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SAVED BY FAITH AND WORKS?

David L. Odom

We are told by many religious people and organizations who claim to follow Jesus Christ today, that we are not saved by any works we do!

We are told that we are saved by faith alone (mental belief and acceptance[sinner's prayer], which is actually two things!), and usually this passage is thrown out to prove such a belief:

Ephesians 2:8, 9

"8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast."

Notice that it doesn't say 'faith alone', or 'faith only', but that we are saved by grace (God's part), and faith (man's part)! These 'works' here are referring to the works that MEN have conjured up! Notice the next verse:

Ephesians 2:10

"For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them."

God shows us what the 'good works' are that HE has authorized in the His inspired Word!

It is important to make note here, when we only do the works of God, there is NEVER any room for any boasting!

Luke 17:10

"So you too, when you do all the things which are commanded you, say, 'We are unworthy slaves; we have done only that which we ought to have done.'"

 

The 'faith' in Ephesians 2:8 is speaking of an active faith, which is a 'work' of, that is, from God! He authorized it!

John 6:28, 29

"28 Therefore they said to Him, 'What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God? 29 Jesus answered and said to them, 'This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.'"

So God has commanded us to believe the truth, and thus, when we believe, we have faith at that point! This is a 'work' of, or from God, that we must do, but we are not saved at this point!

James 2:24, 26

"24 You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone(only)." "26 For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead."

We need to understand here that we cannot cause the Scripture's to contradict one another, because God is not a God of confusion! God does not contradict Himself! (I Corinthians 14:33)!

God is the one who says we are NOT justified (saved) by 'FAITH ALONE"!!

James 2:17, 20, 24

"17 Even so faith, if it have not works, is dead in itself." "20 But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless(dead, worthless)?" "24 You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone(only)."

We need to realize that even the demons believe (mental belief), but they are NOT saved!

James 2:18-20

"18 But someone may well say, “You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works. 19 You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder. 20 But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless(dead, worthless)?"

I want you to especially notice the following verses that use Abraham as an example concerning faith and works, because many try to pit the Scriptures against each other by trying to show that Abraham was saved by faith alone, and not by any works he did!

They do this by taking Romans 4 out of its context (the law of Moses verses an obedient faith by doing what God tells us to do)!

Romans 4 is talking about trying to be saved solely on obeying law,

trying to save yourself by keeping law perfectly, which no man can do!

 

So, some quote Romans 3:20, 28 and teach that we are saved by 'faith alone', without any works to a law!

"20 But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets," "28 For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law."

But notice that the distinction is between 'faith' and 'works of the law of Moses', not any law!

If you study Romans 4 with James 2, you will find that God is using Abraham as an example that his faith coupled with his obedience to God made him acceptable unto God BEFORE THE LAW OF MOSES WAS GIVEN!

This is what Galatians 2:16 is speaking concerning:

"nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified."

This is an 'active faith', as Abraham had, when he obeyed God in what God told him to do!

Are we under law today?

It is quite clear that God is NOT speaking of 'any law', because of passages such as:

Romans 8:1, 2

"1 Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death."

Yes, there is STILL law today, for without law, there is NO SIN!

1 John 3:4

"Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law:

for sin is the transgression of the law."

 

Other terms used for the law we are under today, and will be judged by:

the New Testament,

the New Covenant,

the law of Christ,

the perfect law,

the royal law,

the law of liberty!

Galatians 6:2

"Bear one another's burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ."

I Corinthians 9:21

"to those who are without law, as without law, though not being without the law of God but under the law of Christ, so that I might win those who are without law."

Hebrews 8:7-12

"7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion to look for a second. 8 For He finds fault with them when He says: 'Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, 9 not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt. For they did not continue in My covenant, and so I showed no concern for them, declares the Lord. 10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put My laws into their minds, and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 11 And they shall not teach, each one his neighbor and each one his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest. 12 For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more."

James 1:25

"But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does."

James 2:8

"If, however, you are fulfilling the royal law according to the Scripture, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself,' you are doing well."

Others say that 'faith' in the book of Romans is 'different' from the 'faith' in the book of James! Notice these quotes:

"Is salvation by faith alone, or by faith plus works? Am I saved just by believing in Jesus, or do I have to believe in Jesus and do certain things?"

"James is not saying that justification is by faith plus works, but rather that a person who is truly justified by faith will have good works in his/her life."

"James and Paul do not disagree in their teaching regarding salvation. They approach the same subject from different perspectives. Paul simply emphasized that justification is by faith alone while James put emphasis on the fact that genuine faith in Christ produces good works."

