Ask Your Preacher
What are some Scriptures that show the depravity of man and our need for God’s salvation?
Give Me Book, Chapter, Verse
Dear Give Me Book, Chapter, Verse,
The term “depravity of man” is normally used by those who teach that people are born sinful – there are no Scriptures to show this teaching because it is false (read “Calvin And Sobs” for more details on this teaching, also known as Calvinism). However, there are lots of verses that show that mankind has chosen to sin and that we need God’s salvation. Many of them are found in Romans because the book of Romans spends a lot of time dealing with that particular subject. Here are a few:
- “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Rom 3:23)
- “Therefore, as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin; and so death passed unto all men, for that all sinned.” (Rom 5:12)
- “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom 6:23)
- “What then? Are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we before laid to the charge both of Jews and Greeks, that they are all under sin; as it is written, ‘There is none righteous, no, not one; there is none that understands, there is none that seeks after God; they have all turned aside; they have all together become unprofitable; there is none that does good, no, not, so much as one.’” (Rom. 3:9-12)
- “For God appointed us not into wrath, but unto the obtaining of salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thess 5:9)
- “And with many other words he testified, and exhorted them, saying, ‘Save yourselves from this crooked generation.’” (Acts 2:40)
(This question is in reference to “Think Again”)
You answered a question on baptism and twisted some verses all around then never actually got to the saved by grace issue. The question you answered was whether baptism was necessary for salvation. The correct answer is: no, it's not. My question is how do you explain all of Ephesians 2 if we need to be dunked in a tub to go to heaven? It plainly says we are "saved by grace through faith so no man may boast".
First of all, let’s address the subject of “twisting” verses. It is much easier to simply say that someone is twisting verses when you don’t like their conclusions than it is to give examples of how they are twisting a verse. If we are twisting the verses for our own gain, we absolutely want to change. It is a sin to pervert the Word of God (Gal 1:7-8). Since you say we twisted multiple verses around, could you please correct us on one of the verses we used? When Jesus says, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved” (Mk 16:16)… how is baptism not necessary then?
Now, let’s dive into the issue of being saved by grace. Eph 2:8 says, “For by grace, you have been saved through faith.” There is no doubt that salvation is a gift from God (‘grace’ means ‘gift’ or ‘unmerited favor’), but do you notice how God puts a condition upon that gift? The only way to receive grace is through faith. Faith is a condition of salvation. God does place conditions upon receiving His grace. We must have faith to get grace. Rom 10:17 says faith comes through hearing God’s Word, and Jas 1:22 says that we must hear and do what the Bible says. So, in order to receive God’s grace, we must live faithfully by His Word. What does His Word say about baptism? It says baptism washes away your sins (Acts 22:16) and saves you (1 Pet 3:21). If we are in error, we look forward to your reply with specific verses clarifying our error.
If the only way you can be saved is through Jesus' blood, then how were people saved previous to Jesus? I understand the Jews had animal sacrifices which rolled their sins forward. But what about the non-Jews?
Who’s Paying For This?
Dear Who’s Paying For This,
The Bible doesn’t tell us much about the Gentiles that lived before Jesus, but what little we do know tells us that God didn’t forsake them. When God called Abraham out from amongst his people (Gen 12:1-2), everyone that wasn’t descended from Abraham became a ‘Gentile’. The Old Testament follows the descendants of Abraham and God’s covenant with them; that is why there isn’t much said about the other nations that lived on this planet. Here is what we know:
- God praised and blessed honest Gentiles. Melchizedek is called a ‘priest of God’ (Gen 14:18), and Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, was the priest of Midian (Ex 3:1) and worshipped God. We don’t know exactly what arrangement God had with these men, but we know that they were pleasing to God and not a part of the Jewish nation. Another great example of a godly Gentile was Cornelius. God blessed and heard Cornelius’ prayers (Acts 10:1-4).
- Some Gentiles were blessed by God through conversion to Judaism. Rahab and Ruth were both Gentile women that turned to God by becoming Jews. Both of these women are mentioned in the lineage of Christ (Matt 1:5).
- We have a single statement in the book of Romans that hints at what kind of law the Gentiles were under. Rom 1:14-15 says that the Gentiles had a law of conscience written by God on their hearts. This doesn’t tell us much, but it does point out that God had a system for judging the Gentiles… it was just different than the system He used for judging the Jews.
All of this just gives a glimpse at the pre-Christian Gentile world, but it is enough to paint a picture that God had a plan; we just don’t know exactly how it worked.
Baptism needs to be rethought. If that is a condition, then Moses, David, Samson, and a host of others needed to be baptized. The thief on the cross needed to be baptized. If we use Scripture to prove Scripture, then you can't account for any child, including David's child out of sin, to enter heaven. You must correct yourself now and share this with all who lean on you for correct information. Just as communion is a physical act that helps us spiritually, so baptism is a physical act because we are physical beings hoping to become more spiritual – and we do with maturity. Some can't even be baptized. Do not lay this burden on people. God bless and do so soon.
Dear Very Dry,
We would never want to lay a burden on someone that isn’t found in the Bible, but we also want to make sure that we don’t take away a command that God has given us. We should never add or subtract from God’s Word (Rev 22:18-19). Having said that, baptism is definitely a command and requirement for salvation (Mk. 16:16). There are dozens of verses that reinforce this teaching (1 Pet 3:21, Acts 2:38-41, Matt 28:19-20, Acts 8:12, Acts 22:16, Rom 6:3, 1 Cor 12:13, Gal 3:27… just to name a few). The verses requiring baptism for salvation are many and clear – so now let’s deal with your concerns.
- Moses, David, and Samson didn’t need to be baptized because they lived under the Old Testament law. They didn’t need to be baptized, just like christians don’t need to be circumcised and don’t need to make animal sacrifices. They lived under a different contract (‘testament’ means ‘contract’). Under the Old Testament, baptism wasn’t a requirement. Under the New Testament, it is.
- The thief on the cross didn’t need to be baptized because he didn’t live under the New Testament law either. Jesus’ church didn’t come into existence until the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-6 and Acts 2:38-41). For more detailed information on the thief on the cross, read “The Thief On The Cross”.
- Children aren’t saved by baptism because they aren’t old enough to be held accountable for their sins; every child goes to heaven. Read “Baby Bath” for specifics on the spiritual purity of children.
- Communion is a physical act that has spiritual consequences, just like baptism is a physical act that has spiritual consequences. The apostle Paul specifically said that if someone doesn’t take the Lord’s Supper properly, they will be guilty before God (1 Cor 11:23-27). We live in a physical world, and the choices we make here have eternal ramifications. Baptism is exactly like communion – if we don’t do it right, we will be guilty before God.
Hopefully, these verses give you some comfort that we are preaching and teaching exactly what the Bible says. It is our goal here at AYP that no one will ever miss out on heaven because we failed to properly preach the whole counsel of God – and that includes the requirement of baptism.
Is it true that billions and billions won’t be saved? Someone told me more people will be sent down than up.
Jesus said, “Enter in by the narrow gate, for wide is the gate, and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many are they that enter in.” (Matt 7:13) Most people will not be saved because most people don’t place their faith in the Lord. We cannot be saved by our own strength. Jesus is the way of salvation (Jhn 14:6). God desires that all be saved (Jhn 3:16), but we must seek Him (Heb 11:6).