17 How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!
The thoughts, words, and plans of God are intended to be seen as a cumulative whole. The sum is great. Ultimate truth can become error if only part is believed.
13 But the word of the Lord was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.
How could God's word cause people to fall, be broken, snared, and taken? It is because there is a precept here and then another somewhere else. It is because there is an interwoven thread of truth that can only be found by studying the sum of God's thoughts. One scripture builds on another. Together they enhance and clarify the Lord's true intentions.
The message is lost when only a few popular passages are read, preached, or believed. Striping individual scriptures from the sum to argue for a particular belief has lead to strife and error in the church. This makes the doctrines of the Bible appear contradictory. The issue is not the Word, but rather our lack of knowledge regarding the sum of God's Word.
For example, one may argue that we are healed by the blood of Jesus. Another may argue that we are healed by the name of Jesus. Finally, the third may argue that we are healed by the Spirit. Who is right? All are correct according to scripture. These aren't contradictory. They are complimentary. When we find the sum, we find the full truth. In the authority of Jesus name, we pray for the healing that He has purchased with His blood, and God sends His spirit to heal.
This principle of finding the sum of God's word is equally essential when seeking for salvation.
1. Saved by grace
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,
2. Saved by faith
6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
3. Saved by doctrine
I Timothy 4:16
16 Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.
4. Saved by obedience
9 And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him,
5. Saved by confession
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
6. Saved by repentance
5 I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.”
7. Saved by water baptism
1 Peter 3:21
21 The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:
8. Saved by Spirit infilling
9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
9. Saved by doing the will of God
21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
10. Saved by commitment
24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.
We are saved because of God's grace. None deserve salvation because we are guilty of breaking God's law. Just as years of safe driving won't offset a speeding ticket, good behavior will never offset sin. The price had to be paid. The wage of sin is death. Jesus died in our place. He didn't deserve death. We didn't deserve eternal life. This is grace, an undeserved gift of salvation.
God's grace is only applied through faith. The biblical definition of faith requires more than just acknowledging the existence of God. Belief is not primarily an issue of the mind. Belief is an issue of the heart. Bible faith requires you believe in God, diligently seek him, and expect to receive the rewards that He has promised.
When you believe enough to seek after God in prayer and study, you will discover the saving doctrine. God will reveal His plans and expectations for you. Your response is critical. Will you continue living for yourself? Will you have the courage to break free from habits, lifestyles, or even religious traditions that are contrary to His word? Doctrine can only save if you believe it (faith) enough to obey it.
When we see God's plan and our own shortcomings we must decide whether to try and justify ourselves or humble ourselves. Confess, repent, and turn from your sins. Believe God's promise that He will wash away your sins and raise you in new life when you are baptized calling on the name of Jesus. Believe enough to seek, ask, and knock until He fills you with His Holy Spirit.
The Spirit will teach you. It will convict you. It will seal you. It will empower you to witness. It will lead. Have faith enough to follow. It is God's gift to you, an element of grace.
Faith is a journey not just a moment. We walk by faith and live by faith. With the help of God's Spirit, you can fulfill the Father's will for your life.
Never fail His grace. Don't lose the faith. Keep seeking. Stay humble. Keep obeying true doctrine. Live a repentant and holy life. Be renewed in the Holy Ghost. Take up your cross and commit to this saving gospel daily. This is God's will. This is salvation.
You can cherry pick if you want to, but I want full assurance. I want full salvation. Give me all of His words.
28 Observe and hear all these words which I command thee, that it may go well with thee, and with thy children after thee for ever, when thou doest that which is good and right in the sight of the Lord thy God
For more information on baptism:
For more information on the Holy Ghost: