All posts by Monty

Ephesians 2:1-8

And you hath he quickened (made alive), who were dead in trespasses and sins;

Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:

Among whom also we all had our conversation (manner of life) in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace (His unmerited favor & enabling) in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

For by grace (God’s enabling) are ye saved through faith (a firm persuasion or conviction based on the Word of God) ; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:  Ephesians 2:1-8

…let the word of Christ dwell in you richly…

Definitions – W.E. Vines Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words, Copyright 1984, 1996, Thomas Nelson, Inc., Nashville, TN.

Things to Consider When Studying Scripture

(In preparation, there are two other blog articles that it would be helpful to review before reading this article:  Which Authority? and Doctrine of the Bible – The What?)

The Bible should be allowed to speak for itself.  After all it claims to be God breathed as to source.  Either it is or it isn’t.  For those of us who believe it is God’s word, we must pay careful attention to what it says and how it says it.  We must not handle it deceitfully.

The Bible employs many literary devices such as similes, parables, allegories, hyperbole, metaphors, symbolism, etc.  The student of Scripture should be able to determine which device is being used, either by context, by direct statement or by grammatical rule.  To accurately interpret Scripture, the student of the Word must be aware of the use of these devices and honor their use.

Similes are indicated by the words like or as.  The Lord taught that to enter the kingdom we must humble ourselves and become like or as little children.  Interpreters of the passage in Matthew 18 often focus on little children entering the kingdom which is not the point  Christ said, you (the listeners) must become like or as little children to enter the kingdom, even as the little child which He set in their midst was humble and trusting.  This passage is about baby Christians.  They are the little ones.  In verse six Christ warns against offending one of these little ones (baby Christians) which believe in Him.[1]

A parable is a simple story illustrating a moral or religious lesson.[2]  It is generally used of………..a narrative drawn from nature or human circumstances, the object of which is to set forth a spiritual lesson.  It is the lesson that is of value; the hearer must catch the analogy if he is to be instructed.  Such a narrative or saying, dealing with earthly things with a spiritual meaning, is distinct from a fable, which attributes to things what does not belong to them in nature.[3]

Parables are recognizable in Scripture because they are not specific as to proper names and places.  They are a simple story given to illustrate a lesson.  A parable would say a man did thus and so.  A literal historical account would say a certain man did thus and so, and give his name and/or a specific location.

Jesus explains the meaning of His parables to His followers after presenting each parable.  He taught with parables to hide the truth from those who would not believe.[4]  It was an act of mercy for Christ to teach with parables, because the unbelieving are held accountable for the truth they reject.

In an allegory, facts stated are applied to illustrate principles.  The allegorical meaning does not do away with the literal meaning of the narrative.  There may be more than one allegorical meaning though, of course, only one literal meaning.  Scripture histories represent or embody spiritual principles, and these are ascertained not by the play of the imagination, but by the rightful doctrines of Scripture.[5]  Scripture tells us on more than one occasion that the historical event described is indeed an allegory.  See the accounts of Abraham’s two sons in Galatians 4:22-31.

Hyperbole is defined as an exaggeration or extravagant statement used as a figure of speech: for example; “I could sleep for a year” or “this book weighs a ton”.  Hyperbole from the Greek means excess.[6]

 Matthew 5:29&30 is an example of hyperbole; if thy right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; if thy right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you.  These are statements not intended to be taken literally, but to graphically warn of the horror of hell.

A metaphor is a figure of speech in which one thing is spoken of as if it were another (the curtain of night).[7]. Night is not actually a curtain but it shuts out the light of day as a drawn curtain.  Metaphor from the Greek means transfer.[8]

The Bible contains metaphors.  Christ is the subject of many of them.  He is called the Lamb of God, the Light of the World, the True Vine, the Door, the Bread of Life, Our Passover, the Alpha and the Omega, along with many others to illustrate who and what He is to us.  The Lord Jesus called His followers “salt” and He called Herod “that fox”.  At the Last Supper He called the bread His body and the cup His blood.  These descriptions are metaphors or figures of speech in which one thing is spoken of as if it were another.

Some in professing Christianity would object to calling the elements of the Last Supper metaphorical.  They would refer to John 6:53 & 54 where Christ told the Jews; “Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink His blood, ye have no life in you.  Whoso eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life.”  We must remember that the entire context must be considered to determine exactly what He meant.

