Please join us in person or on live stream on June 5th at 6:00 pm for an area wide singing.

By Mike Riley

While on earth, Jesus taught many spiritual lessons using figures of speech. For example, He spoke of entering the kingdom of God under the figure of a birth while conversing with Nicodemus (John 3:1-8). This figure must be correctly interpreted in the light of literal statements made about the same thing.

The story of the rich, young ruler (Matthew 19:16-25) contributes to our understanding of our Lord’s declaration to Nicodemus in John 3:5. The young ruler came to Jesus with the question of what to do to “have eternal life” (Matthew 19:16).

Jesus told him what to do to “enter into life” (Matthew 19:17), and further described it as entering the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 19:23). That all these expressions had to do with being saved is evident from the disciples question, “Who then can be saved?” (Matthew 19:25).

When it is learned what an individual “must do” to “have eternal life,” that individual will know what he “must do” to be “born again.”

In Acts 16:30, the question was asked by the Philippian jailor, “What must I do to be saved?” Paul and Silas’ answer was to “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31).

The actions of the jailor then demonstrates what it is to “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Note that the apostle continued by speaking the “word of the Lord” [the gospel] to the jailor and “all who were in his house” (Acts 16:32). The jailor then took them the same hour of the night, washed their stripes, and was immediately baptized (Acts 16:33). Following this, he “brought them into his house, set food before them, and rejoiced, having believed in God with all his household” (Acts 16:34).

The jailor had been born again “of water [baptism] and of the Spirit” [teachings of the Spirit via the gospel] (John 3:5; cf. 1 Corinthians 4:15; Ephesians 6:17; Titus 3:5; 1 Peter 1:22-23) and as a result of his obedience (Romans 6:17), he entered the kingdom of heaven [note the words “church” and “kingdom” being interchangeable in Matthew 16:18-19).

Dear reader, have you been “born again” by being baptized “into Christ?” (Gal. 3:26-27). We pray you have. Realize that those individuals, who by the authority of Christ (Matthew 28:18; John 17:2) have been baptized “into Christ” for the remission of their sins (Gal. 3:26-27; Acts 2:38), and have been added to the Lord’s church (Acts 2:47) – the church that is made up of saved individuals (Ephesians 5:23).