Pattern of Salvation
First, you must be clear that “the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works” (II Timothy 3:15-17).
Second, you must be clear the scriptures affirm the need to “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good” (I Thessalonians 5:21).
Third, you must be clear that Jesus Christ has “power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as [God the Father] hast given him” (John 17:2) and that this power has been delegated to the “apostles’ doctrine” (Acts 2:42) that Jesus promised them via the Holy Spirit (John 14:26; 16:13) in order that all mankind “shall believe on [Jesus] through their word” (John 17:20).
Fourth, you must be clear there is only one way to heaven, for Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6). Peter said, “for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
If you cannot accept these scriptural truths then there is little point in you continuing. However, should you wish to find the truth regarding the pattern of salvation then study as a workman and handle accurately the wonderful truth of God’s word (II Timothy 2:15).
Now, it is the case that many people deny there is any set form or plan of salvation provided in the Holy Scriptures perhaps because they want to follow God their way rather than allow Jesus Christ to show them the way. However, to deny there is a pattern is to deny the authority of the scriptures as there are many verses that lay out a plan that is consistent for all mankind from the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2) until the end of time as Jesus promised in Matthew 28:20.
Jesus issued orders on how to “teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19-20). [NB: “all nations” – this leaves no room for the Calvinist nonsense of the elect few]
Jesus issued orders clarifying a disciple’s status, that is to say, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned” (Mark 16:16). [NB: how the subject must believe the gospel “and” be baptised (i.e., fully immersed in water) before he is saved. This leaves no room for the Southern Baptist, Pentecostal and Apostolic movement et al nonsense that one is saved upon belief then one is baptised. For more information relating to baptism go to articles at www.timarucofc.org.nz]
Paul, under God’s holy inspiration (John 16:13; II Peter 1:21), issued this teaching of exactly how and when one’s “body of sin might be destroyed “. He said, “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:3-11). Further more, he says of this teaching, the church of Christ at Rome had applied it to their life, for he declares, “God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you” (Romans 6:17). The word “form” is translated from the Koine Greek word “tupos” meaning: type, model, pattern, example, and figure (Thayer). Paul says they had obeyed the pattern of teaching that had led to them being saved from the tyranny and terrible effects of sin.
Let the Catholic and Protestant theologians protest all they like; they are not inspired by God and have not the equivalent authority of Jesus Christ and His apostles. As Christ and His word says through Paul, Peter, John, “whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him” (Colossians 3:17); “If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen” (I Peter 4:11); “believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world” (I John 4:1).
So, it is crystal clear, there is a pattern to follow if one is to be saved from the eternal effects of sin. What is that pattern? Let not your heart be troubled, it is really very, very simple .
- Hear the gospel, for “how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard?” (Romans 10:14). “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17).
- Believe the gospel, for “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved” (Mark 16:16). “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (Hebrews 11:6).
- Repent of your sins, for “I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3, 5). “And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead” (Acts 17:30-31).
- Confess Jesus is the Son of God, “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” (Romans 10:9). “Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 10:32).
- Be baptised to wash away your sins, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved” (Mark 16:16); “Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God” (John3:5); “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38); “And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord” (Acts 22;16); “Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:4); “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ” (Galatians 3:27); “once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also 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” (I Peter 3:20-21).
- Remain faithful, for “He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels” (Revelation 3:5), for to “be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life” (Revelation 2:10).
Here is the first example of the pattern in action on the day of Pentecost, the commencement of the church of Christ:
After Peter preached the very first sermon of the church (Acts 2:14-36) those that attentively listened with an open mind to his induction asked, “What must we do?” (Acts 2:37) They heard the gospel and were “pricked in their heart”, that is to say, they believed Peter’s preaching and wanted an answer as to how they were to be put right with God. After all, they had just learned of the various prophecies they were well acquainted with that not only proved that Jesus is God, as only God could do the things attributed to Jesus, but that the cross on which He died was, as some translations put it, a “predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God” (Acts 2:23 New American Standard Bible). And not only that but Jesus has been “raised up” (Acts 2:32) just as David, the revered King of Judah, had prophesied, proof of which the audience could determine by comparing David’s tomb, where his bones still lay, with that of Christ’s tomb which was empty despite being heavily guarded (Acts 2:31-32). Then to cast salt upon the wound of their troubled minds he said these Jews were morally responsible for the crucifixion of the Son of God (Acts 2:36). Put yourself in the same shoes as they, would you not also want to hear what you must do in order to make amends? Yes, they saw the need to repent of their sin.
Peter does not disappoint for beginning in Acts 2:38 Luke records his God authorised reply. “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” (Acts 2:38). True to the orders issued by Jesus in Mark 16:16 i.e., belief plus baptism equals salvation, Peter continues to exhort them saying, “Save yourselves from this untoward generation. Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls” (Acts 2:40-41). [NB: very carefully, despite Protestant, Pentecostal etc hermeneutic gymnastics they say negates baptism as being a necessary ingredient in the salvation process, ask yourselves why it is that these people Peter addresses clearly “received his word” then were “baptised”. They were clearly not saved until they had fulfilled these commands]. By their very actions they fulfil the need to confess Jesus Christ before men for they were “Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved” (Acts 2:47).
The appeal I make to you is to study these scriptures inductively rather than deduce from them concepts to fit your preconceived notions, for that is the proper way to study God’s word.
If you need help, I am ready and willing not to supply the answers but to help reason from the scriptures what you need to know in order to be right with God just as those three thousand saved that Pentecost day. Contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org
(All Bible verses quoted except where noted are KJV ie, King James Version).
Suggested links for you to study further: