God's Plan of Salvation
by: Bro.Christopher W. Fuselier Sr.
Ever needed to go somewhere and didn't know where it was? Then you went out bought a GPS and put your trust in it to lead you to where you where going to.
A GPS is a device that uses satellites to navigate from one point to another. Also shows you where you are and where you are heading to. The Bible does the same thing as the GPS. It shows us where we are and where we are heading to. It also instructs us how to spend eternity in His presence and steer from the place prepared for the devil. The psalmist David said: "Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." (Psalm 119:105) without the Bible, we would not have a guided path in which to live our lives free from the burden of sin. The Bible lays before us the GPS and how to get to where we all want to be.
The Bible is a collection of writings inspired by God. "Holy men wrote as the Holy Spirit moved them." (2 Peter 1:21) The Bible was formulated over thousands of years. Only God's Spirit could correlate the minds of men so that in the finished product there is no contradiction or lapse of Spiritual progression. It is God's Word! Inspired! Sent from Heaven! We should read and study our Bible as if God were speaking to us personally. It then becomes God's word to us. It shows us how to live above sin. It directs us in all the ways that we live. It produces character within that comes only by the inspiration of His Word and Spirit. "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness." (2 Timothy 3:16)
There was a common message of salvation shared by all early Christians. There were no differences made for creed, color or socio-religious standing. Peter was the spokesman for the Upper Room group. He preached the first inspired sermon to the gathered Jewish throng in Jerusalem (Acts 2).
The focal point of his message was Acts 2:38. He pressed the Jews to repent of their appalling sin of crucifying Jesus. He explained to them their guilt because they neither believed He was Messiah nor did they accept His message of salvation. Peter urged them to accept water baptism in the name JESUS. This baptism, complete submersion in water, would take away their sins. Thus they would be completely forgiven. In this state of spiritual purity, Peter promised them the baptism of the Holy Ghost.
Since Jesus had given the "keys" (Matt. 16:19) of the kingdom to Peter, his word became Spiritual Law. However, Peter only gave an insight to Jesus' frequent teachings about the coming of a Comforter (John 14:16:18).
Acts 2:38 is the only full and complete method of receiving New Testament Salvation ever given.
STEPS TO HISTORICAL - BIBLICAL SALVATION
1. Believe that Jesus was the Messiah and Savior
2. Repent with extreme sorrow for all sins committed
3. Receive water baptism in the name JESUS
4. Receive Holy Ghost baptism
5. Live a deliberate Holy life before God and men
Now let us type in a course and see where it will lead us from here. In order for God to redeem humanity from its evil, He had to venture forth from His Divine "Spirit." God saw fit to become part of what He was going to redeem. He was born after the likeness of man. Jesus, Emmanuel of Matthew 1:27 (God with us!), was born of the virgin Mary. "...That which was conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost." Mat¬thew 1:20
Everyone should realize the humanity of Jesus was no different than any other. He had emotions which erupted in weeping at the tomb of His friend Lazarus (John 11:35). He had temptations as great as any man (Heb. 4:15; Luke 4:1-13); His body craved food and water (John 4:7-8), and often sat at meat with others. (Mark 14:3)
The life of Jesus was nearly meaningless unless He could fulfill the prophecies con¬cerning His death. "...I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again...." (John 10:18) Jesus was no stranger to sacrifice. Paul recorded the mission of Jesus, He, "... should taste death for every man." (Hebrews 2:9) Through His death, burial and resurrection, Jesus took power over death. "I am He that liveth, and was dead; and behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death." (Rev. 1:18) Death had no more dominion over Him. (Romans 6:9)
Paul revealed, "...all have sinned and come short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23) No person has ever lived that did not experience the degeneration of sin. All men are guilty before redemption.
Man cannot save himself. No good works, no great charity, no mountain of generos¬ity and benevolence can discard the liability man has before God because of sin. "...By grace are ye saved...and that not of yourselves...." (Eph. 2:8-9). It is not the goodness of man but the love of God that brings total salvation. Faith - the first step to Salvation -- Heb. 11:6 -- "Without faith it is impossible to please Him." John 3:16 is its counterpart. Unless a person accepts God and the Bible through faith, he cannot claim the promise of salvation within.
Now the GPS says we must repent of our sins. We must see ourselves as God see us. We must feel sorry for the thing that we have done and turn away from them. The word repent means, to be sorry, to turn back, to regret, to reconsider. Let's see what the Word of God says about repenting.
John said, "Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." (Matt. 3:2)
And Jesus said in Luke, "And Jesus answering and said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galileans were sinners above all the Galileans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish."
Also Peter on the day of Pentecost says, "Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their hearts, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." (Acts 2:37-38)
And "But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God. Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee." (Acts 8:20-22)
We must prepare our hearts if we are going to start and stay on this journey that is set before us. Repentance is a huge part of God's GPS system.
