Hi, this is Bernie Dake. Welcome to the Salvation Army's Words of Life. Welcome back to Words of Life. I'm Bernie Dake.
And I'm Cheryl Gillum. And we are glad that you're here. This is our seventh episode of this series on the doctrines of the Salvation Army. There are 11 of them. And funny enough, this is an 11 week series. So, we've got a friend, a retired Salvation Army officer named Colonel Dan Starrett, who's studying the doctrines and discussing how each one builds on the previous.
This is such an important series. And the way in which Dan is sharing these messages is taking a look at our faith today. In a world where it seems harder to speak about our faith, it's crucial to know what we really believe. We aren't saying that you have to agree with our faith, but this is what we believe at the Salvation Army. I have a friend, we were talking about it earlier, that always says, you know, the fight has been fixed. God's already won the battle.
You just need to accept His forgiveness and live your life as best you know how, like Him, like Jesus showed us while He was here on earth. Love wins. At the end of the day, of course, we want this world to be a loving place and an accepting place. And that's who we are as a Salvation Army. That's who we claim to be. That's who Jesus is.
But if we're living sinful lives, there are consequences for those sins. And we just want to encourage everyone to consider a right relationship with Jesus Christ. Listen, if you've missed any of the episodes, this series began on January 9th. So, check us out at salvationarmysoundcast.org and catch up. If you're enjoying Words of Life, we want to invite you to check out another show brought to you by the Salvation Army. The Holiness Podcast is a monthly Bible study with Lieutenant Colonel Vern Jewett. This show is a deep dive into the scriptures, studying what the Word of God says about holiness. With each episode, there is also a corresponding study guide.
Listen wherever you get your podcasts or visit salvationarmysoundcast.org. Let's look at doctrine number seven. We believe that repentance toward God, faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, and regeneration by the Holy Spirit are necessary to salvation. We seem to live in a world today that teaches that you can just believe whatever you want, and that's enough to have a relationship with God. It's enough to be saved.
And it's enough to get you to heaven and eternity. But James chapter 2 and verse 19 tells us that, You say you have faith, for you believe that there was one God good for you. Even the demons believe that, and they tremble in terror. So obviously the devil and these demons believe in God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, for they clearly know who their enemies are. So just stating, I believe in God, I believe in Jesus, or I believe in the Holy Spirit, is not enough for salvation. We believe that there are three major parts of salvation, and they must all be present in the life of each Christian. Without one or more of these, you have no salvation.
You have no relationship with God. Where does this belief or doctrine come from? I want to continually remind you that the Salvation Army didn't make this up.
It's not new. It surely is not from man or from this world. It is from the Word of God. Make sure that the things that you're learning and basing your life and teaching are based in the Word of God, and not any teaching of man or groups or anything else but the Word of God. So what are these three major components or parts of salvation? Well, part number one is repentance toward God. Number two, faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. And number three, regeneration by the Holy Spirit. They're all necessary for us to be saved. You can claim all you want about being born again, about being a believer. You can say you regularly attend church or read your Bible every day. But no amount of Christian activity will guarantee salvation.
So let's look at these. Part one, we believe that repentance toward God is necessary to salvation. Being sorry for your sins is not repentance.
That's regret. Repentance is clearly understanding, accepting, and knowing the severity of our sins against God. Repentance admits our rebellion, our willful disobedience to body, mind, soul, and spirit. Our rebellion against God's Word, his will, purpose, and so much more. We fully acknowledge, admit, and accept that we are a sinner and must repent toward God.
God set the standard, the laws, the rules, and the purpose, and the goals of our life toward him and others. And at one time or another, we have all disobeyed, turned our back, and rejected his leading direction and love. You know, and I know this, because of the conviction of the Holy Spirit because of the conviction of the Holy Spirit, and because of God's law written into every individual's conscience.
In our state of sin and denial, we cannot enter into the presence of God. There are about eight original words for repentance in Hebrew and Greek. The word repent is found 110 times from Genesis chapter 6 through 6, Revelation 16, 11.
