Tag Archives: Tracts from the Past

The New Birth, or How and When is One Born Again?

EmailFooterLogo

Perry Cotham was a great gospel preacher who passed away back in 2013.  He wrote several tracts during his lifetime, and this is one of his best.  He wrote clearly, biblically, and convincingly.

Today’s addition to the Jimmie Beller Memorial eLibrary is called “The New Birth, or How and When is One Born Again?”  It is a discussion of the most important question for any and every person on earth: “What must I do to be saved?”

Cotham-NewBirth

Chapters

  1. The New Birth
    1. The Man Nicodemus
    2. The Kingdom of God
    3. Born of Water and the Spirit
    4. A New Life Begins
  2. The Voice of Scholars
  3. Parallel Scriptures
    1. Statements of Jesus Regarding Entrance into the Kingdom
    2. The New Birth Explained by the Great Commission
    3. Comparison of the Language of Jesus and Paul Regarding Entrance into the Kingdom
  4. The New Birth Demonstrated
    1. The Three Thousand on Pentecost
    2. The Samaritans
    3. The Eunuch
    4. Saul of Tarsus
    5. Conclusion
  5. General summary and Conclusion

To read this completely reformatted and corrected work, just click the link below.  You’ll be benefited by it!

The New Birth (Perry Cotham)

-Bradley S. Cobb

Is Baptism Essential?

IS BAPTISM ESSENTIAL?

By Paul Simon, Minister.

Is baptism essential to the remission of our sins? It is a shame that there is so much confusion over this question on which the Bible is so plain. There are many proofs that baptism is necessary to the remission of sins to the person who has reached the mental age of account­ability. Howbeit, I will not burden your minds with all of these proofs, but rather suffice it with four—any one of which would be conclusive in and by itself.

Condition of Salvation

Baptism is one of the conditions of the remission of sins. Jesus said, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved” (Mark 16:16). It must be agreed that this baptism is water baptism and not Holy Spirit baptism, because even those who teach that the Holy Spirit bap­tism is to be sought today, teach that it is not essential to salvation, but is a “blessing to be desired.” Jesus here makes faith and baptism equally necessary to salvation. Do you believe a responsible person can be saved without faith? Why then do you think he can be saved with­out baptism?

For Remission of Sins

Jesus says, through His apostle Peter, “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). Jesus here makes repentance and baptism of equal importance. The preposition, for, means the same thing in connection with “be baptized” as it does with “repent,” that is, to obtain. God is here saying, “Re­pent everyone of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and be baptized everyone of you in the name of Jesus Christ for remission of sins.” Can one be saved without repentance? Then neither can he be saved without baptism.

God Commands It

God commands baptism. “And he com­manded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord” (Acts 10:48). (You) repent and (you) be baptized everyone of you (Acts 2:38).

Christ is going to punish those who obey not His commandments. II Thes. 1:7-9: “And to you who are troubled, rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: who shall be punished with ever­lasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power.” Therefore, baptism is essential.

All who obey His commandments are to be saved.Rev. 22:14: “Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have a right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.”

All agree that to get into Christ is essential. Baptism is one of the acts of obedience which puts us into Christ. Gal.

3:27: “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” This could not be Holy Spirit baptism, because all agree that Holy Spirit baptism does not put one in Christ. Therefore, water baptism is essential. (Note: Some­one might say, “The preceding verse says that we are saved by faith.” It does, but it does not say “by faith only.”)

Part of The New Birth

Jesus said “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of the water and of the Spirit he CANNOT enter the kingdom of God” (John 3:5). Practically all commentators agree that the birth of water, here mentioned, refers to baptism. See Abbott, Wesley, Milligan, Whitby, Theluck, Olshausen. Alford says, “All attempts to rid this have sprung from doctrinal prejudices.” Even Adam Clarke admits that it refers to baptism, and then tries to argue out of it. Therefore, baptism is essential.

