January 11, 2015
In this issue: God's Plan of Salvation Author Unknown
[Author unkown: Article is from the website of the Church of Christ meeting at Hayfield Road, Kirkcaldy, Fife, Scotland, website www.wayoftruth.org.uk. Spelling has been left as is.]
There is probably no question in the Christian world which has received so many different answers. That question is: "What must I do to be saved?"
In the midst of the tumult of voices offering answers, there is one indisputable fact: since the Plan of Salvation comes from God, only God has the authority to determine the means of salvation and the response He requires from those seeking to be saved.
I believe it fair to assume, until evidence indicates otherwise, that each person seeking the answer to that question is both honest and sincere. With that in mind, may I ask you to consider the following statements.
YOU MUST FIRST ACCEPT YOUR NEED TO BE SAVED.
"As it is written, there is no-one righteous, not even one." (Romans 3:10)
"For all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23)
"For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 6:23)
Will you concede that you have not lived a life free of sin?
CHRIST DIED FOR YOU
"For God so loved the world, that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life." (John 3:16)
"But God demonstrates His own love for us, in this. While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8)
"Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you ... for what I received I passed on to you as of first importance, that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures, that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day according to the scriptures." (1 Corinthians 15:1-4)
Do you accept the facts of the death, burial, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ?
TO BE SAVED YOU MUST ACCEPT CHRIST
"Salvation is found in no-one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men, whereby we must be saved." (Acts 4:12)
The New Testament teaches you how to accept Christ, as follows:
1. You must believe in Christ as the Son of God
"But these are written, that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that by believing you may have life in His name" (John 20:31)
"And they said, believe in the Lord Jesus, and you shalt be saved - you and your household." (Acts 16:31)
"Whoever believes and is baptised will be saved; but whoever does not believe will be condemned." (Mark 16:16)
2. You must sincerely repent of your sins
" ... unless you repent, you too will all perish." (Luke 13:3)
" ... repent and be baptised, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven ..." (Acts 2:38)
3. You must confess Jesus before men
"Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven." (Matthew 10:32)
"For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified; and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved." (Romans 10:10)
(This need not be a formal statement. It is simply the natural expression with the lips of that which is in the heart.)
4. You must be baptised into Christ
"So he ordered that they be baptised in the name of the Jesus Christ." (Acts 10:48)
(This baptism is immersion in water; a burial.) "Peter replied, 'repent, and be baptised, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.'" (Acts 2:38)
"You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptised into Christ have clothed yourself with Christ." (Galatians 3:26-27)
A penitent believer in Christ who has been baptised unto the remission of sins has accepted Christ and has the promise of God's Word that he is saved of all past sins.
We would ask you to note that, not only are there specific steps which you must take, there is a specific sequence to those steps. Further, only you can take those steps for yourself - no other person can take these steps on your behalf.
YOU CAN BE JUST A CHRISTIAN
Nothing more and nothing less than a Christian. On the day of Pentecost, after Peter had concluded the first gospel sermon, those that accepted his word were baptised and "the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved" (Acts 2:47)
These saved Christians belonged to no religious sect or party or denomination. They were just Christians.
In summation, the Bible teaches that those who obey Christ today will, in the same way, be added to His church - they will belong to no denomination and must continue to walk by faith. You can then enjoy the greatest blessings in life by being just a Christian, and worshipping God on the first day of each week, as we find recorded in His word.
This inspiring and acceptable worship includes the Lord's Supper each first day of the week (Acts 20:7); the privilege of giving as you have been prospered (1 Corinthians 16:1-2); hearing the word of God; praying together; and singing praises to God (Acts 2:42; Ephesians 5:19). We should continue by faith as we worship in spirit and truth (2 Corinthians 5:7; John 4:23-24). This is the New Testament pattern of acceptable worship.
"And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptised, and wash your sins away, calling on His name." (Acts 22:16) ~