Next we must see the way we need to be born again. We can see this in what Jesus told Nicodemus by night.
Let's look at what Jesus said, "There came a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily,verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of the water and of the Spirit, he cannot eneter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be? Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know. And testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness. If I have told you earthly things, amd ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?" (John 3:1-13)
Let us see what we must do to fulfill the born again experience. Let's take a look at the baptism requirement in the Bible.
First off the word baptize in the Greek is baptize from the root word bapto which means to overwhelm, to cover wholly with a fluid. Baptism in the name of Jesus Christ is the born of the water that Jesus was telling Nicodemus in John chapter 3. Jesus said and taught: "And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father (God) may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it." (John 14:13-14) This includes the remission of our sins when we are baptized in His Name Jesus! This teaching agrees with the Apostle Paul's in Colossians 3:17 "And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus,…" this would include baptism! "And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among the nations, beginning at Jerusalem." (Luke 24:47) And Peter in Acts, "Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." (Acts 2:38)
"Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added [unto them] about three thousand souls. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers."
"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)
The Samaritans were also baptized in the name of Jesus.
"(For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.)" (Acts 8:16)
Gentiles were commanded to be baptized in the name of the Lord which is Jesus. "And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: [it is] hard for thee to kick against the pricks." (Acts 9:5)
"And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord." (Acts 22:16)
"And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John's baptism. Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. When they heard [this], they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus." (Acts 19:3-5)
The Apostle Paul also confirms that early believers in the NT Church of the Corinthians were baptized in the Name of Jesus in the text he also obeys and teaches Jesus' doctrine of being born again of the "Water/Baptism in Jesus' Name" and of the "Spirit." He also agrees with and echoes Acts 2:38 in this following Verse.
"And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God." (1 Cor 6:11) Baptism is symbolic of the blood of Jesus washing us clean of our sins.
It is also symbolic of Jesus' death. We are buried with him in baptism and raised to a new Christian life, after we are baptized in His name and receive His Spirit.
"For in him (Jesus) dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead (*Deity) bodily. And complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: in whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: Buried with him (Jesus) in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him…" (Col 2:9-12)
"Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord:" (Deut. 6:4)
"One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and though all, and in you all." ( Eph. 4:5-6)
Let's move to the next course one the GPS of God's Map.
The next thing we'll talk about is the baptism of the Holy Ghost. Whole hearted Repentance is essential and wonderful, and many people don't stay saved because they did not fully repent. Water baptism in the name of Jesus Christ is absolutely imperative and equally wonderful, and reception of God's Spirit completes the Born-again requirement as in John 3:3 first of all, the Holy Spirit is not a person, is not the third person. The Holy Spirit is, instead, the divine Spirit of God Himself that is poured out of Himself and is "poured, or outpoured," into your personal soul. There is but one single Lord God Almighty, now referred to as the Lord Jesus Christ, and His Holy Spirit is given people who sincerely and greatly desire it. One must want the Holy Ghost with all his or her heart; if not, a person will never receive the Holy Ghost."the Holy Spirit is Christ within you, the hope of glory." (Col. 1:24)
"And, being assembled together with [them], commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, [saith he], ye have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth." (Acts 1:4-8)
The phenomenon of speaking in tongues, firmly established here in Acts "And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance." (Acts 2:1-4)
The Holy Ghost "fell" upon the 120 people. There were tongues "...like as of fire" that came upon each of them. They all received the Gift of the Holy Ghost. They all spoke with "tongues" as the Holy Ghost gave them verbalization. This was an outward physical evidence caused by the Spirit of God. It was instant proof they had received the Holy Ghost baptism. (Acts 2:4)
The word glossolalia comes from a couple of New Testement references where Greek expression glossais lalein occurs. The word glossolalia simply means tongues-speaking. A tongues spearker is the glossalist.
John 14:16-18 refers to this experience. Jesus promised that a Comforter, the Holy Ghost would come to them. The "...Spirit of truth...shall be in you." Jesus promised again in verse 18, "I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you."
Jesus claimed to be "...truth...." in John 14:6. The "...Spirit of truth...." of verse 17 was the Spirit of Jesus Christ. That Spirit of Truth was called "Holy Ghost" in the book of Acts. (See John 14:10-11) Over 3,000 people received the Holy Ghost baptism the first day (Acts 2:41). Thousands were added in the days following (Acts 4:4). They had a common experience, a common baptism, a common faith, and a common God. They were born into the common church, the New Testament Christian Church. (Acts 2:42, 44) Now the evedence of receiving the Holy Ghost is Speaking with other tongues as the Spirit gives the uderance. Isaiah also indicates a type of different spiritual speech. "For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people." (Is 28:11)
Now we have arrived at the end of our maps to salvation does your life and experience equal to what the Word of God says. If not let us pray right now for the Lord to reveal and let you experience this wonderful salvation that has been provided for you.
All Scripture text out of the King James Version