Christian Home Bible Course

Lesson 7   



   But this is not the first time things have gotten so bad.   4,000 years ago. . . .

"...GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth,
and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually."

   The human race had become a continual source of sin.   The men and women responsible for it enjoyed their sin, and reveled in it!   But...looking down upon it all was the Almighty Holy Creator of the universe - and He hates sin!

"Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity..." HABAKKUK 1:13
"Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity..." HEBREWS 1:9

   God had seen enough: His holiness was about to collide with man's sinfulness:

"And the LORD said,
I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth;
both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air;
for it repenteth me that I have made them."

   The countdown started.   Mankind had 120 years (Gen. 6:3) to repent and get right with God before the whole sinful mess would be wiped clean.   The human race was marked for total destruction...

"But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD."   GENESIS 6:8

   The BIBLE says "Noah walked with God" (Gen. 6:9) so God graciously told Him HOW TO BE SAVED from the coming destruction:

"The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them;
and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.
Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark....
And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth,
to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven;
and every thing that is in the earth shall die.   ... Thus did Noah;"
GENESIS 6:13-14,17,22

   No doubt Noah warned those around him of the coming wrath as he preached, "REPENT!"   But after 120 years no one else had REPENTED and TRUSTED the ark to save them.   The flood waters came and...

"All in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died."   GENESIS 7:22

   When it was all over, Noah and his family had been saved, and given a promise by God:

"And I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh;
and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh."
  GENESIS 9:15



"...the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store,
reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men."
  II PETER 3:7

   When will this judgment of fire come upon the Earth?   Jesus told us what to look for:

"But as the days of Noe [Noah] were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.   For as in the
days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until
the day that Noe entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away;
so shall also the coming of the Son of man be."
  MATTHEW 24:36-39

   As we look around us today we see "the days of Noah" all over again (Lesson 3).   Sin runs rampant throughout the world: lying, stealing, cheating, adultery, sexual perversion, selfishness, drunkenness, back-stabbing, dirty jokes, mail fraud, bitterness, lust, gossiping, greed, extortion, murder, drug addiction, rejection of God, rebellion, terrorism, swearing, torture, injustice, hatred, mail bombings, wife-beating, sodomy, political corruption, pride, legal corruption, immorality, bad mouthing, euthanasia (mercy killings), abortions, witchcraft, fornication, rioting, gangs, disobedience to parents, truce breaking, tax fraud, computer viruses, child molestation, prostitution, wars, gambling, pornography, envy, jealousy, laziness, lawlessness, rape, incest, gluttony, welfare fraud, divorce, hypocrisy, and every other perversion that flows out of the heart of sinful man.

   Mankind has not changed since the days of Noah and neither has God - HE STILL HATES SIN!

   It's only a matter of time when once again the cup of God's wrath will fill to its brim, and destruction will come upon mankind (Revelation 16:1).   But there is hope!   God is still as merciful and gracious as ever, once again giving man time to REPENT and TRUST the "Ark of Salvation" - Jesus Christ.

"The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness;
but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish,
but that all should come to repentance
  II PETER 3:9

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever
believeth in him should not perish
, but have everlasting life."
  JOHN 3:16

"For God hath not appointed us to wrath,
but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,"


"...repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ."   ACTS 20:21



   Repentance is a change of mind or attitude concerning sin and one's obligation to the will of God.
The word repentance is translated from the Greek word Metanoia (Met-An’-oy-Ah).   Meta means "to change", Noia means "mind".   With the change of mind comes a deep heart felt sorrow over, not just one's own sins, but sin in general.   This sorrow and remorse comes from the realization that we as sinners have offended a holy God.   A repentant attitude admits and confesses sin, which results in a change of direction as well.   In other words:


NOTE:   When defining repentance it is important to remember two truths: 1) Repentance is not a
.   Some people think that repentance involves abstaining from sins or making a commitment
not to sin.   If this were true, repentance would be a work; just like baptism, good deeds, church
membership, communion, etc.   2) Repentance is not only turning away from sin, but is also turning
to God
.   Some people think that repentance only requires a turning away from sin.   Consequently
they abstain from sins in order to reform themselves in a self-righteous effort to earn Heaven.


(1) We find confession of sin associated with repentance.
(We can't change our attitude about sin if we never admit we are guilty sinners.)

"For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.
Against thee
[God], thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight..." PSALM 51:3-4

"He looketh upon men, and if any say, I have sinned, and perverted that which was right,
and it profited me not
; He will deliver his soul from going into the pit, and his life shall see the
light.   Lo, all these things worketh God oftentimes with man,"
JOB 33:27-29

"We have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled,
even by departing from thy precepts and from thy judgments:"

(2) We find remorse associated with a repentance.
(We can't be joyful when we see ourselves as God does: as lost sinners who have offended Him.)

"neither is there any rest in my bones because of my sin.
For mine iniquities are gone over mine head:
as an heavy burden they are too heavy for me."
  PSALM 38:3-4

"For my life is spent with grief, and my years sighing:
my strength faileth because of mine iniquity..."
PSALM 31:10


(3) We find sorrow over sin associated with repentance.