The Lord’s disciples heard Him and said among themselves; “This is an hard saying; who can hear it?”  Jesus knew their thoughts and He asked; “Does this offend you?”  Yes, they were offended!  What He said troubled them because eating human flesh is only mentioned in Scripture in relation to God’s judgment.  However, we cannot stop here and reach conclusions that are inconsistent with the rest of Scripture.  We must continue reading because in verse 63 Jesus explained the meaning to His disciples; It is the Spirit that quickeneth (makes alive); the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.[8]

While believers take the Scriptures literally, it is not commendable or being spiritual to take something literally in the Bible that is meant to be metaphorical or symbolic.

Is Jesus literally a candle or lamp?  No! He is not, but He is light to those who sit in darkness!  Is He literally a door?  No! He is not,  but He is our only access to the Father!   ls He literally a four legged animal (a lamb)?  No!  He is not, but He is the substitutionary sacrifice that paid the penalty of our sin once for all to the satisfaction of the Father!  Is He literally the Greek letters, Alpha and Omega?  No!  He is not, but He is the beginning (our Creator) and the end (our Judge)!  Is He literal bread?  No, He is not, but He is the sustainer of life, both physical and spiritual!  

We have just discussed the Last Supper in reference to metaphors, in which the bread represents Christ’s body and the cup represents His blood.  The metaphors of the Last Supper also fit well under the definition of things that are symbolic.

Symbolic refers to something that represents something else by association, resemblance, or convention (agreement); especially a material object used to represent something invisible.[9]

Water baptism is symbolic, however it is ironic that most of those who believe that water baptism regenerates (saves the soul), abandon it’s symbolism by using the mode of sprinkling instead of immersing.  The primary meaning of the word baptize is to dip or immerse.  Those believers who are immersed in water are buried in the likeness of His death and raised in the likeness of His resurrection.[10]

Caution must be exercised however, concerning symbolism.  Some are quick to make all of Scripture symbolic.  How are we to determine whether or not an account in Scripture is historical or symbolic?

A starting point would be to see if any of the literary devices defined above[11] are employed in or around the account in question.  If so, we must give consideration as to how those devices affect the account.  Is it an allegory, a parable, or metaphor?

One should always consider what Christ has to say about the passage in question.  Many Old Testament accounts that are often pronounced symbolic are actually referred to by the Lord as historical accounts.[12]  Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, the Flood with Noah and the Ark, and Jonah swallowed by a great fish are accounts that are often spiritualized and treated as symbolic.  These are accounts that the Lord Jesus acknowledged as historical events.  Funny that the words of Messiah Jesus can be so readily overlooked or dismissed, considering that He is God and that God cannot lie.

If it is not clear whether or not the account in question is one or the other, we must take it literally unless it can be proven otherwise.  God is the author of Scripture.  God chose every word, down to the last jot and tittle.  He breathed it out.  Ask Him to show you the meaning and continue to study the Bible patiently and with a submissive spirit.

There is only one correct interpretation of Scripture, but many applications.   We cannot apply the Scripture properly if we do not get the meaning right.  The correct interpretation is not up to a vote or a consensus of opinion.  What we think it says is not important.   We must find out honestly what God meant by what He said and obey it if we are believers.  And while we do that, we must stay within the boundaries established by sound doctrine. [13]

…let the word of Christ dwell (take up its life) in you richly…

……the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned (1 Corinthians 2:14).


[1] Matthew 18:1-10

[2,6,8&9] American Heritage Dictionary – copyright 1969, 1970, 1971, 1973, 1975 by American Heritage Publishing Co., NY, NY.

[3&5]  W.E. Vines Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words, Copyright 1984, 1996, Thomas Nelson, Inc., Nashville, TN, pgs 457 & 22 respectively.

[4] Matthew 13:10-17

[7] Websters New World Dictionary – copyright 1976, 1979 by Simon & Schuster.

[8] See Ephesians 5:25-26 & I Peter 1:23-25

[10] See blog article – “Baptism is for Believers”

[11] The listings given above for literary devices are by no means exhaustive.  The devices listed are the most common and are intended to provide boundaries/guidelines for studying Scripture.

 [12] See blog article – “Doctrine of the Bible – The What?”

[13] See blog article – “My Doctrinal Statement”.