"James 2:14-26, as a whole, and especially verse 24, causes a lot of confusion. The passage definitely seems to cause serious problems for the “salvation by faith alone” concept. First, we need to clear up a misconception, namely, that James means the same thing by “justified” in James 2:24, that Paul means in Romans 3:28. Paul is using the word justified to mean “declared righteous by God.” Paul is speaking of God’s legal declaration of us as righteous as Christ’s righteousness is applied to our account. James is using the word justified to mean “being demonstrated and proven.”

Dear Bible student, can you see the reasoning of man in the above quotes to pit the Scriptures against themselves? He conviently gives different definitions to the word 'Justified' to suit his false doctrine here! This word is 'Dikaioo' (dikaiovw) means, in BOTH James 2 and Romans 3:28; "to make or declare right" (Young's Analytical Concordance)!

Please read Romans and James carefully, along with all of the passages of Scripture dealing with 'faith'! Our 'faith' has one definition, and it is an active faith which involves working out our own salvation with fear and trembling(Philippians 2:12)!

If man is saved by just mentally believing in Jesus Christ, and accepting Him as your personal Savior (which was NOT taught by any inspired apostles!), why did the Holy Spirit through the apostle Paul tell Timothy:

1 Timothy 4:15, 16

"15 Be diligent in these things; give yourself wholly to them; that your progress may be manifest unto all. 16 Take heed to yourself, and to your teaching. Continue in these things; for in doing this you will save both yourself and them who hear you."

If man is not involved in obtaining his salvation by doing the works of God, then why did the Holy Spirit say the above?

Philippians 2:12

"So then, by beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling;"

James 2:21-24

"21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up Isaac his son on the altar? 22 You see that faith was working with his works, and as a result of the works, faith was perfected; 23 and the Scripture was fulfilled which says, 'And Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness,' and he was called the friend of God. 24 You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone."

 

We find in God's Word that there are OTHER works He has given us to do AFTER we BELIEVE the Truth!

 

We must REPENT of our sins! (A change of mind to turn away from sin)

This is a 'work' from God that we must do, but we are not saved at this point!

Luke 13:3

"I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish."

Acts 2:38

"Peter said to them, 'Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit."

Acts 17:30, 31

"30 Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent, 31 because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead."

'Repentance' is not 'faith'! It is a separate work God has instructed us to do.

We must CONFESS Christ before men!

This is a 'work' from God that we must do, but we are not saved at this point!

Matthew 10:32, 33

"32 Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. 33 But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven."

Revelation 3:5

"He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels."

Romans 10:9, 10

"9 that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation."

I Timothy 6:12, 13

"12 Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 13 I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who testified the good confession before Pontius Pilate,"

Hebrews 10:23

"Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful;"

Understand also that If we don't confess Christ properly in this present world, we WILL confess Him in the Judgment Day!

Philippians 2:9-12

"9 For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. 12 So then, by beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling;"

'Confession' is not 'faith', or 'repentance'! It is a separate work God has instructed us to do.

 

We must be BAPTIZED into Christ for the forgiveness of our sins!

This is a 'work' from God that we must do, and we are saved at this point!

Matthew 28:18-20

"18 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, 'All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the the Father and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."

Mark 16:15, 16

"15 And He said to them, 'Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 16 He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned."

Acts 8:35-39

"35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning from this Scripture he preached Jesus to him. 36 As they went along the road they came to some water; and the eunuch said, 'Look! Water! What prevents me from being baptized?' 37 And Philip said, 'If you believe with all your heart, you may.' And he answered and said, 'I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.' 38 And he ordered the chariot to stop; and they both went down into the water, Philip as well as the eunuch, and he baptized him. 39 when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away; and the eunuch no longer saw him, but went on his way rejoicing."

Please notice carefully from the above passage of Scripture that one cannot properly 'preach Jesus' without including water baptism!

Acts 22:16

"Now why do you delay? Get up and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on His name."

Please notice that sins are washed away in baptism! This is what the Holy Spirit says here through the inspired writer of the book of Acts - Luke!

Romans 6:3, 4

"3 Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life."

Please understand that this is where God tells us that we come in contact with the soul-saving blood of Jesus Christ which He shed in His death! This is the point that we are raised to walk in newness of life!

Galatians 3:26, 27

"26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on(clothed yourselves with) Christ."

Can we put Christ on (clothe ourselves) without being baptized into Christ?

I Peter 3:21, 22

"21 Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you - not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience - through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who is at the right hand of God, having gone into heaven, after angels and authorities and powers had been subjected to Him."

This is true because God says it is true! This is the 'one baptism' spoken of in the seven unities of the Spirit:

Ephesians 4:3, 4

"4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all."

This is the baptism you see the inspired men of God teaching in the book of Acts!

It matters not that the majority of the world who claim to follow Jesus Christ teach the 'faith only' doctrine, who try to tell you there are TWO baptisms today; water and spiritual, or Spirit!

