PART 1: SALVATION IS BY FAITH IN
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AMC STATEMENT ON SALVATION
|We believe that anyone who by faith trusts Messiah Yeshua as Savior and
Redeemer is immediately forgiven of sin and becomes a child of God. This
salvation is not the result of any human effort or merit, it is the
undeserved favor of God. Further, there is no other way of salvation apart
from faith in Messiah Yeshua for any person, whether Jewish or Gentile. We
believe that Messiah Yeshua died as the sacrifice for man's sin and that
all who believe in Him are declared righteous on the basis of His shed
blood alone. We believe that all believers are kept eternally secure by
the power of God through the new birth and the indwelling and sealing of
the Holy Spirit. (Genesis 15:6; Leviticus 17:11; Deuteronomy 9:4-6;
Habakkuk 2:4; John 1:12,13; Acts 2:37-39; Romans 1:16,17, 3:28, 8:9,15-17;
Ephesians 1:7, 2:8,9,19; Titus 3:5)
Bible uses the term salvation in several different senses, all of
which convey the idea of rescue or deliverance and/or its results: safety,
relief, blessedness. The
salvation that our Statement addresses has to do with the eternal
forgiveness of sins by God and its glorious results for the one so
forgiven. Our Statement also declares how one may attain salvation in our present church age.
We will examine every detail of our
Statement. Each of its five sentences will serve as a major division. The
first will be addressed in this issue, and the other four in the next edition or
I. "We believe that anyone who by faith trusts Messiah Yeshua as Savior and Redeemer is
immediately forgiven of sin and becomes a child of God."
Let us examine the components of this statement.
Yeshua is the Hebrew name from which the English name Jesus is derived,
and means Salvation. It was a common name in Jesus' day, but it is not without significance that the name of
Messiah was, and still is, Salvation. An angel of the Lord said to
Joseph, And she shall bear a son, and you shall
call His name JESUS: for He shall save His people from their sins
Messiah is the English form of the Hebrew word Mashiach, which comes from the
root mashach, meaning to rub with
oil, that is, to anoint (Strong's Concordance). A mashiach is one so anointed with oil
(Smith's Bible Dictionary). In the Old Testament, men were consecrated to
kingship by the pouring of a special anointing oil over their heads (e.g.,
1 Samuel 2:10). However, Daniel 9:25 prophesied of one particular
Mashiach, Messiah the Prince,
who was to come at exactly the time that Jesus came. Christos, rendered in English
Christ, is the Greek equivalent of Mashiach,
and also means anointed. Whereas in the Old Testament men were
anointed by the pouring of oil, Messiah Yeshua was anointed by
means of the measureless endowment of the Holy Spirit poured upon Him by God. John
3:34: For he whom God has sent, speaks the words of God; for God hath
not given the Spirit by measure [to him].
C. Messiah Yeshua
The messiahship of Yeshua can be demonstrated beyond doubt through an
examination of many detailed prophecies and their exact fulfillment in His
life. Of the dozens of such prophecies and their
fulfillment in Yeshua, a few of the naturally verifiable ones are: He
would be a descendant of King David (Isaiah 11:1; Matthew 1:1 and Luke
1:31-33); He would be born in Bethlehem of Judah (Micah 5:2; Matthew 2:1);
He would be sold for thirty pieces of silver (Zechariah 11:1-17; Matthew
26:15); He would be
pierced (Psalm 22:16; Matthew 27:35); His tormentors would divide his
garments between them and cast lots for his vesture (Psalm 22:18; John
19:23-24); He would be resurrected (Psalm 16:10
and 22:22; Matthew 28:6 and 1 Corinthians 15:6). Statisticians have determined that it is a virtual impossibility for one
man to fulfill even a handful of such prophecies by chance. According to Dr. Norman Geisler,
|There are at least
forty-eight prophecies in the Old Testament about Messiah. These
include where he would be born (Mic. 5:2), how he would die (Isa.
53), when he would die (Dan. 9), that he would rise from the dead (Psa.
16), etc. The odds that 48 of these prophecies were fulfilled in one
man are about 1/10157. Thatís right, a 1 with 157 zeroes
after it. (Geisler, Norman L. and Brooks, Ronald M.,
Come, Let us Reason, Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, Michigan,
1990, p. 145).
