Jesus began to promise the disciples that the Holy Ghost would come after He left them. Then He told them why the Holy Ghost was essential. Note verse 26 of John chapter 14. “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” This was one of the reasons to have the Holy Ghost.
Ronald E. Harper
So, now we know how we are not saved; how are we saved? Let us look to the scriptures to see what they have to say, and take note of a few things that will help us see things more clearly and to help keep the scriptures in context. First, no person was ever saved in the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John. I know what some of you may be thinking. But, the Lord did not save Peter on the sea in Matthew 14:30-31. “But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, 0 thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?” The answer is obvious. Jesus did answer Peter’s prayer. Peter did not want to drown. He was asking for physical salvation, not spiritual salvation. What about the thief on the cross? Jesus did not say that he would go to heaven. He said he would go to paradise, also called Abraham’s bosom in Luke 16:22. This was a holding place for the souls of the saints of the Old Testament until the Lord came to pay the sin debt on Calvary.
In John 7:38-39, Jesus said, “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.)” Every major religion will agree that salvation does not occur until spirit of God dwells within the heart of the believer. These verses here show us that the Holy Spirit was not given until Jesus was glorified. When did that occur? When He was crucified? When He was buried?
When He arose from the dead? No. Jesus was not glorified until He ascended back to His heavenly throne. His glory came when he discarded the robe of flesh when He returned to glory. The initial outpouring of the Holy Ghost could not occur until Jesus ascended. He taught the disciples this in John 16:7. “Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.”
Secondly, no one was ever saved in the epistles. The epistles were simply letters from the apostles to Christians or churches. They were written to teach doctrine to the saints, to reprove sins, to exhort, and to clarify matters concerning practices of the New Testament church. No one was ever told how to be saved nor was there anyone ever baptized in the epistles. Only in the book of Acts are these things found. The book of Acts is properly called “The Acts Of The Apostles.” This book contains the history of the early church from the beginning of the church age. Then, it shows how it began to spread throughout the known world.
Before we can get into the book of Acts, we need a little bit of a history lesson so that we can keep everything in the proper perspective. During His ministry on earth, Jesus walked with the disciples. He taught them daily. They watched Him perform many miracles. The dead were raised, the lame walked, and blinded eyes were opened. They heard His parables. A lot of times, He would explain the parables to them after the crowds had left. In Matthew 13:11, “He answered and said unto them, because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.” Another example can be found in Matthew 13:36. They stayed with Him for three and a half years. In John chapters 14 through 16, Jesus told them of many truths pertaining to what was to happen to Him and began to tell them of the baptism of the Holy Ghost. He told them that He was the way to heaven in John 14:6. “Jesus saith unto him (Thomas), I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” In verse 18, Jesus said, “I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.