Salvation
In The Twenty-First Century

A Bible Answer To Our Most Important Question

"Now when they heard [this], they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men [and] brethren, what shall we do? Acts 2:37.

The question of Salvation has to be settled. With Salvation comes the knowledge, revelation and power, not only of our own deliverance from the dominion and condemnation of sin, but also the revelation of that part of His plan which He wishes to work out in me for the age in which I live. We're not back there working on the "foundation" of God's building; we're not back in the age of "framing up" the building or "closing it in", etc.. We're in the Age of "Moving In" As you continue in this page remember the Words of our Lord, "Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:31-32.

The Forerunner said:

"Now works are fine, but they don't save you.....It is Christ or perish.....I believe in good conduct. If you are saved you will do righteously.....But let me tell you now, Salvation is NOT Jesus PLUS. It is Jesus ALONE. SALVATION IS OF THE LORD. From start to finish it is all GOD. Let His life be in me...His blood that cleanses me...His Spirit that fills me...His Word in my heart and mouth."

The reaction of Zacchaeus to the Presence and Words of Jesus caused Jesus to say:

"This day is salvation come to this house..." Luke 19:9

The works of Zacchaeus showed his faith in the Saviour.

Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. Acts 4:12

It wasn't the works of Zacchaeus that saved him - it was his "faith" in Jesus Christ as the Saviour. The "reaction of his faith" caused him to bring forth works meet for repentance".

In Acts 26:19-20 Paul said:

"Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision: But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and [then] to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet (befitting or becoming) to/for repentance."

May the Lord give us a clear understanding of Salvation which is "BY Grace THROUGH Faith" (Ephesians 2:8) in the Lord Jesus Christ and the "work which faith produces" in a saved and sanctified life. For it is also written in Ephesians 2:10 "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." May the Lord help us to stay in the middle of the road.

Because "some do err, not knowing the Scriptures or the power of God" (Mark 12:24) there are those who accuse us of lifting up a man or presenting 'another way' of Salvation, or omitting Salvation through the 'finished work' of Calvary. This is far from the Truth as the following paragraphs will prove.

What Is Salvation?
Why Do We Need Salvation?

In the Bible, the word "Salvation" implies "deliverance" or "Victory" - to be delivered (saved) from, or gain the victory over the influence of something or someone in our lives which causes us to act contrary to the Word and Will of God. To answer the Questions of WHAT is Salvation and WHY do we need it we have to go back to the beginning to a time when man didn't need to be delivered from, or get the victory over anything.

In the beginning, in God's perfect creation, in the Garden of Eden, all was positive, all nature was in perfect harmony with God's will. And as long as our first parents (Adam and Eve) lived in perfect harmony with God and with His Will for their lives, they had no need of Salvation. In fact, while living in the Garden, in God's perfect environment they had no knowledge of what would later be known as "God's Plan Of Salvation". But, the peace, rest and joy of that perfect world was shattered when "ONE" Word of God was broken (disobeyed).

The Bible tells us in Genesis 1:31, "And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, (it was) very good." Then in Genesis 2:9 we find that God "planted" a special Garden, called Eden, and man would live in this garden - it was a utopia and would have remained thus as long as the man and his wife "chose" to "obey" God. When God "formed" man out of the dust of the earth He made him a "free moral agent" with the "power to choose" what to do and not to do - obey or disobey. But up to this point in God's creation man had only the knowledge of God - there was nothing to choose between; therefore, he just worshipped and obeyed God. But God would "test" the "power of choice" he had given His son and daughter.

In verse 9 of Genesis chapter two we're told, "And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil." The first Tree is clearly identified - the Tree of LIFE (Jesus Christ); the second tree is referred to as containing the "knowledge of good AND evil" (The Devil). When man was placed in the garden the Lord specifically warned him about this tree, saying, "...Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die". In no uncertain terms man was told that partaking of what the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil offered would surely end in death.

In Deuteronomy 30:19 God warned Israel, saying, "I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, [that] I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:" It applied to Adam and Eve; it applied to Israel and it applies to all of us. Everyday we're confronted with the choice to partake of the Tree of Life (by obedience to God's Word) or partake of the tree of knowledge of good and evil (by disobedience).

In the Garden of Eden God gave Adam and Eve only "one command" to choose to keep; and in Genesis 3 we find that Eve was deceived into partaking of the "tree of knowledge of good and evil" (the Serpent). She allowed the Devil to "change only ONE word" of what God had said. God said, "thou shalt surely die". The Serpent said,"Ye shall NOT surely die". Eve stopped long enough to allow the Devil to get her to "reason" on the Word of God.

Referring back to this the Apostle Paul in 2nd. Corinthians11:13 warned the early church with these words, "But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ."

But the deed was done - "Eve chose" to believe the Devil's lies and reasoning. Sharing her new found carnal knowledge with Adam, he chose to partake with her, to identify with her sin, trusting that God would, in redeeming and giving Salvation to him, would also redeem and give Salvation to his wife. By the GRACE of God, this is what our Lord Jesus did - He (through Grace) put Himself in the likeness of sinful flesh with us, died [shedding innocent Blood to atone for our sins] and rose again, to redeem and give Salvation to Adam's fallen sons and daughters and bring us BACK to Himself again.

Let's just drop this thought in right here: God "permitted" sin to raise it's ugly head. He never caused it, but by His "permissive" will, He "permitted" Adam and Eve to do what they did. Satan's interference would be God's opportunity to reveal all of His Divine attributes to His children. NOW, His children would see HIS glorious attributes in full manifestation - Agapo Love, Saviour, Father, Son, Holy Spirit, Healer, Judge, Eternal Life, Resurrection, etc.; and seeing these attributes we would love him for Himself.

Our first parents chose to disobey God's plain command "not to partake of the tree of knowledge of good and evil". Their choice plunged the whole world in sin and death. Now began the great battle of the ages - between God and Satan - the battle for the minds of men and women. NOW, Man [all the human race] was in dire need of salvation - deliverance from and victory over the influence of Satan and sin in his/her life. Man and woman by their own choosing became subject to sin and death. Today, by our own choosing we can obtain Salvation and deliverance from sin and death, and one day enter into a new heaven and a new earth where sin and death will be forever conquered.

But, in the beginning, because of a wrong choice man was driven out of the Paradise of God. Physically, he was now under the curse - "dust thou art and unto dust shalt thou return". But man was given hope in the promise of Genesis 3:15 which spoke of the coming of a Redeemer to pay the price for man's sin and give him Salvation and Victory over the world, the flesh and the Devil.

Every messenger of God would now point to that promise of Salvation. Before the Crucifixion drama all Divine Revelation from God pointed forward to that day when Messiah would come and redeem man; but for the last 2000 years every messenger and Divine Revelation from God has been pointing back to Calvary. Salvation, not for the Devil's children, but for all God's children, would be according to their faith in What Christ would accomplish for them in His death, burial and resurrection. Every Messenger is charged with the responsibility of leading the true sons and daughters of God in the way of true Salvation, as opposed to Satan, through his messengers leading millions down the path of false religion and the end thereof are the ways of death (Proverbs 14:12).

In working out (by Grace) our own Salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12) before God we must remember that the "tree of knowledge of good AND evil" is still in the garden of God, tempting us to "add to" or "take away" from the whole Word of the Lord. As we continue in our study of the subject of Salvation, keep in mind that "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by EVERY WORD that proceedeth out of the mouth of God" (Matthew 4:4).

Zacharias, the father of John The Baptist, prophesied of his son's future ministry saying.....

And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways; To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins. Luke 1:76

John the Baptist was sent to point the people in the right direction - to give knowledge of Salvation... NOT according to a church creed or a human conception of things, but according to the Word of God. In Jeremiah 3:15 God said, "I will give you pastors according mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding." Unfortunately, this is not the case with MOST modern pulpits today. After YEARS of church-going MOST church-goers never mature in their knowledge of God; nor do they "grow in grace, and [in] the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ" (2nd. Peter 3:18).

