Is The Church Essential To Salvation? by Garland Robinson

The Lord’s church — the eternal kingdom — was prophesied of in the Old Testament. We read about it in Isaiah 2:2-4, Micah 4:1-4 and many other passages. In Daniel 2:44 we read, “…the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.” The church, therefore, was/is the plan and purpose of God.

Jesus himself promised to build it. “…Upon this rock I will build my church…” (Matt. 16:18). He died in order to purchase it with his own blood (Acts 20:28). It was established on the first Pentecost after his resurrection as prophesied (Joel 2:28-32; Acts 2).

The church of Christ is very much a part of God’s plan (Eph. 3:1-11). Can we say that it does not matter? Can we say its not essential to salvation? If the church does not matter, then salvation does not matter. Obviously, we are not talking about a physical structure. We are talking about the spiritual body of Christ which is made up of individual congregations that meet in various locations around the world.

The saved are in the church because that is where God put them. Regarding the 3,000 who repented and were baptized for the forgiveness of sins in Acts 2:38-47, we read that the Lord added them to the church (vv. 41,47). First Corinthians 12:13 says the same thing concerning baptism and the church, “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body…. The body is the church” (Eph. 1:22-23).

Christ will save only his church/body. “For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body” (Eph. 5:23). There is no scripture anywhere that says he will save anything but his body, the church. Therefore, the church is essential to salvation, for without the church there is no salvation! It is the body of the Lord! Those who are in the church/body will be saved and those who are outside the church/body will be lost. It’s that simple!

Friend, don’t you want to be in the church, the spiritual body of the Lord, where the saved are? There is only one way to get into the church and that is by water baptism (1 Cor. 12:13). Baptism puts one into Christ and into his church — the body of the saved (Rom. 6:4; Gal. 3:27). Will you obey?

From Gospel Preceptor     www.gospelpreceptor.com/

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Our Dress In Worship by Rob Boatwright

Even though worship is not a “dress parade”, many times we become sloppy, and revealing in the way we dress for worship. Our clothes do contribute to the emphasis we place on worship to God. Continue reading

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The Steps Of Salvation

The Bible teaches that sin is a transgression of God’s law (1 John 3:4).  All people who know the difference between right and wrong have sinned (Romans 3:23).  Our sins separate us from God (Isaiah 59:1,2).  The punishment for sin is death (Romans 6:23).  This is “the second death” which is “the lake of fire” (Revelation 21:8).

     God loves us.  He does not want us to be punished for our sins.  Therefore, He has provided a way for us to be forgiven (John 3:16).  God sent His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to die for our sins (1 John 4:10).  Jesus suffered the punishment which we should have received for our sins (Isaiah 53:4-6).  He did not die for His own sins, for He had none (2 Corinthians 5:21).  He suffered for our sins on the cross so that we can be forgiven (Romans 5: 6-8; 1 Peter 2:24). In order for us to be forgiven of our sins, and  therefore  receive eternal life, we must accept the salvation which Christ has made possible.  There are five steps which we must take to receive this salvation.

Hear

     First, we must hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Bible teaches that “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God” (Romans 10:17).  One is not a Christian because his parents are.  Faith cannot be inherited (Ezekiel 18:20).  Each person must believe in Jesus Christ for himself.  Christianity is a religion of teaching (Matthew 28:19,20).  Unless one has heard the Gospel and learned that Jesus Christ died for his sins, was buried, and arose from the dead, he cannot be saved (1 Corinthians 15:1-4).  The apostle Paul wrote: “How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed?  And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard?   And how shall they hear without a preacher”(Romans 10:14)? One must first hear the Gospel before he can believe it.

Believe

     Second, one must believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God (Matthew 16:16).  Jesus said: “…if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins” (John 8:24). The jailor at Philippi asked Paul and Silas, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”  They told him to “Believe on the  Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household” (Acts 16:30,31).  Jesus also said: “He who believes and is baptized will be saved, but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:16).  One comes to believe in Jesus Christ when he hears the Gospel taught.  Faith comes only by hearing the Word of God (Romans 10:17).  This is the reason it is so important that the Gospel be preached to the whole world (Mark 16:15).

Repent

     Third, one must repent of his sins in order to be saved (Acts 17:30,31).  Jesus commanded that “repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem” (Luke 24:47).  Repentance is a result of being sorry for one’s sins (2 Corinthians 7:10).  When the Jews on Pentecost Day learned from Peter that they had crucified the Son of God, they “were cut to the heart” ( Acts 2:37).  They wanted to be forgiven of their sins, so they asked, “What  shall we do?”  They were told to “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins…” (Acts 2:37,38).  When one repents, he turns away from his sins  (1 Thessalonians 1:9).  He shows he has repented by doing good works (Matthew 3:8).

Confess

     Fourth, one must confess that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God (Matthew 16:16).  This great truth is the very foundation upon which the church of Christ is built (Matthew 16:18; Acts 4:11,12; 1 Corinthians 3:11).  Jesus said that we  must be willing to confess Him before men if we want Him to confess us before the Father (Matthew 10:32,33).  The apostle Paul wrote: “But what does it say? ‘The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart’ (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your  heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.  For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (Romans 10:8-10).  When Philip preached Jesus to the Ethiopian eunuch, the eunuch asked, “What hinders me from being baptized?”  Philip told him he could be baptized if he believed.  The eunuch then confessed, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God” (Acts 8:35-38).  We  must make this important, yet simple confession also in order to be saved.

Be Baptized

     Fifth, one must be baptized in order to be saved. Jesus said: “He who believes and is baptized will be saved” (Mark 16:16).   Please note that baptism follows belief.  One who does not believe the Gospel cannot be truly baptized.  Therefore, babies cannot be baptized for they are too young to (1) have sin, (2) hear the Gospel, (3) repent of sins, and (4) confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.  Baptism also follows repentance.  On Pentecost Day, Peter told those who asked what to do to be saved to “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized…” (Acts 2:38).  One cannot be truly baptized who has not truly repented.
     Baptism is a burial in water (Romans 6:3,4; Colossians 2:12).   Therefore, sprinkling and  pouring are not proper baptism.  Baptism is in order to be saved (Mark 16:16; 1 Peter 3:21).  One is not saved before he is baptized!  Baptism is “for the remission (forgiveness) of sins” (Acts 2:38).  Just as Jesus shed His blood for the remission of sins (Matthew 26:28), so we are baptized in order to receive the remission of sins.  In baptism, the sinner’s sins are washed away by the blood of Jesus (Acts 22:16).

    What does one have to do in order to be forgiven of his sins?  He must
     (1) Hear the Gospel of Christ;
     (2) Believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God;
     (3) Repent of all his past sins;
     (4) Confess that Christ is God’s Son;
     (5) Be baptized for the remission of sins. 
When he does this, he is added by the Lord to His church (Acts 2:41,47).  He is born again (John 3:3-5; 2 Corinthians 5:17).  He is in Christ where all spiritual blessings are to be found. (Ephesians 1:3; Galatians 3:26,27).  In short, he is a Christian (Acts 11:26; 26:28; 1 Peter 4:16).

     Are you saved from your sins?  Have you taken these simple steps to salvation?  If not, why not do so today?

Tract From Truth For The World

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