Soul Quest: A Journey for the Soul
Welcome to SOUL QUEST. Throughout our many encounters with different people, we have found that there is one mutual element of interest within the life of every human being. This intrigue seems to be present despite ethnicity, social status, financial standing, or religious background. The common thread can be identified as a sincere desire to reach a higher plane, a deeper depth – to have a relationship in life that is fulfilling, uplifting, challenging, and rewarding. Jesus said in John 10:10: “1 am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” (King James Version) SOUL QUEST will take a simple and direct look at the question of eternal salvation and how each of us can have life more abundantly.
Our desire is that what you are about to study will change the course of your life for eternity. We ask you to open your heart and mind as we study the Bible together. Let the QUEST begin!
MAN’S NEED FOR GOD
We will begin this study by identifying man’s need for God.
In the beginning of time, mankind graced the earth with moral purity. There was no sin present. But sin made its entrance when Adam and Eve violated the direct will of God by partaking of the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3). Because Adam was representative of all mankind, his sin affected all future generations.
The Bible tells us in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (KJV)
Again in Psalm 51:5 we find: “But I was born a sinner, yes, from the moment my mother conceived me.” (The Living Bible)
Later, the Apostle Paul wrote to the New Testament church in Galatia and proclaimed, “But the Scripture declares that the whole world is a prisoner of sin….” (Galatians 3:22 – New International Version), and I John 1:8 states, “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.” (NIV)
From the beginning, one thing is very clear – every person, regardless of who they are, their place of birth, or their current social status, is a sinner. No one is exempt. All of us began our lives in a state of sin. So in view of this sinful status, it becomes very obvious that we are in need of a Savior. It is beautiful to note that though man is desperately in need of a relationship with a Savior, it is even more beautiful to realize that God desperately desires a relationship with mankind.
GOD’S DESIRE FOR MAN
Our next stop on this SOUL QUEST journey is to inquire about God’s desire for a relationship with man.
“Grace” is a word that can be described as “…the unmerited favor of God.” It is God’s gift to man. By offering man this gift of grace, we see that God has provided the means by which the desired relationship, once severed by sin, can be restored between Himself and man. TITUS 2:11 states, “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hash appeared to all men.” (KJV) EPHESIANS 2:8-9 reiterates this: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (KJV) Again in Romans 3:24-25 we read, “…and [all] are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented him as a
sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood.” (NIV)
The Bible clearly expresses that salvation is both free and undeserved. No one has the ability to save himself nor can anyone purchase salvation with good works. We must rely upon, or have faith in, God’s desire that we be saved and realize that He alone has the ability to save us. It is in God’s fervor to restore His relationship with man that grace is born.
We previously noted the importance of our faith as recorded in EPHESIANS 2:8-9. Now let’s examine more closely the work of our faith in the salvation formula. HEBREWS 11:6 makes it clear that “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that his and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (KJV) John 3:16 makes it very clear “…that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (KJV)
The scriptures leave no doubt that faith is the method by which man obtains God’s grace. It also is very clear that faith is the avenue in which salvation comes to man, but it is only a portion of the journey.
It is true that God’s grace and man’s faith are essential to being saved, yet many people stop short of the full plan of salvation when they read ACTS 16:31. In this scripture, Paul tells the Philippian jailer to “…believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” (KJV) As we continue to read throughout the book of Acts, we find that there is much more required of us in order that salvation can be accomplished in our lives. So since we have established man’s need for salvation, and God’s desire that man would be saved, let us journey forward into the plan that God gives man to attain redemption.
Let’s read first in ACTS 2:37-38: “Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Rte…” (KJV) According to ACTS 2:38, repentance is the first step we should take toward salvation after we have established our faith in Christ. The word “repentance” simply means “to change one’s mind.” It is the act of doing a reversal – turning away from sin and turning toward God. True repentance is not just feeling regret or sorrow for our sin, but it is a complete change of values and direction of life. The Bible has much to say about repentance and the part it plays in our salvation. Let’s focus our attention on a few key points.
First, repentance is a direct commandment of God, as noted in ACTS 17:30: “And the limes of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent.” (KJV)
Secondly, repentance is absolutely necessary. Jesus said in LUKE 13:3: “…except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” (KJV) He leaves no doubt or question as to its importance.
Finally, we should note that repentance is a step in the process of conversion. ACTS 3:19 is very plain in its commandment: “Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord…” (New King James Version)
So, it is easy to see not only the importance of repentance, but that our plea for forgiveness must be directed toward Christ alone. lie alone can forgive sin!
Throughout history, there has been much controversy, not only regarding the necessity of baptism, but also about the method to be baptized. The word “baptism” comes from the Greek word, BAPTIZO, which means “to immerse, submerge, or soak.” As we are about to see, the Bible teaches only one method of baptism – immersion in water, calling on the name of Jesus Christ for the remission, or pardon, of sin.
In MATTHEW 3:16, we find John the Baptist baptizing Jesus in the Jordan River. This scripture says, “And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water, (KJV) John certainly needed more than a few drops of water in order for Jesus to come “up straightway out of the water.”
There is no way that sprinkling could have created this scene. A body of water would have definitely been needed. John the Baptist simply fulfilled the true meaning of “baptism” – he immersed or submerged Jesus.
ACTS 2:38 finds Peter answering the question regarding how to be saved. He makes it very clear with these words: “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins…” (KJV)
The Apostle Paul was instructed at his conversion: “Arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the lord.” (ACTS 22:16) (KJV)
Jesus spoke of the absolute necessity of baptism in MARK 16:16: “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” (KJV) In MATTHEW 28:19, Jesus spoke of the correct method of baptism: “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” (KJV) This passage reveals one of the most astounding biblical truths: the NAME of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost is JESUS! This is why He said to baptize in the “name” (singular) instead of “names” (plural).
Being baptized is becoming identified with Christ by taking on His name. It is much more than a simple confession of faith or a joining of the church. It is the act of faith that through obedience to God and His Word, He cleanses us from our sin. At baptism, God actually dismisses the charges of our sins! We are acquitted!
The Bible is very precise in stating that God is a Spirit. In John 4:24, we read: “God is a spirit. and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” (KJV) The Holy Ghost is the Spirit of God. Note that the terms “Holy Ghost” and “Holy Spirit” are synonymous – they identify the same thing. The New Testament believers received the infilling of the Holy Ghost, as recorded repeatedly in the book of Acts. The initial sign that a person has received the Holy Ghost is that they will speak “with (or in) tongues,” as the Spirit gives them the ability. This will be a new language not previously known to the individual. This explains the supernatural aspect of this experience.
In ISAIAH 28:11, the Holy Ghost was promised: “For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people.” (KJV) In fulfillment of this prophecy, the initial outpouring of the Holy Ghost occurred in ACTS 2:1-4: “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” (KJV)
We are given another account of the Holy Ghost experience in ACTS 4:31: “And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.” (KJV)
The Apostle Peter was preaching in ACTS 10:44-46: “While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God.” (KJV)
In conclusion, read once again the passage from ACTS 2:38-39: “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off even as many as the Lord our God shall call.” (KJV) God has made it very clear what His intentions are for us. He has made the journey to salvation so simple that a child can understand. Sin offers death but God offers life: “For the wares of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (ROMANS 6:23 -KJV) What a contrast!
We want to thank you for the time you have spent reading this bible study. We must all realize that life is a journey and eternity is the final destination. Our prayer is that you have been enlightened and blessed. If what you have learned from this bible study has sparked questions in your mind and a hunger in your heart for truth, we ask you not to let your SOUL QUEST end here. Instead, contact the person who gave you this bible study or plan to attend a service at your local Apostolic or Pentecostal church YOU WILL NEVER BE SORRY FOR THIS DECISION – NOT IN THIS LIFE NOR IN THE LIFE TO COME!
FILL IN THE BLANKS:
1.____________, was representative of all mankind, and his sin affected all generations.
2. According to 1 John 1:8, if we claim to be without_____________we deceive ourselves.
3.____________is described as the unmerited favor of God.
4. The reason for God’s grace is to______________ the between_______________ God and Man.
5. Without_____________it is impossible to please God.
6._________ ___________has the ability to save himself, nor can anyone purchase salvation with_____________.
7. The word_____________means to change one’s mind.
8. Jesus said in Luke 13:3, “except ye___________ ye shall all likewise____________.
9. The word baptism comes from the Greek word____________,which means,”to__________,___________, or ___________.
10. According to Acts 2:38, we are baptized for the_____________ of _____________.
11. The name of the_____________,________________, and___________ ____________ is Jesus.
12. According to Mark 16:16, “He that______________and is____________shall be saved”
13. God is a____________.
14. To receive the Holy Ghost one must speak in______________.
15. The Apostle Peter said we must_____________, be _____________, and receive the__________ __________.
The above material was published by Turning Point Ministry, Texas, firstname.lastname@example.org. This material may be copyrighted and should be used for study and research purposes only.