JESUS TEACHES CONCERNING SALVATION
We learned in the last two lessons that the various types and shadows of the Old Testament teach us that the way of salvation is through the blood, water, and Spirit. We learned that Noah's ark with its three stories represents the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and the way of salvation:
1. blood = repentance
The very first word that John the Baptist spoke when he began his ministry was "repent." This word means that we are sorry for our sins, and we make up our mind to leave them. We confess our sins to Jesus, and ask Him to forgive us. We pray something like this (using our own words, and praying sincerely):
"Jesus, I confess to you that I have sinned abundantly. I am sick of my present life. I am tired of my sins. You died for me. Now I want to live for you. Forgive me for all of my sins, and give me a new life. Wash me with your precious blood. In Jesus' name. Amen."
Something wonderful happens when we pray the prayer of repentance:
Not only does Jesus forgive us, He forgets all about our sins:
2. Jesus taught that everybody must repent:
The kingdom of God Jesus spoke about here is not a natural kingdom. It is a spiritual kingdom--His spiritual body, the church. The Jews did not understand this. They thought Jesus was coming to establish a natural kingdom and they would be free from the Romans, who ruled and taxed them.
Jesus explained to them:
3. Jesus teaches further concerning repentance:
By this, Jesus taught us that everyone, regardless of how good we
feel we are, needs to repent. In fact none of us are good within ourselves:
4. Jesus taught concerning entrance into His spiritual kingdom,
a. Why must we be born again?
After Adam fell into sin by his willful disobedience in the garden of Eden, every human being was born with a sinful nature. This is what is meant by the term "the flesh." Paul warns us: "For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God (the enemy of God): for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his" (Romans 8:5-9).
How do we get "out" of the flesh so that we can please God?
BIRTH OF THE WATER (BAPTISM)
"Much water" would not be needed if the method was sprinkling.
2. Jesus considered water baptism very important:
"And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned" (Mark 16:15-16).
3. Jesus commanded that baptism should be in the name (not
". . . Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer,
and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission
of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning
at Jerusalem" (Luke 24:46-47).
Jesus Christ compared the Holy Ghost with water, which is essential to life, and also that which quenches our thirst more than anything else.
"Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water (natural water) shall thirst again:But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life" (John 4:13-14).
"In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly (innermost being) shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified) (John 7:37-39).
Jesus spoke much about the Holy Ghost that would be given to all true believers. If you note the following verses of Scripture carefully, you will see that the Holy Ghost or Holy Spirit, is no less than the very Spirit of Jesus Christ. When we are filled with the Holy Spirit, we are filled with Jesus!
"And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you" (John 14:16-18).
Truly, when we are born of the water (by baptism) and the Spirit (by receiving the Holy Ghost), we do receive the Spirit of Jesus Christ:
"But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin: but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.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 8:9-11).
Jesus commanded his disciples:
"And being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me.For John truly baptized with water, but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you . . ." (Acts 1:4-5, 8).
Before we close this lesson, let us read together the most popular verse of Scripture in the entire Bible:
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16).
Many people quote this beautiful verse of Scripture in an attempt to prove that they are saved without baptism of water and Spirit. They point out that Jesus said we could have eternal life by believing alone. However, this is a dishonest use of the Word of God. We must remember that Jesus spoke these words to Nicodemus -- the same person that He had already told of his need to be born of the water and the Spirit. A true believer will seek to receive from God all things that will bring him into a closer relationship with God. When more light comes his way, a true believer will accept and walk in that light!
God give us an honest heart, so that we can receive all of the beautiful things that Jesus wants to give us, and enjoy the wonderful life that Jesus has for us! ds
2. water = _________________________________________
3. Spirit = _________________________________________
4. The very first word that John the Baptist spoke when he began his ministry was ________________.
5. This word means:
6. "If we confess our sins, he is _________________________________________
7. Not only does Jesus forgive us, ___________________________________.
8. We must be born of the ___________ and of the ___________________.
9. Why must we be born again? "That which is born
10. To be carnally minded is _____________. To be spiritually
11. They that are in the flesh ________________ please God. 12. "But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit ________________________."
13. How do we know that John baptized by immersion, not sprinkling?
14. "He that believeth _______________________ shall be saved."
15. Jesus compared the Holy Ghost with _____________, because water is ________________________________.
16. The Holy Ghost or Holy Spirit is the very Spirit of ___________________
17. Jesus instructed his followers, "Tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ____________________________ __________________________________________."
18. "Ye shall receive power, after that _________________________________."
19. John 3:16 ("God so loved the world, etc.") was actually a part of the words that were spoken to _____________.
20. We need an __________ heart, so that we can receive all of the beautiful things Jesus wants to give us.