And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, — Hebrews 9:27
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are well known to God, and I also trust are well known in your consciences. — 2 Corinthians 5:10-11
For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all. — James 2:10
Okay. So we have the law and we know that when you break the law you stand in front of a judge to be judged by the law. As we can see from the clarification given after the law that it’s not only actions, but our heart by which we are judged.
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” — 1 Samuel 16:7
We know that all have sinned and therefore are guilty before God. And we all will stand before Him on judgement day. So what are we to do?
This is where the testimony of what Jesus did for us on the cross comes in to our benefit. From the earliest scriptures God shows the consequence of sin is death and that payment is required for it by blood. Before Christ the Israelites would sacrifice a lamb as a covering for their sin as God had asked of them. Jesus the Son of God came down to earth, lived a life without sin, and then offered Himself on the cross to be that sacrifice for us. He, as it were, has paid the price which is due to be paid on judgement day by the guilty. We can have this redemption by being saved as His word describes it.
For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, — 1 Corinthians 15:3
and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again. — 2 Corinthians 5:15
Jesus asks that we confess our sins and to repent. The meaning of sin comes from an old archery term meaning to miss the mark of perfection. Repentance is the act of turning away from what you repent of toward what is right. Think of it like going the wrong way and repenting of going down that path by turning around 180 degree and walking the other way.
that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. — Romans 10:9
Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.” — Acts 17:30-31
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us. — 1 John 1:8-10
But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name — John 1:12
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. — John 3:16
Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life. — John 6:47
After receiving Christ He gives you His Holy Spirit to live in you and delivers you from judgement and hell.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. — 2 Corinthians 5:17
For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. — 2 Corinthians 5:21
But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. — John 14:26
And Jesus was buried in a tomb and rose from the dead three days later. After confessing and believing in Him He asks that we get baptized which is symbolic.
Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. — Romans 6:4-11
Be sure of your salvation by seeking Him first and verifying by His word and His Spirit. As the parable of the sower illustrates the condition of your heart very much determines if your salvation is genuine or disingenuous.
Then He spoke many things to them in parables, saying: “Behold, a sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds came and devoured them. Some fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth; and they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of earth. But when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up and choked them. But others fell on good ground and yielded a crop: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”
“Therefore hear the parable of the sower: When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside. But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles. Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful. But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.” — Matthew 13:3-9,18-23