For Saving Man
is lost in sin and cannot save himself alone. Jeremiah 10:23 tells
us, "O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself; it is
not in man that walketh to direct his steps." Therefore, God
has made salvation available to all men. Titus 2:11, "For the
grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men."
teach many conflicting ideas about salvation, but God's plan for
saving man is simple and clearly revealed in the New Testament.
Word reveals to us Why
we need a plan.
Let's look at four reasons why:
and foremost it is because man is a sinner.
The apostle Paul wrote in Romans 3:23, "For all have sinned,
and come short of the glory of God." We also learn from the
apostle John in First John 3:4 that "...sin is the transgression
of the law." As man violates God's law he sins.
We need a plan because sin leads to death.
Romans 6:23 reveals, "For the wages of sin is death..."
The death here is spiritual, that is, eternally separated from God in
hell. To avoid this death our sins must be forgiven by God.
we need a plan because goodness alone does not save.
Man has to obey the Lord to be saved. In Acts 10:2 we learn that
Cornelius the centurion who was "a devout man, and one that
feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people,
and prayed to God always" was a good moral man. But we learn
from Acts 11:14, that Cornelius was not a saved man for he had to
"hear words", whereby he and all his house could be saved."
Only Christ saves, not morality alone.
fourth reason is because man must do what the Lord commands.In Matthew 7:21
Jesus said, "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall
enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my
Father which is in heaven." As the Hebrew writer points out in
Hebrews 5:9, Jesus is "the author of eternal salvation unto all
them that obey him." Man, being a free moral agent, has the
right to choose to obey the Lord and be saved, or to reject what the
Lord said and be "...punished with everlasting destruction from
the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power" (2
these reasons why we need a plan in mind we can now see that there
are two sides in salvation. The Divine Side in salvation and the
human side in salvation. We'll look first at the Divine side in
are some things that God has already done for us to make salvation
sent His Son. John
3:16 states, "For God so love the world, that he gave his only
begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but
have everlasting life."
also bestowed His grace.
Ephesians 2:8-9, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and
that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any
man should boast."
shed His blood.
Ephesians 1:7, "In whom we have redemption through his blood the
forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace. Luke
reveals Jesus' mission in Luke 19:10, "For the Son of man is
come to seek and to save that which was lost."
Holy Spirit revealed God's Will to man. Ephesians 3:3-5 tells us,
How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote
afore in few words, Whereby when ye read, ye may understand my
knowledge in the mystery of Christ) Which in other ages was not made
known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy
apostles and prophets by the Spirit." This revelation is the
gospel. Paul says in Romans 1:16, "For I am not ashamed of the
gospel of Christ; for it is the power of God unto salvation..."
This is how the Spirit works today, bot by miraculous intervention.
must realize that God has done his part and requires that man do his
part to complete the process of salvation. So, what is man's part?
Hear is what the Bible reveals as the Human side in Salvation:
must Hear the gospel.
In Matthew 17:5, on the mount of transfiguration a voice from heaven
said, "...This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased;
hear ye him. Romans 10:!7 teaches us that hearing the word will
produce faith. Faith is not zapped into your heart mysteriously.
must also have Faith in Christ.
John 8:24 says, "...for if ye believe not that I am he, ye
shall die in your sins." Some teach that man is saved by faith
alone, but the New Testament does not teach that faith or anything by
itself will save us. James said in James 2:24, "Ye see then how
that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only." The
faith that saves is the type of faith like Noah and Abraham had - one
which leads to obedience.
must also repent of his sins.
Luke writes in Acts 17:30, "And the times of this ignorance God
winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent."
Jesus teaches in Matthew 21:28-31 a clear example of repentance.
"But what think ye? A certain man had two sons; and he came to
the first, and said, Son, go work to day in my vineyard. He answered
and said, I will not: but afterward he repented, and went. And he
came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said, I
go sir: and went not. Whether of them twain did the will of his
father? They said unto him, The first." We must change from
the things of the world (sin) to the things of Christ
(righteousness). This is not perfection, but a sincere desire of our
will to live right.
area man must take part in is the confession.
Many times people seem to think that one must confess all of his
sins before one can be saved. Let's take a look at what Jesus says
in Matthew 10:32, "Whosoever therefore shall confess me before
men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven."
