Morality Alone Won’t Save You
Many have the mistaken idea that so long as one is a good person, then he is in a right relationship with God. This is not true. While morality and honest, clean living is acceptable with God, that alone will not save. One man who understood this was Cornelius. Acts 10 and 11 record his conversion to the Lord. We find him described as a “devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, … gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway” (Acts 10:2). Was he saved? No, for an angel spoke to him in a vision telling him to send for Simon Peter, “who shall tell you what you must do” (Acts 10:6). Notice that the angel did not save him, nor tell him what to do. This angel merely got the sinner in contact with the preacher.
When Peter arrived, among other things he told Cornelius “Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him” (Acts 10:34-35). The Holy Spirit fell on them, not to save them, but to show that God had granted to the Gentiles “repentance unto life” (Acts 11:15-18). Peter, seeing these things, taught Cornelius and his household the truth and “commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord” (Acts 10:48). Why be baptized? Let Peter answer. Peter said baptism is “for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38). Morality alone will not save. Being saved requires one come to Christ in faith, repent of sins, confess Him before men and be buried with Him in baptism for the remission of sins. Perhaps this is something you need to do. Why not let us help you? Tomorrow may be too late (II Cor. 6:2).
A few weeks ago, I published a work by brother Bill Crews. Here is another article he wrote some years ago. Let us read it and benefit from it.
“What Man Says Vs. What God Says”
- Man says: “The important thing is whether or not one loves God, not the keeping of commandments.”
- God says: “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous” (I Jn. 5:3).
- Man says: “Thank God for the many churches so that man may find the one that is best suited for Him.”
- God says: “There is one body” (Eph. 4:4). “He is the head of the body, the church” (Col. 1:18).
- Man says: “Join the church of your choice, but join a church.”
- God says: “And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved” (Acts 2:47). “Every plant, (religious) which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up” (Matt. 15:13). “...and that there be no divisions among you” (I Cor. 1:10).
- Man says: “Each person should follow the way that seems right to them and that honesty and conscience direct.”
- God says: “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” (Prov. 14:12). “O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps” (Jer. 10:23).
- Man says: “Faith only is a most wholesome doctrine and very full of comfort.” “Ye see that by faith only a man is justified.”
- God says: “Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only” (Jas. 2:24). “For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love” (Gal. 5:6).
- Man says: “Baptism is not necessary to one’s salvation.”
- God says: “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved” (Mk. 16:16). “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38).
- Man says: “Baptism is an ordinance that can be administered by sprinkling or pouring on of water as well as by immersion in water.”
- God says: “We are buried with him by baptism into death” (Rom. 6:4). “They came unto a certain water: .... and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. And when they were come up out of the water …” (Acts 8:36-39).
Learning Lessons From Naaman The Leper (#7)
For the past few days, we have studied II Kings 5:1-14 in connection with the healing of the leper, Naaman. What applications can we make from this account?
From the young maid (II Kings 5:2-3), let us learn that God’s word is understandable, and can be obeyed by the young as well as the old. God’s word is just as understandable today as it was in the days of Naaman (Eph. 3:4, 5:17).
Let us learn that only God can save us, and His salvation is not for sale (II Kings 5:5, 15-16; I Pet. 1:18-19). Just as Naaman was cleansed on God’s terms (II Kings 5:10, 14), we will be saved on God’s terms, or not at all (Mk. 16:16; Acts 2:38).
We need to realize that we are known by what we do (II Kings 5:8). Our words only go so far. If we are a Christian, or are wicked, our actions will show it (Matt. 7:12, 21; I Jn. 3:18).
Instead of fighting against the Lord (II Kings 5:11-12), let us willingly obey God. Naaman was the first on record to suggest that cleansing power was in the water. It was not true then, nor is it true today when someone cries “water salvation” when we teach baptism for the remission of sins (Acts 22:16; I Pet. 3:21).
Finally, let us learn that we will be blessed by God only when we submit completely to the will of the Lord, just as Naaman did (II Kings 5:14; Rev. 22:14)! Are we obedient to the Lord? (Jas. 2:24, 26)
Learning Lessons From Naaman The Leper (#6)
The account of the leper Naaman is found in II Kings 5:1-14. We have learned that a young Israelite slave girl was the key to Naaman’s cleansing. We learned that it was neither his money nor his going to the king for help that cleansed Naaman; it was Elisha giving him the divine prescription (v. 10). Naaman’s response was one of anger, of assumption, and substitution of God’s will for his. However, none of these things healed him. Only when Naaman had a change of heart and obeyed was he cleansed.
We read of Naaman’s change in II Kings 5:13-14. Naaman’s servants told him “if the prophet had bid thee do some great thing, wouldest thou not have done it? how much rather then, when he saith unto thee, Wash, and be clean” (v. 13). At this, Naaman submitted to God’s command and “dipped himself seven times in Jordan ... and he was clean” (v. 14). Based on the Scriptures, we know it took complete submission (dip seven times in Jordan, v. 10) for Naaman to be clean. As Paul said in Romans 15:4, let us learn a lesson from Naaman and offer nothing but our complete submission to the God of Heaven! It is not a matter of doing what we want to do, but let us “serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear” (Heb. 12:28).
It was after his healing that Naaman understood, “There is no God in all the earth, but in Israel” (II Kings 5:15). What started with a slave-girl concerned for her master’s health (v. 3), ended with a man recognizing the one true God (v. 15)!
Learning Lessons From Naaman The Leper (#2)
This article continues our study of II Kings 5:1-14. Last time, we learned that it was Naaman’s slave girl who told him what he could do to be healed of leprosy (II Kings 5:2-3). She shows us that young people can understand God’s will. Naaman would not have been cleansed were it not for the actions of this young Israelite slave girl (II Kings 5:2). She did not hold a grudge against Naaman, nor display hatred. She certainly is a good example for all young people today.
Another lesson we need to learn is that one cannot buy favor with God. II Kings 5:5 says Naaman was sent to Israel with “ten talents of silver, and six thousand pieces of gold, and ten changes of raiment.” Yet, this did nothing to heal him. Read II Kings 5:1-16 carefully and see that this is true. His money could not purchase his physical healing.
In like manner, spiritually, one cannot buy his/her salvation. It is just not possible. Peter said, “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot” (I Pet. 1:18-19). A man’s financial standing means nothing to God. What matters is whether or not this one will lovingly and willingly obey the Father (Jn. 14:15). Money was not expected, nor demanded of Naaman. What was demanded was submission to the will of God (II Kings 5:10). In like manner, this is what is expected of us! If we will be cleansed of sin, it requires our faith in Christ (Jn. 8:24), repentance (Lk. 13:3), confession of our faith (Matt. 10:32), and being baptized for the remission of sin (I Pet. 3:21).