31 March 2022
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How can I be saved?

Speaker: Apostle Ernie

How can I be saved?

If you were to ask most Christians this question, they would probably respond by saying: “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31). God has already done all of the work. All you must do is receive, in faith, the salvation God offers (Ephesians 2:8-9). Fully trust in Jesus alone as the payment for your sins. Believe in Him, and you will not perish (John 3:16). God is offering you salvation as a gift. All you have to do is accept it. Jesus is the way of salvation (John 14:6).”

This would not be wrong because the Bible says if we believe in Jesus, we will not perish and have eternal life. But have you ever asked yourself this question; what does it mean to believe in Jesus? This is where most Christians run into many problems and where it gets confusing. 

For most Christians, what it means to believe in Jesus depends on what church denomination you belong to. For Pentecostals, belief in Jesus would mean speaking with other tongues operating in the gifts of the spirit, being baptized as an adult. For Catholics, faith in Jesus would mean taking part in the sacraments, going to mass, and being baptized as a child. They can not all be right, especially when church denominations did not exist when the Bible was written. 

So what does it mean to believe in Jesus? Only the Bible can give us an accurate answer.

Why did Jesus have to die on a cross? As a Christian, you know the answer; because we have all sinned, and His death paid for our sins. If his death is the atonement for our sins, does this mean we are free to continue sinning? The Apostle Paul answers this in the letter to the Romans by saying, “cursed be the man who might even suggest such an idea!”. So, according to Paul, if we believe Jesus died for our sins, we can not continue living in sin. 

So, according to Paul, believing in Jesus entails a changed life where you go from living a life of sin to living a life of righteousness. 

The next question we need to ask ourselves is this; how does the Bible define sin? 1. John 3:4 says sin is the transgression of the Torah. As a Christian, you already know this because we Christians believe Jesus had no sin of His own. After all, He kept the Torah perfectly. So a righteous life would be a life lived in obedience to the Torah. 

If Paul says faith in Jesus entails a changed life where you go from living a life of sin to living a life of righteousness, then Paul says that faith in Jesus means you start obeying the Torah. 

So what does it mean to have faith in Jesus according to Paul? It means you obey the Torah of Moses. 

This gives us another problem because, time and time again, we hear it said, we cannot do what is right because of our sinful nature. So even though we want to obey the Torah, we can not obey it because of our inherited sinful nature. 

Is this true?

It can only be true if the Bible agrees. If the Bible disagrees with this idea, and we can find in the Bible where it says we can abide by the Torah and we are well able to do so, then we have to believe the Bible and not what comes from the pulpit in our churches. 

In the book of Acts, Paul was falsely accused of teaching Jews and Gentiles who believed in Jesus they no longer needed to obey the Torah. If Paul was falsely accused of this, we know Paul never told anyone they did not need to obey the Torah. So we know for sure Paul taught believers in Jesus to obey the Torah. So now we have two options, option number 1: Paul taught his followers to do something he knew they could not do. 2. Paul taught his followers to obey the Torah because he knew we could live by the Torah, and it was not too difficult for us. 

Paul was a human being; Jesus was and is God, so what did Jesus have to say about the Torah? In Matthew 23:2-4, Jesus says: when the Pharisees teach you to obey the written Torah of Moses, listen to their teachings and do what they say. In Matthew 7:21-23, Jesus says: depart from Me you who have rejected the Torah. In the Old Testament, Yehovah says the Torah is easy to obey and not difficult for us. And the Bible gives us many examples of people who were well able to follow the Torah, among them Jesus’s mother and stepfather. 

So if Paul taught Torah, he lived by the Torah, Jesus taught Torah, and he lived by the Torah, God told us to obey it and said it would not be too difficult for us; we know option 2 is the correct answer: Paul taught his followers to obey the Torah because he knew we could live by the Torah, and it was not too difficult for us. 

What does it mean to believe in Jesus? It means you obey the Torah of Moses. This is why Jesus says, in Matt 7:21-23, He rejects those who call Him Lord but at the same time rejects the Torah of Moses. 

This is why James says faith without works is dead and unable to save you. If you believe Jesus died for you, but you continue to live as a lawbreaker, your faith in the cross is dead and unable to save you. But if you believe Jesus died for your sins, and because you believe, you choose to repent and turn from living a life as a lawbreaker, your faith in the cross is alive and well able to save you. 

Most church denominations believe and teach the Torah has been done away with at the cross. Instead, they have replaced the Torah with artificial rules and regulations, which they have come up with in their own minds. This is no different from what the Pharisees did when they rejected the Torah. Jesus rebukes the Pharisees for doing this, telling them their worship of Yehovah is useless. He goes as far as to say they are children of the devil for having done this. 

If we believe in a God who never changes, who is the same yesterday, today, and forevermore, we know that He has not changed His mind. It still upsets Him and makes Him very angry when people who have rejected the Torah try to worship Him with artificial rules and regulations made up in their own minds. 

What about yourself? 

Are you one of them who upsets our God trying to worship Him with your own artificial rules and laws made up in your mind? Or are you one of them who has a true living saving faith in the cross, shown in your obedience to the Torah?