Saturday, May 15, 2010

What is NOT required for your salvation according to what God has to say?

1) Believe in God? A good start but inconclusive. All the demonic forces believe in God.

2) Believe in Jesus? A good start but inconclusive. All the demonic forces believe in Jesus.

3) Believe Jesus is the Son of God? A good start but inconclusive. All the demonic forces acknowledge the Son of God.

4) Repent and be water baptized? This was a requirement for the nation Israel to accept their Messiah. (It wasn't "an outward sign of an inward change" but an absolute requirement, along with circumcision, keeping the Sabbath, observing the holy days, tithing and all the rest of the law.) You're about 2000 years too late to comply with this one. (The Kingdom of Heaven WAS at hand and it was shortly thereafter rejected.)

5) Give your life to Jesus? Sounds real spiritual, but it isn't a valid method of salvation. Try to find it in scripture. (The law of first mention concerning the fig leaf refers us back to Adam and Eve covering themselves with fig leaves. This became the symbol for mankind to make himself acceptable to God. Remember the fig tree that was to be cut down in 1 year if it didn't bear fruit? The denominations today are the "Churches of the Fig Leaf," i.e., mankind's methods to make himself righteous and acceptable to God. It doesn't work any better for us than it did for Adam.)

6) Turn from sin and accept Jesus as Lord of your life? Another man-dreamt-up concept (Lordship Salvation) that will buy you a ticket to the place you don't want to go. It sounds real spiritual though doesn't it? Who is it that wants to be LIKE the Most High?

7) Keep the law and sell all your worldly possessions and give the money to the poor? A very noble gesture, but the law was never given to make a man righteous. A lot of people think they can keep the law. The law isn't graded on the curve. 88% won't pass you with a "B" but will fail you as surely as a 99.9% score. The standard for righteousness is 100%. You can either accept the perfect righteousness of the Righteous One or you can establish your own righteousness according to His perfect law. (Good luck!)

8) Repent and ask for forgiveness?

a. Repent: The fig-leaf churches will tell you that to repent means to "be sorry for your sins." God says it means to change your mind. (See item 7 above. You need to change your mind about establishing your own righteousness and accepting His perfect righteousness.)

b. Ask for forgiveness: If you are still asking, then you don't believe Him when He says that all sin was paid for at the cross. Without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness. He already did it and He's not going to do it again every time you ask in unbelief. (Without faith, it is impossible to please God.) (Hint: The proper response is "Thank you, Jesus, that you have forgiven me of all my sins and remember them no more.") All of your sins were future when He died on the cross for them and nobody was asking for forgiveness at Calvary. He did it of His own volition and presented it as His gift to you. Few people want to accept His gift, but insist upon paying for it so they aren't obliged. (Pride)

9) Pay for indulgences and say 10 "Hail Marys?" Find that in scripture.

10) Be a morally good person and give thanks for your supper? This is another commonly held belief, but according to God there are NO good people. (Good luck.)

11) Wait until you're on your deathbed to seek salvation so you don't have an opportunity to commit more sins and lose your salvation? Constantine was of this persuasion. See 8-b above.

12) Ask for the filling of the Holy Spirit as evidenced by the speaking in unknown tongues? Another fig leaf church invention. The biblical tongues weren't unknown. They were known languages. Tongues was a sign given to the nation Israel (Jews - the "sign" nation). We are to walk by faith, not by sight (and signs). The signs, miracles and wonders ended shortly after the stoning of Stephen as the third and final rejection of God by the nation Israel.

a. Samuel lamented to God that Israel had rejected him as their prophet. God replied that the nation hadn't rejected him (Samuel) but had rejected Me (God the Father).

b. John the Baptist proclaimed, "Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand." Israel as a nation rejected their Messiah (only the Little Flock believed) and asked for His crucifixion. (Rejected God the Son)

c. Stephen was stoned to death while the Holy Spirit was upon him, speaking to Israel. (Rejected God the Holy Spirit)

This was the third and final act of the nation Israel that brought their fall and the beginning of the end of the signs, miracles and wonders. These will once again be in vogue during the time of Jacob's Troubles (after the "taking up" of the Body of Christ), otherwise known as the Great Tribulation.

Okay, here is the big question. What IS required for your salvation according to what God has to say?

Believe in the death, burial and resurrection of Christ Jesus? Yes (BUT, there are three corresponding qualifiers concerning salvation. In other words, what is it that we are required to believe ABOUT the death, burial and resurrection of Christ Jesus?) Hint: Belief in 5 1/2 of them won't buy your ticket.

1) Jesus died.

Q1. Yes, He did die a physical death on the cross but that in itself isn't the qualifying point.
The qualifier is that He died for your sins. He was worthy of being the perfect sacrifice that God's justice demanded. If you believe that Jesus died, but He didn't die for YOUR sins, it is (for you) of no avail.

2) Jesus was buried.

Q2. Yes and this goes with the law of first mention. He was buried to be put out of the sight of God as the sin offering that he had become. If you don't believe those sins that he represented were put out of the sight of God, it is (for you) of no avail. Those sins (past, present & future) were all nailed to the cross of Christ and put out of the sight of God forever. Hint: All of your sins were future and they were all nailed to the cross and put out of the sight of God when Jesus was buried. Unbelief concerning the burial is not an option according to God's Word.

3) Jesus arose.

Q3. Yes and you need to understand that He arose for YOUR JUSTIFICATION. If His blood sacrifice had not been fully acceptable to God the Father, then He would not have arisen. Jesus has been fully justified by the Father as evidenced by His ascension and all those "in Christ."

This third and final qualifier is the one commonly left out at the churches of the fig leaf. They do not want people to know that they are fully justified in Christ. Satan and his preachers of righteousness will tell you that your salvation, righteousness and justification must be earned by doing whatever they have placed on their list of "Dos" and "Don'ts."

If you believe that Jesus arose, but He didn't arise for YOUR justification, then (for you) it is of no avail. At the moment you believe Him, you are as righteous, and justified to God the Father as you will ever be. (Driving the bus, teaching Sunday school, and placing money in the offering won't make you MORE righteous or MORE justified.) We serve out of gratitude, not out of trying to make ourselves acceptable to God. We are acceptable to God only by one condition; That we believe the Son has established our righteousness and justification apart from our individual endeavors. It is the pride of mankind that wants to think he has performed some service to God that makes him worthy. If you think you have contributed in any way to your own justification, you have just failed all the other points of the salvation exam. This is why Satan advocates the churches of the fig leaf; They cater to mankind's sense of pride and they assure that no one who follows their doctrine will be saved.

If you believe that Christ Jesus died, was buried and arose for your justification, you are baptized into Him (no water involved - one faith, one Lord, one baptism) and positionally possess all the spiritual attributes as Jesus; fully justified, fully righteous and sealed in eternal life.

Your daily transgressions come as no surprise to our Lord. He knew of them all before you were born and He has (past tense) paid for them all and has (past tense) put them out of sight of God the Father. We who have been placed "in Him" can do nothing to make ourselves more acceptable to God by our performance.

What must I do to be saved? Nothing. You don't DO anything. Just believe Him.

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