2010-06-04 - What Must I Do to be Saved?
I believe from church to church this emphasis shifts. Some only worry about getting in the door. Eventually the bouncer comes and has to drag them to their room. Like Monopoly they do not pass Go and they do not collect $200. They never know all the blessings along the way. To them is written 1 Corinthians 3:13-15 - It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man's work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames. They are inside the building so they are saved but just barely. Sure they're not in those rooms of temptation but either way they're not going where they need to go.
Others stress walking down the hall so much that they forget they must enter the hall of salvation first. They walk straight ahead to those back rooms. They may never even look at the rooms on either side. But they reach the end only to find out their name was never written down. The room was not reserved to them because they circumvented the way in. To them was written Matthew 7:21 - Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
Others say leaving the hall thru any door is an exit back out. They do not believe the rooms of temptation are saved. They fail to see that when Jesus said I am the door in John 10 that he meant the one and only. They don't realize that all rooms within the building are saved from the destruction outside. They also fail to see the extent of his love, strength, grace, and mercy.
Bear with me for this final illustration and I will try to sum up the history of the world to this point. (Start with clean empty glass and a pitcher of water)
God made Adam a clean perfect body and breathed a little of his spirit into him. (Add a shot of water)
I believe as Adam walked with God, God added to his spirit... (Add a little more water)
...but Adam chose sin (fill glass with dirt)
Because of that we inherited this dirt and filth not fit for drinking. We can try to remove the sin ourselves and live a good life. (Spoon out some dirt)
We may end up with less dirt but the concentration stays same though quantity may change. When we try to better ourselves by our own strength the Bible says "Our righteousness is as filthy rags" So our good deeds just add more dirt to the mix. (Spoon in some more dirt)
Anyone want to drink this? There's less dirt than before so it should be OK. I didn't think so. And God doesn't want to either. So we need to give up on our own efforts and surrender to him and ask him to come into our life. This is the moment where the pure Holy Spirit enters us and our names are written in the Lamb's book of life. We are sealed and promised eternal life. We are saved. (Pour in water)
We're not perfect but the filth is more diluted than ever. Now daily as we die more and more to sin and self,... (Spoon more out)
...we are saved from sins and he fills us. (Add more water)
In fact, in the 23rd Psalm, David says "our cup runneth over" (Add a lot more water. Pouring from the pitcher into the cup over a bowl would be a good idea at this point)
And, we get cleaner and cleaner but still not all the way. Scriptures mention this saying we "see through a glass darkly and then face to face". Either by death or rapture we will see him face to face. That's when if our name is found in the book he takes us... (Put glass in bowl of water)
...and washes us in his blood... (wash the cup and clean it)
...and then he presents us to the father. Notice all the sin is not in us but in Christ. The father doesn't see it. All the sin is here in Christ (point to the bowl)
And then corruptible is made incorruptible and mortality takes on immortality. Here on earth this body is an imperfect temple or tabernacle. But he has prepared a place, or tabernacle in the Greek, for me - a new body where his spirit & mine... (Pour water from pitcher into glass)
...Can fellowship for eternity.
To answer the original question what must I do to be saved? Nothing. There is nothing you can do but let Christ take control. Surrender and follow him. Receive his mercy, strength, and grace. Be a follower of the Way. Drink the living water.
It all happens if our name is found in the Lamb's book of life. I know my name is in that book because I found myself in this book, the Bible. You see as I read and heard I discovered my first name. It was all in Romans 3:23 where it says all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. But I searched more and found a new name for myself. I had a middle name; it was whosoever recorded in
John 3:16 - whosoever believeth. I believed and that's when I received a last name. And that's when I was given another name "son" in John 1:12 - as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name
What do you say will you continue to throw more dirt on your own grave trying to dig yourself out but only digging deeper or will you let his spirit fill you with the living water? The choice is yours. 2 Corinthians 6:2 says, "Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation."
All verses are from the King James Version unless otherwise specified.