Throughout the religious world, there are multitudes of doctrines concerning Jesus and the salvation He offers. It can be overwhelming and downright confusing hearing such contradictory beliefs. Considering the monumental importance of eternal salvation, surely God would provide a clear and concise message so one can avoid the confusion of man’s teachings. Thankfully, He has!
Jesus was once asked, “What is truth?” (John 18:38). Previously, Jesus had stated “the truth will set you free” (John 8:32). Then in a heartfelt prayer to God the Father, Jesus claimed, “Thy word is truth” (John 17:17). From these Scriptures one learns of the divine truth that will set him free: God’s Word. Numerous other Scriptures emphasize the same lesson. John 3:5 teaches that one must be born again to enter the Kingdom of God. 1 Peter 1:23 teaches the process of being born again is by the incorruptible Word of God. James 1:23 states that the implanted Word is able to save souls, and Romans 1:16 describes the gospel of Christ as God’s power unto salvation. With these thoughts in mind, the duration of this article will focus on the Scriptures, the truth about salvation, and how to obtain it.
The Bible teaches that sin separates one from God (Isaiah 59:1-2; Romans 6:23). When one breaks God’s Law (1 John 3:4), he sins and loses fellowship with God. However, Christ came to be an atoning sacrifice so one may be reconciled back to God, enjoying fellowship with Him once again (1 John 2:1-2; Colossians 1:20-21). God’s grace makes salvation from sin possible (Ephesians 2:5). However, obedience to God’s Will is essential for us to benefit from His marvelous grace (Matthew 7:21; Hebrews 5:8-9).
The Scriptures teach that one day Jesus will return and judgment will then take place (2 Corinthians 5:10). 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9 is referring to the Lord’s return and details a category of people who will face His vengeance. As a result, these souls will be eternally separated from His presence. Those who will face vengeance on that day are those “that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Thessalonians 1:8). Obviously it is of the utmost importance for one to obey the gospel of Christ. The question may arise: What is this gospel that I am to obey?
As one reads 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 the Scriptures teach of what the gospel of Christ consists. In those verses the gospel is described as the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. Remember that 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9 teaches one must obey the gospel to avoid being eternally separated from the Lord. From this passage, another question may arise: How is one to obey a death, burial, and resurrection?
Romans 6:3-5 answers that question. “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:”
Notice from Romans 6:3-5 the connections made: baptized into His death, buried with Him by baptism into death, like as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we should walk in newness of life, planted together in the likeness of His death, we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection.
If one does not obey the gospel, he will forever be separated from God after judgment (2 Thessalonians 1:7-9). The gospel that must be obeyed as 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 teaches is the death, burial, resurrection of Jesus. How is one to obey the gospel? One learns from Romans 6:3-5 that what Jesus literally did, one must do symbolically. Jesus died for sin. We are to die to sin. Jesus was buried in a tomb. We are buried in baptism. Jesus was resurrected from the tomb, becoming victorious. We are raised from our baptism being born again, walking in a newness of life.
The New Testament book of Acts contains numerous examples of men and women from all different walks of life obeying the gospel. One such account is found recorded in Acts 2. The events beginning in Acts 2:1 are taking place on the day of Pentecost. Devout Jews had gathered to Jerusalem to observe this feast (Acts 2:5). A miraculous event takes place (Acts 2:1-4) and the gospel of Christ is preached (Acts 2:22-39), which means the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus was preached. After becoming believers in the message, the question, “What must we do?” was asked (Acts 2:37). These believers were told to repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of their sins (Acts 2:38). In other words, they were told to do what was stated in Romans 6:3-5.
The doctrines of men lead only to confusion. However, the Word of God leads to salvation. Have you obeyed the gospel? Are you sure? If you believe that Jesus died for your sins (John 8:24), then repent of your sins (Acts 17:30), and be baptized into Christ to be saved (Mark 16:16). He will add you to His church (Acts 2:47). He came to build a church (Matthew 16:18). It is only His church, which is His body, which He will save (Ephesians 1:20-23; 5:23). One day He will return. What will He do with you on that day?