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God Has a Message for Human Beings A Visualized Bible Study.

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Presentation on theme: "God Has a Message for Human Beings A Visualized Bible Study."— Presentation transcript:

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2 God Has a Message for Human Beings A Visualized Bible Study

3 HUMAN BEINGS NEED DIVINE GUIDANCE “I know, O LORD, that the way of man is not in himself, that it is not in man who walks to direct his steps” (Jeremiah 10:23). According to this passage, can human beings can find their own way without God’s help?

4 GOD HAS PROVIDED A WRITTEN GUIDE, THE HOLY SCRIPTURES “But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings which are able to instruct you for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:14-17).

5 GOD HAS PROVIDED A WRITTEN GUIDE, THE HOLY SCRIPTURES Are the scriptures inspired of God? Are the scriptures a sufficient guide enabling God’s people to do every good work? Are other sources of guidance needed in order to know God’s will?

6 GOD HAS PROVIDED A WRITTEN GUIDE, THE HOLY SCRIPTURES Which of the following are inspired of God and possess divine authority? –Human feelings? –Traditions and doctrines of men? –Actions of the majority? –The scriptures?

7 TODAY, GOD GUIDES HUMAN BEINGS BY MEANS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT OF JESUS CHRIST “In many and various ways God spoke of old to our fathers by the prophets; but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world” (Hebrews 1:1, 2).

8 TODAY, GOD GUIDES HUMAN BEINGS BY MEANS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT OF JESUS CHRIST “For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ” (John 1:17).

9 TODAY, GOD GUIDES HUMAN BEINGS BY MEANS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT OF JESUS CHRIST “And Peter said to Jesus, ‘Lord, it is well that we are here; if you wish, I will make three booths here, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah.’ He was still speaking, when lo, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, ‘This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him’” (Matthew 17:4, 5).

10 TODAY, GOD GUIDES HUMAN BEINGS BY MEANS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT OF JESUS CHRIST Before Christ came, God’s people were Israelites who lived and worshiped according to the law of Moses and the teaching of prophets preserved in the Old Testament. Since Christ has come, God’s people are those who follow Christ and his teaching.

11 TODAY, GOD GUIDES HUMAN BEINGS BY MEANS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT OF JESUS CHRIST “He who rejects me and does not receive my sayings has a judge; the word that I have spoken will be his judge on the last day” (Jesus in John 12:48). The word of Jesus Christ is the standard by which people will be judged on the day of judgment.

12 TODAY, GOD GUIDES HUMAN BEINGS BY MEANS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT OF JESUS CHRIST “Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are competent of ourselves to claim anything as coming from us; our competence is from God, who has made us competent to be ministers of a new covenant, not in a written code but in the Spirit; for the written code kills, but the Spirit gives life” (2 Corinthians 3:4-6).

13 TODAY, GOD GUIDES HUMAN BEINGS BY MEANS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT OF JESUS CHRIST The new covenant (or new testament) is the part of the Bible which contains the will of Christ. The sole authority for learning how to become a follower of Christ, how to worship as a Christian, and how to be saved in the last day is the new covenant (or new testament).

14 THE NEW TESTAMENT REVEALS EVERY HUMAN BEING’S NEED FOR SALVATION WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE LOST? “And you he made alive, when you were dead through the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience…

15 THE NEW TESTAMENT REVEALS EVERY HUMAN BEING’S NEED FOR SALVATION WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE LOST? “…Among these we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, following the desires of body and mind, and so we were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind...

16 THE NEW TESTAMENT REVEALS EVERY HUMAN BEING’S NEED FOR SALVATION WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE LOST? “…Remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world...

17 THE NEW TESTAMENT REVEALS EVERY HUMAN BEING’S NEED FOR SALVATION WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE LOST? “…They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart... “ (Ephesians 2:1-3,12; 4:18).

18 THE NEW TESTAMENT REVEALS EVERY HUMAN BEING’S NEED FOR SALVATION WHAT IS SIN? “Every one who commits sin is guilty of lawlessness; sin is lawlessness” (1 John 3:4). “All wrongdoing is sin...” (1 John 5:17). “Whoever knows what is right to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin” (James 4:17).

19 THE NEW TESTAMENT REVEALS EVERY HUMAN BEING’S NEED FOR SALVATION WHAT IS SIN? Sin is acting contrary to the law of God (“lawlessness”). Sin is doing that which is not right. Sin is not doing the good we know we ought to do.

20 THE NEW TESTAMENT REVEALS EVERY HUMAN BEING’S NEED FOR SALVATION “... all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). I have sinned, and I continue to fall short of the glory of God.

21 THE NEW TESTAMENT REVEALS EVERY HUMAN BEING’S NEED FOR SALVATION “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and wickedness of men who by their wickedness suppress the truth” (Romans 1:18). Since I have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, God’s wrath (anger) is revealed from heaven against me.

22 THE NEW TESTAMENT BEARS WITNESS TO THE GOOD NEWS OF HOW GOD MAKES SALVATION POSSIBLE FOR MANKIND “Now I would remind you, brethren, in what terms I preached to you the gospel, which you received, in which you stand, by which you are saved, if you hold it fast—unless you believed in vain.

23 THE NEW TESTAMENT BEARS WITNESS TO THE GOOD NEWS OF HOW GOD MAKES SALVATION POSSIBLE FOR MANKIND “… For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:1-4).

24 THE NEW TESTAMENT BEARS WITNESS TO THE GOOD NEWS OF HOW GOD MAKES SALVATION POSSIBLE FOR MANKIND “While we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. Why, one will hardly die for a righteous man—though perhaps for a good man one will dare even to die. But God shows his love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us…

25 THE NEW TESTAMENT BEARS WITNESS TO THE GOOD NEWS OF HOW GOD MAKES SALVATION POSSIBLE FOR MANKIND “… Since, therefore, we are now justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life” (Romans 5:6-10).

26 THE NEW TESTAMENT BEARS WITNESS TO THE GOOD NEWS OF HOW GOD MAKES SALVATION POSSIBLE FOR MANKIND God loves human beings who are lost in sin so much that Christ died to pay the penalty for the sins of humanity. Are the ungodly justified (declared “righteous” or “not guilty”) by their own good works or by faith? Sinners, who are God’s enemies, are reconciled to God (made God’s friends again) through Christ’s death.

27 THE NEW TESTAMENT BEARS WITNESS TO THE GOOD NEWS OF HOW GOD MAKES SALVATION POSSIBLE FOR MANKIND “... they are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus... In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace” (Romans 3:24; Ephesians 1:7).

28 THE NEW TESTAMENT BEARS WITNESS TO THE GOOD NEWS OF HOW GOD MAKES SALVATION POSSIBLE FOR MANKIND Redemption, justification, and forgiveness of sins are in Christ. Do you consider yourself to have been saved?

29 THE NEW TESTAMENT BEARS WITNESS TO THE GOOD NEWS OF HOW GOD MAKES SALVATION POSSIBLE FOR MANKIND Your Religious History Profile Approximately, when were you saved? How old were you at the time? Were you saved at a religious service? If you were saved at a religious service, at what church?

30 THE NEW TESTAMENT BEARS WITNESS TO THE GOOD NEWS OF HOW GOD MAKES SALVATION POSSIBLE FOR MANKIND Your Religious History Profile If you were saved at a religious service, what, if anything, did you confess before the church at the time of your salvation? Were you baptized? In your baptism were you immersed?

31 THE NEW TESTAMENT BEARS WITNESS TO THE GOOD NEWS OF HOW GOD MAKES SALVATION POSSIBLE FOR MANKIND Your Religious History Profile If you were immersed, how much time elapsed between the day on which you believed you were saved and the day on which you were baptized? Were you told that baptism was required for you to be saved?

