QR Code

   Greetings! A very nice young man said to me one time, "Mr Armstrong, I got saved last night. I gave my heart to the Lord." "Well," I said, "Isn't that wonderful; what do you mean, you gave your heart to the Lord? Just how did you do that? Was the Lord there?" "Well...well...well," he said, "No...no, He wasn't there." "Well," I said, "How did you give your heart to Him? Was there a surgeon there; did he cut your body open so you could reach in, take your heart out, and hand it to Him?" "Oh well, no," he said, "No." "Well," I said, "Now just what did you do?" "Well," he said, "I...I...I guess I don't know, sir."
   Do you know what the Bible teaches about salvation? Do you know that not one person in hundreds and hundreds of thousands knows what salvation is or what the Bible teaches about salvation what God says about salvation? I think there are more Bibles in homes than any other book; it's the world's number one seller. And yet it's the most misunderstood, the most maligned, the most twisted, the most perverted, and the least understood of all books. And not only that, it is the least believed of any book. People just don't believe what it says.

What is Sin?

   Now what do you mean salvation? The dictionary definition is, quote; 'salvation is saving of man from the spiritual consequences of sin.' Now, 'the spiritual consequences of sin,' but what is sin? Now I know that the Bible says you have to repent of sin. But what do you repent of? What is sin?
   Let me tell you another little illustration. Several years ago I was in the little town of Springfield, Oregon. And I'd gone over to see someone there on a call for counseling. And there were a group of young men of college age, each one carrying a Bible. And they were going all about the town; they were accosting everybody that they met on the streets. And there was an evangelistic campaign going on in a fairly good-sized tent that night and there was an evangelist from Los Angeles who was up there. And the young men were accosting people and inviting them to come to the evangelistic service.
   So they accosted me and I said to one of the young men, I said, "Well now do your evangelists preach that we should turn away from sin that we should repent of sin?" "Oh yes, sir," he said. "Well," I said, "What is sin?" "Well," he says, "Christ died for our sins." "Well, yeah, I know, but," I said, "that doesn't tell me what sin is. What have I done I have to quit doing that I have to turn away from? What is sin? Can you tell me what the Bible says? Just, I'd like a definition: sin is...and then give me the Bible definition." "Well," he said, "Christ died for our sins." "Well," I said, "But that's not the definition." I said, "I already know that."
   Well he called for another young man that was half a block away. He came running same thing. And still another came and they couldn't answer me what is sin? So finally one of them brought the evangelist, himself. And I questioned him, "Tell me, what is the Bible definition of sin; what does the Bible say sin is? What have I been doing I shouldn't do that I should quit doing?" He could not give me the answer; he went away.
   You know by that time quite a crowd had gathered around and they all began to laugh. They said, "Well, when someone just has the right questions, he didn't know how to answer about the Bible." "Well" I said, "Several of you are here, would you like to have the Bible definition of what sin is?" "Well, oh yes," they said, "We would." "Well," I said, "You know I just happen to have a Bible here in my briefcase." So I opened up my briefcase and took a Bible out. And I turned to I John 3:4 four. And here it is:
   "Sin is [here's the Bible definition] sin is the transgression of the law" (I John 3:4). Sin is the transgression of the law.
   That's what sin is. Now what law is it talking about? Well over here in Romans, the seventh chapter, and the twelfth verse, it says...
   "The law is holy, the commandment is holy, and just, and good, (Romans 7:12). And then again in the fourteenth verse it says; "the law is spiritual" (Romans 7:14).
   It is a spiritual law; it is the law of God. It is not a physical law like gravity or inertia. It is a spiritual law. I have been saying time and again, I have been proclaiming for years, that ALL of the troubles in the world all of them come from what I call, the way of life of "get," instead of give.
   Now there are two basic philosophies of life: one is the way of give out-flowing love toward others. The other is incoming toward self selfishness, greed, lust, vanity, coveting, resentment of authority, and hostile competition against others and wanting to take away from others, wanting to get from others, wanting to get the best of everybody. That is the way people are living. But that is not the spiritual law.

Marvelous Accomplishments

   Now in this world we have marvelous accomplishments in this twentieth century. Think of the things we have: men going to the moon and back, sending unmanned spacecraft to bring back marvelous, close-up photographs of Jupiter, Saturn, and even landing on Mars and sending back close-up photographs on the very surface of Mars so we know what it looks like there. And, well, astronomers say that these things are just mind-boggling absolutely mind-boggling. We're doing such marvelous things.
   Think of the invention of the computer of the marvelous machines we have. Think of the ordinary television set just think of that how television: the picture, the sound just goes through the air, comes right into your home. What a marvelous thing we have.
   Do you know all of these marvels, all of these awesome things that we're doing today, are all physical, mechanical, material?
   But do you know we can't solve our problems? We're absolutely helpless when it comes to our problems. We can't get along with one another: husband can't get along with wife, parents with children children with parents. We can't get along with our neighbors. Management and capital can't get along with labor. And nation can't get along with nation. We have troubles. This world is full of troubles. It's full of violence, full of war. And our troubles are all spiritual in nature.
   Now the law of God is a spiritual law. And that law is love out-flowing love: love to God and loving your neighbor as yourself. Oh it's alright to love yourself as long as you also love your neighbor as yourself. Not very many do; do you? Not very many do. And so we're in a world filled with troubles a world just absolutely filled with troubles.