The number of electrons in the
universe is a "piddling" 1 followed by 80 zeroes! Surely, any
honest student of the Scriptures must conclude that Yeshua is HaMashiach, the Messiah.
In the Scriptures, savior is used of earthly deliverers from earthly troubles, but
also of the divine Deliverer from our sins, from the power of sin, and
from all of sin's earthly and eternal penalties and curses, unto eternal
salvation and the uttermost heavenly blessings. It is this latter
understanding of Savior that we employ in reference to Jesus.
To redeem means to buy back. When we use this term in reference to
Jesus, we mean, figuratively speaking, that He bought us back from
sin, and from judgment because of sin.
Ephesians 1:7: In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness
Romans 8:23: And not only so, but ourselves also, who have the
firstfruit of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves,
awaiting adoption, the redemption of our body.
These scriptures declare that:
1. The redemption that Jesus wrought "purchased" the whole man, soul
2. The redemption that Jesus wrought laid the groundwork for the forgiveness of
3. The price of the redemption that Jesus bought was His own blood.
F. Faith, Trust, Belief
word translated faith and belief is pistis, which Strong's defines as
persuasion, moral conviction, assurance, belief. The word for trust is
elpidzo, meaning to expect, to have confidence in. The three
terms, then, basically mean the same thing: to be persuaded of something, to hold
something to be true, to have confidence in.
What is belief? A man is drowning in the sea, and a
lifeline is throw to him from a passing ship. The man grasps for and
clings to that lifeline believing that it is his salvation. He has faith
that it will hold him. He trusts in it.
Ephesians 2:8: For by grace you are saved through faith....
Romans 5:1: Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with
God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
As an inquirer's understanding of the Gospel grows, he must actively
exercise faith in Messiah to be saved just as the drowning man must actively reach
for, grasp and cling to the lifeline. Indeed, active reception of faith
may have to be encouraged or urged by the evangelist. Jesus Himself urged,
Repent, and believe the
gospel (Mark 1:15). Though faith may be encouraged or urged, it is not
something that can be forced.
In 380 A.D., Emperor
Theodosius commanded everyone in the Roman Empire to follow the faith which
"Peter delivered to the Romans", and suppressed all other religions. (The
Bible doesn't say that Peter delivered the faith to the Romans.) Such an
approach is absurd whether it be personal evangelism or emperor
evangelism. It tends to drive people away rather than attract them, and
may bring long-lasting, devastating results as did Theodosius' decree. True Christian faith cannot be forced; it is a
matter of the heart (Romans 10:9-10), of personal persuasion.
1. What, Exactly, Do We Need to
Have Faith In?
Having faith in, trusting in, or believing in Messiah
means trusting in who He is and in the work that He did to purchase our
redemption. Let's look at five passages of Scripture, and then list
2 Corinthians 5:21: For He [Father] has
made Him [Jesus] who knew no sin, to be sin for us, that we might become
the righteousness of God in Him [Jesus].
Romans 10:9-10: 9. [I]f you confess with your mouth that Jesus
is Lord, and believe in your heart that
God has raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved. 10. for with
the heart man believes unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession
is made unto salvation.
(It's the belief in the heart that saves, and the confession of the lips is
the fruit and evidence of the faith that saves, for
out of the abundance of the
heart the mouth speaks [Matthew 12:34].)
John 8:24: Jesus said to some Pharisees: For if you do
not believe that I AM, you will die in your sins.
1 Corinthians 15:1-4: 1. And, brothers, I declare to you the gospel which
I preached to you, which also you have received, and in which you stand;
2. by which you also are being kept safe, if you hold fast the word which
I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. 3. For I delivered to you
first of all that which I also received, that Christ died for our sins,
according to the Scriptures, 4. and that He was buried, and that He rose
again the third day according to the Scriptures....
2 Timothy 2:8: Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was
raised from the dead according to my gospel....
These essentials for belief can be derived from these scriptures:
a. Jesus died for our sins.
b. Jesus was a man. He was not merely a spirit as some have
held, but a true flesh and blood man. How can a mere spirit be crucified and die? It is impossible for one to believe that
Jesus died for our sins if He were a mere spirit.
c. Jesus was a sinless man. If He was a sinner, His death could not
suffice for even his own salvation; but Jesus was sinless in deed and, even
more fundamentally and significantly, in His very
d. Jesus was God. Luke 1:34-35 reads, 34.