"For I will declare mine iniquity; I will be sorry for my sin."   PSALM 38:18

"Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes."   JOB 42:6

"Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were
made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing.
For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of:
but the sorrow of the world worketh death."

NOTE:   When it comes to feeling sorry about our sin, the BIBLE makes a distinction between "godly
and "the sorrow of the world" (II Corinthians 7:10).   One results in true repentance; the other does
not.   The sorrow of the world can be emotional and temporary.   A person may hear the Gospel, get
very emotional and fearful about God's judgment of his sin, and say "I'm sorry, God".   But if (when
the emotion and fear is over) he starts practicing his sin (with no thought of God), then true
repentance never took place.   Godly sorrow comes from truly understanding what sin is and how it
offends God.   This kind of sorrow leads to a permanent change of mind and direction:

"For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation..." II CORINTHIANS 7:10

(4) We find a turning toward God (from sin) associated with repentance.

"Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks,
repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ."
  ACTS 20:21

"...that ye should turn from these vanities [Pride] unto the living God," ACTS 14:15

"For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how
ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God;"

"And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father's have bread
enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!   I will arise and go to my father, and will say
unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee,"
LUKE 15:17-18

"Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Repent, and turn yourselves
from your idols
; and turn away your faces from all your abominations."
  EZEKIEL 14:6

"For ye were as sheep going astray [unsaved];
but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls
[God]."   I PETER 2:25



   The answer is YES!   However there are those who do not preach the need for repentance.   They claim that to teach repentance is to teach salvation by works.   Repentance is not a work; it is simply a change of mind and attitude resulting in a change of direction.   A person does not repent in order to earn his salvation, but rather he repents because HE WANTS THE SALVATION THAT GOD IS OFFERING FOR FREE.   Repentance is BIBLICAL: we find it taught throughout the whole BIBLE.

F Jesus started His ministry by saying:

"...the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel."   MARK 1:15
"From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say,
Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."
  MATTHEW 4:17

F As His ministry progressed He continued preaching it:

"except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish."   LUKE 13:3
"...I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance."   MATTHEW 9:13
"Then began he [Jesus] to upbraid [rebuke] the cities wherein most of his mighty works were done,
because they repented not:"
"For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not:
but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye had seen it,
repented not afterward, that ye might believe him."
  MATTHEW 21:32

F Jesus mentioned repentance in His illustrations:

"And he said, Nay, father Abraham:
but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent."
  LUKE 16:30
"I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth," LUKE 15:7
"He answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented, and went."   MATTHEW 21:29

F He required His disciples to preach repentance as well:

"And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached
in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem."
  LUKE 24:47
"And they went out, and preached that men should repent."   MARK 6:12

F We find others in the BIBLE preaching repentance:

JOHN THE BAPTIST - "...Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."   MATTHEW 3:1-2
PETER - "Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out..." ACTS 3:19
PAUL - " commandeth all men every where to repent:" ACTS 17:30




   To answer this question we must go back to the beginning of man's existence and consider why he was created.   Man was created to fellowship with God and walk with Him in complete agreement.   The BIBLE clearly reveals that this harmonious relationship has always been the expressed desire of God:

"...God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God,
and they shall be my people."
"And I will walk among you, and will be your God, and ye shall be my people."   LEVITICUS 26:12

   However, man chose not to fellowship with his Creator and rebelled against Him instead:

"All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way;
and the LORD hath laid on him
[Christ] the iniquity of us all."   ISAIAH 53:6

   Ever since his initial rebellion, man's attitude toward God has been:

"...Depart from us; for we desire not the knowledge of thy ways.   What is the almighty,
that we should serve him?
and what profit should we have, if we pray unto him?"
JOB 21:14-15

   This rebellious attitude caused man to spiritually die (Lesson 4) making him a sinner in God's eyes:

"Wherefore, as by one man [Adam] sin entered into the world, and death by sin;
and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:"
"...there is none that doeth good, no, not one."   ROMANS 3:12

   Consequently man found himself lost, condemned and heading in the wrong direction-away from God and toward an eternity in Hell.   Jesus Christ described this result of man's sinful rebellion:

"The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that
offend, and them which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire:
there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth."
  MATTHEW 13:41-42

   If God is to forgive man and save him from his horrible fate, man must change his rebellious attitude, seek forgiveness, and return to God.   In other words--he must repent!

"We have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly,
and have rebelled, even by departing from thy precepts
and from thy judgments:" DANIEL 9:5
"I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid.
I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD;
and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin.   Selah."
  PSALM 32:5
"Repent ye therefore, and be converted,
that your sins may be blotted out
[forgiven]..." ACTS 3:19



   Many people are under the wrong impression that they can be forgiven of their sins without having to repent.   Yet it is unreasonable to assume that a sinner can partake of the forgiveness of God, if he has no intention of changing his sinful rebellious attitude toward God.   Throughout the BIBLE we find a repentant attitude preceding forgiveness:

"Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts:
and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God,
for he will abundantly pardon
[forgive]."   ISAIAH 55:7

"If they return to thee with all their heart....   Then hear thou [God] from the heavens, ...and
forgive thy people which have sinned against thee."

