Settled In Heaven Blog

Category Archives: John 06:

“Laboring For Eternity”

SIH STSTA ICONThe US holiday we commonly call “Labor Day” was “dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.”   (The History of Labor Day”, US Gvt DOL website – http://www.dol.gov/opa/aboutdol/laborday.htm)

 

In times past, Labor Day was commonly referred to as the “working man’s holiday”.  Specifically set aside in appreciation for the hard work of the American citizen (especially members of the Labor Unions).

When we look back at our lives, we can see our lives are filled with labor.  We find ourselves laboring both at the workplace and at home to meet the needs of our families and to be productive citizens in our society.

But this morning I would like us to look at another type of labor that is absolutely necessary for each one of us…. laboring for eternity.   For the next few minutes, we will try to take a quick look at this type of labor and why it is so important for each and every one of us.

 

 

THE SCRIPTURE:

John 6:26-27 KJV…

“Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled.

Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.”

 

 

THE STUDY:

In our text, the Lord clearly compares two different types of labor… labor for “the meat that perisheth” and labor for “the meat which endureth unto everlasting life”.

The Lord is speaking to those who had expended great effort to accompany him during his earthly ministry.  Perhaps, they had walked many miles just to be with Him as He traveled from city to city.

This sounds like a great thing, right?  To expend great effort to follow our Lord!

 

However, the Lord looked beyond their outward actions and looked at the reason why they were laboring to follow Him.   When the motives in their heart were examined, the nature and value of their outward labors was greatly diminished.

You see, the motives behind their labors were entirely earthly in nature.  The Lord explained to them that “Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled.”   In other words, they were going to such great lengths to follow the Lord solely to meet the earthly needs of their flesh.

They were NOT following the Lord because they saw His great miracles, recognized Him as the Messiah (the One sent from God) and then desired to be taught and learn of Him.  No, they simply saw His miracles, recognized He could meet the needs of their flesh, and followed Him for fleshly satisfaction.  All of their effort was expended to simply meet the needs of their flesh…. How sad indeed!

 

Please do not misunderstand, there is nothing wrong with working to meet the needs of our flesh, in actuality, the Lord commands us to do so…

2 Thessalonians 3:12 KJV – “Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread.”

1 Timothy 5:8 KJV – “But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.”

 

The issue at hand is one of PRIORITY.  Although it is important, and good, for one to labor to meet the needs of their physical flesh, there is a MUCH MORE important type of labor that is to be done…. Labor that is done to meet our eternal and spiritual needs.

This is what Christ meant when He said, “Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life”.  He was not minimizing the need to labor for our fleshly needs, He was simply emphasizing the much greater importance of laboring for our spiritual needs.

The multitudes following Him would have benefited in a much greater way if they were expending the effort to follow Christ with the motive of having their spiritual needs fulfilled.  If they had done this, they would find themselves concentrating on His teachings and lifestyle.  They would have understood that through His teachings and life they could have come to an understanding of their sinful condition, their need of a Savior and the way of salvation through this same Christ.

The same Jesus that supplied their physical needs, was the One that could supply their spiritual needs as well.  Christ revealed the source of their greatly needed spiritual meat when He said “that meat which endureth unto everlasting life which the Son of man shall give unto you:”   This was the reason they should have been following Christ… to receive the spiritual food that would give them everlasting life with Christ.

 

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

Why do we follow Christ?

Is it because we know that claiming the name of Christ makes us more popular in our neighborhood?  Do we own a business and know we can increase our volume of customers by claiming we are a Christian?

Are we claiming Christ to please a spouse, other family member, or one we are currently dating?  Perhaps, we are running for a public office and we are hoping to gain the “Christian vote” by outwardly following Christ?

All of these motives, and many others, are ways we can follow Christ to meet our fleshly wants and needs.  Are these the central motives that strengthen us to follow Christ?

 

Or do we see the great need for expending our efforts towards securing everlasting life with Christ above all else?

Are we following Him because we recognize who He is and what He has done for us?

Do we see Him as the One sent by God to be the Saviour of the world?

Are we giving our full attention to Christ, so we can learn of Him, seek His face, recognize our sinful ways, and find deliverance from those sins through repentance and faith in Him and His work on the cross of Calvary?

