Faith, part II
The salvation process begins with God. He offers us forgiveness and security through the sacrifice of his Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus tasted of death—experienced death on behalf of every sinful human (Heb. 2:9). His taste of death on the cross was real and true, not a mere taste on the tip of the tongue. It was bitter for him, but he purchased our pardon. When Jesus introduced the Lord’s Supper to the apostles he said, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins” (Matt. 26:28). Forgiveness is offered to all, but we must respond to the gospel call (2 Thess. 2:13-14). When Peter concluded the first gospel sermon on Pentecost, convicted believers asked what they must do to be saved. Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38). Jesus’ death made salvation possible; individuals obey the gospel to receive salvation (2 Thess. 1:7-9).
In each case of conversion recorded in the book of Acts, salvation requires obedience. Salvation begins with faith, and true faith includes obedience (Matt. 7:21). The Ethiopian treasurer was baptized in water at the side of the road (Acts 8:35-39), and the Philippian jailer and his family were baptized after midnight (Acts 16:29-33). Urgency is indicated. Saving faith will not quibble about the necessity of baptism. Once saved, we must continue to grow in faith. Stay tuned…
To be a child of God is the greatest privilege we have, but we also have responsibility. May God bless us all as we work with his Spirit to develop the character the Father expects of his children. TC