"We have transgressed and have rebelled: thou hast not pardoned."   LAMENTATIONS 3:42

"...they have sinned against thee, and shall turn again to thee, ...
Then hear thou in heaven, and forgive the sin of thy people Israel..."
I KINGS 8:33-34

"...return every man from his evil way;
that I may forgive their iniquity and their sin."

"Him [Jesus Christ] hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour,
for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins."
  ACTS 5:31

"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray,
and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven,
and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."

"Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God,
if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee."
  ACTS 8:22

   Some may even argue that God is merciful and gracious enough to forgive us our sins whether we repent or not; but again, we find a repentant attitude required to partake of God's mercy and grace:

"He that covereth his sins shall not prosper:
but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy."
  PROVERBS 28:13

"...God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble."   JAMES 4:6

"...God is gracious and merciful... if ye return unto him."   II CHRONICLES 30:9

"I said, LORD, be merciful unto me: ...for I have sinned against thee."   PSALM 41:4

"...turn to the LORD: say unto him,
Take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously..."
HOSEA 14:2
"...turn unto the LORD your God: for he is gracious and merciful..." JOEL 2:13

"And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven,
but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner."
  LUKE 18:13


   After all, to seek God's forgiveness without repenting is like saying to Him:

"God, I want to keep willfully sinning and do what I want, not what you say. . .
but I still want to partake of the forgiveness of sins that Christ has bought for me on the cross."

   Any reasonable person would have to admit that the above statement is absurd!   Yet this is exactly what many are saying to God when they try to accept God's gift of salvation without being willing to surrender their self-will to God.   Jesus said:

"...If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
For whosoever will save his life shall lose it:
and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it."
  MATTHEW 16:24-25

"I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish."   LUKE 13:3

Real life testimony:
    I was told that I was a part of the "one true Church".   Though I was proud of that, I didn't know why I was a part of it -- I didn't even know what we believed.   I looked around at others in my religion and knew that some were committing adultery; I looked across the church and saw people that I knew who were having pre-marital sex.   My friends and I sometimes went to church on Saturday so we could drink Saturday night and sleep in the next morning.   I had tried to stop swearing, but just couldn't; and when I did swear, I didn't feel bad about it.   I went to church because l felt it was the right thing to do; that it would help me get to Heaven - but to be honest - it was the biggest drag.   My favorite minister was the one who talked the shortest.   I looked at all this and wondered, "This is the one true religion?   Did Jesus or His apostles act this way?   Wasn't there a way to be religious, and like it?"
    Though I couldn't stop swearing and though I got drunk, I was self-righteous because "there are others who are worse" and besides, I was told: "If you do the best you can and be sincere, you will make it."
    Well as time went on, I tried to find a reason to believe what I believed.   I wanted answers.   The more questions I asked, the more I found that the things I believed in were just man-made traditions.   Then one day I got something in the mail at my college dorm, with a little quiz to test my knowledge of the Bible (Of course, I didn't know the Bible; my religion never taught it to me).   Well, I went to one of the classes, and for the first time in my life, I was getting my questions answered from the Bible.
    One day, I heard a shocking statement!   I had heard the phrase before, but I never knew who was the first one to say it.   It was Jesus.   He said, "Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God".   That surprised me.   Whatever this "born again" thing was -- without it, I wouldn't go to Heaven.   And if I didn't know what it was, then I probably wasn't born again.   Well, I started going to this church that preached only the Bible and taught how to get to Heaven according to the Bible.   The sermons weren't 10 minutes; they were sometimes 45 minutes, but I couldn't get enough.   I was 21 years old, and for the first time in my life, I was hearing the Bible preached.   I later asked someone to show me how I could know for sure I was going to Heaven.   He pulled out a Bible and showed me.   Every verse I read showed me that I was in big trouble.   I knew that I was guilty before a holy God.   I knew that my sins (sin nature I was born with) needed to be paid for, and the payment was Hell.   I realized that all the things I was trusting in couldn't save me: my good works couldn't save me, my church couldn't save me, my baptism couldn't save me.   I couldn't be good enough to get myself to Heaven (no one could), I needed someone to save me (everyone does).   I found that night, that God loved me and wanted to save me.   He was the only one who could; and He was just waiting for me to say the word.
    On that night, April 10, 1988, I repented of my sins, turning from them to Jesus Christ.   No longer was I trusting in those other things to get me to Heaven; I put all my faith and trust in the One who left Heaven to die for me.   He told me He would save me, and He couldn't lie.   On that night I was born again, and I had a peace that I had finally found what was missing: it was a person -- Jesus Christ.   My life was instantly changed.   I no longer wanted to do the things I did before, and when I messed up (I was still a sinner), for the first time in my life, I really felt bad about it.



   Next we are going to study a subject as equally important as repentance.   While salvation is not possible without repentance, it is just as impossible without faith.   When it comes to getting saved, repentance and faith are inseparable.   They are two sides of the same coin.   In fact, it can be said that SAVING FAITH INCLUDES REPENTANCE, JUST AS GENUINE REPENTANCE INCLUDES SAVING FAITH.
Let us now turn our attention to FAITH.


