What must I do to be saved?
We believe the Bible is the only road map to Heaven.
Let’s look at what the Bible says about Salvation.
There are no works that can get you to heaven. Baptism is important, but it is not connected to salvation. Church membership is a crucial part of Christian growth, but it is not part of how you get saved. Charity is the overflow of a Christ-centered life, but it is not a means to salvation. Even cleaning up your life, for all the good that it does, it will not get anyone into Heaven. If someone (even a church) adds any works to the Gospel, they are preaching another gospel. Salvation is putting your faith in Christ alone. Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.
The journey of faith begins with accepting what God says about our sin, turning from our sin, and embracing Christ as the only remedy. Romans 4:3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.
Rom 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
Rom 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 10:6-10 But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, ... The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
My Friend, Christ is waiting to forgive your sin and to bring you into God’s family. Accepting the Scriptures is much like a traveler at an airport. He can profess all day long that the airplane can take him to his destination, but until he is in the airplane and it is speeding down the runway he has yet to put his faith in it. It is often fear or our love of sin that will keep us in the terminal of indecision. We must repent or turn from our sin, and enter salvation trusting the Pilot to bring us to His Divine Destination. Christ has promised to “prepare a place” for each one who comes to Him, and He said all “...that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” John 6:37
My friend, staying where you are is a destination in and of itself. John 3:36 says, “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” Don’t stay where you are, in your sin, under condemnation. Trust Christ and enter into eternal life.
You can begin this journey of faith today by trusting Christ alone as the only way to Heaven. He waits to forgive your sins and to bring you into His family!
We would love to help you in any way we can! Please call us at (920)207-6019 if we can assist you with your walk with God.
Which Version do we use?
Someone asked me a while back to articulate my stand on the Bible version issue and to explain why I only use the King James Version. So I thought I'd share the short version here in this blog.
There are many translations of the Scriptures in the sense that men sat down with a Hebrew and Greek text and translated it to the best of their ability into English. The majority of the versions agree in many areas. But there are significant differences between the English versions today and they cannot all be right. So which one is right? Can we know for sure we have the exact words of God? Do we really need scholars to verify the inspiration of God?
Here are a few thoughts that have guided me to my conclusion.
First of all, this is initially a matter of faith for me. Every issue in life should be first judged from the Scriptures. As a young man, I read passages such as Psalms 12:6-7 “The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.” I struggled to understand that God breathed His Word supernaturally and what it meant that He has promised to preserve it. All the questions of "how could the Bible be preserved when man was involved with it?" tumbled through my mind. I came to peace that this subject just like the rest of my Christian life is first a matter of faith. I can simply believe what the Bible teaches about itself. Preservation is as real as the inspiration. I can trust that the very Words of God are available today.
The next step was to determine where The Words are. If you study the issue there were two different schools of thought in the world of translating. One was "word for word" the other was "dynamic equivalency". This distinction put the King James as the only mainstream version to value the word choices of the originals. The other crowd simply felt they could paraphrase to capture the dynamic equivalent. I believe faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. I have a deep respect for those who were careful to guard the word for word meanings of the originals into English. It is kind of like two guys building a house. One contractor follows the blueprints percisely. The other guy says he will get pretty close, but he cannot be sure the blueprint isn't mistaken so he'll adjust along the way. We all agree God wrote the blueprint without error, and He promised He would preserve it for every generation.
One of the most powerful points in this discussion is that of history. Has there been any spiritual awakenings like the revivals that have come through the preaching of the King James during its unprecedented 400 year history? Many of the modern versions that were once touted as the version that would replace the King James have already died and are no longer printed. I know the fruit test (by their fruits ye shall know them) applies to false teachers, but I think examining the fruit of a version is a valid part of this debate.