And yet, the church of Christ, the Christian Church, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Second Adventist Church, Roman Catholic Church, Greek Catholic Church (with possibly some branch of the Holiness Church) are the only religious groups which teach and practice baptism as essential to the re­mission of sins.

Tracts from the Past – Foolishness of Evolution

One thing that we did before, which was somewhat popular with our readers, was offer up some “Tracts from the Past.”  These were tracts which have long-since been out of print, but that we thought were interesting and useful.  We will be bringing back this feature occasionally over the next few months.  Today’s tract from the past is…

Foolishness of Evolution

By Paul Simon, Minister

I can understand why Evolutionists try so hard to prove that the world has been in existence for millions of years; because, it would have taken man that long to have developed by the process of evolution — and then, impossible, because only life can impart life. One cannot give that which he, himself, does not possess. Only God can give life to dead matter; therefore, only God could have formed man out of dust of the earth and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life. God is life and can give life. There are 600,000 recorded species of liv­ing invertebrates and 36,000 vertebrates. No one species can cross the line to another species. Evolutionists need to find, not one missing link between men and monkey, but 636,000 missing links. There is a missing link between every species and it always will be missing, because God has so decreed.

Evolutionists are not satisfied to guess what man looked like millions of years ago, and call that guess, “Science,” but are de­termined to guess how he will look a few years from now, and call that guess, “Sci­ence.” Roy Chapman Andrews writes under the title, “How We Are Going to Look” in Readers’ Digest, May, 1945 [Note: Items in parenthesis and italics are my comments]:

“Human beings, half a million years from now, would be caricatures in our eyes—something out of a bad dream. Big round heads, almost glob­ular, hairless as a billiard ball; even the women! Very clever these future people will be—much more intelligent than we are—but alas, at the expense of hearing, tast­ing, seeing, and smelling. Their faces will be smaller. But they will be taller prob­ably several inches. (He is not so sure about this bit of Science, but definitely so about the rest of it.) Though shorter bodies are predicted, with longer legs and only four toes.

“We might hesitate to invite one of those future humans to dinner, were he to appear now in advance of his time, except for his conversational brilliance. But he would have some physical advantages over us: no appendicitis! no sinus trouble; no fallen arches”

We should be the most happy people in the world! We were born just at the right time. Just think; had we been born a few million years ago, we should be squirming mud-dogs or baboons and had we not been born until half a million years later, we should have had large glob­ular heads, with no hair! It seems as though some of us do not have long to go—just think, 500,000 years from now I shall be as bald-head as a billiard ball. Alas, alas, poor me! And what are 500,000 years—to an Evo­lutionist?

Mr. Andrews continues,

“Such predic­tions aren’t guess work. They are based on the known progress of human evolution. Before us is the visible evidence of fossil human skeletons, beginning with that of the Java Ape Man, more than half a mil­lion years old, and progressing in a definite sequence up to the present day. We have every reason to believe (and yet, he does not give even one reason. I wonder why.) that the development or reduction of the same physical characteristics will con­tinue into the future. We can visualize some of these changes if we forget the paltry six thousand years of known civilization and think in terms of thousands of centuries.”

He says that those predictions are based on “known progress of human evolution.” You can see just how much of it is “known.” He has not made any of it known to us. Mr. An­drews admits that we have no knowledge (Science) of civilization prior to six thous­and years ago, but he had just said, “Before us is the visible evidence of fossil hu­man skeletons, beginning with that of the Java Ape Man, more than half a million years old…” How does he know that they are more than 500,000 years old and that they are skeletons of the Ape Man, if civilization is unknown beyond 6,000 years ago? But he goes further back than that. He goes beyond the knowable and tells us what happened 60 million years ago, for he says:

“It required 60 million years for the horse to change from the four-toed Eohippus, scarcely bigger than a fox, to the thor­oughbred of today.”

