In a previous tract, The Saving Law Of God No 1, there was a discussion of the three laws of God. The discussion was based upon Hebrews 1:1, 2a. There was a spoken law under the Patriarchal Dispensation. Then, under the Mosaical Dispensation, God gave a written law to Israel by Moses at Mount Sinai, Horeb. Jeremiah prophesied that the law given to Israel by Moses at Mount Sinai, called the law of Moses, the first law or covenant, and so on, would one day be replaced by a new law, a second or new covenant, the New Testament. All people today under the Christian Dispensation are amenable, that is, answerable to the New Testament. All today are subject to the teaching of the second covenant.
It was pointed out in the first installment that all are taught, “Study to shew thyself approved of God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15). Understanding the first lesson, attention is now turned to other matters.
First, please look at salvation. The Philippian jailor asked Paul and Silas, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” (Acts 16:23-39, especially, verse 30). Those who had crucified Jesus (Acts 2:23), “were pricked in their heart”, had Godly sorrow (2 Corinthians 7:9-11), and asked, “Men and brethren, What shall we do?” (Acts 2:37). Some others have realized that they “have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23), and that “the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23; Revelation 21:8). They, too, are repentant, “pricked in their heart”, and desire to be saved. Repentant people often turn to religious people to learn what to do to be saved, to be forgiven of any and all sins. A failure to rightly divide the word of truth causes some to tell the lost the wrong thing.
Some tell people that everyone will be saved, that on the cross Jesus said, “It is finished.” They then tell the lost that there is nothing for them to do. However, Jesus was talking about His Father’s work He came to do. He finished that work. The statement simply says that Jesus was dying on the cross, having shed His saving blood, and would give up the ghost, that is His Spirit would leave his body and return to God. He had finished the work God sent Him to do. (John 4:34; 17:4).
Others tell people that they only have to “believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God,” (Acts 8:37), telling them that Paul and Silas only told the jailor to”Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” (Acts 16:31). Many further say, “Nothing was said of baptism.” However, they fail to tell them that “they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his straightway.” (Verses 32, 33). It was after these events that the jailor and all his house rejoiced. Saul, a praying man, was told, “And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.” (Acts 22:16).
Others tell people, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:13). Usually, they add, “Nothing is said about baptism.” Beloved, what proves too much proves nothing! Nothing is said about repentance. Can an adulterer, liar, murderer, in short, a worker of the flesh (Galatians 5:19-21; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; Revelation 21:8), continue to commit such sins, not repent, and be saved calling upon the name of the Lord? Nothing is said about confessing Jesus’ Deity. Can one become a Christian who does not confess Jesus before men? (Matthew 10:32, 33; Romans 10:9, 10). Since Jesus said, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, can one only do half of what He said and be saved? If so, which part can one leave undone? Remember, “believeth” is connected to “baptized” by the word AND, a copulative, coupling coordinating conjunction. What one thing does, the other does also!
The fact that one step in God’s plan to redeem man is not mentioned in every case of conversion is not evidence that it is non-essential. If so, how would one get faith in 1 Peter 3:20, 21? Faith is not mentioned. Neither is repentance! Where is confession? Acts 10:48 says, “he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord”, but nothing is said about faith, repentance, or confession. However, they are necessary, because they are taught elsewhere.
A great example of rightly dividing the word of truth is taught in the story of Jesus’ arrest in the garden. To get the complete picture of this story, one must read the event in Matthew 26:47ff, Mark 14:43-49, Luke 22:47-53, and John 18:1-11. A failure to do so will cause one to miss a number of things known. For example, reading only one account would cause one to miss that an ear was cut off, that it was the right ear, whose ear it was, who cut it off, and so on. Make four columns, and read each account, writing down what is said from each book. Not all things that happened are in one account, and no one reasons that this failure negates the things in another account. Yet, many do this with salvation, reasoning that unless each step is mentioned in every account, it is not necessary. This is especially done with baptism. Perhaps some would like to see every person saved, and this would allow them to get someone in whom the Lord will not accept. Read John 3:1-5, 23. Will everyone see/enter the kingdom of God? If not, who will not?
Romans 5:9 does not exclude grace. (Ephesians 2:8-10). Romans 5:1 does not exclude Jesus’ blood. (Romans 5:9). Grace, blood and faith do not exclude repentance. (Acts 17:30, 31). Good friend, because all matters are not mentioned together does not exclude either of them. Think of them like you do when deciding what one must do to live the Christian life. Love is taught in a number of places (Eg. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8; Matthew 5:43-48; Hebrews 13:1; etc.). However, it is not taught in every verse. Yet, no one thinks it is not necessary when reading of other things to do. Why then do so with the steps God has clearly set in place to save lost people?
Read the following, do what they say, and you will be saved: Hear (Mark 12:29); Believe (Romans 10:17; Acts 8:37; Mark 16:16); Repent (Acts 2:38; 3:19; 17:30, 31); Confess Jesus as the Christ the Son of the living God (Acts 8:37; Romans 10:9, 10), and be buried in water baptism (Romans 6:1-5; Colossians 2:12), for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38; 22:16), to enter Christ (Galatians 3:26, 27) and be added to His body, the church (1 Corinthians 12:13, 27; Ephesians 1:22, 23; Acts 2:41, 47). Live faithfully (Revelation 2:10), and you will be delivered up into His everlasting kingdom. (1 Corinthians 15:24; 2 Peter 1:11). See you there, if you’ll do His will.