While these words, or this title,
most certainly belong to the culture, the theology, and vernacular of the
Church of Christ, the meaning of the same, as it was given and meant by God,
has been distorted and obscured by the “doctrines and commandments.” Therefore,
there is no shortage or want for variety of answers to the question of what to
do to be saved.
Verily, “the plan of salvation” includes
“the will of God” and “the duty of man.” It includes all that God planned and
purposed in Christ Jesus, His Son, for the salvation of the souls of men. As
the Apostle Peter stated: “To you first, God, having raised up His Servant
Jesus, sent Him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from your
iniquities” (Acts 3:26). And, again, he said: “Nor is there salvation in any
other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must
be saved” (Acts 4:12).
The above passages of Scripture speak of
what God has done to secure our salvation. But since man is not passive in his
own salvation, but is taught to “obey the gospel” (Romans 10:16; 2
Thessalonians 1:8), men must respond to what God has provided in a positive
way. We can learn how men must respond to the plan of salvation by studying the
book of Acts of the Apostles, the New Testament book of conversions, covering
approximately thirty-two years of the infant church. If we begin in chapter 2
of Acts of the Apostles and follow through to the end, we will learn what all
must do to be saved.
The Word of God is the Starting Point
God has chosen the most direct method of communication in revealing his
will to man. Every case of conversion recorded in the book of Acts of the
Apostles begins with someone preaching/teaching the Word of God, and in the
normal process of communication, someone hearing and believing. It is foolish
to argue that the only thing one must do is believe when he has not been taught
what or who to believe. In answer to the jailer’s question: “Sirs, what must I
do to be saved?,” Paul and Silas answered, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ,
and thou shalt be saved, and thy house” (Acts 17:30, 31).
But the did not stop
with the first principle! Verse 32 says, “And they spake unto him the word of
the Lord, and to all that were in his house.” As we continue to read, we learn
that “he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and
was baptized, he and all his, straightway.” There is no question that the
actions of the jailer were prompted by faith on his part. “So then faith cometh
by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17). But it was never
faith simply as mental assent, but faith in obedience to the word of God.
Must Be Faith
Faith is the positive response to the message. We have already seen this
in the above section on “hearing the
word.” We will add to the above quotes on this subject: “And Philip said, ‘If
thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest.’ And he answered and said, I
believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God” (Acts 8:37).
“I said therefore
unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he,
ye shall die in your sins” (John 8:24). “When he shall come to be glorified in
his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony
among you was believed) in that day” (2 Thessalonians 1:10).
is Also Required
When the first sermon of the Gospel Age was preached there were those
who ask, “Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them,
‘Repent ... every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of
sins ...” (Acts 2:37, 38). “And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but
now commandeth all men everywhere to repent” (Acts 17:30).
Confession is Necessary
“For with the heart man believeth ... and with the mouth confession is
made unto salvation” (Romans 10:10). “Whosoever therefore shall confess me before
men, him will I confess before my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 10:32).
in Water is Essential to Salvation
In every case of conversion recorded in the book of Acts of the
Apostles, these steps are the positive response on the part of man to the
provisions of God for his salvation. Every case has baptism in water “for the
remission of sins.” (Read Acts 2:38;
8:12, 38; 10:47; 16:33; 18:8; 19:5.) Baptism is never represented in Scripture
as an “outward sign of an inward grace.” It is never ‘because of salvation’ but
always “in order to” salvation.
Some of the most popular preachers of today
teach that baptism is not part of the plan of God for our salvation, but I urge
you to “let God be true and every man a liar” when it comes to the salvation of
your soul (Romans 3:4). Study the Word of God and let it answer for itself the
vital questions of salvation.
church is located near
and Malcolm X Blvd at 2600
and Marder is a
gathering of believers in
South Dallas celebrating
Jesus' life &
What We Believe
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