Â All things in life are done according to a procedure, a sequence of events neccesary for success. This is true for personal training, fixing a car, raising children, and so on, certain steps are taken and each must be done inÂ it's proper order. God's plan of salvation is no different, it is very much a PLAN and follows a procedure! You can believe in Jesus as Lord and Saviour, and do the things of God, but be doing them the WRONG WAY!! Jesus gives a grave warningÂ about this inÂ Matthew 7:21-23)...
Â "Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. For many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name? And in Thy name have cast out devils? And in Thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from Me, ye that work iniquity"
What gives!? They were doing good works in the name of Jesus, the Lord doesn't refute this, but they are claimed not to have done His will. Why?Â You can do the things of God, but not God's way. and this IS sin! The devil knows the Word perfectly, and his biggest deception is to disguise himself as a minister of righteousness, as an angel of light. Millions are being led into hellfire from right behind the pulpit!(2Peter2:1-3) How do we protect ourselves?
One thing Jesus said was to be "constant in prayer" to keep "your eyes upon Him" as well as "studying the Word to show yourselves approved"Â This means understanding the basic fundamentals of God's plan of salvation, and the proper order to do them. These are important questions to ask ourselves to make sure WE are not being deceived, going through this order step by step..
Step1) REPENT OF OUR SINS- (Luke13:5) Repent means that we are genuinely sorry for sinning against God, by not living as He wills us; and sincerely turning away from those sins. HaveÂ you really repented, and decided to live according to His Word? If yes, then...
Step2)BE BAPTIZED IN JESUS NAME(Mark16:16)- After we repent we must apply the blood of Jesus to wash away our sins. This is done by being baptized in Jesus name for the remission of sins(Acts 2:38)Â Baptized in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost is not true baptisim, because it is not a name, but titles. Peter(whom was given the keys of the kingdom)Â reveals in Acts 2:38 thatÂ the name of all three is JESUS, one name, one God. It must be Jesus name for "by no other name has been given us by which we must be saved".Â And also, it must be full immersion in water, to signify that we are completely dying to sin, and giving 100% to Christ. Have you been baptized in the name of JESUS?
So important is it that baptism be done in Jesus name, that the apostol Paul re-baptized those who had been baptized under John the Baptist!(Acts19:2-5)
Step3)BE FILLED WITH GOD'S SPIRIT-(Romans 8:9) In Acts 2:38, Peter declared you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. It is a promise of God! If you have sincerely repented and been baptized in Jesus name, then God will make you the temple of His Spirit. But it is no ambiguous thing, as the Scriptures state that the the Holy Ghost is receved by the"evidence of speaking in tongues" You don't feel as if you have it, God will let you know it through this physical sign! Have you received the Holy Ghost?
InÂ one case the Holy Ghost fell on the un-baptized(Acts 10:45,46), but baptism in water in Jesus nameÂ was still required(Acts10:47,48)
You need both to be born again(John3:5)
Step4) KNOWING AND DECLARING THAT JESUS IS GOD- God saved us for a purpose(Isaiah43:10,11) To be His witnesses , to know Him and delcare who He is. He WANTS us to know Him! In Isaiah 9:6, he openly delcares that the Son is the everlasting Father, the mighty God! In John 14:26 Jesus openly says He is the holy Ghost. One name, the name of Jesus!Â Our you obeying the great commandment, that the Lord our God is One Lord, and areÂ you declaring that his nameÂ is Jesus?
Step5)CONSECRATING OURSELVES FROM SIN- No one is perfect, but are you doing your best to lead a holy, clean life?(2Corinthians7:1) Are you loving you neighbor as your self?
Step6)PERFECTING THE MINISTRY/TALENTS GOD GAVE US- Are you striving to use your gifts for the Glory of God?(1Timothy4:14)(2Timothy2:15)
Step7)ADORING JESUS- This is a culmination of doing all 6 previous steps, as well as giving Him praise and worship! Are you loving Jesus with ALL your heart, mind, soul and strength?(Mark12:29,30)
God said that "obedience is better than sacrifice". If we want to draw near to Him, not only do we have to do those things He wills but in the manner He wills them. So many are trying to do steps 5-7 and have not even had their sins washed away yet! And the Lord said that this was iniquity!Â Search for yourselves the Word of God, with a heart seeking truth, and He will show you the way.Â