God’s plan of Salvation


Summary of God’s Teaching Concerning Immersion

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Summary of God’s Teaching Concerning Immersion
When a person is immersed, God places him into Christ. In this way immersion saves him by the resurrection of Christ - there he is born again as he is buried with Christ to be resurrected to walk in newness of life. He is regenerated as he receives the Holy Spirit in the washing. There is only one immersion as far as God is concerned - into Christ. God will not accept any other.



  1. THE CHOICE

Many people do not choose to serve God in God’s way because God’s way is not made clear to them or the consequences of their choice is not made clear to them. In the above section I hope I have made God’s way clear. I hope in this following section to make the conse­quence of choosing not to serve God clear.



II Thessalonians 1:8-10
In II Thessalonians 1:8-10, Paul points out that when Jesus re­turns, He is going to deal out “retribution to those who do not know God, and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. And these will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the pres­ence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, when He comes to be glorified in His saints on that day...”
It is plain that punishment is going to be meted out, and that the punishment is going to be eternal destruction (a condition of extreme anguish) away from the presence of the Lord. The punishment is coming upon two groups of people:

  1. Those who do not know God.

  2. Those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The natives of the African jungles, the Chinese behind the Bam­boo Curtain, and the dwellers of American city slums are all destined to burn forever if they do not know God. And all the people who fill the pews in Catholic churches, in Protestant churches, and in Jewish synagogues are destined to burn in hell forever unless they obey the gospel by repenting of their sins and by being immersed into Christ. God requires that we both know Him, and obey His gospel.


Revelation 20:15
Revelation 20:15 states: “And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.” How do you get your name written in the Lamb’s book of life? The Bible does not state explicitly, but we can make a good guess that your name is written there when you are born again. And if you refuse to be born of water and Spirit, then it’s the lake of fire for you.

Romans 8:9
“But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.” Unless an individual has repented and been im­mersed in the name of Jesus, he does not have the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38. For more detail see the study The Holy Spirit). This is true regardless of how sincere he is in what he believes, how moral and upstanding he is, how much he loves his children, or any other consid­eration. Unless he has received the Holy Spirit by being immersed into Christ, Christ does not recognize him at all.

John 3:17-21
The question comes to mind: why do many good, moral, religious people refuse to yield themselves to God’s plan of salvation? In John 3:20 comes the answer: “For everyone who does evil hates the light, and does not come to the light lest his deeds should be exposed.” If a person refuses to see things God’s way, God’s word is designed to separate him from the Christian (see Hebrews 4:12,13).
Am I saying that anyone who refuses to repent and be immersed for the forgiveness of sins is evil? I’m not saying that. Jesus said that!
And remember, man only looks at the outward appearance - God looks at the heart (I Samuel 16:7).

In contrast, “he who practices the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God” (John 3:21). Sincere people from all backgrounds, cultures, and ages will come to Jesus when the truth of the gospel is presented to them, and they will not rebel at the terms of His plan of salvation. Neither will they stiffen their necks at the demands which He makes on them following their entrance into Christ.


Matthew 7:21
Finally, I ask this question: “Does a person have to do exactly what God says in order to enter the kingdom of heaven (which is the body of Christ, and its eternal habitation)?” Another way of asking the same question is: “What if a person is sincerely doing the best he knows how but he, for example, has been sprinkled instead of im­mersed, will he be saved?” Let Jesus answer the question: “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” (Matthew 7:21). In order to enter the kingdom of heaven, you have to do the will of God. Doing what you think is right will not get you into heaven; you have to do what God thinks is right!

Summary
This is your choice (and mine) - obey or disobey the gospel. Obe­dience results in eternal life; disobedience results in eternal death.



  1. THE NEED TO OVERCOME

Over the years there have been many discussions as to whether a Christian can lose his salvation. We will, as on other sections, let God answer through His sufficient word - the Bible.



Revelation 21:1-8

After giving us a comforting picture of the love and fellowship in heaven after we, as the bride of Christ, have been made ready, John carries us on into a warning from Him who sits on the throne: “I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost. He who overcomes shall inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son. But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral person and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death” (Revelation 21:6).

The test of trust is obedience. If a person trusts Jesus for his salvation, these abominable qualities will be left behind. But if the Christian continues to practice these following his immersion into Christ, or if he slips into them later, his part will be in the lake of fire.

