Episode 5 – Saved by a Razor

Welcome

Straight razorWelcome to the fifth episode of Traditores Higher Frequency. I wrote the notes for this installment as a passenger in a Nissan Versa headed to Colorado Springs…to pick up a puppy…maybe two! 🙂 Oh, and with SiriusXM’s Holiday Traditions on the radio. Yes, I am one of those guys! I proudly listen to Christmas music too early…even have my own year-round Internet Christmas radio station. You can check it out at Radio.Countdown2.Christmas. Other than some tracks folks have sent me to add to Countdown2.Christmas Radio’s playlist, it’s all from my personal collection.

But debating whether it is too early to listen to Christmas music the first week of November is not why we are here. Instead…and we’ve touched on this in at least one previous broadcast…I want to quickly answer the question, “What must I do to be saved?”

Well, I want Scripture to answer that question. 🙂

[ These are quick broadcast notes…not cleaned-up…and missing the “extras” that come out in the audio (which is available here). All Scripture quotes are from the English Standard Version unless otherwise noted. ]

The Metal Cabinet that Appeared

A few years back I did a complete sermon on the subject, and I want to play a portion of that for you now. Basically, I offered two alternate explanations on how a tan metal cabinet had just shown up in the worship area of the church. Let’s see if you choose the same explanation as my church family did back in Antrim, New Hampshire…

Explanation #1

Starting off today’s sermon, I would like to explain how this tan metallic cabinet beside me got here.

About a month ago, the owner was transporting it in the back of his truck while driving to Keene and hit a frost heave on Route 31, causing it to bounce out of the back of his vehicle. Luckily, just prior to that happening a dump truck filled with sawdust had also gone a bit too fast over that large bump and dropped a pile of sawdust in the exact place where the metal cabinet landed.

So this cabinet, in perfect condition, was just sitting there when, of all things, a group of thieves with a van came upon it (heading toward town). The leader especially likes tan and anything he can stick his collection of Hawaiian magnets to, so he had his compadres throw it into the back. Strangely enough, the target for their criminal activity that day was our church, and they arrived in front a short time later.

Now, before they donned their masks, a conversation ensued about whether, with the cabinet, they had enough room in the back of the van to hold all the loot they were going to find inside our church, so the leader begrudgingly decided to give it up. Since they didn’t want anyone thinking something was odd, they decided after picking our lock they would carry it into the building instead of leaving it on the sidewalk.

So, after successfully getting through the door they set the cabinet in the front of the sanctuary and headed downstairs to start grabbing whatever they could. However, a church member showed up early for Bible study and they quickly escaped out the back door without her being aware.

Now, that member was a bit surprised to find the door unlocked, but she figured someone had done so for Bible study and then quickly run down to Dunkin’ Donuts for a coffee. Either way, she thought, “That’s a cool new tan metallic cabinet in the front of the church. I bet it would work great for Hawaiian magnets.”

Explanation #2

Now…some of you are looking a bit skeptical…and I will admit that there is a possible second explanation.

After the second-to-last men’s meeting Jim and I drove to some used office furniture seller (Peterborough-way) and we bought it along with those blueish-gray chairs in back and beside some of the pews. We then brought it to the church in Jim’s truck and put it right here…where it has been except when Jim had to temporarily shift it to drill holes in its back to allow power-cords through.

Which one would you go with?

So, which explanation do you think is true?

Now…I know it is obviously the second one…but why?

Sure, much of it is unbelievable, especially the part about someone showing up early for anything here. 🙂

But even if I hadn’t embellished the story there is a really good reason to go with the second one.

It was a lot more simple.

So, which of my two explanations did you choose? Somehow I suspect it was the second one… 🙂

Ockham’s Razor

At this point in that sermon I discussed William Ockham and a scientific and philosophical rule he suggested…called Ockham’s Razor…which I personally would paraphrase as…

The simplest explanation is more likely to be right.

Now, that principle has its limits…for instance it would have been even simpler to say, “God created the cabinet right there”…but, having helped carry it in through the Antrim Church of Christ’s front doors, I know for a fact that didn’t happen. 🙂

However, as a whole, if you are offered multiple explanations…the most simple, logical one is most likely.

What Must I Do to Be Saved?

Which brings us back to the subject of this broadcast, the answer to “What must I do to be saved?”

What must we do to be saved?

What must you do to be saved?

If you are someone who honestly wants to know the answer to that question, and you start looking at all the alternatives out there, you’ll find that there are myriad options posited, and they vary in complexity. Some faiths will tell you that you have to jump through a whole bunch of hoops, both to get saved and to remain saved.