The religious people of the world are more content with a "form of godliness" - some dry and starchy, some emotional and sensational; but they don't want the "whole" Word. Modern intellectual preaching has made the Word of non-effect to the people. They are led to believe that what the Bible calls sin isn't sin anymore.

Make no wonder, in Revelation 3:14-22 Jesus described this last day church in these words: "thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked - and don't know it!" Very few ministries are "calling out against sin". They are condemned by the words of Isaiah 5:20: "Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness;" They're eating of the "tree of knowledge of good and evil" and don't know it.

Failing to check everything with the whole Word of God, millions [like Eve] have allowed the Devil to deceive them into thinking that they're Christians when they're not. They're "willfully blind" to the fact that "Christian" means "Christ-like". And all TRUE professing Christians are "pressing toward the mark of "Christ-likeness" (Philippians 3:14) in their daily lives.

If through weakness or temptation they stumble and fall, they do not seek to justify their failure; but rather they keep looking to the prize of the high-calling of God in Christ and get up and keep pressing into the Kingdom of God. In their hearts they have a burning desire to be more like Christ. They're pressing into a "Full" Salvation, a more full and complete victory over the world, the things of the world and the Devil. 1st. John 2:15 says, "Love not the world, neither the things [that are] in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him."

In Hebrews 10:39 it is written: "But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul." The Christian NEVER stands still in his relationship with God. He/she is moving forward or backward - gaining ground or losing ground. But with perseverance, the true believer "adds to his faith", maturing as a son and daughter of God.

The Apostle said in 2nd Peter 1:4-5, "Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;"

Unfortunately, most are falling short of the knowledge of "Full Salvation" because most preaching today leads people to the conclusion that Salvation is nothing more than a 'one-time' decision to believe in Jesus and 'intellectually accept' Him as their Saviour - that's it - Bingo! You're saved! This is FAR from the Truth. Jesus' own Words in John 8:31-32 prove the error of this idea: "then said Jesus unto those Jews which 'believed' on Him, If ye continue in my Word, then are ye my disciples indeed; AND ye shall KNOW the Truth, AND the Truth shall make you FREE." Then, and only then, will you know what Salvation is all about.

Becoming a "new creation" in Christ, the Believers "desires" are sanctified to conform to the Word and will of God - the Believer is free from the "dominion" of sin. The "nature" of the flesh is still carnal, ever warring against the "new nature" of your Soul and spirit. In 1st. Corinthians 9:27 Paul said, "But I keep under my body, and bring [it] into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway."

We are further exhorted that, "the winner, is not he who starts the race BUT he that finishes" - goes unto perfection of Faith by the Word of God (Hebrews 6:1-6). In the Gospels Jesus plainly declared, "And ye shall be hated of all [men] for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved. (Matthew 10:22). How many so-called professing Christians are "ENDURING REPROACH" for the Gospel's sake? They live like the rest of the world; they act/react like the rest of the world; they talk like the rest of the world; they dress like the rest of the world; they fall for everything and take little or no stand for the things of God - for a church maybe, but NOT for God.

Yes, Salvation is a free gift, offered by Grace ( the unmerited favor of God) to those who WANT it. But with it comes responsibilities. In Luke 14:27-29 Jesus warns us to "count the cost" of receiving His FREE gift of Salvation. As with any free gift there are responsibilities - the responsibility of expressing and showing appreciation; honoring the giver and the gift; giving preeminence in your life to the "GRACE" of the Giver, because you didn't do anything to deserve it. And you give the gift a preeminent place in your heart and life.

In his warning Jesus said:

"And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have [sufficient] to finish [it]?" Salvation is indeed FREE, but discipleship comes with the great responsibility to live your life according to the Word and (by example) to teach others.

One of the greatest responsibilities of Christian discipleship is to "continue in the Word of the Lord...only then are we His disciples indeed" (John 8:31). It is by Grace that God calls us to be His disciples and it is by Grace that He enables us to continue in His Word, doing those things that please our Heavenly Father - this is Salvation, living and manifesting itself, in life, through our mortal bodies, with the promise of receiving a "new" body like unto the glorified body of our Lord Jesus Christ.

For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.                                              Philippians 3:20-21.

"Grace" And Salvation
 

That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness [exercise influence, to control] unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 5:21

One of the most mis-understood Doctrines of the Bible is "Salvation by Grace". So warped is the modern day teaching of "Grace" that it produces nothing less than dis-graceful specimens of Christianity. What Grace reveals in God's Bible as sin, worldliness, abominations and iniquity, the modern day pulpits [afraid to speak out against sin] hide under the "cloak" of Grace, making a disgrace out of Christianity. Isaiah said, "Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins." This is what God by His "Grace" does - He reveals our lost condition and shows us the way to Salvation. Grace DOES NOT sweep sin under the carpet of compromising complacency. Even in the face of weakness in our flesh, by Grace we will acknowledge the rightness of God's Word.

If we have a realtionship with God, from the beginning to the end it's ALL based on GRACE {the unmerited favor of a Loving God). The great plan of Salvation finds it's roots in the GRACE of God. When man, because of his sin in the Garden of Eden, fell from favor with God, Divine Love projected Divine Grace and Grace provided the Promise of a Redeemer in Genesis 3:15. It was Grace before the Law; Grace during the Law [because man [without the indwelling Holy Spirit] could not keep the Law]; and Grace after the Law. Grace gave the promise, Grace sent prophets and Messengers to keep us in line with the Word; and Grace sent our Messiah - Redeemer to pay the price for our sin and restore fellowship with the Father again.

When expounding the "Way of Salvation" most people refer to Ephesians 2:8. They use this Scripture like they use many others - OUT OF CONTEXT. - leaving men and women with the impression that being "saved by Grace" consists of 'accepting Jesus as their Saviour, giving him "lip-service" once in a while, and continue living the same kind of lives they always lived. When in reality "Grace leads to a Salvation wherein Christ is LORD" of the individual's life (Luke 6:46); and the individual becomes a "new creation in Christ, with a new spiritual nature which seeks daily to please the Lord Jesus Christ, asking for a daily measure of Grace to stay in line with the Word." (2nd Corinthians 5:17).

Let's consider ALL of what Ephesians 2:8 says:

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God:

Many quote only the first part of the verse: "By grace are ye save..."; but the full text says, "By Grace are ye save THROUGH faith". Therefore, Salvation is "BY Grace THROUGH faith" The channel through which Grace operates is "faith". Grace does nothing for us and can do nothing for us unless there is "faith" there to receive AND believe what Grace offers. Therefore God gives us the "faith" to receive the free gift of Salvation which Grace offers. We don't deserve it but God, through His unmerited favor offers it to us. Paul, in Hebrews 11:6 shows how important faith is in our relationship with God: "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".

On the Day of Pentecost, in Acts chapter 2, verses 37-38, we see "By GRACE through Faith" in action. God by His Grace had drawn all these people together to hear the preaching of the Word that would give them the Faith (revelation) of Salvation. Peter preached onto the people the Revelation of Jesus Christ, expounding unto them the things that God was doing in their day and what God had accomplished in the death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. And as always the preaching of the Word convicted the heart and conscience of the predestinated sons and daughters of God. The Bible says.....,

"Now when they heard [this], they were pricked [convicted] in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men [and] brethren, what shall we do?

That's the question we all need to find the answer to: "What shall we DO [to be saved]?" Let take note of Peter's answer:

"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. For the promise is unto you [Jews], and to your children [Jews], and to all that are afar off [Gentiles], [even] as many as the Lord our God shall call [Jews and Gentiles]."

Peter was VERY SPECIFIC in his answer. He left no room for doubt or any more questions. Now, we see "FAITH" coming into play. By Grace [through faith] God reveals what He required of them and what He requires of us that we may enter into His Salvation - it is a "test" of the sincerity of our desire for Salvation - how far are we willing to go in our obedience to the Lord?

Peter said:
1. Repent [acknowledge and be sorry) for their sin and unbelief.
2. Be Baptized (by immersion in water), in the NAME of Jesus Christ.
3. Receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost which makes us new creatures in Christ.