32 THE NEW TESTAMENT BEARS WITNESS TO THE GOOD NEWS OF HOW GOD MAKES SALVATION POSSIBLE FOR MANKIND Your Religious History Profile Was baptism required for membership in the church you joined? If you were immersed, if you had died before you had been baptized, do you think you would have gone to heaven?

33 THE NEW TESTAMENT SHOWS HUMAN BEINGS HOW TO RECEIVE THE SALVATION GOD HAS PROVIDED “Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:3-4).

34 THE NEW TESTAMENT SHOWS HUMAN BEINGS HOW TO RECEIVE THE SALVATION GOD HAS PROVIDED How does one get into Christ? How does one get into Christ’s death which justifies and reconciles sinners to God?

35 THE NEW TESTAMENT SHOWS HUMAN BEINGS HOW TO RECEIVE THE SALVATION GOD HAS PROVIDED “... for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ” (Galatians 3:26, 27).

36 THE NEW TESTAMENT SHOWS HUMAN BEINGS HOW TO RECEIVE THE SALVATION GOD HAS PROVIDED

37 One is a child of God through faith. In Christ, one is a child of God through faith. Through faith, one comes to be a child of God in Christ by being baptized into Christ.

38 THE NEW TESTAMENT SHOWS HUMAN BEINGS HOW TO RECEIVE THE SALVATION GOD HAS PROVIDED “And he said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:15, 16).

39 THE NEW TESTAMENT SHOWS HUMAN BEINGS HOW TO RECEIVE THE SALVATION GOD HAS PROVIDED “And Peter said to them, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38).

40 THE NEW TESTAMENT SHOWS HUMAN BEINGS HOW TO RECEIVE THE SALVATION GOD HAS PROVIDED “And as they went along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, ‘See, here is water! What is to prevent my being baptized?’ And Philip said, If you believe with all your heart, you may. And he answered and said, ‘I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God’” (Acts 8:36, 37).

41 THE NEW TESTAMENT SHOWS HUMAN BEINGS HOW TO RECEIVE THE SALVATION GOD HAS PROVIDED Who may be baptized, i.e., what three things must one do before he or she may be baptized, according to these scriptures? One must believe the gospel and be baptized.

42 THE NEW TESTAMENT SHOWS HUMAN BEINGS HOW TO RECEIVE THE SALVATION GOD HAS PROVIDED Who may be baptized, i.e., what three things must one do before he or she may be baptized, according to these scriptures? One must repent and be baptized.

43 THE NEW TESTAMENT SHOWS HUMAN BEINGS HOW TO RECEIVE THE SALVATION GOD HAS PROVIDED Who may be baptized, i.e., what three things must one do before he or she may be baptized, according to these scriptures? One must confess faith in Christ by saying, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God” and be baptized.

44 THE NEW TESTAMENT SHOWS HUMAN BEINGS HOW TO RECEIVE THE SALVATION GOD HAS PROVIDED “We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:4).

45 THE NEW TESTAMENT SHOWS HUMAN BEINGS HOW TO RECEIVE THE SALVATION GOD HAS PROVIDED “...and you were buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead” (Colossians 2:12).

46 THE NEW TESTAMENT SHOWS HUMAN BEINGS HOW TO RECEIVE THE SALVATION GOD HAS PROVIDED “And he commanded the chariot to stop, and they both went down into the water, Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him. And when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught up Philip; and the eunuch saw him no more, and went on his way rejoicing” (Acts 8:38, 39).

47 THE NEW TESTAMENT SHOWS HUMAN BEINGS HOW TO RECEIVE THE SALVATION GOD HAS PROVIDED People are buried with Christ by baptism. Is a burial in water the same as sprinkling or pouring water on a person? Is one in Christ before he or she is baptized?

48 THE NEW TESTAMENT SHOWS HUMAN BEINGS HOW TO RECEIVE THE SALVATION GOD HAS PROVIDED Is one saved before he or she is baptized into Christ? Does one experience the forgiveness of sins before he or she is baptized into Christ?

