1 Corinthians 9:11
Back to: Jesus' Full Salvation For Man
Taken From the Book:
When I share the Gospel on the field I get many different statements about how we are saved. Some are the following: "Through Repenting of our sins," "Through water baptism," "Through receiving the Holy Spirit," or "Through speaking in tongues." It is true that in order to receive Jesusí salvation for our sins, we must first confess and repent of our sins. Jesus said,
"Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and rise again from the dead the third day; and that repentance for forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.í" (Luke 24:46-47, Matt 3:1-12)
Jesus made plain that we must repent of our sins to be forgiven, but just repenting of our sins does not gain Godís forgiveness for our sins. If we could be saved through just repenting of our sins, then all people of all religions would be saved. We must repent of our sins in order to receive Godís forgiveness for our sins, but just repenting of our sins alone will not gain Godís forgiveness for our sins. The only way we gain forgiveness for sinís repented of is when we accept by faith Godís forgiveness for those sins through Jesusí death and shed blood on the cross alone. Paul and John wrote,
"But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him." (Romans 5:8-9)
"In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace." (Ephesians 1:7)
"The blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin." (1 John 1:7)
"To Him who loves us, and released us from our sins by His blood." (Revelation 1:5)
Many times I am told on the field that we are saved through water baptism. They will cite Acts 2:38 and Mark 16:16,
"And Peter said to them, ĎRepent, and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.í" (Acts 2:38)
"He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved." (Mark 16:16)
When these passages are taken out of the Bible, it is hard for one to argue with them. By themselves this seems to be exactly what these passages are saying. What is the problem with interpreting these verses at face value? First, Acts 2:38 and Mark 16:16 are not the Bible, they are verses in the Bible. The Bible is Genesis through Revelation. These verses must be interpreted in the light of all that the Bible teaches on the subject. Second, Peterís own teachings and comments in the rest of the book of Acts do not support the emphasis these people are putting on Acts 2:38. All one has to do is read the rest of the book of Acts to see that Peter does not interpret his statement in Acts 2:38 the way these various religious groups are interpreting it.
In Acts Chapter 10 we read of the first Gentiles converted to Christianity. Peter was a Jew and nothing unclean had ever entered his mouth and he had never polluted himself by entering the house of a Gentile. However, Jesus did not just come to save the Jews as Peter and even at this time the rest of the Apostles had believed, but to save all mankind including the Gentiles. Because of Peterís incomplete understanding about Jesusí salvation for men the Lord gave Peter a vision of all the animals of the earth, including the unclean ones they were commanded in the Law of Moses not to eat. When Peter saw the vision the Lord told him to kill and eat. Peter responded by saying to the Lord that nothing unclean had ever entered his mouth. Jesus said in response, "What God has cleansed, no longer consider unholy" (Acts 10:15). This happened three times and then some Gentile men knocked on Peterís door that were sent from Caesarea by Cornelius, a centurion and Gentile of the Italian cohort. Cornelius sent them to Peter through the instruction of an angel of the Lord to have Peter come and deliver a message to them.