Ye MUST be born again
What Salvation is NOT:
Salvation is not baptism
Many people are counting on the fact that when they were a baby, they were “christened” or later in life, they had water poured over their head. Some are even looking back to a trip to the river or baptistry where they were plunged under the water, and this event is what they claim to have been their eternal soul’s salvation. The problem with that is the fact that it is totally unscriptural to think that some act of man can in any way predict or guarantee the salvation of your eternal soul.
In 1 Peter chapter 3, the apostle compares water baptism to the flood waters of Noah’s day. The flood waters visibly set Noah and his family apart from the judgment of God, yet we know that the water wasn’t the source of their salvation. Genesis says that Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.
Salvation has always been by grace through faith. Hebrews 11 tells us that it was the faith of Noah that saved both him and his family. Baptism is the “answer of a good conscience towards God,” the response of the obedient believer who has been saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ.
Nothing more, nothing less!
Salvation is not receiving communion
For many religious people today, the regular participation of mass has clouded their understanding of what salvation truly is and is not. The consuming or receiving of the bread and cup is taught by many, to become the body of Christ and the blood of Christ, thus allowing the person to confusingly believe that they have “received” (by ingestion) Christ!
Not only is that unscriptural, but it would be an act of barbarianism to believe that you could eat what turns into the body and blood of Christ. The Bible clearly teaches that the body of Christ was resurrected and has ascended to the Father, and the blood of Jesus has been applied to the mercy seat in Heaven.
So, to believe that somehow millions of times a week, people from all over the world are participating in this practice of cannibalizing the body and blood of Jesus is utterly and completely outside of the Scriptures.
Salvation is not joining the church
In our Southern heritage, it is easy to get caught up in the belief that joining the church somehow makes your soul ready for Heaven. Many people are satisfied to have joined the church where their family has attended and joined for generations. While this looks to be a sweet and sentimental act, it is condemning eternal souls to the judgment of God! You are not ready for Heaven because you simply “joined the church.” It’s not about being a Methodist, Presbyterian or Baptist. It is about being saved from your sins and the judgment of God Almighty!
No church can give you access to eternal life and Heaven. Your church membership won’t get you out of the Lake of Fire, much less get you into the pearly gates!
Salvation is not doing more good than bad
Some people truly believe they are going to Heaven because they are “not a bad person.” The Bible is very clear that we are not and cannot be saved by doing good.
The reason is that before we even start trying to be good, we are already disqualified by our sin. We are born sinners and conduct ourselves according to our sinful nature. We go our own way. Some people’s way may be visibly worse than others, but the point is we have all gone our own way in this life.
Jesus Christ came to save us from our sins (not someone else’s but our own personal sins.) Some religious groups believe that their efforts somehow make a way for them to get to go to Heaven. Some will knock on your door some Saturday morning and try to convince you of doing good and (maybe even buying a subscription to their magazine.) The Bible is clear that Jesus Christ is God the Son and He has paid the sin debt in full for every single person.
There is no allowance or acceptance of our so-called good works before God Almighty.
What Salvation IS:
New Testament preachers, including Jesus Christ Himself, preached what salvation truly is.
In Mark 1:15, Jesus said, “repent ye, and believe the gospel.” Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
In Acts 16:30-31, the jailer asked Paul, “… Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.”
God literally offers salvation to anyone who wants to be saved. God grants salvation as a gift. The terms of God are really simple — repent and believe the Gospel.
Repent: Turn away from your sin to God. Be sorry for your sins and turn to God from your sins. (Jesus gave His life for you, you can give your life to Him)
Believe the Gospel: Put your full trust in Christ alone for the salvation of your eternal soul. The Death, Burial, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, is enough to pay for all your sins and make you a child of God. This short article in no way fully articulates the extent to which Christ has gone to reach your eternal soul and give you the gift of forgiveness and eternal life.
My prayer is that you will turn to Jesus Christ today and trust Him as your Lord and Saviour. If I can help you with this eternally important decision, contact me today.
(Pastor Jones can be reached by email firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @PastorTonyJones or visit an upcoming service at Faith Baptist Church … “The Church on the Hill.”)