Ultimately, I have chosen to be a student of the Bible. I pray the Lord will keep me from the haughtiness of ever being a judge of the Bible and presuming to correct it. This is a slippery slope and it opens the Bible up to false teachers to do the same. Who can rebuke them if the Bible believers are correcting it according to their understanding? Believing God has preserved His Words is a faith matter, but it a safeguard against pride, presumption, and false teachers. I have bound myself (by faith) to God's pure Words, and by God's grace, They will be my Guide. If I am wrong on this I would rather face the Lord and say I had too much faith, rather than not believing enough and changing His Word.
A classic example of a false teacher shifting words to fit his teachings is Augustine when He changed Titus 3:5 "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;" To “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the laver of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;” This gave him grounds for baptismal regeneration and infant baptism. Just one minor word changed, but what a drastic doctrinal shift.
We're not threatened by other versions. We don’t do a version check at the door. We understand there is disagreement and confusion on this issue. This is simply where God has lead me as a pastor to stand on the issue of Bible versions and I must be true to Him. I must pastor according to the purity of my heart before God. So whether it is simply to be able to read God’s Word in unison as a congregation, or to avoid Satan’s oft repeated question, “Yeah, Hath God said?” Cornerstone will only use the King James Version in its teaching and preaching ministries.
I have found that it’s not the King James itself that is offensive, but rather it’s the concept that we can actually have the exact Word of God that has some people squirming. Believing God has preserved His Word takes away the need for a professional to verify it. It puts the Word of God back in the hands and confidently in the hearts of the common man who under the influence of the Holy Spirit are able to know the certainty of God’s Word. False teachers often exalt themselves as the only teachers who really understand the truth as God gave it. We see this in Catholicism. We see this in the cults. But now we see this in conservation Christianity when teachers say that we have to go
through them to know for sure if we have the Word of God. At Cornerstone you will find the straightforward preaching of God’s Word as God’s Word.
It saddens me that some are offended by this position. But then, there will be those who do not like that we believe the Creation account, that Salvation is through Christ alone, that we do not baptize babies, that we still use the name Baptist, or any of the other distinctives we hold dear. I guess I do not understand a faith that does not bring definition and clarity to one's walk with the Lord. We live in a day when many Christians want to hide in the murky waters of ambiguity and multiple choice rather then building their life on the firm foundation of "Thus saith the Lord".
There is much more on this topic that I could share, but I think this is enough for now. God bless and may His Word be a light unto your feet!
Mat 17:1 And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, 2 And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. 3 And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him. Mat 4 Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias.
For these Jewish men it was amazing to see Jesus on the same plain as Moses, the preeminent law-giver, and Elias (Elijah) the preeminent prophet, this was a big revelation to them. They knew Christ was something special in their day, because they were with Him every day, but talking to these two put him even higher in their minds. They realized that their everyday Jesus was very important to be talking with Moses and Elijah.
Mat 17:5 While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.
God the Father, interrupted Peter and exalted Jesus and did not even acknowledge Moses or Elijah. Jesus did not need man to build Him a tabernacle, God has exalted His Son! Philippian 2:9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Mat 17:6 And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid.
When we see Jesus for Who He is, we will not struggle to fear God, it will overcome us. Our everyday Jesus is more than we know, or understand. We so often want to meet with Jesus and then build a a tabernacle (a place of remeberance) and go on with our life. But God says that we are to go with Him and hear Him! Worship is not just remembering, it is a living relationship with Jesus Christ. Your religion is as cold and dead as a museum when you are not hearing the Saviour!
Mat 17:7 And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid.
The fear of the Lord is not crippling. It is overwhelming to our carnal senses, but we can arise and walk with Christ in His strength.
Mat 17:8 And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only. 9 And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, saying, Tell the vision to no man, until the Son of man be risen again from the dead.
They came back down with their everyday Jesus. He is somewhat like us, only not, he is the Son of God! He walks with us, but only out of love, not sameness. You and I may walk together, but it is becasue we are cut out of the same cloth. There is nothing everyday about Jesus except His constisency.
Heb 2:9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. 10 For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. 11 For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren, 12 Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee. 13 And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me. 14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; 15 And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. 16 For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. 17 Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. 18 For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.