So, is Ephesians 4:5 true or not? It says 'ONE BAPTISM'! Just as there is only ONE BODY, ONE SPIRIT, ONE HOPE, ONE LORD, ONE FAITH, ONE GOD AND FATHER - THERE IS ALSO ONLY ONE BAPTISM!

Romans 3:4

"God forbid: yes, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That you might be justified in your sayings, and might overcome when you are judged."

'Baptism', is not 'faith', or 'repentance', or 'confession'! It is a separate work God has instructed us to do.

Dear Bible student, I pray that these Scriptures will help you understand that we are NOT saved by 'faith only', just a mental acceptance of believing in Jesus Christ, and a 'sinner's prayer' which you cannot find in your New Testament for the alien sinner!

In fact, if you think about it, the so-called 'sinner's prayer' (not found in the New Testament), is a separate act, in addition to 'faith as just a mental belief!'

Many want to use the thief on the cross as the example of 'faith only', but two things must be considered here: The Law of Moses was still in effect when Jesus told the believing thief on the cross, who believed He was the Messiah, that he would be with Him in paradise that very day, and, more importantly, that JESUS HAD THE POWER TO FORGIVE SINS WHILE HE WAS UPON THE EARTH!

May I ask you a question:

HAVE YOU BECOME INVOLVED IN THE OBEDIENCE OF FAITH YET?

Romans 1:4-6

"4 who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord, 5 through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith (to the faith) among all the Gentiles for His name's sake, 6 among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ;"

Romans 16:25-27

"25 Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery which has been kept secret for long ages past, 26 but now is manifested, and by the Scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the eternal God, has been made known to all the nations, leading to obedience of faith (to the faith); 27 to the only wise God, though Jesus Christ, be the glory forever. Amen."

Acts 6:7

"The word of God kept on spreading; and the number of the disciples continued to increase greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were becoming obedient to the faith."

Dear Bible student, everything God has told us to do involves our working out our own salvation!

Some examples:

2 Corinthians 7:1

"Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God."

2 Timothy 2:20, 21

"20 Now in a large house there are not only gold and silver vessels, but also vessels of wood and of earthenware, and some to honor and some to dishonor. 21 Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from these things, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work."

2 Peter 1:1-11

 

"1 Simon Peter, a bond-servant and apostle of Jesus Christ,
      To those who have received a faith of the same kind as ours, by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ: 2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; 3 seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. 4 For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust. 5 Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, 6 and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, 7 and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love. 8 For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For he who lacks these qualities is blind or short-sighted, having forgotten his purification from his former sins. 10 Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble; 11 for in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you."

 

 

As you can see, WE MUST DO what God tells us to do! We must be DILIGENT in working out our own salvation! This includes applying His will to us in all that He wants us to do, for example, assembling with christians!

 

Hebrews 10:25

 

"not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near."

 

But we are told today that we don't have to go to church (assembly) in order to be saved! So which is right? The Holy Spirit in Hebrews 10:25, or man's teaching today that contradicts the Holy Spirits teaching? You must choose which is correct!

May I ask you, WHO is responsible for bringing EVERY THOUGHT into THE OBEDIENCE OF CHRIST?

2 Corinthians 10:3-6

"3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh 4 (for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but mighty before God to the casting down of strongholds), 5 casting down imaginations, and every high thing that is exalted against the knowledge of God, and bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ; 6 and being in readiness to avenge all disobedience, when your obedience shall be made full."

If we are saved by 'faith (mental acceptance) only, then WHY are we going to be judged by our WORKS in the Judgment Day?

Revelation 20:11-15

"11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat upon it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne; and books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of the things which were written in the books, according to their works. 13 And the sea gave up the dead that were in it; and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. 14 And death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death, even the lake of fire. 15 And if any was not found written in the book of life, he was cast into the lake of fire."

Please allow God's word, the New Testament for us today, to guide your religious beliefs, and not to let anyone tell you that we are saved by 'faith only (mental acceptance) and not by doing the works of God as He has authorized (active faith)!

 

Obey Jesus Christ today!

 

WHAT MUST I DO TO BE SAVED?

Hear, learn, and come to Jesus Christ!

John 6:44, 45

"44 No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day. 45 It is written in the prophets, 'And they shall all be taught of God.' Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father, comes to Me."

HOW?

By believing the Gospel of Jesus Christ, that He is Immanuel, the Messiah, the Word!

Matthew 1:23

"Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, And they shall call His name Immanuel; which is, being interpreted, God with us."

John 4:25, 26

"25 The woman said to Him, 'I know that Messiah is coming (He who is called Christ); when that One comes, He will declare all things to us.' 26 Jesus said to her, ' I who speak to you am He.' "

John 1:1, 14

"1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." "14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth"

John 8:24

"Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins."

