Topic: Salvation Foundation
THE FOUNDATION OF SALVATION
By: Elder John Neal
Eph. 2: 19-22, Verse 20 “And are built upon the foundation of the Apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone. In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto a Holy Temple in the Lord. In whom ye also are built together for a habitation of God through the Spirit.”
The closer that we come to the catching up of God’ true church, the more we see or hear of people turning their backs on the Lord, for the pleasures of this world. Apostle Paul wrote in II Tim. 3:1-8, we are living in perilous times, dangerous times, having a form of godliness but denying the power of it; from such turn away.” We are living in the days that Paul was talking about. Many have a form of godliness, but they are denying the power of it. They are not possessing what they are professing. This is the age of apostasy, or the falling away from the truth, but if someone has never had the truth, what are they falling away from?
It is the act of professing Christians, who deliberately reject the revealed truth as to the deity of Jesus Christ, of the redemption through his blood, his atoning and redeeming sacrifice on Calvary, to be born again of the water and of the Spirit.
Apostates: depart from the faith, but not from the outward profession of Christianity. They dress like a Christian should dress, they can even talk as a Christian talks, but their heart is not right with God. They may fool man, but they cannot fool the Lord. II Tim. 4:4 says, “They shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.”
Many run to the churches for help, for a shelter from the storms of life, and find little help. Many want to hear the truth, but what they find is a watered down sermon. Preachers preach on the book of Revelation, but they don’t offer the people a plan of Salvation. God does have a plan you know.
The churches today have left the foundation, that God’ church was built on. Many have left the old ways, the old paths. Jeremiah 6:16 “Thus saith the Lord, stand in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk in it, and ye shall find rest for your soul, but they said, we will not walk in it.”
The Apostle Paul tells us in Eph. 2:20-22, that we are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the Chief corner stone.”
Many have left the foundation, and the Chief corner stone, and have tried to build the temple our own way, we cannot do it. Without the true foundation, how can there be any salvation? Psa. 11: 3 “If the foundation be destroyed, what can the righteous do?”
What foundation of salvation did Jesus and the Apostles give us?
St. Matthew 16:18-19 “And I say also unto thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this Rock I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it, and I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatsoever thou shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever thou shall loose on earth shall be loose in heaven.” We realize that the rock was not Peter, but it was upon Jesus Christ himself, that his church was to be built. It was Peter who opened the door of Christian opportunity to Israel on the day of Pentecost. (Acts 2: 38-42). And to the Gentiles in the house of Cornelius, (Acts 10: 34-48). Peter, when asked, men and brethren, what shall we do?” Verse 38 tells us that Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”
I have heard it said that if the Holy Ghost is a gift, then there is nothing that I have to do to receive it. Even with a gift, you have to reach out your hand and accept it. It is there for those that will reach out with their mind, their soul, and seek Jesus Christ, the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost. It comes the same way every time. Just like it did in Acts 2:1-4, verse 4 says “And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.”
It did not come any other way in the Bible, and it does not come any other way today. If you have the Holy Ghost, then you would be speaking in other tongues as the Spirit of God gives the utterance. If the preachers don’t have it, then they can’t preach it. It is easier for them to say that it is not for people today, that it was only for the apostles. Does that mean that salvation is not for people today?
Jesus, on the cross of Calvary, cried out, “It is finished.” It was not a cry of defeat, but of victory. He had completed the plan of Salvation, the very one he had entrusted to Peter, and passed on down through generations and given to us. Do you really believe that Jesus suffered and died on the Cross of Calvary for his plan of Salvation, that man could do it his own way? God left no room in his plan of Salvation for mankind to insert his opinion. I don’t think so. This is God’ plan.
Our salvation is built up on Jesus crucified and upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus himself being the chief corner stone. The foundation of our salvation is, repentance, baptism in Jesus name, and the gift of the Holy Ghost, with the evidence of speaking in other tongues as the Spirit gives utterance.
Anyone can say I have the Spirit of God, well, if they have, then where is their evidence? It is a gift, but only if you will believe that it exists, and reach out to God in prayer, and accept it.
Acts 2:39 “For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord, our God shall call.” If you feel as if God is calling you, what do you think he is calling you to? He is calling you to repentance, to this one plan of salvation, that was passed on down to us. Not a plan for denomination. He died for one plan for all mankind, he didn’t start denomination, man did. Man can never be satisfied, I wonder why?