“Not long before the beginning of the Ice Age, say six or seven million years, (Which? He is a Scientist. He should tell us whether it was 6 or 7 million years. But what is a million years to an Evolutionist? It is quickly said. He reminds me of a cer­tain woman, who to a friend of mine, said, “Honey just say you got it and get up from there.” This friend was seeking the baptism of the Holy Ghost and replied, I haint got it and I haint gonna say I got it.”) he was a quadrupedal ape, swinging blithely through the tree tops like a present-day gibbon or chimpanzee. But he was an ape with possibilities. Some inner urge (What urge? I have never been able to learn how anything but a monkey can know why a monkey acts as he does.) impelled him to get up on two feet and free his hands for purposes other than locomotion. He did this in an incredibly short time, judged by evolutionary standards (What are they?). It required 60 million years for the horse to change … What will happen to him [man] mentally and spiritually we can only guess.”

Not all that glitters is gold. Not all that is called, “Science,” is Science.

Tracts From the Past – Why Am I a Member of the church of Christ

Welcome back to another week that God has granted us!  Today, we continue our Monday series of “Tracts from the Past.”  This one (like the others from the past few weeks) was written by Paul Simon (date and location unknown), and discovered while I was cleaning my office.

Enjoy!

Why Am I A Member of The Church of Christ?

By Paul Simon, Minister.

But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give ah answer to every man that asketh a rea­son for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.” —I Pet. 3:15.

You should be able to give a reason for everything that you do, and should do nothing without having a reason for doing that thing. You should be able to give a reason for being what you are religiously, politically, and socially. The only reason for being that which you are in religion is a “thus saith the Lord.”

  1. I am a member of the church of Christ because it is non-demoninational. It sub­scribes to no denominational name or creed.
  2. I am a member of the church of Christ because Christ, and not man, is its founder. “Upon this rock I will build my church.” Jesus, in Matthew 16:18. The founder of any institution instills with­in that institution principles that determine its success or failure.
  3. I am a member of the church of Christ because of its foundation. “Can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” — 1 Cor. 3:11. No structure is of greater value than its foundation.
  4. I am a member of the church of Christ because Christ is its only head. “And He (Christ) is the head of the body, the church:” — Col. 1:18; Eph. 1:22-23. The success of any institution is determined by its head.
  5. I am a member of the church of Christ because the Bible is its only creed. The creeds of men have to be re­vised every few years to cor­rect some of their mistakes, but not so with the Bible. It is a perfect creed. James 1:25; II Timothy 3:16-17.
  6. I am a member of the church of Christ because of its owner and the price paid for it. “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church and gave himself for it.” Eph. 5:25; Acts 20-28; I Pet. 1:18.
  7. I am a member of the church of Christ because of its name. A name means every­thing. “Neither is there sal­vation in any other; for there is none other name under heaven, given among men whereby we must be saved.” Acts 4:12; Phil. 2:9-11; Eph. 1:20-21.
  8. I am a member of the church of Christ because I was born into it, just like I was born into my father’s family. My father didn’t take a vote to see if the family would accept me into the family; neither did he ask me if I wanted to wear the family name. “Jesus answered, verily, verily, I say unto thee, ex­cept a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” John 3:5; Pet. 1:23; Rom. 16:17-18; Col. 1:13-14.
  9. I am a member of the church of Christ because the Lord added me to it. “And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.” Acts 2:42, 47; 5:14; 11:24.
  10. I am a member of the church of Christ because the early disciples were members of it. Acts 20:28; I Cor. 12:27; Rom. 16:16.
  11. 1 am a member of the church of Christ because its members wear no name but Christian. Acts 11:26; 26:28; I Pet. 4:16.
  12. I am a member of the church of Christ because it is scriptural in origin, name, doc­trine and practice.

Tracts from the Past – Noah’s Salvation and Ours

Continuing our series of “Tracts from the Past” written by Paul Simon (date and location unknown), we now present to you one dealing with types and antitypes that deal with Noah and ourselves.  Enjoy!

NOAH’S SALVATION AND OURS

By PAUL SIMON, Minister

Noah’s salvation was very simi­lar to ours. Both were spiritual and physical. Although, first em­phasis was placed upon Noah’s physical salvation, he was also saved from the sins of the wicked by their being destroyed in the flood. First emphasis is placed on our spiritual salvation, and yet we are saved physically in that [generally speaking] he who lives a Christian life will live longer than he would have, had he lived an ungodly life.