And then, will we place our energies into sharing this same Christ with others, so that they may find forgiveness of their sins through Him?

 

This is the great choice that Christ has placed before us this Labor Day…

Going forward into the rest of this year and in the years to come, are we going to give first priority in our lives to seeking Christ for our spiritual needs?

Or, will we find ourselves following Christ to simply meet the physical needs of our lives while ignoring the great spiritual, eternal needs that we have?

The decision we make holds eternal consequences for each one of us… may the Lord grant us grace to put first things first and be laboring for “that meat which endureth unto everlasting life which the Son of man shall give unto you:”

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To Love As Jesus Loved: “Charity Seeketh Not Her Own”

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“And though I bestow all my goods to feed [the poor], and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

Charity suffereth long, [and] is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

Charity never faileth: but whether [there be] prophecies, they shall fail; whether [there be] tongues, they shall cease; whether [there be] knowledge, it shall vanish away…  

And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these [is] charity.

(1 Corinthians 13:3-8, 13)

 As we continue looking at events in the life of Christ that set a wonderful example for us of Scriptural love. In this devotional, we will see Christ’s willingness to give His very life for others. Just like in our prior studies, in many, many events in Christ’s life we find Him giving of Himself for others. He gave up so many things while on the earth to minster to those around Him (His time, possessions, reputation, comforts of life, and even His life). In our devotional, we will look at the ultimate sacrifice He made for us, the giving of His life on the cross …

 

Christ’s Life:

 

The Characteristic of Scriptural Love: Does Not Live Selfish Lives

 

Christ’s kindness and love is shown to us as He willingly suffers and dies on the cross in payment for the sins of His people (John 6:32, 47-51)

 

And Jesus said unto them…Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.

Here, we can see that the Lord makes a very simple, clear-cut statement. If a person places in faith in Jesus and His work on the cross, he will possess everlasting, spiritual life.

 I am that bread of life.Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead.This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die.I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever:

Christ describes Himself symbolically as “the Bread of Life”. He then likens placing faith in Him and entering into a divine relationship with Him as eating that bread. Why would He picture the saint’s relationship with Him as the partaking of bread? There are many reasons, here are a few of the most obvious ones:

1. Bread is the source of life.

No one can live apart from physical nourishment, so too, no one can live spiritually apart from Christ.

2. Bread is the source of strength.

So too, apart from Christ, all men are spiritually impotent, unable to please God in any way.

3. Bread is a gracious gift given to man by God.

The bread we eat is ENTIRELY reliant upon God’s intervention causing the wheat to sprout and grow (by enabling the farmer, controlling the weather and being with the baker). So too, Christ’s death and the resultant salvation is entirely reliant upon the gracious intervention of the Lord in the life of the sinful individual (graciously supplying the substitute for their sins [Christ] ,and directly intervening in the life of the lost individual bringing them to Christ)

4. Bread, once eaten, supplies satisfaction and does away with hunger.

Once saved, the individual experiences spiritual peace and contentment, no longer having a spiritual void within them.

 

and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.

Christ now describes this bread very specifically as His “flesh”.   This is describing His physical, human life and body that was received at His conception in the womb of Mary.

Christ goes on to teach us that He will unselfishly “give” His “flesh” … “the bread that I will give is my flesh

This is speaking of two different aspects of Christ’s sacrifice on our behalf:

1. the giving His body to be bruised and mistreated prior to, and during, His crucifixion

2. the giving of His physical life as He hung on the cross.

 

What a tremendous sacrifice and unselfish gift given by Christ for sinners who do not, in any way, deserve His wondrous gift.   Christ is not a racist, nor did He die only for one favored physical nation, dialect or family. No, He died for the world… “I will give for the life of the world.”   And throughout time this has been proven true as we see men and women from all the various nations, tongues, and families of this world come to a saving knowledge of Christ as they found everlasting life in Him.

 

Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

(Titus 2:13-14)

 

Our Lesson To Be Learned:

Folks, do we love others? If so we should be willing to sacrifice ourselves to meet their needs.

