|Is Christ Enough to Save You ?|
|What does one have to believe in so that they may go to heaven for everlasting life? One must believe that Jesus died for their sins, was buried and rose from the dead. Salvation involves a change of mind or repentance. Young's Analytical Concordance To The Bible defines the words repent and repentance exactly as follows: "repent-Greek-metanoeo-to have another mind; repentance-Greek-metanoia-a change of mind." These words are not defined by Young's Concordance as sorrow for sin(1) (sorrow may or may not occur with a repentance), but instead are defined in the pure sense of the words as they were originally thought to be understood and spoken in Greek (the language the English New Testament was translated from). The words repent and repentance are not defined as one who stops being bad and starts being good.(2) Righteousness or one's new moral behavior comes through the Holy Spirit by faith (Philippians 3:9, Romans 5:17,19, Galatians 5:5) and yielding (to turn to and set alongside) to Christ (Romans 6:13), not by one's self-effort (Romans 8:13, Colossians 2:11, Galatians 5:22-23, II Corinthians 3:5, Romans 6:1-23).
The words repent and repentance mean after thought or change of mind, to have another mind. After one is saved, in the context of confession, a godly repentance involves not only a change of mind about sin but also a turning to Christ for confession(3). The turning to Christ occurs because the repentance is godly. In the context of salvation - that great joy - a repentance involves not only a change of mind about trusting Christ's death, burial and resurrection, but will involve a turning to Christ for all those who will accept Jesus Christ as their Savior. Everyone who trusts in the gospel (the good news about how to be saved) has by that act already repented.
It is useless and a serious error to tell one that they must give up sin before they can be saved. One of the reasons people come to Christ and will accept Him as Savior is so Christ can cleanse them of their sins (Eph. 5:25-26, I Cor. 6:11, John 15:3,17:17, Php. 3:9, II Th. 2:13, Gal. 5:4-5). God is not asking mankind to give up sin or make a trade when they are preparing to and accepting Christ as their Savior. God is asking mankind to accept a free gift (Romans 5:15-18), His Son, Jesus Christ's death, burial, and resurrection for their sins so that they may live forever in heaven. After one is saved, Christ asks one to give up sin (Romans 12:1) by yielding to Him (Romans 6:13) and He will put off the body of sin for the Christian (Col. 2:11, Romans 8:13) and produce His righteousness (holiness or purity) in the Christian-Gal. 5:22-23, Romans 5:17,19, Gal. 5:5, II Timothy 1:9.
I Cor. 15:1-4 tells the person exactly what they must believe in before they can be saved. "Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures." This is called the gospel of salvation and with the Word rightly divided (II Tim. 2:15) it is the gospel that is preached today for salvation.
There are other gospels in the Bible that teach salvation by faith alone such as John 3:16, Mark 16:15-18, or Acts 2:38 that preach "... repent and be baptized everyone of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins..." yet they do not state that one must believe in the literal resurrection of the body of Christ from the grave. Sometimes these gospels include the act of water baptism that is not a part of the gospel (good news) today(4). These gospels were written to people who lived in an earlier, past time, under a different dispensation (or program of God) called the dispensation of the law.
In order to be approved by God it is essential to learn what part of the Bible is written to and about one today, although all of the Bible is for one to learn from (II Timothy 3:16). II Timothy 2:15 states: "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." The words "rightly dividing" according to the Greek concordances mean straight cuts. II Timothy 2:15 says one must learn to make straight cuts in the Bible that would divide the Word of God into three parts: a past (where these other gospels with water baptism are located); a present or that part of the Bible that is written to and about the Christian today (where the gospel of grace is located-Romans 10:9, I Cor. 15:1-4), and a future part of the Bible that has not yet occurred.
