A Clear Plan of Salvation
A Clear Plan of Salvation
By David Cox
There are probably hundreds of different valid presentations of the gospel out there. Looking into the actual Bible, we find Jesus presenting the salvation in various different forms. We cannot speak authoritatively about how Jesus witnessed because being God, he could very well discern perfectly the heart of the person that he was dealing with and emphasize what that person particularly needed. The best we can do is to imitate that as imperfectly as we can.
It can only be of Satan when God’s evangelists confuse and make salvation “hard”. The hard part of salvation is and should be belief. Belief is a coin with two sides. First one side is faith in the work of Jesus Christ as your personal Savior. The flip side of the coin is repentance, giving up all hope that anything else other than Jesus’ work on the cross before the Father can do anything to get you to heaven. This includes any idea of personal works. We are not saved by a work of “faith”, but because we believe God’s promise and work of salvation through Jesus on the Cross. It is not “in us” that saves us, but rather what Jesus did that saves us.
At the same time we must insist that election is not what saves us, but our faith, as the Bible repeatedly insists. We are saved by grace (God’s giving to us something we don’t “merit” somehow) and this is obtained by us through the means of our faith, our believing God.
Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Eph 2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
While actual salvation is not within us, our faith is what God goes by in order to save us.
After much study in the subject, I have discerned that there are 4 points that need to be emphasized in any plan of salvation. These points are as follows:
(1) Recognition that one is a sinner and needing salvation.
(2) Repentance – a moral change in disposition towards sin.
(3) Believing or accepting Jesus Christ as your personal Savior.
(4) Public confession of your faith in Jesus Christ.
These elements are essential in salvation. Any plan of salvation that lacks or lightly emphasizes one or more of these points will result in a “Christian” that is born with birth defects (i.e. he will have serious spiritual problems until he returns to take care of these points) if indeed he does get saved.
At this point I will go through my thinking, verses, and observations on each of these points.
- Verses for Witnessing (based on this four point plan)
- Verses for Witnessing with Explanations included.
Conditions for salvation
In dealing with many people over the years, I have identified 4 conditions that need to met before a person is truly saved.
(1) Understanding – If the person needing salvation does not understand what he is doing, what God’s plan of salvation is, it is futile to think he will really get saved. The bottom line here, anybody who prays a sinner’s prayer to get saved without understanding and embracing the faith of God in Jesus as the Savior, is not saved. The prayer is an expression of what is in the heart, or if not, it is a work, and we are not saved by works.
Evangelist’s Principles – We work towards true heart-felt God worked salvation, and not a tally. Many Christians who witness work for a number. To do this, they count “decisions”. Unfortunately we see the truth as we go down the road with their converts. 100 decisions. Of these 100, only 50 we ever see again. Of the 50, 20 may be baptized at great efforts. 10 will still be involved and coming after a month or so. And in a year’s time, 3-5 of the 100 will still be attending a Fundamental Bible believing church. Of these maybe 1 or 2 will be involved in said church.
Why so grim statistics? Because we work towards numbers, decisions, and our own personal glory (here before men or in heaven before God), but we do not do the work of God. Once a person has prayed a prayer (but not understood), and you tell him he is going to heaven, he must return to that pre-saved state of thinking he is unsaved before he can really get saved. The soul winner must be cautious to wait and check for true understanding and faith before pushing for a prayer.
(2) Sincerity – We must “believe with the heart” (Romans 10:9-10) and not just the head. A person can pray and do anything you tell him to do, but if he is not truly sincere with God, there is no salvation.
Evangelist’s Principles – Some people will pray a prayer will you to just push you off, to get rid of you. To these people, the Soul winner must pray to detect sincerity in the person’s heart. It is a waste of both people’s time to pray a fruitless prayer just to make “another decision”.
(3) Person Will – Here the decision to be saved is a person decision of the individual. I cannot force another person to be saved. For as much as I may want a child, a spouse, a parent, or somebody I am witnessing to to be saved, I cannot make that happen. God makes that happen, but even God conditions salvation on that person wanting it. God does not save people who refuse His salvation. They are condemned.
Evangelist’s Principles – If the person understands, and is sincere with God, then he must personally desire this salvation. It again does nothing if the person needing salvation does not want or desire to remedy his situation. Verses about the condemnation of God on sin is the key here to try to create a desire in the person to be saved.
(4) Personal Action – You can be an expert on salvation, knowing all the ins and outs of salvation, but the bottom line is, if you do not take personal action to procure it for yourself, you will never be saved.
Evangelist’s Principles – Here after we have seen the other conditions met is where the soul winner must push for a response. He must be cautious not to be quiet when he should go forward with a plea to accept Christ, nor should he go forward if there are problems that need to be taken care of before the person prays for salvation.
We can point to many people that we personally know that apparently are not saved. What happened with them? So many times these people are self-deceived.
There is a group of “Baptists” (in name only but not according to the Baptist Distinctive) that are practicing this kind of false gospel. They think that by simply uttering the sinner’s prayer, a person will be saved. God looks at the heart, and nobody is saved without admitting and repenting of his sinful state. This false gospel produces shallow results because the person “tries it” and when nothing happens afterwards, their life is just as putrid as before, they abandon any connection with God or the church. Some of these people hang around propogating the same error, but there is no true real spiritual growth in their lives, and it is a church of unsaved childish adults that are no better than a kindergarten.
Many people make promises to God, and some even accept Christ, but are insincere in their hearts. They have internal idols that they are not willing to give up. Christ cannot save a person if he doesn’t repent of his sin and idols. Even so, when a person DOES DO THAT, they will fight for many a long time trying to get rid of all of that. But here the continential divide is very simply, they want to get rid of their idols. An insincere person doesn’t fight with his/her idols and sins, they just indulge and enjoy. A true child of God has problems enjoying sin. They may sin, but if the Holy Spirit dwells within in them (a mark of true salvation), then that Spirit will rebuke them so as to ruin their “fun time”.