God’s Provisions in the Plan of Salvation

Text: Matthew 22:1-4

Salvation is impossible without the Lord (Acts 4:12). He has made everything “ready” (Matthew 22:4). God gave a plan in His word by which we can be saved (hear, believe, repent, confess, be baptized, and be faithful). Every step of the way, God has provided what is necessary for us to do what He requires. That is what we will discuss in this lesson – God’s provisions in the plan of salvation.

Hear

  • We must hear the gospel in order to be saved (Luke 8:8; cf. 2 Thessalonians 2:14; Romans 1:16) – what has God provided so that we can hear?
  • The ability to hear (Proverbs 20:12) – even those who cannot hear can still receive communication (2 Thessalonians 2:14-15)
  • The ability to understand (Ephesians 3:4) – He created us (Genesis 1:27); when Jesus taught “the common people heard Him gladly” (Mark 12:37, KJV)
  • The revelation of the gospel – from Jesus (Matthew 4:23), the apostles (Mark 16:15; John 16:13), and the final revelation (Jude 3)

Believe

  • We must believe in Christ in order to be saved (Hebrews 11:6; John 8:24) – what has God provided so that we can believe?
  • The word of God – faith comes by hearing His word (Romans 10:17)
  • Evidence – cited by Jesus (John 5:33-39); cited by Paul (Acts 17:2-3, 30-31; 1 Corinthians 15:4-8)
  • His word and the evidence He has provided give us a reasonable basis for faith (Hebrews 11:1)

Repent

  • We must repent of our sins in order to be saved (Luke 13:3, 5; Acts 17:30) – what has God provided so that we can repent?
  • Motivation through His kindness and severity (Romans 11:22) – His kindness leads us to repent (Romans 2:4); we also have examples that show us His willingness to punish the disobedient (Hebrews 2:2-3)
  • Free will (Deuteronomy 30:19; Joshua 24:15) – this is why persuasion is used (2 Corinthians 5:11)

Confession

  • We must confess our faith in order to be saved (Romans 10:9-10) – what has God provided so that we can confess?
  • The ability to confess – we communicate what is in our heart (Matthew 12:34; Proverbs 16:23); therefore, the ability to confess is based upon our ability to hear and believe (minds to understand, revelation and evidence to produce faith)

Baptism

  • We must be baptized in order to be saved (Mark 16:16; 1 Peter 3:21) – what has God provided so that we can be baptized?
  • The sacrifice of Christ (Romans 5:8-10) – this is the pattern we follow in baptism (Romans 6:3-5)
  • Water (Acts 8:36) – most abundant resource on earth; wherever people can survive, they can be baptized
  • His working in baptism (Colossians 2:11-12) – this is when we are cleansed by the blood of Christ (1 Peter 1:2-3, 22-23)

Faithfulness

  • We must be faithful until death in order to be saved (Revelation 2:10) – what has God provided so that we can remain faithful?
  • The word of God (Acts 20:32) – able to give us the inheritance
  • The church (Hebrews 10:24-25; 3:12-13) – we help one another
  • The goal of heaven (Colossians 3:1-3; Philippians 3:14) – something to focus on; a reason to remain faithful

Conclusion

  • Salvation is only possible because of God – we can meet His conditions only because He made that possible
  • This is not as the Calvinist supposes – Calvinism teaches that we cannot have faith (and, therefore, salvation) without a direct operation of the Holy Spirit on our heart
  • Instead, God has made everything ready so that those who choose to obey Him can do so

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