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CHURCH TALK: Salvation and the Word of God

Friday 4 November 2022 | Written by Supplied | Published in Church Talk

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CHURCH TALK: Salvation and the Word of God
Resaca Church Of God Pastor Mitchell Gaston, left, with Clint Cooper and David Vowell baptize Ellie Langford, 12, in the Coosawattee river, Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016, near Calhoun, Ga. Ciara Langford, whose two daughters were baptized, said, "I felt immense joy and peace. … The peace comes from knowing my children are surrendering themselves to something larger than they are." (AP Photo/Mike Stewart)

No one has power to become a witness of Jesus Christ without having received the Gift of the Holy Ghost, writes Bishop Tutai Pere, BA, LTh, OBE, of the Apostolic Church.

“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.” – Acts 1: 8

The Book of Acts records the activating power of the Holy Spirit of God in the life of the earliest believers and followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, how they spread the Gospel through the ever-expanding missionary activities under the anointing and unction of the Holy Spirit in them. We shall allow Holy Scripture to speak for itself in how it all began, observing very closely listed examples, considering what they did, and the results of their works.

In order to be a preacher and deliverer of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, one must fulfil three basic criteria of the calling, in that one must be:

  1. A believer in the Lord Jesus Christ and his teachings,
  2. A believer who is qualified in and at his calling,
  3. Who he/she heard the calling from?
  4. Who and how were they sent?

One must qualify all of the above, no more and no less. (Romans 10: 14, 15). Top of the list is, they must be saved and have fulfilled all basic requirement in the original, one and only given and executed divine plan of salvation as recorded in Acts 2: 38 and 39.

The chosen main speaker and most senior of all the Apostle Simon Peter, in response to the yearning cries of the people of the house of Israel, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?”. The Apostle Peter immediately replied and said unto them, “Repent, and be baptised 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”. The basic requirement here – a must to have or receive the gift of the Holy Ghost – is evidence of it, entitles or qualifies one in becoming a witness unto Jesus Christ. No one has power to become a witness of Jesus Christ without having received the Gift of the Holy Ghost.

Again, three basic steps of requirement prior to receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost must begin at:

  1. Repentance – admitting of one’s life of sin, surrendering one’s life and allegiance totally to Jesus Christ,
  2. Baptism in water – identification in the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ; dying to one’s life of sin, burying or laying to death the old self of sin, and
  3. Rising up from one’s watery grave of baptism, leaving behind the old sinful self-buried, to start walking in newness of life – with the initial evidence showing that one has received the Gift of the Holy by speaking in other tongues as the Spirit of God gave them utterance, without which – “Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.” (Romans 8:9).

The list of examples with evidence of results are as follows:

  1. The Jews of every nation (Acts 2: 9-11) heard Peter’s faith-producing word, believed, repented, confessed, and were baptised in Jesus’ name (Acts 2: 36-41). Results: They were saved (Acts 2:41) after having obeyed and gone through all.
  2. The Samaritans heard the gospel, believed, repented, confessed and were baptised (Acts 8:12). Results: They were saved and Spirit-filled (Acts 8:14-17).
  3. The Ethiopian Eunuch heard, believed, repented (Romans 10:1-10), confessed Christ’s deity and was baptised (Romans 8:35-38). Results: He was saved (Acts 8:39).
  4. Saul of Tarsus heard, believed, repented, confessed, and was baptised (Acts 9:3-9, 17-18). Results: Saul was saved and Spirit-filled (Acts 9:17-21).
  5. Cornelius and his household, first Gentile converts, heard, believed, repented, confessed (necessarily inferred, Romans 10:1-10), and were baptised (Acts 10:44-48).
  6. Lydia and her household heard, believed, repented, and were baptised (Acts 16:14-16). Results: They were saved (Acts 16:15).
  7. The Corinthians heard, believed, repented, confessed, and were baptised (Acts 18:7-8).

Conclusion

Since Jesus said, “He that believeth and is baptised shall be saved, and he that believeth not shall be damned”, we, in general consensus and agreement, we are left to generally conclude that the people of all seven cases were indeed saved (repentance and confession are necessarily inferred in Jesus’ statement in Luke 24:47; Romans 10:1-10). Hence, belief, repentance, confession of Christ’s deity, and water baptism in the First Century Apostolic Era (AD.30-70) and Sub-Apostolic Era (AD. 70-180), the Book of Acts Early Church shows a consistency of obedience and practice in confirming theirs and our faith and salvation being a witness unto Jesus Christ which began in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria and unto the uttermost part of the earth with absolutely no mention of any other formula or way. Acts 4:12 finally confirms, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved”.

God save, bless, protect, preserve and prosper our beloved Cook Islands. Amen and Amen!