   One of the best ways to answer this is by studying the life of someone who was known for his faith.
One such person was Abraham, of whom the BIBLE says:

"...Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness."   GALATIANS 3:6

   To learn the secret of Abraham's faith, let's refer to a famous incident in his life that began with the following promise from God:

"...Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac:
and I will establish my covenant with him...and with his seed after him."
  GENESIS 17:19

   The day arrived when Isaac was born, just as God promised.   When the boy grew to about the age of twelve, God commanded Abraham to do something very interesting...

"...Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah;
and offer him there for a burnt offering..."

   Abraham, known for his love toward Isaac, was known even more for His obedience toward God, so he did what He was told (Genesis 22:3-4).   Three days later, Abraham, Isaac and two hired servants arrived at the base of the mountain where the sacrifice was to take place.   It was here that Abraham said something very interesting...

"And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass;
and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you."
  GENESIS 22:5


   But how could this be?   Was he planning on disobeying God at the last minute?   Apparently not, because the BIBLE says that Abraham:

"...bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood.   And Abraham stretched forth
his hand, and took the knife to slay his son
.   And the angel of the LORD called unto him out of
heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I.   And he said, Lay not thine hand
upon the lad
, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing
thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me."
  GENESIS 22:9-12

   How did Abraham know that Isaac would return home with him?   The answer is simple:



   Now, before we learn the secret of Abraham's faith, let us consider some erroneous views of his faith.


   Many today feel that if you have enough faith and believe hard enough, your wishes will come true.
But all the wishing and hoping in the world will not force God to fulfill our desires.   God is not a "puppet" existing solely to satisfy our wishes.   Faith is not based on wishful thinking.

NOTE:   Some people claim that on several occasions, they believed something and it came true.
This by no means is proof that they have a real working faith in God, or that even God was behind
their "miracle."   The BIBLE advises us to examine ourselves (II Corinthians 13:5) and anything
"spiritual" (I John 4:1), since granted wishes are not always of God.

"...Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light."   II CORINTHIANS 11:14


   Some today think faith is positive thinking.   On the contrary, the final say in any matter is God's, no matter how positive a person may be or think:

"...and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven,
and among the inhabitants of the earth:
and none can stay
[stop] his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?" DANIEL 4:35


   Many people go through life operating on "hunches".   Their morality is guided by what feels right and so is their faith.   Therefore they reason "if it feels right, it will turn out all right".   If this was true, Abraham would not have sacrificed his son, because his feelings against sacrificing his own son would have surely outweighed anything else.   Besides, feelings can change and produce uncertainty.   Abraham displayed no uncertainty in GENESIS 22:5 when he said "...I and the lad will...come again to you."   His faith was not based on a feeling.

NOTE:   As sinners we can't trust our own hearts (our emotions and will).   The BIBLE says:
"The heart is deceitful...and desperately wicked: who can know it?" JEREMIAH 17:9

   There are other ways that people define faith which also carry an element of uncertainty.   This is contrary to the BIBLE'S definition of faith.   God does not deal in uncertainties, He doesn't have to - He's God!   Instead, He deals in promises!   After all, God knows it all, can do it all, and therefore can promise and deliver anything, even salvation.   This brings us to the secret of Abraham's faith:



Let's take a look at the promise Abraham was trusting:
"And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac:
and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant,
and with his seed after him."
  GENESIS 17:19

   The phrase "his seed after him" refers to Isaac's descendants.   God had promised that Isaac would live long enough to have children.   God promised it, and nothing could change that: not Abraham's knife nor even God Himself.   Since Isaac had not yet had any children (He was approximately 12 years old), Abraham reasoned that his son would either come back from the dead or not die at all.   Abraham realized that God had to keep His promise, because He cannot lie (Titus 1:2; Hebrews 6:18).

"By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises
offered up his only begotten son...That in Isaac shall thy seed be called:
Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead..."
HEBREWS 11:17-19


"He [Abraham]...was strong in faith, giving glory to God; And being fully persuaded that,
what he
[God] had promised, he was able also to perform."   ROMANS 4:20-21

   Faith is TRUSTING IN GOD'S WORD.   When you consider how trustworthy God's Word is, faith becomes a very sure thing.   Throughout the New Testament we find various examples demonstrating that faith means trusting in God's Word.

q Our first example involves the centurion (military captain) at Capernaum:

"...there came unto him [Jesus] a centurion, beseeching him, And saying, Lord, my servant lieth at
home sick of the palsy....   And Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him."
  MATTHEW 8:5-7

   Jesus offered to follow him home where the healing would take place.   But the centurion, recognizing that God is trustworthy and all- powerful, said:

"...Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof
but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed."

