Weekly Devotional 4-2-18 The True Path to Salvation
Many churches of our day seem to be moving away from proclaiming the Word of God as their means of reaching people for Him. Programs are replacing the preaching of the Gospel. Old hymns have been replaced with songs that move people to clapping and dancing in the isles. Choirs have been replaced with praise groups. The organ and piano have been replaced with drums, guitars and various brass instruments. The attitude seems to be, just do whatever it takes to get them inside the building and we can love them to the Lord. Anyone of the above mentioned ideas may, and probably do, have a value. I for one do not want to minimize their effectiveness. People however are saved not by any of these things, but by the proclamation of the Word and the effectual work of the Holy Spirit in calling one out of spiritual darkness into spiritual light, regenerating one to newness of life. Jesus Christ must be known. One’s sin and separation from Holy God must be realized and that his or her only means of reconciliation is Jesus before he or she can be saved. It is the Gospel that the Holy Spirit uses in this process. We can love someone until it hurts, but one cannot be saved apart from the calling, convicting and converting work of the Holy Spirit. In support of this truth I turn to Paul’s letter to the Romans. Consider;
“1Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved. 2For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. 3For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God. 4For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes. 5For Moses writes about the righteousness which is of the law, ‘The man who does those things shall live by them.’ 6But the righteousness of faith speaks in this way, ‘Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’’ (That is, to bring Christ down from above) 7or, ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’ (That is, to bring Christ up from the dead). 8But what does it say? ‘The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart’ (that is, the word of faith which we preach): 9that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11For the Scripture says, ‘Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.’ 12For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. 13For ‘whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’
14How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? 15And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!’ 16But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, ‘Lord, who has believed our report?’ 17So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:1-17 NKJB).
In this letter, Paul was addressing the attitudes of Christian Gentiles and Christian Jews towards one another. The Christian Gentiles had become elevated in their thinking considering that because they had been grafted in they were better than Jewish Christians. The Christian Jews, on the other hand, considered themselves superior to the Gentiles because of their adoption under the Old Covenant in which they had been called by God as his chosen people. They had been given the covenants, the law, the service of God, and His promises (See Romans 9:4-5).
But Paul wrote, neither class, Jew or Gentile should consider themselves above the other because it was hearing the word of God that had brought both to saving faith. They were Christians not because they had been grafted in or because of their heritage, but as a result of the conviction that came to them having heard the word of truth, the Gospel.
Has God’s approach changed? No. It is still by hearing the word of God that people are brought to saving faith.
Transforming Power; The Work of God on Behalf of Man