1. Text: Gal. 2:20.
  2. The gospel will profit us nothing without commitment — Mt. 13:20–22.
  3. Obedience to the gospel requires a unique combination of honesty and courage.
    1. With HONESTY, we will want to hear all the truth God wants us to hear (both the sinful truth about ourselves and the saving truth about God).
    2. With HONESTY, we will come before our Creator in godly sorrow, longing for salvation from our sins.
    3. With HONESTY, we will count the cost of discipleship and be willing to pay the price.
    4. But honesty can carry us no further — at this point, a commitment has to be made, and that takes COURAGE.
  4. So if honesty has brought us to the point of saying What must I do? then we’re ready to hear what Jesus requires of us in order to (a) be forgiven of our sins, and (b) begin our lives of discipleship to Him — Ac. 2:37. Cf. 9:6; 16:30; 26:18.

I. The Question of “Conditions”

  1. Even after we have agreed that salvation is “the gift of God” (Eph. 2:8), there is still the question of “conditions.”
  2. Are there any conditions to God’s salvation or not? Is there anything we have to do to receive God’s gift? 
    1. By “conditions,” I mean requirements attached to our salvation (not merely suggestions, options, or extras).
    2. There are only two alternatives: either salvation is conditional or it is unconditional.
    3. Will we have the humility to let the Scriptures answer that question?
  3. The expression “obeying the gospel” is a biblical expression — 2 Thess. 1:8. Cf. Rom. 2:8; 2 Cor. 9:13; 1 Pt. 4:17.
    1. The gospel is a message that requires a response — it must be obeyed. Cf. Isa. 1:18–20.
    2. We should think of ourselves as beginning to obey the gospel (at our conversion) and continuing to obey it (for the rest of our lives) — Gal. 3:1; 5:7.
  4. What God is looking for is the “obedience to the faith” (Rom. 1:5; 16:26).

II. Committing Ourselves to Jesus Christ

  1. “Lord, what do You want me to do?” (Ac. 9:6). Notice the commitment involved in all of the following:
    1. Faith — Jn. 8:24; Rom. 1:16,17; Hb. 11:6. Without commitment, just an empty belief.
    2. Repentance — Lk. 13:3; Ac. 2:38; 3:19. Without commitment, no lasting change. Cf. Lk. 24:46,47.
    3. Confession of faith — Mt. 10:32,33; Rom. 10:9,10; 1 Tim. 6:12. Without commitment, just empty words.
    4. Baptism — Ac. 2:38; Gal. 3:27; Col. 2:12. Without commitment, no newness of life and no endurance. 
      1. In baptism, we pass from the old to the new — we move from condemnation to salvation.
      2. Faith, confession, and repentance are no less important or required, but they are all spoken of as leading to the forgiveness of our sins — Ac. 3:19; Rom. 10:9,10.
      3. Only about baptism is it said that in this act our sins are washed away — Ac. 22:16. Cf. 1 Pt. 3:21.
      4. It is in baptism that we die with Christ, receiving the benefit of His death for us — Rom. 6:3–5.
      5. Far from being a meritorious work that earns our salvation, baptism is an act of faith — it is something we submit to, trusting the promise of God’s grace — Col. 2:12.
  2. It is in these steps, culminating in our baptism, that we make the deepest and most binding commitment of our lives: the commitment to accept the Lord’s salvation and live under His rule from now on.
  3. So these are not merely “conditions” — they are the means God has designed by which we commit ourselves to Him.

III. Two Scriptural “Pictures” of the Christian’s Commitment

  1. Dying with Christ — Rom. 6:3.
  2. Putting on Christ — Gal. 3:27.
  3. Neither dying with Christ nor putting on Christ are “automatic” — they are both acts of our will in which we choose to commit ourselves to God, based on our faith in His promise of forgiveness — Col. 2:12.

IV. Salvation — Both a Fact and a Process

  1. Is “salvation” an accomplished fact or a goal to be pursued? It is both. 
    1. Salvation as an accomplished fact — Eph. 2:8.
    2. Salvation as a goal to be pursued — 1 Pt. 1:5,9.
  2. Baptism is not the end of the process, but the beginning. Having been saved from the “guilt” of sin, we need to be saved from its “power.” Cf. Rock of Ages.

V. The Importance of the Present Moment — Decision

  1. We must understand the importance of the present moment. 
    1. “And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, ‘Be saved from this perverse generation.’ Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them” (Ac. 2:40,41).
    2. “But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you“ ‘” (Lk. 15:17,18).
  2. We face a “moment of truth” every time we consider what the gospel requires of us.


  1. Trusting God to forgive you, are you ready to commit yourself to Christ by dying with Him in baptism? Cf. Rom. 6:3.
  2. Jesus Christ implores you, “Come to Me” (Mt. 11:28). So come to Him with repentance, obedience, and commitment.

Gary Henry — +

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