Then Mary said to the angel, How shall
this be, since I do not know a man? 35. And the angel answered and said to
her, The Holy Spirit shall come on you, and the power of the Highest shall
overshadow you. Therefore also that Holy One which will be born of you
shall be called Son of God. It was the
overshadowing of the Holy Spirit upon
Mary that brought about His divine conception (Son of
God) and established the absolute holiness/sinlessness
of His nature (Holy One). Romans 10:9
states plainly, Jesus is Lord, which means that
Jesus is God; specifically, the second Person of the Triune God. If Jesus
were a mere man, sinless in nature and deed (if that were possible), His death
could conceivably atone for just one sinner; but because He was God as
well as a man (and still is), He was able to atone for the sins of all
mankind, consistent with what John the Immerser said, Behold the Lamb of God who takes
away the sin of the world (John 1:29).
e. Jesus was buried. The burial of Jesus served as
observable proof that He really did die, laying the groundwork for belief
in His death for sin and in His resurrection. He was removed from the cross,
embalmed, wrapped in winding sheets, and placed in a tomb. A large stone
was rolled to seal the entrance, the official Roman seal was placed across
the stone and the rim of the entrance to ensure that no one would dare
steal the body, and Roman soldiers guarded his tomb for the
same purpose. The burial of Jesus ensured that, by unmistakable observable
benchmarks and extreme security measures, He really was dead.
f. Jesus was raised from the dead. Why is it necessary to believe this to
attain salvation? If Christ paid for our sins at the cross, then do we not
have salvation whether or not He rose from the dead?
Romans 5:10 is key to rightly dividing between the work of the cross
and the work of the resurrection: For if when we
were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much
more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.
According to the passage, 1. the work of the cross reconciles us to God, and 2. the
work of His resurrection saves those who believe.
Let us first consider the work
of reconciliation through Christ's death, and then the work of salvation
by His life.
1) The Work of Reconciliation Through Christ's Death
... we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son...
2 Corinthians 5:19-20 and Ephesians 2:15b-16 bring more clarity to the work of
2 Corinthians 5:19-20:
19. ...God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not
imputing their trespasses to them,
and putting the word of reconciliation in us.
20. Then we are ambassadors on behalf of Christ, as God exhorting through
us, we beseech you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.
Ephesians 2:15b-16: 15b. ...in
Himself He might make the two [Gentiles and Jews] into one new man, making
peace between them; 16. and so that He might reconcile both to God in one
body by the cross, having slain the enmity in Himself.
Let's focus on three statements in these passages:
a. ...God was in Christ reconciling the
world to Himself... (2 Corinthians 5:19a.).
God's work of reconciliation does not apply just to the saved, but
to the world.
b. Jesus reconciled the entire world of sinners
to God...by the
cross, having slain the enmity between sinners and God
in Himself (Ephesians 2:16). In doing so,
He rendered the entire world of sinners savable.
we beseech you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled
to God (2 Corinthians 5:19-20b).
The individual has a choice as to whether to be reconciled
to God, or not.
So we see that two parties need to be in agreement for mutual reconciliation to take place. God
did His part: God was in Christ reconciling the
world to Himself. Now, the sinner must
be reconciled to God by receiving
God's sacrifice through faith.
Now, Romans 5:10 again, which focuses on believers:
For if when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death
of His Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. Christ's death reconciled us to God, rendering us savable. Then, by faith, we grabbed on to God's work of reconciliation
through Christ that we might
be reconciled to God. This leads us to
2. The Work of Salvation by Christ's
... we shall be saved by His life
Salvation by Christ's resurrection life entails salvation by the ascended
Christ in three main areas: His sending of the
Holy Spirit, His present heavenly ministries on our behalf, and His
eschatological or future ministries on our behalf.
a) Messiah's Sending of the Holy Spirit
We grabbed on to God's work of reconciliation through Christ that we might
be reconciled to God. At this stage, we
were like that man hanging on to that lifeline to avoid drowning -
but one more thing was needful for him: power exerted from above to lift
him out of the sea and into the ship called Salvation. Similarly, as we hung on to the
lifeline of reconciliation that God tossed us, power from above was yet
needed to lift us into God's ship of Salvation and all of its blessings. That power from
above is the Holy Spirit, Whom Jesus sent after His resurrection and
ascension (John 16:7) that we might
be saved by His life. If the Lord had
not attained resurrection life He would not have ascended, and the Holy
Spirit would not have been given, and it is the Holy Spirit,
His [Christ's] divine power that has
has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the
knowledge of Him who has called us to glory and virtue (2 Peter
1:3); and Messiah's resurrection was prerequisite to the release of His divine
It was the sending of the Spirit that enabled us to become temples
of God by virtue of being indwelt by the Spirit (John 14:17; 1 Corinthians
6:19-20), to be given a divine nature and made a new creation by means of
regeneration (John 3:6-7; 2 Corinthians 5:17; 1 Peter 1:23; 2 Peter 1:4),
to be empowered for victory over sin (Romans 8:1-4), anointed for
spiritual discernment and conviction of the essentials of the faith (1
Corinthians 2:12-14; 2 Corinthians 1:21-22; 1 John 2:20,27), sealed for
the eternal securing of our salvation (2 Corinthians 1:21-22; Ephesians
1:13), and baptized by the Spirit into the church (1 Corinthians 12:13),
which itself was created by the outpouring of the Spirit (Acts 2).
b) Messiah's Present Heavenly Ministries on Our Behalf
 Toward God the Father
Another aspect of our being saved by Christ's resurrection life is our
being kept in our salvation by Messiah's present heavenly
ministries of Advocate (1 John 2:1) and Intercessor (Hebrews 4:14-16;
7:25) on our behalf toward His and our heavenly Father.
 Toward Us as Individuals.
When it is time for us to die, it will no longer be Satan, but Messiah,
who will take us through the process (Revelation 1:18).
c) Messiah's Eschatological or Future Ministries on Our Behalf
The Lord's resurrection ensures the fulfillment of these biblical promises
toward His church: our resurrection or translation at the rapture, at
which time we will receive our spiritual, glorified bodies (1 Corinthians
15:20-44; 1 Thessalonians 4:14); the reception of our rewards at the
Judgment Seat of Christ (1 Corinthians 3:11-14); our marriage to Him in
Heaven (Revelation 19:6-8); our marriage banquet with Him at the beginning
of the Millennium (Revelation 19:9); His Second Coming and our return to
rule and reign with Him in the Messianic Kingdom (Revelation 5:10;
19:11-21; Revelation 20:4,6; Jude 1:14; Rev. 19:14); the ushering in of
the eternal ages and the creation of the new heavens, new earth and new
Jerusalem, our eternal glorious abode from that time forth in the presence
of the Triune God, the entire company of the holy angels and the all
saints of all ages (Hebrews 12:22-23; Revelation 21:1-27).
If Messiah had not attained resurrection life, we who exercised
faith would be in a strange fix, indeed - if we would have exercised faith in a
dead Messiah, to begin with! - no Spirit outpouring, no heavenly ministries
by Messiah on our behalf, no eschatological glory. But Christ is risen.
Therefore we can say, For if when we were enemies, we were reconciled to
God through the death of His Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be
saved by His life (Romans 5:10).
G. The Forgiveness of Sin
To review from our previous study, sin is any
spiritual condition, thought, word or deed that is contrary to the moral
perfection of God. All people are born with a sin nature (Jeremiah 17:19;
Romans 7:23; Ephesians 2:3; Galatians 5:19-21) and sin in thought, word
and deed (Psalm 14:2-3; Roman 2:1, 3:9, 3:23; Isaiah 53:6, 64:6; 1 John
1:8). Sin estranges man from God (Romans 3:23) and man from man (Genesis
3:11), and has brought the curse upon the earth (Genesis 3:14-19). In
short, sin is the root cause of every form and instance of misery and
suffering in time and eternity. The horror of sin can but begin to be
fathomed by comparing the carnage and suffering and devastation and
disease and death and godlessness that so characterize this planet with
the idyllic and pristine environment provided our first parents in Eden as
they enjoyed unblemished and full fellowship with the Lord. But the extent to which man can appreciate the horror of
sin cannot begin to be compared to the depths of such appreciation by an infinitely
holy and loving omniscient God. Let's not forget that it was sin that
killed His Son and isolated Him for three hours from His Father as He hung
on the cross (Luke 23:44-45; Matthew 27:46). Surely, it is justifiable that
the wages of
sin is death (Romans 6:23), meaning separation from God
culminating in an eternity in the Lake of Fire (Revelation 20:14-15). Yes,
the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is
eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord
(Romans 6:23). In Him we have redemption
through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His
grace (Ephesians 1:7).