So it's not new. It's not an infrequent thought. God has constantly told man, repent. Two of the words that might be helpful to you to consider if you are repentance is true as this. One means to just regret the consequence of sin, but not the cause. For example, in Matthew 27 3, when Judas, who had betrayed him, realized that Jesus had been condemned to die, he was filled with remorse. So he took the 30 pieces of silver back to the leading priests and elders and said, I have sinned, for I betrayed an innocent man. Notice, he did not confess his sin to God. In 2 Corinthians chapter 7 of verse 8, Paul says, I am not sorry that I sent that severe letter to you, though I was sorry at first, for I know it was painful to you for a while. Now I'm glad I sent it, not because it hurt you, but because the pain caused you to repent and change your ways.
It's the kind of sorrow God wants his people to have, so that you were not harmed by us in any way. And second, a real change of mind and attitude towards sin and its cause. In Matthew 3 and verse 8 or verse 11, it says, prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God. I baptize you with water, but those who repent of their sins and turn to God. But someone is coming soon who is greater than I, so much greater than I am not worthy even to be his slave or carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. So our proper response to God's forgiveness and grace is our repentance through faith. These two factors comprise one action. You're going one way and God stops you, you repent, and you go the exact opposite.
It's not just trying to make parts better. Repentance must be part of our faith in Christ. The second factor of this doctrine is faith in our Lord Jesus Christ is necessary to salvation. Sorrow for transgressions and wanting to leave them behind, deep guilt over past sins, wanting a cleansed conscience, or even making major changes in your life may be called repentance. But unless this and more leads to our life in Christ, it's not repentance.
You just kind of came up with an improvement program. Faith means being focused upon Christ, learning and following and obeying the words and life of Christ. Faith focuses upon Christ's life, death, resurrection, and our ascension, not upon what we're doing, thinking, or said. Faith centers upon Christ's sacrifice upon the cross and his forgiveness of our sins. Acts 20 and 21, Paul declares this message, I have had one message for Jews and Greeks alike, the necessity of repenting from sin and turning to God and having faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. Well, how can any of this be possible if God's in heaven and Christ is seated on the right hand of the Father?
That's the third part. The third factor of doctrine 7 is we believe that regeneration of the Holy Spirit is necessary to salvation. Christ's sacrifice and resurrection leads to hope and forgiveness. Jesus talked about being born again in John chapter 3. I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the kingdom of God. Paul states in 2 Corinthians 5 17, this means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person.
The old is gone, the new life has begun. One of the greatest miracles, doctrine, and teaching in scripture is demonstrated by the lives of those in the book of Acts and the Epistles. Is God in us through the person and work of the Holy Spirit? God, the Lord, God the Holy Spirit comes into our life and brings the present power and person of Christ. Regeneration is God's work for us and in us.
It's the gift of the indwelling spirit. Regeneration means we die to our old life and we come alive to Christ. We know and can testify to the working of the Holy Spirit because the works of the flesh are replaced by the work of the Spirit.
We demonstrate who we are, what we do, where we go, and what we say, and also who we are with by how we spend our time, our money, and our talents. You see, if we're not regenerated, these things won't change. We'll study more about this when we look at doctrine number 10 as we seek to live as holy people by following Jesus Christ and being empowered by the Holy Spirit. So what's our pick and choose for doctrine number seven? Somehow we think that we've only sinned and been wrong against man, the environment, or people and animals, and that if we just act like a good person that God's going to be pleased with us. That is an abomination against the sacrifice of Christ on the cross.
We can't follow the philosophies and the ideologies of men. We ground ourselves in God's Word. Choose faith in Christ Jesus. Choose regeneration by the Holy Spirit and you will be saved.
God bless you. The Salvation Army's mission, Doing the Most Good, means helping people with material and spiritual needs. You become a part of this mission every time you give to the Salvation Army. Visit salvationarmyusa.org to offer your support, and we'd love to hear from you. Email us at radioatuss.salvationarmy.org. Call 1-800-229-9965 or write us at P.O.
Box 29972, Atlanta, Georgia, 30359. Tell us how we can help. Share prayer requests or share your testimony. We would love to use your story on the air. You can also subscribe to our show on iTunes or your favorite podcast store, and be sure to give us a rating. Just search for The Salvation Army's Words of Life. Follow us on social media for the latest episodes, extended interviews, and more. And if you don't have a church home, we invite you to visit your local Salvation Army worship center. They'll be glad to see you. This is Bernie Dake inviting you to join us next time for The Salvation Army's Words of Life.
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