The Way To Salvation.
Several have walked tight-ropes across the Niagara Falls through the years. One, after crossing and attracting a crowd, began asking people in the crowd if they believed he could do it again--which, having watched, they believed he could. Then he asked, if one of them would ride in his wheelbarrow?
You see believing remains unable to help us until believing mixes with faith, and "...faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone." James 2:17. Mere believing will get one nowhere unless "...I will shew thee my faith by my works." James 2:18. Unless one arises and gets into God's spiritual wheelbarrow, by faith fully trusting, he has merely "...believed in vain." 1 Corinthians 15:2.
Spiritual questions now arise. Why does mankind need a salvation? Have we done something offensive to God? If so, what? Here is the answer.
Why has God spiritually condemned mankind? Mankind IS certainly condemned by God. But, how do we know this, what proof is there. The Scriptures show that it is a fact. As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: (Romans 3:10) and For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; (Romans 3:23). This condemning comes from a spiritual and eternal disease that cannot just be washed away; not with soap and water: For though thou wash thee with nitre, and take thee much soap, yet thine iniquity is marked before me, saith the Lord GOD. (Jeremiah 2:22). It cannot be baptized away: The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh... 1 Peter 3:21 No outward cleansing will purge the inner man: Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also. (Matthew 23:25-26).
Where did this sin (disease) originate? Through Adam, the first man, And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul;...that which is natural;...The first man is of the earth, earthy:...As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy:... 1 Corinthians 15:45-48. And the sin, Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: (Romans 5:12).
How did sin enter through this one man? When Adam disobeyed God's command. Here is the story. And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. [of the spirit] (Genesis 2:16-17). Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. (Genesis 3:1-6).
Where were you and I when Adam sinned? In Adam's loins; and here is that story. And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. (Genesis 2:7)., Life, as herein used, is the whole total of human lives that would ever be upon earth. Every individual has a "parentage," a linage out of another. There are none who are not of mankind parentage. Therefore, all mankind that would ever be were within Adam at the creation. Think of that, we all were within Adam when Adam disobeyed God. For he was yet in the loins of his father... (Hebrews 7:10).
What were the consequences of Adam's disease of Sin? They were: ...and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: (Romans 5:12). For the wages of sin is death; (Romans 6:23). And this is the condemnation, that...men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. (John 3:19), ... fall into the condemnation of the devil (1 Timothy 3:6), ...of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men... Jude 4. Now then, sin is inherent in all mankind, sin has become man's intrinsic makeup. Among whom also we all ...were by nature the children of wrath, even as others (Ephesians 2:3). For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: (Romans 2:14). ...and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil (John 3:19).
Now, we see the necessity for salvation. You see dear friend, "...Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." "Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again." (John 3:3,7). This act has to be spiritually completed by God! Man's salvation comes solely through spiritual new birth.
Repentance is a spiritual act which must be done to be united with God. The preliminary to new birth, is God convincing each of us that sin (depravity) is a total ruin that has diseased our entire nature, and now IS man's intrinsic makeup. This convincing from God comes in two areas:
1. As an overwhelming shame called "Godly sorrow unto repentance". ...for ye were made sorry after a godly manner...For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation... 2 Cor 7:9-10.
2. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: Prov 1:7. In this spiritual shame called Godly sorrow, the person will come to fearfully revere God and know shame before Him.
This is where a great struggle to spiritual new birth takes place. Each individual is held personally accountable for their their defilement, and drawn to confession (That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth... Rom 10:9) and repentance, ...except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. Luke 13:3 Repentance is to loathe sin and crave separation from it. And there shall ye remember your ways, and all your doings, wherein ye have been defiled; and ye shall loathe yourselves in your own sight for all your evils that ye have committed. Eze 20:43 Then shall ye remember your own evil ways, and your doings that were not good, and shall loathe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and for your abominations. Eze 36:31. Repentance is admitting to God that we are, from birth "...by nature the children of wrath..." Eph 2:3.
Man is a sinner — by nature — and salvation is a NEW nature. This brings us to the new birth, a completely rebirthing of our inward natures by the direct act of God, ...that...ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world... 2 Pet 1:4 The Bible declares to us that "...sin is the transgression of the law." 1 John 3:4, and "All unrighteousness is sin:" 1 John 5:17. And we are now by our very nature UNrighteous.
The real issue is the sin nature within each of us, by the blood or our fathers, being in Adam's loins when Adam sinned. It is this that is defiled and not the sins we do. Man commits sins because he is born a Sinner. "Out from the pot [nature] one pours water [behavior)".
God ALONE is the Saviour. The Bible sets Jesus Christ, Who is very God ("...he that hath seen me hath seen the Father..." John 14:9) as the only Saviour for the soul. "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." John 14:6 and "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." Acts 4:12 Jesus Christ came into the world by God's direct conception in the womb of a Virgin, as God housing Himself in a dwelling of flesh (...God was manifest in the flesh... 1 Tim 3:16, ...but a body hast thou prepared me: Heb 10:5) When This Jesus Christ went to the cross, it was GOD on the cross paying GOD for our sins. (...God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself... 2 Cor 5:19) Mankind's sin is against God Himself! (...our sin that we have committed against the LORD our God? Jer 16:10. ...filled with sin against the Holy One of Israel." Jer 51:5.)
The sole atonement God accepts is the pure, sinless Blood of Jesus Christ. And His blood, (...God...with his own blood. Acts 20:28) was poured out upon the cross because God required the blood for the atonement of our souls. For the life of the flesh is in the blood:...for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul. (Lev 17:11)
Salvation is not by: Religious works, rituals or sacraments, it is solely in Jesus Christ. It is interesting how religion wants to trust water, sacraments, prayers, beads, Mary, church, or philosophy, but not the blood of Jesus Christ. No matter what is said, it is still the blood, because God has said, I have given you the blood as an atonement for your souls. For the...blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul. Lev 17:11. The blood God has given was Christ's Blood. Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. John 1:29. ...stood a Lamb as it had been slain... ...for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; Rev 5:6,9. God's salvation is only through Christ's blood. He was not a normal man. He was God, or Jehovah in a man, or the "God/Man", ...he that hath seen me hath seen the Father. John 14:9; I and my Father are one. John 10:30.
The Saviour must be received. Salvation doesn't come through any "baptism," but through a spiritual receiving of Jesus Christ into the heart as one's personal Saviour. (But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name. John 1:12) We must each receive Him into our heart and upon that, He forgives us of our sin.
When New Birth comes: It is instant, eternal, and recognizable. You will know in your spirit when the sin burden is gone! When God removes your sin YOU WILL KNOW IT! You may not so easily explain God's work in your heart, but you will know something spiritual happened between you and God--and you are forgiven! What is required is to fall, by faith, upon the mercy of God "For by grace are ye saved through faith...it is the gift of God:" Eph 2:8. When that happens, God regenerates, saves, and eternally seals that soul by His grace.
Salvation is like: Something really new within your spirit. A new hunger (as is in new babies) will suddenly surge to know the living God. You'll find the King James Bible the most satisfying to read for your soul. You'll also have a desire to associate with other believers in a doctrinally sound church. (Unaffiliated Baptist churches tend to be the most Biblically sound). Being born again will be the most exciting event of your entire life! If you were to die right now do you know you would go to Heaven? Have YOU put your faith and trust in Christ Jesus, receiving Him into your heart by casting your soul upon the mercy of God?
This is written to urge you to do so and not to delay--for your soul's sake. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Rom 10:9-10,13. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name. John 1:12