I appreciate your love of the Scriptures and desire to learn more. We must always stay true to what the Bible teaches. Even if we discover it teaches something different than what we have been told before.
To discover the requirements for salvation we must consider all the verses that deal with the topic. One verse may emphasize one aspect while other verses could add other requirements. By looking at the totality of the Bible's teaching we can learn what a sinner must do to obey God's plan for salvation.
In the Scriptures we find God's plan for salvation has five steps:
- The first step is to hear the saving message of salvation (Romans 10:17). In other words, one must learn of the truth before they can obey it.
- The second step is to have faith, or believe that Jesus is indeed the Christ, the Son of God (John 8:24; Mark 16:15-16). However, this is not the only step. Faith alone will not save (James 2:14, 17, 24).
- The third step of God's plan is repentance. The sinner is required to repent, which is composed of sorrow for sin and a change of will which results in a changed life (Luke 13:3; Acts 2:38; 2 Corinthians 7:10).
- The fourth step is confession. The sinner is required to confess their faith in Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God (Acts 8:37; Matthew 10:32-33; Romans 10:10).
- The fifth step is baptism (Mark 16:15-16; Matthew 28:18-19; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21).
Ananias told Saul in Acts 22:16, "And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord." Saul was a man who already had faith, being repentant and in prayer (Acts 9:1-18; 22:1-16), but he was still in sin and needed to do something more. He needed to obey the final step of God's plan for salvation.
Our sins are washed away not by the water of baptism, but by the blood of Christ when we submit to God's plan for salvation to hear, believe, repent, confess and be baptized (Acts 8:38-39). Only then are we saved from past sins and added to the Lord's church (Acts 2:38, 41).
We do not earn our salvation and there are no works of merit which will save us (Ephesians 2:9), but there are works of obedience which God requires (Ephesians 2:10; James 2:19-20).
I commend you for your desire to learn more and would encourage you to carefully consider the Scriptures I have given to see what they teach for yourself. Please don't put your trust in my words or the words of any man. Men can be wrong, but God's word is always right.
I would like to take this opportunity to invite you to upgrade your enrollment from Auditing to Informal or Formal Student status. I want to thank you for making use of the videos provided by the school, but I encourage you to consider the advantages of upgrading your enrollment. If you upgrade your enrollment you will not only have access to the video Bible lessons, but you will also have free online viewing access to the teacher’s course notes, exams and some course books.
Formal Students follow a set course order which is designed to make the progression through the Bible easier. The assignments include viewing all video lessons, taking exams and writing research papers. Formal Students are issued a certificate of completion when they fully meet the requirements of a course. They receive a diploma when they have successfully completed all required courses.
Informal Students have the same requirements to meet for each course and cover the same material but they are allowed to take the courses in any order they desire. Informal Students receive certificates for each course but no diploma is awarded.
If you would like to change your status you will need to click on ENROLLMENT which is on the blue menu bar at the school website. When you have reached the enrollment page please select either the Formal or Informal Student Registration button. This will provide you with the form to fill out to change your status.
I completely understand if you have no interest in upgrading your enrollment. I commend you on your hard work and devotion to learning more about the Bible. God bless you as you continue in your studies. If I can answer any questions for you about the school please let me know.