Here’s a little 3×5 card that puts the gospel squarely (or rectangularly) centered in God and his activity.
“For the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”
1 Corinthians 1.18
Salvation has three tenses: past, present, and future. Paul says we are being saved. God continues to preserve us and save us from temptation, from the power of sin, from the wiles of Satan.
We have need of constant vigilance. This is not a reason for worry, but for peace of mind, because God’s power is more than sufficient. How am I trusting in God to save today?
ON DEAD MEN CLIMBING LADDERS
In an effort to downplay the necessity of taking the steps necessary for being saved from sin and becoming a Christian, it has been asserted that “dead men don’t climb ladders.” But what proves too much proves too little! Using that same “logic,” dead men do not go to the mourner’s bench. Dead men do not “pray through.” Dead men do not kneel down by their radio or television set and “receive Jesus into their heart.” Dead men do not walk to the front at a “Crusade for Christ.” Dead men do not “just believe.” Dead men do not say “the sinner’s prayer.” Yet, all of these are taught as things that a person can do to be saved.
It is rather obvious that a person who is literally and physically dead can do nothing. Physically dead men don’t breathe, eat, think, talk, walk, or work! Neither do they read the Bible! And, it is true that the alien sinner (the sinner who has not been redeemed by the blood of Christ and who has not become a child of God) is said to be “dead in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1). But, the fact that a person may be spiritually dead does not mean that he is physically dead and therefore incapable of doing anything to save himself. A person who is spiritually dead but physically alive is capable of hearing, believing, and obeying the gospel which is God’s power to salvation (Romans 1:16). Continue reading
“Someone asked him, ‘Lord, will only a few be saved?’ So he said to them, ‘Exert every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to.'”
Was it a kind concern for others that motivated the question posed to Jesus? The question seemed to expect a positive answer, based on previous teaching of his.
Jesus often did not answer questions with a direct reply. Here, he directs the person not to numbers, but to self. Make sure you are saved. It reminds one of John 21.21-23.
“But stand up and enter the city and you will be told what you must do.”
Saul saw the Lord Jesus on his way to persecute Christians in Damascus. He asked what he should do. The Lord told him. To do for what purpose? To be saved.
Saul was not saved on the road to Damascus. He was saved in Damascus after he heard what to do to be saved. He was immersed in water and his sins were washed away, Acts 22.16.
“Salvation belongs to the LORD; your blessing be on your people! Selah.”
Fleeing from his rebellious son Absalom, King David still believes that God will save him. He has his promise. Circumstances say otherwise, but faith sees beyond them.
What situations threaten my faith in God’s promise of salvation? How to strengthen my faith in God for difficult moments that will come?
Settling every Bible based question or studying every Bible based topic can hardly be resolved with a single verse every time, but there are times when a single verse is so clear and concise in what is being said, the point cannot be missed by any honest Bible student.
For example, take the question and topic of the necessity of water baptism in relation to salvation. For every verse that reveals the truth about water baptism there are some people who try to raise two verses to teach to the contrary. Often these verses contain the concept of “faith” that stands alone, but never a verse containing the words “faith alone” together – see here. The result is a large number of the religious world promoting a perverted and watered-down view of water baptism such as, “You are baptized to show the world that you are already saved, not to be saved.”
So what is the truth about the necessity of water baptism? Well to be honest there is not a single verse that teaches you about all the details of what happens for us or to us during our submission to God in the waters of baptism, but there are plenty of verses that reveal its necessity; one of these verses being 1 Peter 3:21 which says, “There is also an antitype which now saves us—baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,“.
Try as hard they may, to remove the truth about the necessity of water baptism from the Bible would result in individuals removing entire pages from numerous pages in the New Testament and several more from the Old Testament when you include the types and shadows of God’s plan of salvation revealed in the life, the teachings and the last will and testament of Jesus Christ (Mark 16:15-16).
Here’s a link to the latest PDF issue of the Christian Worker.
Here are the topics you will find:
Christian Worker is an edification effort of the Southwest church of Christ in Austin, Texas.
You can subscribe to the email version of the Christian Worker paper by clicking on the publications link on their website and then following the given instructions.
