“We believe salvation is available to all mankind, but comes only through faith in Christ, which includes: belief, repentance, confession, baptism, ongoing submission to the work of the Holy Spirit, and the continual dying to self and living for Christ.”
Every morning, I take our dog, Watson, for a walk. (Actually, he takes me for a walk!) But before we leave the house I always look outside and check my phone to see what’s going on with the weather. Based on what I find, I make decisions about what to put on: Coat? Hat? Scarf? Raincoat? Shorts? I was going to wear a light jacket, but it’s too cold, so now I have to change my plans and wear a winter coat instead. When Megan hollers down asking what the weather’s like I tell her it’s cold, stay in bed! Watson paces the floor impatiently as I suit up.
Do you see what’s going on here? When I open the weather app I get a reality-check. And if I trust what I’m seeing—if I think it’s true—it will affect my behavior (i.e., what I put on). I’ll even tell others what I know if they ask.
The same thing happens when we hear the message of Jesus and the Kingdom of Heaven. If we don’t believe it’s true, nothing has to change. Our lives can continue on as they always have and we can pretend like nothing happened.
But if we BELIEVE it’s true...
Reality-check: If this message of Jesus and the Kingdom is true, we’ll have to stop, change our plans, and make some different life choices (REPENT). We’ll have to adjust to a new reality. We’ll have to pledge allegiance to a new King (CONFESS) and do what He says!
When we believe the message about King Jesus, we soon learn that we’re new members of His family. And our initiation into Jesus’ family involves getting dunked under water (BAPTISM) to commemorate how we died to our old life and were raised by the Spirit to a new kind of life.
So, saving faith involves three things:
- Hearing the message.
- Believing the message.
- Responding to the message with our whole being: mind, will, and actions.