Do we love God? If so we should be willing to sacrifice ourselves to bring glory and honor to our Lord who gave Himself for us. It is, simply, our reasonable service and to be expected as servants of Christ…

 

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, [which is] your reasonable service.And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. (Romans 12:1-2)

 

And he said to [them] all, If any [man] will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away?

For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and [in his] Father’s, and of the holy angels. (Luke 9:23-26)

 

SIH Homepage: http://www.settledinheaven.org

SIH Text Blog: https://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/all-about-salvation/

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SIH Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com

Finding God’s Will For Our Lives – What Is God’s Will? (Part #2)

SIH STSTA ICON“Not my will, but thine, be done”

Prov 3:6 – “In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”

 In this short 12 word verse, we find one of the most precious promises of the Bible… the promise for the Lord’s leadership and guidance in our lives.   But in this same verse, we find one of the most difficult aspects of the Christians life… following the path the Lord desires for our life.

One of the my most frequently asked questions is “How can I find God’s will for my life?”   In the next 6 blog entries we will be seeing what God’s word teaches us about this important subject…

    1. What is God’s will ?
    2. Not my will, but thine be done.
    3. Thus saith the Lord
    4. Oh what a feeling
    5. Open and shut doors
    6. Summary of the study

In part number 2 of our study lets study… “Not my will, but Thine, be done.”

THE SCRIPTURE:

Ps 40:8 I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law [is] within my heart.

Luke 22:42 Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.

John 4:34 Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.

John 5:30 I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.

John 6:38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.

THE STUDY:

Our search for the Lord’s will starts with a brutally honest look at our own hearts.  Before beginning our search, we must ask ourselves the question, “Am I willing to do whatever the Lord wants me to do?”  By God’s grace we all can answer “yes” to this question.  If we can say “yes”, we are ready to begin our search for His guidance in the many life issues that we face.

Unfortunately, if you are like me, at times, I would have to say “no” in response to this question.

King David is described by the Lord as, “a man after mine own heart” (Acts 13:22).   David illustrates this principle when he wrote: “I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law [is] within my heart.”  (Ps 40:8)

David’s desires were the same as the desires of Christ’s heart ….

“Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.” (John 4:34)

“I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.” (John 5:30)

“For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.” (John 6:38)

Christ not only talked the talked but He walked the walk…

One of the verses that has been the greatest blessing to my heart over the years is found in Luke 22:42,  “…Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.”   To appreciate the depth of Christ’s devotion to the will of His Father, please remember the context of this verse.  The “cup” Christ is speaking of is His coming crucifixion.  Think about it… when faced with a horribly brutal death on the cross, Christ voiced His own desires to the Father before stating, “it really doesn’t matter what I desire…. I am willing to put my desires aside, and do what you would have me to do…. even to the point of a brutal, painful, humiliating, torturous death on the cross.”  (my paraphrase)

After being given such a wonderful example of self-sacrifice, putting our heavenly Father first in our lives, shouldn’t we do the same?   Think of what a sad example we set when we go through the motions of seeking His will as an after-thought.  We basically are saying…. “I’m going to do (fill in the blank), I’ll see if that’s ok with you, Lord.”  What a shame.

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION

For those who are saved…

As Christians, we have been purchased by Christ through His death on the cross, paying the price for our sins.  (1 Cor 6:20).  That’s why Paul describes the need to be a living sacrifice for the Lord… after all, it is simply our “reasonable service” to Him. (Rom 12:1).

Would the Lord deny showing us His will, if we sincerely desire to act upon His will, putting

Him above all others desires in our life?   I think not.

Matt 7:7-11

Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?

In our search for God’s Will to be shown to us….

Prayer Principle #2 –  We must pray for a spirit of self-sacrifice and self-control, putting our Lord first, as we begin our search for His will.

For those who are not saved….

The Lord’s will for the life of those who have never trusted in Christ is clearly declared in 1Tim 2:3-6 …

For this [is] good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.For [there is] one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

For more information about salvation and the forgiveness of sins, please refer to my blog page found here: https://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/all-about-salvation/

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To see this lesson taught on video please go to my Video Blog at  http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

If you have any questions concerning this blog, or if you have a subject you would like discussed, please feel free to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.    I will answer all emails via my blog, email, or both.