In this present dispensation of grace(Eph. 3:2-9),the Apostle Paul said in I Cor. 1:17: "For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel." In an earlier dispensation of the law that ended nearly two thousand years ago, a different gospel in Mark 16:16-18 said: "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing it shall not hurt them." Obviously, the above Scriptures were written to a people in a past time or earlier dispensation of the law and are not written to and about Christians today. For today there is only one baptism (Eph. 4:5) and it is done by the Holy Spirit (I Cor. 12:13) without a Pastor and water. I Cor. 12:13 proves that at the point of one's salvation, the Holy Spirit supernaturally baptizes or places the believer into the Church or Body of Christ without the physical act of water baptism. I Cor. 12:13 states: "For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body..."
The way to be saved today is clearly seen in the following Scriptures. Ephesians 2:8-9: "For by grace (unearned free favor of God) are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast." One cannot work his way into heaven by trying to be good or by trying to obey the Ten Commandments. Romans 4:4-5 in another version of the Bible says: "Didn't he earn his right to heaven by all the good things he did? No, for being saved is a gift; if a person could earn it by being good, then it wouldn't be free-but it is! It is given to those who do not work for it. For God declares sinners to be good in his sight if they have faith in Christ to save them from God's wrath."
In the Bible salvation for today is clearly taught in Romans.Romans 3:28: "Therefore we conclude that a man is justified (for heaven) by faith without the deeds of the law (the Ten Commandments plus other laws)." A free gift (Romans 5:15-18) cannot have any conditions on it; therefore it is not earned by a person's good behavior or deeds. Romans 5:18 states: "Therefore as by the offense of one (Adam) judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one (Jesus) the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life." Romans 10:9: "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved."
There are numerous Scriptures that teach that once a person is saved, he is saved forever. For if one could ever lose his eternal life, the he was never saved from anything. In order to be saved, one must be saved forever from hell. Romans 6:23 says: "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ..." If one could ever lose the free gift of eternal life, then it was never eternal (everlasting) nor would it be a free gift.John 6:37 states: "All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise (way) cast out (of God's family)."
In the Bible the Doctrine of Eternal Security(5) is established in the following Scriptures. Romans 11:29 says: "For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance." One of the gifts of God is the Holy Spirit (Romans 5:18, Acts 10:45, Ephesians 1:13-14). The word repentance in this passage comes from a different Greek word than the other words translated repent and repentance that are used in the context of salvation. In Romans 11:29 the word means "irreversible or without change of mind." The New Revised Standard Version translates this passage as follows: "for the gifts and calling (to be saved) of God are irrevocable (irreversible)." Once God gives you the Holy Spirit, He will never withdraw it no matter what sin you commit or how many times you commit that sin. Hebrews 13:5 says: "Let your conversation (conduct) be without covetousness (greed); and be content with such things as ye have: for he (Christ) hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee."
Unfortunately, everyone sins out of the old nature after they are saved, but it is not imputed or charged against them as II Corinthians 5:19-21 confirms. All Christians' sins are on Jesus Christ-not on them. Christ died for all one's sins-past, present, and future sins, even the sins one forgets to ask forgiveness for, and even the sin of impenitence and unbelief after one is saved- Col. 2:13, Titus 2:14, I John 1:7, II Timothy 2:13.The preceding Scriptures state that Christ died for all sins. The word "all" in the Greek means the total sum, past, present, and future sins. In II Timothy 2:13 the subject of unbelief is addressed. "If we believe not, yet he (Christ) abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself (in the believer)." Christ in the believer cannot quit believing in Himself, cannot sin (the new nature in the believer cannot sin; it is the old nature that sins) and will never leave the believer.
The Scriptures are very clear, put total trust in Christ and completely rely on Him for salvation and eternal life is freely given. This is what saving faith is all about. In fact, the Greek word for believe (pisteuo) means according to Vine's Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words: "'to believe,' also 'to be persuaded of,' and hence, 'to place confidence in, to trust,' signifies in this sense of the word, reliance upon, not mere credence."
