Wherefore the old testament law was our school master (Gal. 3:24-25) to lead us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith, and it was written for our learning that we might have hope (Rom. 15:4). Perhaps we should do just that, and look to some of the lessons it teaches us on obeying God exactly.

II Kings chapter 5 tells us of a great and honorable Syrian man named Naaman. He was a mighty man in valor, but he was a leper. The king of Syria sent him to the king of Isreal to be healed. The king could not heal Naaman, so he sent him to Elisha, a prophet of God. Elisha sent word for Naaman to wash seven times in the Jordan river and he would be healed. Naaman said, "Are not the rivers of Damascas better than all the waters of Isreal? May I not wash in them and be clean?" So he refused and went away in a rage His servants finally convinced him to comply with Elisha's instructions. So he went down and dipped himself seven times in the river Jordan, "according to the word of the man of God," and his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child and he was clean. This story should teach us that we must follow God's instructions for salvation exactly, if we are to have any hope of being saved on the day of judgment. God could have cleansed Naaman any way He chose, but He chose to cleanse him by his dipping seven times in the Jordan. This example of God's dealings with man in the old testament is our schoolmaster to explain the nature of God and exactly how He deals with mankind. He demands that we do things His way, regardless of whether we think it makes sense to us or not.

And He said to them, "Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. He who believes and is baptized shall be saved, but he who believes not shall be condemned" (Mark 16:15-16, Matt. 28:19). This commandment is exactly "according to the word of God," and is the last commandment Jesus gave to his apostles, after He had risen from the dead, before he went back to heaven and sat down on the right hand of God. I can't believe people cannot understand this very simple statement. I think they simply refuse to do it, because just as Naaman liked the rivers of Damascas better than the river Jordan, they like their ways better than God's way.

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the men of old gained approval. Through faith, Able, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Moses, Issac, and Joseph, all gained approval of God. For without faith it is impossible to please God (Heb. Chapter 11).

God could save man without baptism, He has that power. If anyone does not have enough faith in God's command to be baptized for the remission of their sins (Acts 2:38), then they do not have faith enough to be saved. When God commands that we be baptized, for the remission of our sins, then we must be baptized for the remission of our sins to be saved, end of discussion.

God could save man outside His church, He has that power. But He purposed to add only the saved to His church. (Acts 2:47) Jesus purposed to built only one church. (Matt. 16:18) Jesus purchased only one church with His own blood. (Acts 20:28) He is the Savior of only one body, which is His church. (Eph. 5:23)

But if you will not obey the voice of the Lord, but rebel against the commandments of the Lord, then shall the hand of the Lord be against you (I Sam. 12:15).

I firmly believe that God can do anything He wishes to do, but I just as firmly believe, He will always act in exact accordance with His will and purpose, as revealed to us in His Holy Word.

Friends and neighbors, I diligently urge you, to ignore not God's will and purpose. Turn back to the bible and accept God's plan of salvation with complete obedience to His gospel, His revealed purpose, acting with complete faith, before it is eternally too late.

We invite all who would, to come together with us each Sunday morning at Kedron on the Coopertown Road, Russellville, Kentucky, to worship God in spirit and in truth. We neither add to God's word or take from it. Bible study at 10:00 and Worship at 11:00.