Your word is a lamp to my feet
And a light to my path.
Volume 02, Number 25
church of Christ
1860 Mt. Baker HWY
P.O. Box 30821
Bellingham, WA 98228
Bible Classes..........9:30 AM
Bible Classes.........7:00 PM
Mt. Baker church
In this issue:
CAN WE HAVE CONFIDENCE IN OUR SALVATION?
Adapted from Ernie Sprinkle
Many people who claim to be Christians go through life not sure of their
salvation. Is this how God wants His children to view their salvation? Are
we to go through life wondering if we have been saved or are we know that we
The apostle Paul was one who knew his relationship with the Father through
the Son. He wrote to the church at Philippi about his thoughts regarding his
own death. These things show us the confidence that he had concerning his
salvation and his relationship with Christ: “For to me, to live is Christ
and to die is gain. But if I am to live on in the flesh, this will mean
fruitful labor for me; and I do not know which to choose. But I am
hard-pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and be with
Christ, for that is very much better” (Philippians 1:21-23). Now note that
the apostle Paul says for him to die is “gain”. How can that be? How can
anyone look at the thought of dying as gain? The only way he could look at
death this way is if he was confident where he was going when he died. Paul
had the desire to depart because he knew he would be with Christ. That is
the same kind of confidence you and I should have.
The book of Hebrews discusses the idea of confidence, and I’d like to
discuss four verses with you from that writer.
First, Hebrews 3:6 says, “But Christ was faithful as a Son over His house —
whose house we are, if we hold fast our confidence and the boast of our hope
firm until the end”. The “confidence” spoken of here that we are to “hold
fast” to is from a word (parreesia) which means “free and fearless
confidence, cheerful courage, boldness, assurance” (Thayer). This
“confidence” that we are talking about is based on our hope. Hope can only
give us “confidence” when it’s something we can lay hold of.
Second, Hebrews 4:16 says, “Therefore let us draw near with confidence to
the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in
time of need”. The same kind of “confidence” that we are told to hold onto,
is the same kind of “confidence” that we can approach “the throne of grace”
with. Why can we do that? We know it’s our sins that separate us from God
(Isaiah 59:2). So the only way that we could approach the throne of God is
if our sins were forgiven (Acts 2:38, 22:16). When we were clothed with
Christ in baptism, our sins are washed away (Galatians 3:27). Being forgiven
of our sins, washed clean by the blood the Lamb, we can approach the throne
of God with confidence.
Third, Hebrews 10:19 reads, “Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence
to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus”. Again this same “confidence”
is what we have to enter the holy place. But again this “confidence” isn’t
based on our own abilities but on the “blood of Jesus”. Jesus is our High
Priest who has offered the perfect sacrifice for our sins, “who does not
need daily, like those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His
own sins and then for the sins of the people, because this He did once for
all when He offered up Himself. For the Law appoints men as high priests who
are weak, but the word of the oath, which came after the Law, appoints a
Son, made perfect forever” (Hebrews 7:27-28). Because of this we can enter
the holy place having been sprinkled by the blood of Christ, “and since we
have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a sincere
heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an
evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water” (Hebrews 10:21-22).
Fourth, Hebrews 10:35 states, “Therefore, do not throw away your confidence,
which has a great reward”. The last of the four Hebrew texts tells us this
“confidence” that we have been talking of is something that we aren’t to
throw away. Why? Because it has a great reward. The Hebrew writer goes on to
tell us, “For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the
will of God, you may receive what was promised” (Hebrews 10:36). We need to
do the will of God or we can’t have true confidence that God wants for us.
This confidence is dependent on Christ and our relationship to Him. John
said, “Now, little children, abide in Him, so that when He appears, we may
have confidence and not shrink away from Him in shame at His coming” (1 John
2:28). Our “confidence” isn’t based on our own abilities to be righteous but
on the promises of God, “in the hope of eternal life, which God, who cannot
lie, promised long ages ago” (Titus 1:2). The Hebrew writer says, “… so that
by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who
have taken refuge would have strong encouragement to take hold of the hope
set before us” (Hebrews 6:18). We can have confidence in our salvation
because we serve a risen Savior and an awesome God.
DOES GOD HAVE A PLAN OF SALVATION?
Joe R. Price
A plan is a program of action, "a scheme for making, doing, or arranging
something" (Webster). We are familiar with plans: Football teams have game
plans, architects have building plans, and teachers have lesson plans.
Before smartphones, many people used day planners to arrange their daily
Having a plan indicates order and definition. Although the word is not used
in Ephesians 1:3-14, it is obvious from a reading of that passage that God
had a plan to save lost souls that He executed through Jesus Christ. When we
speak of the "scheme of redemption" we are referring to God's arrangement or
plan by which He saves sinners.
We also speak of the plan of salvation when talking about how God's
salvation is appropriated by the sinner. A reading of the New Testament
makes it clear God has a plan (an arrangement) whereby His mercy and grace
remove sin from our lives (Acts 4:12; Acts 10:34-35). What follows is a
brief summary of God's plan, the arrangement God has revealed, which, when
believed and obeyed, results in salvation.
First, one must believe in God and His Son, Jesus Christ (Heb. 11:6; John
8:24). Without faith, no one will be saved. One comes to faith in Christ by
hearing the word of God (John 20:30-31; Rom. 10:17). It is this ward of God
that commands every sinner to confess faith that Jesus is the Christ (Rom.
10:9-10; Acts 8:37). When a sinner confesses faith in Christ, that person's
faith compels him to repent of his sins (another commandment of God we obey
to be saved, Luke 13:3, 5; Acts 2:38; Acts 17:30). Having repented (changed
one's mind toward God and sin against Him), what remains is to be baptized
into Christ for the remission of sins. In this action, Christ's blood washes
sin away and the sinner is saved (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Rom. 6:3-4;
1 Pet. 3:21). The Lord adds the saved person (now a Christian) to His body,
the church (Acts 2:47). Now a disciple of Christ, the Christian lives by
faith, obediently serving Jesus as Lord (Rom. 6:17-18; 12:1-2; Gal. 2:20).
God has a plan of salvation and wants to save you. The question is whether
or not you have obeyed it. If not, why not believe, obey, and be saved now
(2 Cor. 6:2)?
Faith in the Lord’s
To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David.
1 In the Lord I
put my trust;
How can you say to my soul,
“Flee as a bird to your mountain”?
2 For look! The wicked bend their bow,
They make ready their arrow on the string,
That they may shoot secretly at the upright in heart.
3 If the foundations are destroyed,
What can the righteous do?
4 The Lord is in
His holy temple,
The Lord’s throne is in
His eyes behold,
His eyelids test the sons of men.
5 The Lord tests
But the wicked and the one who loves violence His soul
6 Upon the wicked He will rain coals;
Fire and brimstone and a burning wind
Shall be the portion of their cup.
7 For the Lord is righteous,
He loves righteousness;
His countenance beholds the upright.
Created by John Bass, last updated.
The Mount Baker Beacon is a
weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA.
Send all questions, comments to the editor, John Bass at (360) 325-5149