What Must I Do To Be Saved? [video]

(What Must I Do To Be Saved?) Bible Lesson. Teen Bible Lesson. Video Lesson.

Thank you for reading and following this blog for the past two years. Thank you for your support, feedback and prayers. My last post is scheduled for Monday December 30th. After that date I will be devoting my blogging time in 2014 at RefreshMyHeartInChrist.wordpress.com.

To check out previous videos you may have missed, click the “Video Lessons” tab in the menu bar above.

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TAGS: salvation, what must i do to be saved?, plan of salvation, forgiveness, repentance, baptism, gospel

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Return Without Repentance?

(Return Without Repentance?) Bible Question.

Question:

“We have some members here who quit attending services for a long time. A few months ago they came back, began to attend regularly, and are now being asked to lead prayers and teach. They did all of this without confessing any sin or requesting forgiveness. Is this right?”

Answer:

I understand your concern. If people are to take part in the body life of the church, they should represent the body well. If sin has taken place, they should acknowledge that and seek help from the body of believers. But, recall what John the baptizer told his audience . . .

“Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. (Luke 3:8a; New International Version)

John had a lot of religious-looking people coming to him for baptism. But he was not as interested in the form of religion as he was in the heart behind the actions. He insisted that their lives reflected what the baptism represented. If baptism is for forgiveness, then people should act as if they were cleansed. If their baptism indicated a renewed dedication to God, then the lives of those people would bring forth fruit that demonstrated that dedication.

Using those principles, it seems to me that the people who had forsaken the assembly of the church (Hebrews 10:25), and then returned, have demonstrated a change of heart (which is repentance). From what you have described, they have produced fruit worthy of repentance. They have proven a change of actions (fruits) since they were not attending and now are.

If you are concerned about the sincerity of their repentance, then follow the Lord’s teaching and personally go to them . . .

“If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother. But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that by the mouth of two or three witnesses every fact may be confirmed. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.– Matthew 18:15 – 17 (New American Standard Bible)

In a personal conversation with these people, you can express your concern for them, and they in turn can explain their actions and convictions.

I recently came across an article about how to leave and not leave a church. You may find it helpful. Here’s the link:

How (Not) To Leave the Church (Frank Viola)

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Does the Holy Spirit Leave the Sinner?

(Does the Holy Spirit Leave the Sinner?) Bible Question.

Question:

“I believe (from Acts 2:38 and other passages) that we receive the Holy Spirit when we are baptized. But if a Christian turns back from Christ into a sinful lifestyle, does the Holy Spirit leave him. If so, would the Spirit return, if the person repents and returns to the Lord?”

Answer:

You are correct that we receive the Holy Spirit when we are baptized into Christ:

Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” – Acts 2:38 (New American Standard Bible)

The apostles said later of the life and death of Jesus which they preached,And we are witnesses of these things; and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey Him” (Acts 5:32). When one obeys God by being baptized, he is given the Holy Spirit. In fact, the Scripture clearly say, “. . . But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him” (Romans 8:9b).

What happens if a Christian turns back from Christ and into the world of sin? Let us look at another passage:

This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.  If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.” – 1 John 1:5 – 7

Look at that again carefully. God is light; if we continue to “walk in the Light”, we are in fellowship with God. But if we turn back and again “walk in the darkness “, we are no longer in fellowship with God.

The parallel of fellowship with God and our having the Holy Spirit is too clear to miss. While we walk in the light, the Spirit dwells in us because we are in fellowship with God. If we turn back and walk in darkness, we are no longer in fellowship with God and the Spirit no longer dwells in us.

When one is willing to return to God, he is forgiven and restored to God’s fellowship (Acts 8:22, 23; 1 John 2:1, 2; Hebrews 10:26 – 31). And thus the Holy Spirit returns to that person. If we are not in fellowship with God, the Holy Spirit does not dwell within us. If we are in fellowship with God, we have the Holy Spirit.

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