Putting On Christ

Why Am I Here?

In Romans 8:1, Paul stated, “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” In Ephesians 1:7 we read that “in Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.” 2 Corinthians 5:17 states, “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” In Christ we have forgiveness of our sins. In Christ we are no longer under condemnation. In Christ we are created anew. We also find that in Christ is salvation and eternal life (2 Timothy 2:10; 1 John 5:11)! Obviously, to be “in Christ” is synonymous with having obeyed the gospel, given what we have noticed about the result of gospel obedience. How then does one put on Christ? Read the following passages: Galatians 3:26-27 and Romans 6:1-13.

According to these passages, what transfers an individual into Christ?

Romans 6:17 states, “Though you were slaves of sin, …you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered.” This verse helps us to understand the purpose of the instructions we are given to obey the gospel/put on Christ. Do you recall the facts upon which the gospel is founded (1 Corinthians 15:1-4)? The chart below shows us how repentance and baptism are a form of the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ:

Romans 6:17

The above post is an excerpt from the book, Why Am I Here? by Devin Roush. Follow the link to learn more about the book and purchase your copy today!

Becoming a Disciple

The Way: What it Means to Be a Disciple of Jesus

The Way” (Acts 9:2) was made up of those two were followers of Jesus – the one who is identified as “the way” (John 14:6). This is the essence of discipleship – being a follower of Jesus. The Greek word for disciple means “a learner, pupil” (Thayer). The apostles were commissioned by the Lord to “make disciples of all the nations” (Matthew 28:19).

How does one become a disciple? To answer this question, we can look at the instructions the Lord and His apostles gave to those who would be His followers. Looking to the New Testament, we can see that in order to become a disciple, an individual must:

  • Hear the gospel – “And He said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation’” (Mark 16:15). The gospel must be preached because people must hear it in order to respond to it. Jesus said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear” (Luke 8:8).
  • Believe that Jesus is the Christ – “He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned” (Mark 16:16). Not only is belief necessary for salvation, but Jesus specifically said that those who do not believe will be lost. He said elsewhere, “Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins” (John 8:24). Interestingly, the word “He” is not in the original Greek text but was added by the translators. Jesus’ statement meant that we must believe that He is the “I AM” – the name that God called Himself when speaking to Moses out of the burning bush (Exodus 3:14). In other words, it is not enough simply to believe in the existence of Jesus; we must believe that He is Deity (cf. Colossians 2:9).
  • Repent of sins – “I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3, 5). The belief that we are to have (previous point) must lead us to action. Repentance means to put away sin and begin serving the Lord. Jesus said elsewhere, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me” (Luke 9:23). When we make the decision to follow the Lord, we are making a commitment to serve Him daily.
  • Confess faith in Christ – “That if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation” (Romans 10:9-10). This is the verbal affirmation of our faith. We must do more than mentally acknowledge the Lordship of Christ. In addition to repentance, we must also be willing to make “the good confession in the presence of many witnesses” (1 Timothy 6:12).
  • Be baptized into Christ – “He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned” (Mark 16:16). “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19). Many people will push back on this point and try to argue that baptism is not necessary in order to be saved or to become a disciple of Jesus. Yet Jesus said that baptism is just as necessary for salvation as belief (Mark 16:16) and is an essential step in the discipleship process (Matthew 28:19). Those who reject this and have “disbelieved” Jesus “shall be condemned” (Mark 16:16). Paul described baptism as the act in which we put on Christ: “For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ” (Galatians 3:27).

When we become a disciple, we then belong to Christ. Peter explained this in his first epistle: “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession…for you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God…” (1 Peter 2:9-10). As “a people for His own possession,” we must be “zealous for good deeds” (Titus 2:14). In other words, we must continue to serve Him and do what is right throughout our lives.

The above post is an excerpt from the book, The Way: What it Means to Be a Disciple of Jesus by Andy Sochor. Follow the link to learn more about the book and purchase your copy today!