49 THE NEW TESTAMENT SHOWS HUMAN BEINGS HOW TO RECEIVE THE SALVATION GOD HAS PROVIDED “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God—not because of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8, 9).

50 THE NEW TESTAMENT SHOWS HUMAN BEINGS HOW TO RECEIVE THE SALVATION GOD HAS PROVIDED “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word” (Ephesians 5:25, 26).

51 THE NEW TESTAMENT SHOWS HUMAN BEINGS HOW TO RECEIVE THE SALVATION GOD HAS PROVIDED “Jesus answered him, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born anew, he cannot see the kingdom of God.... Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God’” (John 3:3, 5).

52 THE NEW TESTAMENT SHOWS HUMAN BEINGS HOW TO RECEIVE THE SALVATION GOD HAS PROVIDED “And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on his name” (Acts 22:16).

53 THE NEW TESTAMENT SHOWS HUMAN BEINGS HOW TO RECEIVE THE SALVATION GOD HAS PROVIDED “... he saved us, not because of deeds done by us in righteousness, but in virtue of his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal in the Holy Spirit” (Titus 3:5).

54 THE NEW TESTAMENT SHOWS HUMAN BEINGS HOW TO RECEIVE THE SALVATION GOD HAS PROVIDED Salvation is by the grace of God through faith. In baptism one undergoes the washing of regeneration (washing of “new birth”).

55 THE NEW TESTAMENT SHOWS HUMAN BEINGS HOW TO RECEIVE THE SALVATION GOD HAS PROVIDED “And Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children and to all that are far off, every one whom the Lord our God calls to him…’

56 THE NEW TESTAMENT SHOWS HUMAN BEINGS HOW TO RECEIVE THE SALVATION GOD HAS PROVIDED “… And he testified with many other words and exhorted them, saying, ‘Save yourselves from this crooked generation.’ So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls” (Acts 2:38-41).

57 THE NEW TESTAMENT SHOWS HUMAN BEINGS HOW TO RECEIVE THE SALVATION GOD HAS PROVIDED “... and you were buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead” (Colossians 2:12).

58 THE NEW TESTAMENT SHOWS HUMAN BEINGS HOW TO RECEIVE THE SALVATION GOD HAS PROVIDED “.... For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by men and hating one another; but when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us,...

59 THE NEW TESTAMENT SHOWS HUMAN BEINGS HOW TO RECEIVE THE SALVATION GOD HAS PROVIDED “...not because of deeds done by us in righteousness, but in virtue of his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal in the Holy Spirit, which he poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that we might be justified by his grace and become heirs in hope of eternal life...” (Titus 3:3-7).

60 THE NEW TESTAMENT SHOWS HUMAN BEINGS HOW TO RECEIVE THE SALVATION GOD HAS PROVIDED Baptism is performed upon a person. One does not baptize oneself, but submits to baptism (allows oneself to be baptized). Is it God, or the one being baptized, who acts or works in baptism?

61 THE NEW TESTAMENT SHOWS HUMAN BEINGS HOW TO RECEIVE THE SALVATION GOD HAS PROVIDED Baptism, the washing of regeneration, stands in contrast to “works of righteousness.” To submit to baptism for the forgiveness of sins is to submit to (allows oneself to experience) God’s gracious washing.

62 THE NEW TESTAMENT SHOWS HUMAN BEINGS HOW TO RECEIVE THE SALVATION GOD HAS PROVIDED “When they heard this all the people and the tax collectors justified God, having been baptized with the baptism of John; but the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected the purpose of God for themselves, not having been baptized by him” (Luke 7:29, 30).

63 THE NEW TESTAMENT SHOWS HUMAN BEINGS HOW TO RECEIVE THE SALVATION GOD HAS PROVIDED When God has commanded baptism, people who are baptized show that they believe that God’s will is right (“justified God”). When God has commanded baptism, people who refuse to be baptized reject the counsel of God (as did the Pharisees and lawyers).