We learn from Paul in Romans 10:9, "That if thou shalt confess
with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that
God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." Turn
to Acts 8. Let's look at a clear example of what this confession
truly is. As Philip was sitting with the Ethiopian in his chariot,
the Ethiopian asked a question beginning in verse 36, "...See
here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?" Philip
answered in verse 37, "If thou believest with all thine heart,
thou mayest." Do you see the simplicity of what Philip's
response was? He didn't say anything about confessing sins, or
saying a sinners prayer. He simply told the Ethiopian if he believed
with all his heart he could be baptized. Now pay close attention to
the Ethiopians response in verse 37, "...I believe that Jesus
Christ is the Son of God." Did he confess his sins? Nope. He
simply confessed before another that he believed that Jesus Christ is
the son of God. Do you see how this coincides with what Jesus
taught back in Matthew 10:32? Jesus stated, "Whosoever
therefore shall confess me before men..." This is precisely
what the Ethiopian did. This also is consistent with what we read
of Paul in Romans 10:9, "...if thou shalt confess with thy mouth
the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart..."
the Ethiopians question in mind we come to our next part of the Human
side in salvation, Baptism. Jesus proclaims in Mark 16:16, "He
that believeth and is baptized shall be saved..." Peter says in
1 Peter 3:21, The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now
save us..." What is the purpose of baptism? Why would the
Ethiopian request this? Well, the purpose of baptism is found in
Acts 22:16 when Ananias tells the Saul, "And now why tarriest
thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the
name of the Lord." Or we can read what Peter instructed in Acts
2:38 when asked by the multitude, "Men and brethren what shall
we do?" Peter answered, "Repent, and be baptized every one
of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins..."
This is why a person should want to be baptized, to have his sins
washed away! Baptism is not just "an outward sign of an inward
grace," but is an act of obedience required of God in order to
become a Christian. A look further into the New Testament will help
us understand that baptism is a burial or an immersion in water, not
a pouring or sprinkling. The word "Baptism" itself means
immersion. Paul wrote in Romans 6:3-4, "Know ye not, that so
many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his
death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into his
death..." Notice, in Acts 8:38 and 39 what Philip and the
Ethiopian did, "...they went down both into the water, both
Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. And when they were come
up out of the water..." You see here is a vivid description of
immersion. But why is baptism so important? Well, reading Paul's
letter to the Galatians in Galatians 3:27 tells us, "For as many
of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ."
It is at this point, in baptism, that one comes in contact with the
blood of Jesus Christ and it washes away our sins and we get into
Christ. Without baptism one still has their sins. You see why
baptism is an essential part in the Human side in Salvation? Without
it one cannot enter into heaven. Luke states in Acts 2:47, "...And
the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved."
The word "such" in this context describes those who were
obedient to the instruction of Peter to "Repent, and be baptized
for the remission of sins."
last part of the Human side in salvation is simply, being faithful.
After one has obeyed the gospel, he is then added to the church
(Acts 2:47) which only God can add one to. No man can add anyone.
As a Christian and member of the Lord's church, one must remain
faithful in worshiping God, purity of life, and working for the Lord.
Jesus says in Revelation 2:10, "...be thou faithful unto
death, and I will give thee a crown of life." One must be as
the apostle Paul states in first Corinthians 15:58, "steadfast,
unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord."
Christians are not faithful. They sin and slip back into the world.
Their condition is described in Galatians 5:4 as, "fallen from
grace," for they did not continue to obey the Lord. Paul
admonishes in Colossians 1:23, that "...ye continue in the faith
grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the
gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature
which is under heaven."
a Christian sins (and they do), God requires him to repent, confess
his sin, and pray for forgiveness. Acts 8:13-22 is a clear example
of a Christian falling from grace and needing to repent and pray.
"Then Simon himself believed also; and when he was baptized, he
continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs
which were done. Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard
that Samaria had received the Word of God, they sent unto the Peter
and John: Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they
might receive the Holy Ghost: (For as yet he was fallen upon none of
them; only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) Then
laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost. And
when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles' hands that the
Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money, saying, Give me also
this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy
Ghost. But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because
thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.
Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matte: for thy heart i snot
right in the sight of God. Repent therefore of this thy wickedness,
and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven
thee..." You see how Peter told Simon to simply repent and go
to God in prayer to ask forgiveness of his sins? The apostle John
assures us in I John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful
and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all
all make mistakes. When we sin publicly as Simon did, we need to make
public confession as Simon did with Peter when he said in Acts 8:24,
"...Pray ye to the Lord for me, that none of these things which
ye have spoken come upon me.". Peter told Simon to go to God in
prayer and Simon repented and asked for the prayers of Peter as well.
are the two sides in salvation, the divine side and the Human side.
We must never forget that God has already done his part, it is now up
to us to do ours. We can now see why we need a plan and this plan is
not our plan, but rather God's plan for all mankind. Psalm 3:8 says,
"...salvation belongeth unto the Lord." Since it is his
plan we have no right to change the plan he gave to save us. We need
to simply believe and obey it today.
leave you with these words form the apostle Paul in second
Corinthians 6:2, "...behold now is the accepted time; behold,
now is the day of salvation." and Philippians 2:12,"
Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my
presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own
salvation with fear and trembling."