|"And the Lord added to them day by day those that were saved."
The membership of the church is those who have been saved (Acts 2:47). Therefore, it is important to know how to be saved.
One of the wonderful things about Christianity is that all men are eligible. Jesus asked his followers to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19). Scripture also indicates that all different classes and races are to be recipients of that invitation: “There can be neither Jew nor Gentile, bond nor free…for you are all one man in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28).
Another wonderful thing about Christianity is its simplicity of being understood. The apostle Paul wrote that the gospel message is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes it (Romans 1:16). A few pages later, he emphasized the ease and necessity of understanding and believing when he wrote, “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?… faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:14, 17). Another emphasis of that fact appeared when that word (the gospel) was presented the first time: 3000 people understood and gladly accepted it (Acts 2:37-41). This pattern is seen throughout the book of Acts: look at the Samaritans and the Ethiopian traveler in chapter 8, Lydia in chapter 16, etc. Even Cornelius in chapter 10, who had received a vision telling him to call for Peter, did not find salvation through that vision. Rather, he found salvation when he heard and responded to the words Peter brought.
Notice that hearing the words was not enough. All of these folks were moved by the message to act and they were told what specific acts to perform. Upon hearing that first gospel presentation, the people asked, “’Brothers, what shall we do?’ Peter replied, ‘Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins’” (Acts 2:37-38). Once again, this begins a pattern that is repeated throughout the history of the church which is recorded in Acts. They were all required to turn from their sinful ways (i.e., repent) and be baptized (Acts 8:12, 8:36-38, 10:48, 16:15, 16:33, 18:8, 22:16). When one of the Samaritans, Simon, failed to repent, he was informed that his salvation was not assured (Acts 8:22-23). Notice that every person in the New Testament that entered the church did so by repenting and being baptized.
So we see that God intends for the gospel to be heard, accepted and obeyed by every person on earth. This makes certain conclusions necessary. For example,
This brief introduction to the subject of salvation is presented with the prayer that it will awaken in you an awareness that you need to somehow respond to the wonderful grace of God. If you have any questions about what you read here, please feel free to send your question in person, via phone or email.
|This is intended to be a brief introduction to what scripture says about salvation for those unfamiliar with churches of Christ and what we teach. It should not be considered a doctrinal or creedal statement. Nor should it be considered exhaustive. We always hope and intend for our teaching to agree perfectly with scripture.|
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