Boaz Baptist Chronicles
|Posted on April 3, 2011 at 1:40 AM|
A Brother asked, “What was the salvation plan during Christ's ministry? Did the apostles have to keep getting saved under each plan as it changed? They were baptized under John's ministry. Did they get re-baptized in the name of Christ? How many different ways did Peter have to get saved? He lived during all the three different salvation plans you are suggesting.”
All four questions are good questions.
The first consideration that someone has to determine is, is there a difference between the kingdom of Heaven and the kingdom of God. It seems like you already understand that there are two different kingdoms, and that both kingdoms are similar, but not the same. One is a literal, physical, Davidic kingdom, with a JEWISH king on a Jewish throne—the throne of David. Since that (King and) kingdom was rejected, by the Jews of Christ's day, the only thing that God could do, at that point, was to bring in the other kingdom, the spiritual kingdom. Jesus said to a Jewish Rabbi, he must be born into that kingdom (John three)—not a kingdom of corruption, but one of incorruption.
To quote you, the first “salvation plan under Christ’s ministry,” was simply keeping the law. (Matthew 5:17) Don’t forget, that this was a Jewish King, ready to set up his Jewish Kingdom, the kingdom of Heaven. (That’s why Herod sent out a decree to kill all the children two years old and under. A threat—a competitor to his kingdom had just been born IN his kingdom. And, this competitor was prophesied to sit on an EARTHLY throne. If King Herod had his way, he wouldn’t let that happen. He tried to stop it by attempting to kill his young Competitor. Also, may I point out that Matthew 2:17-18 was the near, of the near and far, fulfillment of OLD Testament prophecy. There was no reason to be saved by “grace through faith,” at this point, because the kingdom had not yet been rejected. God was still dealing with the Literal Davidic kingdom. The spiritual kingdom was yet to come.) To continue, anyone, at that point, who was to be in the kingdom of Heaven, according to Jesus, himself, had to believe on Him, but also had to keep the commandments, in order to have eternal life. (Matthew 19:16-26) Sadly, some went away sorrowful, as this rich young ruler did. Even Jesus said it was hard for people to be saved. Read these verses, again, in context.
John the Baptist comes along and says, “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.” But, we also see, in the other Gospels, that he says “the kingdom of God” is “at hand.” What can we make of this? Are these kingdoms the same? Well, no, if you study this subject out, they’re not. John is baptizing, here, to present the King, whose ministry is increasing, while his (John’s) is decreasing. Even though there was a transition from the Old Testament, with the death of the Testator (Hebrews 9:16-17)—which began a NEW Testament, there would have been no need to believe on Christ over and over again or be RE-baptized with a new transition that God employed, from the Old to the NEW covenant, or church age, if someone believed on the Messiah, ALREADY. At this point, once someone had believed on the Messiah, even though God’s revelation was progressive, no one who already believed would have to believe differently. Nothing, in that sense, changed. The Messiah was still the Messiah. To answer your question, “How many different ways did Peter have to get saved?” Peter got saved, one time, by believing on Christ. (Matthew 16:17) This leads to the forth, and last, question. Remember, that it was Peter who was preaching to the Jews, in Acts two, who said “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 ) [Peter was the one preaching, so I assume, he DIDN’T need to be saved.] This is the ONLY time, in Scripture, that someone HAD TO be baptized IN WATER, in order to publically proclaim that their sins had been remitted, and that they were remitted by Jesus (the one who they just crucified). Moreover, they had to be baptized IN THE NAME of Jesus Christ. We have to ask two questions, here. One, who was Peter talking to?? Verse twenty-two. “Israel.” And, two, what was the question, someone was asking? “Men and Brethren (in light of the fact that we just crucified our Messiah), what shall we do?” NOT, “what must I do to be saved?” (Acts 16:31) BUT, what shall WE do? One is a NATIONAL question. One question has to do with an INDIVIDUAL. One included baptism as the plan of salvation. One did not.
Last, to PROVE that someone who already believed on the coming of the Messiah had to be RE-baptized, who FIRST was baptized under John the Baptist’s baptism, read Acts 19:1-5. They were disciples of Apollos. (Acts 18:25) And, they didn’t come far enough, in their doctrine. This answers your third question.
I hope this helps.