BUT YOU DO NOT RECEIVE REMISSION OF SINS IN A MENTAL BELIEF ONLY (called Faith Only)

By repenting of our sins!

Luke 13:3

"I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish."

Acts 2:38

"Peter said to them, ' Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.' "

Acts 17:30, 31

"30 Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent, 31 because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead."

BUT YOU DO NOT RECEIVE REMISSION OF SINS AT THIS POINT IN OBEDIENCE!

By confessing Christ before men!

Matthew 10:32, 33

"32 Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. 33 But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven."

Romans 10:9, 10

"9 that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; 10 for with the heart a person believes, unto righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, unto salvation."

1 Timothy 6:12-16

"12 Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 13 I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who testified the good confession before Pontius Pilate, 14 that you keep the commandment without stain or reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 which He will bring about at the proper time—He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, 16 who alone possesses immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see. To Him be honor and eternal dominion! Amen."

BUT YOU DO NOT RECEIVE REMISSION OF SINS AT THIS POINT IN OBEDIENCE!

By being baptized into Christ!

NOTE: This is immersion in water 'INTO CHRIST'

for (UNTO, IN ORDER TO) the forgiveness, the remission of your sins!

This is NOT sprinkling or pouring!

John 3:5

"Jesus answered, 'Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.' "

Romans 6:1-7

 "1 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? 2 May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it? 3 Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, 6 knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; 7 for he who has died is freed from sin."

Acts 2:37-42

"37 Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, 'Brethren, what shall we do?' 38 Peter said to them, 'Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.' 40 And with many other words he solemnly testified and kept on exhorting them, saying, 'Be saved from this perverse generation!' 41 So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls. 42 They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer."

Notice in the above Scripture that only those who 'received his word' obeyed the gospel!

John 1:12

"But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God."

Have you yet been involved in the 'new birth' from above?

Have you yet been baptized for the correct reason?

Some are baptized today because they have been taught they have already been saved by 'faith only', and that water immersion is only an 'outward sign of an inward change'!

BUT NOTICE THAT 'PREACHING JESUS' INCLUDES WATER BAPTISM!

Acts 8:35-39

"35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning from this Scripture he preached Jesus to him. 36 As they went along the road they came to some water; and the eunuch said, 'Look! Water! What prevents me from being baptized?' 37 [And Philip said, 'If you believe with all your heart, you may.' And he answered and said, 'I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.'] 38 And he ordered the chariot to stop; and they both went down into the water, Philip as well as the eunuch, and he baptized him. 39 When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away; and the eunuch no longer saw him, but went on his way rejoicing."

Acts 10:47, 48

" 'Surely no one can refuse the water for these to be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we did, can he?' 48 And he ordered them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to stay on for a few days."

This is where we meet His soul saving blood (figuratively of course) which washes away our sins!

Revelation 1:5, 6

"and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loves us and released us from our sins by His blood" 6 and He has made us to be a kingdom, priests to His God and Father—to Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen."

Acts 22:16

"Now why do you delay? Get up and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on His name."

I Peter 3:20-22

"20 who once were disobedient, when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through the water. 21 Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you—not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience—through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who is at the right hand of God, having gone into heaven, after angels and authorities and powers had been subjected to Him."

There is not any power in the water (water salvation), but it is DOING what God commands us to do, in HIS WAY , according to HIS TRUTH, which is an appeal to God for a good conscience through Christ's resurrection, by doing His will!

Also notice that is how Jesus purchased His church, with His own blood!

But why are people telling us today that the church isn't important!

Acts 20:28

"Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood."

Therefore we read:

1 Corinthians 12:13

"For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit."

Christ Jesus is the Savior of this body, the church, which is His kingdom!

Ephesians 5:23

"For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body."

Matthew 16:15-19

"15 He said to them, 'But who do you say that I am?' 16 Simon Peter answered, 'You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.' 17 And Jesus said to him, 'Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. 18 I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.' "

The rock upon which Christ's church was built was the Truth which Peter had just stated that Jesus Christ is the Son of the living God! The Lord's church was NOT built upon Peter!

Ephesians 1:22, 23

"22 And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, 23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all."

Ephesians 4:4-6

"4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all."

Notice only one body, which is His church, His kingdom, just as there is only one baptism, which is water immersion into Christ!

This is how we put Christ on!

Galatians 3:26-29

"26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For all of you who were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise."

YES, YOU DO RECEIVE REMISSION (FORGIVENESS) OF SINS AT THIS POINT IN OBEDIENCE!

Notice the examples of conversion in the book of Acts:

Salvation

Stairway

Are you in this church you read about in the New Testament?

Have you correctly put Christ on yet?

 

The churches of Christ (non-institutional)

 

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