   Jesus, seeing the centurion's willingness to simply trust His Word, then responded:

"...Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel."   MATTHEW 8:10

NOTE:   The centurion didn't need to see Jesus perform the actual healing.   God's promise that his
servant would be healed was good enough for him.   However, there are many today who simply can't
trust God's Word alone.   Instead they constantly seek miracles and signs from heaven.   But to seek
such things is to say that God's Word is not trustworthy, making God a liar.   Jesus rebuked the "sign
of His own time when He told them:

"...An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign..." MATTHEW 12:39

Sinful man says to God, "Show me first and then I will believe."   God says to man, "Believe me first
and then I will show you."


q   Our second example takes place on a ship:

"Now it came to pass on a certain day, that he went into a ship with his disciples: and he said unto
them, Let us go over unto the other side of the lake.   And they launched forth."
  LUKE 8:22

   Jesus had said they would go to the other side.   Obviously this implied that they were not going to die on the way there.   (Remember, this was God talking.)   The rest of the passage speaks for itself:

"But as they sailed he fell asleep: and there came down a storm of wind on the lake; and they were
filled with water, and were in jeopardy.   And they came to him, and awoke him, saying, Master,
master, we perish.   Then he arose, and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water: and they ceased,
and there was a calm.   And he said unto them, Where is your faith?   And they being afraid
wondered, saying one to another, What manner of man is this! for he commandeth even the winds
and water, and they obey him."
  LUKE 8:23-25

They were lacking faith because they didn't trust what He had said.

q   The next example involves a fig tree.   When Jesus came upon it He found no fruit:

"And Jesus answered and said unto it,
No man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever.   And his disciples heard it."
  MARK 11:14

"And in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots.
And Peter calling to remembrance saith unto him, Master, behold, the fig tree which thou cursedst
is withered away.   And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God."
  MARK 11:20-22

Jesus had said it would wither, yet they didn't take His Word for it.   They lacked faith!

q   Next we find another example taking place on a ship:

"But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary.   And in
the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea.   And when the disciples
saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit....   But straightway Jesus spake
unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.   And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it
be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.   And he said, Come."
  MATTHEW 14:24-29

   Ordinarily there was no way that Peter could have walked on water.   But Jesus (God in the flesh) had told him that he could.   It was then up to Peter to trust what God had said:

"And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus
But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord,
save me.   And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him,
O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?"
MATTHEW 14:29-31

Peter trusted his five senses rather than God's Word and therefore lacked faith!



   The answer is by trusting in God's Word.   This of course requires that one hears what God has to say first.   After all, you can't trust in what you haven't heard nor can you claim a promise that you don't know has been given.   That's why the BIBLE says:

"For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.   How then shall they call on him in
whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not
and how shall they hear without a preacher?"
ROMANS 10:13-14

"So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God."   ROMANS 10:17

   True BIBLE faith is impossible without first hearing about the promises of God from His Word:

"In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth..." EPHESIANS 1:13
"And many more believed because of his own word;" JOHN 4:41
"...I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me."   ACTS 27:25
"He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said..." JOHN 7:38
"But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ..." JOHN 20:31
"...He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me,
hath everlasting life..."
JOHN 5:24

"So then faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God."

   This truth cannot be emphasized enough!   Unfortunately a large number of people, not familiar with God's promises, are trusting in some religious work that God never promised would save them.   The result is tragic, as the following poem illustrates:

Many will say,
    Why can't I go in?
I've done these good deeds
    To pay for my sin.

But God will reply,
    Who told you that saves?
You can't claim a promise
    That I never gave.

Many will say,
    Why can't I go in?
I'm trusting baptism
    To pay for my sin.

But God will reply,
    That won't get you saved!
Where in the Bible
    Was that promise made?

Many will say,
    Why can't I go in?
I've kept the commandments
    To pay for my sin!

But God will reply,
    Assumption you made,
You trusted in something
    That can't get you saved.

Many will say,
    But I really tried,
And always the same
    Will be God's reply.

You're all trying something
    That I never said.
You should've looked into
    The Bible instead.



   Jesus Christ took upon Himself the sins of the world and paid for them at Calvary (Lesson 5), thus settling the sin debt that each one of us owes to God.   In Lesson 6 we looked at some of the things that people are trusting to pay for their own sins.   We concluded from the BIBLE that none of those things will reduce our debt by even one sin: not good works, not baptism, nor any of the many rituals performed through religion.   Only the death of Christ can satisfy God's justice; therefore it only makes sense that we should put 100% trust in His death and shed blood as payment for our sins.   The following verses tell us to do just that:

"But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should
not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead:"
"For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is
the Saviour
of all men, specially of those that believe."
  I TIMOTHY 4:10
"That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ."   EPHESIANS 1:12

NOTE:   The student will find it interesting to learn that the actual definitions of faith and belief
include the word trust.   For example, Strongs Greek Dictionary of the BIBLE (Online Bible version)
uses the following words to define faith: assurance, conviction, and trust.   The definition for belief
includes the words confidence and trust.   Webster's Dictionary defines faith as: "a belief in the value,
truth, or trustworthiness of someone or something; belief and trust in God."
  Belief is defined by
Webster's as: "something that is trusted or believed."

"And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?
And they said, Believe
[TRUST] on the Lord Jesus Christ,
and thou shalt be saved
, and thy house."
  ACTS 16:30- 31

"Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth [TRUST] in me,
though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and
[TRUST] in me shall never die.   Believest thou this?" JOHN 11:25-26

"For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption
[PAYMENT] that is in Christ Jesus:
Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation
[SETTLEMENT] through faith [TRUST] in his
, to declare his righteousness for the remission
[FORGIVENESS] of sins that are past,
through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness:
that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth
[TRUST] in Jesus.
Where is boasting then?   It is excluded.   By what law? of works?
Nay: but by the law of faith.   Therefore we conclude that a man is justified
by faith [TRUST] without the deeds of the law."   ROMANS 3:23- 28

"I [JESUS] said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins:
for if ye believe
[TRUST] not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins."   JOHN 8:24


"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth
[TRUST] in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.   ... He that believeth [TRUST] on
him is not condemned
: but he that believeth not is condemned already,
because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
He that believeth
[TRUST] on the Son hath everlasting life..." JOHN 3:16,18,36

"To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth [TRUST] in him
shall receive remission
[FORGIVENESS] of sins."   ACTS 10:43

"That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe [TRUST] in
thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.   ... For
whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."
  ROMANS 10:9,13

NOTE:   As we have learned, the word believe actually means "to trust".   However, many people
have erroneously defined the word believe as: "to be of the same opinion", "to agree", or "to feel
that something is right"
.   When it comes to salvation, agreeing with the fact that Jesus Christ died
for our sins is NOT THE SAME AS TRUSTING in Jesus Christ to save us from our sins.   For example, a
person can look at a chair and say, "I believe that this chair would hold me if I sat in it."   Yet, real
belief (trust, faith) does not exist until the person sits down on the chair, trusting it to hold him.
When it comes to salvation, a person may say, "Yes, I have been taught that salvation is by grace,
and I FULLY AGREE that salvation is free"
, yet at the same time, when the proverbial "push comes to
, the very same person may actually be trusting in a religious work (baptism, church
membership, etc.) to get them to Heaven.   To be saved, a person must be willing to trust in Jesus
Christ, and Him ALONE.
   Jesus predicted that many would "believe" but not TRUST:

"Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven....
And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you:
depart from me, ye that work iniquity."
  MATTHEW 7:21, 23

These people surely "believed" (agreed) that Christ had paid for their sins, yet when they found out
that THEY WERE ACTUALLY TRUSTING THEIR GOOD WORKS to save them, the result was tragic!

Real life testimony:
    Coming to college, I was quickly sucked into Neo- Evangelical "Christianity" and started attending an "evangelical" church.   The preaching assumed that all were saved and heavy emphasis was placed on "growth".   I never heard any man-made religious traditions exposed in the light of the Word, or sinners called to repentance with complete trust in Christ.   The most noticeable missing element was Holy Spirit conviction upon the hearts of the unsaved, exposing their lost condition before God:
    "No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him... " John 6:44
God certainly was not drawing anyone.   In my opinion, it is hard for people to truly get converted, when God is not working in such an environment.   After 3 1/2 years of attending that church, I attended a fundamental Bible preaching church and knew right away that I was not truly saved.
After hearing the pure Word being preached for 5 months, I came to the end of trusting myself.   I truly repented and completely trusted Christ as my Saviour.




   Now that we have defined repentance and faith, we are going to show how the two work together.
Suppose that through a bizarre set of circumstances you happen to fall into the ocean while holding the last remaining gold bar on earth (the gold bar represents sin).   Considering its immense value, you naturally try to hang on to it until help arrives.   So, being the world class swimmer that you are, you tread water and try to stay alive while hanging on to your gold bar.   However, you can't keep your head above water forever because the heavy bar is pulling you under.   (Sin will do that: it slowly drags you down, and then drops you into Hell!)
   20 feet away, someone has thrown a life preserver (which represents Jesus Christ) and begins to yell:

That is like saying:

   We see here a picture of BOTH repentance and faith working together to save us.
   But now, suppose you insist on trying to get saved by doing only one or the other.   Let's say you try to reach for the life preserver without letting go of the gold bar - you will end up drowning!   Likewise, if you try to put your faith in Christ without repenting, you won't get saved.   Simon the Sorcerer can testify to that predicament:

"Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip,
and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done."
  ACTS 8:13

   His belief alone did not save him.   We find Peter, later on, telling him:

"But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of
God may be purchased with money.   Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter:
for thy heart is not right in the sight of God.   Repent therefore of this thy wickedness,
and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.
For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity."
  ACTS 8:20-23

   His belief didn't save him because it was not accompanied with repentance.   (* see note on page 17)

   Now let's say you let go of the gold bar, but you never swim toward the life preserver and grab on to it - again, you will end up drowning.   Likewise, if you try to repent without trusting Christ as your Saviour - you won't get saved either.   Just ask the traitor, Judas Iscariot:

"Then Judas...when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself [he felt regret], and brought
again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, Saying, I have sinned in that I have
betrayed the innocent blood.   And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that."
  MATTHEW 27:3-4

   His repentance alone did not save him.   While he regretted what he had done, he didn't turn toward Christ and trust Him as Saviour.   Instead. . .

