SALV-8 - Salvation is Only in One Church
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“Salvation: Lesson 8”
Introduction by narrator accompanied by a cappella singing:
THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST. Spreading the soul-saving message of Jesus. And now,
The walls began to shake. The door to the prison flew open. Right
then a prison guard awoke, he realized his own fate, and he started to kill
himself. But before he did, he heard these encouraging words. "Sir, do
yourself no harm, for we are all here." and upon the heels of that
encouraging statement, the greatest question that's ever been asked
comes. "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" Acts 16:30-31.
We welcome you today to our second part, in answering the question
‘What must I do to be saved?’ I hope that you've got your Bible with you
and that you'll be planning on following along with us as we search the
scriptures on this wonderful and such an important topic today.
In our last lesson, as we discussed what must I do to be saved, we
noted that a person needed to realize that he was lost in sin. Romans 3:23
says, “The wages of sin is death.” A person needs to realize that he cannot,
no matter how hard he tries, save himself. “There's a way that seems right
to a man, but in thereof is the way of death,” Proverbs 14:12. Only by the
gospel, the good news of Jesus, Romans 1:16, and obedience to God's
commands, can one be right with God.
We asked our listeners last time, just as we ask you, in view of the
gravity and the seriousness of our subject today, would you stop for just a
moment and consider your own salvation before we proceed any further?
We ask you to think about, where were you when you were saved? Were
you in a church building? Were you at Christian camp maybe? Were you at
home? How old were you? Were you a baby and somebody told you you
were saved? Were you 10 or 12 or was it later in life? And then, just in your
own mind, refresh the idea, what did I do by which I knew I was saved? Did
somebody tell me to put my hand on the television and I did that? Did I
make an altar call? Did I say the sinner's prayer? Just make it clear in your
mind exactly where you were and how old you were and what you did when
you were saved.
As we open the scripture, we ask you to take what you did, examine
that, by the word of God, and if the two match, then friend that's wonderful.
If they don't, we urge you to make changes where they're necessary today.
In the continuation of the question, “What must I do to be saved?” last
time we noted that the first step in God's plan of salvation is that one must
hear the word of God. The Bible says, “Faith comes by hearing, and
hearing by the word of God.” Now, what has that got to say about hearing
being essential? Remember, faith is essential. Hebrews 11:6 says, ‘Without
faith, it's impossible to please God.’ No faith, no pleasing God, right? Well,
if I can't please God without faith, then whatever way I get faith is also
essential, correct? “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of
God.” Hearing is essential to be saved, because I can't get faith without
hearing God's word. We mentioned in our last lesson that hearing the word
of God means more than just okay, I've heard that, and automatically
accept it. It means I recognize the authority of Jesus and the New
Testament. It means I realize I have got to search. I've got to seek, and I've
got to prove, for myself, from the Bible, that what I'm being told is true to
the will of God. It means I've got to listen with an ear toward eternity and all
seriousness of heart.
Now, today we talk about our second step in God's plan of salvation,
and that is, the Bible teaches we must believe in Jesus as the son of God.
If a person is not willing to believe in Christ, that person cannot be saved. I
want you to notice with me the words of Jesus, in John 8:24. Jesus, as he
taught about belief, in John 8:24, said these words, “Unless you believe
that I am he, you will surely die in your sins.”
If a person doesn't believe Christ, and believe in Christ, can he be
saved? Absolutely not. “He is the way, the truth and the life, you cannot
come to the Father without him,” John 14:6. An example is given in Acts
chapter 8 of the Ethiopian eunuch. Here Phillip's been talking to this man
about the good news of the gospel from Isaiah 53. He teaches about
Christ. Evidently he teaches him what to do. In the distance this man sees
water, and he says, ‘Here's water. What hinders me from being baptized?’
Listen to what Phillip said was the condition first. ‘If you believe with all you
heart, you may.’ There's no denying the fact that one absolutely must
believe in Jesus to be saved.
Although belief is essential, the Bible never says belief or faith only is
what saves. Now there are millions of people who have the idea in their
head that all you've got to do to be saved is believe in Jesus and you're
saved by faith alone. Friend, can I ask you to consider something with me
for just a moment? Did you know that the only time in scripture the words
faith only or faith alone are used, the Bible says the exact opposite of what
millions are taught? That's right, the only times faith only or faith alone
occurs, the Bible says it's not faith alone that saves. Now, don't take my
word for it. Let's look at the scripture together ourselves. James 2:24 notice
these words, “We see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith
alone.” Justified means that we're just as if I never sinned. Are we saying
we earn our salvation? Of course not, there are works in the Bible that are
just simply commands of God.
Did you know belief is a work? John 6:29, this is the work of God that
you believe on him whom he sent. A work from God for us is to believe.