Consequences of Sin

   Now I've given you the Bible definition of sin and we have all sinned. And so the world is full of troubles. Now I gave you the definition of sin, but what are the consequences of sin? In Romans 6:23:
   "For the wages of sin is death." (Romans 6:23)
   The wages of sin that is the consequences. Salvation is saving us from the spiritual consequences of sin. Now the spiritual consequences are death. The first death is physical. But your Bible says there is a second death.
   "As in Adam, all die, so in Christ shall all be made alive." (I Corinthians 15:22)
   "It is appointed to men to die once, after this the judgment" (Hebrews 9:27 paraphrased). There will be a resurrection.
   "As in Adam all die, so in Christ shall ALL be made alive" (I Corinthians 15:22). That is in a resurrection to the judgment day. You've heard a lot about the judgment day. That is a time of judging whether people are to be saved or not. It is an opportunity for salvation. It is not a condemning of those who are lost, at all. It is an opportunity. And so the judgment day is coming. And very few have been judged so far.
   But I want you to notice this: "the wages of sin is death." Wages are what you get paid for what you did. You do a job; someone hires you; you work for a man; you work for a company or a corporation; you get your paycheck. That is the wages that you receive for what you did.
   Now what you've been doing is sinning. And the wages is death. Let me tell you salvation is something you can't earn. Salvation means the gift of eternal life. This same verse here says:
   "The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." (Romans 6:23)
   That is a gift you don't have. You don't have life. You are like a clock running down. You have a chemical, materialistic existence. You live by the breath of life. You live by the circulation of blood pumped by your heart. And every one of you you are one breath away from death. Every one of us is in the process of dying. We don't have eternal life. We don't have life inherent within ourselves. We just have life that comes from the food we eat, the water we drink, the breath we breathe, the circulation of blood through our lungs, through the heart and it does come through the lungs on the way back to the heart. And so that is all physical. We have a physical, chemical existence. That's all we have.
   Now you may say, "Well now look, I don't go to church. I don't go to church and why should I be interested in anything like salvation? Why should that concern me? That's only for church people." Well, I'll tell you why, because you are dying. You're one breath away from death this minute. And you never know when it's going to strike you you never know. That's true of every one of us we never know.
   Now I'd like to have you notice another scripture over here in Hebrews, the ninth chapter and verse twenty-seven.
   "It is appointed unto men once to die, after this the judgment." (Hebrews 9:27)
   You're going to die and you're going to come up in a resurrection to judgment, unless you have repented and unless you have understood and received Christ and given yourself to Christ in this life and received the Holy Spirit. Then, perhaps, in the resurrection, you'll be resurrected right into the Kingdom of God. Otherwise you'll be resurrected to judgment. But the most certain thing in your life is you're going to die. There's nothing as certain in your life as the fact you are dying now; you're going die. I don't know whether it'll be fifty, seventy years from now. I don't know whether it's going to be one breath from now. And you don't know you don't know either.