"...he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple,
and departed, and went and hanged himself."
  MATTHEW 27:5


   Repentance, by itself, didn't save Judas because his repentance was not linked together with faith in Christ as Saviour.   Repentance and faith must work together to bring about salvation.   Jesus Christ started His ministry by teaching this very fact:

"...the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel."   MARK 1:15

   The Apostle Paul, addressing some who were still trusting in their works to save them, also stated that both repentance and faith were necessary:

"And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you,
but have shewed you, and have taught you publickly, and from house to house,
Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks,
repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ."
  ACTS 20:20-21

"...repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God," HEBREWS 6:1

* NOTE - Belief without repentance is a very common practice in "Christianity" today.   Many want to
believe but don't want to forsake their "sinful pleasures."   They may believe what the BIBLE says, but
they don't submit to its truth and apply it to their own lives because they have never repented.
They can quote verses, tell you who Hezekiah is, and even claim to have read the whole BIBLE several
times.   Some will even refer to God as Lord.   But Jesus said:
"And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?" LUKE 6:46
   Their lives are directed by what they want to do and not by what God tells them to do.   Jesus said:
"Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven;
but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven."
  MATTHEW 7:21
   Obedience is not just believing what God says but doing it as well.   Some may think they can
simply believe without surrendering to God; but Jesus says:
"...Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish."   LUKE 13:3

Real life testimony:
    I was 16 years old when I came to know Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Saviour.   I had grown up in a good home, where morality and decency were taught to us from a young age.   My dad was in the military, so we moved quite often during my childhood; but everywhere we went my parents found a good Bible preaching church where we could go and hear from God's Word and be taught the truth.   (A Bible preaching church is one that teaches and preaches salvation and doctrine from the Bible, and not from man's traditions or teachings.)   Even though I grew up hearing the plan of salvation from God's Word, and even though I attended a Christian school, I relied on an experience I had when I was 6 years old for my eternal salvation.   At that time, I was told, in error, by a church worker, that I needed to pray a little prayer to believe in Jesus to save me.   I don't remember much about that time, except that everyone was telling me afterwards that I would go to Heaven when I died.   Years later, as I was sitting in a chapel service at my Christian school, I heard the speaker preach on "Dirty Pots and Pans", out of Matthew chapter 23.   He said that many people who say they are Christians are hypocrites, because they look "Christian" in front of other people, but they act differently when they are by themselves or with another group of people.   THAT WAS ME!   I was always looked upon as a "goody two shoes, with a spare pair".   I knew right then that my "experience" at age 6 had not changed my life.   After thinking about it for a couple of months, I realized what was missing -- "repentance toward God".   I had believed in Jesus, but I had never turned to Him in repentance.   In other words, I had never changed my mind about my sin and self-righteousness!
    On Easter Sunday of 1982, I went to church and listened intently to the preaching; and the Holy Spirit convicted me of my sin and my relationship to God.   After the service, I talked to the pastor and told him I needed to be saved.   I knelt and prayed to God, in faith, trusting Jesus Christ to save me, and in repentance, turning from my sin to the Saviour.   Because of what Christ did for me that day, I KNOW that I will go to Heaven and see Him when I die!




(The Bible Way to Heaven)

If you died today, are you 100% sure you would go to Heaven?   The Bible says you can be!
"These things have I written...that ye may know that ye have eternal life," I JOHN 5:13

Consider life's greatest question:
"What must I do to get to Heaven?"

A. You must understand where you stand with God.

1. God loves you and wants you in Heaven forever with Him.
"God so loved the world" JOHN 3:16
2. However, your sins separate you from God.
"your iniquities have separated between you and your God," ISAIAH 59:2
3. This includes everyone.
"For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;" ROMANS 3:23
* Jesus died on the cross 2000 years ago to pay for your sins.

B. You must understand Heaven cannot be earned.

1. Not by doing good things.
"Not by works of righteousness...but according to his mercy he saved us..." TITUS 3:5
2. Not by being baptized, joining a church, or obeying the Ten Commandments.
"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast."   EPHESIANS 2:8-9
* The price for your sins must be paid, but to bypass salvation through Christ and try to work your way to Heaven is an insult to God (who has already paid for all your sins through the death and blood of His Son).

C. You must be willing to change your direction from sin.

1. Sin will take you to Hell.
"the wages of sin is death [spiritual death];" ROMANS 6:23
2. Pride and self righteousness will cause you to miss Heaven.
PROVERBS 6:16-19, ROMANS 10:2-3, LUKE 13:2-5
3. Faith in yourself, your baptism, or your church will cause you to miss Heaven.
ROMANS 3:24-25, JOHN 1:12-13, JOHN 3:3
4. You must be willing to repent.
"Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out..." ACTS 3:19
"...not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance."   II PETER 3:9
* Repentance means a change of mind or attitude about sin and your relationship to God.