In every dispensation God has ever had or will have, it has always been faith and faith alone that saved the saints. It never has been faith plus works for salvation- Habakkuk 2:4, John 11:25-26, Romans 4:1-16, Joel 2:32, Acts 15:5-11 (please take a close look at what Peter has to say on this matter), I John 5:4-5. Romans 4:6,13-16 makes it clear that none of the works of the law ever had anything to do with salvation. (The law now cancelled (Eph. 2:15) required an animal sacrifice and water baptism after one had already believed on the terms of salvation- Luke 7:29-30, Mark 16:16-18, Exd. 29:1-4, Heb. 9:10, 13, 19-20. Those who refused to offer an animal sacrifice or get water baptized did not have a saving faith.) When one teaches they can lose their salvation because of sin or have to work to earn or keep their salvation, they are not relying on Christ to save them or to keep them saved. True faith believes Christ does it all for one and that Christ is enough to save one without any effort, good works or good behavior on the part of one that accepts Christ as their Savior. (See Cornelius Stam's book Things That Differ, page 44.)
For a further study on salvation and eternal security, see the following Scriptures: Titus 3:5,Ephesians 2:15, Romans 6:14, Revelation 21:6, II Cor. 5:19-21, Acts 16:25-32, Romans 4:4-5, Ephesians 1:13-14, Ephesians 4:30, John 14:16-17, Hebrews 7:25, 9:12, 10:14, Romans 8:38-39, Romans 11:6, Romans 3:20-28, Gal. 3:10-13, Gal. 2:16,21, Col. 2:13.
For further study on the "once saved always saved" position or Doctrine of Eternal Security, see Charles F. Baker's book A Dispensational Theology or his pamphlet "Eternal Life Insurance", available through Grace Gospel Fellowship,1011 Aldon SW. Wyoming, MI, 49509, Offical website: Grace Publications. For free literature on how to "rightly divide the Word of Truth" (II Timothy 2:15), contact the
Berean Bible Society, N112 W17761 Mequon Rd.
P.O. Box 756 ,Germantown, WI. 53022-0756,
Official Website: http://www.bereanbiblesociety.org
The premier starter book on dispensationalism and how to rightly divide the Scriptures is Exploring the Unsearchable Riches of Christ by Paul Sadler. A Dispensational Theology by Charles Baker (top choice) is much more advanced on this subject. Both books are available through the Berean Bible Society. One other starter book on dispensationalism - The Two Fold Purpose of God by Cornelius Stam (Berean Bible Society) is excellent. His advanced book Things That Differ is also outstanding.
Endnotes and references for further related discussion:
1 Charles F. Baker, A Dispensational Theology (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Grace Bible College Publications, 1971) pp. 411-415.
2 Baker, pp. 411-415.
3 Baker, pp. 415- 417.
4 Baker. pp. 543-557.
5 Baker, pp. 451-460.
The following words are an example of a salvation prayer:
Dear Jesus, I know that I am a sinner. I believe that you came to this world to pay the price for my sins and to give me forgiveness by dying on the cross for all of my sins. I believe in your resurrection and I trust in you Jesus for my salvation ( I Corinthians 15:1-4, ll Corinthians 11:3-4). Amen.
* CHRIST IS ENOUGH TO SAVE YOU.
* Salvation is by faith alone, not of works, and it is a FREE gift. It is not given through works (Eph. 2:8,9, I Cor. 15:1-4).
* No matter what you do, Jesus Christ will never take the FREE gift away from those who have accepted Him as their Savior. What does this mean? You can NEVER be unsaved, no matter what kind of sins you commit! THIS IS AWESOME!!!
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|Buy: The Two Fold Purpose of God
By Cornelius Stam
|Buy: Exploring the Unsearchable
Riches of Christ
By Paul Sadler
|A Dispensational Theology
By Charles Baker
|Young's Analytical Concordance to the Bible|
|Things That Differ
by Cornelius Stam
|Other Recommended Readings|
|Vine's Complete Expository Dictionary to the Old & New Testament|
|The New Strong's Expanded Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible (Red-Letter Edition)|
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C. I. Scofield
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