Thursday, October 13, 2011
"NEW TESTAMENT SALVATION" Part 2
Good Evening to All!
Because Salvation is so important, I decided to extend my study of it. Of course as I mentioned very briefly in Monday's post, one of the aspects of salvation is Salvation by grace through faith. I also mentioned that a person can do nothing to save himself. No amount of good works or adherence to law can save him. "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of ourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast" (Ephesians 2:8-9. Salvation is a free gift from God, which man cannot merit, earn or deserve. The atoning work of Jesus Christ has made this free gift of salvation available, and the only way to receive it is to believe in Jesus and in the sufficiency of His sacrifice (Romans 3:24-28; 4:22-25).
Another is The gospel and the new birth. The gospel of Jesus Christ is pertaining to His death, His burial, and His resurrection for our salvation. (1 Corinthians15:1-4).
A person responds to the gospel, or applies the gospel to his life, by repentance from sin (death to sin, or changing our ways and turning away from sin), water baptism by immersion in the name of Jesus Christ (burial with Christ), and receiving the Holy Spirit (which is getting rid of our old ways and starting a new life in Christ) (Acts 2:1-4, 2:38 ; Romans 6:1-7; 7:6; 8:2)
Jesus said, "Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God" (John 3:5). When someone believes in Jesus Christ and obeys Acts 2:38, he experiences the birth of water and the Spirit. He is "born again," actually becoming a new creation (John 3:3, 7; 2 Corinthians 5:27). At repentance and water baptism, he buries the old sinful lifestyle, the record of past sins, and the death penalty for sin. When he receives the Holy Spirit, he begins to live a new, godly life. Let me say that when a person receives the Spirit, the "new creation" is NOT forced on them. It is still our choice as to whether we allow the Holy Spirit to lead us. If we do this, He will lead us into all truths and teach us how to live for God. We cannot do this on our own. He will nudge our spirit when we are thinking about doing something contrary to the Word of God, He will nudge our spirit if He wants us to do something for someone else, in the way of helping them, or even talking to them about God. If this happens, He will equip us with the Words or the means to do these things in His Name.
The reason I wanted to elaborate a bit on this is because I have run across people
who have actually received the Holy Ghost, but were disappointed because they expected to miraculously change their ways without them having to put out any effort. That isn't the way. Even with the Holy Spirit, we still have Free Will, therefore God will not force us to do anything. He wants us to come to Him and live for Him by our own choice.
On the Day of Pentecost, the birthday of the New Testament church, the apostle Peter preached the first gospel sermon to the crowds who had gathered to observe the newly Spirit-filled believers as they spoke in tongues and worshiped God. Convicted of their sins by his simple yet powerful message, the audience cried out, "Men and brethren, what shall we do?" (They were asking what they needed to do to be saved.) (Acts 2:37)
Peter gave a precise, complete, and unequivocal answer: "Repent, be baptized everyone of your in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost" (Acts 2:38). Those saved in the Gospels were saved under the Old Covenant while they awaited the New. The New covenant did not come into effect until after Christ's ascension (Luke 7:28; 24:47-49; John 7:39; 16:7; Acts 1:4-8; Hebrews 8:14-17). Thus Acts 2:38 is the comprehensive answer to an inquiry about New Testament conversion, expressing in a nutshell the proper response to the gospel.
Not only did the Jews on Pentecost receive the Acts 2:38 experience, but so did the Samaritans, the apostle Paul, the Gentiles, and the disciples of John at Ephesus (Acts 8:12-17; 8:17-18 with 22:16; 10:44-48; 19:1-6). In short, the New Testament message of salvation is repentance from sin, water baptism in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and receiving the Holy Spirit with the initial sign of speaking in tongues. Now before y'all turn me off because you may think that "speaking in tongues is not for us today, please let me remind you of this. Acts 2:39 says; For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the LORD our God shall call.
God does not transcend distance, He transcends time. Therefore, when He says "afar off" He is talking about generations of people not distance. The gift of the Holy Ghost and the evidence of it by speaking in tongues is just as much for us today as in early Biblical times.
Good Night to All and May God Bless!