Part I (Previous Page)
What Exactly is Salvation?
Introduction - You Are Going To Die - And Stay Dead. Christianity Alone Offers The Unbeliever Something They Cannot Get Anywhere Else. Shallow, Abbreviated and Highly Inaccurate Salvation Messages. The Wrath of God is His Response to Sin. The Love of God - The Substitute Sacrifice... Jesus' life For Yours.
Part II This Page
Repentance And Faith Are Both Absolute Requirements For Forgiveness
Repentance: Jesus did not mince words about the fate of those who did not repent of their sins.
Faith: Mental assent to Jesus' life, death, and resurrection is not enough to save a person. Biblical "Belief" Means Obedience to God's commandments, but be assured that God is not a celestial version of the consummate killjoy.
Jesus is Savior Certainly, But What Happened To Acknowledging Him as Lord?
One of the little known facts about the New Testament is that of the twenty seven books of the New Testament, sixteen books (60 percent) do not refer to Jesus as Savior even once. In fact, the numbers are astonishing. Jesus is referred to as "Lord" over six hundred times in the New Testament, but the Greek word soter, which means deliverer or savior, is used a mere 24 times in the New Testament. Yet, how many times do we read or think of Christ as 'Lord' or 'King' without paying any attention to the full implications of the term and what the great significance of this title is and what it demands of us?
A "Free" Gift?
In the church today one often hears that salvation is a 'free' gift from God - words that are supposedly based on 3 verses in Romans. But does the Bible say this or have we ourselves conjured up (and spread) a completely erroneous idea?
Crucial Details Every Christian Should Know
The kingdom doesn't come cheap and there are huge consequences to falling away... therefore it is wise that we count the cost before we embark on what could be a difficult journey. However, when all is said and done ...It‘s Your Decision
Repentance And Faith Are Both Absolute Requirements For Forgiveness
One of the best known and best loved verses in the Bible says
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. [John 3:16 NASB]
While this true beyond any shadow of a doubt, we need to remember that no book can cram all its teachings into one short sentence. Scripture makes it clear in no uncertain terms that repentance, defined as a radical change in one's attitude toward God and sin, is an absolute requirement for forgiveness. This only makes sense. It is pointless to forgive anyone of their sins today if they have absolutely no intention of changing their attitude and are going to turn around and do exactly the same thing tomorrow.
"Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." (Matthew 3:2 NASB)
Now after John had been taken into custody, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel." (Mark 1:14-15 NASB)
and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. (Luke 24:47 NASB)
He is the one whom God exalted to His right hand as a Prince and a Savior, to grant repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. (Acts 5:31 NASB)
The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9 NASB)
While the message of the Cross is good news for the penitent, it carries a very clear warning to those who ignore it. Jesus did not mince words about the fate of those who did not repent of their sins.
I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. "Or do you suppose that those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them were worse culprits than all the men who live in Jerusalem? "I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish." (Luke 13:3-5 NASB)
Therefore repent; or else I am coming to you quickly, and I will make war against them with the sword of My mouth. (Revelation 2:16 NASB)
(See Repentance ...The Missing Message)
The Bible tells us that
that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe (Gk. pisteuo) in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes (Gk. pisteuo) resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. (Romans 10:9-10 NASB)
Unfortunately, much of the modern church has become so tragically focused on 'believing' that it has completely lost sight of the full extent of the concept that lies behind these words.
We are usually inclined to interpret the word believe as being something we think is true. For example, we believe that Alexander the Great, Albert Einstein, or Attila the Hun, were real live human beings. However, just as believing that Adolph Hitler lived and breathed does not make you a Nazi, simply believing that Jesus once walked the earth, doesn't make you a Christian. In other words, a mental assent to Jesus having lived, died, and been resurrected isn't enough to save a person. Demons and the devil himself believe in Jesus (James 2:19), but they certainly are not saved. See The Myth of Faith Alone.
Much to the contrary, the Bible states, in very unambiguous terms, that a person's faith is measured by their actions. Has anyone ever noticed that the Scriptures never record Abraham as saying that he believed or trusted God, but only points to his actions as evidence of his faith. Thousands of years later, we know how great his faith was because of what he did, not what he said, felt, or even believed. In fact, the theme of obedience being the path to success is repeated an uncountable number of times in The Old Testament as well as the New ...