Does that mean I've earned my salvation? No, but it is a conditional work
that God set forth. Now listen to that verse again, “We see that a man is
justified by works,” here it is, only time it occurs in the Bible, “and not by
faith only or faith alone.” Friend the Bible mentions the words faith only or
faith alone one time in the New Testament and God says you're not saved
by faith alone. Along with that idea, there's another false doctrine about
salvation that's not found in the Bible either and that is the sinner's prayer.
Multiplied millions of people are told to be saved; you need to say the
sinner's prayer. You need to say something like, ‘Dear lord Jesus, I
recognize you as lord and savior, and I now ask you to come into my heart
and save me.’ Friend did you know that's not found in the Bible either? Did
you know that you can look from Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:21, and you
will not find a sinner's prayer anywhere in the Bible? It's just not there.
Millions of people have been told that, and you don't find it in scripture.
Now I remember one time I was preaching in a meeting and I said
this exact thing, that you cannot find the sinner's prayer anywhere in the
Bible. And after the lesson, a lady came up to me, she said, ‘I heard what
you said about the sinner's prayer.’ She was intrigued by that but she said,
‘You know, I'm going to have to go home and ask my preacher, if that's
correct.’ I said, ‘Well that would be good. You go home and you ask your
pastor, or preacher, to show you in the Bible where the sinner's prayer is,
and if he gives you any verses, Bible verses, you bring those back
tomorrow night and we'll talk about them.’ Well, tomorrow night came. She
came in the door. She came right up to me. She said, ‘Preacher I went
home and I asked my preacher about where the sinner's prayer was at in
the Bible, about some verses about it, and he said it wasn't in there.’ She
said, ‘and I told him he's a liar.’
Friend I just want you to think about that a moment. How many
people have been lied to about the sinner's prayer and told to say that for
salvation, and it's not even in the Bible? You can't even find a sinner's
prayer like they're telling you to say anywhere in scripture? Friend there's
no doubt that belief is essential. There's no doubt that we've got to do what
God says, but the Bible never teaches belief alone is all that you need to do
to be saved. We need to do all the things God wants us to be right with
First of all we've got to hear the word of God. ‘Faith comes by
hearing, hearing by the word of God.’ Secondly, to be saved, what must I
do to be saved? I must believe in Jesus. “Unless you believe that I'm he,”
Jesus said, “you'll surely die in your sins,” John 8:24. Then, the Bible
teaches that a person must be willing to repent of sin in their life. In Luke
13:1-5 certain people come to Jesus. It's almost like they want to condemn
others and elevate themselves as better. They've got these examples for
Jesus. They say, ‘Jesus what about these people who had their blood
mingle with their sacrifice, what about these people that Pilate killed at the
time of the sacrifice? Didn't that happen because they were worse sinners
than everybody else, wasn't that God's vengeance? What about these 18
people who were just walking down the road and out of nowhere, a tower
came and fell on them? Wasn't that the vengeance of God, and wasn't that
proof they're worse sinners than everybody else?’ You know how Jesus
answered those two questions? In Luke 13:3 and in Luke 13:5, Jesus said,
to those people who brought the questions, “I tell you no, but unless you
repent, you'll all likewise perish.” What did Jesus teach us about salvation
there? That if you won't repent, you're going to be lost. Acts 2:38, Peter told
those on the day of Pentecost who cried out “Men and brethren what shall
we do?” “Repent and be baptized for the remission of your sins,” Acts 3:19.
One chapter later, Peter preached in Solomon's portico, ‘Repent and turn,
or repent and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out.’ I have got to
repent if I'm going to be right with God.
When you think about repentance, repentance may require sorrow,
sorrow may be a part of repentance, but sorrow alone is not repentance.
Just being sorry and crying a few tears are not in and of itself repentance. 2
Corinthians 7:10 says, “Godly sorrow produces repentance.” Not Godly
sorrow is repentance, Godly sorrow produces repentance. Well what then
is repentance? In the scriptures, repentance is a changed will that leads to
a changed way. It's a changed way of thinking that leads to a changed way
of acting. How do we know that? Matthew 21:28-30, Jesus told this story
about people who really were doing the will of God, versus those who
weren't. He said a father had two sons. The father said to his first son, ‘son
go work in my vineyard today.’ He said he would, but he never did. And
then he said to the second son, ‘son go work in my vineyard today.’ He said
he wouldn't, he changed his mind, and went back and worked in the
father's vineyard. Which one did the will of the father? The one who said he
would and never did, or the one who said he wouldn't, changed his way of
thinking, and changed his way of acting? True repentance is changing your
way of thinking and changing your life. Luke chapter 3:8, John said to
certain people who came out to be baptized by him, just because it was
popular and everybody was doing it, John said, “You brood of vipers. Who
warned you to flee from the wrath to come?” And then he said these words,
“Bring forth fruits worthy of repentance.” True repentance has a fruit.
