The Bible states that everyone has sinned and come short of the glory that God wants us to enjoy (Romans 3:23).
By experience and observation, we all know that our human nature is flawed by sin, that we are born with a tendency to be
selfish, untruthful, and rebellious. And all of us have at one time or another yielded to our sinful nature. To deny
that we have sinned is merely self-deception (I John 1:8).
The good news is that Jesus, who is God manifested in flesh, came to our world and gave His life on the cross to save
us from our sins (Luke 19:10). When He dies He paid the full penalty for the sins of everyone in the world and opened the
way for us to be forgiven of our sins (John 1:29). As the Son of God, conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of a virgin, Jesus
did not have a sinful nature and we do. Therefore, He could and did die for our sins.
As God manifested in the flesh (John 1:1, 14; I Timothy 3:16; Matthew 1:23), Jesus jas the power to forgive us of our
sins. Me one can cleanse himself from his past sins, nor can he by his own efforts destroy his innate sinful nature. But Jesus
can both cleanse him of His sins and give him a new birth of righteousness. (See I John 1:9; John 3:3-5)
How does a person find salvation in Jesus Christ?
The answer is found in the Bible, God's word to us. During His ministry, Jesus told us that the way into the
kingdom of God is by a new birth of water and Spirit (John 3:5). He taught that a person must repent to enter the Kingdom
of God (Matthew 4:17; Luke 13:3, 5), and He assures us that God gives the Holy Spirit to all who ask Him (Luke 11:13).
After His resurrection, Jesus told His desciples that "repentence and remission of sins should be preached
in His name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem until they received the Holy Spirit (Luke 24:49; Acts 1:4-8).
Ten days after Jesus ascended into heaven, about 120 disciples received the Holy Spirit with th sign of speaking
in other languages as the Spirit within them gave the utterance. This was the most glorious moment, for it was the beginning
of God's salvation for the whole world through the New Testament church.
Thousands of people witnessed the out pouring of the Holy Spirit of the 120, and they asked the meaning of
people speaking in foreign langueages they had never learned. The apostle Peter explained that speaking in toungues was the
evidence that God had poured out His Spirit because Jesus died for our sins and was exalted by God. Then the people asked
the apostles, "What shall we do?" (Acts 2:37). They wanted to be saved, so they asked what to do in order to be filled with
the Holy Spirit.
The answer that Peter and the other apostles gave that day is God's answer to us today. After we believe on
Jesus, we are to repent of our sins, be baptized in water in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and
then receive the Holy Spirit. "Then Peter said unto them, 'Repent and be baptized everyone of you in the name of Jesus Christ
for the remission of your sins and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost': (Acts 2:38). This same answer was given to
the people pf Samaria (Acts 8:5-17), to Paul (Acts 9:6-17; 22:16), to the Gentiles in Caesarea (Acts 10:34-48), and to the
converts of John the Baptist (19:1-8).
This apostolic pattern -faith, repentance, water baptism, and infilling of the Holy Spirit- is still the pattern
of salvation for us today. There is no other plan of salvation, so other true gospel. The apostle Paul wrote, "But even if
we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you then what we have preached to youm let him be accursed" (Galations
Why have faith in Jesus?
We cannot save ourselves, but by believing in Jesus we accept His death on the cross for our sins. This made
available God's forgiveness. We are saved by grace through faith, and not by our own works (Galations 2:8).
Why Repent of our Sins?
Because we must confess that we are sinners and aske God to forgive us (I John 1:8-10). With the help of God's
Spirit, we are to turn away from our sinful ways and turn toward God and His righteousness in Jesus Christ. When we repent,
we open the door to God's forgiveness.
Why be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ?
Water baptism is for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38), and sins are remitted (forgiven) in the name of Jesus
Christ Luke 24:47; Acts 4:12; 10:43; 22:16). Since Jesus dies for our sins, salvation is given to us through faith in Him
and in His name (John 3:16; 20:31; Acts 16:31). In water baptism we identify with Him, for we are burried with Him into His
death and we also rise with Him in the likeness of His resurrection to "walk in newness of life." (See Romans 6:1-8).
Water baptism in the name of Jesus Christ follows the pattern established by the apostles, for the apostolic
churchalways baptized converts in the name of Jesus Christ (Acts 2:38; 8:16; 10:48; 19:5; 22:16). (See also Romans 6:4;
Colossians 2:12; Galations 3:27.) At water baptism we call on the name of Jesus for the remission (forgiveness) of sins
ans the name of Jesus is called upon us. In this we express our faith in His death for the forgiveness of sins and
in His resurrection for a new life in Him. When we use the name of Jesus Christ in water baptism, we fulfill the command
of Jesus to baptize in the singular redemptive "name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost" (Matthew 28:19).
Why receive the Holy Ghost?
It is the birth of the Spirit into the kingdon of God (John 3:3, 5; I Corinthians 12:13). During his
ministry, John the Baptist foretold that Jesus would baptize people with the Holy Ghost. Although Jesus confirmed
that those who believe in Him would receive the Spirit, the Spirit was not given to them until after He was glorified -
after His death and resurrection (John 7:37-39). After His resurredtion, Jesus told His disciples to stay in Jerusalem
until they received the Holy Spirit (Luke 24:49; Acts 1:4-8).
On the Day of Pentecost believers first received the Holy GHost (Acts 2:4), and since that moment anyone who
believes in Jesus, repents of his sins, and is baptized in the name of Jesus Christ can receive the Holy Ghost (Acts
2:38-39). In the book of Acts, jews received the Holy Ghost (Acts 2:4); Samaritans received the Holy Ghost (Acts 8:17); Gentiles
received the Holy Ghost (Acts 10:44-48); and the desciples of John the Baptist received the Holy Ghost (Acts 19:1-6). These
Biblical examples show us that the gift of the Holy Ghost is available to anyone regardless of race, creed, color, or nationality.
The Holy Ghost is the seal of God in our lives and the guarantee of our inheritance of eternal life (Ephesians 1:13-14).
How does a person receive the Holy Spirit?
A person receives the Holy Spirit today the same way people received the Holy Ghost in the book of Acts. When
we believe, repent and are baptized, we are ready to receive the Holy Ghost. Repentance and baptism are biblical faith responses
to the gospel, and by faith we allow God to fill us with His Spirit, God gives the Spirit to anyone who opens his heart in
obedient faith to Him.
How does a person know when he receives the Spirit?
When a person receives the Holy Ghost he will peak in other toungues (languages) as the Spirit within him
gives the utterance. This is the biblical evidence of being fillled with the Spirit; speaking in toungues was the initial
sign given to the people in Acts when they received the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:4; 8:16-18; 10:44-47; 19:6). Speaking in toungues
is the one consistant biblical sign that the Holy Spirit has enteres into a person.
If I have questions about the information I have read, what should I do?
Jesus said to people who had questions, "Search the Scriptures for in them you think you have eternal life;
and these [the Scriptures] are they which testify of Me" (John 5:39, NKJV). If you have questions, search the Bible to confirm
the truth. Then by faith repent, be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, and receive the Holy Ghost. When you do, you will
join the church established in the Book of Acts and millions of people living in nations around the world.
May God's love and grace bless your life and lead and guide you into all truth!