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God’s Plan of Salvation – One For All

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What Does The Bible Say You Must Do To Be Saved?

Different people and churches may tell you different things, but if they are not Biblically based, they are not true. For instance, it is not a Biblical concept that Jesus Christ is anyone’s “personal Lord and Savior”. It is also not Biblical that one would pray a “sinner’s prayer” for salvation. These are man-made concepts that are not scripturally sound or valid. God’s one and only plan of salvation is in black and white, in the Bible, made plain. Unfortunately, because of false doctrines and inadequate Bible study, most people do not know what the Biblical plan of salvation actually is.

 

What You’ve Been Told May Not Be True

Unfortunately, most mainstream Christian doctrine is misleading concerning the requirements for salvation. Otherwise sincere and earnest Bible believers misunderstand and misinterpret two particular passages of scripture, and thereby misunderstand God’s requirements for salvation.If you have previously understood that you had to ‘confess with your mouth and believe in your heart that Jesus is raised from the dead and that he is Lord’, you have been misinformed. That scripture is indeed true, but it is not intended for sinners for salvation. If you have not already read Why Romans 10:9-10 Is Not the Plan of Salvation, it would be a good place to start. This lesson explains  why that scripture does NOT provide the plan of salvation for sinners so that you can investigate and understand what the true Biblical plan of salvation really is.

However, if you do not yet believe in any particular salvation formula or just want to know more about what the Bible does say you need to do to be saved, feel free to continue reading.

I Thought I Only Had To Believe…

Simply put, belief is only the beginning. When you truly believe something, you act on that belief. Belief in Jesus Christ is about much more than thinking on his existence and acknowledging that he should be reverenced.For example, if I threaten you, telling you that I’m going to hit you if you don’t give me your lunch money, what will you do if you believe me? You might tell the teacher, crouch in fear, or put up your dukes, but the point is that if you truly believe what I say, it will cause you to do something.

See the point?

True belief in Christ also requires a working knowlegde of who he is and what he came to do. In other words, if you don’t know much about Jesus, you can’t really believe in him. You may believe that he exists, but you can’t believe in his saving power or in his prescription for conversion of the human soul because you don’t know what it is yet. You don’t have to know everything that’s in the Bible to believe in Jesus Christ, but you do have to know who he is and what he requires, specifically. Romans 10:11-16 says,

11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. 13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. 14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? 15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel.

As you can see, belief comes as a result of being taught. Then, once you know what you need to know, you can then act upon it. In Mark 16:16, Jesus says,

He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. 

So, you can already deduce that when you hear the good news about Jesus (otherwise known as “The Gospel”), it must include instructions for baptism, because baptism is necessary for salvation. In the Book of Acts, there are numerous accounts of Christian conversions, and every single one of them notes that after the people believed, they were baptized and filled with the Holy Spirit.

Belief brings forth action. So, yes, you must believe; however, there is more to belief than just the acknowledgement that something is true.

I Thought I Only Had To Pray and Make a Confession of Faith…

The idea of a “Sinner’s Prayer” and “acceptance” of Jesus Christ as one’s “personal Lord and Savior” are not scriptural. These are manmade traditions based on poor interpretation of one passage of scripture that many sects teach as the Plan of Salvation. If you were told that you had to do these things to be saved, think about this: the “Sinner’s Prayer” that you were told to repeat cannot be found anywhere in the Bible, not even loosely translated. Furthermore, the idea of Jesus being a “personal” Lord and Savior is nowhere in the Bible, either.If the people who were saved in the Bible didn’t do what you are doing, why are YOU doing it?

For more information on why this method is in error, please read Why Romans 10:9-10 Is Not the Plan of Salvation.

The Biblical Plan Of Salvation Has To Meet Certain Criteria

There are certain criteria for salvation that are, without controversy, absolute. They are scriptural, cannot be argued, and for the most part, are accepted by almost every Christian denomination.First, we know that in order to be saved, one must repent:

Matt. 9:13 – But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

Mark 1:15 – And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.

Luke 24:47 – And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

Secondly, Jesus said that in order to be saved (under the New Covenant or New Testament), one has to be baptized:

John 3:5 – Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

Mark 16:16 – He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

Third, we know that God’s children must be filled with his Spirit (also known as the Holy Spirit and the Holy Ghost):

John 3:5 – Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

John 14:26 – But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

The only passage of scripture that meets this criteria is found in the Book of Acts, chapter 2, verse 38. At that time, the Apostle Peter is preaching the first Christian sermon on the Day of Pentecost (Feast of Weeks) in response to the question of what the attendees should do to make ammends for what they had done to Jesus Christ. The realized that they had sinned against God, and needed to know what had to be done to make things right. They asked “Peter and the rest of the apostles” what to do, and Peter responded this way:

Acts 2:38 – Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

He went on to tell them in verse 40 to “save themselves.” If you read Acts 2:38-40 together, it becomes apparent that these were instructions for any and all sinners who wished to be saved:

38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. 39 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. 40 And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.

