Read Time: 4 Minutes 15 Seconds
I’m not a heavy user of digital media. I get friend requests in messages from Facebook, but while I do have a Facebook account and “follow” some friends and relatives, I just don’t have time to be regularly involved with the minutiae of other people’s lives.
Consequently, I don’t have a Twitter or Instagram account, and I initially thought TikTok must have something to do with clocks or watches.
I may be a little “old school” and “ignorant” (meaning without knowledge) about these modern developments, devices and doings. But I do know that some of the more digitally informed people, may actually be “misinformed” about the most important issues of this life and the one to follow, where we will be judged by God and His Son, for all we have done in this life (Revelation 22:12; Jude 14-15). They may even have been “mal-informed” by friends, relatives, educators or “groomers” who indoctrinate them in sinful worldviews, lifestyles and practices (Rom. 1:27-32) .
More serious and insidious than those who may be ignorant of or have been misinformed or mal-informed about God and His plan for their lives are those who are deliberately dis-informed about these crucial and important matters concerning eternity. Peter speaks of these as already doomed, depraved and deliberate deceivers (2 Peter 2:14-22). Jesus also warned about such people in the last days who will deliberately “dis-inform” or “deceive” others (Matthew 24:11, 24; 25:41-46 ).
What Must We Do to be Saved?
Jesus taught that God loved this world of sinful people so much that “He gave His only begotten Son” that sinners could be saved from the guilt and shame of their own sins and sinful natures and have “everlasting” or eternal life (John 3:16). He further stated this was done so the whole world of sinners could be rescued, or “saved” from the due punishment they deserved (v. 17).
On the Day of Pentecost (50 days after Christ’s resurrection), the apostle Peter explained to his fellow Jews what the unusual sounds and sights were all about as they witnessed the miraculous outpouring of the Holy Spirit, that had been promised by Jesus Himself (Acts 1:4-8) just weeks before. Peter explained that “this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel,” and then related about Jesus’ resurrection, proving the acceptance by Father God of Christ’s sacrificial death to redeem or save us from our sins. Luke, the historian of this early church age, related Peter’s sermon on that day:
“’…Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.’ When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, ‘Brothers, what shall we do?’ Peter replied, ‘Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit’” (Acts 2:36-38; NIV).
Peter called for the crowd to “repent,” which meant to change their thinking and direction of devotion. It includes sorrowfully turning from the rituals of the religious direction they were pursuing and then turning to the reality of recognizing Jesus of Nazareth as the Christ or Savior of the world. Being baptized “in the name of Jesus” means to confess Him to be all that His name denotes. This new reality of faith and practice blends into a new and certain hope (Rom. 8:24-27), with the promise of everlasting life in Christ (John 3:16-18).
God has Fixed our Sin Problem
The apostle Paul’s epistle to the church in Rome contains a thrilling trail of theology, explaining our sin, salvation and sanctification. Chapter 3, verse 23 relates the universality of our hopeless, sinful condition: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
Three chapters later Paul explained that “the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 6:23). First, he speaks of wages, which are earned and deserved. We are due the wages of death. But, he then turns from wages to speak of a gift, which is not earned or deserved, but graciously given by a generous God!
Then, in the 10th chapter, he ties in what God has done with our personal belief and confession of faith:
“If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation,” (Rom. 10:9-10; NIV).
Finally, in chapter 12, Paul instructs in verses one and two about our progressive sanctification and practical transformation. We are to present our bodies as a “living sacrifice,” which is both acceptable to God and a rational response to the “mercies” of God. His Spirit works in our spirits to revive and renew us in spiritual maturation and service.
In verse two, we are commanded not to be “conformed” or squeezed into the mold of this world’s godless system and styles, whose god is the devil (2 Cor. 4:4). Rather, we are to be transformed by a “renewed mind,” which is committed to the holy ideals of God’s kingdom.
We are to “prove” by daily practice that God’s will for us is good, acceptable and perfect. This will result in our being “set apart” and “sanctified” for God’s holy purposes, more and more.
This is God’s will and plan for our lives.
Gary Curtis served in full-time ministry for 50 years, the last 27 years of which he was part of the pastoral staff of The Church on The Way, the Van Nuys, California, Foursquare church. Now retired, Gary continues to write a weekly blog at worshipontheway.wordpress.com and frequent articles for digital and print platforms.