Aug 18

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The plan of salvation is larger than the forgiveness of past sins! So many just think of the “plan of salvation” as it relates to passed sins, meaning, sins committed before being baptized “unto,” with a few to having those sins forgiven! The plan of salvation is larger and a lot more is required than, what we call the “five steps of salvation!”
There is a real need to make an effort to understand what is meant by the words, “the plan of salvation;” therefore, let us take a look at it. First, the word “plan.” Just looking at the dictionary, here is what is given: 1) “a method for achieving an end,” 2) “an orderly arrangement of parts of an overall design or objective” and 3) “a detailed program (as for payment or the provision of some service.” (Merriam-Webster), If a person desires to be saved from past sins, he goes in search of an answer! Of course, as we are writing about the forgivenness of our own sins or being saved from “the wages” of sins committed. Therefore, it is logical to reach, to look, for “a method for achieving this end,” it is reasonable to look in the New Testament for “an orderly arrangement of parts of an overall design in “the teaching of Christ” (2 John 9) to locate such, and it is right to look in God’s inspired word for the “detailed program,” by which salvation is reached. This is a brief look at the meaning of the word “plan” as used in our study.
Second, the word “salvation” and its meaning! Once more Merriam-Webster will help us here; 1) “deliverance from the power and effects of sin,” and 2) “deliverance from danger.” The two meanings serve us well here! Sin is the subject and how to be freed from the power and the effects of it and second, how can we be delivered from the danger of our past sins?
With the above understanding of the subject of a plan of salvation, it is reasonable to “search the ancient order of things” and see what is revealed in the New Testament for the answer to “the plan of salvation!” When those who heard the gospel of Christ preached for the first time, having been convicted of their past sins, they cried out: “Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?” (Acts 2:37). These sinners were at the right place in their search for the answer to their question: “what shall we do?” It might be stated this way, “What is the plan for our salvation from past sins?” When Peter answered, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit;” was he giving “the plan of salvation?” or not? A second question, “Was this the plan once and for all time?
Here we must bring to our understanding, that lost people, may not always be in the same place when desiring the answer to their lost state! However, “the plan of salvation,” may be understood by looking at the answers given to the same question, though it may not be stated as clearly as Acts two, verse thirty-seven, in other places in the New Testament. For instance, no question is forth coming before Peter said: “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord” (Acts 3:19). A short study of Peter’s words will reveal this: 1) in both texts “repent” is given, however, the second thing given in both texts are different: 1) “be baptized” and “be converted.” That these two points are the same is simple to understand, in that they are in the same place, each one following “repent;” therefore, they must mean the same thing. Remember, two things that equal the same thing are equal to each other. The two terms, “be baptized,” and “be converted,” are equal to each other; also “for the remissions of sin” is equal to “that your sins may be blotted out” is equal to each other. The third point is: “ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” and: “when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord” are also equal to each other! Therefore, they are equal to the same thing.
Therefore, to this point in our study, we have learned, that believing people are to: 1) “repent and be baptized” or “repent … and be converted;” “for remission of sins,” or “that your sins may be blotted out.” Does this constitute a plan? The answer is yes! It is a means to the same end: the forgiven of past sins!

Frank R. Williams

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