What should we believe? – Part four



In Thinking about the subject of salvation and becoming a member of the Lord’s church, the Body of Christ, one should ask the question “How Does One Become a Member of the Lord’s Church?”
In the salvation of man’s soul there are two necessary parts: God’s part and man’s part. The love which God felt for man led him to send Christ into the world to redeem man. The life and teaching of Jesus, the sacrifice on the cross, and the proclaiming of the gospel to men constitute God’s part in salvation.  It is best summed up by the word “Grace.”   “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift if God; not of works, that no man should glory” (Ephesians 2:8-9).  In Acts 2:47 the Lord added to the church those whom He was saving.
Though God’s part is the big part, man’s part is also necessary if a man is to reach Heaven.  Man must comply with the conditions of pardon which the Lord set forth.  It must be noted that the Bible teaches that no man can by his own merit cause God to owe him salvation. It is of Grace, lest we should boast.  At the same time, the Lord has authored salvation for all those who obey Him:
Hebrews 5:8-9    “Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; ⁹ And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;”
Matthew 7:21 “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.”
Man’s part is clearly set forth as he transitions from the state of the lost to the state of the saved:
Hear the Gospel –   “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. ¹⁴ How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?” (Romans 10:13-14).
Believe – “And without faith it is impossible to be well pleasing unto him; for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that seek after him.” (Hebrews 11:6).
Repent of past sins –  “The times of ignorance therefore God overlooked; but now he commandeth men that they should all everywhere repent” (Acts 17:30).
Confess Jesus as God’s Son –  “Behold here is water; What doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, if thou believeth with all thy heart thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God” (Acts 8:36-37).   See (Matt. 10:32-33; Romans 10:9-10; 1 John 4:15; John 6:69)
Be baptized for the remission of sins –  “And Peter said unto them, Repent ye, and be baptized everyone of you in the name of Jesus Christ unto the remission of your sins and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38 - American Standard Version).  See 1 Peter 3:20-21; Mark 16:16; Acts 22:16)
Live a Christian life – “Ye are an elect race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, that ye may show forth the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9).   (See Romans 6: 3-6)

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