What's that mean? It has a visible attribute from which you can tell
someone has changed their life. You can see their life's not like it used to
be. They don't talk, they don't act, they don't do, the things they're a part of,
they're not, if they're contrary to the will of God, they no longer do those,
you can look at their life and tell they have truly repented. Once I've heard
the word of God, and I've believed in Jesus, I must also repent.
The Bible also teaches to be saved; I must confess with my mouth
that Jesus is the son of God. Where's that found at in the Bible? Notice in
scripture, this scripture with me, Romans 10:10. The Bible says, “For with
the heart one believes in the righteousness, and with the mouth, confession
is made unto salvation.” What type of confession are we talking about?
Well we're given an example of that in Acts chapter 8. The conversion of
the Ethiopian eunuch. Phillip tells him, if you believe with all your heart you
may be baptized, and he says right then and there, with his mouth, ‘I
believe Jesus is the Christ, the son of the living God,’ Acts 8:34-37. Jesus
told us that's what we need to do. Matthew 10:32-33, Jesus said “If you
won't confess me before men, neither will I confess you before the father
who is in heaven. But if you will confess me before men, I'll also confess
you before my father who is in heaven.” I need to make the good
confession just as Timothy did in 1 Timothy 6. Just as the Ethiopian eunuch
did in Acts chapter 8, I've got to orally acknowledge that I believe Jesus is
the Christ, the son of the living God.
Having done that, friend the Bible teaches that I must be immersed in
water, baptized, for the remission of my sins, and to be saved. I know
there's a lot of confusion in the world about this. I know there are a lot of
people who will say, you need to believe in Jesus, yes, you probably need
to repent, but they'll also say baptism's not essential. Good to do,
something you should do probably, but not essential to salvation. Friend,
the Bible teaches that just like believing, baptism is essential to salvation.
Now, let's first ask the question, what exactly is baptism? If you open
up Webster's dictionary today and you look up the word baptism, it might
say something like sprinkling, pouring, or immersion. It may mention all
three of those, and it very likely does. Well, is baptism sprinkling or pouring
in the Bible? How does the Bible define the word baptism? Friend, there
are four passages in the New Testament which clearly teach that Bible
baptism was only by full body immersion. Now don't take my word for it,
here are the passages we put before you today to consider.
Mark 1:9-10, “And coming up out of the water, the spirit descended
upon him like a dove.” That's at the baptism of Jesus. Now, consider this.
To come up, a lot of people ask the question, what would Jesus do? Okay,
what would Jesus do, concerning the mode of baptism? Question. To come
up from, or literally out of the water, what must you first do? You've got to
go down into the water. Jesus wasn't sprinkled, and Jesus didn't have a
little water poured on him. He came up out of, from within, is the idea,
Jesus was immersed in water.
Second passage, John 3:23, what's the mode of baptism? The Bible
says “John was baptizing in Aenon near Salim, because there was much
water there.” How much water does it take to sprinkle a baby? Not much.
How much water does it take to pour water on somebody's head? Not
much. How much water does it take to plunge, to submerge, an adult?
Much water. John was baptizing where there was much water, because the
Biblical mode and definition of baptism is immerse, submerge, or plunge
Another example, Acts 8:37-40. You remember Phillip and the
Ethiopian eunuch are traveling down the road, they come to water, ‘Here's
water, what hinders me?’ ‘If you believe with all your heart you may.’ They
stop the chariot. Now watch this, ‘They stop the chariot, both Phillip and the
eunuch get down out of the chariot, they both go down into the water. He
baptizes him, and they come up out of the water.’ Why'd they both have to
get out of the chariot? Why'd they both have to go down into the water,
why'd they both come out of it? There's again an example and a picture of
Here's the clearest verse of all. Romans 6:1-4. Paul likens baptism to
a burial in water. Alright, let's think about it now. I want you to think about
the last time that you went to a funeral at a grave site or to a burial. What'd
they do with that body? Did they take a shovel full of dirt and sprinkle it on
top of it? Did they pour a few shovelfuls on it? No, what happens at a
burial? They dig a hole in the ground. They place that body completely
down in the hole. That body's covered on the bottom, it's covered on every
side, and then they completely submerge it in the earth. Friend, that's the
illustration Paul chose, the Holy Spirit chose, to show us, that baptism is a
burial, a burial in water, with Christ.
Every example we see is that baptism is not by sprinkling or pouring,
in the New Testament it was by immersion.
Now, let's then talk about the purpose of baptism. What is baptism all
about? Why should someone be baptized? Is it just, is it essential? Is it
something you have to do? Or is it just something good that you ought to
do to follow the example of Jesus but not necessary for salvation?
Well again, let's not put man's ideas and thoughts into it. Let's just
look to the Bible and see. Would you open your Bible to Acts 2:38 with me?
