Article - ABC’s of the Gospel
In an article produced by LifeWay, a Baptist publishing house, it was stated that to be saved one simply needs to obey the ABC’s of the Gospel1. While it is true that the gospel plan of salvation is simple (Ephesians 3:4), some are distorting the simplicity of the Gospel (2 Corinthians 11:3). For example, LifeWay stated that the ABC’s of the Gospel are: Admit your sin (Romans 3:23), Believe in Christ (Romans 10:9), & Confess your faith in Christ (Romans 10:9-10). While these three steps are indeed necessary in the plan of salvation, to say they are the gospel plan of salvation in full is like saying the first three letters of the alphabet are the full alphabet. So much is left out with this plan of salvation that it is indeed a false gospel. Allow me to explain from Scripture.
One of the key letters in the gospel alphabet that has been left out is the letter “R” for repentance. Jesus teaches us that we must not only acknowledge our sin but repent of it to be saved. When asked about certain people who seemed to be receiving the vengeance of God for their sins Jesus said, “Unless you repent you shall all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3). Peter told first century Christians to “repent and be converted…” (Acts 3:19). Repentance is an essential letter in the ABC’s of the gospel that is left out by many.
Another importance letter in the ABC’s of the gospel that is left our by so many in our religious world today is the letter “B” for baptism. All of us agree that belief is an important step in the plan of salvation. However, the Lord made it very clear that baptism was just as essential to salvation as belief. Jesus Himself said, “He that believes and is baptized will be saved” (Mark 16:16). When asked how to relieve themselves of the sin of crucifying Christ, Peter told the crowd at Pentecost to “repent and be baptized every one of you for the remission of your sin…” (Acts 2:38). Peter later emphasized the essentiality of baptism when he said, “…baptism does now also save us” (1 Peter 3:21). As we noted earlier one of the ABC’s of the gospel that has been purported among us is the letter “C” for call on Jesus. We need to ask the question, “How does one call on Jesus biblically?” The answer is very clearly found in Acts 22:16. Ananias told Paul to “arise and be baptized and wash away your sins calling on the name of the Lord.” How does one call on the name of the Lord biblically? One calls on the Lord’s name by submitting to His will in baptism. Many miss the ABC’s of the gospel and salvation itself because the leave out the essentiality of baptism.
Another letter that is left out of the ABC’s of the gospel is the letter “F” for faithfulness. Not only must one initially become a child of God, but he must also remain faithful to be saved. Jesus said, “Be faithful unto death and I will give you the crown of life” (Revelation 2:10). Jesus also said, “He that endures to the end shall be saved” (Matthew 10:22). Faithfulness is also an important step in the ABC’s of the gospel.
Dear friends, the gospel plan of salvation is not a difficult plan to understand. It is simple like the alphabet, but we must not leave any letters out of the alphabet or the plan of salvation to be correct. If you have been duped in the past by some who were not telling the full truth of the gospel, we would love to help you at THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST. Please email, call us or write to us and we would love to study with you about what the Bible says about salvation.
1 http://www.lifeway.com/lwc/files/lwcF_crd_ss_EforESpec_ABCs-of-Salvation_pdf.pdf (Retrieved 11/25/14)
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