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Lesson 2 The Conditions for Salvation

 

Devotional Reading:   Psalm 51

 

Memory Verse:           Acts 16:31

 

And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

 

LESSON TEXT

 

Mark 1:14–15. Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, 15And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.

 

John 3:36. He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

 

Acts 2:38. Then Peter said unto them, 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 3:19. Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.

 

Acts 17:30. And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent.

 

Romans 5:1. Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Ephesians 2:8. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.

 

1 John 1:9. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

 

Matthew 6:14. For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.

 

COMMENTS ON THE LESSON TEXT

 

Mark 1:14–15. Jesus preached the conditions of salvation as repentance and faith.

John 3:36. Eternal life is received through believing on Christ. To fail is to believe means death.

Acts 2:38. Peter insists on repentance as a condition of salvation. The act of baptism testifies to repentance.

Acts 3:19. Repentance is here associated with conversion and the blotting out of sins.

Acts 17:30. The command to all me—to us—is to repent.

Romans 5:1. Our justification is obtained through faith in Christ.

Ephesians 2:8. Salvation is of grace but is appropriated through faith.

1 John 1:9. Confession of sins is a mark of repentance. Upon confession forgiveness is promised.

Matthew 6:14. The forgiveness of our sins is conditioned on our forgiving the trespasses of others.

From these texts it is seen that the main Bible conditions for salvation are faith and repentance.

 

LESSON TOPIC: THE CONDITIONS FOR SALVATION

 

I. NOT SAVED BY WORKS

 

“Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us” (Titus 3:5). “Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:9).

 

1. Our own works.

 

A) Good works are our duty. When we have done our best we are but “unprofitable servants.” B) Good works do not atone for sin. We should do good even though we never had sinned. There are no works of supererogation. There is no excess righteousness to supply lack of obedience. C) Our works are not meritorious. When depended on for salvation they are of no avail. Efforts at self-salvation are tributes to self-sufficiency and become self-worship, a form of idolatry.

 

2 Works of the Law.

 

A) The Law did not fully justify the Jews (Acts 13:39). B) We are not now justified by the works of the Law (Romans 3:20; Galatians 2:16, 3:11). We need not hope to find salvation through the Jewish rites, such as circumcision, the Sabbath and abstaining from meats.

 

3. Christian rites.

 

These, especially baptism, are depended on by many for their salvation. Their performance requires the participation of other. Thus, our salvation is made dependent on the will and acts of theirs, whereas it is an individual matter (John 1:12–13).

 

II. WE ARE SAVED THROUGH FAITH

 

We consider faith first because it is of prime importance and must come first in point of time.

 

1. Intellectual faith.

 

A) It is necessary to believe somewhat concerning Christ and his savings power to the extent that light has been received. A full knowledge of the plan of salvation is not needed. B) Such faith is based on evidence. Men in reach of the gospel have access to the evidence and may believe if they will. God has given assurance unto all men (James 2:19).

 

2. Saving faith.

 

A) It is voluntary. Men may be forced by evidenced to believe intellectually. But men are free to believe or disbelieve in this sense. He who will not believe shall be lost. B) It is a heart faith (Romans 10:9–10). It then reaches the affections and motives.

 

III. REPENTANCE

 

Saving faith is necessarily accompanied by repentance on the part of the sinner. Repentance is defined as, “The relinquishment of any practice, from the conviction that it has offended God.” (Webster’s Dictionary)

 

1. Conviction is not repentance.

 

The conviction of the Holy Spirit is intended to lead to repentance but is not repentance. It is a help to repentance and very necessary but if resisted leads to greater impenitence.

 

2. The basis of repentance.

 

True repentance finds its basis in godly sorrow. This is not fear of the penalty of sin nor of the shame of having been found out, but a deep regret that God has been wronged and offended. “Godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation” (2 Corinthians 7:10).

 

3. Elements and fruits of repentance.

 

A) Confession of sins. This is not a forced acknowledgment but a voluntary confession of sins to God. Confession to man, where such confession is due, may be included. It is not a list of sins committed but a frank acknowledgment of one’s sinful state. B) Forsaking sin. The practice must be stopped. Mercy is promised to those who confess and forsake (Proverbs 28:13). To forgive while the practice of sin continues would do violence to the righteous character of God. C) Forgiving others. The promise of mercy is on condition that we forgive. D) Restoration (Ezekiel 33:15). Zacchaeus volunteered to restore fourfold. True repentance includes a willingness to make restoration for past wrongs done. This includes wrongs against one’s influence or reputation as well as against physical property. There may not always be the opportunity but there must be the willingness.

 

IV. SURRENDER TO CHRIST

 

1. Surrender of the will.

 

A) Negatively, this includes a giving up of all rebellion against the will of God. There can be no further struggle against his will nor clamor for things known to be contrary to his good pleasure. B) Positively, it is a willing and glad consent to whatever is found to whatever is pleasing to God and a rejecting of whatever is found to be contrary to his will. Immediate obedience must be rendered. The promise of continued obedience must be carried out.

 

V. APPROPRIATING SALVATION

 

1. Natural to the penitent.

 

Ordinarily, to the one who has fully repented of his sins and made a full surrender to Christ, there is no difficulty in accepting pardon. Living faith for salvation springs up naturally in such a heart.

 

2. Difficulties in accepting salvation.

 

A) Thinking faith a strange feeling. They wish to feel that they believe, so they overlook the simplicity of a humble trust. B) Seeking the witness. The penitent should need not concern himself about the witness or assurance of salvation. This is an after consideration which will come in God’s own time and way.

 

3. Acceptance is based in the gospel.

 

A) Promises of salvation through the merits of the blood. B) Knowledge that the Bible conditions have been met.

 

4. It is a simple trust.

 

After having me Bible conditions there is nothing left to do but accept the fact that he saves and repose in simple trust in the merits of Christ’s atonement. “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.”