Believe, Obey and Experience

We must believe, obey, and experience salvation to get to heaven. Most people think that they only need to believe in Jesus Christ to go to heaven. They claim John 3:16 declares this indisputably:

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:16).

They say Jesus said this so it must be true. They will tell you that there is nothing to obey, nothing to experience. Of course their problem is that they never read the fifteen verses before John 3:16, and the many other scriptures that Jesus spoke and the Bible declares that must be obeyed and experienced to get to heaven. They also don't know the true meaning of believe.

What Jesus Says About Salvation

Let's look at a few verses where Jesus gives us instruction about being saved to enter the Kingdom of God:

And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel (Mark 1:15).

From this verse it is obvious that to enter the Kingdom of God, one must repent as part of the gospel. To repent means to change.  The old man dies (Romans 6:6) and the new changed man lives. It is impossible to change without obeying this command and then experiencing the change in our lives. We become new creatures in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17).

He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned (Mark 16:16).

Jesus said if you believe you must be baptized. Baptism in the Greek is "baptizo" and it means to be immersed in water. Believing here means one needs to be obedient to the command to be baptized, and then experience being immersed and having one's sins remitted.

He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified) (John 7:38-39).

And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues (Mark 16:17).

If we believe, we must experience receiving the Holy Ghost, speaking in a new tongue, a new language, when this happens.

Jesus spoke all of the above verses in the future tense. If we believe and obey His words, we will then experience what He has promised. Because Jesus had not been glorified, the experience of salvation was not available until He ascended to heaven. It was not available until His church was born in the Book of Acts.

What Happened in the Book of Acts?

We just studied some of the scriptures where Jesus said what a person would experience if he/she believed and obeyed the scripture. So now let's look at the Book of Acts to see how this played out. If we go to Luke 24:44-49, the Great commission verses recorded by Luke, we see that Jesus repeated the commands to the eleven apostles that we studied above. In Luke 24:47 we see that He told them to repent and be baptized (remission of sins happens when a person is baptized in Jesus' name - Acts 2:38). Then He told them in Luke 24:49 to go to Jerusalem and wait for the promise of the Father, which is the Holy Ghost (Acts 1:5 and 1:8). So the disciples did exactly that as we see in Acts 1:13. We also see that they were joined by others, including Mary the mother of Jesus (Acts 1:14). In all, there were one hundred and twenty waiting for the promise of the Father in the upper room (Acts 1:15). They believed and obeyed what Jesus said, and then experienced the promise of the Father, the infilling of the Holy Ghost:

And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance (Acts 2:4).

Peter Preaches the First Message of the Church Dispensation.

Jesus gave the Apostle Peter the keys to the kingdom (Matthew 16:19), so it is no surprise that Peter preached the first sermon in the church dispensation (Acts 2:14-40). In this sermon we read other verses where obedience through belief lead to experience.

Near the end of Peter's sermon, the crowd (about 3000 - Acts 2:41) asked Peter and the other disciples, "What shall we do?" (Acts 2:37). Peter said unto them:

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).

So here we have Peter peaching exactly what Jesus commanded the apostles to do in the Great Commission verses (Luke 24:44-49). And what did the 3000 experience? 

Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls (Acts 2:41).

When Luke said that "the same day there were added unto them", it is clear that in addition to the original one hundred and twenty receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, the 3000 experienced receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost as well, and that all of the 3120 were baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of their sins.

Experiencing Salvation

The experience of true salvation continued throughout the Book of Acts. I suggest that you take the time to read Acts 10:44-48 and Acts 19:1-6, and you will clearly see that the lost believed, obeyed and experienced salvation by receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost with the initial evidence of speaking in tongues, and being baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins.


From Believe, Obey and Experience to the Gospel of Jesus Christ

From Believe, Obey and Experience to Born Again

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