All Have Sinned

   Now notice again in Romans 3:23, Romans 3:23; "For ALL have sinned and come short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23)
   You have sinned ALL have sinned. Yes, I have sinned I'm a sinner reconciled to God through the blood of Jesus Christ, but not saved by His death,{1} either. But you, no matter who you are, you say, "Well, I don't go to church." But you have sinned. And you are dying. And you don't have life.
   Now you can't earn life. "The wages of sin is death." You can't earn the wages can never be life. That is the gift of God. And you have to comply with God's terms and conditions in order to receive that gift from Him. You have earned death; that's all you can earn. You can't earn life. You're already under the death penalty EVERY ONE OF YOU BECAUSE YOU HAVE SINNED ALL have sinned.
   And whatever sin you have had that you have made has brought the death penalty on you. And that law of God stands over you and the penalty is death. And it claims your life. You are under the death penalty. Like a condemned convict in the death cell you are under the death penalty.
   Now I'd like to have you turn again to a scripture over here in Timothy first Timothy, the sixth chapter and verse sixteen.
   "[God] only has immortality." [God who only has immortality] (I Timothy 6:16).
   God has immortal life; you don't. God has it and God is the great Giver. God has immortality and eternal life TO GIVE. And He would like to give it to you; He would like to give it to you.
   But how can you obtain that gift? How can you obtain that gift?
   You know there was a scripture way back here in Isaiah that I'd like to read.
   "Let the wicked forsake his way [yes, you have sinned, because ALL have sinned. Every human who has ever lived has sinned. "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God"] [but], let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD [unto the Eternal, Who is ever living, Who has immortal life to give] and he will have mercy on him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon." (Isaiah 55:7)
   Yes you can have pardon for your sins. "The wages of sin is death, but the GIFT of God is eternal life [and that is], through Jesus Christ our Lord." (Romans 6:23)
   Now you need to be reconciled to God. That is what we call God the Father. And salvation comes through Christ. And, in a sense, it comes through His shed blood. But yet the blood of Christ does not give you immortal life. The blood of Christ does not save you. Let me read that, Romans, the fifth chapter Romans five and beginning with verse eight:
   "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8)
   You see God, that's God the Father, SO LOVED THIS WORLD. There's the golden text of the Bible back in John, the third chapter:
   "God so LOVED this world that he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in him should not PERISH [perish is the second death the spiritual consequences of sin, Should not perish] but have everlasting life." (John 3:16)
   How, then, are you going to get it? It's through the Son that God gave. "God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, CHRIST DIED FOR US" (Romans 5:8). Now that was a matter of God's love. God gave Christ.
   "Much more then, being now justified by his blood..." (Romans 5:9
   Justified does not mean saved that doesn't mean saved; it doesn't mean the gift of immortal life. It just means you're justified of what you did. It means that what you did no longer stands over you. It means that your transgression of the law and the law stands over you claiming your life that's out now. That's erased and the law doesn't stand over you any longer if you're justified. But you still don't have immortal life; you still don't have it. So notice this:

How Saved?

   "Much more then being now justified by Christ's blood [not saved by His blood, just justified by His blood] we SHALL BE saved [SHALL BE you're not already saved! YOU SHALL BE SAVED. How? Not by His death; not by His blood. Read it right there in your Bible. The next word is...] through him...shall be saved from wrath through him [that's the consequences of sin, as the dictionary says] for if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God [the death of Christ the blood of Christ merely reconciles you to God. It wipes out that penalty that was hanging over you. The wages that you were going to get death won't now have to be paid. But you still don't have life. You're just reconciled to the Father. Now notice this]. Reconciled to God by the death of his Son, MUCH MORE [much more than just being reconciled to God. Now notice ...much more] being reconciled WE SHALL BE SAVED BY HIS LIFE." (Romans 5:9-10)
   Not by His death, NOT SAVED BY THE BLOOD OF CHRIST. That's what you've always believed, isn't it? You've believed wrong. This Bible, the Word of God, God says you'll be saved by Christ's life.
   You know, the number one law of biogenesis, it's a LAW: life can only come from life. Dead matter can't impart life. Only life can impart life; and only God has life to impart.
   And you don't have it. You have a chemical existence as long as you can keep it going: as long as you feed yourself with food and drink water and keep breathing air and your heart keeps pumping and working as long as all of your body organs keep working and keep you going. It's a mechanical like a machine existence that keeps you going. And that's all you have.
   Now, eternal life comes by a resurrection and it comes by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
   Now you will find that Christ, in the book of Hebrews where it talks of Him in heaven as our High Priest He is gone to heaven. I've shown you that Jesus said, "No man has ascended to heaven" (John 3:13). There's no promise in the Bible that you will ever go to heaven. You've heard that all your life, too. But you have not heard what this book says. This is the Bible; this is God speaking the Word of God it's God speaking in print. But people haven't believed God. Do you believe God? The world has not believed God they simply have not believed Him.
   You know, Jesus said to Nicodemus "That which is born of [the] flesh is flesh." [And He said, also] "That which is [BORN AGAIN] born of the Spirit IS SPIRIT" (John 3:6). No longer flesh and blood, no longer matter.
   You see, "God formed man of the dust of the ground" (Genesis 2:7). We're just made out of matter out of the dust of the ground out of clay, out of mud, whatever you want to call it. That's all. Everything you have, everything you eat comes out of the ground either directly or second-handed through an animal, if you eat meat or something of that sort. In any event it comes out of the ground. And you are earth. You are earthy, and you're of the earth. (I Corinthians 15:47)
   You're not spiritual. That is true of all of us. Jesus said you have to be born again. And not one in ten well I was going to say ten thousand; maybe I could say ten million knows what it is to be born again. People are so misled. They just take things for granted without looking into the Word of God to see what God says about it.