64 THE NEW TESTAMENT REVEALS WHAT THE LORD DOES WITH THOSE WHO EXPERIENCE HIS SALVATION “So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls... praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved” (Acts 2:41, 47).

65 THE NEW TESTAMENT REVEALS WHAT THE LORD DOES WITH THOSE WHO EXPERIENCE HIS SALVATION Those who are being baptized for the remission of sins are thereby being added by the Lord to the church. All those who are being baptized are thereby being added by the Lord to the church.

66 THE NEW TESTAMENT REVEALS WHAT THE LORD DOES WITH THOSE WHO EXPERIENCE HIS SALVATION “... and he has put all things under his feet and has made him the head over all things for the church, which is his body, the fulness of him who fills all in all” (Ephesians 1:22, 23). Christ’s church is his body.

67 THE NEW TESTAMENT REVEALS WHAT THE LORD DOES WITH THOSE WHO EXPERIENCE HIS SALVATION “For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:13).

68 THE NEW TESTAMENT REVEALS WHAT THE LORD DOES WITH THOSE WHO EXPERIENCE HIS SALVATION We have learned that one is baptized into Christ (Romans 6:3; Galatians 3:27). We have seen that Christ’s body is his church (Ephesians 1:22, 23). According to 1 Corinthians 12:13, when one is baptized into Christ, one is baptized into Christ’s one body, which is his church.

69 THE NEW TESTAMENT REVEALS WHAT THE LORD DOES WITH THOSE WHO EXPERIENCE HIS SALVATION “And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18).

70 THE NEW TESTAMENT REVEALS WHAT THE LORD DOES WITH THOSE WHO EXPERIENCE HIS SALVATION How many churches does Christ have? “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If a man does not abide in me, he is cast forth as a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire and burned” (John 15:5, 6). “There is one body...” (Ephesians 4:4).

71 THE NEW TESTAMENT REVEALS WHAT THE LORD DOES WITH THOSE WHO EXPERIENCE HIS SALVATION

72 Are individual Christians or denominations the “branches” of Christ’s one body, his church? Those who are baptized into Christ are added by the Lord to this church (Acts 2:41, 47).

73 THE NEW TESTAMENT REVEALS WHAT THE LORD DOES WITH THOSE WHO EXPERIENCE HIS SALVATION “For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. As the church is subject to Christ, so let wives also be subject in everything to their husbands” (Ephesians 5:23, 24).

74 THE NEW TESTAMENT REVEALS WHAT THE LORD DOES WITH THOSE WHO EXPERIENCE HIS SALVATION Christ is head over his church. The church of which Christ is head is the one that obeys him.

75 THE NEW TESTAMENT REVEALS WHAT THE LORD DOES WITH THOSE WHO EXPERIENCE HIS SALVATION “Therefore he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has occurred which redeems them from the transgressions under the first covenant....

76 THE NEW TESTAMENT REVEALS WHAT THE LORD DOES WITH THOSE WHO EXPERIENCE HIS SALVATION “...For where a will is involved, the death of the one who made it must be established. For a will takes effect only at death, since it is not in force as long as the one who made it is alive” (Hebrews 9:15-17).

77 THE NEW TESTAMENT REVEALS WHAT THE LORD DOES WITH THOSE WHO EXPERIENCE HIS SALVATION People can exercise their will upon earthly events after they have left this world! How? By writing their last will or testament. Christ is in now in heaven. Can he still exercise headship over his church on earth?

78 THE NEW TESTAMENT REVEALS WHAT THE LORD DOES WITH THOSE WHO EXPERIENCE HIS SALVATION How can Christ still exercise headship over his church on earth? By means of his written will or testament. What is Christ’s written will or testament? The New Testament.

79 OF ALL THE RELIGIOUS BODIES THAT EXIST, WHICH IS ACTUALLY OBEDIENT TO CHRIST? “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age” (Matthew 28:18- 20). The church that obeys the Lord’s will on how to be saved and how to live?

