Even Demons Believe, Chapter Eleven

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11. The Full Message

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  • But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do. (James 2:18)

Every Christian church and group requires certain “actions” that must be performed in order to receive salvation. Most groups say to just ask Jesus into your heart, others raise their hands, and some mock back a prayer. While some groups resort to a shallow application of water baptism, others mix it all up with speaking in tongues. Exactly what “action” does God have in mind for us to be saved? To put it in the words of the Scripture above, what does God require us to “do” in order to be saved? Let us look at the “full message” of God’s good news.

  • “Go, stand in the temple courts,” he said, “and tell the people the full message of this new life.” (Acts 5:20)

Peter preached a “full message” of the “new life” in Jesus and was told to do so by an angel of the Lord. Everyone should stand in the “temple courts,” fully out in the open preaching the “full message.”

Teaching the “full message” of God’s grace means that the “Spirit, the water, and the blood” are taught at the same time, for the three totally agree. No one aspect is more or less important than the other. The water cleanses the conscience, the blood signifies the cost of the cross, and the Spirit gives everything true faith and life. Correct preaching declares all three.

The book of Romans only declares a requirement of “baptism.” It doesn’t specify if that baptism is water, Spirit, or blood because it is all one baptism. The blood is just as important as the Spirit and the water is just as important as the blood and the Spirit.

  • For there are three that testify: the Spirit, the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement. (1 John 5:7–8)

Individuals and churches that would not consider leaving the blood or Spirit of Jesus out of their gospel calls have no qualms about leaving out the water. Let this sin no longer continue. These three things, because God is Triune in nature, testify to the unity of the message of the cross. When teaching is out of balance, God’s people become hindered, walk in darkness, and are destroyed. In order to experience the resurrected life we must have all three aspects of Jesus. Why? First, because no one can get to God “except through” Him. Second, “the way” of the cross in Jesus is God’s method of salvation. And third, this is the only way to “the life” of abundance in God.

  • Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John
    14:6)

Jesus comes to each of us and asks us to accept all of Him, to believe in every aspect of who He is and what He stands for. Jesus is Truth and those who love Christ worship all of Him. For this reason John states that Jesus “came by water and blood.” John knew that all of Jesus was of equal importance and power. Truly the Spirit, blood, and water are all required for salvation. Every aspect of the Truth is necessary if we want to walk victorious in this world and arrive safely at heaven’s gates. The Holy Spirit “testies” to this Truth.

  • This is the one who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ. He did not come by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. (1 John 5:6)

In order for a man to be “born again,” he must first see the need to be born again. He must utterly abhor himself and admit the need for the cross in his life. When a man sees this clearly and has counted the cost, he is ready to be born again through the waters of baptism by the power of the Holy Spirit and the blood of the Lamb. Jesus taught this lesson through Nicodemus, by teaching a man must be baptized in “water and the Spirit” in order to be born again. Even natural birth demonstrates that the water and spirit are necessary. For there must be a spirit within a baby for there to be life, yet water surrounds the baby in the womb. Jesus uses the evidence of billions and billions of births to drive home the point that God’s way of salvation comes through baptism.

As we will see in John 3:6, “flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.” Both have their way of giving birth. Jesus teaches Nicodemus the way of the Spirit is through baptism. For “unless he is born of water and the Spirit” he cannot be born again. Nicodemus understood fully that Jesus was not talking about human birth, going back into the “womb,” but about how to be born again by the power of the Holy Spirit.

  • Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him.” In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.” “How can a man be born when he is old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb to be born!” Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’” (John 3:1–7)

Man cannot be born again by saying a prayer, speaking in tongues, attending classes, or any other works man might devise. After all, is baptism more “works” than a prayer? Of course not; being baptized or saying a prayer to be saved both involve “doing” something. Therefore, doing something is a moot point. The only question is what did God command us to do in order to be saved? God did not tell us to speak a prayer to gain salvation. He declared that a man must be “born of water and the Spirit” in order to be born again. Among many, in an effort to make easy the grace of God, they have forgotten that Jesus also “came by water” as well as by “blood.”

  • This is the one who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ. He did not come by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. (1 John 5:6)

Truths To Ponder, Beliefs To Examine

  1. What opinion do you have about the way of salvation?

  1. What opinion do you have about the way of salvation?

  1. What opinion do you have about the way of salvation?

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