Many of may have seen or observe a discussion I had last week about whether or not God speaks audibly to men today, with a young lady I respect very much. In that discussion the young lady emphasized REPEATEDLY the fact that God does NOT change and that He is "the same yesterday, today and forever". I agree TOTALLY with this TRUTH. However, it is funny and yet confusing how on Bible issues such as this, the reality of miracles and the use of man-made instruments of music those like her stand firmly on the God's immutability and the fact that He does NOT change, but on TRUTHS like obedience to God's Word, they skip and dance back and forth for the New Testament to the Old, saying that NOW we are under grace and NOT law, while then, they were under law and NOT grace. But, this is exactly where the immutability of God actually applies.
God has ALWAYS offered and extended His grace toward man. Man has NEVER earned or deserved the favor of God or His blessings; they've ALWAYS come as a result of His Unmerited favor toward man. Yet, accompanying the blessing and favor of God, there has ALWAYS been conditions that must be met, commands which must be obeyed and laws with which man must comply in order to receive the blessing of God's favor. With this I humbly ask:
- Did Noah and his family earn or deserve the salvation they received having done "according to all that God commanded him" Gen. 6:22?
- Did Israel earn of deserve their salvation from the venomous snakes when they travelled to look upon the bronze serpent Moses had built? Num. 21:8
- Did Israel earn or deserve Jericho which they had obeyed God by circling the walls as He commanded? Jos. 6:1-15
- Naaman, the leper neither earned or deserved his healing from that fatal disease; nor was he saved from it before, but AFTER he obeyed the Word of God by going and baptizing himself 7 times in the Jordan river.
Therefore, according to the SAME God of this SAME grace, those to whom the gospel of Christ is preached are commanded, required and expected to comply with stipulations which the GOSPEL of Christ gives as conditional to receiving salvation and remission of sins. And, by doing so one has neither earned, deserved nor merited God's blessing of salvation, but merely demonstrated his/her faith through obedience to God's inspired Word.
The Bible CLEARLY teaches that in expectation of salvation and forgiveness of sin, upon hearing the gospel of Jesus Christ he/she is required to:
- Believe the gospel Jn. 8:24, Heb. 11:6
- Repent of their sins Lk. 13:3, Acts 17:30
- Confess their faith in the gospel Matt. 10:32, Rom. 10:9, Acts 8:37
- Be baptized for the forgiveness of sin Mk. 16:15-16, Acts 2:38, Gal. 3:28, 1 Pet. 3:21
Yes! God IS the same and never changes Mal. 3:6, Heb. 13:8, Jms. 1:17. This is why "Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men" 2 Cor. 5:11.
"For the GRACE of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, TEACHING us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world" Titus 2:11-12