80 OF ALL THE RELIGIOUS BODIES THAT EXIST, WHICH IS ACTUALLY OBEDIENT TO CHRIST? “... addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with all your heart” (Ephesians 5:19)

81 OF ALL THE RELIGIOUS BODIES THAT EXIST, WHICH IS ACTUALLY OBEDIENT TO CHRIST? “On the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul talked with them, intending to depart on the morrow; and he prolonged his speech until midnight” (Acts 20:7). The church that obeys the Lord’s will on how to worship?

82 OF ALL THE RELIGIOUS BODIES THAT EXIST, WHICH IS ACTUALLY OBEDIENT TO CHRIST? “And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers” (Acts 2:42). “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven” (Matthew 16:19).

83 OF ALL THE RELIGIOUS BODIES THAT EXIST, WHICH IS ACTUALLY OBEDIENT TO CHRIST? “If any one thinks that he is a prophet, or spiritual, he should acknowledge that what I am writing to you is a command of the Lord” (1 Corinthians 14:37).

84 OF ALL THE RELIGIOUS BODIES THAT EXIST, WHICH IS ACTUALLY OBEDIENT TO CHRIST? “I do not pray for these only, but also for those who believe in me through their word, that they may all be one; even as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that thou hast sent me” (John 17:20, 21).

85 OF ALL THE RELIGIOUS BODIES THAT EXIST, WHICH IS ACTUALLY OBEDIENT TO CHRIST? In worshiping and serving Christ in his church, should one should be guided solely by the teaching of Christ and his apostles? Is the teaching of Christ and his apostles recorded in the New Testament?

86 OF ALL THE RELIGIOUS BODIES THAT EXIST, WHICH IS ACTUALLY OBEDIENT TO CHRIST? To learn how God desired for the Israelites to worship, we should consult the Old Testament. To learn how God desires for Christians to worship, we should consult the New Testament.

87 OF ALL THE RELIGIOUS BODIES THAT EXIST, WHICH IS ACTUALLY OBEDIENT TO CHRIST? “... in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men” (Matthew 15:9). “But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for such the Father seeks to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth” (John 4:23, 24).

88 OF ALL THE RELIGIOUS BODIES THAT EXIST, WHICH IS ACTUALLY OBEDIENT TO CHRIST? Is God pleased by worship which is according to his revealed will or by worship which is according to human desires, preferences, or traditions?

89 THE NEW TESTAMENT URGES THAT ONE ASK ONESELF, “AM I IN CHRIST?” Do YOU desire these blessings which are IN CHRIST? One who desires these spiritual blessings must get into Christ in order to enjoy them.

90 THE NEW TESTAMENT URGES YOU TO RESPOND TO GOD’S MESSAGE OF SALVATION, TO GET INTO CHRIST, AND EXPERIENCE SALVATION YOURSELF “I told you that you would die in your sins, for you will die in your sins unless you believe that I am he” (John 8:24). Do you believe Jesus is the Son of God?

91 THE NEW TESTAMENT URGES YOU TO RESPOND TO GOD’S MESSAGE OF SALVATION, TO GET INTO CHRIST, AND EXPERIENCE SALVATION YOURSELF “I tell you, No; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3, 5).

92 THE NEW TESTAMENT URGES YOU TO RESPOND TO GOD’S MESSAGE OF SALVATION, TO GET INTO CHRIST, AND EXPERIENCE SALVATION YOURSELF “‘What do you think? A man had two sons; and he went to the first and said, “Son, go and work in the vineyard today.” And he answered, “I will not;” but afterward he repented and went. And he went to the second and said the same; and he answered, “I go, sir,” but did not go....

93 THE NEW TESTAMENT URGES YOU TO RESPOND TO GOD’S MESSAGE OF SALVATION, TO GET INTO CHRIST, AND EXPERIENCE SALVATION YOURSELF “‘... Which of the two did the will of his father?’ They said, ‘The first.’ Jesus said to them, ‘Truly, I say to you, the tax collectors and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you’” (Matthew 21:28-31).