Noah was saved by grace.

And the Lord said, ‘‘I will destroy man whom I have created from off the face of the earth, for it hath re­pented me that I have made them. But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.” (Gen. 6). We, too, are saved by grace. “By grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves.” — Eph. 2:8.

Noah was saved by faith.

By faith Noah, being warned of God concerning things not seen as yet, moved with Godly fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house” (Heb. 11:7). We are saved by faith. “Wherefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 5:1). “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus” (Gal. 3:26). Although these passages state that we are saved by faith, they do not say that we are saved by faith only.

Noah was saved by obedience.

By faith Noah being warned of God, concerning things not seen as yet, moved with Godly fear pre­pared an ark (obeyed) to the sav­ing of his house” (Heb. 11:7). We too are saved            by obedience. “Though he were a son, learned he obedience through the things which he suf­fered, and being made perfect he became the author of eternal sal­vation unto all them that obey Him” (Heb. 5:8-9). “To you who are troubled rest with us. When the Lord Jesus Christ shall be re­vealed from heaven with his migh­ty angels in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thes. 1:7-9). “Blessed are they that do his commandments that they may have a right to the tree of life and may enter in through the gates into the city” (Rev 22:14).

Noah was saved by water.

For Christ also hath once suffered for sins: the just for the unjust that he might bring us unto God; being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit by which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; which some­time were disobedient when once the long suffering of God waited in the day of Noah while the ark was a preparing, wherein few: that is, eight souls were saved by wat­er” (I Peter 3:18-20). Likewise we are saved by water in baptism. “The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us” (I Peter 3:21).

Noah was saved in the ark.

We are saved in the spiritual ark, the church. “And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved” (Acts 2:47). “Wives sub­mit yourselves unto your own hus­bands as unto the Lord; for the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ also is the head of the church and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore, as the church is subject to Christ so let the wives be to their own hus­bands. Husbands, love your wives even as Christ also loved the Church and gave himself for it, that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word that he may present it unto himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that it should be holy and without blemish” (Eph. 5:22-27). “Take heed therefore unto yourselves and unto all the church over which the Holy Spirit hath made you overseers to feed the church of God which he pur­chased with his own blood” (Acts 20:28).

More examples:

  • Noah built the ark. Christ built the church.
  • Noah built but one ark. Christ built but one Church.
  • The ark was Noah’s ark. The Church is Christ’s Church.
  • There was only one family in the ark, Noah’s family. There is but one family in the Church, God’s fami­ly.
  • All of Noah’s family was in the ark. All of God’s family is in the church.
  • All in the ark were Noah’s family. All in the church are God’s family.
  • Only Noah’s children were in the ark. Only God’s children are in the Church.
  • All of Noah’s children were in the ark. All of God’s children are in the church.
  • All in the ark wore one name, Noah’s. All in the church wore one name, Christ’s.
  • All the righteous were in the ark. All the righteous are in the church.
  • All out of the ark were disobedient to God. All out of the church are disobedient to God.
  • All in the ark were saved. All in church are saved.
  • All out of the ark were lost. All out of the church will be lost.
  • Had Noah and his family not entered the ark, or left the ark before God told them to, they would have been lost. All who refuse to enter the church, having obtained unto the age of accountability, will be lost and those who enter the church but refuse to remain faithful to the church will be lost.
  • There was but one entrance into the ark: the door. There is but one entrance into the Church: Christ.
  • There was but one source of light in the ark, the window. There is but one source of spiritual light in the church, the Bible.

You see how understanding our salvation is made simple by com­paring it with Noah’s salvation by the flood.

Tracts from the Past – Principles In Christian Conduct

Like last week, we are posting another tract by a preacher named Paul Simon (date unknown, location unknown).  Many times it helps us to consider topics in short “tract-sized” form.  Often, preachers get overly wordy in trying to explain something when fewer words will do.