Their Eyes Were Opened

The Gospel Restored

It is said of our First Parents, after they had sinned, that their eyes were opened. Now, reader, if this was the fact with them, be assured that it is the fact with all who obey the gospel. There is a glorious magic in the word of God—the magic of unalterable truth; and the eyes of all who obey him are opened to matters which previously were wholly hid from their eyes. Adam possibly promised himself an easy forgiveness; the antediluvians lightly esteemed the word of God by his servant Noah who preached to them. Pharaoh haughtily exclaimed, “Who is this Jehovah, that I should let Israel go?” And Israel themselves tempted him in the desert and questioned his word; but Adam and the antediluvians and Pharaoh and Israel discovered to their own fatal dismay that, however lightly they had esteemed God’s word, there is no lightness with him. He means what he says. And if men obey the gospel their eyes are most assuredly opened to the propriety of the course which they have chosen to pursue; and if they do not obey it, their eyes will just as assuredly be opened finally to their own fatal mistake, the mistake of trifling with the word of so great a King as God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.—Has he commanded men every where to believe in the name of his Son our Lord, to reform, and be immersed? There is no question of it. The faith, the gospel as it began to be preached at Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost, was to be preached in all the world. All then, who hear of the faith preached at Jerusalem, are bound to obey it in the form given to it there, for in no other was it to be preached to the world. Now it may seem a light matter to deviate from the primitive annunciation of the gospel by those who were inspired to speak it correctly; but all who are guilty of such a deviation, will doubtless, one day, have their eyes opened to the danger of their own unfortunate procedure. Reader, return to the primitive faith, the primitive church order, and the primitive morals of Christianity, and you will soon perceive the infinite propriety of the course which you have adopted.

The above post is an excerpt from the book, The Gospel Restored by Walter Scott. Follow the link to learn more about the book and purchase your copy today!

NEW RELEASE: The Gospel Restored

We would like to announce our newest title – The Gospel Restored by Walter Scott – is now available.

The Gospel Restored (cover)Originally published in 1836, this book contains an in-depth discourse about God’s plan of redemption.

Walter Scott (1796-1861) was one of the leading figures in the beginning of the Restoration Movement. He was known as the “Golden Oracle” for his ability to captivate audiences as he proclaimed the ancient gospel. He employed the “five finger exercise” to help his audiences – children and adults – remember the gospel message (faith, repentance, baptism, remission of sins, gift of the Holy Spirit).

The Gospel Restored is a discourse of the true gospel of Christ. As Scott stated in the preface, professing Christians had “unhappily strayed from the scriptures and true Christianity.” Therefore, he said there was “no remedy…but a return to original ground.” This return to the “Ancient Order” is the purpose for which this volume was written.

LIMITED TIME OFFER: Through May 31, 2018, The Gospel Restored – as well as every other title in our Ancient Landmarks Collection* – is on sale for 15% off the regular price.

Download a sample of the book!

Read more about the book and purchase your copy today!

*This is the tenth release in our Ancient Landmarks Collection. This collection is made up of materials that have been produced by those associated with the Restoration Movement. More titles will be added to this collection in the future. Be sure to subscribe to our mailing list to be notified of new releases.

The Pharisees Overemphasized Making Converts

The Real Pharisees

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you travel around on sea and land to make one proselyte; and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves” (Matthew 23:15).

One might wonder how it could be possible to overemphasize making converts. After all, one of the principal works that we have been given – both individually and collectively – is to try to turn people to the Lord. The New Testament places a good deal of emphasis on making converts.

  • The apostles’ mission was to “make disciples of all the nations” (Matthew 28:19).
  • The church’s work is to be sure “the word of the Lord [is] sounded forth” (1 Thessalonians 1:8).
  • Christians are to support preachers (3 John 7-8) and teach others (1 Peter 3:15) as we have the opportunity to do so.

Seeking to convert people to Christ is important. Yet there is an overemphasis on converting others when we are willing to change the message or are unconcerned that the message has already been changed. The Pharisees had changed the law to the point that they were converting people to themselves, which did the converts no good. While their zeal was commendable – traveling “on sea and land to make one proselyte” (Matthew 23:15) – the Pharisees should have made sure they were following the law correctly so they could be converting people to the Lord’s way instead of to their way. Today, if we compromise and change the gospel message, then we will be guilty of doing the same thing.

Paul told the Corinthians, “For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not in cleverness of speech, so that the cross of Christ would not be made void” (1 Corinthians 1:17). This certainly does not mean that baptism is unnecessary for salvation. The Scriptures plainly teach that it is (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21). Paul’s point was that his responsibility as an apostle and preacher was to preach the truth, not to baptize (make converts). Timothy was to preach the truth without compromise, even if people were uninterested in his message (2 Timothy 4:2-5). Converting someone with a message other than the truth of the gospel means we are not converting them to Christ. If we do not use the pure, unadulterated gospel – “the power of God for salvation” (Romans 1:16) – those who are “converted” are still condemned.

We must not compromise or change the message of the gospel in order to make more converts. The churches of men have been doing this for years, but they are not converting anyone to Christ this way. Paul was not sent “to baptize, but to preach the gospel” (1 Corinthians 1:17). He wrote later in the same letter, “I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth” (1 Corinthians 3:6). We simply need to plant and water and allow God to cause the growth so that we are converting people to Christ rather than to ourselves.

So who are the real Pharisees today? They are not the ones who sit back and refuse to try and make converts. Instead, they are those who are zealous about making converts; yet they have changed the message and are not converting people to Christ.

The above post is an excerpt from the book, The Real Pharisees by Andy Sochor. Follow the link to learn more about the book and purchase your copy today!