Doctrine of The Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit:

His personality – John 16:7-15

Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.  And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:

Of sin, because they believe not on me;

Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more;

Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.

I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.  Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.

He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.  All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you.  

His deity – Acts 5:3-4

But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?

Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.

His work in each believer;

His baptism – I Corinthians 12:13

For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

His indwelling at the moment of regeneration – Romans 8:9

But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

His filling – Ephesians 5:18

And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;

His empowering for Christian life and service

Ephesians 3:16

That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;

Acts 1:8

But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.

Galatians 5:22-23

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

…let the word of Christ dwell (take up its life) in you richly…

Jesus Is All the World to Me

Jesus is all the world to me,
My life, my joy, my all;
He is my strength from day to day,
Without Him I would fall.
When I am sad, to Him I go,
No other one can cheer me so;
When I am sad, He makes me glad,
He’s my Friend.

Jesus is all the world to me,
My Friend in trials sore;
I go to Him for blessings, and
He gives them o’er and o’er.
He sends the sunshine and the rain,
He sends the harvest’s golden grain;
Sunshine and rain, harvest of grain,
He’s my Friend.

Jesus is all the world to me,
And true to Him I’ll be;
Oh, how could I this Friend deny,
When He’s so true to me?
Following Him I know I’m right,
He watches o’er me day and night;
Following Him by day and night,
He’s my Friend.

Jesus is all the world to me,
I want no better Friend;
I trust Him now, I’ll trust Him when
Life’s fleeting days shall end.
Beautiful life with such a Friend,
Beautiful life that has no end;
Eternal life, eternal joy,
He’s my Friend.

Will L. Thompson – 1904

Public Domain

But these (Scriptures) are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.  John 20:31

Be Honest With Yourself

Throughout my life, I have met profane people who claim to be Christians.  By profane, I mean people who use Jesus name as they would a four letter word.  Profane or bebelos as an adjective means unhallowed or the opposite of sacred…..accordingly, bebelos is that which lacks all relationship or affinity to God.  The verb form, bebeloo, means to cross the threshold; to pollute or defile.[1]

  Religion is man’s way to God.  Christianity is not a religion.  Genuine Christianity is a relationship with God through His Son Jesus Christ.  We have access to God through Messiah Jesus.  To profane His name is to cross the threshold, to pollute, or to defile His name.[2]

The Lord taught that it was not what went into a man that defiled him, but what comes out of the man.  He went on to say that out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaketh.

An individual that practices profanity is defiling the name of the very one who can rescue him from eternal damnation.  Bebelos is that which lacks all relationship or affinity to God.[3]  By definition a profane person[4] is not a Christian.

Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.  Exodus 20:7

To those who know Him, Jesus name is truly precious.

The remedy is not to change your speech.  Your speech is evidence that your heart is not right with God.  What you need is to be born again.

But as many as received him (Messiah Jesus), to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.  John 1:12&13

Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.  Isaiah 1:18

But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;

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.  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 

For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.  For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.

For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.  Romans10:8-13

…let the word of Christ dwell (take up its life) in you richly…

[1,2,3]  W.E. Vines Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words, Copyright 1984, 1996, Thomas Nelson, Inc., Nashville, TN.

[4] A profane person is one who practices profanity.

The Judgments of God Upon the Earth

The Flood 

And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.  And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.  

And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.

But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.  Genesis 6:5-8

Apostasy of Israel

God sent Babylon to destroy Jerusalem in 586 BC and to carry away captive the tribe of Judah because of their apostasy (turning away).*  By this time the Northern Tribe of Israel had already been judged and carried away.  Almost all of Israel had become religious and unbelieving, having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof.  Their continued disobedience and lack of repentance ultimately brought God’s judgment.

Israel’s Rejection of Their Messiah

Pilate saith unto them, What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ? They all say unto him, Let him be crucified.  And the governor said, Why, what evil hath he done? But they cried out the more, saying, Let him be crucified.

When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it.  Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children.

Then released he Barabbas unto them: and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified.  Matthew 27:22-26

The Roman General Titus destroyed Jerusalem in 70AD.  See blog article, Speaking in Tongues – Part One.

God’s Judgment Is Upon Us Now

And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;

Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:

Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them Romans1:28-32

There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, and yet is not washed from their filthiness.  Proverbs 30:12

The Great Tribulation

The Great Tribulation Period begins immediately following the Rapture of the church, which is the next event on the calendar of Christ.  The Rapture is the snatching away or taking up of genuine believers who compose the true church.