Grace provides the instructions, but it is left to us to obey. By faith we repent, believing in our hearts that God hears and forgives. By faith we are baptized in water in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, testifying before witnesses that we believe in and identify with the death, burial and resurrection of our Lord Jesus. If God recognizes our faith to be genuine, from the heart, He takes the third step and gives us the Holy Ghost, sealing us into His Kingdom. Praise the Lord for His Grace toward us!

Grace drew up the plan of Salvation; Grace provided a Saviour in the Person of our Lord Jesus Christ; Grace produced the preaching of the Word to draw us unto Christ, convicting us of our need of that Saviour, and by Grace [through faith] it's revealed to us in the Word what we must do to "enter into" and become a partaker of the Salvation which Jesus Christ purchased for us with His own blood.

In plain and simple language, GRACE is "unmerited favor or treatment". Being born in sin and shaped in iniquity (Psalms 51), walking and living contrary to the Word and nature of God, we didn't deserve Salvation. But God, by Grace provided a plan to save those who wanted and wants to be saved. Then Grace THROUGH Faith 'reveals' the plan to our hearts and believing it, we walk in obedience to what's revealed to us. Hebrews 10:29 tells us that some [taking God's Word lightly] are guilty of insulting the spirit of Grace. It's important that we respect ALL of God's Word for it is "the goodness (grace) of God leadeth thee to repentance". (Romans 2:4).

Steps To Salvation
 

Though very religious, the people in this Age know very little about Salvation. Not long ago a young man shocked his grandmother with this question: "Nan, why do people celebrated Easter?" That young man's parents did go to church occasionally, but what little religion they had was always left inside the church door when they went home. For most people, the extant of their religious faith is going to church (regularly or occasionally), being good to your neighbour, etc. Compared to Bible Salvation, the Salvation offered by many churches is wishy-washy - the kind of Salvation that 'white-washes' sin to make it appear good and acceptable.

For many their everyday religious experience doesn't even come within a hundred miles of the "golden rule" which instructs us: "And as ye would that men should do to YOU, do ye also to THEM likewise" (Luke 6:31). They have not been taught; nor have they taken the time to search the Scriptures to learn that Bible Salvation is a constant walk with God, daily growing and maturing in our relationship and gaining more victory over the influence of the World and the things of the World in our fleshly bodies.

At the beginning of our study we stated that "Salvation" implies "deliverance from [saved]" or "Victory over" the influence of something or someone in our lives which causes us to act contrary to the Word and Will of God. Many profess Salvation but one is caused to wonder WHAT they have been delivered [saved] from and WHAT they have victory over! They continue living the same kind of lives they always lived, with no indication of the "new creation - new nature" which the Bible speaks off. Somewhere they have stopped short of "believing unto the Salvation of their souls" (Hebrews 10:39). They have failed to "follow on to KNOW the Lord" (Hosea 6:3) and heed Jesus' exhortation to "Continue in His Word" (John 8:31).

If they follow the Bible's "Steps to Salvation" the end result is the 'birth" of a "new you" in your soul. Jesus said in John 3:3, "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see [understand] the kingdom of God." In the 1st. Epistle of Peter 1:22-23 we find more insight into the "new birth" through these Words: "Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, [see that ye] love one another with a pure heart fervently: Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever." One thing is certain - if you ever experience Salvation from the Lord, you are a "changed" person - the nature of your soul is changed, your desires are different, You feed daily on God's Word (the Bible), lining up with it's precepts, your motives and objectives in life are different and God is "number One" in your life.

Many attempt to avoid facing the FULL issue of Bible Salvation by saying, "Oh, I believe in God; I'm not so bad; I'm just as good as the other fellow". But that has NOTHING to do with Salvation - Salvation is a "personal" transaction between YOU and GOD - God doing it, and you hearing, recognizing, receiving and acting on [responding to] what God has done and recorded in His Word. The Apostle said, "He that is of God heareth God's words:" (John 8:47). And what's written for one is written for all! St. Paul said: "But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed" (Galatians 1:8).

Before proceeding to the discussion of "The Steps To Salvation" - the out-working of God's Salvation in our lives, let's read these few Scriptures which speak of Salvation.....

I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the LORD. (Psalms 116:13).
Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.  (Acts 4:12).
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; (Romans 1:16).
For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation. (2nd Cor. 7:10).

Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. (Philippians 2:12).

Salvation is a living life-changing experience between the repentant sinner and God. Beginning in time it climaxes in eternity. It's an experience that comes to the believer in three distinct steps or phases. (1) Justification; (2) Sanctification and (3) The Baptism of the Holy Ghost (the new birth). Every born-again believer experiences this in his/her life. This is God's work in them.

God's first work of Grace in YOU!

Justification
The first work of God's Grace in the sinners life is Justification. This great doctrine was lost to the Christian church for many years. But during the "Reformation" under Martin Luther, God restored this Truth back to the Church. Romans 3:24 tells us that we are "...justified FREELY by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:". Therefore, God "sovereignly" and freely justifies the sinner by calling him/her [by the preaching of the Word] to acknowledge that they're sinners, and to repent and receive Christ as their personal Saviour AND Lord. In this experience of "Justification" the sinner is given "hope". Many accept God's "justification" and stop at this phase and only become church members. For the most part they will live the same kind of lives with little, and in some, no change in their attitude, motives, objectives and way of life. They're just adding "religion" to the same old life. God's desire is that they "believe unto the saving of their souls" (Hebrews 10:39) Having Justified them He wants to Sanctifiy them - clean them up from their old past life of sin and unbelief and sit them aside for His daily service through the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.

I have seen men and women respond to God's message that they are [through the atoning work of Jesus on Calvary] "freely justified from the guilt and penalty of sin". I have seen their faces light up with the joy and gladness of hope. But, alas, it was not to last. Because they failed to "continue in the Word of God" (John 8:31) unto Sanctification and the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. They just settled into the church with a "form of godliness" but no power in their lives to live above the world, the flesh and the Devil. Having experienced Justification, they now need to experience the "Sanctifying Grace" of God in their lives.

God's second work of Grace in YOU!

Sanctification
The second work of God's Grace in the sinners life is Sanctification. Like Justification, this doctrine was also lost to the Christian Church during that time of history known as "The Dark Ages". But during the Age of the "Open Door" (Revelation 3:7-13) under John Wesley, God restored this Truth of Sanctification by Faith back to the Church. Concerning this wonderful teaching on Sanctification the Bible says, "For this is the will of God, [even] your sanctification.....That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour;" (1st. Thess. 4:3-4) "God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:". (2nd Thess. 2:13). Sanctification is that Grace whereby, at the time of repentance, the vessel of the individuals life is "cleansed" from all past sins and unbelief. Now, we have hope with expectation of greater things to come.

In the experience of Sanctification, the individual feels swept, clean, fresh and garnished, like the man spoken of in Matthew 12:43-45. Verse 43 says, "When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none". This is Sanctification - cleaning the vessel of all evil works and the dominion of sin - being made free from the law of sin and death. (Romans 8:2). The principle of sin [by which we previously lived] is cast out. It's an absolutely wonderful experience, creating in us the desire to always live a holy and sanctified life for the Lord - always doing what the Word [Bible} says. But to be Justified is one thing; to be Sanctified is another thing, but to continue to live a Sanctified life requires another work of Grace in our lives, an "abiding Presence" of a power greater than that of the unclean spirit which was cast out, and greater than the sinful worldly nature of our instincts of survival. Failure to experience this third work of Grace leads to the last condition of the man spoken of in Matthew 12. Verses 44 and 45 states:

"Then he [the unclean spirit] saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth [it] empty, swept, and garnished. Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last [state] of that man is worse than the first."

The man was cleaned out but he didn't get filled up. There was no guard at the door to keep the unclean spirits out. There was no Power [good man of the house) present to enable him to subdue and overcome the old nature. What he needed was God's third work of Grace. And that's what many a professing Christian needs today. It's sad to see a man or woman, like the "foolish virgins" (Matthew 25:12), living clean, sanctified lives but lacking the extra oil (work of Grace) to DO all that the Words says and be ready for the midnight call, "Behold the Bridegroom Cometh; Go ye out to meet Him".

God's Third work of Grace in YOU!

The Baptism Of The Holy Ghost
The third work of God's Grace in the sinners life is the Baptism of the Holy Ghost. Like Justification and Sanctification, this doctrine was foreign to the Christian Church during "The Dark Ages" and even during the time of the Reformation and Wesley's Age. But at the beginning of this last Church Age, under the Pentecostal Revival which swept the world during the early 1900's, God [according to His promise to restore all things] began to restore back to the church, the gifts of the Spirit and the Baptism of the Holy Ghost - adding to what He had already brought through Martin Luther and John Wesley.

Concerning the Baptism Of the Holy Ghost the Bible says:

I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and [with] fire:" Matthew 3:11.

But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me... Acts 1:8.

For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. Acts 1:5.

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. Acts 2:38.

From these verses we conclude that Jesus Christ alone is the "Baptizer" with the Holy Ghost; and this Baptism is a Baptism of "Power". It is a portion of the life of God coming into the believer to guide them into all Truth (John 16:13) and to give them power over all the power of the enemy and to be witnesses of Him and His Word. According to Scripture, it's a foregone conclusion that every true believer receives this "Baptism Of the Holy Ghost".

Some argue that it was only for the apostles. But we find in Scripture the record of beleivers "receiving the Holy Ghost" AFTER the Day of Pentecost out-pouring. In Acts 8 we find Peter and John going down to Samaria to pray for the Samaritans who had believed and received the Word. Their prayer was specific - that they might "receive the Holy Ghost". In Acts 10 we find the Holy Ghost still coming upon believers - this time Gentile believers in the house of Cornelius. The Bible says, "While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word." Reporting what had happened Peter said, "Then I remembered the Word of Lord, how that He said, ...ye shall be baptized with the holy Ghost." Acts 19 gives further proof that the Baptism of the Holy Ghost is a necessary step or phase in our relationship with Jesus Christ.

This phase of our New Birth experience is "eternal life" coming into the "new creation in Christ" (2nd Cor. 5:17). Without the Baptism of the Holy Ghost we are "still-born" church members - professors but not possessors. The Holy Spirit is our power over the world (worldliness), the flesh (self) and the Devil. He enables us to DAILY live for God - making the Word fleah in us. It is the "law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus which hath made me free from the law of sin and death". (Romans 8:2). The Baptism of the Holy Ghost continues the work of Sanctification, separating us daily, from the world and the things of the world. The Holy Spirit (in us) creates in us a "hunger and thirst for the righteousness of God", always, "seeking first, NOT the church, but the Kingdom of God".

The Baptism of the Holy Ghost seals us into the mystical Body of Christ. The Bible says, "For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether [we be] Jews or Gentiles, whether [we be] bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit." (1st. Corinthians 12:13). In the Baptism of the Holy Ghost the believer thus becomes the "Temple of the Living God". 1st. Corinthians 6:19 says, "What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost [which is] in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?" The Holy Ghost goes right into the soul, moves the old nature aside and takes control, governing our lives, not according to the dictates of the old fleshly nature of our natural birth, but according to the dictates of our new nature. Now, our lives become living epistles of the Word of God - read and know of all men (2nd Corinthians 3:2-3).

How Does One receive The Holy Ghost?

After the Day of Pentecost, so long as the Gospel was preached to Jews only, the Holy Spirit was imparted to such as believed, by the the laying on of the hands of the Apostle(s). BUT, when God called Peter to open the door of the Kingdom to the Gentiles (Acts 10), the Holy Spirit, WITHOUT DELAY, was (according to the faith of the person) given to those who believed. Remember the Scripture we quoted above: "While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word." While Peter was preaching, the Holy Ghost fell on those Gentiles who heard, NOT the "words" but the "Word". They had "genuine faith" in what they were hearing.

If you haven't received the Holy Ghost, and you want to receive Him into your life, I encourage you to follow Peter's instructions in Acts 2:37-38, and do as those in the House of Cornelius in Act 10 - Hear the Word, Believe the Word, Receive the Word into your heart. Rest assured that the Holy Spirit WILL come to your heart if you will believe all the Word and allow Him to LIVE His Life THROUGH YOU!

What God, by His GRace does in our lives is always in response to our faith in Him and His Word. Faith cometh by hearing the Word (Romans 10:17) Through the preaching and hearing of the Word the Lord breaks up the fallow ground of our hearts to receive the seed of His Word, getting us into condition to receive the Baptism of the Holy Ghost.

This brings us to a discussion of the steps which the genuine believer takes toward God, showing an outward 'evidence' of the inward working of Divine Power. What effect does Justification, Sanctification and the Holy Spirit Baptism have in our lives?

The Effect Of God's Grace In Us:

Repentance
As stated above God's first Work of Grace in our lives is "Justification". Through the blood of His own Son, God looks beyond our sin, not laying it to our charge, and OFFERS us (FREE of charge) Salvation (deliverance) from the power and influence of Satan and the old sinful nature of our flesh - this is Justification! He declares us righteous [in Jesus Christ]. And through the Gospel He invites us to accept [take possession of] His free gift. But no matter how much He justifies us, it'll do no good until we ACCEPT and take possession of it. The question is: How can I take possession of this gift?

There are three steps into possession of this gift of God. Have you noticed how much we have used the number "three"? God is perfected in "three" - Father, Son and Holy Ghost; the Believer comes to perfection in "three" - Justification, Sanctification and the Baptism of the Holy Ghost; and our Lord Jesus set "three ordinances in the church - Water baptism, the Bread and Wine, and the Foot-washing ordinance. Therefore, God has ordained three steps of faith into possession of His Gift of Salvation, through our Lord Jesus Christ. Of course the moment you genuinely believe and "choose" to obey God's Word - Salvation has come to you and God goes to working out that Salvation in your daily life. Philippians 1:6 says, "...he which hath "begun" a good work in you will perform [it] until the day of Jesus Christ:" But first, let's take the steps necessary to get on the highway to glory.

Acts 2:37-38 sets forth clearly the three steps to entering into the Salvation of the Lord. This was definitely preached by the early church and most definitely preached by William M. Branham, the Prophet to this last age. Let's refresh our minds again with the words of Peter:

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.

Here, the Apostle outlines the three steps we're speaking about - (1) Repentance, (2) Water Baptism and (3) Receiving the Holy Ghost. In today's modern church this first step is mentioned less and less. Yet, without the first step the second is in vain and the third impossible. But if we sincere in receiving God's Justification in our lives we will take this absolutely necessary first step of "REPENTANCE". In Luke 13 Jesus warned the religious leaders, saying, "except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish." In Mark 1:15 Jesus preached saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel." In Revelation 3:19 the Church was commanded to: "be zealous therefore, and repent." Therefore, repentance is not an option, it's a must.

In a world where very little emphasis to put on repentance we must be careful to "make our calling and election sure, by the Word, because when it comes to the modern day teaching of "just believing", remember, the Devils also believe and tremble (James 2:19); but the Devils are NOT saved - they cannot experience Salvation. And True Salvation is an "experience" with God, after which we are NEVER the same again. Inwardly, in the realm of the soul, we're born again by the incorruptible Seed of the Word of God (1st. Peter 1:23). Because of the importance of this subject, let's take the time to seriously consider these three "steps" which leads the believer to Salvation.

Most "Salvation-preaching" today is so "watered-down" from the original that the difference is like night and day. It's been watered-down so as not to offend certain individuals and/or groups of individuals. One of the "key" elements of Salvation-Preaching is left out or white-washed, and that "Key" is "Repentance". Without this first step of repentance there is no Salvation. And we're not just talking New Testament here. Repentance is found throughout both the Old and New Testaments.

The Old Testament thunders, "Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin." (Ezekiel 18:30). Again the Old Testament commands: "Repent, and turn.....from your idols.....and all your abominations". Jonah took a message of Repentance to the people of Nineveh. The Old Testament prophets came screaming "Repentance" to the Nation of Israel.