Principles In Christian Conduct

By PAUL SIMON, Minister

“Pray without ceasing” (1 Thes. 5:22).

God is not here commanding us to pray at every breath; to pray continuously, but is giving a principle: To pray always, in all things. We should continue to pray and never let the time come in our lives that we no longer pray to God, asking His blessings on us. Great men and women of history have been men and women who realized the need of prayer.

Prayer is not overcoming God’s reluc­tance; it is laying hold of his highest willingness.” — Trench.

Abraham Lin­coln said, “I have been driven many times to my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go. My own wisdom and that of all about me, seemed insufficient for the day.

I know no blessing so small as to be reasonably expected without prayer, nor any so great but may be attained by it.”—South.

I think I should have been swept away by the flood of French infidelity, if it had not been for one thing: the remem­brance of times when my sainted mother used to make me kneel by her side, taking my little hands in hers, and caused me to repeat the Lord’s prayer.”—John Randolph.

Jeremy Taylor once said. “The body of our prayer is the sum of our duty; and as we must ask of God whatso­ever we need, so we must watch and labor for all that we ask. Whatsoever we beg of God, let us also work for it.”

Although Jean Inglelow, English author, realized the need of prayer, she also realized the folly of her prayers, when she said, “I have lived to thank God that not all my prayers have been answered.”

“Lay not up for yourselves treasures…” (Matthew 6:19)

Matt. 6:19-34, “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light: But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If there­fore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness! No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other: or else he will hold to the one and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mam­mon. Therefore, I say unto you. Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink: nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat and the body more than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap nor gather into barns: yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you, by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you. That even Solomon, in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Where­fore. if God so clothed the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore, take no thought, saying, What shall we eat, or What shall we drink, or Wherewithal shall we be clothed? For after all these things do the Gentiles seek: for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.”

Jesus is not, here, commanding us to refuse to save against old age, sickness, or accident: neither is He saying that it is wrong to plan to wear a certain dress, or suit of clothes Sunday, or to eat beans and corn bread for dinner tomorrow—because nothing is done without planning ahead. Jesus is laying down a principle: Put first things first: give spiritual matters first place in your life. Those who fail to abide by this principle of putting God first cannot be happy; neither here, nor hereafter.

The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said. This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, drink and be merry. But God said unto him. Thou fool! this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall these things be which thou hast provided? So is he that layeth up treasures for himself and is not rich toward God.” — Luke 12:16-21. See, also, Luke 16:19-31.

Tracts from the Past – Can a Person be Saved Outside of the church of Christ?

In going through my office (which needs a thorough cleaning anyway), I ran across a hand-full of old, short tracts written by a preacher named Paul Simon.  I honestly don’t know anything about him outside of the fact that he wrote these tracts.

Previous “Tracts from the Past” posts have been very well-received, so we decided to post these here as well.  If you happen to know some background on Mr. Simon, please add it in the comments section or send us a message via our contact page.

Can A Person Be Saved Outside Of The Church Of Christ?

By PAUL SIMON, Minister.

Let us forget about denominationalism, and ask, “Can one be saved outside of the church?”

Some cannot see beyond “de­nominational Christiani­ty.” Some cannot conceive of the non-denominational New Testament Church. A defini­tion of the church will help us to arrive at the correct answer to our question. The church is a spiritual institution, com­posed of every Christian in the world. To say that one can be saved outside of the church is to say, “One can be saved with­out becoming a Christian.”

Christ is the Savior of the church. “Wives, submit your­selves unto your husbands as unto the Lord: For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is head of the church, and he is the savior of the body” (Eph. 5:22). To say that one can be saved outside of the church is to say, “One can be saved without being saved.” “And the Lord added unto the church, daily, such as should be saved” (Acts 2:47).

Christ gave Himself for the church. “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church and gave himself for it” (Eph. 5:25; see also Acts 20:28; 2 Pet. 1:18). To say that one can be saved outside of the church is to say, “One can be saved without being purchased by the blood of Christ. Christ is no thief. He will receive unto Himself only that which He has purchased with His blood — the church.