Take A Look At My Wife’s Artistic/Scriptural Devotion Blog http://alivewithchristart.blogspot.com

Follow my Squidoo Instructional Lens “Presenting God’s Grace” “The Solemn Obligation To Present the Doctrines of Grace to the Lost and Saved Alike” http://www.squidoo.com/presenting-gods-grace

May the Lord bless your study of His Word.  Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”

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What Must We Do To Be Saved? Part 3 – Faith/Belief

SIH STSTA ICONTHE most important question that anyone can ask is the question posed by the keeper of the prison in Acts 16:30… “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”.

The answer to this question is more valuable than gold, silver and all the wealth this world has to offer.  This answer will reveal to us the path that leads to the forgiveness of our sins, the receipt of the indwelling Holy Spirit, fellowship with the Only True and Living Creator, and eternity in paradise with God Himself.  Our very spiritual life and  eternal destiny rely upon finding the answer to this question.

This question is of such importance we will be taking several blog entries to carefully  answer this question…

Blog Entry #1 Salvation

Blog Entry #2 Repentance

Blog Entry #3 Faith / Belief

Blog Entry #4 What about good works?

Blog Entry #5 What about baptism?

Blog Entry #6 What about the Lord’s Supper?

Blog Entry #7 What about church membership?

We now begin our study with blog entry #3…. Faith (or Belief) ….

THE SCRIPTURES:

Acts 16:29-34 (KJV)

29) Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas,

30) And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?

31) And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

32) And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house.

33) And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed [their] stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway.

34) And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house.

Acts 13:36-39 (KJV)

36) For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell on sleep, and was laid unto his fathers, and saw corruption:

37) But he, whom God raised again, saw no corruption.

38) Be it known unto you therefore, men [and] brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins:

39) And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.

John 1:10-14 (KJV)

10) He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.

11) He came unto his own, and his own received him not.

12) But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, [even] to them that believe on his name:

13) Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

14) And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

John 3:14-17 (KJV)

14) And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:

15) That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

16) For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

17) For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

John 3:35-36 (KJV)

35) The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand.

36) He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

John 6:32-47 (KJV)

32) Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven.

33) For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.

34) Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread.

35) And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.

36) But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not.

37) All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.

38) For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.

39) And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.

40) And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.

41) The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, I am the bread which came down from heaven.

42) And they said, Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? how is it then that he saith, I came down from heaven?

43) Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, Murmur not among yourselves.

44) No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.

45) It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.

46) Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father.

47) Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.

John 11:25-27 (KJV)

25) Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:

26) And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?

27) She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.

John 20:30-31 (KJV)

30) And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book:

31) But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.

Rom 4:23-5:1 (KJV)

23) Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him;

24) But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;

25) Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.

1) Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

Eph 2:4-10 (KJV)

4) But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,

5) Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

6) And hath raised [us] up together, and made [us] sit together in heavenly [places] in Christ Jesus:

7) That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in [his] kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

8) For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God:

9) Not of works, lest any man should boast.

10) For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

1 John 5:10-13 (KJV)

10) He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.

11) And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.

12) He that hath the Son hath life; [and] he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.

13) These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.

THE STUDY:

What is faith?  The Biblical term “faith” carries with it the idea of “reliance”, “persuasion”, “conviction”, or “trust”.  To believe or to trust are other Biblical terms for the same idea.

When we speak of faith, or belief, or trust, in Christ… we are saying that an individual is persuaded, and becomes thoroughly convinced of the Bible teachings about the person and work of Christ. This conviction leads him to totally rely upon the work of Christ as the basis of the forgiveness and salvation from his sin.  This is a Biblical faith in Christ.

A Saving faith is centered on the work  of Christ on the cross.

John 3:14-17 (KJV) – And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:  That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

Following the plague of the serpents that fell upon the Israelites, they were told to look unto the brazen serpent on the pole to receive healing.  This was a wonderful picture of the salvation that comes through faith in Christ and his work.

