A preacher once asked, what he thought was a well instructed congregation, “How can a person be saved?” An old man replied, “We must repent, forsake our sins, and turn to God.” “Yes, and with a true heart,” added another. “And with prayer,” added a third. A fourth spoke up and said, “Yes, and it must be the true prayer of the heart. `The Lord looketh on the heart.’“ “And we must be diligent in keeping the commandments,” added the fifth. Each one contributing his own part, they had come up with a creed that made the preacher realize that none of them knew God.
The carnal mind, which is enmity against God, maps out a plan of salvation that gives the sinner something to do. The very reason why some who read these lines are yet without God’s salvation is just this ― Like the Jews of old, you are trying to establish righteousness and obtain God’s salvation by works rather than by faith. You stumble over the Stumblingstone. You are, in your opinion, too good to be saved by grace alone through the merits of Christ, the sinner’s Substitute (Rom. 9:32-33).
There are others who clearly understand what some have called “the plan of salvation.” They know that salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. They fully understand that their own works have nothing to do with God’s salvation. They know that “Salvation is of the Lord.” But salvation is not a plan. Salvation is a Person! Many have a wretched tendency to leave Christ out of the gospel. They talk about salvation, but not about Christ. That is like leaving flour out of bread. Without Christ there is no gospel; and there is no salvation. The plan of a house will provide no shelter. Neither can “the plan of salvation” provide salvation.
If you would be saved, you must “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.” “He that believeth on the Son hat everlasting life: he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” Christ is the only Door of salvation, the only Way to God; but you will never be saved unless you enter in through the Door and walk in the Way by faith. It will do you no good to look at the Door, admire the Way, and gain a detailed knowledge of “the plan of salvation,” if you do not “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Salvation is to be had only by personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. It cannot be had by baptism, church membership, moral reformation, or religious indoctrination. Salvation can be possessed only by personally believing on the Son of God. Will you now believe on the Son of God? Will you trust Christ alone as your Lord and Savior? If you will, if you can trust the Lord Jesus Christ, you are saved; you have been born of God. Your faith in Christ is the fruit and evidence of God’s election, Christ’s redemption, and the Holy Spirit’s effectual call. If you will not believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, you cannot be saved. The wrath of God abides on you and shall soon destroy you forever!