Hebrews 6:4-8
The writer of Hebrews warns us: “For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify to themselves the Son of God, and put Him to open shame” (Hebrews 6:4 -6).
This is a warning for Christians - those who have actually been made partakers of the Holy Spirit. Christians can fall away, and when they reach a certain point it is impossible for them to repent and return to God, having been hardened by the deceitfulness of sin (Hebrews 3:13). God has created Christians to do good works (Ephesians 2:10), but when all we yield is brambles and thorns instead of the peaceable fruit of righteousness, we shall be burned.

II Peter 2:20-22
Christians are warned of the dangers of this world by Peter: “For if after they have escaped the defilements of the world by the knowl­edge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and are overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn away from the holy commandment delivered to them” (II Peter 2:20,21).

The world has many forms of entangling alliances whose net awaits the unwary Christian pilgrim. When one of God’s saints becomes overcome by one of these myriads of death traps, the Scripture is very plain - it would have been better for him not to have known the way of righteousness. Dogs who return to their own vomit, clean pigs to their mire - pity the Christian who turns back to his former way of life.


Galatians 5:4
“You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace” (Galatians 5:4).
There are those who contend today that once a person is in God’s grace, he cannot fall from it. Galatians 5:4 ought to be plain enough to prove to anyone who accepts the Bible as God’s final word that one can be a part of Christ, and then sever that relationship. Such sever­ance is plainly called “falling from grace.”
Summary
A Christian must remain faithful until death. He must meet the obstacles in his path and overcome them. “Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.” (Revelation 2:10).

GOD’S SALVATION EQUATION =

HEARING + BELIEVING + CONFESSING + REPENTING + IMMERSING = SALVATION

A new citizen of Heaven is born (A New Creation)


SUMMARY OF ENTIRE LESSON
In our study of God’s plan of salvation, we have covered these main points:


  1. Our problem is that our own sins condemn us to hell.

  2. The good news - the gospel - is that Jesus died for our sins.

  3. We answered the question “What must I do?” and found that we must:

  1. Believe that Jesus is the Christ, and that He was raised from the dead.

  2. Repent.

  3. Confess with the mouth that Jesus is Lord.

  4. Be immersed (in water) into Christ for the forgiveness of our sins.

  1. Repentance includes an actual change in behavior.
  2. Baptism is immersion in water, and it is essential to salva­tion. There is only one acceptable immersion - that is immersion into Christ through the medium of water as a result of an individual’s own desire to obey the gospel.


  3. If a person refuses to do God’s will, he will burn forever; if he does God’s will, he will live forever!

  4. The Christian must remain faithful until death.

Questions about
GOD’S PLAN OF SALVATION
Instructions: This set of questions is divided into two sections Specific Questions and General Questions. The specific questions bring out many details in the study, and help you to understand many of the important points, and where in scripture to find an­swers to many common questions. The general questions help you pick out the major ideas and concepts in the study. You may use your Bible and study booklet for the Specific Questions, but try to answer the General Questions from memory.
Each section is divided into subsections, each of which has its own type of questions and its attendant instructions.
Specific Questions
True or False?


  1. Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life: how­ever, one may come to the Father other than by Me.”

  2. Paul proclaimed that the times of ignorance were past.

  3. God has proven that He will judge the world in righteousness by raising Jesus from the dead.

  4. When Jesus is revealed from heaven, He will deal out pun­ishment to those who do not obey the gospel, but He will have mercy on those who didn’t know about God.

  5. Each of us must have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.



Multiple choice. More than one answer may be correct; show all correct answers.


  1. The problem that all men face is:

  1. They have sinned.
  2. The devil made me do it.


  3. Man’s sins separate him from God.

  4. Eternal fire is the punishment for committing sin.




  1. Sin is:

  1. Fun

  2. Rebellion against God

  3. Disobedience to God

  4. Okay in small amounts




  1. Adam and Eve:

  1. Were both deceived by the serpent

  2. Ate the forbidden fruit

  3. Sinned by disobeying God

  4. Hid from God after they sinned




  1. Death:

  1. In the Bible usually means spiritual separation from God

  2. Means separation

  3. Came upon Adam immediately after he ate the fruit, even though he lived in the body 930 years

  4. In a physical way came upon all mankind as a result of Adam’s sin




  1. That sin separates man from God is clearly expressed in:

  1. Hezekiah 12:1

  2. Isaiah 59:1,2

  3. James 1:13-16

  4. John 9:31




  1. Scriptures which make it clear that all are guilty of sins are:

  1. Romans 3:23

  2. Galatians 3:22

  3. Psalm 51:5

  4. Romans 8:1




  1. Small children:
  1. Cannot inherit the sins of their father (Ezekiel 18:20)


  2. Inherit Adam’s original sin

  3. Follow Paul’s example: There was a time when he was without sin, then the Law came and he died spiritually

  4. Are to be converted and become like children




  1. The penalty for sin:

  1. Is a slap on the hands

  2. Is eternal death, which is as long as eternal life.

  3. Is something we deserve

  4. Is hell




  1. Threat of eternal punishment:

  1. Doesn’t work

  2. Would never be used by a loving God

  3. Forces man toward faith in Jesus

  4. Causes us to break our will to serve King Jesus




  1. Talking about sin and its consequences:

  1. Is negative

  2. Is Biblical

  3. Is a Puritanical myth

  4. Is un-Christian



Matching.


  1. All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God

  2. Shut up in a jailhouse

  3. The day that you eat, you shall surely die

  4. Your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God

  5. Small children are innocent of sin

  6. Eternal punishment

  7. Will broken to Savior’s

  8. Sin brings forth death

  9. Sin is not inherited

  10. The way to the Father

a) Romans 7:9 b) Matthew 21:44 c) Ezekiel 18:20

d) John 14:6 e) Genesis 2:16,17 f) James 1:13-16

g) Matthew 25:46 h) Isaiah 59:1,2 i) Romans 3:23


j) Galatians 3:22


Explain how Romans 7:9 shows that small children are innocent of sin


Fill in the blanks.


  1. The word gospel means __________ ____________ or ________ __________. Its Greek equivalent is _________________.




  1. Paul said that the basic elements of the gospel were that _____________ _________ ___________ ___________ according to the Scriptures, and that he was _____________, and that He was ___________ ________ ________ __________ ________ according to the Scriptures.




  1. The instructions for the Jewish Passover are given first in _____________ 12. Jesus Christ is our Passover Lamb according to __________________ 5:7. The Passover represented God’s passing _________ the houses where the blood of a ___________ had been sprinkled when God destroyed the _________ _________ of man and beast in the land of Egypt.




  1. The Day of _____________________ was a major Israelite religious rite. On this day the ___________ Priest sprinkled the blood of __________ for his own sins, followed by the blood of a ____________ for the sins of the people in the back room of the tabernacle (called the Holy of Holies). Then he confessed the sins of the people as he laid his hands on the head of another _____________. This animal was then led into the wilderness and turned loose, and it was given the name ______________. This is recorded in Leviticus 16:1-34.




  1. It is made clear in _____________ 10:4 that the blood of bulls and goats cannot forgive sins. For this reason it was necessary that Jesus shed His blood on the cross as described in _______________ ___________.


  1. According to Law, ___________ ____________ ____________ of blood _____________ ___________ ___________ ____________. Therefore it was necessary for the ____________ of the things in the heavens (the Israelite tabernacle and instruments of service) to be cleansed with the blood of animal sacrifices, but the heavenly things themselves (all things connected with the church) with ____________ ____________ than these. The blood of _______________ is the offering of better sacrifices than these Old Testament offerings.




  1. Christ appeared as a ________ _____________ of the good things _____ ________ and He entered through the greater and more per­fect tabernacle, _________ __________ ___________ __________, that is to say, not of this creation (the church, in other words, which is a spiritual building, not a physical building - Ephesians 2:19-22). Not through the _____________ of goats and calves, but through ________ ______ __________, He entered the holy place ____________ ______________ ________________.




  1. The blood of Christ can ________________ ___________________ ______________ from dead works to serve the living God.




  1. Christ became a __________________ for us to redeem us from the curse of the Law. The curse of the Law is _______ ______________. _________ ___________ kept the command­ments of the Law, except Jesus, so He ______________________ us from the curse by ___________ on the tree for us.



  1. “____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________” (John 3:16)




True or False?