Just as mankind is facing eternal spiritual death due to the “bite” of sin in their lives… by looking to Christ and His work on the cross by faith, they can receive forgiveness and healing from the wounds of sin. (Psa 41:4, 1 Pet 2:20-24, Isa 53:4-6)

Saving Faith is a necessity for salvation and therefore, it is a part of the great commission

Mark 16:15-16 (KJV) – And he said unto them, 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.

Here, we find the authority to proclaim the gospel message (the great commission) being handed down from Christ to His assembled believers.  Please note that belief, and the lack thereof, dictates the gain, or loss, of salvation.  “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.”  In other words, He that believes with a sincere belief (displayed publically through the act of baptism) shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.   (John 3:14-19, John 8:21-24, 1 Pet 1:18-23)

Please note in these verses, baptism, in this context, is a distinguishing mark of a genuine belief.  Anyone who believes in Christ, and is willing to declare that belief publicly, shall be saved.  Anyone who claims to believe, but is not willing to make a public profession, for fear of ridicule, harm or rejection cannot be certain of salvation.  Why?  A true saving faith will trust in Christ to handle any adverse results of a public profession of faith.

Please note that this verse does not say… “but he that is not baptized shall be damned”.  The lack of baptism is not even mentioned as a cause of remaining under the damnation of God.

This verse, and the entire subject of the role of baptism in salvation, will be covered in great detail in blog entry #5 of this series.

A Saving Faith results in…

The removal of God’s wrath

John 3:35-36 (KJV) – The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand.

He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

In the prior verse, faith was said to be necessary to be removed from the damnation of God.  Here, it is said to deliver us from God’s wrath.  “Damnation” carries with it the idea of “a judicial judgment”, “condemnation”, or a “just decision rendered”.  “Wrath” involves the idea of  “hot anger”, “vengeance according to justice”, “passionate fierceness”.

When these ideas are put together, we find that a saving faith removes the sinful man from God’s just sentence of punishment against sin.  The punishment He has decreed against our sin is a fierce punishment flowing from His fervent anger.  (Psa 2:12, Rom 1:16-20)

The gift of eternal life

John 11:25-27 (KJV) – Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?  She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.

John 20:30-31 (KJV) – And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book:  But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.

Death involves separation.  Physical death is the state of separation between the body and the soul (spirit).  Spiritual death is the state of separation between the individual and God due to the sin of the individual.  Eternal death is the never ending state of separation from God.  The individual eternally dwelling in theLakeofFireunder God’s punishment, while God is eternally dwelling on the New Earth in eternal bliss.  (Rev 20:12-15, Rev 21:1-8)

A saving faith in Christ undoes the spiritual results of sin on mankind.  Once saved, a man’s communion with God is restored and when he enters eternity, he will dwell with the Lord in heaven and later on the New Earth.  (Hebs 11:16, Rev 21:, Rev 22:)

Being declared innocent of the sin we have committed

Rom 4:23-5:1 (KJV) – Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification. Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

Although guilty of the commission of sin, man can find forgiveness and the removal of sins guilt  through faith in Christ.  As the shed blood of Christ is applied to our account washing away our sin, we then can be declared innocent of the very sin that before had condemned us. (1 John 1:5-10, Rev 1:4-6)

The presence of saving faith in our life can be a certainty.

1John 5:10-13 (KJV) – He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; [and] he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.

It is through a lifestyle of trusting in Christ that we can find assurance of our salvation experience.  Trusting in Christ is not simply a one time act, it is an act repeated every day many times a day under the leadership of the indwelling Holy Spirit.  Once we are genuinely saved, a part of our changed life is a continuous looking to Him, believing His Word and relying on Him during all our day to day issues of life. (Rom 1:17,  Hab 2:4, Gals 3:10-14)

Salvation is given to sinful man by faith not keeping the works of the law

Acts 13:36-39 (KJV) For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell on sleep, and was laid unto his fathers, and saw corruption:  But he, whom God raised again, saw no corruption.  Be it known unto you therefore, men [and] brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins:  And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.