The church is the bride of Christ. “Wherefore, my breth­ren, ye, also, are become dead to the law by the body of Christ: that ye should be mar­ried to another: even unto him that is raised from the dead, that ye should bring forth fruit unto God.” — (Rom. 7:4; see also 2 Cor. 11:2; Rev. 21:9-11).

The church is the kingdom of Christ. “Upon this rock will I build my church; and I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom” (Matt. 16:18; see also Col. 1:13-14). To say that one can be saved outside of the church is to say, “One can be saved outside of the kingdom of Christ— without permitting Christ to reign over him.”

The church is the house, or household of God. “The house of God, which is the church of the living God” (1 Tim. 3:15; see also Heb. 3:6; Isa. 2:2-3). To say that one can be saved outside of the church is to say, “One can be saved outside of the household of God.”

One cannot be saved without being born again (John 3:3, 5). One cannot be born again with­out being born into the family of God. To say that one can be saved outside of the church is to say, “One can be saved with­out being born again.”

One cannot be saved outside of Christ. “But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made night by the blood of Christ” (Eph. 2:13). To be in Christ is to be in His spiritual body. His spiritual body is the church – “the church, which is his body” (Eph. 1:22-23; see also Col. 1:18, 24). To say that one can be saved outside of the church is to say, “One can be saved outside of the spiritual body of Christ” (see Eph. 1.3, 7; 11 Tim. 2:10; 11 Cor. 5:17; Acts 4:12; John 15:1-8), and apart from His blood.

A responsible person cannot be saved without obeying from the heart the form of doctrine. “But God be thanked, that ye were the ser­vants of sin, but ye have obey­ed from the heart that form of doctrine which was deliv­ered unto you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness” (Romans 6:17-18). “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved” (Mark 16:16). To say that a responsible per­son can be saved outside of the church is to say, ‘‘A respon­sible person can be saved with­out becoming a servant of God.”

A responsible person cannot be saved without eating the flesh and drinking the blood of Christ. “Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you” (John 6:53). The supper of His flesh and blood is in His kingdom for His chil­dren. “That ye may eat and drink at my table in my king­dom” (Luke 22:30).

You cannot be saved outside of the family of God. “Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named” (Eph. 3: 15). To say that one can be saved outside of the church is to say that one can be saved out of the family of God, com­posed of His children.

The word, church, comes from a Greek word, ekklesia, which means the called out. “God hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son” (Col. 1:13). To say that a respon­sible person can be saved outside of the church is to say that a responsible person can be saved in the kingdom of dark­ness.

Can A Person be Saved Outside the Church?

In the light of God’s word, can one be saved outside of the church? Saved out of which church? Whose church? About whose body, bride, kingdom, family, household, ekklesia, and church have we been Studying? Can a responsible person be saved outside of the church of Christ? This ques­tion you must answer before God.

Tracts from the Past – The World’s Greatest Question

THE WORLD’S GREATEST QUESTION

(No. 8 of The Gospel Tract Series)

By Eugene S. Smith

“Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” This question, asked in Acts 16:30 by a man in Philippi nineteen hundred years ago, has never been equaled in importance. In substance this same question is asked in two other places in the Book of Acts. In the inspired answer to this question, asked three times, we have an infallible answer. To this we do well to give heed in these days.

The importance of this question stems from the fact that it deals with the salvation of our souls. Nothing in this world, no, not even the world itself, can be compared in value to our souls. The soul of man, your soul or mine, is the most important thing in the universe and the question concern­ing its salvation is the greatest and most important that we can ask.

It Is of Doing

Please note in beginning this study that the question is, “What Must I Do?” We know that “God so loved the world that He gave his only begot­ten son” (John 3:16). We know that Christ so loved the souls of men that He “tasted of death for every man” (Heb. 2:9). We also know that the Holy Spirit, through the Apostles, revealed unto us “the way of salvation” (Acts. 16:17). These, therefore, having done their part in our salvation, we are now interested in what we should do.

