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Proving Your Biblical View
Written by: David Banks
Anyone who believes in God and in Jesus Christ as God’s Son and in the Bible as God’s holy and infallible Word ought to be concerned above all about getting to heaven. That, after all, is the ultimate goal of Christianity. We therefore ought to devote ourselves to the study of God’s Word – the Bible, because therein lies the answer to eternal life. That being said, we should also be willing to, at least, listen to any carefully thought out and intelligent interpretation of the Bible. It is not my intention with this article to offend anyone but rather to teach and encourage. It is not my intention to present some denominational doctrine, but rather to present only a Biblical perspective. It is not my intention to enrage the “religious community.” I do, however, believe that there is a widespread and common misconception in the teachings about Biblical salvation and I do wish to challenge the readers to question their own beliefs. It is also my intention to relate in this article my best understanding of the only Biblically proven plan of salvation.
In dramatic fashion, the reality of Christ’s suffering and the intensity of His brutal mistreatment is hitting home, perhaps for the first time ever, with many people throughout our nation. While Mel Gibson’s movie “The Passion of the Christ” may be, for the most part, a Biblically accurate portrayal of the suffering of the Christ, it does not portray the full meaning and intention of Christ’s sacrifice.
We should remember that many centuries before the death, burial and resurrection of Christ, even centuries before the Ten Commandments and the Law was given to Moses on Mt. Sinai, God had made a promise to Abraham, the father of the Jewish people, that in his Seed all the families of the earth would be blessed (Genesis 12:3; 22:18). The apostle Paul wrote that Christ is the fulfillment of that promise. He wrote, “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree’), that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. Brethren, I speak in the manner of men: Though it is only a man’s covenant, yet if it is confirmed, no one annuls or adds to it. Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, ‘And to seeds,’ as of many, but as of one, ‘And to your Seed,’ who is Christ.” (Galatians 3:13-16).
After Jesus rose from the dead, He spoke to His apostles and sent them out with a single commission. He said, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20). “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.” (Mark 16:15-16). “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all the nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And you are witness of these things. Behold I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.” (Luke 24:46-49). A few weeks later, on the Jewish holiday, the Day of Pentecost, Jesus’ words came true. The apostles were endued with power from on high and they spoke in tongues so that everyone heard in their own native language. The apostles preached the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus and convinced the Jews that by the lawless hands of the Romans they had killed the Son of God (Acts 2:22-23), but that God had raised Him from the dead (v. 24). The Jews, therefore, being convinced of their own guilt, cried out, “Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and let everyone of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off as many as the Lord our God will call.’ And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying ‘Be saved from this perverse generation.’ Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousands souls were added to them. And they continued steadfastly in the apostles doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.” (Acts 2:36-42).
The plan of salvation is the same today as it was then, as Peter said, “The promise is to you and to your children and to all who are afar off as many as the Lord our God will call.” When the apostles were asked, “Men and brethren what shall we do?” don’t you think it is interesting that they did not respond by saying, “Just accept Christ as your personal Savior and pray this prayer asking God to forgive your sins, and then join the church of your choice.”
This then is God’s plan for saving man as He has presented it to us in His Holy Word – the Bible. We must believe and accept that Christ suffered an agonizing death because He loved us and because that was the only way for God’s promise to be fulfilled. We must repent of our sins determining in our hearts to turn from that life and live a life that is pleasing to God and in obedience to His Word. We must be baptized (immersed in water Acts 8:26-40; 10:1-48) in the name of Christ (Matthew 28:19; Luke 24:47; Acts 2:38; 4:12; 10:48), into Christ (Romans 6:1-4; Galatians 3:26-27) for the washing away of our sins (Acts 2:38; 22:16; 1Peter 3:21). Then we must live our lives in devotion to the apostles’ doctrine, to fellowship with other Christians, to the partaking of the Lord’s Supper, and to prayers (Acts 2:42).
We put our souls in danger when we are not diligent to make our calling and election sure (2Peter 1:10). In closing let me encourage you to consider just a few simple questions. Have you been baptized (immersed in water)? If you have been baptized are you absolutely certain that it was for the right Biblical reason? Are you absolutely certain that you have been baptized into Christ for the forgiveness of your sins? Are you absolutely certain that when you were baptized that you fully understood the purpose and importance of Biblical baptism? We cannot afford to take any chances with our salvation. Please do not take these questions lightly. If you have any concerns, please contact me at the Rena Road Church of Christ by phone (479) 474-6527, or write or visit at 100 Rena Road Van Buren, Arkansas 72921. May God bless you in your search for the truth.