Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
January 13, 1955
NUMBER 35, PAGE 10-11b

The Way (Or Plan) Of Salvation

Luther W. Martin. Rolla. Missouri

Recently, a journal published by some of my brethren devoted an entire page to a chart which seemed to question the propriety of teaching a plan of salvation. It appears to be the consensus of the editorial staff of that paper, (since no name was attached to the chart), that to preach Christ, one cannot teach a plan of faithful obedience; or, when teaching the plan of salvation, one cannot be simultaneously preaching Christ. In either case, I cannot agree with the fine line drawn, or the gnat being swallowed.

What About A Plan?

As far as the King James Version of the Bible is concerned, we cannot actually find the expression of 'plan of salvation' used therein .... but we can find numerous expressions that , clearly teach that the New Testament sets forth a (1) Plan of salvation, (2) Way of salvation, (3) Scheme of redemption, (4) A form of doctrine, etc.

The word 'plan' has numerous synonyms. Here are a few: Purpose, devise, contrive; to design, to scheme, to arrange; a process, a way, a form, a method or mode of procedure. At least four of the preceding synonyms are used in some form in the King James Version.

Form Of Doctrine

". . . . God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness." (Rom. 6:17-18.) There is no question but what these Roman Christians had obeyed Christ. Paul wrote in Romans 1:6, "Among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ." They were among the called of Christ, yet they had obeyed a plan or form of doctrine. There is no question, further, but what Paul's 'form of doctrine' and their 'calling of Christ' were one and the same, i.e., the gospel of Christ, God's power to save. Any attempt to make a distinction between the two would be useless and futile.

Form Of Sound Words

"Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus." (2 Tim. 1 :13.) Here again, Paul makes reference to a form or a plan, if you please; not to the exclusion of Christ, but with the in-elusion of Christ. "Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel." (2 Tim. 2:8.)

"... Any Of This (The) Way ..."

"Saul . . . . desired . . . . letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem." (Acts 9:1-2.) In this instance, Luke uses the expression 'the way' to denote whatever the New Testament Christians had responded to. In Acts 11:26, the term 'Christian' is first used in reference to Christ's followers. It actually means 'of Christ,' and that's exactly what was meant in Acts 9:1-2, when 'of this way' was used as the designation. Of course, Christ is that WAY, or plan. "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." (John 14:6.) "If ye love me, keep my commandments." (John 14:15.) Thus the love of the discipline for the Master is the motivating force which brings about the steps of obedience to the commands of Christ . . . . and, which in turn, result in the remission of past sins, and a promise of life eternal.

"... The Way Into The Holiest ..."

"The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing ..." (Heb. 9;8.) Again, the way into the holiest, or the plan of salvation had not been made known in the old covenant. The Hebrew writer also stated: "By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh . . ." (Heb. 10:20.) Certainly, Christ is THE WAY, and there can be no separation between Christ and his way or his plan.

"The Way Of Truth."

"And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of." (2 Peter 2:2.) The meaning is not changed in the least if one were to say, 'the plan of truth.'

"The Way Of Righteousness"

"For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them." (2 Peter 2:21.) Here it is indicated that the 'way of righteousness' contains holy commandments. At the same time, however, the holy commandments (the steps in the plan), and the way of righteousness lead the obedient follower to Christ and salvation.

"Called According To His Purpose"

". .. We know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose." (Rom. 8:28.) Called according to his plan, would do no violence to the thought expressed. Christians are called of God . . . . but they ARE called according to a plan or purpose. Reference is also made by Paul in this same epistle .... "For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth . . ." (Rom. 9:11.) Obviously God has a plan or purpose, but it cannot be separated from Christ .. .. thus what God has joined together, let not man put asunder.

"According To The Purpose Of Him"

. . . Being predestinated according to the purpose' of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will." (Eph. 1;11.) Thus, predestinated in accord with the plan of God through the ages; or as given in Ephesians 3:11; "According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord." See also 2 Timothy 1:9.

God's Plan In Brief

Hear the Gospel: "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Rom. 10:17.) "... Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." (John 8:32.)

Believe the Gospel: ". . . Without faith it is impossible to please him ; for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." (Heb. 11 :6.) "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved ..." (Acts 16:31.)

Repent of Past Sins: "... The times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men everywhere to repent . . ." (Acts 17:30.) "For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of; ..." (2 Cor. 7:10.)

Confess Faith In Christ: "For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." (Rom. 10:10.) "Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he (the eunuch) answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God." (Acts 8:370 Be Baptized For the Remission of Slns ". .. As many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ." (Gal. 3:27.) "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." (Acts 2:38.)