  1. The word evangel is a Latin word meaning “good news,” and is the word translated “gospel” in most English ver­sions of the Bible.

  2. All the Old Testament sacrifices pointed forward to the perfect sacrifice of the Son of God Himself.

  3. Christ is the Christian’s Passover Lamb.

  4. The good news is that Christ died for our sins, that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day.

  5. The Israelite celebration of the Passover comes from the 12 tribes passing over the Red Sea on dry ground.

  6. Christ’s blood was shed in order to solve our problem (that our own sins condemn us to eternal punishment).

  7. Christ is the Christian’s High Priest.

  8. The Old Testament High Priesthood and its sacrifices pointed forward to the High Priesthood of Christ and His sacrifice.

  9. The Old Testament High Priest offered the blood of a male goat for the sins of the people in the back room of the tab­ernacle (the tent of meeting).

  10. Jesus, the High Priest of the New Testament, offered His own blood in the true Holy of Holies - Heaven.

  11. It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to forgive sins.

  12. The good news of the shed blood is that through the blood of Christ God promises a clean conscience to the Christian, something that was not obtainable in the Old Testament.

  13. “Redeem” means “buy back.”

  14. Jesus redeemed us from the curse of the Law.

  15. Jesus hung on the tree (cross) to buy us back after being lost through our being unable to keep the commandments of the Law.

  16. The reason that we have any good news at all is that God loved each of us enough to send His Son to die for us.



Matching.

  1. Good news a) Church


  2. Passover b) There is no forgiveness

  3. Day of Atonement c) I Corinthians 15:3,4

  4. High Priest d) Heaven

  5. Blood of bulls and goats e) Blood of Christ

  6. Tabernacle f) Behold the Lamb of God

  7. Curse of the Law g) Scapegoat

  8. Holy of Holies h) Christ

  9. Without the shedding of blood i) Redemption center

  10. The cross j) Hung on a tree


Compare the New Testament with the will of a rich man, particularly explaining the time at which the will takes effect.

Multiple choice. More than one answer may be correct; show all correct answers.


  1. The new covenant:

  1. Began with Christ’s death

  2. Is Christ’s will for us today

  3. Took effect after the thief on the cross was pardoned

  4. Is referred to in Hebrews 9:16,17




  1. Jesus:

  1. Said that the scripture cannot be broken

  2. Made a sacrifice so complete that all men will go to heaven

  3. Had authority on earth to forgive sins

  4. Pardoned the thief on the cross as His first act under the New Covenant




  1. Under the New Covenant, the following are required for salvation:

  1. Belief in Jesus

  2. Repentance

  3. Confession that Jesus is Lord

  4. Immersion in water




  1. The gospel:

  1. Is limited to Christ’s death

  2. Contains commands to be obeyed
  3. Must be obeyed or the individual who does not will go to hell


  4. Guarantees that no one will perish




  1. The Philippian jailer:

  1. Was a descendent of Philip of Macedon

  2. Had his story told in Acts 16

  3. Believed in Jesus as the Son of God immediately when Paul told him to

  4. Believed and was immersed after he heard the gospel preached




  1. The 3000 on the day of Pentecost:

  1. Were told to repent and accept Jesus into their hearts

  2. Were told to repent and be immersed for the forgiveness of their sins

  3. Obeyed the gospel

  4. Were told to save themselves from their wicked genera­tion




  1. The Ethiopian Eunuch:

  1. Was a Jew

  2. Was reading from the prophet Isaiah

  3. Wanted to be immersed as a result of Philip preaching Jesus to him

  4. Went down into the water and was immersed after he confessed with his mouth that Jesus was the Christ




  1. The man named Saul:

  1. Was saved on the Damascus Road

  2. Was later known as the apostle Paul

  3. Had his sins washed away three days after he met Jesus on the Damascus Road

  4. Had to be immersed because he was such a terrible per­secutor of the church. We don’t need to be immersed today.




  1. No one can be saved:

  1. Unless he believes

  2. Unless he repents

  3. Unless he confesses Jesus as Lord

  4. Unless he is immersed for the forgiveness of his sins



  1. God’s ways:

  1. Are ridiculous

  2. Are without partiality

  3. Are higher than man’s ways

  4. Are incomprehensible





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