I’m sure you have more questions about God’s true Plan of Salvation, particularly about the correlation between Acts 2:38 and Matthew 28:19. I will expound upon that, as well as Jesus’ prophesies that are fulfilled in Acts 2:38 in this text. However, to put it simply, Jesus Christ IS the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. Matthew 28:19 is not a script; it’s a prophetic word about who Jesus is. Every baptism that took place in the Bible was performed in the name of Jesus – look it up; you’ll see that it’s so. Furthermore, the terms “personal Lord and Savior” nor “the Trinity” are found in the Bible ANYWHERE. These are the teachings of man brought forth by what the Bible calls “doctrines of devils.”

My friend, if you have not been baptized in Jesus’ name and filled with the Holy Ghost, you are not yet saved. That’s not my opinion, that’s what the Bible says.

But What About The Great Commission, Matthew 28:19?

God’s true Plan of Salvation does not disagree with Matthew 28:19 – it fulfills it.In Matthew 28:19, Jesus says,

Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

If you have been baptized, chances are that the person who baptized you repeated that scripture as a script. The problem is that Matthew 28:19 is not a script; it’s a method.

Have you ever stopped to ask yourself, What is the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost? You know the name of the Son, and you may or may not know the Old Testament names of the Father, but what’s the Holy Ghost’s name? If the Father has many names, which one is Matthew 28:19 referring to?

Huh?

The reason Jesus worded this commission the way that he did was because he wanted to illustrate a point that is absolutely necessary for every believer to understand. The point is that Jesus IS God manifest in the flesh. Jesus Christ is the name of the Father, the Son, AND the Holy Ghost because they are all the same person! That’s the mystery of God – that God himself visited man on earth as Jesus, and abides within redeemed man as the Holy Spirit.

Now isn’t that awesome?

Friends, that’s the true meaning of Matthew 28:19. That’s why Phillipians 2:9 says,

Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:

and Acts 4:12 says,

Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. 

Jesus, or Yeoshua (Joshua) in the Hebrew, literally means “Jehovah is salvation”. Also see Matthew 1:21-23. The name of Jesus is VERY significant. That’s why Jesus illustrated it as the name of not only the Son, but the Father and the Holy Ghost as well.

Need more proof? Read Acts Chapter 2 again. Notice that when the attendees were convicted and wanted to know what they needed to do, they asked Peter “and the rest of the apostles” (v. 27) what to do. That means Matthew was stnading there, too! Had Matthew 28:19 meant something different than what Peter explained, he surely woukld have spoken up – the issue of salvation is too important. If you continue reading the Book of Acts, you will see that there were times when apostles did not agree, and they had to have council to confirm what the word of God truly was so that everyone would teach and do the proper thing. This case would have been no different if there had been any disagreement. There was none.

That’s why every baptism in the Bible was performed in the name of Jesus Christ.

So, again, I ask you, if those who were saved in the Bible didn’t do what you did, why are YOU doing it?

But What About the Teachings of Paul?

That’s a great question, with an answer that is sure to knock your socks off:The Bible shows us that Paul was baptized in the name of Jesus Christ and that he baptized exclusively in Jesus’ name, too!

Acts 9:1-18 tells the story of Paul’s conversion. In verse 18, it simply says that Paul was baptized. How do we know it was in the name of Jesus Christ? We know that because he went forth and baptized others in Jesus’ name! For instance, Acts 19:1-7 reads,

1 And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, 2 He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed ? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. 3 And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism. 4 Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. 5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied. 7 And all the men were about twelve. 

These men founded the church at Ephesus, which is why in Ephesians 4:5 Paul reminds them that there is “One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism.”

The Lord is Jesus, the faith is in Jesus, and the baptism is in Jesus’ name.

Furthermore, in 1 Corinthians 1:10-13, Paul writes to the Corinthian church saying,

10 Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. 11 For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you. 12 Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. 13 Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul? 

Did you catch it? What Paul was reminding them of was that their salvation and their worth is not based on who their Bible teachers are, it is based on the saving work of Christ. Were they baptized in the name of Paul? No – the were baptized in the name of Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith!

The Apostle Paul taught baptism in Jesus’ name and salvation through the doctrine found in Acts 2:38, further proving that Romans 10:9-10 is not the Plan of Salvation for sinners.

What Do I Do Now?

If you have not completed the process of repenting, being baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, and being filled with the gift of the Holy Spirit, you need to do so immediately – your life depends on it.At ClearWay Apostolic Church, we strive to do everything according to the scriptures according to the inspiration and revelation of the Holy Ghost, and we will personally assist you in learning and fulfilling God’s plan of salvation for your life, beginning with repentance, baptism, and the process of being filled with the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues.