August 2017           "A Journal of Biblical Understanding"           Volume 14           

(Daniel 4:25)
" ... and seven times shall pass over thee, till thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will."


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Just What IS REQUIRED For Salvation?

(This article is formatted differently than my other articles because I am trying to emphasize certain questions using scriptures and need to tie them to the questions without setting them apart in a box. The Editor)

"Ohhh, won'tcha come?? God is callin' you tonight! Just walk down here to the front, kneel down and tell Jesus "Lord Jesus, I accept you as my personal savior!" That's all ya need to do, just BELIEVEEEEE upon the Lord Jesus and you're saved!! Jesus wants ya to come just as you are!! There's nothin' you can do to earn salvation. All you gotta do is believe! Won't ya come? Come now while Jesus is callin'! Come now before it's too late!"

The congregation is singing "Just As I Am" while people come down the aisle, some crying and wailing. Some stumbling and almost falling as they reach the altar.

This is a favorite refrain of traditional Christian preachers the world over. Pleading and begging for people to walk "the sawdust trail" to salvation by just telling Jesus, "I accept you as my personal savior." It is one I heard many, many times when I began to be 'religious'.

Those traditional Christian preachers never tell you just what it means to "be saved" nor do they tell you from what you must be saved. They don't tell you JUST WHAT SIN REALLY IS of which you MUST repent!!

I certainly hope those who read my articles consistently will recognize that I am CONSTANTLY telling every one what all these things MEAN. Preaching is useless unless everyone is on the "same page" when discussing religion or the Bible, don't you see.

I recently received a question about this very thing which I answered by return email.

Therefore, let me go into BIBLICAL detail about the answers to these questions. (Please don't read this article with PRECONCEIVED ideas whereby you reject something before you study it, ok?)

Just what IS REQUIRED for salvation?

"But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. (i.e. If you are one of His - Rom. 8:9)" (Rom. 8:11)

God's Holy Spirit is required for salvation!! It MUST be within a person at the time of death or the first resurrection, whichever comes first. And of course, the first resurrection occurs AT THE RETURN OF CHRIST!!

"Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality."
(1 Cor. 15:51-53)

Yes, that change comes AT THE LAST TRUMPET SOUND, which announces the return of Jesus Christ to this earth!! That trumpet sounds JUST BEFORE Jesus comes to set up His Kingdom on this earth. Read Revelation 11:15.

Just what IS salvation?

"For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?" (1 Cor. 15:53-55)

We MUST be changed from physical into Spirit and be placed into the Kingdom of God where death has no hold over us.

For TRULY, to be saved from eternal death IS SALVATION.

What salvation IS NOT ... It is NOT the instant when our minds are impregnated by God's Holy Spirit and we begin to learn to THINK LIKE HIM.
That 'moment of CONVERSION' being our salvation is a DECEPTION of Satan perpetrated through his 'ministry' on this earth!!

And no great mystery, for HIS MINISTERS appear as ministers of truth. (2 Cor. 11:15)

Just WHAT is death?

"For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten." (Ecc. 9:5)
"Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest. (Ecc. 9:10)

Yes, the dead know NOTHING! They have no thought, knowledge, or wisdom, in the grave!! The DEAD ARE DEAD, not just 'separated' from God!!

To whom will God give His Holy Spirit?

"And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him." (Acts 5:32)

As I have said so many times, God will only give His Spirit to those who obey Him!!

AND that obedience MUST COME FIRST from us, BEFORE God will bestow His Holy Spirit within us, NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND!!

It is NOT 'just as we are' but 'as we WANT to be'!!

HOW must we be obedient?

Peter was asked this question, albeit in a slightly different way.
"Then Peter said unto them, REPENT, and be BAPTIZED every one of you (not just the Jewish people) in(to) the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." (Acts 2:38)

Peter did NOT say "WILL receive". The word "shall" carries an implication of dependency upon something else.
And of course, whether or not someone receives God's Holy Spirit depends upon OBEDIENCE to God and to His decision of whether or not He will GIVE His Spirit!!

We MUST begin to KEEP God's Laws, not just 'in our mind' but actually. We must make the PHYSICAL as well as the SPIRITUAL effort to KEEP God's Laws, to live His Way of Life!!
God's Holy Spirit gives us the strength to walk in God's Laws. It is OUR HELP in time of NEED.
The lack of God's Spirit in them was the reason the Israelites could not obey God in the wilderness.

Just what IS sin?

"Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law."
(1 John 3:4)

Yes, SIN IS THE BREAKING OF GOD'S LAWS!!

What is the PENALTY for breaking God's Laws?

"For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." (Rom. 6:23)

Yes, truly, DEATH is what people 'earn' by breaking God's Law ... by sinning!!

How can we know what law this is talking about?

"What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not    known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet."
(Rom. 7:7)

Yes! The Law John is talking about is the one that says, "Thou shalt not covet!! Which one IS that? Why, the Ten Commandments ... and you can find from reading some of the other articles on our web site that the Ten Commandments is the FOUNDATION of all the other laws which God commands that people keep!!

The weekly seventh day Sabbath has always been God's TEST commandment (taken straight from the Ten Commandments - Exodus 20:8). That commandment is INCLUDED as part of the commanded assemblies (convocations) which God gives us in Lev. 23:2-3. (And please notice ... these assemblies are to be kept FOREVER!!)

What is repentance?

The DECISION that we make (a 'work' we must do) to quit sinning, (breaking God's Laws) and to LIVE within that Law, i.e, KEEPING the Law (obedience). (If sinning is the breaking of God's Law, then when one QUIT'S sinning, they begin to KEEP God's Law.
Please read our article, "What ARE the Works of The Law" on our web site, or request a printout from the editor.)

What is baptism?

A symbol of being BURIED with Christ (another 'work' we must do), and being RESURRECTED to a 'NEW WAY OF life'. It is a picture of our future death and resurrection, just as Christ died and was resurrected. You might like to read the article "Why Was Jesus Baptised" on our web site.

What is that NEW life?

"Therefore we are BURIED with him by baptism INTO DEATH: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so WE ALSO SHOULD WALK in newness of life." (Rom. 6:4)

It is a life we live walking in ALL the commandments of God with an attitude of constant repentance from sin. It is THE WAY OF LIFE spoken of by The Apostles so many times.

Reference that in the following scriptures. (Mat. 7:14, 21:32, 22:16, Mark 12:14, Luke 1:79, 3:4, 20:21, John 1:23, 14:4, 14:6, Acts 16:17, 18:26, 24:14, 19:9, 19:23, 24:22)

I recommend that you read each one of those and ponder them.

What is grace?

That quality of God's CHARACTER which causes Him to have MERCY upon us when we turn from sin, and begin to OBEY Him, by WALKING in HIS WAY OF LIFE. (It is 'work'. Something WE MUST DO!)

It is also a QUALITY of character given us to use through God's Holy Spirit IF WE WILL allow it to grow. It will give us the ability to be merciful to those who sin against us and to forgive them. It is part of that quality of thinking which God is beginning to teach us to USE. (Using something is work, you know.)

We stand in God's Grace (graciousness) after we have received His Holy Spirit. God's Grace encompasses His Mercy which leads to His Forgiveness of our sins upon repentance.

Truly, God IS GOOD!

What is faith?

"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."
"But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." (Heb. 11:1 and 6)

It is an attitude of mind which we begin to have when we receive God's Holy Spirit.

Where do we GET this faith?

"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:" (Eph. 2:8)
"To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;" (1 Cor. 12:9)
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith," (Gal. 5:22)

It is a GIFT of God, because of His Grace, which causes Him to be merciful and forgive our sins when we REPENT of them, and begin to WALK in His Commandments! That FAITH through His Holy Spirit sustains us and helps us walk in obedience to Him and His Laws until that resurrection.

Can we lose God's Holy Spirit once He gives it to us?

"Quench not the Spirit." (1 Thes. 5:19)

Quench means to put out, to STOP. Yes! We can quench our use of that Spirit through our attitude of mind to continue sinning, EVEN THOUGH WE BELIEVE we have been 'saved' and that we no longer are required to KEEP God's Laws.

Isn't it a fact that once we receive God's Holy Spirit, we are saved from then on?

That is the "old belief of 'once saved, always saved' and it is predicated upon a belief that one is saved at the moment of conversion, which is NOT TRUE!
Our salvation is BEGUN at our conversion and culminated at our resurrection to Spirit Life!

No. If we do not KEEP God's Laws, God will NO LONGER bestow His Mercy and Forgiveness upon us, since the gift of God's Holy Spirit is predicated upon OBEDIENCE to God (as mentioned in Acts 5:32).

And please remember, conversion is NOT salvation. It is just the beginning of our walk to it.

"Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.
Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.
But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord. (1 Cor. 15:50-58)

Truly, truly, at that CHANGE from PHYSICAL to SPIRIT, we will be SAVED FROM DEATH!!! Death will be swallowed up in VICTORY!! We will have BEATEN the pulls of our flesh and the deceptions of Satan to BECOME an actual MEMBER of the Family of God.

At that time we will be able to SEE Him FACE TO FACE just as we can see one another now, because we will be LIKE HIM, a spirit being!!!

"Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is."
(1 John 3:2)

THAT TIME IS WHEN WE WILL BE AN IMMORTAL SPIRIT!!!

What a magnificent time that will be!!!

What a wonderous opportunity we have NOW to be CONCEIVED by God's Holy Spirit and to then, at the resurrection,  RECEIVE THAT BIRTH into SPIRIT LIFE!!

WE WILL TRULY BE BORN AGAIN!!

Meet me there, won't you?

Love to all,

Your friend,

Ken Browder, Editor

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