God's Distinctive Salvation
Realizing that salvation tracts abound, you might ask, "Then why another one?" In reply to the Christian, the intent is to encourage you to demonstrate by life and lip that your salvation is perfect, complete and worthy of sharing. And those who have been taught, "as God is, man may become," may it challenge you to ask yourself: "Does God really want me to become a god?"
Some 6000 years of human history clearly testify that man by his own efforts cannot meet his deepest need. Planet earth is one great graveyard. And in spite of all of his religious activities among the tombstones, man knows he must keep his appointment with "the dust" beneath his feet (Hebrews 9:27). Looking into God's only Manual for His special creature, page two of the Bible states that man's real problem goes much deeper than the grave. He is dead-dead spiritually (see Genesis 2:17, Matthew 8:22, Ephesians 2:1, Revelation 20:12), so that is why he dies physically. He cut himself off from the Source of Life and Light through sin way back in Eden. And since dead men in the dark cannot even begin their own "resurrection," they must have outside help.
God's Provision – A Person
So help has indeed arrived in the Person of the God-Man, Jesus the Christ. He was "God manifested in the flesh" (I Timothy 3:16). In Him God has met man’s greatest need. But today so many religions claim to be the answer to man's need that multitudes have been turned off to God's only provision for reconciliation. But in spite of all the religious claims, the "good news" still goes forth. How do we know? You are reading it now. Please keep reading.
If this person is indeed the answer to all we need, then He must be very special. A better word would be unique for there is no one like Him in all the universe. From all eternity to all eternity He remains unchanged in His Godhood (Psalm 90:2). Yet almost 2000 years ago, He also became a man: "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us. . . " (John 1: 14). In this first chapter of John alone, we discover Him as: God (v.1), Creator (vv.3,10), Life (v.4), Light (vv.4,9), Man (v. 14), God Revelator (vv. 14,18), Lamb of God (v.29), Spirit Baptizer (v.33), Messiah (v.41), Son of God (v.49) and King of Israel (v.49). For those who would put Jesus in the "elder brother" category, please note John 3:16 states He is the only begotten Son. The virgin birth also makes Him unique. Remember the God-Man is 100% God and 100% man. While you and I cannot understand this concept because we are finite and He is infinite, it does not make it any less true.
Man's Salvation – This Person
God's provision results in man's salvation. The apostle Peter declares in Acts 4:12, "Neither is there salvation in any other; for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." Simeon in Luke 2:30 proclaims, "For mine eyes have seen thy salvation" as he looked upon Jesus. When one becomes convinced that God's salvation is really the Jesus Christ of the Bible and not some religious group, ritual, or lifestyle, then he can have real inner peace in spite of all the claims of a restless world of many "one true churches". Good sense tells us they all cannot be the right one. Shall we play it safe and join them all? Not really! There is a better way. It is Him!
This list, LDS friend, is really worthy of your consideration. All (no exceptions) receive the following when they receive Jesus Christ as Lord, and become a child of the living God by faith in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:26). The list is only partial.
- Sonship – John 1:12: "But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name."
- New creature – II Corinthians 5:17; "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature…"
- No condemnation – Romans 8:1; "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus…"
- All spiritual blessings – Ephesians 1:3; "God … who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ"
- Chosen – Ephesians 1:4: "According as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world…"
- Accepted – Ephesians 1:6; wherein He hath made us accepted in the beloved."
- Redemption and forgiveness – Ephesians 1:7; "In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins…"
- Inheritance – Ephesians 1:1 1: " In whom also we have obtained an inheritance…"
- Nearness – Ephesians 2:13: "But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ."
- Peace – Ephesians 2:14: "For He is our peace…"
- Righteousness – II Corinthians 5:21: "For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him."
- Citizen of heaven – Philippians 3:20: "For our conversation (citizenship) is in heaven…"
- Risen with Christ – Colossians 3:1-4: "If ye then be risen with Christ…"
- Heir – Romans 8:17: "And if children then heirs; heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ…"
- With Him forever – I Thessalonians 4:16-17; "…and so shall we ever be with the Lord"(see also John 14:3 and 17:24).
- Eternal life – I John 5:11-12; that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.
- Translated – Colossians 1:1 3: "Who (the Father)…hath translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son…"
- Kept by His power – I Peter 1:3-5: "Who are kept by the power of God…"
- Sealed with the Spirit – Ephesians 1:13; ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit…"
- Ambassador for Christ – II Corinthians 5:20: "Now then we are ambassadors for Christ…"
- Reconciled – II Corinthians 5:18: "(God) who hath reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ…"
- Holy and royal priesthood – I Peter 2:5,9; "Ye (male and female) also … are … an holy priesthood … a royal priesthood…"
- Baptized into His Church – I Corinthians 12:13: "For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body (the church)…"
The list goes on but the "many plain and precious parts" missing are due to lack of space. Please check with any Bible-taught believer for more.
Here is the "frosting" on this celestial cake. The climax to this incredible salvation is revealed in Romans 8:29;… to be conformed to the image of His Son…" Or as I John 3:2 says, "…when He shall appear, we shall be like Him…"Such truth really stretches the mind. Imagine not only being in Christ and being with Christ but being like Christ. Understand it? No! Believe it? Yes! Why believe it? My Father would not lie.
To those who have been taught: "The whole philosophy of the Church is built around the doctrine of eternal progression," please reconsider what is implied in such a teaching. Webster's says progress is "advancement toward something better; improvement." And this includes the gods of Mormonism. But the God of the Bible declares those in Christ are perfect and complete: "…that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus… and ye are complete in Him…"(Colossians 1:28, 2:10). Perfect and complete cannot progress or be improved!
Please remember this unique Person is both God and Man. God's desire and design for His children is to be like Him in His humanness, not His deity. Jesus was a perfect Man, because He was without sin and God's special creature, man, may become like Him, but only because we will be forever forgiven sinners who have been adopted as sons. Amazing grace! Christ in His Deity is "the same yesterday, and today and forever … Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines" (Hebrews 13:8-9). Eternal progression is surely a "strange doctrine" and a real insult to the so great salvation of God (Hebrews 2:3). Are you sure God wants you to become a god? Are you sure you want to become a god? Do not forget who first stated that man could become "as God is" back in Eden. Isaiah 14:12-15 records his awful fate.
It is not too late, my friend, to turn to the Christ of the Bible and receive Him. What a glorious future will then be yours: But God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved) and hath raised us up together and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: that in the ages to come He might shew the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast. (Ephesians 2:4-9)
-H.C. "Pat" Combes