Some will say “I’ve gone to church all of my life, I’ve always believed in Jesus” while others will say “Oh yeah, I believe Jesus Christ rose from the dead on the third day so that I could have eternal life through Him” However, is belief in the resurrected Christ alone enough to gain salvation? Let’s turn to the scriptures and find out. Acts 16:31 says “And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” This is one of the scripture most people will use to justify that belief is enough to gain salvation. Yes, you do need to first believe on the resurrected Christ in order to be saved. However there are actions that must go along with your belief. As a side bar, did you know that demons believe? (James 2:19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.) Are these demons saved because of their belief? Absolutely not. So that means there is more to this “salivation thing” than just believing, because if belief was enough, the demons would be saved too. Right? Right!
Understand that Calvary’s cross is the bloodline of the gospel (good news). However once you believe on the resurrected Christ (as many Christians and non-Christians say they do) you must take on the Name of Jesus by being born into His family. For instance, when someone is physically born into this world, they take on the DNA of their mother and father. It’s not enough for that baby to exist inside of the womb without being pushed through the birthing canal in order to gain life outside of the womb. So it is with being spiritually born again. I can’t just believe on Jesus, I have to go beyond the belief by being born of water and spirit in order to fully take on the identity (DNA) of the resurrected Christ.
Let’s turn to John 3:3-7 which says “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.” The core message of Apostolic Doctrine teaches us that you must be born again of water and Spirit. But first you must repent of your sins.
You see, repentance is the road to biblical salvation. You must first have a broken and contrite heart and ask the resurrected Jesus to forgive you of all of your sins. This is where the sinner’s prayer (as some call it) stops. The sinners prayer does not go on to lead the person to the born again experience. Instead, these religions who believe in the sinner’s prayer feel that after you “repeat words” and “pray for forgiveness” you obtain salvation. However this is in stark contrast to Apostolic teachings for we believe in what Jesus taught while here on earth which is to YES believe, YES repent but then you must be baptized in water and spirit in order to see the kingdom of God. Just as Jesus was literally buried in a physical tomb, so we must be buried with Jesus in baptism fully emerged in water. Just how Jesus physically rose from the dead conquering death and grave, so we must rise out of the water into newness of life with Christ.
You see, everything Jesus did on earth, we get to do. Easter is not just about Jesus rising from the dead, it reflects on the very act that you and I did when we were baptized. And just how a baby is given his fathers last name, so we are to take on the Name of Jesus only at our spiritual born again experience when we are baptized. This my brothers and sisters is Apostolic Doctrine.
Acts 2:38 gives us a clear summary on how one is born again. “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” There you have it folks, you have repentance (like we talked about earlier) baptism in water in the name of Jesus Christ (born of water) and then you have the receiving of the Holy Ghost (born of Spirit). So in conclusion, yes you must believe on the resurrected Christ. However you must put that belief into action by repenting and being spiritually born again of water and spirit in order to have total salvation. This is the true Easter message. You see, we have gotten away from what Easter really means. We teach about the woman going to the tomb, we teach about the angels telling the women that Jesus is no longer dead but alive, but we tend to miss the point Jesus was trying to make when He got up out of the grave. I am grateful for wonderful traditional Easter messages and they are pretty much valid and true. However, we must go on to teach the story in its entirety by getting people to recognize that each of us must have our own personal Easter experience. That experience is when we get to be born of water and of Spirit which ultimately gives us eternal life.
Take some time this Easter to share biblical Apostolic salvation with someone who might not know the full meaning behind Easter.