Did Jesus, John the Baptist, Peter, Paul, Phillip, Apollos and others preach a “systematic salvation” or a Saviour? Did they peach a “pattern” or a Person? The answer is clear.
And, does the Word of God record the response to the message clearly, consisely, and constantly? It does.
The gospel, (good news) is not “If you do these several things, then live a faithful life you will be saved. The gospel is the good news that Jesus fulfilled the righteous requirements of the law, lived a perfect life, became a perfect sacrifice, died in my place and yours, and completely paid in full the penalty due for our sins, was buried and after 3 days, was resurrected, defeating death, hell, and the grave. By His perfect living and dying, His burial and resurrection, we are now saved by His life. He freely gives forgiveness of sins and eternal life to those who come to Him by faith (beliving on, or trusting in Him).
I know of no other way to make clear what the Bible teaches about salvation but to go to the scriptures and discover what it consistently teaches. In the next post of this series I will begin in Acts 2 and begin plowing through that great narritave beginning with Peter’s message at Pentecost, and then every other passage where Christ was preached and people were saved.
Some of you might be surprised to learn that the Apostle Peter, who is perhaps quoted more than every other Bible character by Restoration folks, (Acts 2:38) would not have been welcome in the Jerusalem church of Christ if they had the same doctrinal critera that most do in 2007.
There is a pattern but not the one you know by heart.
Grace and Peace,
Yes Royce. Why do you think this is so hard? I spent many years until my head hurt.
And the conclusion you reached Darin?
Thanks for stopping by and your comments as always.
Grace and Peace,
I love the way you break it down and state it simply Royce. I look forward to more.
Royce, thanks for reminding us of the difference between the gospel and faithful response to it. It’s reported that G. C. Brewer once preached his heart out in a sermon on the cross only to be asked, “So when are you going to start preaching the gospel?” I do think, however, that more people in the Churches of Christ today have a better understanding than that.
“For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.” 1Cor 1:17
“And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.” 1Cor 2:1-5
Power, Spirit, the gospel of the cross, and faith trump lofty speech, wisdom and eloquence. Where is our focus?
I like to call what you are talking about a “checkbox mentality.” Jesus didn’t die so he could be back in heaven and have a check sheet with all our names on it and count them up to make sure we did enough.
Does he expect things from us? Yes. But it is in reponse to his unfailing love and unmerited grace that we do what we do. Good thoughts.
Good stuff Royce
“There is a pattern but not the one you know by heart”
Thats a good line that many in our heritage surely will not buy…..though true.
Anyways, what is Acts 2:38?? I have not heard that in a sermon in quite a few weeks 🙂
For some reason it seems easy for man to produce a system than to be Spirit and scripture led. Maybe it is because one is taught Roman’s Road or other techniques as we grow up in church, we equate that with witnessing and fail to see the story of Philip and the eunuch. Maybe it is because we don’t really pray, read, study, and meditate on the Word of God, so all we really know is the 1 2 3 Repeat After Me. Truly I believe the “systematic salvation” as you call it does a disservice to both us and the person or persons we present it to.
As for Peter and churches of 2007 – I think many people of the scripture would find no room in the inn if they were to come here to 2007 as evangelists.
Just my thoughts.
I have been traveling and away from my email for 2 days. I was delighted to see several comments on this last post and more so that they seemed to each be positive.
I look forward to exploring what the infant church and it’s characters experienced and what the recored shows was their message to a lost world. And, of course the Biblical response to the messagage.
Grace and Peace,
Bro. Royce – I so enjoy your website. You have such thought provoking posts. I like what you said “The gospel, (good news) is not “If you do these several things, then live a faithful life you will be saved.””
There have been have had some discussions at church recently among the youth and some older members about what you have to do to “stay saved.” I know what I believe! I firmly believe that grace is enough, and no works of mine can either get me saved, keep me saved, or lose my salvation, once I am born again. I am concerned for those who feel that their salvation is not secure…I am interested in your views on this, since you seem to make since to me.
I think this is relevant to this topic – if not, don’t let this hijack your post. 🙂
Royce … looking forward to a challenging series….
Thanks for your comment. Your comment is completley relevant to the subject at hand.
You have discovered that our salvation was accomplished completely without our help, outside of us, and before we were born. Christ’s sacrifice and suffering in our place, and for us, satisfied completely the demands of the One and only Holy God concerning righteousness and judgment for sin.
Salvation is a gift of grace given by the only One who could effect the forgiveness of our sins and declare us right in His sight. Just as a child has nothing to contribute to his birth, we who are born again are born spiritually by the will of God and not our own.
I trust that your dear people will grasp just how much God loves them and what riches He has freely given to those who trust Him.
Grace and Peace,