In the New Testament the Gospels begin with a message of repentance.....

In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, And saying, REPENT ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Matthew 3:1-2

From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, REPENT: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.Matthew 4:17

When Jesus sent out the disciples to preach the Gospel, the Bible records, "And they went out, and preached that men should REPENT" (Mark 6:12).

The Bible commands "repentance", our wickedness demands it, justice requires it, Christ preached it and God expects it. The Divine unalterable edict is still valid, "God commandeth all men everywhere to REPENT." (Acts 17:30). As much as one professes to believe in Jesus and accept Him as their Saviour, without genuine "repentance" from the heart, all of your believing is in vain. But there is a generation of preachers who are afraid to include the element of "Repentance" in their preaching; because they would then be under obligation to identify the "sin(s)" for which men and women need to repent; and because "sin" is so rampant in the church and among the clergy, the idea of putting emphasis on "repentance" is out of the question.

Almost one hundred years ago, William Booth, the Founder of the Salvation Army prophesied of this time, saying, "In the twentieth century they will preach forgiveness, but no repentance; Heaven, but no Hell; producing a form of Christianity with no Christ." At the end of his age he saw the direction in which Christianity was headed. In fact a recent Gallop poll indicated that only 14 percent of Americans 'associate the Name 'Jesus' with forgiveness'.

What William Booth said is also confirmed by the Scriptures in Revelation 3:14-22. Herein we find a description of the Church in these last days.......

I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: .....be zealous therefore, and REPENT. Revelation 3:15-17,19

This is absolutely amazing to discover that the Lord Jesus Christ is commanding the church in this last Age to bring forth "Zealous Repentance". Why? Because, at the judgement seat of Christ (The WORD of GOD), they have been found "guilty" of "[drawing] nigh unto Him with their mouth, and honouring Him with [their] lips; but their heart is far from Him; And in vain they do worship Him, teaching [for] doctrines the commandments of men" (Matthew 15:8-9). Equally amazing is the fact (which we may have already mentioned) that according to Rev. 3:20 Jesus Christ is on the "outside" of the Church, knocking trying to get back in.

Bro. Billy Graham in his message on "Repentance" stated.....

I was shocked to find that this theme [repentance] proclaimed so emphatically in the Bible by prophets and apostles is scarcely mentioned by contemporary preachers. The clear trumpet blast calling men to repentance is conspicuous for its absence from the modern pulpit.

He went on to say.....

We have preached the dignity of man rather than his depravity. we have declared his goodness rather than his wickedness. We have vindicated ourselves rather than confessed our guilt. We have made of ourselves, despite all of our inherent sin and evil, little cherubs of perfection with halos on our heads, harps in our hands and wings on our shoulders.

Modern preachers - men of the cloth - preach a modern doctrine of exoneration which was expressed by Byron in his "Bloody, But Unbowed" sonnet:

"...the spirit burning, but unbent,
May writhe - rebel - the weak alone repent!

Who is right - God or Byron? God COMMANDS Repentance! So let it be as Paul said in the Romans 3:4, "...yea, let God be true, but every man a liar;".

Continuing with his message on "Repentance", Bro. Billy Graham said.....

The word "sinner" has all but been deleted from our vocabulary. The drunkard is no longer looked upon as a wayward selfish man; having failed to adjust to society, he is now just an alcoholic and a sick person. The criminal is no longer a law-breaker...but rather a psychopath in need of treatment. The juvenile delinquent is no longer looked upon as an incorrigible; he is just an unfortunate child, the victim of circumstance.

And so it goes; no one is to blame for his sins. In upholding the theory of the dignity of man we have vindicated all, condemned none, and provided alibis for each and every offender...Thus every offender of God's moral law - is found "not guilty" in the court of public opinion, there is therefore no need of repentance.

But either the Bible is wrong or the modern pulpit is wrong. When we look at the fruits of this unrepentant generation, I am convinced that we need to blow a loud blast of the trumpet of biblical repentance.

The First Step - Repentance!
But What Is Repentance?

Repentance is NOT a word of weakness but a word of power and action. Repentance is NOT joining church; attending church once a week or only during Easter and Christmas; it is not putting your name on the church books; being good to your neighbour; being generous in your giving; or shaking the preachers hand. Repentance is NOT penance, remorse or self-condemnation - We should hate our sins but not ourselves.

Referring to Acts 17:30, "And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:", Dr. Scofield stated, "Repentance means "to have another mind", to "change the mind"". It is used in the New Testament to indicate a change of mind in respect of sin, of God, and of oneself. The 'son' in the parable of the "two sons" in Matthew 21:28-32 illustrates "True" Repentance." This young man "REPENTED" for not having done his father's will, and then he went out and showed that he was sincere in his repentance by "bringing forth fruit meet for repentance." (Luke 3:8). Jesus said, "And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?" (Luke 6:46).

One dictionary defines "repentance" as 'feeling such regret over one's sins so as to decide to change one's ways'. Another dictionary says, 'Repentance is sorrow for sin...and complete turning from sin.' Scripturally, repentance has three main elements...

Conviction: It is God's red flag warning us that we are going in the wrong direction. Being born in sin, we continue on in sin - doing that which is right in our own eyes without due regard for what God requires in His Word. Therefore, God, through the preaching of the Word, brings conviction that we need to change our ways to line up with His Word. Of course, many are so calloused in their spirits and spiritually blind, that they are are not able to experience Spiritual Conviction. Conviction is the first step toward the Kingdom of God - God is calling YOU to obedience to His Word.

Contrition: This is a sincere sorrow - a godly sorrow - brokenness for our sins (2nd Corinthians 7:10). The Bible says, "The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit." (Psalms 34:18). Contrition is NOT a shallow sentiment nor an empty emotion. It is a sincere regret over past sins and an earnest, humble desire to walk in a new path of righteousness, according to the instructions laid out in God's Word.

In Isaiah 57:15 God promised, "I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit; to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones." Repentance includes 'humbling' ourselves to God's ways. When we stand at the Cross of Calvary and see what our sins cost God, our hearts should be broken and contrite - humbled; and we should cry out like the Publican, "God, be merciful to be a sinner" (Luke 18:13). The Bible tells us that when Peter considered how he had ignored and denied the Lord, he went out and wept bitterly because of his sin (Matthew 26:75).

Desire To Be Changed: This is the third element of "Repentance"; the desire for God to change your thought pattern, change your attitude, change your ways, change your motives and objectives in life, to conform to His ways and will for you. In 2nd. Corinthians 7:10 the Bible says, "For godly sorrow worketh repentance to Salvation." "IF any man be in Christ (having truly repented), old things (old ways and thoughts) pass away and behold all things become new" (2nd Corinthians 5:17).

On the day of Pentecost the Apostle Peter preached the first Message of Salvation, pointing men and women to the Scriptures fulfilled in their day (Acts 2:1-36). That 'first' anointed message produced "conviction" in the hearts of the hearers.....

Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the Apostles, Men and brethren, WHAT SHALL WE DO?

The mutlitude was "convicted" of their sin of unbelief in the whole Word of God, and their need for forgiveness. It caused them to scream out, "Men and brethren, WHAT SHALL WE DO?" In essence, they were asking, "What must we do to experience God's Justification, Sanctification and Eternal Life?" Note Peter's answer (a Scripture we have already mentioned).....

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. For the promise is unto YOU, and to YOUR CHILDREN, and to ALL that are afar off, [EVEN] AS MANY as the Lord our God shall call.ACTS 2:38-39

Peter's first word of instruction was "REPENT". On that day 3000 souls "Heard and Obeyed", being not of them who draw back but of them who believe "unto" the saving of the soul (Hebrews 10:39).

According to the Scriptures "ALL have sinned and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). Like David in Psalms 51:5, we were ALL "shapen in iniquity; and in sin did our mothers conceive us"; and because we are ALL sinners by virtue of our natural birth - ALL under the curse of death, we need a Saviour, born by a Virgin birth, bypassing the curse - a Redeemer, a Perfect One, a Just One to lay down His life as a Perfect Sacrifice (in our place) to satisfy God's righteous Law, justify us and Redeem us back to God again.