Even within Christianity you’ll find this. For instance, the Catholic Church has what I would call “cradle to grave” requirements to be right with God. To be saved. To remain saved.

What Does the Bible Say?

So, who is right?

In our first episode I said Traditores Higher Frequency‘s foundations would be Sola Christus and Sola Scriptura (Christ alone and Scripture alone)…so you know I’ll narrow it down to Christianity to start. Sola Scriptura means I’ll then suggest only within the Bible can we know the answer to “What must I do to be saved?”…so let’s look at three scriptures and see if we can agree on an answer.

I mentioned our first reference last week…and it is perfect for this week too because it is the only time in the Bible where our question-of-the-day is specifically asked. We join the narrative with Paul and Silas in jail:

25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them, 26 and suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken. And immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone’s bonds were unfastened. 27 When the jailer woke and saw that the prison doors were open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped. 28 But Paul cried with a loud voice, “Do not harm yourself, for we are all here.” 29 And the jailer called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas. 30 Then he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” 31 And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household” (Acts 16:25-31).

What must you do to be saved?

“Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved…”

How simple is that?

Before you answer…let’s hop toward the beginning of Acts and see how Peter answers a similar question:

37 Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” 38 And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:37-38).

What shall we do?

“Repent and be baptized…in the name of Jesus Christ…”

How simple is that?

Again, before you answer…let’s look at one more Scripture…

5 For Moses writes about the righteousness that is based on the law, that the person who does the commandments shall live by them. 6 But the righteousness based on faith says, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’ ” (that is, to bring Christ down) 7 “or ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’ ” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). 8 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); 9 because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved (Romans 10:5-10).

If “you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead” what will happen?

“You will be saved.”

How simple is that?

Simple

It is very simple.

What must I do to be saved? What must we do to be saved? What must you do to be saved?

  • Believe in the Lord Jesus…
  • Repent and be baptized…in the name of Jesus Christ…
  • Confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead

Three very simple answers to “What must I do to be saved?”

How many hoops do you have to jump through?

I would suggest just one…believing in the Lord Jesus…because repenting, being baptized, and confessing will all immediately come from that.

What must you do to be saved?

Believe in the Lord Jesus.

How simple is that?

Very simple.

Do not fall for religions or denominations that tell you you have to do all kinds of things to be saved or to remain saved. They are wrong and some use all their requirements to control you…to put you in bondage. Not to mention, if you think anything you can do will save you…and that is what you believe versus belief in Jesus…in the end you will find out just how wrong you were as you spend an eternity away from Jesus.

What must you do to be saved?

Just one thing.

Believe in the Lord Jesus.

Use Ockham’s Razor and keep it simple. Believe in the Lord Jesus.

Limits

Now, I mentioned before that there are limits to Ockham’s Razor. For instance, some people will tell you that there is no God…or that all you have to do is be a good person…or that everyone is saved…

And although they all may be more simple than “believe in the Lord Jesus”…they are just as wrong as those who tell you you have to do a zillion things to be saved. I would also argue that they may appear to be simple, but they bring some pretty horrible complexities with them.

Believe in the Lord Jesus is both simple and does not bring extra, complex baggage.

Second, I don’t want people thinking that I am against Christian denominations whose worship is not simple. Take a look at Romans 14:5-6. As long as a church has got the simple fundamental right…that all you have to do to be saved is believe in the Lord Jesus…then if they want a more liturgical service…or to observe more holy days…or to wear head-coverings…or to be vegetarian…

More power to them as long as they do not claim it is required for you to be saved or to remain saved.

Let everyone choose to worship God whatever way they want…just do not tell other people they must worship the same way to be saved or to remain saved.

Keep it Simple Stupid

It is time again to wrap up Traditores Higher Frequency for this week. There is an acronym…KISS…which means “keep it simple stupid.” When it comes to salvation, we humans can be pretty stupid.

But we’ve just learned that if we keep it simple we can avoid that.

What must you do to be saved?

Keep it simple.

Believe in the Lord Jesus!

Next Week

Thanks for listening to Traditores Higher Frequency. For broadcast times, to listen at your convenience, to contact us, and much more…please visit our web site at thf.fyi. You can also e-mail me directly at alan@thf.fyi. Lord willing, next week we’ll have an interview with Dr. Michael Brown, accomplished Christian apologist and speaker, and get some insights on modern day gifts of the Spirit.

Until then…

Love and grace be with you as we tune into Jesus’ higher frequency.


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