D. You must trust in Jesus Christ (and Him ALONE) to save you.

1. A head knowledge about religion never got anyone to Heaven.
"the devils also believe," JAMES 2:19
2. Contrary to popular opinion, according to the Bible, most people will not go to Heaven when they die.
"narrow is the way...few there be that find it."   MATTHEW 7:13-14,21-23
3. You must receive Jesus Christ by faith as your personal Saviour.
"being justified by faith," ROMANS 5:1
* Eternal life was paid for by the shed blood of Christ: accept it as a free gift.
"...the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."   ROMANS 6:23
"In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:" COLOSSIANS 1:14
"That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved."   ROMANS 10:9



   We hope that you have found these seven lessons interesting and informative.   While only "scratching the surface" of what the BIBLE has to offer, we have nevertheless tried to provide as good an overview of the BIBLE as possible.   In doing so we have rightfully dedicated over two whole lessons to salvation.   After all, if a person misses salvation, he has missed it all.   Jesus said it best when He said:

"For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?" MARK 8:36

   Since salvation is so important, we would first like to address those of you who cannot point to a time and place when you received Christ as your Lord and Saviour.   As you have already learned, Christ died for your sins so you won't have to.   This means that you can know for sure (through repentance and faith) that you are going to Heaven when you die and you can possess a salvation that you will never lose.   Therefore the question is what would keep you from getting saved?   Is it worth going to Hell over?   We strongly encourage you to consider God's free gift of salvation.   If you would like more information about it, please feel free to let us know through the comment and question section of the worksheet.   We have more information available.

   Next, we want to address those of you that may have already made a profession of faith.   Perhaps you feel that you are already a Christian.   But whatever your personal testimony might be, the BIBLE says it is always a good idea to:

"Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves.   Know ye not your own
selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?"

   And one of the best means of self examination is by considering the following verse:

"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away;
behold, all things are become new."

   As mentioned in Lesson 6, true BIBLE salvation results in a supernatural transformation which causes all things to become new.   So please take the time to read the following section and examine yourself in light of what a new creature in Christ is like.   It could make the difference between Heaven and Hell!


*The new creature has experienced a new birth.

"Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee,
Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."
  JOHN 3:3
"But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you.
Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his."
  ROMANS 8:9

Examine yourself: Can you point to a time and place when you saw yourself as lost, then repented of your sin, and in faith called upon Christ to save you?   Have you been born again the BIBLE way?
A new creature knows beyond a shadow of a doubt he has!


*The new creature has a new mind that thinks and meditates on the things of God.

"Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God,
and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;"
"But his delight is in the law of the LORD;
and in his law doth he meditate day and night."
  PSALM 1:1-2

Examine yourself: Do you spend time thinking about the truths found in God's Word or do you spend the majority of your time thinking about the things of the world?   A new creature can say "God's Word"!

*The new creature has new ears that listen to what God has to say.

"He that is of God heareth God's words..." JOHN 8:47
"We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us.
Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error."
  I JOHN 4:6

Examine yourself: Do you automatically seek to "hear" what God's Word has to say on a given subject?   Do you look forward to hearing the Word of God preached?   A new creature can answer yes to both.

*The new creature has new eyes that can perceive (and understand) the things of God.

"Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might
know the things that are freely given to us of God
.   ... But the natural
man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he
[relate to] them, because they are spiritually discerned."   I CORINTHIANS 2:12,14

Examine yourself: Can you understand basic truth of the BIBLE without someone showing you what it means?   Can you personally relate to the truths found in the BIBLE?   A new creature would have no trouble understanding and "seeing" what God has to say!

*The new creature has a new mouth that speaks the things of God.

"But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak;
not as pleasing men, but God
, which trieth our hearts."
"They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world..." I JOHN 4:5

Examine yourself: Do you spend a considerable portion of your time talking about the truths found in the BIBLE?   Do you tell your family, friends and others how to get saved so they will not have to go to Hell?   Do you ask God to give you spiritual growth?   A new creature does!

*The new creature has a new desire that wants and loves the things of God.

"If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above....
Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth."
"As new born babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:" I PETER 2:2

Examine yourself: Do you desire the things of God more than the things of the world?   Would you rather spend more time reading the BIBLE and less time watching television?   A new creature would!


*The new creature has new hands that do the things of God.

"For we are labourers together with God..." I CORINTHIANS 3:9

Examine yourself: Have you ever written a letter to a loved one telling them how to get saved?   Do you normally look for something to do at your local church to help spread the gospel?   A new creature simply doesn't sit around and "twiddle its thumbs" while those around him go to Hell.

*The new creature has new feet that walk in the direction that God wants him to go.

"For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God."   ROMANS 8:14
"He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk..." I JOHN 2:6

Examine yourself: Do you gravitate toward the things of God?   Do you avoid walking in the ways of the world (its philosophy, fads, morals, life style, etc.)?   A new creature does!

*The new creature has new friends.

"Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God?
whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God."
  JAMES 4:4

Examine yourself: Do you have more in common with the world than with the BIBLE?   Do you still hang out with the same crowd you did before you got "saved"?   A new creature doesn't.

*The new creature has a new home and feels out of place in this world.

"Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world.
If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him."
  I JOHN 2:15

Examine yourself: Do you consider Heaven your home?   Do you look forward to being with your Heavenly Father?   A new creature can't wait!

Whether or not you have any doubts concerning your salvation, we recommend that you attend regular services at a good BIBLE believing, BIBLE preaching church.

n   One that uses the BIBLE as its only source of doctrine for both preaching and teaching (Lesson 6).
n   One that has various activities and ministries directed toward evangelizing a lost world.
n   One that not only evangelizes but provides good solid BIBLE preaching that challenges one to grow spiritually.
n   One that exposes false doctrine and the pitfalls of the devil.
n   One that tells you the truth no matter how much it may sometimes hurt or offend.



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