God's Grace - unmerited favor - provided that Sacrifice in the Person of our Lord Jesus Christ. In His Life He fulfilled every letter of the Law for us; then willingly laid His Life down as an offering for sin; but because He was not born in sin, neither knew no sin, death could not hold him. On that Resurrection morning Jesus rose from the dead to give us Eternal Life. John 17:2 says, "As thou (Father) hast given him (Jesus) power over all flesh, that he should 'give eternal life' to as many as thou hast given him."

BUT WE MUST FIRST REPENT! Turn around in our atitudes, motives and objectives of life, change our mind and accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour. Giving ourselves unreservedly to Him in obedience to do only His Will, according to His Word.

We do not take lightly what's written in the Scriptures - "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by EVERY WORD that proceedeth out of the mouth of God" (Matthew 4:4). To the True Believer, the Bible is more than just 'the good book', it is a "Book of Life"; a Book of Doctrine, Reproof, Correction, and Instruction in Righteousness (2nd. Timothy 3:16). We will be judged according to what is written in the Book - the Bible. Therefore, we approach the Book with a "fervent" desire to know what God wants me to know about Himself, His plan, and His will for my life.

EVEN THE CHURCHES HAVE BEEN
COMMANDED TO REPENT

"Unto the Angel of THR CHURCH of Ephesus, write, ... I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and REPENT, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove they candlestick out of his place, except thou REPENT."(Revelation 2:5)

In this Last Church Age - Laodicea - the Church was given this command:

"As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten; be zealous therefore, and REPENT!(Revelation 3:19)

God, in this Age, demanded "Zealous Repentance" - not a cold, formal, tearless repentance but sincere, genuine, zealous contrition, rending of the heart kind of repentance - nothing less will satisfy.

Having thoroughly REPENTED before a Holy God, the seeker now comes to the second step in Peter's Instructions - Water Baptism, by immersion in water, IN THE NAME of the Lord Jesus Christ. This step must also be taken voluntarily, of your own free will. It must also be entered into sincerely.

Second Step - CORRECT Water Baptism

SECONDLY, WE MUST BE BAPTIZED BY "IMMERSION" IN WATER

"He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved." Mark 16:15

"The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurection of Jesus Christ........1 Peter 3:21

"And John also was baptizing in Aenon near to Salim, because there was MUCH WATER there".John 3:23

"And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water; and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?
And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
And he commanded the chariot to stand still; and they went down BOTH INTO THE WATER, both Philip and eunuch; and he baptized him.
And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more, and he went on his way rejoicing."
Acts 8:36-39

Water Baptism was represented in the Old Testament by the many divers ceremonial "washings" of the sacrifices, the priests and the people. To this day it remains "symbolic" of the cleansing from sin and uncleanness. As stated in 1st. Peter 1:21 above: "...baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,)"

For the New Testament Believer it also represents more than 'cleansing from sin'; Water Baptism BY TOTAL IMMERSION in water speaks of our faith in the Death, Burial and Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. Going DOWN INTO THE WATER we are (by faith) identifying in HIS Death and Burial. We are declaring to all that (in Christ) we are (by faith) dead to the influence of self and sin in our lives); and we are burying the "old man". COMING UP OUT OF THE WATER is a testomony of our faith that even as Jesus arose from the dead, even so we, now "dead to sin", arise to walk with Him in newness of life, as "new Creatures in Christ Jesus (2nd Corinthians 5:17), BORN AGAIN by "receiving and believing" the incorruptible Seed of the Word of God (1st. Peter 1:23).

In Romans 6:4-5 we read these words.....

"Therefore WE ARE BURIED WITH HIM BY BAPTISM into DEATH: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also [in the likeness] of [his] resurrection:"

Praise the Lord! What a glorious revelation Water Baptism is to the True Believer! No wonder indeed that our Lord Jesus instituted Water Baptism as the 'second' of the 'three' ordinances ordained for HIS Church to observe. Since it's beginning on the Day of Pentecost the True Church has always observed Water Baptism. And for over 300 years they always baptized the believers according to the "original" apostlic pattern given to Peter by our Lord Jesus Christ in Matthew 28:19 AND Acts 2:38. In Matthew 28 Jesus gave the command; in Acts 2 Peter fulfilled it. Both Scriptures are in total agreement.

Unfortunately, during the Nicean Council of 325 A.D. the "apostlic pattern" was rejected by Constantine and the Bishop's of Rome, in favor of the Dogma of the Roman Catholic Church which took Matthew 28:19 WITHOUT Acts 2:38. After 325 A.D. the majority of "professing" Christians were baptized under the "titles" of Father, Son and Holy Ghost - the NAME was left out. And the True Believers who continued to observe the "apostlic pattern" of Water Baptism in the NAME of the Lord Jesus Christ, were ex-communicated and branded as apostates and heretics. Gradually most of the Truth that the early church had was overcome and replaced by Church dogma. But the Lord always had his predestinated seed somewhere holding unto the Truth, even thrugh the "Dark Ages". Sixty-Eight Million laid down their lives for the Truth.

Then God turned the tables on Rome and, beginning with Martin Luther, started the Reformation, restoring, to the True Believers, the Truth of His Word. Little by little the light began to shine brighter and brighter - crowning HIS work of "Restoration" by sending a Prophet to the Gentile church (Malachi 4:5-6). A part of God's Work of Restoration (Joel 2:25) was the Truth of the "Original" Apostlic teaching on Water Baptism.

One time God winked at our ignorance of being baptized according to Roman Catholic Dogma instead of the Bible "Apostolic Pattern". But now the Truth is known - it's ours to accept or reject. Still, in spite of what God has revealed in this age MOST churches (those that believe in Water Baptism) continue to baptize converts according to the pattern of Roman Catholic dogma and not the Word of God. Choose you this day whom you will serve - the church or the Word (Christ).

BE BAPTIZED ACCORDING TO THE APOSTOLIC PATTERN

"See saith He that thou make all things according to the pattern....."(Hebrews 8:5)

"Then opened He their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, and said unto them, Thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and rise from the dead the third day: And that REPENTANCE and remission of sins should be preached IN HIS NAME among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of these things."
(Luke 24:45-49)

Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethern, what shall we do? 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."(Acts 2:36-39)

Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the Word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John Who when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: (For as yet He was fallen upon none of them: only they were BAPTIZED IN THE NAME OF THE LORD JESUS. Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost."
(Acts 8:14-17)

The Bible says, "...at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established" (Deuteronomy 19:15). Again in 2nd Corinthians 13:1 it says, "This [is] the third [time] I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established." The "seven" portions of Scripture quoted above prove conclusively that Water Baptism, by immersion and in the NAME of the Lord Jesus Christ is God's Scriptural requirement - it is the Original Apostolic pattern.

NOTICE THIS!!!

THOSE NOT BAPTIZED IN THE TRUE NAME WERE COMMANDED TO BE RE-BAPTIZED.

It is Written.......

And he [Paul] said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John's BAPTISM. Then said Paul, John verily BAPTIZED with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on Him which should come after him that is, on Christ Jesus. When they heard this, they were BAPTIZED IN THE NAME OF THE LORD JESUS."(Acts 19:1-6)

One noted Evangelist agreed with the statement that the early church used the NAME when baptizing converts; then he went on to say, "but it doesn't make a difference as long as you're baptised." That just doesn't make even common sense. Read the above Scripture again. These disciples of John the Baptist had already been baptized in water, unto repentance but NOT in the NAME of the Lord Jesus Christ. When they heard what Paul preached, they were RE-BAPTIZED in the NAME of the Lord Jesus.

Therefore, Christian Baptism, according to Matthew 28:19 and Acts 2:38 is, by immersion in water, in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Acts 2:38 is the fullfillment of Matthew 28:19 - Jesus commanded His disciples to "Go...teach..., baptizing them in the 'Name' (singular) of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost:". The first thing we need to understand is that "Father, Son and Holy Ghost" are NOT names - they are "titles to a name". Secondly, we need to understand that the Bible doesn't say "baptize in the Names (plural), but rather it is NAME (singular)". In Zechariah 14:9 we read, "And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be ONE LORD, and his name ONE". It's the SAME God all the time - God ABOVE us (the Fatherhood - LORD), God WITH us (the Sonship - JESUS) and God IN us (the Holy Ghost - CHRIST). The Bible says, "God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ." (Acts 2:36).

