Church of Christ
Mission USA

WHERE IS THE SAFEST PLACE TO BE?

by Bill Crossno

      All of us have played the game, hiding-seek. While one counted to 10, 20 or whatever, the rest would hide. Most had a certain place we liked to hide, it was better than other places we thought. The conclusion of the game was to get home safely. Now let’s think about Christianity and a place of safety for eternity. Where are you standing in this field? If you are not in the Lord's Church, you are in the wrong place (Psalm 1:4). Watch the Scriptures; Matthew 6:33 "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." Seeking here is the result which comes from what proceeds. That is, the things we need spiritually to guide us through this life, that, we will enjoy the one yet to come. 

      We sing the great old hymn, "Hide Me Oh My Savior."  But, hide me where? In the earthly pleasures of this life? We know God's Word condemns such (I John 2:l5-17; James 1:13-15). We must seek a place of safety in the Lord. How do I do this? The Word of God can tell us better than anyone can so let’s see what it has to say. Hebrews 11:6, without faith we cannot please Him. So, a safe place to be is in the faith. But, faith alone is not enough (James 2:17-18). Luke 13:3,5, we must repent of our sins or we  will perish. Repentance then is a safe place to be.

      They did this on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:38). Romans  10:10, we must confess Christ, so confession is a safe place to be.  Confession must be made with the mouth and before men (Romans 10:9-10; Matthew 10:32). Mark 16:16, baptism is a safe place to be. This was done on Pentecost (Acts 2:38). We read also of others obeying Christ (Acts 8:26-39, 16:25-34). 

      It is good to have such a wonderful place to hide in Christ, but, we have to continue to work to stay away from Satan. We are warned about Satan in I Peter 5:8. He will not let us alone. So, to stay in the safe place, the church of our Lord, we must work at it (I Timothy 4:13-16; II Timothy 2:15; II Peter 1:5-11; 3:18). Seek first the Lord,  obey His will and Satan cannot lead you into destruction. Seek the safety of the Lord today.

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Noah Was Saved By Grace

by Perry Sexton       

      In Genesis 6 we have one of the most interesting and informative chapters in the Bible. There are many lessons we can learn from this account. We see the evilness of mankind and God’s severity toward sin and also God’s wonderful saving grace (cp. Romans 11:22). God destroyed mankind except for those who were serving Him faithfully (Genesis 6:8-13). Some day God will totally destroy the earth (II Peter 3:9-12). Then what will happen to mankind? See Matthew 25:46. Where will you and I be then?

      In this article I want to deal with the fact that Noah was Saved by Grace. You may have heard that there was no grace under the Old Testament system. This is false. For those who will believe the Bible, it says, “But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord” (Genesis 6:8). This was so because “Noah was a just [righteous] man and perfect [upright] in his generations, and Noah walked with [obeyed] God” (v.9). Noah’s family also obeyed God and was saved from that destruction.

      Was Noah saved by “grace alone?” Absolutely not! We have no record of anyone ever being saved by “grace alone.” The elements of Noah’s salvation are like ours today. Study the comparisons of Noah’s salvation and the New Testament teaching for us today (please read each verse): By grace, Noah was offered salvation and was taught what to do in order to be saved (cp. Titus 2:11,12); Noah heard God and had faith (cp. Romans 10:17); Noah obeyed God: “By faith Noah, ... moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house” (Hebrews 11:7). Noah obeyed God in all things (Genesis 6:22 cp. Hebrews 5:9). 

      For us in this Age, salvation from eternal destruction is still offered by the grace of God (Titus 2:11,12). By grace, man is taught what he must not do and what he must do in order to be saved eternally. We are taught these things by the word of God (cp. John 6:44,45).  Man must hear the word of God – true saving faith comes only by the word of God (Romans 10:17). Multitudes are hearing the wrong things today and therefore will be lost (Matthew 7:13-27; 15:9-14; II Peter 2:1-3). Just as in the days of Noah, man must obey God in order to be saved (Matthew 7:21; Hebrews 5:9; James 1:21-25, etc.). True saving faith moves man to obey God in all things (Hebrews 11:7 cp. Genesis 6:22).  Man must repent, that is, stop sinning or perish (Luke 13:3; Acts 17:30; II Peter 3:9-12). Man must confess Christ (Matthew 10:32,33; Romans 10:9,10; Acts 8:37). And man must be baptized “for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38; 22:16). As is clearly seen in God’s Word, water baptism is the only means of entering into Christ where salvation is found (Romans 6:3; Galatians 3:27; Acts 2:38,41,47; 2 Tim. 2:10  etc.). In the Bible, water baptism is always “for the remission of sins.” Only in the doctrines of men do you find otherwise (cp. Matthew 15:8-14).

      Noah was saved by grace through faith and so is man today (cp. Ephesians 2:8). Not “faith alone” (James 2:24,26), but “faith which worketh by love” (Galatians 5:6). The false teachers have led multitudes away from the truth teaching that man is saved by “faith alone,” that is, without any works (cp. II Peter 2:1-3; I John 4:1). I challenge them to find one verse showing that man will NOT be judged by his works! Here are some verses for you to consider: Ecclesiastes 12:13,14; John 5:28,29; II Corinthians 5:10; Revelation 20:12,13. The bottom line is, man must obey God in order to be saved (Matthew 7:21; Hebrews 5:9; James 1:21-25).

      Noah was “saved by water” (I Peter 3:20), but not water alone. Noah was saved by grace, faith and by the works God gave him to do. We, today, are saved by the same formula: grace, faith, and the works God has given us to do (Galatians 5:6). God teaches us that man is saved from his past sins at the point of water baptism (I Peter 3:21 cp. Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16).

      Friends, do you believe God or man? Remember we must not add to or take away from the word of God, or in any way pervert what it says. To do so carries severe and eternal consequences (Revelation 22:18,19; Galatians 1:6-9). Your soul is your most valuable possession (Mark 8:36,37). You need to know the truth about baptism and salvation. Baptism is as essential to your salvation as are all the steps in salvation: hearing, believing, repenting, confessing Christ, and being baptized “for the remission of sins.” Please let us know of any questions or concerns you may have. ♥