ART 36 - GOD'S ONLY MEANS OF SALVATION
We must understand that the preaching and Spirit-given hearing of the Gospel is ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL for one of God’s elect to have the salvation Christ accomplished for them at Calvary revealed to their minds and understanding and bring them to Christ in repentance. Paul wrote in I Cor.15:1,2 – “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the Gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved.” Notice what verses 3 and 4 declare – “For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins ACCORDING TO THE SCRIPTURES (He died as the substitute and surety for His people); And that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day ACCORDING TO THE SCRIPTURES (He died, was buried, and rose again, not for Himself, but for all those He represents).” So anything men declare to be the gospel, if it doesn’t declare this truth, it isn’t the gospel at all, but a product of man’s depraved understanding. One thing is certain: GOD NEVER CHANGES. The Old Testament saints were saved, i.e., they had Christ’s righteousness revealed in their minds and understanding the exact same way that New Testament saints have it revealed to their minds. It’s through the preaching of the Gospel that God is pleased to reveal to His people what they actually possess by virtue of their oneness with their Representative, the Lord Jesus Christ – “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (II Cor.4:6). How does He give us this knowledge? “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Rom.10:17). Even as there is only one means whereby God has put away sin and justified His people in the death of His Son, so He has determined that ONLY through the means of preaching the Gospel He will bring each of His elect to see His Christ and submit to and rest in His righteousness imputed in Christ alone as all of their salvation, Romans 10:3,4.
Most people in religion today are confused when it comes to God’s appointed means of salvation. According to them, their god uses a variety of means to encourage those who hear to “accept Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior.” Some claim they have seen visions that caused them to “seek the Lord.” Some think they have heard voices that called them to salvation. Some who have survived horrific events in their lives have been changed from ungodly individuals into religious, seemingly moral, dedicated church goers. Still others think God can save sinners with or without the use of any means, i.e., they think if God has purposed to save somebody, he will save them any way he pleases. My question to all of us is, “What do the Scriptures declare to be God’s ONLY MEANS of salvation?” I’m not asking what your denomination says, or what some old preacher said, or what Mom and Dad taught you. I’m asking that we simply go to God’s Word without any preconceived notions and see what the Scriptures declare on this vital issue.