Four Imperatives

John 3:3-7


     During the course of our Lord's earthly ministry he declared that four things are absolutely necessary for the salvation of our souls. Those who do not experience these four things cannot inherit the kingdom of God. No matter what our doctrine is, no matter what we profess, no matter what else we experience, we cannot be saved apart from these four things. What are they?

     1.  THE NEW BIRTH - John 3:3

     In order for anyone to see, understand, enter into and inherit the kingdom of God, he must be born again. It is not enough to be religious, moral, well instructed and respectable. You must have a new nature, a new will, a new heart, which only God can give you. You must be born again, or you cannot be saved.

     2.  REPENTANCE TOWARD GOD - Luke 13:3

     Repentance is a change of mind, a change of motives, and a change of masters. It is turning from sin to the Savior, from the world to God, from self to Christ. It is a heart work. And it is a life long work. To repent is to seek the Lord, seek him with all your heart, seek him all your life, seek him until you find him.

     3.  CONVERSION OF HEART - Matthew 18:3

     To be converted is to be humbled before God, to be brought down from your proud, lofty, haughty opinion of yourself. It is to be child-like before God: humble, inoffensive, obedient, trusting, kind and teachable.

     4.  PERFECT RIGHTEOUSNESS - Matthew 5:20

     We must have a righteousness to offer God which no mere man can produce. And that righteousness must be our own. We must have the righteousness of Christ imputed to us. But we must have more. We must have the righteousness of Christ imparted to us. We must be given, by the power and grace of God the Holy Spirit, the very nature of Christ, a nature that is inclined toward and does that which is righteous. This imparted righteousness is Christ in us, the hope of glory.


Don Fortner