A guest article by one of our members, Mark Lindsey.
Everything in our world utilizes some sort of foundation and plan. Each part or step relies on the previous and everything works together. Our bodies are made up of a bone structure which provides the foundation for everything else. Buildings have a foundation. If the foundation is built incorrectly the entire structure is compromised. If issues come up with the foundation at a later point down the road then the entire structure can be lost. This same principle is true in Christianity. We must be built on a solid foundation.
In God’s word we see several steps that lead to salvation. First of all, you must hear the word of God (Romans 10:14). Hearing is the foundation of the other steps. Without hearing the word there is no way that one can progress any further. Believing naturally follows hearing (Hebrews 11:6). In order to believe you must first hear, and as with hearing this is again a step that creates the foundation for a Christian. Once a Christian has heard the word and believes it the next step is for them to repent of their sins (Acts 17:30). This movement to repentance comes from the first two steps. By hearing the word of God, one believes it, thereby pricking their heart so they see the need to repent. Confessing Christ (Acts 8:36-37) is the next step. An individual has realized they are a sinner and has recognized those sins by hearing and believing which causes them to acknowledge to others that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. Once a person has progressed to this point they must put on Christ in baptism (Acts 2:38). This act of obedience adds this person to the body of Christ, His church. The steps are not complete at this point even though the person is now a Christian. One must still live a life obedient to His word (1 Peter 2:9). To live this obedient life one must continue to hear the word (study), keep believing what they are hearing, repenting of sins as needed. They also must confess Christ as their Lord in their actions and beliefs. These are the steps of salvation and as one can see there is a natural progression.
Many today believe that it is wrong to use the term steps. Many feel that this hints at the idea of a person completing a step and never having to go back to it. These steps are a progression and you must have one to move on to the next one. This does not mean that you stop hearing once you start believing or that you stop believing once you repent. If we are truly walking the way God wants us to, we create a solid foundation. This foundation is built on our study of God’s word, our belief in Him and our repentance. Without that foundation we will fail in our Christian walk just as a building will fall if the foundation is compromised (1 Corinthians 3:10-11).