"This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success. (Joshua 1:8 NASB)
Samuel said, "Has the Lord as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams. (1 Samuel 15:22 NASB)
"If you consent and obey, You will eat the best of the land; "But if you refuse and rebel, You will be devoured by the sword." Truly, the mouth of the Lord has spoken. (Isaiah 1:19-20 NASB)
Christ Himself, John, and the author of Hebrews said eternal salvation was only available to those who obeyed.
"Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. (Matthew 7:21 NASB)
He who believes (Gk. pisteuo) in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him. (John 3:36 NASB)
And having been made perfect, He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation, (Hebrews 5:9 NASB)
John went as far as to say that anyone who claims to know the Savior but does not obey the Lord's commandments is a liar.
That we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. The one who says, "I have come to know Him," and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; (1 John 2:3-4 NASB)
In short, Biblical "belief" means obedience to God's commandments -Faith and obedience are inseparably linked.. We will be eventually judged according to our deeds because what we do is clear evidence of what we really believe.
Why Isn't it Enough To Just Acknowledge Jesus as Savior?
In order to answer that question one has to be aware of how the New Testament most often referred to Jesus.
The New Testament Primarily Emphasized Jesus as Lord
Christians are well aware that Jesus is the Saviour. However, I have to wonder how many are equally aware that close to 60% of the New Testament books never mention Jesus as Savior even once. Instead 25 times more verses mention Jesus' Lordship.
The numbers are astonishing and should give us much food for thought.
Jesus is called "Lord" over six hundred times in the New Testament, but the Greek word soter, which means a deliverer or savior, is used a mere 24 times in the New Testament - twice in Luke, once in the Gospel of John, twice in the books of Acts, once in Ephesians, once in Phillippians, four times between both letters to Timothy, six times in Titus, five times in Peter's second letter, once in 1 John, and once in Jude.
In other words, of the twenty seven books of the New Testament, sixteen books (60 percent) do not refer to Jesus as Savior even once. This includes the Gospels of Matthew and Mark, Romans, both letters to the Corinthians, Galatians, Colossians, 1 and 2 Thessalonians, 1 Timothy, Philemon, Hebrews, James, 1 Peter, 2 and 3 John, and Revelation.
The Disciples Usually Referred To Jesus as "Lord"...
It happened that while Jesus was praying in a certain place, after He had finished, one of His disciples said to Him, "Lord (Gk. kurios), teach us to pray just as John also taught his disciples." (Luke 11:1 NASB)
Simon Peter answered Him, "Lord (Gk. kurios), to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life. (John 6:68 NASB)
And they *said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping?" She *said to them, "Because they have taken away my Lord (kurios) , and I do not know where they have laid Him." (John 20:13 NASB)
Thomas answered and said to Him, "My Lord (Gk. kurios) and my God!" (John 20:28 NASB)
And Preached Him not only as Savior, but as Lord.
Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord (Gk. kurios) and Christ--this Jesus whom you crucified." (Acts 2:36 NASB)
that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord (Gk. kurios) , and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; (Romans 10:9 NASB)
For we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord (Gk. kurios), and ourselves as your bond-servants for Jesus' sake. (2 Corinthians 4:5 NASB)
and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord (Gk. kurios) , to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:11 NASB)
In fact, Paul even said
if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes (Gk. pisteuo) resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. (Romans 10:9-10 NASB)
And Jesus Said They Were Right To Do So
"You call Me Teacher and Lord (Gk. kurios); and you are right, for so I am. (John 13:13 NASB)
'Lord of lords' and 'King of kings'
The Greek word kurios means someone supreme in authority, which is why it has been rendered 'Lord' in English. It, or one of its derivatives, occurs well over 700 times in the New Testament, making it very difficult to read any part of the New Testament without coming across the word used either in connection with the Father or Jesus Christ. Romans 14:9 designates Christ as "Lord (Gk. kurieuo) both of the dead and of the living.
Jesus is also clearly shown not only to be king, but King for all eternity. The ends of the earth have already been given to Him as His possession, and all nations are His inheritance.
The angel told Mary that the child she was carrying would be called "the Son of the Most High", who would be given "the throne of His father David" and that He would "reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom would "have no end" (Luke 1:31-33). In other places we are told that Jesus was "appointed heir of all things" (Hebrews 1:2), installed as King upon Zion, given the nations as His inheritance and the very ends of the earth as His possession (Psalms 2:6-8).