On the day of Pentecost Peter did EXACTLY what Jesus commanded - Peter had the revelation of the Name - The Lord Jesus Christ. Concerning the Name of our Lord Jesus, the Bible says.....

"Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, [even] by him doth this man stand here before you whole...
...Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."

Acts 4:10-12

There is no doubt whatsoever - the Scriptures clearly PROVE that the correct and Apostolic Pattern of Water Baptism is by total immersion "In the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ". Everyone in the early church was baptized in this manner.

Having truly repented and been baptized in the NAME of the Lord Jesus Christ, we "receive" the third step into the "reality" of God's Salvation in our own lives - The Baptism of the Holy Ghost. "Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed?" (Acts 19:2).

Third Step - Receiving The Holy Ghost
This Is God's Step

Following Peter's direct command to "Repent and Be Baptized in the NAME of the Lord Jesus Christ", we find this promise: "...and YE SHALL RECEIVE THE GIFT OF THE HOLY GHOST....." (Acts 2:38) The first two steps is our response to God's instructions for Salvation - putting our faith into action. The "third step", receiving the Holy Ghost is "experiencing Salvation". It is the evidence that God has "recognized" your faith and confirmed it by giving you the gift of the Holy Ghost - a part of His own Eternal Life into your soul. The coming of the Holy Ghost quickens us to a New Life in Christ. Spiritually, we experience a resurrection. We were dead in sins and trespasses, cut of from God; but now, we have been 'made alive' - conscious and aware of our Heavenly Father, whereby we now cry "Abba Father."

And you [hath he quickened], who were dead in trespasses and sins; Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised [us] up together, and made [us] sit together in heavenly [places] in Christ Jesus:  Ephesians 2:1,5-6

Having experienced the Resurrection of Christ in our souls it creates in us the call for the "physical Resurrection" of body (Romans 8:23). Paul, in Romans 8:11 said, "But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you." Coming into the believers heart, the Holy Ghost quickens (germinates) the Seed-Word of God in our hearts, producing a "child" in the image of God - the Word. This new creation, by a new birth hungers and thirsts daily for more and more of the Word of God Matthew 5:6. More than a new creation, by a new spiritual birth, in receiving the Holy Ghost we become the Temple of God.

Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and [that] the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which [temple] ye are. 1st. Corinthians 3:16-17

Receiving the Holy Ghost is not an option in Salvation - it is a MUST! Romans 8:9 warnes us with these words: "Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his." Going through the motions of repentance and water baptism, without receiving the Holy Ghost, produces a 'still-born' child - a spiritually dead church member. Before His ascension Jesus gave a command to His disciples.....

And, being assembled together with [them], commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, [saith he], ye have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be BAPTIZED WITH THE HOLT GHOST not many days hence. Acts 1:4-5

In Acts 5:32 we find these words: "And we are His witnesses of these things; and so is also the HOLY GHOST, whom GOD HATH GIVEN TO THEM THAT OBEY HIM." The Baptism of the Holy Ghost is given, NOT to church members, but only to those that OBEY God. NOTHING less then OBEDIENCE to ALL His Word entitles you to the Holy Ghost - the "Token" that "all is well with your soul"; It is God's seal. In Ephesians 4:30 Paul said, "And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are SEALED unto the day of redemption." A certain denomination teaches that the keeping of a Saturday Sabbath is the Seal of God. That's a false prophecy. The Bible clearly teaches that the Holy Ghost is the Seal of God. Further PROOF is found in these words in Ephesians 1:13: "In whom ye also [trusted], after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were SEALED with that holy Spirit of promise..."

John 16:7-14 exhorts us that when the Holy Ghost comes, "He will guide us into all Truth". If you're not growing and maturing in the Word - the Truth, then there's a lack of the Holy Ghost in your life. In Acts 1:8 we find that the Holy Ghost is the POWER we NEED to be a true witness of Jesus Christ. If you have no more victory over the World, the flesh and the Devil then when you first repented - this also is an indication of a great lack of the Holy Ghost. With growth and maturity in the Word comes more strength to LIVE for God. The Bible says, "And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;" Ephesians 5:18.

Now, having been fully persuaded of the need for genuine repentance, water baptism in the NAME of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Baptism of the Holy Ghost, let's find out HOW to receive the Holy Ghost and HOW do we know when we have HIM dwelling within?

HOW Can I Receive The Holy Ghost?

We have already discussed this subject above. But let's just briefly rehearse a few things concerning "How to receive the Holy Ghost".. First, we must have a revelation of WHO is the Baptizer with the Holy Ghost? The Gospels tell us that Jesus Christ is the Baptizer with the Holy Ghost and with fire. Secondly, the Bible tells us "And we are His witnesses of these things; and so is also the HOLY GHOST, whom GOD HATH GIVEN TO THEM THAT OBEY HIM." The first step to receiving the Holy Ghost is "Obedience" to the Will and WORD of God. "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by EVERY WORD that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." 1st. Samuel 15:22 says, "to obey [is] better than sacrifice, [and] to hearken than the fat of rams."

This brings us back to a Scripture we have already mentioned several times - Acts 2:38, "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." The question is: ARE YOU WILLING TO: (1) thoroughly Repent of your sins, unbelief or error; and (2) be Baptized or "RE-BAPTIZED" in the NAME of the Lord Jesus Christ. Peter said that if we sincerely did this - YE SHALL receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

"...laying aside all filthiness and superfluity (abundance) of naughtiness (evil), and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves." (James 1:21-22).

Let your obedience be with Faith [conviction in the heart] and NOT by tradition. The Bible tells us: "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. " Without faith Water baptism is nor more than dead works and the individual will go down (into the water) a 'dry sinner' and come up a 'wet sinner'. You MUST have faith and "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" (Hebrews 10:6). "faith cometh by hearing the Word" (Romans 10:17).

When discussing "HOW" receive the Holy Ghost we cannot overlook Acts 10:44-47. Here we find the record of the first time the Holy Ghost fell on the Gentiles. Verse 44 states, "While Peter yet spake these words (plural), the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the Word (singular)." The Holy Ghost fell on those who were receiving the 'spiritual revelation' (understanding) of the WORD Peter was preaching. Verse 46-47 states, ".....Then answered Peter, Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?"

Praise the Lord! No more tarrying for the Holy Ghost - According to your faith be it unto you, NOW! It's not a sensation; it's not emotion - it's the Life of Christ in you, producing a 'virgin birth' in you by the Word and quickening the Word to your understanding. First, and foremost, the Baptism of the Holy Ghost produces a New Birth, a New Life, with new a thought pattern, a new attitude, motives and objectives. It's not you that lives anymore, it's Christ (in the form of the Holy Ghost) living in you - Supreme Power in control. If you haven't experienced this 'changed life' then you need to...

Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? II Corinthians 13:5

The Christian faith is based solidly upon rest. A Christian is not tossed about. A Christian doesn't run from place to place. or fuss, and fume, and worry about things. A Christian rests. It's all over. It's all finished for the believer at Calvary. Oh, sickness may come and disappointments; but the Christian is at rest knowing this, that God's able to keep that which He has performed, knowing that no matter what the thing is, or how it looks, there's neither sickness, sorrow, death, starvation or anything that can separate us from the love of God that's in Jesus Christ. We're at rest. Just let the old ship toss any way she wants to; the anchor holds.

Through absolute faith in what Christ accomplished at Calvary, we obtain Salvation - deliverance from, and victory over, the "power" and "influence" of the "Tree of knowledge of Good and evil" in our flesh. But the Lord, realizing our frame, that we are but dust, exhorts us that if [after experiencing Salvation] we were deceived or trapped into doing that which was wrong, repentance [being sorry for our sin] brings us back into fellowship with our Heavenly Father again. Praise the Lord!

