The Bible accurately teaches that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. (Acts 8:37) At His baptism God acknowledged Him as His Son. "And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." (Matthew 3:17) This was also the case on the mountain where Jesus was transfigured and spoke with Moses and Elijah. "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." (Matthew 17:5) Peter was correct when he confessed, "We believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God." (John 6:69) Let us be convinced from scripture that Jesus is the Son of God. There can be no doubt that Jesus lived, died and was resurrected exactly as the Bible says. Jesus was in the beginning with God. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." (John 1:1) He came to earth to make our salvation possible. "For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me." (John 6:38) The Bible reveals many facts about Jesus that should cause us to love and appreciate Him. One of the amazing facts about Jesus was the authority with which He spoke. When Jesus ended the Sermon on the Mount "the people were astonished at his doctrine: For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes." (Matthew 7:28-29) What did Jesus mean when He said...?


          What did Jesus mean when He said "I will build my church?" Jesus said, "And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it." (Matthew 16:18) What did He mean when he said I will build my church? Did He mean that He would build many different churches, teaching many different doctrines and wearing many different names? What did Jesus mean when He said "I will build my church?" Jesus made two promises concerning His church. He promised to both build and preserve His church. Jesus promised to build His church and He kept this promise on the day of Pentecost fol­low­ing His resurrection from the dead. The church was established about 33 AD on the day of Pentecost. (Acts 2:1) From the beginning there was only one way to be a member of the church. Those who were saved obeyed the gospel of Christ. To be saved people heard the gospel (Romans 10:17), believed in Jesus as the Christ (John 8:24), repented of sins (Acts 17:30), confessed Christ as Lord (Romans 10:10), and were baptized for remission of sins. (Acts 2:38) On the day the church had its beginning three thousand believers were baptized in water for salvation. "Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them." (Acts 2:41) The Lord added these three thousand saved people to the church. What did Jesus mean when He said "I will build my church?"


     What did Jesus mean when He said "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved?" In Mark 16:16 we read "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned." Baptism is a very important and often misunderstood subject. Baptism is important because it is commanded by Christ. What did Jesus mean when He said "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned." (Mark 16:15-16) Baptism is to be done by the authority of Jesus with its pur­pose being remissions of sins. "Then Peter said unto them, 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 Ghost." (Acts 2:38) The blood of Jesus was shed in His death. "But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water." (John 19:34) Baptism is important because it brings one into contact with the death and blood of Jesus. "Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life." (Romans 6:3-4) The Bible teaches that baptism is necessary for our salvation. "The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ." (1 Peter 3:21) Following faith, repentance and confession one must be baptized to be saved. What did Jesus mean when He said, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned." (Mark 16:16)


          What did Jesus mean when He said "He that endureth to the end shall be saved?" In Matthew 10:22 we read, "And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.” What did Jesus mean when He said "He that endureth to the end shall be saved?" Did He mean once saved always saved? Does it sound like Jesus speaking about the eternal security of believers when He said, "He that endureth to the end shall be saved?" The Bible does teach security for the believer, but it is conditional. We read in John 10:27-29 “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.” The words of Romans 8:38-39 are likewise encouraging, “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Jesus said that the security He provides is for those who “hear my voice” and “follow me.” Those that love the Lord have protection against all external threats. What most people fail to observe is that these and other similar passages do not discuss what happens if an individual chooses to sin against God, or to leave the love of God. What is wrong with the doctrine of "Once saved always saved" or the "Perseverance of the saints? Consider what is written in 2 Peter 2:20-22 “For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.” The Bible also says, “For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.” (Hebrews 10:26) The message of the Bible is that of faithfulness to God in all things. "Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life." (Revelation 2:10)


          What did Jesus mean when He said "If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love?" In John 15:9-10 we read, "As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love." In Deuteronomy 13:1-4 Moses said, "If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him." One of the major tests in our relationship with God is obedience. What did Jesus mean when He said "If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love?" Much misery has been brought into the world through disobedience to God. God tests our love for Him through our obedience. "But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life."(Jude 1:20-21) When Jude tells us to keep ourselves in the love of God he is telling us to live like real Christians. This makes sense because if we are going to fight for the faith we must demonstrate the work that God has done in our lives by glorifying God with our actions. We must live like people who have been transformed by the gracious power of God.


          The key to real joy is for God to rule my life. To become a Christian: Hear the gospel of Christ (Romans 10:17), believe in Jesus as the Christ (John 8:24), repent of sins (Acts 17:30-31), confess faith in Jesus (Acts 8:37) and be baptized to wash away sins. (Acts 22:16) At Bible baptism God adds an honest soul to the Lord's church. A Christian must also be faithful until death. (Revelation 2:10) Are you a true Christian? If not, please become a Christian and live faithfully the Christian life.


 By Charles Box, Walnut Street Church of Christ, 306 Walnut Street,

Greenville, Alabama 36037 USA