Further, it is not a question of what one should be, how one should feel, where one should live, or the language that one should speak. This is a ques­tion of doing, and the answer that is given by inspiration (as the question was asked these three times) is evi­dence that there is something for us to do and that everyone must do these same things.

Acts 16:30-34

In the sixteenth chapter of Acts when the question was asked the im­mediate reply of Paul was, “Believe on the Lord Jesus and thou shalt be saved, thou and thy house” (Acts. 16:31). A great many people want to stop here, thinking that this is all the answer that was given to the question. However, an examination of the verses fol­lowing reveals that this is not all of the answer and that to stop here is to stop short of a complete answer.

The remainder of the answer of Paul is indicated by the words of the fol­lowing verse: “And they spake the word of the Lord to him, with all that were in his house” (Acts 16:32). This was necessary for even faith could not come to the man or his house apart from the hearing of the word. Paul has said, “So then faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of Christ” (Rom. 10:17). The word had to be spoken to produce the faith and faith could not come till the word was spoken. However, when the word was spoken we find that the jailer had learned that he must do more than be­lieve and this he did. Verse 33 says that “he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, im­mediately”. Here repentance and bap­tism are definitely shown to have been included in the word of the Lord, the answer given by Paul and Silas to the man’s question, “What must I do to be saved?” The washing of their stripes indicates repentance and it is definitely stated that the man was bap­tized, Therefore, these things were in­cluded in the answer given him or he would have known nothing of them. These are as much a part of the word of the Lord as belief and have as much to do with our salvation from sin.

Therefore, we must remember that in answer to this man’s question he was taught to, 1. Believe on the Lord Jesus, 2. Repent of his sins, and, 3. Be baptized unto the remission of his sins. When he had done these things, the record says that he “rejoiced great­ly, with all his house, having believed in God”. By his obedience his faith was made perfect and he became a Son of God and could rejoice in that rela­tionship.

Acts 2:37-42

In the second chapter of Acts the question again is asked. This time, however, those who ask are believers in the Christ. Although only a few days previously they had denied the Christ and condemned him to be cruci­fied they are now convicted of their sins and realizing that he is the Christ cry out to Peter and the others of Christ’s apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” (Acts 2:37).

With all directness the Apostle Peter gave answer to these inquiring souls as he said, “Repent ye, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ unto the remission of your sins” (Acts 2:38). This answer of inspiration is too plain to need ex­planation and “They then that received his word were baptized” (Acts 2:41). Here again sinners were taught to: 1. Believe on the Lord Jesus, 2. Repent of their sins, and 3. Be baptized unto the remission of their sins.

Having done this they “continued steadfastly in the Apostles teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread and prayers” (Acts 2:42). That is they “walked in the newness of life” (Rom. 6:4) and were acceptable in the sight of God as his children.

Acts 22:10-16

In the twenty-second chapter of Acts, Paul gives an account of his own con­version. On the Damascus road he be­lieved in the Lord and confessed that faith, calling him Lord. He repented of his sins and desired to know and do the will of the Lord. This is all evi­denced by his asking the question, “Lord, what shall I do?” (Acts 22:10). This question shows the faith and the repentance of Saul of Tarsus yet he was not saved.

The Lord, in answer, told him to go into the city and there it would be told him all things appointed for him to do. When in that city Ananias came to him he said, “Why tarriest thou? Arise and be baptized and wash away thy sins, calling on His name.” (Acts 22:16). This is Paul’s own account of the matter and one I am sure we can trust. Paul realized that his sins were not re­moved by faith or repentance but only when his faith was expressed in obe­dience to the Lord’s command to be baptized.

Thus, again we have the question and the answer is the same, 1. Believe. 2. Repent. 3. Be baptized unto the remis­sion (washing away) of your sins. This brought him “into Christ” and in Christ he was a new creature.

Therefore, the question is asked and answered. You can see the answer as given by inspiration. You can walk in the same way to your own salvation.