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Jesus’ mission was to seek and save the lost.  Therefore. It is not surprising that during His earthly ministry Jesus revealed those things God has appointed for those to whom He gives eternal salvation.  He did not always couch it in the term, salvation.


We must deny self.

Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.  For whoever wishes to save His life shall lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake shall find it.”  Matthew 16: 24

Jesus emptied Himself of the prerogatives of heaven; He humbled himself, becoming obedient to death even death on a cross.  The cross is an instrument of death.  While we may not be asked to die physically in that way, we are all required to die to self.  Our old self must be crucified with Him that our body of sin might be done away with.  This old self includes our perspective on life, what we think we know.  God gives grace to the humble but resists the proud.


We must believe.

I said therefore to you, that you shall die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He, you shall die in your sins.  John 8: 24

Faith is the cornerstone of our response to God’s grace.  Without faith it is impossible to be pleasing to God.  In addition to believing that Jesus is the Messiah, we must believe that God is and that He is the rewarder of those that seek Him and that Jesus died, was buried and arose again the third day, never to die again.  God has graciously determined to reckon faith for right5eousness, saving those that believe.  Hebrews 11:6


We must confess Jesus before men.

Everyone therefore who shall confess Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven.  But whoever shall deny Me before men, I will also deny him before My father who is in heaven.

Matthew 10: 32 

Confession of the name of Jesus before man is a salvation issue.  “For with the heart man believes, resulting in righteous, and with the mouth he confesses resulting in salvation.”  Faith is the cornerstone of our response to God’ grace but without confession it is incomplete and useless.  We find an example of this in the gospel of John.  These Jews believed in Jesus but they were not confessing Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue. These are said to have loved the approval of men rather than the approval of God.  Romans 10: 10; James 2: 14- 25; John 12: 43, 43


We must repent of our sins.

I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.  Luke 13: 3

What could be simpler?  If we don’t repent, we will perish. “For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation; but the sorrow of the world produces death.”   God declares that all men, everywhere should repent.         2 Corinthians 7: 10; Acts 17: 30


We must be converted.

And He called a child to Himself and set him before them, and said, “Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like little children, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven.  Matthew 18: 3

Two things!  Little children are not bad and we have to change to enter the kingdom of heaven.  Many hold to the doctrine of original sin; i.e. the sin of Adam is passed on to mankind, in as much all are born sinners.  Please read the article Original Sin.  We must turn from the kingdom of darkness toward the kingdom of light and we must become like little children.  When we are baptized into Christ. We are given the Holy Spirit to dwell in us.  One of the works of the Spirit is to bring about spiritual renewal in which the former self is transformed into the image of Christ.  This is a day-by-day process continuing for the life of the individual.


We must be born again.

Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.  John 3: 3

Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.  John 3: 5

We must be born again and to be born again is to be born of water and the Spirit.  We are born of water when we come forth from the water of baptism and we are born of the Spirit when we come forth from the Spirit.  The Spirit is poured out upon and remains with us when we are baptized in water.  Please see the article The New Birth for a more detailed explanation.  Both are essential in our response to the grace of God.


We must be partakers of Christ.

Jesus therefore said to them, “truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you.” 

John 6: 53

This is one of Jesus’ most controversial statements.  Many of Jesus’ disciples were disturbed when He uttered these words.  No, He was not advocating cannibalism.  We “eat” His flesh and “drink” His blood when we become partakers of the sacrificing of His flesh and the shedding of His blood on the cross.  This happens, I believe, when we are baptized into His death.  Secondarily, Jesus has appointed the Lord’s Supper, the Eucharist, which we take together with Him and the other saints, to remember Him and proclaim His death until He comes.   Romans 6: 4; 1 Corinthians 11: 23- 26

Summation:  Jesus revealed that the following are factors in salvation.

·        Denial of self

·        Faith in God, Jesus the Son of God and the gospel of Christ

·        Repentance from sin

·        Confession

·        Born again

                -Of water (baptism in water)

                - Of the Spirit (reception of the Holy Spirit)

·        Partakers of Christ (baptism into the death of Christ)

·        Conversion and becoming like a little child


God bless

Arland Pafford


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Last Update   09/26/12