The Bible teaches that baptism is for the remission of sins. They asked
Peter in Acts 2:37, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” Peter responded
this way, Peter responded by saying “Repent and be baptized, every one of
you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins. And you shall
receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Now remember- sin separates a man
from God, Isaiah 59:1-2. Whenever sins are removed, I know I'm back in
harmony with God and saved.
If baptism removes sin, and if sin separates me from God, then friend
baptism is for the forgiveness of sins, and essential. Think about Saul of
Tarsus for a minute. Acts 9:4-6 Jesus says to Saul, ‘you go in the city and
be told you what you must do.’ Later, Ananias comes to him, and Paul
recounts this in Acts 22:16. Ananias comes and says, ‘Saul, Saul, why are
you waiting? Get up and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on
the name of the Lord.’ When are sins washed away? On a baptism when
they're forgiven. Friend let's also realize this, not only is baptism for the
forgiveness of sins, baptism is for salvation, meaning, baptism, the Bible
says, baptism is not just something good to do, not something you ought to
do after you're saved, baptism is something you do to be saved.
Listen to Mark 16:16. Jesus said, “He that believes and is baptized
will be saved. He that does not believe shall be condemned.” If I don't
believe am I a candidate to be baptized? Well of course not. Now watch
this though. Jesus said, “He that believes,” watch the conjoining word, “and
is baptized, will be saved.” Does the Bible say you must believe and be
baptized to be saved? It absolutely does in Mark 16:16. 1 Peter 3:21
“Baptism does now also save us.” Friend think about that for a moment. If
the Bible says ‘baptism does now also save us,’ why in the world would
anybody ever say baptism's not essential to salvation?
Did you know that the Bible also teaches baptism is how we get into
God's kingdom? John 3:5, Jesus said to Nicodemus, “Most assuredly I say
to you, unless a man is born of water and the spirit, he cannot enter the
kingdom of God.”
Do you want to be a part of God's kingdom? Do you one day want to
go home with God where the kingdom is going? How do I get in the
kingdom? “Unless a man is born of water and the spirit, he cannot enter the
kingdom of God.” Baptism is also how we get into Christ.
Let me illustrate the importance of that for you. In Ephesians 1:3, the
Bible says “All spiritual blessings are the Christians in Christ.” According to
2 Timothy 2:11-12, salvation is in Christ, and so, if all spiritual blessings are
in Christ, and if salvation's in Christ- friend I really want to know, how does
the Bible teach that one gets into Christ?
The Bible says in Galatians 3:27, “For as many of you as were
baptized into Christ, have clothed ourselves with Christ.” Wait a minute
now, how do I get into Christ? “As many of us as were baptized into Christ.”
I can't get into Christ without being baptized. “In Christ are all spiritual
blessings and salvation,” therefore it's essential that I get into Christ.
Baptism's how I get into God's church. 1 Corinthians 12:13, “By one spirit,
we're baptized into one body.” Baptism is how I call on the name of the
Lord. “Arise to be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on the name
of the Lord,” Acts 22:16.
Baptism is how I contact the blood and the death and the sacrifice of
Jesus. The Bible says in Romans 6:1-4 that we're buried with Christ in
baptism. ‘We died of sin, we're buried with Christ in baptism, and we rise
out of the watery grave of baptism to walk in newness of life.’ Where do I
contact the death of Jesus? I'm buried with Christ in baptism. That's where
I contact his death.
And so friend, here's what we ask you to consider again. We asked
you at the outset of this lesson to make fresh in your mind what you did,
how old were you, where were you at, what steps did you take by which
you knew you were saved. And then we just asked you to examine that
according to the verses we've seen.
Does what you did match up with God's plan of salvation that we saw
today? If it does, that's wonderful. You can know that you're saved. You
can know that you're right with God.
But if it doesn't, then friend we urge you today, and we beg you
today, to make the changes that are necessary.
God in heaven loves you and wants you to be saved. We love you
and we want you to be saved. If there's something you haven't done that
you need to do to get right with God, friend don't you want to do that before
it's too late?
Won't you obey the gospel? We hope and pray that you will, and that
you'll continue to study the gospel with us next time.
Study Questions for:
“Salvation: Lesson 8”
1. What does John 14:6 say of Jesus?
2. According to James 2:24, can you be saved by faith alone?
3. According to John 8:24, what must we do?
4. What does 2 Corinthians 7:10 say about repentance?
5. In Matthew 21:28-30, which son showed true repentance?
6. According to Matthew 10:32-33, what must we do?
7. According to John 3:23, why were they baptizing in Aenon?
8. In Romans 6:1-4, what is baptism compared?
9. According to Acts 2:38, what were they being baptized for?
10. According to Mark 16:16 say we must do to be saved?