how God saves us

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Critique of video: “What must I do to be saved?”

This beautifully produced and plain-talking presentation in answer to the question, “What must I do to be saved?” is impressive and teaches a lot of truth.

Nevertheless it has at least four flaws.

1) Its most significant and glaring flaw is that It does not give the Savior enough credit for salvation. I listened for 22 minutes before I heard Jesus called “Savior” for the first time. There is something wrong with a presentation of the gospel that does not begin with Jesus Christ, end with Jesus Christ, and talk about Jesus all the way through. Everything a sinner “does” is in relation to and in response to what the sinner’s Savior has done.

Also it’s a personal matter: You are responding, not just to a plan of salvation that God dreamed up in eternity past. You are responding to a Savior. If you do not respond, you are not just rejecting a plan; you are rejecting Him – yes, even insulting Him.

2) In “step two,” believe, the speaker suggested that in order to be saved one must believe in the one body, the church, for salvation is only in that one body. This is making the gospel the good news of Christ’s church and almost suggesting that the church is a co-Savior. No! Being incorporated into the body of Christ is a RESULT of salvation, not a means of salvation. We should teach people about the one church Christ died to save, but we should not tell them it is the way they become saved.

3) Under “step four,” confession, the speaker talked about the eunuch’s confession (Acts 8:37). This confession is not found in any Greek manuscripts earlier than the 6th century. Among the later manuscripts that have it there are two versions of the confession. The King James Version has it because Erasmus added it based on only the marginal reading of one manuscript.

This confession, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God,” is not the confession of the primitive church. The original confession that formed the foundation of the Christian movement is the one found in Rom. 10:9 “Jesus is Lord” (see also 1 Cor. 12:3; 1 Cor. 8:6; 1 Cor. 1:2; Eph. 4:5).

A confession that Jesus is the Son of God tends to be only mental assent to a theological truth (though an important one). A confession that “Jesus is Lord” means not only do I assent to this truth, but I yield allegiance of my heart and life to His control.

4) A similar textual problem is with the use of Revelation 1:5, which was quoted as “to Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood.” Once more, the word ‘washed’ is found only in the later manuscripts, while the early ones have ‘freed’ (He freed us from our sins). The two Greek words may originally have sounded the same; the difference in spelling is only one letter. If you want to talk about being washed in the blood of the lamb, use Revelation 7:14, where the manuscripts all agree

Steve has been a Bible teacher for over 30 years. He has written many articles, more than 20 e-books, and several study guides, most recently, Overcoming: Guide to Understanding the Book of Revelation. His website, DeeperStudy.com, encourages all people to go deeper in their understanding of the Word of God, the Bible, and to become authentic, New Testament Christians who serve a risen Lord.

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