The book of Revelation says... "To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever." (Revelation 5:13 NASB)
However, the New Testament goes one step further referring to Jesus not only as 'Lord', but as the "Lord of lords". And to further underscore His position, it says He is not only King, but 'King of kings'
which He will bring about at the proper time--He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord (Gk. kurios) of lords (Gk. kurios) (1 Timothy 6:15 NASB)
"These will wage war against the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, because He is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those who are with Him are the called and chosen and faithful." (Revelation 17:14 NASB)
And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, "King of kings, and Lord of lords." (Revelation 19:16 NASB)
The Implication of The Words
When so much of the New Testament, including two of the Gospels, ignore the word "Savior", how can we possibly imaging that we are saved by simply believing that Jesus is our Savior.
He is unquestionably Savior, but surely the fact that He was most often called 'Lord' has to mean something. Yet, how many times do we read or think of Christ as 'Lord' or 'King' without paying any attention to the full implications of the term? Does the phrase 'Lord, Jesus Christ' trip so easily off our tongues that it never even dawns on us that this title has great significance - that it actually demands something of us?
Modern earthly monarchs are the heads of small kingdoms and usually have very limited power. The monarchies that had complete control of their territories sooner or later faded from existence or were replaced by others. In contrast, Christ is the Sovereign monarch of this world whose dominion extends to the ends of the earth. No one can overthrow Him nor seize His throne. Moreover He has unlimited power and His reign is forever.
In bygone days people who lived in one kingdom or another were expected to pledge their allegiance, loyalty and obedience to the reigning monarch. Similarly, a Christian who has aspirations to becoming a permanent citizen of God's kingdom means recognizing the validity of Christ's position as Lord, and acknowledging His authority as King.
And again, this makes perfect sense. Why in the world would Jesus want anyone in His kingdom when they show no allegiance to Him as Lord, do not recognize Him as the rightful King, and have little or no inclination to obey the laws of His kingdom. As He Himself said
Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. (Matthew 7:21 NASB)
Why do you call Me, 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I say? "Everyone who comes to Me and hears My words and acts on them, I will show you whom he is like: (Luke 6:46-47 NASB)
"If you love Me, you will keep My commandments... He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him. (John 14:15, 21 NASB)
Before answering that question I would like to clarify the word obedience which tends to bring the words slavish, servile, or subservient to mind. It also tends to conjure up images of submissive fawning behavior... people bowing, cringing or groveling. If any of these thoughts or images have crossed your mind, you need a better understanding of Biblical obedience.
Obedience is when a person complies with instructions or orders from an authority figure. And, regardless of who we are and what we do, we all have authority figures in our lives and instructions we are expected to comply with.
So what demands does our Lord make of us?
Be assured that God is not a celestial version of the consummate killjoy who takes perverse pleasure in the fact that His laws have left us with no joie de vivre or enjoyment in life, nor does His kingdom resemble one of the very disciplined boarding schools that rigorously enforces rules and procedures. In fact, the Scriptures assure us that His commandments are not "burdensome" and Jesus told us to come to Him, for His burden was light (1 John 5:3 and Matthew 11:28-30).
In stark contrast to the endless and hugely complicated laws of the country we live in, the laws of God are exceedingly simple. Loving the brethren and staying away from sin are about the only commands that are repeated over and over again
But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men. (Luke 6:35 NASB)
Everyone who names the name of the Lord is to abstain from wickedness." (2 Timothy 2:19 NASB)
But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; abstain from every form of evil. (1 Thessalonians 5:21-22 NASB)
In other words, be holy because, as the author of Hebrews says, "without holiness, no man will see the Lord" (Hebrews 12:14.
Unfortunately, in the 21st century, the word "Holy" is often used to describe someone who is self-righteous, smug, sanctimonious, goody-goody,or even priggish. None of these words bear even the slightest resemblance to the Biblical concept of holiness. See what the Bible means by Holiness
Continue On To Part III- A “Free” Gift? HERE
In the church today one often hears that salvation is a 'free' gift from God. But does the Bible say this or have we managed to latch on to (and spread) a completely erroneous idea? I am sure it will surprise many to hear that the word ‘free’ isn’t in the original Greek..