Jeremiah 2:12-13 “Be appalled (astonished) O ye heavens, at this, and be horribly afraid; be ye very desolate, saith the Lord. For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cistern, broken cistern, that can hold no water.”
Peter, on the day of Pentecost preached repentance. Jesus tells us in St. Luke 13:1-5 verse 3, “I tell you, nay, but, except ye repent ye shall all likewise perish.” And again in verse 5 “I tell you, nay, but except ye repent ye shall all likewise perish.”
John the Baptist came preaching repentance. St. Matt. 3:2 “And saying, repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
Jesus also preached repentance. St. Matt. 4:17 “From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, repent; for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
Peter on the day of Pentecost, preached the baptism in Jesus name: for Jesus tells us in St. John 3:1-12 verse 3 “I say unto thee, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” He goes on to say in verse 5 and verse 7 “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born of water and of the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. Marvel not that I said unto thee, ye must be born again.” This sounds to me like we must all be born again of the water and the Spirit.
The New Birth is faith in Jesus crucified, washed in his blood. The blood of the Lamb of God. Being placed in the water by immersing, signifies the death of Jesus. Coming up out of the water, signifies the resurrection of the Lord.
You don’t come up out of the water, by pouring water over some-ones head, or sprinkling water on their head. We are trying to cleanse our soul, by doing what Jesus told Peter and the other disciples, to be baptized in the name of Jesus, not in titles, but in the name.
Father, Son, and Holy Ghost is not a name, they are what Jesus is St. Matt. 28:19 and in Col. 2:9, 12. “For in him (Jesus) dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. Verse 10 “And ye are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.” What is the Godhead? The Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, and we are complete in Him.”
In what name do we believe that the Apostles Baptized in? I have heard it said by one preacher, that we do not need to be baptized. That baptism does not cleanse us, and he was referring to I Peter 3:21. “The like figure unto which even baptism doth now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.”
We are not trying to cleanse the filth of the flesh, but the sins of our soul, which the baptism in Jesus name does. Unless the name of Jesus is applied to the baptism, all that person has done is gone down into the water a dry sinner and came up a wet sinner, their sins still remain with them. It is not the water that cleanse the soul, but the name, that we are cleanse by. This is all part of the foundation of salvation.
Peter, on the day of Pentecost also preached, the Gift of the Holy Ghost. Someone may say “I don’t need all of that, all I have to do is do the best I can, and God will understand. I Peter 1:16 says, “Be ye Holy, for I am Holy.” And I ask you, how can you be holy without God. All I can say is good luck, you’re going to need it.
Jesus died for this plan of salvation, the Apostles, all but John, were martyred for it, and people today want to ignore it. Acts 2:38 tells us ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. Which came to them in Acts 2:1-4 Verse 4 tells us they were all filled with the Holy Ghost and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
It is as real today as it was over three thousand years ago. I cannot read in Gods word, where nor when he changed his plan of salvation, but man never get tired of trying to do it their own way. If a preacher does not have it, he cannot preach it. They try to dismiss it, but it is not going away. It will either save our soul, or else condemn us.
If only people would seek the Lord, often enough and hard enough, and open their minds and heart, and believe, they too could receive the same Holy Ghost that Peter is talking about.
Romans 10: 9-13 “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” The word “shall” according to the dictionary, means future tense. Verse 13- 14 says “ for whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him who they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And verse 15, tells us, “And how shall they preach, except they be sent?”
A Preacher, if he is indeed sent by God to preach his word, will explain to the man or woman what they must do so they not shall be, but are saved. They must go by God’ plan of salvation, that was preached by Peter on the day of Pentecost, when the church was born.
How many plans do we believe that Jesus left us? Did he make a different plan of salvation, according to each denominational belief, that we can believe what ever we want to, and still be saved? Or did he leave one plan for all men to follow? Jesus was crucified on Calvary for this plan. The Apostles (all but John) were martyred for this plan. They were put in prison, beaten and stoned to death, for this plan, that we could have this solid foundation of salvation. May you build your spiritual house upon this same foundation, for Jesus is the Rock that this foundation is built upon, and may you find this same plan of salvation.