After studying about Jesus and the things He did faith develops in Him. One can know as did those that were present when he taught and preformed miracles, He was sent from God. He promised salvation to all who would obey Him, and faith in Him leads one to know His words are true. He was crucified for all the sins of mankind, and God raised Him triumphantly from the grave. Faith leads a person to continue studying which leads them to realize they must make a change in their lives to be pleasing to God. Repentance is the next logical step. The Ethiopian nobleman had to turn from the religion he knew and follow Christ, which he was eager to do (Acts 8:36). Those whom the apostles taught were in sin but had turned from their wickedness to follow Christ.
“Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness” (Rom. 6:16-18). The progression and beauty of God’s plan continues. As we will see in the coming weeks, there is more than faith in God’s plan of salvation.
Jesus during his earthly ministry taught about man needing to be willing to confess that He was the Christ.
“Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven” (Matt. 10:32). Paul wrote to the Roman brethren, “For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (Rom. 10:10).
Confessing before others that Jesus is the Son of God, letting all know their faith is placed in Christ and His promises should not be something a true believer would have trouble doing. When the Ethiopian asked Philip about being baptized, he was eager to proclaim his belief in Jesus as God’s Son (Acts 8:37).
The beauty of God’s plan leads one to desire to be baptized, knowing that it is during baptism that sins are washed away. Some believe that sins are forgiven before baptism, but the Bible shows that is simply not the case.
Peter wrote, “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 resurrection of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 3:21). If sins are forgiven before one is baptized why did Peter write that baptism saves, for it is the blood of Christ that cleanses one of their sins, “In whom we have redemption through blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace” (Eph. 1:7). The beauty of God’s plan is seen when one looks at the plan itself. Studying of God’s word and learning about Jesus, allows faith to develop so that one is ready to repent of sins, and are eager to tell others that Jesus is the Son of God and that it is His blood that cleanses them from their sins.
Just as God provided all things for man when He placed him in the Garden of Eden, He has provided all man needs for salvation. In the garden man had a choice to make as to whether he would obey God. Genesis chapter three records that man made a bad decision. Today we also have a choice to make as to whether we will obey God. Our hope and prayers are that all will make the right choice and follow God.