The Resurrection

   So Christ, you read in Romans, {2} is "the firstborn among many brethren" (Romans 8:29). He was resurrected. And we're saved by His life; He is now alive forevermore. He was resurrected. He died for us to reconcile us to the Father.
   That reconciliation doesn't give you immortal life. However, it does save you from the consequences of sin, that is, it erases that penalty that's been hanging over you. But it's a lot more than that.
   Now you have to receive the gift of immortal life. And it comes from God the Father, but He gives it to you through Christ. "[He] so loved the world [that] he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish." (John3:16)
   And so, you are of the earth, earthy, (I Corinthians 15:47) if you have not been born again. But, if you're born again, "that which is born of the Spirit IS spirit" (John 3:6). And you will, then, be spirit.
   Now I'd like to have you turn to the book of I Corinthians I Corinthians, the fifteenth chapter; I Corinthians 15 and I'm going to start with verse 45 again. Now I read this to you a week or so ago and I want to go through it again. This is so very, very important.
   "And so it is written [this is in the Bible now], the first man, Adam, was made a living soul." (I Corinthians 15:45)
   I've gone back and shown you that God formed man of the dust of the ground. And man, formed of the dust of the ground, when he breathed the breath of life, became a living soul. What came out of the dust of the ground became a soul. A soul, then, came from the dust of the ground. It is not spiritual; it is mortal.
   "The first man [Adam] was made a living soul [not an immortal soul]; the last Adam [Jesus Christ] was made a quickening spirit [that is an ever-living spirit]. Howbeit that is not first which was spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual." (I Corinthians 15:47)
   Adam was first; he was only natural of nature, of the ground, of the earth. But Jesus Christ"...was the Lord from heaven." He is spiritual; He is composed, now, of spirit. He was composed of flesh when He was born of the virgin Mary while He lived until He was crucified until He shed His blood for you and for me. But He was resurrected immortal spirit the firstborn of many brethren. We can be born by the same kind of resurrection Now this will explain it, right here:
   "The first man is of the earth, earthy [that is Adam and you're all his children. You're one of his children; so am I we all are. We're of the earth, earthy]. The second man [Christ] is the Lord from heaven [made of spiritual, composed of spirit. He is spirit]. As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy; and as IS the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. (I Corinthians 15:47,48)
   But we're not heavenly YET not yet we SHALL BE SAVED. How? By His life; not by His death. Now let's go on;
   "[And so...] and as we have borne the image of the earthy [earthy just like our father, Adam, was], we shall also bear the image of the heavenly [we, if we have Christ if we are in God's Church; if we have God's Holy Spirit we bear the image of the heavenly]. Now this I say, brethren [he's talking to brethren, here, not to the world], that flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God [the Kingdom of God is the very FAMILY OF GOD THAT WILL RULE ALL NATIONS of the world the Family of God that is going to rule the world! It is a government; and a Family that is a ruling government. But...] flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I show you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed [we, remember, are those that are converted and have the Spirit of God those in God's Church]. We shall be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump [that's at the time of the coming of Christ, when He comes again] for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible [Those who have died will be resurrected immortal NO LONGER FLESH AND BLOOD, NOW COMPOSED OF SPIRIT. That which is born of the spirit then they will be born though a resurrection THEY WILL BE SPIRIT] And we shall be changed [if you're living at the time when He comes and if you have the Spirit of God and if you are in His Church] For this corruptible must put on incorruption [you, now: your body, your mind, everything that is you can rot and decay and it will unless you are given immortality]. This mortal must put on immortality [that's what salvation is! It isn't going to a place. It's being put in a different condition, a different state of existence immortal life]. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory." (I Corinthians 15:45-54)
   And that is the final end, if we become, finally, saved. What a wonderful thing that is. You know, I tell you, salvation is the gift of God and it is through Jesus Christ. But the first thing is to repent of sin. And sin is the transgression of God's law. And you've been told that law's done away. Oh no it isn't!
   Now I want to offer you once again this booklet, 'What Do You Mean... Salvation?' People do not understand salvation; they don't know what it is. This booklet will open your eyes; it is an eye-opening booklet. And it's brief. You can read it in one sitting; it isn't going to take you long.
   Now we're not out to sell anything. We're not going to follow it up with a request for money. We'd like to give it to you. We believe in giving. I don't know any other program like that in the world I just don't. But I'd like to give you that booklet. So this is Herbert W Armstrong saying, until next time, "Goodbye friends."
{1} Here Mr. Armstrong, apparently in paraphrasing Romans 5:10, mentioned being reconciled to God through the blood (or death) of Jesus Christ, but used the word "breath" instead of "death".

{2} Here Mr. Armstrong references the book of Hebrews when, in actuality, it is in Romans 8:29 where Christ is referred to as "the firstborn among many brethren."

Please Note: The FREE literature offered on this program are no longer available through the Address and Phone Number given, please visit www.hwalibrary.com for all FREE literature offered on this program.

Broadcast Date: 1980s