God Has Spoken

Gilbert Alexander

The Bible does not teach that our deeds, apart from the blood of Christ, will save us and give us a home in Heaven. Concerning Christ it says: "In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence..." (Eph. 1:7,8). However, the same New Covenant that makes known to us the way of salvation provided by God's grace in giving His Son as an offering for our sins also makes clear to us that we must act in obedient response to His instructions as to how we may be saved by Christ's death.

Our obeying His instructions demonstrates our trust in His promise of forgiveness, rather than our failure to trust Him. Did Noah's building the ark, and Abraham's offering Isaac show that they did not trust God? Jesus said: "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved' (Mk. 16:16). Baptism, then, is not "for those who are already saved." It is God's way of bringing us into Christ's death where His blood was shed (Rom. 6:3,4). "Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?" We are not baptized because we are already in Christ; we are baptized into Christ (Gal. 3:27). If one says to a hungry person, "Meet me in one hour at the Kid's Dugout, and I will serve you a good meal," does one show trust -- or a lack of trust -- in the promise by driving to the designated place at the designated time? Is the meal no longer a gift because the honoree obeys the instructions?

Jesus said: "Come to Me...and I will give you rest" (Matt. 11:28). Can one who does not confess Jesus as Christ get to Heaven? Note Matt. 10:32,33. Do faith, repentance, confession, and baptism as commanded by Jesus indicate trust in Him -- or lack of trust in Him? Can one go to Heaven without being a servant of righteousness? (Rom. 6:17,18; Matt. 25:31-46).