Bella Vista Church of Christ

LIFELINES

09/13/2017

Randall Caselman

Terms Of Salvation

 

  Some teach that because Titus 2.11 says that "the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men" –That all men will be saved. Is this true? John tells us that Jesus is "the propitiation for the sins of the whole world" (1 John 2.2). So, will all be automatically pardoned?

 

  Understand this: Scripture teaches there is a difference between forgiveness available and forgiveness applied. Let Jesus speak. Let Scripture give us the terms of our salvation...

 

  1) It was Jesus who said: "Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven" (Matthew 7.21).

 

  2) We must believe. “For God so loved the world that he gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life" (John 3.16). God demands faith.Without it we cannot please Him (Hebrews 11.6). Faith gives us the right to become God's children: "To all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, he gave the right to become children of God (John 1.12).

 

  3) We must be changed people. We must, out of godly sorrow, repent of our sins. "God's not willing that any perish, but that all come to repentance (2 Peter 3.9). Jesus said: "I tell you, except you repent, you will perish" (Luke 13.3, 5).

 

  4) We must confess Jesus. Acknowledge Him for who He is, the son of God who came, lived, died, rose, lives, and will come again. We must acknowledge that "salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men whereby we can be saved" (Acts 4.12). Our forgiveness is based upon such acknowledgement: “Whoever acknowledges Me before men, I will also acknowledge him before My Father in heaven. But whoever disowns Me before men, I will disown him before My Father in heaven." (Matthew 10.32-33).

 

  5) We must be born again! Why argue with Jesus on the terms of our entrance into the Kingdom of God? “I tell you the truth, no-one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. (John3.5-6). No one can deny that a spiritual birth is necessary for our salvation. We can argue forever about what constitutes this new birth, but we cannot argue with Paul: "You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptised into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ" (Galatians 3.25-27).

 

  Our atonement, forgiveness, eternal salvation, is based upon our faith and obedience to God. We must receive His grace gift, meet the terms set before us, add fidelity and loyalty to our faith daily, walk in His steps, "conform to His image" (Romans 8.29). May God continue to bless our efforts to be found pleasing in His sight. Amen?

 

—Randall Caselman