The way of life
How can I know that I am God's child? that I am truly
saved? Being a member of a church will not save you. No amount of
religious exercise will save you. Not even being a good person will
save you. Then how can you be saved? What is God's plan? There is
only one way to be saved. You must be born again, just as Jesus commanded.
Many good, sincere, religious people have been lost for all eternity
because they did not know or obey God's simple plan of salvation;
the New Birth experience.
Jesus told His disciple, Peter, "I will
give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven" Matthew
16:19. Just before Jesus ascended into heaven He commanded them to
"Tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power
from on high." As the Book of Acts opens, we find Peter and the
other disciples gathered in prayer, waiting, as Jesus had commanded
them to do, for the promise of the Father. On the day of Pentecost,
a Jewish feast day, God sent His Promise and they were all filled
with the Holy Ghost and began to speak with other tongues. Peter,
under the anointing of the Holy Ghost, preached a sermon which opened
a new age. As the multitudes heard him preaching about the crucifixion,
burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, they were convicted of their
sins and cried out, "What shall we do?" Acts 2:37.
Let us consider Peter's words to them, for these
words are the keys to the kingdom of heaven! They teach us how a man
must be born again. "Repent and be baptized every one of
you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye
shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost" Acts 2:38.
Step One: REPENT
first step you must take is to turn to God in true repentance. Genuine
repentance is godly sorrow for your sins. When you cry out to God
for pardon and mercy, confessing your sins and forsaking them, God
is merciful and just and will forgive your sins and make you clean.
When you repent you turn around and reset the direction of your life.
You crucify your old life, just as Jesus was put to death on the cross.
"Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish"
Step Two: BE BAPTIZED
a person has genuinely repented and is dead to his old life, he is
ready to be baptized. Baptism is a type of Christ's burial. It is
extremely important how you are baptized. Since baptism is a type
of burial you must be immersed, completely covered in water. This
is the plain teaching of the Bible. Jesus gave clear instruction that
repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name (Luke
24:47). The apostles followed the instructions of our Lord, without
exception. In each instance in which scripture records what was said
at the time of baptism, the name of the Lord Jesus Christ is used.
(See Acts 8:16, 10:48, 19:5.) We also know that "…whatsoever
ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus"
Colossians 3:17. And further, "...there is none other
name under heaven, given among men, whereby we must be saved"
Step Three: RECEIVE THE HOLY GHOST
When your old sinful life is dead and you have been buried with Christ
in baptism, you are ready for resurrection into a new life. This is
the new birth that Jesus was speaking of when He said, "Ye
must be born again." The baptism, or infilling of the Holy
Ghost, is the breath of God that brings life to the believer. The
outward evidence of the baptism will be the speaking in other tongues,
as the Spirit speaks forth. This is the life of God indwelling the
life of men. "...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. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his
death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection"
Romans 6:4, 5.
The Holy Ghost is the spirit of resurrection which
will give you life at Christ's return. "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" Romans 8:11.
Who may have this life? You may! "For the promise is unto
you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many
as the Lord our God shall call" Acts 2:39.
God is calling you today to the way of life!