94 THE NEW TESTAMENT URGES YOU TO RESPOND TO GOD’S MESSAGE OF SALVATION, TO GET INTO CHRIST, AND EXPERIENCE SALVATION YOURSELF According to Jesus’ parable, to repent is to make a decision to do the will of the Father. Have you repented of the sins of your past, i.e., decided to do the Father’s will? If not, are you willing to repent now?

95 THE NEW TESTAMENT URGES YOU TO RESPOND TO GOD’S MESSAGE OF SALVATION, TO GET INTO CHRIST, AND EXPERIENCE SALVATION YOURSELF “Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, ‘Brethren, what shall we do?’ And Peter said to them, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:37, 38).

96 THE NEW TESTAMENT URGES YOU TO RESPOND TO GOD’S MESSAGE OF SALVATION, TO GET INTO CHRIST, AND EXPERIENCE SALVATION YOURSELF “But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness” (Romans 6:17, 18).

97 THE NEW TESTAMENT URGES YOU TO RESPOND TO GOD’S MESSAGE OF SALVATION, TO GET INTO CHRIST, AND EXPERIENCE SALVATION YOURSELF Have you been baptized (buried or immersed in water)? If you have been baptized, please consider if it was for the purpose revealed in Scripture.

98 THE NEW TESTAMENT URGES YOU TO RESPOND TO GOD’S MESSAGE OF SALVATION, TO GET INTO CHRIST, AND EXPERIENCE SALVATION YOURSELF Every religious act involves the heart (mind), including one’s motives and purposes. “Beware of practicing your piety before men in order to be seen by them; for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 6:1).

99 THE NEW TESTAMENT URGES YOU TO RESPOND TO GOD’S MESSAGE OF SALVATION, TO GET INTO CHRIST, AND EXPERIENCE SALVATION YOURSELF A religious act must be done with the right motive or purpose to be acceptable to God. As we have seen, in valid, New Testament baptism, one is baptized in order to be saved, in order to get into Christ, and in order to receive the forgiveness of sins.

100 THE NEW TESTAMENT URGES YOU TO RESPOND TO GOD’S MESSAGE OF SALVATION, TO GET INTO CHRIST, AND EXPERIENCE SALVATION YOURSELF Have you been baptized for the purpose revealed in Scripture?

101 THE NEW TESTAMENT URGES YOU TO RESPOND TO GOD’S MESSAGE OF SALVATION, TO GET INTO CHRIST, AND EXPERIENCE SALVATION YOURSELF If you believed you were saved before you were baptized, were you baptized in order to be saved?

102 THE NEW TESTAMENT URGES YOU TO RESPOND TO GOD’S MESSAGE OF SALVATION, TO GET INTO CHRIST, AND EXPERIENCE SALVATION YOURSELF If you were not baptized in order to be saved, were you baptized for the right purpose?

103 THE NEW TESTAMENT URGES YOU TO RESPOND TO GOD’S MESSAGE OF SALVATION, TO GET INTO CHRIST, AND EXPERIENCE SALVATION YOURSELF If you were not baptized for the right purpose, was the immersion to which you submitted valid, New Testament baptism?

104 THE NEW TESTAMENT URGES YOU TO RESPOND TO GOD’S MESSAGE OF SALVATION, TO GET INTO CHRIST, AND EXPERIENCE SALVATION YOURSELF “While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul passed through the upper country and came to Ephesus. There he found some disciples. And he said to them, ‘Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?’ And they said, ‘No, we have never even heard that there is a Holy Spirit....”

105 THE NEW TESTAMENT URGES YOU TO RESPOND TO GOD’S MESSAGE OF SALVATION, TO GET INTO CHRIST, AND EXPERIENCE SALVATION YOURSELF “... And he said, ‘Into what then were you baptized?’ They said, ‘Into John’s baptism.’ And Paul said, ‘John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, Jesus.’ On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus” (Acts 19:1-5).