But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.  For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.

For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent (precede) them which are asleep (the dead in Christ).

For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.  Wherefore comfort one another with these words.                                     I Thessalonians 4:13-18

True believers will be from every race, of every age, and from every nation on the earth.  These living Christians and those resurrected (the dead in Christ) will be snatched from this world just before the Tribulation Period begins.

The Great Tribulation is seven years in length and is divided into two three and one half year periods.  The anti-christ will become the one world ruler during the Tribulation.  There will be peace during the first half of the tribulation period and then the anti-christ will turn on Israel during the final three and one half years of the Great Tribulation.  God will pour out His wrath on the earth during this time of judgment, culminating in Israel’s repentance and the Lord’s appearing to deliver them from destruction.**

…let the word of Christ dwell (take up its life) in you richly…

*Reference II Kings 25:1-21

**Reference the book of Daniel and the book of Revelation.

Doctrine of the Lord Jesus Christ

The Lord Jesus Christ: His preexistence and diety (John1:1-3), incarnation by the virgin birth (John 1:14;Matthew 1:18-23), sinless life (Hebrews 4:15), substitutionary death (2 Corinthians 5:21), bodily resurrection (Luke 24:36-43), ascension into heaven and present ministry (Hebrews 4:14-16), and coming again (Acts 1:11).

His Preexistence and Diety

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  The same was in the beginning with God.  All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. John 1:1-3

And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.  John 1:14

His Incarnation by the Virgin Birth

Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.

Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily.

But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.

And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.

Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,

Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.  Matthew 1:18-23

His Sinless Life

For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.  Hebrews 4:15

His Substitutionary Death

For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.  2 Corinthians 5:21

His Bodily Resurrection

And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.  But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit.

And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts?  Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.

And when he had thus spoken, he shewed them his hands and his feet.  And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here any meat?

And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb.  And he took it, and did eat before them. Luke 24:36-43

His Ascension into Heaven and Present Ministry

Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.

For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:14-16

His Return

Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.  Acts 1:11

…let the word of Christ dwell (take up its life) in you richly…

Note: See blog article Who Is Jesus?

Confident Assurance

The cultural definition of hope is that of wishing something will come true. The biblical definition of hope is that of confident assurance or expectation.

Jesus, the Christ, said that He would return for His own. The angels at His ascension said that He would come again in like manner as His followers saw Him go.

We do not hope for His return in the cultural sense.  He was here once and He is coming back! Christ promised and God cannot lie.

It maybe today.

…let the word of Christ dwell (take up its life) in you richly…

Something to meditate on: Is there any evidence available today, which would indicate that Jesus, the Christ, has been here before?

Baptism Is For Believers

But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.  Acts 8:12

And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert.

And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship, was returning, and sitting in his chariot reading Esaias the prophet.

Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot.  And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest?And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me?  And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him.

The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth: In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth.

And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man?  Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.

And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?  And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest.  And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.   And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.                Acts 8:26-38

And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul.  And when she was baptized, and her household, she besought us, saying, If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there.  And she constrained us.         Acts 16:14&15

And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled.  But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here.

Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas,  And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?  And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house.  And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway.            Acts 16:27-33

And Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his house; and many of the Corinthians hearing believed, and were baptized.  Acts 18:8

In Scripture, the candidate for baptism is always an individual who is able to comprehend his/her own need for a Saviour.  This is one who is able to make a  responsible decision concerning who Jesus Christ is and how He died, was buried, and rose again.  This is one who has confessed his faith in Christ alone for his/her salvation as a result of hearing the Word of God preached and taught.

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.  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.  For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.

For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.  Romans 10:9-13

Believest thou this?  Now you are ready to  be baptized.

…let the word of Christ dwell (take up its life) in you richly…

The Horse and The Cart

In this word picture the cart represents the works of man. The horse represents salvation.

Do you have the cart before the horse?

Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing* of regeneration**, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Titus 3:5

And you hath he quickened (made alive), who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:

Among whom also we all had our conversation (manner of life) in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,  Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us (made us alive) together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.       Ephesians 2:1-10

…let the word of Christ dwell (take up its life) in you richly…

*Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he (Christ) might sanctify and cleanse it (the church) with the washing of water by the word…….Ephesians 5:25&26.

**Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.  I Peter 1:23