H. Child of God
Upon exercising faith in Messiah, one is not only forgiven of sin, but
becomes a child of God. All men are children of God by virtue of being
part of God's natural creation (Acts 17:29); but upon exercising faith in
Messiah, one becomes a child of God in a spiritual sense by virtue of
born again, by the Holy Spirit:
12. But as many as received Him,
He gave to them authority to become the children of God, to those who
believe on His name. 13. who were born, not of bloods, nor of the
will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but were born
John 3:3-7: 3. Jesus answered and said to him, Truly,
truly, I say to you, Unless a man is born again, he cannot see the kingdom
of God. 4. Nicodemus said to Him, How can a man be born when he is old?
Can he enter the second time into his mother's womb and be born? 5. Jesus
answered, Truly, truly, I say to you, Unless a man is born of water and
the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6. That which is born
of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7.
Do not marvel that I said to you, You must be born again.
One becomes a spiritual child of God by virtue of being
born of the Spirit, Who is God; and as a child of God he is heirs of
Rom 8:15-17: 15. For you have not
received the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you have received the
Spirit of adoption by which we cry, Abba, Father! 16. The Spirit Himself bears
witness with our spirit that we are the children of God. 17. And if
children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be
that we suffer [with him], that we may be also glorified together.
Our Statement declares that one who exercises faith in
Messiah is forgiven of sin and becomes a child of God immediately. One
of the thieves crucified with Jesus said to Him, 42. Lord, remember me
when You come into Your kingdom. 43. And Jesus said to him, Truly I say to
you, Today you shall be with Me in Paradise (Luke 23:42-43). As
soon as the thief believed in Jesus he was immediately forgiven of his sins and
became a child of God.
Our Statement also declares that this salvation is
available to anyone:
John 3:16: For God so loved the world that He gave
His only-begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not
perish but have everlasting life. Indeed,
The Lord does... not desire
that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance (2 Peter
3:9). In Revelation 3:20, Jesus offers salvation to the many apostates in the visible
Laodicean church of our day: Behold, I
stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door,
I will come in to him and will dine with him and he with Me. (An apostate is one who has departed from the faith he
professed to have, but never really did have.)
"Whosoever", "any", "anyone".
No matter how horrible our sins,
simply having faith or belief or trust in Messiah moves God to forgive us
of our sins and to absolve us of all of its penalties. Three murderers
were eternally forgiven of their sins because, at some point in their
lives, they exercised saving faith in Messiah: Moses (Exodus 2:12), David
(2 Samuel 11:14-17) and Saul of Tarsus (Acts 7:58-8:1).
WHAT MUST I DO TO BE SAVED?
"What must I do to be saved?"
was the cry of the Philippian jailor to Paul and Silas. (Acts
Is that your cry? Then we implore you to consider Paul's and Silas'
Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be
For the wages of sin is death, but
the gift of God
is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
For God so loved the world that He gave His
that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have
Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; ...he was buried,
and ...rose again the third day according to the scriptures.
As Jesus implored His listeners, we humbly
"Believe the Gospel".
Please let us know if you've just begun to believe.
God bless you!
For a continuous exegesis of every doctrinal point
in our Statement
covered thus far, see
* * *
For a much fuller treatment of the subject, the author
recommends these materials by Dr. Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum, which may be
Messianic Bible Studies:
mbs-066 The Ministries of the Holy Spirit
mbs-075 The Resurrection of the Messiah
mbs-102 Eternal Security
mbs-103 The Ten Facets of Our Salvation
mbs-105 Justification and Sanctification
mbs-100 The Nature and the Results of the Atonement
mbs-110 Thirty-Three Things: A Study of Positional Truth
mbs-111 The Conditions of Salvation
Messianic Christology - "A Study of Old Testament Prophecy Concerning the First Coming of
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© Norman Manzon, 2008.
Norman Manzon is a Bible teacher
and may be reached at
More of Norm's studies may be accessed at