November 8, 2015

Every, No, Any, Some, and One Body – Philip Strong

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:00 am by sranderson0103

Everybody needs saving.  Salvation is a universal need of mankind.  Since sin’s first introduction into the society of mankind in the Garden of Eden, everybody has become personally acquainted with it, cf. Romans 3:9,23.  And thus, everybody has suffered from its effects.  Though sin certainly may have immediate and physical consequences that can be devastating, its most dangerous outcomes are spiritual- eternal damnation being the foremost of them.  Really stop and think about that for a moment: Everybody needs saving, or else they will be eternally damned.  Such sounds harsh, I know, but it is a natural consequence of sin, Romans 6:23 (see also Ezekiel 18:4).  Unless they are saved, everybody will be condemned because “all have sinned” and “the wages of sin is death.

Nobody can save themselves.  Since the wages, or due compensation, for sin is death, what price can a sinful man possibly pay to redeem himself and prevent the penalty?  None. Jesus made this clear with His rhetorical question in Matthew 16:26, “Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?”  Could a sinful man sacrifice his life as payment for the redemptive price of his own soul?  How could the just penalty become the justification that prevents the penalty?  No, the redemptive price for man’s sin could not, and cannot be paid by sinful man himself.   

Anybody can be saved. Despite the apparent gloominess of the picture painted by the two previous points, anybody can be saved, nobody has to be eternally damned, and everybody has equal access to the opportunity of salvation.  It does not matter how sinful a body has become, it can be sanctified (made holy) and cleansed (justified) by the “washing of water with the word” (the obedience of baptism based on faith from the word), Ephesian 5:26.  Access to this opportunity to hear and obey the gospel is not limited by race, income, or sinfulness- anybody can be saved, Romans 1:16-17; nobody has to be lost, and everybody can be saved (there is no limit to the number heaven will hold, nor will opportunities to go there be exhausted).

Somebody may need help.  The Ethiopian eunuch needed a little help and guidance.  He was reading the Scriptures, but had questions about the specific passage.  An evangelist named Philip began at the same Scripture and “preached Jesus to him,” cf. Acts 8:30-35.  Though the Scriptures are understandable (cf. Ephesians 3:4), most of us need a little help to overcome our preconceived notions of or prejudices against them.  Or, like the Ethiopian, we may need some guidance to achieve the salvation they offer.  Note that “preaching Jesus” evidently included instruction regarding “baptism”- for the eunuch, after hearing “Jesus” preached, asked about his own ability to be baptized, Acts 8:36.  His guide Philip told him that if he believed (that Jesus was the Christ), he could be baptized.  He immediately responded that he did indeed believe, and was straightway baptized by Philip.  The Ethiopian beieved and was baptized just as Jesus required of salvation in Mark 16:16; but, he needed somebody to help and guide him to and with the gospel, Mark 16:15.

Members of the One body can and should help.  Those who are members of the one body of Christ (cf. Ephesians 4:4) can and should help everybody to see and know the truth of the gospel since nobody can save themselves and anybody can be saved.  After all, having become one body with Christ, surely they know and can tell everybody who needs salvation that nobody but Jesus can save them, and that anybody can become a part of His one body by baptism (being born again), cf. 1Corinthians 12:13; John 3:3-5.

Please don’t take the above trifling use of grammar as any kind of lack of respect for Jesus Christ, the salvation He affords, or the gospel that tells of both of them.  Salvation from eternal damnation is always serious business.  I just hope the word play above helps us to see the plain facts of the situation, and our opportunities to change them by body and blood of Jesus Christ- given in our stead, for the remission of our sins.  Don’t waste that sacrifice, please!

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