What Is The "Initial Evidence" Of The Holy Ghost?

This subject is a "study" in itself. But we shall try and be as brief as possible. It is very important question, requiring a Biblical answer. On the authority of the Word of God we can say that the "Initial Evidence" of the Holy Ghost is NOT GOOD WORKS. Though "good works" follow a Holy Ghost life, one can have good works in their lives and still not have the Holy Ghost. The "Initial Evidence" is NOT SHOUTING, GOOD FEELINGS, EMOTION or SENSATION. Though these attributes sometimes accompany the Presence of the Holy Ghost, one can have all these experiences and still not have the Holy Ghost. And with all due respect to our denominational Pentecostal and Charistmatic brethren, the "Initial Evidence" of the Holy Spirit in your life is NOT "SPEAKING IN KNOWN OR UNKNOWN TONGUES". You may speak with tongues and you may not. I have known many to "speak in tongues" and still not have the indwelling Presence of the Holy Spirit in their soul.

The supernatural manifestation of "speaking in tongues" is one of several "gift of the Holy Ghost, and according to Paul in 1st. Corinthians chapters 12, 13 and 14, "not all speak with tongues". In fact Paul 'down-plays' the emphasis on "speaking in tongues". Like the Pentecostal Church and the Charistmatics, the Corinthian Church had lost the balance on this one gift. Before you allow anyone to tell you that "Speaking In Tongues" is the "Initial Evidence" of the Holy Ghost, I encourage you to read 1st. Corinthians chapters 12, 13 and 14,

We'll understand these things if, First we understand that according to the Bible, both the "good" and the "bad", the "righteous" and the "unrighteous" can experience the "blessings" and "anointing" of God in their lives - One unto Eternal Life, the other unto Eternal damnation. Secondly, we need to understand that man is a "threefold" being - Body, soul and spirit. He/she can experience God in either one or all three of these realms. We can have an experience with God in our Body or spirit realm and still go to Hell. But once we experience the Holy Ghost in the realm of the Soul - this is Salvation. The Soul is the "control tower" of our lives. The Soul is the nature of the spirit and the spirit is the nature of the body. God coming into the Soul, by the Baptism of the Holy Ghost, takes "control" of our lives, conqueroring the old worldly nature, bringing us subject to His Word.

The Bible says, ".....he [God] maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust." (Matthew 5:44-45). For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God: But THAT WHICH BEARETH THORNS AND BRIERS [IS] REJECTED, and [is] nigh unto cursing; whose END [IS] TO BE BURNED. (Hebrews 6:7-8.) An individual can experience one or more of the attributes of the Presence of the Holy Spirit in his/her flesh and human spirit, and still not have the Baptism of the Holy Spirit in their SOUL.

It's important that we make our calling and election sure by the Word (2nd Peter 1:10). Don't take any fleshly sensation or the manifestation of a gift as a sign that you have Salvation, with the Baptism of the Holy Ghost in your soul. Remember the words of Jesus in Matthew 7:22-23: "Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I NEVER KNEW YOU: depart from me, ye that work iniquity." They had these manifestations in their lives. yet FAILED to do what God required - BELIEVE THE WORD PROPHESIED FOR THEIR DAY. The True Baptism of the Holy Ghost in the Soul Will produce A LIFE which MANIFESTS the WORD for the Age in which we live. We will punctuate every Word of God with "AMEN!" - this is the "Initial evidence" of the Baptism of the Holy Ghost.

The Bible tells us in 2nd Peter 1:21: 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." Therefore, if the Holy Ghost wrote the WORD how can He come into your heart and deny His own WORD? In Psalms 119:89 the Holy Spirit (speaking of His own Word) said, "For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven." Again, in Matthew 24:35 "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away." Then, the Holy Spirit goes further in Revelation 22:18 warning us with these Words: "For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:" We are warned to keep our own ideas out of God's Book - HE meant what He said and said what He meant.

With the True and Genuine Baptism of the Holy Ghost in the soul we will LOVE the Word. We cannot LOVE God without loving His Word, because God and His Word is ONE (John 1:1-3). Unfortunately, in this day and age, people LOVE their Church and the Creed more than they LOVE God or his Word. Give them the "Word Test" and they'll take the Church over the Word 99.99 % of the time. They do more for their Church than they do for God. One denominational Sister told me that she felt she was so busy for Church that she had no time for God.

If we have the Baptism of the Holy Ghost we will LOVE the Lord; believe ALL His Word and with His help, OBEY it. We will manifest the "fruit of the spirit" (Galatians 5:22-23). Look at the kind of person you were and then look at what you are - see if there's a change - see if you have indeed received this "LIFE-CHANGING experience" of the Baptism of the Holy Ghost - an experience that makes you "Spiritually minded", not just "religiously inclined". Check up on your relationship with God to see if you put more emphasis on the WORD of God than you do the church you attend; see if you really Believe the WORD more than you do a Creed; see if you are really LIVING every day for the Glory of God, giving HIM the preeminence in ALL you do. Jesus said, "And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?" Luke 6:46 Be SURE, be VERY SURE, your anchor holds and grips the Solid ROCK - the Lord Jesus Chirst - the Living WORD.

Where Do We Go From Here?

Having settled the issue of your relationship with God, you believe that, according to the Bible teaching, you are genuinely "Born again" by the Word and Spirit of God. Now, you enter into the responsibilities of "Christian Discipleship"; you become an active "learner", and a "follower" [not a dead representation] of the Great Teacher - Jesus Christ in the form of the Holy Ghost IN you. You become a "doer" of the WORD and not just a "hearer". You accept the "responsibility" of Discipleship to learn and "grow" in "Grace" and in the "correct and vital knowledge" of your Lord and Saviour (2nd Peter 3:18). You accept your responsibility to the body of believers. The Bible says, "We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not [his] brother abideth in death. "

As born again believers we willingly and gladly obey what Jesus said in John 8:31-32, continue to walk in the Light of His Word as He reveals it it to us. We have come this far by Repentance, Water Baptism, Receiving the Holy Ghost; now, we find ourselves being guided daily into all Truth. We continue to receive more understanding of the Word as the Lord continues to work out His Salvation in us, seperating us from the World and the things of the world. More and more the Word is made flesh in us as we 'conform' to the 'image' of Christ.

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. 1st. John 1:7

This Scriptures explains the principle of HOW God's Salvation is made manifest in the believer - "Walking in the Light (The Word), brings us into fellowship with the rest of the body [into which we are baptized by the Holy Ghost] and in there the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin" Therefore, if we fail to "walk in the Light" [when it's presented to us] and as God reveals it, then the blood no longer atones for our sin. THIS IS VERY SERIOUS INDEED! The Holy Ghost is sent to guide us into ALL Truth the Light (John 16:13). To refuse to acknowledge revealed Truth and walk in it, is to take yourself out from under the protection of the Blood of Jesus. Paul in Hebrews 6:1-6 spoke of "Going unto perfection".

Therefore, leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. And this will we do, if God permit.

For [it is] impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put [him] to an open shame.
Hebrews 6:1-6

To refuse to walk in greater Light is to 'fall away'. In his/her relationship with God the believer NEVER stands still in one place - they're either moving forward or backward - moving forward into ever increasing Light and knowledge of the Word of God or backwards - falling away. Paul said, "But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul" (Hebrews 10:39). The True Believer doesn't stop and settle down into a denomination; he/she keeps moving on with God - not bound by a denominational creed, but believing as much as God will reveal - even unto the fulfillment of prophecy in this age, in the Life and Ministry of William M. Branham, God's Servant and Prophet to the Twentieth Century. He is God's vindicated messenger to this Age, sent to turn our hearts back to the fullness of the Word and the "revealed mysteries" to give us Rapturing Faith.

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, [which is] your reasonable service.

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think [of himself] more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.

[Let] love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.

Be] kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;

Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;

Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;

Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.

Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.

Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.

[Be] of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.

Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.

If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.

Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but [rather] give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance [is] mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.

Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.

Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.
Rom. 12:1-3,9-21