Salvation
Body of water

"Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning from this Scripture he preached Jesus to him. As they went along the road they came to some water; and the eunuch said, “Look! Water! What prevents me from 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.” And he ordered the chariot to stop; and they both went down into the water, Philip as well as the eunuch, and he baptized him."

Acts 8:35-38

The story of the Bible is the story of the solution to the problem of sin.  After just two brief chapters describing the Creation, the problem is introduced in Genesis 3.  The rest of Scripture is devoted to the prediction, fulfillment, and the explanation of the solution to the problem of sin.

Various concepts are used in Scripture to help man to understand the predicament that he is in because of sin.  All of these present man as helpless and hopeless without the intervention of God.  Man is guilty; he needs pardon or justification.  Man is dirty; he needs cleansing.  Man is unholy; he needs to be sanctified.  Man is sick, he needs healing.  Man has been held hostage by Satan; he needs redemption and rescue.  Man has a debt that he cannot pay; he needs the debt to be cancelled.  Man has angered God by his sins; he needs to propitiate Him to turn away His anger and make peace.   Man’s sins have made him God’s enemy; he needs reconciliation.  Man’s sins are remembered and “recorded” against him; he needs them to be remitted or, as it were, “blotted out”.  Man has been defeated by Satan; he needs a way to gain victory.

Jesus is God’s answer to man’s sin problem- He is man’s Savior.  Through the giving of His life on the cross, Jesus provided man with justification (Rom 5:9), cleansing (Rev 7:14), sanctification (1 Cor 1:30), healing (1 Pet 2:24), redemption (1 Pet 1:18-19), rescue (Gal 1:4), cancellation of debt (Heb 10:4, 12), propitiation (1 Jn 2:2), reconciliation (Col 1:21-22), remission of sins (Mt 26:28), and victory (1 Cor 15:57).

Jesus’ sacrifice is the means of salvation, but He extends His salvation conditionally.  Man must hear, understand, and believe the gospel, the “good news”, the message of salvation.  No one comes to salvation without having been taught (Rom 10:8; Mk 16:15; Jn 6:44-45).

Based on the evidence presented in the gospel, man must believe in his heart and confess with his mouth that Jesus is the Lord- “that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation” (Rom 10:9-10).

In addition, Jesus tells the sinner who is pained in conscience because of his sins to repent and be baptized.  Through Peter, He said, “Repent and each 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” (Acts 2:38).  Repentance happens when a sinner is humble enough to admit his error, is grieved that He has hurt God by his actions, purifies his heart by determining to change his ways, and then follows through by cleansing his hands from sinful activities (Js 4:8-10).  Baptism means “immersion” and the immersion is to be in water according to examples in Acts, a book which records the preaching of the good news and man’s response to it in order to receive salvation.  After Philip preached Jesus to a eunuch from Ethiopia, the eunuch said,” ‘Look!  Water!  What prevents me from being baptized?’  And Philip said, ‘If you believe with all of your heart, you may.’  And he answered and said, ‘I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.’  And he ordered the chariot to stop; and they both went down into the water, Philip as well as the eunuch, and he baptized him” (Acts 8:35-38).

Man’s need for salvation does not end with baptism for he must still deal with the problem of sin.  Once he becomes a Christian, man must do His best to walk in the light as God is in the light (1 Jn 1:5-7).  He cannot habitually practice sin or God will consider him a child of the devil rather than His child (1 Jn 3:4-10).  But, no man will live perfectly after baptism has washed away all of his past sins.  When he sins, he must repent of his sin and confess it to God and the blood of Christ which cleansed him at baptism will cleanse him from all unrighteousness and will propitiate God, once again bringing reconciliation and peace (1 Jn 1:8-2:2; Acts 8:22).

If the Christian meets God’s conditions of grace, he will be saved from God’s wrath at the judgment (Rom 5:9) and will instead enjoy His presence forever in heaven- an imperishable, undefiled inheritance that will not fade away- the ultimate meaning of salvation- the end toward which the Christian strives (1 Pet 1:3-4,9).

Do you understand that you, like all men (Rom 3:23), have a sin problem?  Do you believe that Jesus is the answer to your problem?  Have you met His conditions in order to be reconciled to Him by means of His sacrifice?  If so, are you continuing to meet His conditions so that you may continue to receive the benefits of His blood and, in the end, receive the eternal reward?