WHY I AM A MEMBER OF THE CHURCH OF CHRIST #7
A. Today I want to share with you what I believe to be the most important reason why I am a member of the church of Christ.
B. I am a member of the church of Christ because it gives scriptural answers to the question – “What must I do to be saved?”
C. Let us begin by analyzing this question
1. The word “what” suggests that there is something required of a man in being saved. He who asks this question understands this fact.
2. The word “must” indicates that it is not a question of what should I, or what may I, but what MUST I do?
a. It is not a matter of option
b. The word “mus”” teaches the absolute necessity of the requirement.
3. The word “I” indicates that it is not what God, Christ,or the Holy Spirit must do, but what must I do.
a. All, who have any knowledge at all about the Bible know that the Godhead plays a part in man’s salvation.
b. But we must understand that there is God’s part and our part to salvation.
c. What must I do…
4. The word “do” does not mean what I must get, think, feel or believe, but it suggests activity on our part!
a. Salvation is not a matter of passiveness, but of activity!
b. If you take the word “do” out of Christianity – you will destroy it.
c. You never read of inspiration telling a sinner that there is nothing for him to do to be saved.
5. The phrase “to be saved” denotes the purpose of complying with the conditions.
a. “To be saved” is the object sought by the inquirer.
b. The phrase also suggests that the saving is done by another
c. But what must a man do to be saved by the Heavenly Father?
A. LET US CONSIDER A SURE WAY TO ANSWER THIS QUESTION
1. There could be no plainer and surer way to answer the question than to turn to the Bible and read the question and the answer given.
a. If the question is found 100 times, then we must read each question and each answer given.
b. Doing this will present the whole truth on the matter.
c. The question, “What must I do to be saved” is found only four times in the New Testament, and one of these is under the law of Moses.
2. The question was first asked by the rich young ruler who came to Jesus… Mark 10:17
a. Jesus referred him to the Ten Commandments.
1) The Mosaic Law was in force at this time, for Christ had not yet died, and nailed it to the cross (Col. 2:14).
2) It was a Jew’s duty to keep it.
b. The young man replied… Mark 10:20
c. Then Jesus said… Mark 10:21
1) The Law of Moses was not yet taken out of the way, and he was to keep it.
2) But he had a stumbling block, it was his materialism… Mark 10:22
3) He only intended to obey if it pleased him.
4) Tragically, many are like that today.
d. This answer, though, would not be given today for we are under the new law.
3. The question, “What must I do to be saved,” was also asked of the Jews on the first Pentecost after the resurrection of Jesus.
a. In Acts 2 we read of the Holy Spirit coming upon the apostles, the object of which was to guide them and direct them in the preaching of the gospel.
b. Jews from every nation were there and they all heard Peter’s sermon in their own language (Acts 2:6).
c. Peter concludes his sermon by saying… Acts 2:36
d. Notice these Jews’ response… Acts 2:37
e. Peter then answers them and says… Acts 2:38
1) Why were they not told to believe?
2) Because they already believed! So much so that they wanted to be saved.
3) According to Peter baptism is just as essential as repentance for the remission of sin – for salvation
f. Salvation requires more than faith and a change of heart, notice Acts 2:41
4. Saul of Tarsus asked, “What must I do to be saved?” in Acts 9.
a. Saul is first mentioned in connection with the stoning of Stephen (Acts 7:58; 8:1), and is mentioned as a severe persecutor of the church (Acts 8:3).
b. In all this, Saul thought he was doing right… Acts 23:1 and Acts 26:9 … our conscience is not a safe guide in religion
c. Back in Acts 9:3-5 you will notice…
1) This amazing event did not save Saul as some falsely assume
2) Acts 9:6
3) Obviously there was something yet for Saul to do to be saved
d. What Saul lack?
1) It was not belief; he had believed.
2) It was not repentance, for he was so penitent that he spent three days praying and with nourishment.
3) What did Saul lack? Paul tells us in Acts 22:16 as he recounts his conversion.
e. If Paul was saved on the road to Damascus, why was he so miserable? The truth is, he was not saved until after he was baptized.
5. Consider also the account of the Philippian jailor
a. Paul and Silas were prisoners in the Philippian jail… Acts 16:25-30
b. The jailor was an unbeliever, and there is no evidence that he ever heard a gospel sermon
c. In answer to his question, Paul says… Acts 16:31
d. But the story does not end here… Acts 16:32
1) Why? So he could believe
2) Romans 10:17
e. The result of the teaching is seen in Acts 16:33
B. WHY HAVE WE SEEN THREE DIFFERENT ANSWERS GIVEN TO THE SAME QUESTION?
The explanation is not hard:
1. The jailor was an unbeliever.
a. He was told to believe.
b. They preached to him for the purpose of producing faith.
c. He then repented and was baptized
2. The people on Pentecost did believe. So they were told to repent and be baptized for the remission of sins
3. Saul was a believing, penitent man. So he was told to be baptized and wash away his sins.
4. They were given different answers, because they were at different places on the road to salvation.
a. But all did the same things and traveled over the same road
b. For example, a man may ask how far it is to Waco, and someone tell him 67 miles.
1) He might travel a few miles and ask the question again and get a different answer
2) He may travel several more miles and ask the same question and get a different answer than the two before
3) The answer given depended where on his journey to Waco he was
c. The same is true for one on his road to salvation
A. What must we do to be saved?
B. The answer: H-B-R-C-B … remain faithful