The Plan Of Salvation
Here we are, more than two thousand years removed from the
death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. To date there are
more than 34,000 denominations within Christianity worldwide!
So many flavors of Christianity. So many different gospels being
preached. The question "Who is right?" begs to be answered.
What we need to do, is to find out what was first preached to a
world in need of a Savior!
To find out what the early church taught we must go back in time.
Go back before there were any of the modern day religions or
denominations. And by closely examining the teachings of Jesus
Christ and His Apostles, we will discover what was first preached,
and what we all must do to be saved.
In your quest to know God, if you will commit to pursuing
truth and not tradition, the Spirit of God will lead you.
Jesus did not come to merely bring us more religion. He came to
restore relationship between fallen man and a Holy God! That is
what the Gospel of Jesus Christ is all about.
We believe the Scriptures are divinely inspired and are able to
make one wise unto salvation.
2 Peter 1:20, 21
"Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any
21. For the prophecy came not in old time by
the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved
by the Holy Ghost."
2 Timothy 3:15, 16
"And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which
are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in
16. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is
profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in
The Divisions Of The New Testament
The Gospels - [Matthew, Mark, Luke and John]
-These cover the words and works of Jesus Christ.
The Book Of Acts
-This book covers the actions and
preaching of the Apostles and the history of the early church.
The Epistles - [Romans through Revelation]
-These are letters written by the Apostles to the churches they started in the
Book of Acts.
It is crucial that we understand that these letters were not
written to the lost, but were addressed to people who had
already been born again according to the Gospel (good news)
that was given to the Apostles by Jesus himself.
Before we take a closer look at this life-changing message that was
preached by the Apostles in the book of Acts, let’s read what Jesus
had to say about this born again experience.
John 3 - Jesus And Nicodemus
The Lord told Nicodemus that everyone who wanted to see
or enter into the Kingdom of God, MUST be born again of
water and the spirit.
These are the words of the Lord Jesus himself "ye must be born
again." It is vital that we find out exactly what Jesus meant by
the above statement. What does it take for a person to be truly born
again of the water and the Spirit.
Same conversation with the same man:
Jesus also told Nicodemus that whoever believes in Him should have
eternal life. It appears that Jesus mentions two different ways for a
person to be saved. One is being born again and the other is believing.
Question: Is Jesus teaching two ways, or is He teaching that believing
will lead someone to the birth of water and Spirit?
Biblical faith is much more than a mere mental affirmation that
Jesus existed. Genuine faith will always lead us... to obedience.
Believing is where our journey (relationship) with God begins.
"But without faith it is impossible to please him, for he that cometh to
God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that
diligently seek him."
The Context of John 3:16
If someone truly believes that Jesus is everything thing Bible says he
He is (Son of God, Emanuel, God with us...) and if you believe with
all your heart that He died on the cross and shed His blood for you.
And that Jesus was buried and three days later He rose again by the
Power of God. Then you SHOULD NOT perish, because you are
going to embrace His teachings, all of His Word. If you truly believe,
you WILL diligently seek Him and His Spirit will lead you to the
birth of water and Spirit.
In Jesus' prayer for His disciples, just before His crucifixion, He said
Thy (God’s) Word is TRUTH.
He also prayed for us and for all those who would believe on Him
through the preaching of the Apostles.
Before we continue our journey into the Book of Acts let us look at
some important facts about these men called the Apostles.
- Jesus hand picked His Apostles
- The Apostles spent more than three years traveling with the
Lord, learning and participating in His ministry. They were being
prepared for their life’s work.
- During this time Jesus tells Peter that he will be given the keys to
the kingdom... Matthew 16:13-19 (read).
- We will find out as we enter the book of Acts that AFTER His
resurrection, Jesus spent 40 days with His Apostles, putting the
finishing touches on their training.
Great Commission of Luke
Luke 24:44-48 & 49-51
At the conclusion of those 40 days, just prior to when Jesus
ascends into the heavens, we read that Jesus tells the Apostles
to preach REPENTANCE and REMISSION of sins in His Name
among all nations, beginning in Jerusalem.
Verse 49 Jesus also instructed them to go back to Jerusalem and wait
for the PROMISE of the Father.
Notice Verse 45 Jesus opened the Apostles’ UNDERSTANDING
that they might understand the scriptures!
The Apostles knew exactly what Jesus wanted to be preached to a
world in need of a Savior. If anyone ever knew what lost humanity
needed to do to truly be born again, it would have been the Apostles!
Question: In what book of the Bible can we find the details of
Genesis is the only book in the Bible that gives us the detailed
account of creation. Other books in the Bible support this ac-
count found in Genesis, but Genesis is the only place you can
find the details of creation.
Likewise the Book of ACTS is the ONLY book in the Bible where we find
the detailed account of what the Apostles preached to lost humanity. It is
the ONLY place where we have a verbatim (word for word) account of
what they preached to a lost and dying world! The Book of Acts also gives
us the response of those who first heard the saving message preached by the
Discovering The Acts Of The Apostles
Now let’s turn to the Book of Acts and discover what message the
Apostles preached, and how the promise of the Father was fulfilled.
Here we find that the Apostles were chosen/hand picked by the Lord and
that they spent 40 days with the resurrected Savior as He spoke to them
about the things pertaining to the kingdom of God!
Also we discover that the Promise of the Father is the baptism of the
It was on the day of Pentecost when the Apostles along with many other
men and women (Acts 1:13-15) were powerfully filled with the Holy Ghost
and began to speak with other tongues as the
SPIRIT gave the utterance (ability to speak).
Devout Jews gathered from all over the world witnessed this remarkable
event. Many heard them speaking with tongues asked, "What meaneth
this?" Then the Apostle Peter stood and declared to them the promised
coming of the Spirit and went on to preach Christ and the message of the
New Birth given to the Apostles by Jesus.
When the people who heard Peter’s words believed that Jesus Christ was
their Lord and Savior, they were sorry for their sins and asked Peter and the
Apostles, “what shall we do?”
Peter was given the "Keys To The Kingdom" (Matthew 16:19). The Apostles
spent more than three years being groomed for this day. They spent 40 days
with the Lord Jesus after His resurrection, and Jesus opened their minds
that THEY would understand the Scriptures!
Question: If the Apostle Peter stood before you now and you were able to
ask him for yourself, the same question that these men asked in Acts 2:37,
"What shall we do?" Do you think Peter would give you the same answer as
he gave them?
Now let’s find out how Peter responded to this sincere question.
"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."
Peter preached the "good news" (The Gospel) that Jesus commanded in
Luke 24:45-51. Let us consider the three elements of the plan of salvation
that Peter preached in Acts 2:38.
2. REMISSION OF SINS THROUGH BAPTISM IN JESUS' NAME
3. RECEIVING THE GIFT OF THE HOLY GHOST
Acts 2:38 is the fulfillment of the "New Birth" requirements Jesus
mentioned in John 3:5 that are necessary to enter the Kingdom of God!
- Water Birth = Baptism in the name of Jesus Christ!
- Spirit Birth = Infilling of the Holy Ghost!
Let’s continue our journey through the Book of Acts and witness
other people being born again as the gospel that Jesus gave His
Apostles continued to be preached.
ACTS 8 ~ PHILLIP & SAMARIA
Because of persecution against the church many believers were
scattered abroad and they preached the Gospel everywhere they went.
The people of Samaria witnessed miracles, unclean spirits being cast
out, healings, and deliverances. There was also great JOY in the
Acts 8:12, 14-16
When they believed the preaching of Phillip concerning the kingdom
of God and the Name of Jesus, they were baptized in the Name of the
True or False?
Although these Samaritan believers had great joy and witnessed
miracles and were baptized in the Name of Jesus, they had yet to
receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. It wasn’t until Peter and John
came down to pray for them that they received the Holy Ghost.
True or False
So we discover here that receiving the Holy Ghost is a distinct and
separate experience from our initial belief in the Lord Jesus!
True or False
ACTS 10 ~ PETER & CORNELIUS
The gospel is presented to the gentiles for the 1st time.
Cornelius was a good man, he was a sincere man, and he also was a
very religious man. Although Cornelius was a religious man, God
had more for him to do.
Notice the angel did not preach to him, but instructed him to find
Peter, who would tell him what he needed to
do to be saved. (Acts 11:13-16)
When the Gentiles of Cornelius’ household received the Holy Ghost,
Peter and the other Jews who accompanied him recognized it,
because they heard them speak with other TONGUES
and magnify God.
The household of Cornelius was baptized in the Name of the Lord.
Notice the language used by Peter. Peter COMMANDED
them to be baptized! Why so strong? Because Jesus said "You MUST
be born again of the water and the Spirit!" (John 3:5)
Even though the household of Cornelius had already received the
Holy Ghost they still needed to be baptized in the name of Jesus.
True or False?
ACTS 19 ~ PAUL & EPHESIAN BELIEVERS
There are some who claim baptism is not necessary or
that it does not matter how a person is baptized...
These were disciples of John the Baptist. John preached a message of
repentance and baptism. John also declared that Jesus was the Lamb of
God. These men were believers, but had not heard of or received the
Although they had been baptized by John the Baptist, when Paul preached
to them Jesus and the message of the New Birth they were re-baptized, in
True or False
When Paul laid his hands upon these believers and prayed for them
they received the Holy Ghost and began to SPEAK
Once again we discover that the "New Birth" message preached by
the first century church was consistent throughout the Book of Acts.
WE HAVE DISCOVERED THE APOSTLES PREACHED...
- The life of Christ and His death, burial and resurrection
- The New Birth Message Jesus spoke of in John Chapter 3
1. Repentance and belief in Jesus Christ as Savior
2. Baptism in water by immersion in Jesus' name
3. Receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost (with the initial evidence
of speaking with other tongues)
James 1:21-24 (NLT)
"...humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has
the power to save your souls. But don't just listen to God's word. You
must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves.
For if you listen to the word and don't obey, it is like glancing at your
face in a mirror. You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you
look like. But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you
free, and if you do what it says and don't forget what you heard, then
God will bless you for doing it."
The Word of God is able to save our souls!
Heb 2:3 (NLT)
So what makes us think we can escape if we ignore this
great salvation that was first announced by the Lord Jesus Himself and
then delivered to us by those who heard Him speak? (The Apostles)
"Ye have purified your souls (how?) in obeying the
truth... being born again... by the word of God... and this is the word
which by the Gospel is preached unto you."
"He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved"
The Apostle Paul’s baptism at his conversion.
"And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and
wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord."
Some say that this is the proper formula for baptism: in the name of
the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.
Let’s look a little closer
1. Father, Son, Holy Ghost are not NAMES, but are TITLES.
2. There is no place in the Bible where anyone was ever baptized
using the formula; Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. However we’ve
already read in the Book of Acts where believers were baptized in the
Name of Jesus.
The word "name" in Matthew 28:19 is singular in this command to
baptize. The Apostles obeyed this command. The Apostles did not
REPEAT the command but they FULFILLED it when they baptized
in the name of JESUS!
The Apostle Peter’s words in the face of persecution!
There is only One Name given among men for
Salvation and that Name is Jesus!
The Apostle Paul declares! (read)
Jude 3 & 4 (NKJ)
"Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our
common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you
to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to
the saints. For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago
were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the
grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our
Lord Jesus Christ."
" ...are built upon the foundation of the Apostles and
prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;"