Eph 2:4-10 (KJV) But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)  And hath raised [us] up together, and made [us] sit together in heavenly [places] in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in [his] kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.  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.  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

The sinfulness of mankind can never be covered, nor outweighed by a man’s morally good works.  The Bible makes it plain that a man cannot merit salvation through his good works.  This principle is so important we will be devoting blog entry #4 in this series to an in depth study of the Bible teachings concerning the relationship of good works to salvation.

In the above two verses, we can clearly see that neither the keeping of the Mosaic law, nor good works of any kind can merit salvation.  This teaching eliminates many good works that are falsely taught to merit salvation… baptism, church membership or partaking of the Lord’s supper.  Again, as our series progresses, each of these false teachings will be examined in detail. But for now, suffice it to say that good works cannot merit salvation.  Salvation comes by grace through faith upon the people of God. (Roms 3:23-28, Roms 4:1-8, Roms 10:1-10, Titus 3:3-8)

Saving Faith comes to mankind via the will and grace of God

John 1:10-14 (KJV)  He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not.  But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, [even] to them that believe on his name:

Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

John 6:32-47 (KJV) Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven.  For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread. And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.  But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not.  All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.  For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.  And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.

The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, I am the bread which came down from heaven.  And they said, Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? how is it then that he saith, I came down from heaven?  Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, Murmur not among yourselves. No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.  It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me. Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father.  Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.

Faith and repentance are very similar in many aspects.  One of those aspects is the fact that mankind is unable to repent nor believe apart from Divine intervention in his life.  Please notice in the above verses, we find explicit teaching on this truth…

“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, [even] to them that believe on his name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”

“But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not.  All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.”

“Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, Murmur not among yourselves. No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.”

Although mankind is responsible to repent and believe, because of their fallen nature and sinful condition they cannot come to Christ apart from the gracious intervention of God.  This is one of the greatest displays of God’s love and grace…. to intervene in the life of a rebellious, sinful,  helpless man and open his sin blinded eyes, convict him of his sin, lead him to Christ and grant him repentance and faith.  (James 1:17-18, Roms 8:29-31, 2 Tim 1:8-12)

Faith and Repentance are two sides of the same coin

Mark 1:15 (KJV) And saying, The time is fulfilled, and thekingdomofGodis at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.

Matt 21:28-32 (KJV)  But what think ye? A [certain] man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work to day in my vineyard.  He answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented, and went.  And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said, I [go], sir: and went not.  Whether of them twain did the will of [his] father? They say unto him, The first. Jesus saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you.  For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not: but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye had seen [it], repented not afterward, that ye might believe him.

You cannot have repentance with faith and faith without repentance.  This is what I mean by the phrase, “faith and repentance are two sides of the same coin.”   For a person to come to faith in Christ, he must experience a change of attitude and heart concerning God’s Word, Christ and His work, and his own sinful condition.  This change is repentance.  Without it genuine faith in Christ cannot be experienced.  Likewise, without a new set of beliefs existing in the heart, no real change can take place in the lives of man.  Truly, in the mind of God repentance and faith are inseparably linked.

Clearly, both repentance and belief are necessary in the experience of salvation.  Note in our verses above…. “repent ye, and believe the gospel” and “and ye, when ye had seen [it], repented not afterward, that ye might believe him.”   Although both are necessary, many times only one or the other is mentioned as a necessity for salvation….  Here are two examples…

Luke 5:31-32 (KJV) And Jesus answering said unto them, They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

Acts 16:31 (KJV)

31) And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

In these examples only one or the other is mentioned not both…. Why does this take place?

Because, they are so closely related that when the Bible mentions one, it is automatically implying the other.  We CANNOT believe without experiencing repentance that leads us to that belief.  Likewise we CANNOT repent and turn to Christ without becoming convinced of Bible truths about ourselves, our condition and Christ and His work.

In this blog entry we have seen the very basic principle of the necessity of faith (or belief) in the salvation experience… In the following blog entries we will continue to study, in detail, the answer to the question “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”

If you have any questions about your condition or the salvation that the Lord so graciously offers,  you can look to several sources for further information:  A local Bible-teaching church in your area, or you are welcome to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com, or you can refer to my blog page entitled “How to have a relationship with God” for more teachings on the subject of salvation.

 May the Lord bless you as you seek His truth.

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