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“The Lord is alive! My protector is praiseworthy! The God who delivers me is exalted as king!”
2 Samuel 22.47
David sang praise to God for deliverance from all his enemies and from the hands of King Saul. Also recorded in Psalm 18, it, together with Hannah’s prayer, 1 Sam 2.1-10, serves to enclose the book of Samuel with the theme of salvation.
What psalm would be appropriate to put at the end of your life? How does the Lord show himself alive to you?
Think about a boat on the river with no one in it just going with the waves; side to side, bank to bank, and not knowing where it will end up. It could end up stuck next to the bank with branches all around it and not able to move.It could end up at a waterfall going over and being broken into pieces. Without someone guiding the boat it has no hope.
That is how we are without God: no hope, no direction just walking around, just like that boat that no one is guiding. Jesus came to guide us and save the lost (Luke 19:10). God loves us and he doesn’t want us to be like that boat (John 3:16). He is coming back and he wants us all to be saved. We need to be going in the right direction toward heaven, because tomorrow might be too late.
Don’t let the devil get you caught up in the world. The devil is like a roaring lion that walks about seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8). Don’t be in that boat that no one is guiding and go over the falls.
“Thou wilt shew me the path of life; in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore” (Psalm 16:11).
Let Jesus be your guide!
Johnny Botts, Owingsville KY congregation
“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world should be saved through him.”
Humanity was lost in sin and condemned because of rebellion against God. There was no hope for man. God’s sending of the Son was a rescue mission. Salvation is the giving of eternal life, v. 16.
The earth will perish. God’s people work to save the world — in this sense, humanity. Few will choose to be saved. But we proclaim the Good News to all and God will choose whom he will.
FORTY THINGS WE ALL NEED TO KNOW ABOUT SALVATION
(A JOYOUS PRELUDE TO THIS WEEK’S “NEWS & VIEWS”: Carson Fulford, our sweet and beautiful fifteen year old granddaughter, was baptized into Christ by her father (our son) this past Sunday night at the church of Christ in Mentor, Ohio. We are so happy for Carson and so proud of her! Our son, his wife, and our two grandchildren are now all faithful members of the body of Christ. What more could a mother and father and a grandmother and grandfather ask for?)
Last summer we did three essays (not consecutively) on Forty Things We All Need To Know About The Church, Forty Things We All Need To Know About Christ, and Forty Things We All Need To Know About The Holy Spirit. Periodically throughout this year we plan to do three or four additional “Forty Things We All Need To Know . . .” articles. This week we identify Forty Things We All Need To Know About Salvation. It is important to note that in the Scriptures salvation is attributed to a number of factors. No one passage sets forth everything that is involved in one’s salvation, but while more may be required than a single passage states, nothing less than what is stated in a passage is necessary for salvation. For example, we are saved by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8-9), but that does not negate the fact that we also are saved by baptism (Mark 16:16; I Peter 3:21). Following are forty things we all need to know about salvation. Continue reading
We know that there are multiple problems with the evangelical presentation of the so-called “Four Spiritual Laws,” created by Bill Bright working with Campus Crusade.
Are you aware of anyone in the brotherhood coming up with a biblical version of this presentation?
I know of one here in Brazil.
I’d be interested in seeing others. I’m working on an outline about it (in Portuguese, sorry). Would love to insert some tweaks by the brethren.
Please share a link if you know of one.
“…the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from their trials, and to reserve the unrighteous for punishment at the day of judgment,”
2 Peter 2.9
Peter assures his readers that the Lord will act, both on their behalf and against the unrighteous. One entails the other.
What kind of reaction can we have toward this double-sided truth?
“For there is no distinction between the Jew and the Greek, for the same Lord is Lord of all, who richly blesses all who call on him.”
Paul argues that Christ brings righteousness to everyone who believes, v. 4. His rich blessings refer to salvation and all that accompanies it. To call upon him is to appeal to God for salvation rather than one’s own righteousness.
Christ is Lord of all, so that means there is one way to be saved, by calling on him. What does this calling entail, according to the Bible?