For many years I have held to this phrase, “What the Bible Teaches is NOT What many tell us.” In other words, I like to study what the Bible teaches as opposed to what, indeed, it does say.
The reason this is so intriguing is there are so many large and small groups of folks who call themselves ‘Christian,’ but have also misunderstood what the Bible teaches as they hang on to what it says.
For those who hang their hats on the Sovereignty of God which is true in every respect also add that God has predetermined who will go to Heaven and who will go to Hell. And all the while they are fully ignoring Jesus’ conversation with Nicodemus in John chapter 3, but especially the 16th verse, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him will not perish, but have everlasting life.” KJV.
Many think that every Believer will speak in tongues as evidence of being born-again. Acts 2:38 seems to be their ‘jumping-off’ place followed with many examples of the gifts of the Holy Spirit which NEVER say anything about ‘evidence for salvation.’ The standard of being born-again is this, “For by grace are you saved through faith…” Ephesians 2:8.
Can a Person Lose Salvation?
Some folks claim that a Believer can lose salvation in Jesus Christ; this is not a permanent relationship. The Bible teaches otherwise
John 10:27-30, “My sheep listen to my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish; no one will snatch them from my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one can snatch them from my Father’s hand. The Father and I are one.”
Romans 8:28-30, “And we know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose, because those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; and those he called, he also justified; and those he justified, he also glorified.”
Ephesians 1:13-14, “And when you heard the word of truth (the gospel of your salvation)—when you believed in Christ—you were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit, who is the down payment of our inheritance, until the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of his glory.”
John 3:16, “For this is the way God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”
Baptism does NOT save although the Bible does say the following:
Luke records this in Acts 2:38, “Peter said to them, “Repent, and each one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
Taken at face value…no doubt, one is saved when baptized. However, read other verses found in Acts:
3:19-20, “Therefore repent and turn back so that your sins may be wiped out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and so that he may send the Messiah appointed for you—that is, Jesus.”
10:42-43, “He commanded us to preach to the people and to warn them that he is the one appointed by God as judge of the living and the dead. About him all the prophets testify, that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”
10:47-48, “No one can withhold the water for these people to be baptized, who have received the Holy Spirit just as we did, can he?” 48 So he gave orders to have them baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to stay for several days.”
It is important to see that in verse 47 these had already received the Holy Spirit which means they were already born-again, saved, but had not been baptized prior to salvation…
13:38-39, “Therefore let it be known to you, brothers, that through this one forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, 39 and by this one everyone who believes is justified from everything from which the law of Moses could not justify you.”
15:8-11, “And God, who knows the heart, has testified to them by giving them the Holy Spirit just as he did to us, and he made no distinction between them and us, cleansing their hearts by faith. So now why are you putting God to the test by placing on the neck of the disciples a yoke that neither our ancestors nor we have been able to bear? On the contrary, we believe that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same way as they are.”
16:29-33, “Calling for lights, the jailer rushed in and fell down trembling at the feet of Paul and Silas. Then he brought them outside and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, you and your household.” Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him, along with all those who were in his house. At that hour of the night he took them and washed their wounds; then he and all his family were baptized right away.”
Baptism in this instance followed the instruction to believe for salvation.
26:17-18 Jesus is speaking here “I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles, to whom I am sending you to open their eyes so that they turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a share among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’”
Do NOT Be Found Guilty of ‘Proof-Texting’ for Your Purposes
These are but a very few select statements from the Word of God to point to the fact that the Bible says many things, but teaches the opposite of what some force upon the Word of God. The point is that by removing chosen verses of Scripture from a contextual setting can force these verses to say what the Bible is NOT teaching. We must be very, very careful NOT to force our opinions or emotions upon the Word of God. We will be held accountable.
Jesus is Lord.