From the beginning, God’s will has been that all men would have the opportunity to be saved and live with Him forever. The Scriptures emphasize that desire of His many times and in various ways. He has drawn no boundaries to keep men away from Him; instead, He has opened many gates of opportunity to know Him and His will for man.
Man can only obtain salvation through the GRACE of God. Some have attempted to define grace as “unmerited favor.” The apostle Paul says we are “saved by grace, through faith” and reminds us that we have not earned it but that it is “the free gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8-10). While we have defined grace in those terms, probably none of us can really grasp all that is involved in the grace of God, and it is certain none of us has the power to explain it adequately to anyone else. Yet, that is our responsibility. As Paul says, we have become the “ambassadors for Christ, beseeching” men to accept the salvation He offers (II Corinthians 5:20).
The Scriptures explain that a person must appropriate that grace to himself or herself through OBEDIENCE to God’s plan of Salvation. Even Jesus proved Himself faithful through obedience (Hebrews 5:8-9). While Jesus was on this earth and in His ministry, He taught men what He wanted them to do. The apostles continued to teach those things as recorded in the New Testament after his return to the Father (John 14:26; 16:13; Luke 24:44-49; Acts 1:10-11), and He calls men to follow Him in all things (Matthew 16:24; Luke 9:57-62).
Jesus taught men to BELIEVE in Him as the Son of God. (John 8:24) and taught the apostles to cause men to become believers (Mark 16:16; Matthew 28:18-20). Paul explained that the process of faith is achieved today by people being taught the Word of God (Romans 10:13-17).
The apostles taught believers that they should REPENT of their sins (Acts 2:38) just as Jesus had demanded when He preached (Luke 13:3,5). Repentance means to turn away from doing wrong and to be sorry for sin. It also means that the person takes a positive step by starting to practice doing what is right (those things found in God’s Word). Thereafter, that person’s life should be characterized by righteousness (right doing), although we know that everyone will make mistakes (I John 1:7-10; 2:1-2).
Jesus urged men to be willing to CONFESS Him to others (Matthew 10:32-22). In the King James Version of the Bible, Acts 8:37 records that the Ethiopian treasurer confessed Jesus as the Son of God.
Jesus instructed the apostles to BAPTIZE those who sought salvation (Mark 16:15-16, Matthew 28:18-20). The apostles and other preachers followed those instructions throughout the book of Acts. (See Acts 2:37-41, 8:12, 37-39; 10:47-48; 16:15, 25-34; 22:12-16). Baptism (a total immersion in water) symbolizes the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus according to I Corinthians 15:1-4 and Romans 6:3-4. In being baptized, one comes in contact with the death of Jesus (Romans 6:3-4), which is where He shed His blood. It is that blood that can remove sin from one’s soul (Matthew 26:28, Ephesians 1:7). When the blood has been applied in baptism, sin is forgiven and GOD ADDS THE SAVED to His church (Acts 2:41, 47). We are now changed people and receive the great gift of the Spirit of God (Acts 2:38).
If we can help you learn more about salvation and how to begin to enjoy that relationship with God, please contact us. We are here to serve.