106 THE NEW TESTAMENT URGES YOU TO RESPOND TO GOD’S MESSAGE OF SALVATION, TO GET INTO CHRIST, AND EXPERIENCE SALVATION YOURSELF When these people learned that the immersion to which they had submitted was not valid, they submitted to valid baptism. Since salvation is so important, should one be immersed again if there is any doubt about the validity of his or her baptism?

107 THE NEW TESTAMENT URGES YOU TO RESPOND TO GOD’S MESSAGE OF SALVATION, TO GET INTO CHRIST, AND EXPERIENCE SALVATION YOURSELF “I write this to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life” (1 John 5:13). “Not every one who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 7:21).

108 THE NEW TESTAMENT URGES YOU TO RESPOND TO GOD’S MESSAGE OF SALVATION, TO GET INTO CHRIST, AND EXPERIENCE SALVATION YOURSELF Consider what has just been studied. In light of this, do you know for sure that you are saved and that if you die today you will go to heaven?

109 THE NEW TESTAMENT URGES YOU TO RESPOND TO GOD’S MESSAGE OF SALVATION, TO GET INTO CHRIST, AND EXPERIENCE SALVATION YOURSELF “This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be made worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering—since indeed God deems it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you, and to grant rest with us to you who are afflicted, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven...

110 THE NEW TESTAMENT URGES YOU TO RESPOND TO GOD’S MESSAGE OF SALVATION, TO GET INTO CHRIST, AND EXPERIENCE SALVATION YOURSELF “... with his mighty angels in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance upon those who do not know God and upon those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They shall suffer the punishment of eternal destruction and exclusion from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might,...

111 THE NEW TESTAMENT URGES YOU TO RESPOND TO GOD’S MESSAGE OF SALVATION, TO GET INTO CHRIST, AND EXPERIENCE SALVATION YOURSELF “... when he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at in all who have believed, because our testimony to you was believed” (2 Thessalonians 1:5-10). If one does not obey Christ, he or she is in grave spiritual and eternal danger!

112 HOW SOON SHOULD YOU GET INTO CHRIST? “And Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children and to all that are far off, every one whom the Lord our God calls to him....’

113 HOW SOON SHOULD YOU GET INTO CHRIST? “... And he testified with many other words and exhorted them, saying, ‘Save yourselves from this crooked generation.’ So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls” (Acts 2:38-41). How soon were these people baptized?

114 HOW SOON SHOULD YOU GET INTO CHRIST? “Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning with this scripture he told him the good news of Jesus. And as they went along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, ‘See, here is water! What is to prevent my being baptized?’....

115 HOW SOON SHOULD YOU GET INTO CHRIST? “.... And Philip said, ‘If you believe with all your heart, you may.’ And he replied, ‘I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.’ And he commanded the chariot to stop, and they both went down into the water, Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him” (Acts 8:35-38). How soon was the Ethiopian baptized?

116 HOW SOON SHOULD YOU GET INTO CHRIST? “... and brought them out and said, ‘Men, what must I do to be saved?’ And they said, ‘Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.’ And they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all that were in his house....

117 HOW SOON SHOULD YOU GET INTO CHRIST? “... And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their wounds, and he was baptized at once, with all his family” (Acts 16:30-33). How soon was the jailor baptized?

118 HOW SOON SHOULD YOU GET INTO CHRIST? “... whereas you do not know about tomorrow. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.” (James 4:14). When should YOU be baptized? If you postpone being baptized into Christ, do you know that you will have a future opportunity?

119 HOW SOON SHOULD YOU GET INTO CHRIST? “For he says, ‘At the acceptable time I have listened to you, and helped you on the day of salvation.’ Behold, now is the acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation”(2 Corinthians 6:2).

120 HOW SOON SHOULD YOU GET INTO CHRIST? Are you ready now to be baptized into Jesus Christ in order to have your sins washed away and be added to the Lord’s church? “And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on his name” (Acts 22:16).

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