Salvation is when an individual realizes that they are lost and guilty of sins (crimes) against a Holy and Righteous God. What its not is just a prayer, rather it comes from the heart in understanding the totality of offenses. It moves from the realm of what opinions one might possess, to an understanding of what the God of the universe has said. The Bible states: Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. A popular verse and yet speaks volumes as the reference of a wage. Now while we tend to think that wages are good (most of the time they are) there can be something in what we earn that is not good. This wage is what most today are trying to earn, their way to heaven. The Bible is clear that we can in no way earn a wage that is sufficient to get us to heaven. Oh, but there is something that can! It’s a gift. It provides eternal life and its only available through Jesus Christ. This gift was so precious that it cost him his blood and his life. So, the question is yours to answer: are you trying to earn your way, or have you accepted the gift? Both are available and its ultimately up to you to decide.
Baptism, this is seen as a first step, a one-time ceremony, a public profession of the redemptive work that has already taken place. Baptism (note: scriptural baptism- full emersion) is after salvation, it’s a public testimony and step of obedience to Jesus. Remember Jesus was willing to submit himself to baptism. This process shows one’s willingness to identify, submit and obey the Lord Jesus Christ. Its upon your profession of accepting the sacrifice of Jesus, asking for forgiveness and inviting Him into your life. It’s a picture of the death (of the old way) burial (old life) and resurrection (all things become new).
Some of the best times in a Christian’s life are when they spend time with other believers. The camaraderie, the fellowship love and care are greatly beneficial to the believer. Its also where we learn to pray for one another. It is about making a commitment to the body of Christ, the body of believers and to the body of doctrine. We are aligning ourselves as we join in faith and work with the Lord Jesus in his redemptive work. IT allows us to exercise our spiritual gifts (Romans 12:6-8) in something that goes beyond the temporal to the eternal, as we recognize that it is no longer about self, but rather its about learning to serve others. Our example is that of Jesus and we are told in Ephesians 5:25 about his great love for his church. It meant so very much to Him, it should mean the same for each believer.
Discipleship comes from the word disciple, which means: individuals who profess to learn and receive doctrines and precepts. This a key element in the walk of any born-again believer as he develops the relationship that brings about obedience to Jesus Christ. This is an integral part of the church as it fulfills the Great Commission that Jesus gave in Matthew 28:20. One cannot fulfill this commission if they never are taught. The first step in discipleship is that it’s about your relationship with Jesus Christ, spending time with Him in prayer and reading your Bible. Relationships require time, effort, focus and commitment. As you grow in grace and knowledge (2 Peter 3:18) your faith will become something that you will not only want to share with others but will have been equipped to do just that!
As it was so well articulated to the believer (Titus 2:13) we are looking for (expecting and waiting) for the Lords return! We find hope in the scriptures (Romans 15:4) of the fact that our Lord Jesus will return. Since we do not know the day nor hour that he will return, we expect him to return at any moment. In having such a hope we are ready for his return even as you are reading this....