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For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God. – Ephesians 2:8
The marvelous grace of Jesus Christ is demonstrated by His death, burial and resurrection. There is no greater love than to lay down your life for another. For God so loved the world, that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. – John 3:16
Our faith is demonstrated through obedience to the gospel message found in Acts 2:38. Interestingly, the gospel message is a reflection, or a mirror image, of Gods Grace demonstrated in John 3:16.
This bible study will illustrate the three simple steps of salvation as a reflection of our Lord's death on the cross. You will see repentance as a reflection of His death, water baptism as a reflection of His burial, and Spirit baptism as a reflection of His resurrection.
Simply put, we are saved by the grace of God through faithful obedience to the gospel.
Acts 2:38 then is the spiritual reflection of John 3:16
Death Of Christ
But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. – Romans 5:8
He was first beaten with 39 stripes which, according to the Bible, provide for our physical healing. Then He was nailed through the hands and feet to the cross. A crown of thorns was placed on His head and the words, “This is Jesus, the king of the Jews,” was put on the cross. Roman soldiers gambled for His coat while He hung there and died.
Through the death of Jesus Christ, the "sin penalty" has been paid once and for all. He took upon himself the sins of everyone in the entire world. He died for us.
The death of Jesus on the cross is a demonstration of how much He loves us. He laid down his life to free you from all of the sorrow, and suffering caused by sin. His innocent blood is more powerful than the darkest forces we could ever face.
Burial Of Christ
And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, And laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed. – Matthew 27:59-60
Burial is representative of the finality of death. The grave is the enduring witness that death has indeed occurred.
The Romans, concerned that Jesus' disciples would steal his body and claim resurrection, ordered the stone be sealed and guarded by soldiers to foil any such plans. Yet, on the third day, an angel of the Lord appeared, the guards fell as dead and Jesus rose from the dead. The guarded tomb was simply a further proof that the resurrection was truly an act of God.
The empty tomb of Jesus Christ stands as a memorial to His conquest over death, hell and the grave. Today, we have a promise that we too shall rise again. We have a promise that the grave will not hold us. "The dead in Christ shall rise first, then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together to meet the Lord in the air".
Resurrection Of Christ
When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said. – John 2:22
On the third day after his crucifixion, the tomb of Jesus Christ was discovered empty. He had risen from the dead!
The resurrection is perhaps the most significant event in the Christian Faith. Everything that Jesus did for us on the cross is validated by the fact that He rose again from the dead. He overcame death; He provided a remedy for our sinful condition and now lives forever.
There were many who witnessed him alive after his death. The apostles gave witness concerning his resurrection and the fame of it has spread throughout the world.
The Christian faith carries the message that Jesus Christ has risen. This is the power of our faith. Death is swallowed up in victory. We have a marvelous opportunity to live in the power of the resurrection.
Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. – Rom 6:6
The word repent means to "turn around" or to "change your mind". When we repent of our sins, we tell God we are sorry for the way we have lived our life and that we are now ready to change our actions.
To be truly sorry for our sins, we must recognize that it was our sins that caused Jesus to be crucified, and that He died for us. Through repentance, we identify with the death of Christ on the cross. We die to our old life and get ready for a new life in Christ.
You should pray aloud to God, "Lord Jesus, forgive me of all of my sins. I am sorry for my sins and I need your help to live a Christian life."
It doesn't matter how bad you may feel about the kind of life you have lived. If we confess our sins, He is faithful to forgive us of our sins.
Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. – Romans 6:3-4
Nothing could be any more clear than the statement, "we are buried with him by baptism." To be baptized in a watery grave demonstrates the finality of our old life style and the end of our life in sin. Repentance and Baptism is our death and burial with Jesus Christ.
When the apostles administered water baptism, they were careful to baptize in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ. This not only applied the power of that great name but also profoundly identifies us with Christ.
And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. – Acts 2:4
The promise of the Holy Spirit is granted to everyone who gives their life to Jesus Christ. This is your spiritual resurrection. Repentance and water baptism is your death and burial, but now you will rise to walk in the newness of life, a new creature in Christ Jesus.
The scripture promises that we will receive power after that the Holy Spirit is come upon us. Resurrection power is available to overcome sin, to lead and guide you into all truth.
When we give ourselves wholly to Christ in worship, we allow our tongue to be guided by the Holy Spirit. The book of James declares the tongue to be the most unruly member of the body and that only God can tame or control the tongue. Speaking with tongues is miraculous! This event is the first miracle of the new birth!
Ephesians 2:8 declares we are saved “by grace through faith”.
The grace of God is clearly seen in his death, burial and resurrection. Our faith in demonstrated through obedience to the gospel message preached by the apostles.