New Testament Plan of Salvation

On the Day of Pentecost, the Apostle Peter preached the first gospel sermon. As Peter preached that marvelous message, the Holy Ghost pricked the hearts of sinners with conviction, and they cried out, "Men and brethren, what shall we do?" (Acts 2:37). In response to their question, Peter, with the endorsement of the other apostles, proclaimed the New Testament plan of salvation:

"Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. " (Acts 2:38)

This is the original New Testament plan of salvation preached and taught by the apostles. God has never changed His plan of salvation. It is still the same today.

The Keys of the Kingdom

Jesus had given to the Apostle Peter the "keys of the kingdom" (Matthew 16:19). Peter was to have the privilege of opening the door of the kingdom to both Jews and Gentiles in the new age. Peter first used the "keys of the kingdom" on the Day of Pentecost, when he preached the gospel to the Jews (Acts 2). At
the close of his message, Peter set forth the New Testament plan of salvation. Peter thus opened the door to the kingdom by presenting the terms of salvation by which people can enter into the kingdom of God. Peter used these "keys of the kingdom" again when he preached the gospel to the Gentiles at the house of Cornelius (Acts 1O) and presented to them the same bible plan of salvation.

Three Simple Steps

Our salvation must be "built Upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone" (Ephesians 2:20). We are saved only by grace through faith in Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:8). Saving faith in Christ includes obedience to the gospel of Christ as preached by His apostles
(Matthew 28:19-20; Luke 24:46-49). If a person wants to be saved from his sins and become a member of the New Testament church, he must obey the original bible plan of salvation as given in Acts 2:38, which consists of three simple steps:

1) Repentance (Death of old man) from of our sin.
2) Water Baptism (Burial of old man) in the name of Jesus Christ.
3) Receiving the Holy Spirit Baptism (Resurrection of new man).

Repentance and Confession

Repentance is a turning away from all sin. The bible declares, "He that covereth his sins shall not prosper. But whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy" (Proverbs 28:13). Godly sorrow for sin is the only motivating force for real repentance. "For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation"(2 Cor.7:10). Repentance also means turning to God in faith, praying for forgiveness and cleansing from all sin. The repentant person confesses to God that he is a sinner and asks for forgiveness. In turn, God promises to forgive and abundantly pardon when a person fully repents. The Old Testament contains this wonderful promise: "Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon"(Isaiah 55:6-7). The New Testament makes a similar promise to the church today. "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (I John 1:9).

Death to Self and Sin

The gospel is the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Apostle Paul said, "I declare unto you the gospel.. by which also ye are saved.. that Christ died for our sins .. and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures" (I Cor. 15:1-4). We must obey Christ's gospel in
order to be saved (Romans 6:17-18; 11 Thes. 1:8; 1 Peter 4:17). We must experience a death, a burial and a resurrection. In the act of repentance, we die out to sin, the world and self (Romans 6:2), and we ask Jesus Christ to become the Lord of our life. In God's order, repentance must precede water baptism and the receiving of the Holy Ghost. Before there can be either a burial or a resurrection, there must first be a death.

Baptism by Immersion

Following death there must be a burial. A repentant person must bury the old man of sin (Romans 6:6) - his past sinful lifestyle - in the watery grave of baptism. "Therefore, we are buried with him by baptism" (Romans 6:4). Since baptism is a burial with Christ, there should be no question as to the proper mode of water baptism. The original Greek word for baptism is baptizo, which means "to dip, plunge or immerse." Immersion was the only mode of baptism practiced in the New Testament church (see Matthew 3:16 and Acts 8:36-39). As stated in Acts 2:38, water baptism is "for the remission of sins". We are to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the purpose of obtaining the remission of sins.

The Gift of the Holy Spirit

The third step in the plan of salvation consists of receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit. To enter the kingdom of God, Jesus said one must be "born of water and of the Spirit" (John 3:5). The birth of the Spirit, the baptism of the Spirit, and the gift of the Spirit are all synonymous terms in the New Testament. This wonderful experience was received by the Jews on Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4), the Samaritans (Acts 8:15-17), the Gentiles (Acts 10:44-48), and the disciples of John the Baptist (Acts 19:1-6). This demonstrates that it is for all people, regardless of race, creed, color or station in life. Experience a wonderful new life in Christ today!