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What Does the Bible Really Teach About How to Get Saved? (Part 1) -
First, some say that all you have to do to make it to the Pearly Gates is just believe. Or, believe and confess the Lord as your personal Lord and Savior. And it's not that he Isn't THE Lord already, or doesn't exercise His Lordship over us after we start serving Him, seeking Him and believing Him, But, is that Really what the Bible says, or what does the Bible say Is the proper response to hearing the Gospel? Do you just believe only? What did the First Christians experience and then preach to others...? Is it as over simplified, errant, erroneous, and incomplete as some teach and preach today..? And how many people Actually just believed and then went on their merry way believing that they had everything that they needed for salvation and didn't actually practice the fundamental concepts the apostles actually taught that everybody should know and be taught? Did these people stop at believing? Whatever happened to being born again...? Where did the phrase "born again"originally come from and what did the originater of this phrase say that it took to be born again.? Why is this different from how many believers are being told today? Is this Updated version of your Conversion really up-to-date, or is this new CONversion a Perversion of Late? What Is the orthodox and what Is the heretical? What Did the apostles Actually Teach? (The answer is found in the scriptures.)
The Bible declares its inspiration in the passage that says, "For the prophecy came not in Old Time by the will of man: but Holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost." ( Second Peter 1:21) "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for Doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works." (Second Timothy 3:16+17). Also, Michael Drosnins book, THE BIBLE CODE, reveals further the wonders of God's word put to parchment, pen and paper by/in demonstrating additional revelations the Bible has had hidden in its text, supposedly, for thousands of years. Not only has the word of God been tested, tried and proven by Scholars and followers, but revelation, assistance and guidance has been received by its modern-day followers to this day, myself included. Meditation In it, and adherence To it are also transforming and Life-changing. I know. I've experienced it.
As for the Good news that God Himself came down and manifested Himself in flesh, allowed Himself to be a perfect sacrifice for Everyone, and was buried and came back to life again, that's just the start. The beginning of the story. God Manifested in Flesh! The most awesome being in the world! Hallelujah..! Now That's the Message. What's the response? How do we Properly Respond to hearing the gospel? Well, how did Jesus expect us to properly respond? He said in Mark chapter 16 verses 15 through 18, "...Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned." If we go to the book of The Acts of the Apostles (or just, Acts, for short) in the New Testament it shows us the first time the gospel is preached after the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. This is our Proto example, I like to call it.The first time the Gospel is preached in the New Testament.
The New Testament, or New Covenant ( in other words the new agreement between God and man ) consists of Gods offer to rescue us from sin, death and Hell ( as well as ourselves, our hang-ups, and our habits, actually, too ) by HIM offering the final sacrifice that would cleanse anyone who entered the Covenant willingly with Him and thereby receiving Eternal life. This "New Covenant" started somewhere between the death and the day, as I like to call it: the death on the cross, and the day of the feast. Pentecost!
So where do people start to go wrong in their Theology and not actually enter into the Covenant that God has offered? Without going off on possible tangents, or theological rabbit trails and explaining the beliefs of every single religious sect out there, or getting too deep, let's look at the initial, first instruction and actions that were commanded by the ones originally authorized to, "teach, baptize and teach."
On the Day of Pentecost, a Jewish feast that marked 50 days after the Passover, the original 12 Apostles (minus Judas), Mary Jesus' mother, and around 100 or so of Jesus students (the word disciple means student) were gathered in an upper room praying and waiting for "the promise of the Father," and were baptized with the Holy Spirit and miraculously began speaking "tounges," (this means other languages that God's Spirit flows through you with when you first receive the Holy Spirit, or Holy Ghost. (The words Ghost and Spirit in the King James Bible are both translated from the same Greek word and if you read the context of all of the verses that these words are used in with the word "Holy" in front of it it means God's Spirit). Even King David said in the Old Testament, " take not thy Holy Spirit from me..." This spiritual phenomenon is usually the first thing that happens when Christ actually comes in. People say that all you have to do to experience his Spirit coming in is ask, and then it's done. Well, that's Not what the Bible teaches, and that's not how Any of the Apostles, or Mary the mother of Jesus, or Any of His followers experienced it in Any passage in the New Testament, at all. The Authority on the subject, I would say, is found in the texts that Actually Cover this subject in our text book of the Bible. There's a saying, "the Bible interprets itself!" (See Acts Chapter 2 verses 1-4, Chapter 10 verses 44 to 48, Chapter 11 verse 13 through 18, and chapter 19 verses 1-6 )
When the Apostles finally experienced Christ coming in (after waiting for maybe a week, more or less, because the feast that this happened on was 50 days after the Passover, which the Passover was around the time that Jesus was crucified, if not the night of) they spoke with other tongues like Jesus said people would that believed the gospel (in Mark chapter 16), they received power ( because they all preached Christ for the rest of their lives, tradition says, even to death in most of their cases), and were Witnesses after that, (Jesus said to go get the Holy Ghost first, also, then to spread the message After you receive the spirit of Truth, the Holy Ghost-Luke chapter 24 verse 49:"But tarry ye (which literally means, to sit in one spot) in the city of Jerusalem Until ye be endued with Power from on high. (Emphasis the Authors).
After Christ returned to them in the form of his Holy Spirit like he said he would, filled them and empowered them, the New Testament was born and begun and the New Plan of Salvation began to be preached immediately! That's the good news. Is there any bad news? The bad news, I'm sorry to say, is that everyone is not following this Plan of Salvation. Even a lot of people that are actually trying! The proper response to hearing the gospel was, and still is, not only what Jesus preached throughout his three years of ministry, what John the Baptist pointed to, and what the prophets prophesied about but what God on the day of Pentecost starting with his apostles began to fulfill in Acts Chapter 2...! "Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God has made that same Jesus, whom you have crucified, both Lord and Christ." 37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the Apostles, "Men and Brethren, what shall we do?'' 38 Then Peter said unto them, "Repent, and Be Baptized Everyone of you in the Name of Jesus Christ for the remission (or taking away) of sins, and you all shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit 39 for the Promise is to You and to Your Children, and To All that are afar off, even as many as the Lord Our God shall call." And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, "Save yourselves from this untoward (or perverse) generation." Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand Souls. (Acts 2 verses 36 - 41) Believe the Gospel, Repent from sin, Be Baptized in his Name, "and you Shall Receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost...!" It's a Promise !
© 2018 Ernest Fry