The Epistles are letters to obeyers

The epistles of the Bible are letters that were addressed to those who had received the preaching of the Apostles. The "receiving" or "believing" was determined by whether or not the hearers of the Apostles obeyed the word preached by the Apostles. One who would not obey was considered a "non-believer".

Romans 10:16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?

Some will claim to be "believers" even though they never obeyed the Gospel that the Apostles preached (some say there is nothing to obey). Before continuing, let's make it perfectly clear what Jesus Christ has in store for any and all who do not obey the Gospel that the Apostles preached.

2THES 1:7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,
2THES 1:8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:
2THES 1:9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;

So we see that obedience is a requirement for Biblical salvation. False preachers have their favorite verses that they use to deceive souls into a comfortable disobedience to the Bible. But once one understands that the ones the epistles were addressed to had already obeyed then the false preachers are easier to spot.

For example, the book of Romans was addressed to Christians who were known for their obedience. (also demonstrating that they had obeyed).

Romans 1:5 By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name:

Romans 16:19 For your obedience is come abroad unto all [men]. I am glad therefore on your behalf: but yet I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil.

The book of Ephesians is also a favorite of the false preacher, but we just need to look at how the Ephesian Church was founded on obedience to Acts 2:38. (also notice that the people knew that believing on Jesus included being baptised in Jesus Name)

Acts 19:1 And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples,
Acts 19:2 He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.
Acts 19:3 And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John's baptism.

Notice what they did when Paul told them to believe on Jesus.

Acts 19:4 Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.

Acts 19:5 When they heard [this], they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.

Acts 19:6 And when Paul had laid [his] hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.

The epistles are letters written to those who had obeyed the word that the Apostles preached. Let us look at the birthday of the Church. Notice how they measured whether someone had received the word or not.

Acts 2:41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added [unto them] about three thousand souls.

Receivers of the word, obeyed the word that they received. Let's back up and see exactly what Peter had preached (some claim Peter as pope but do not obey the message he preached).

Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, 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 2:39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, [even] as many as the Lord our God shall call.

Acts 2:40 And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.

Acts 2:41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added [unto them] about three thousand souls.

Acts 2:42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

In the Bible believer equals obeyer. One calls on Jesus Name by being baptised in Jesus Name. Grace offers that opportunity to have one's sins remitted. Baptism is not a "work" because you don't do it, rather it is something that you submit to through obedience to God. Don't let some crafty false preacher con you into rejecting Acts 2:38 salvation.

Acts 22:16 And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.

Rev. Steve Winter

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