Suppose your good friend owned a Sub Sandwich Shop and offered you a free Club sandwich. All you needed to do was show up hungry and it would already be made for you. But suppose you decided to make your own Club Sub and went behind the counter and began making your own version of it. Or perhaps you decided you didn’t need the bread and preferred to just hold the other ingredients in your hands. Your friend would probably be amazed and somewhat offended. You would hold several of the parts but still not have a real Club Sub. If indeed you accepted the free, complete Club Sub, would you put it on display at home and never eat it so that it could nourish your body? If your generous friend offered to also give a free Club Sub to any of your friends and family, would you bring them by for such a great deal?
Which of the following things save one’s soul? GRACE (Eph 2:28) BELIEF (Mk 16:16) REPENTANCE (Lk 13:3) CONFESSION (Rom 10:10) FAITH (Lk 7:50) GOSPEL (1 Cor 15:2) IMMERSION (1 Pe 3:21) PERSEVERANCE (Mk 13:13)? The answer, of course, is all of them are required to make a spiritual Club Sub. Salvation is a free gift from our Heavenly Father that one must accept without adding or subtracting any of the commands. If we were to try to enter God’s throne room and make our own version of salvation, He would certainly be offended. We cannot earn salvation nor change the parts He has designed. Nor can we omit any ingredient by claiming it is, “trying to earn salvation by works.” Immersion (baptism) is somewhat like the bread on the physical Club Sub, it is commanded by God to hold everything else together. It is for clothing oneself with Christ, (Gal 3:27) for burying one’s old sinful self and being baptized into Christ Jesus, (Rom 6:3-7) and for forgiveness of sins and receiving the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38). It is not a work that we do, rather something that is done to us and for us by others.
Now the work part begins. (Eph 2:10) (Eph 4:12) (1 Cor 3:9) (Php 2:12-13) Not meritorious works, but works of gratitude and service. Instead of putting one’s salvation on display, Christians are to bring in friends and family for their free Club Sub (salvation).