Bryan Matthew Dockens
The way to salvation is much like a road trip. In order to even get started, the traveler depends on others to make his journey possible. The traveler does not build his own road; he depends on others to do that, including paving, striping, and posting signs.
Similarly, he who seeks salvation counts on another, God, to make salvation possible. Before the seeker even sets out toward salvation, the Almighty has already provided His grace (Ephesians 2:4-10; Titus 2:11), His mercy (Titus 3:4-5; Jude 20-21), His love (John 3:16; 1st John 4:9-10), and the blood of His sinless Son (Matthew 26:28; Romans 5:9).
The traveler does not chart his own maps; he depends on others to do that, too, whether he buys a Rand McNally fold-up map, prints directions from Map Quest, or uses a GPS device. In like manner, the seeker of salvation relies on a third party to point him in the right direction. An agent working on behalf of God informs the curious how to receive forgiveness from the Savior. Preaching is essential (1st Corinthians 1:18-21; 15:1-2; 1st Timothy 4:16).
Making one’s way across town, much less across the State or across the country, often involves a number of turns. To get out of the subdivision requires driving a couple private streets, to get out of the neighborhood requires driving a few city avenues, to get out of the county requires driving the beltway, and to get out of the State requires driving the highways. Not one of these streets, avenues, beltways, or highways can get the traveler to his destination without the combination of the other turns. Likewise, the seeker of salvation must not expect forgiveness to be attained without combining all necessary requirements: learning (John 6:45; Romans 10:17), belief (John 3:16; Hebrews 11:6), confession (Matthew 10:32-33; Romans 10:9-10), repentance (Acts 3:19; 17:30), and baptism (Mark 16:16; Romans 6:3-6).
Salvation is available to those who won’t stop at learning (James 1:22-25), won’t stop at belief (Jams 2:14-26), won’t stop at confession (Matthew 7:21), and won’t stop at repentance (Matthew 3:8), but is willing to go all the way and be baptized (Galatians 3:27), and remain faithful thereafter (1st Corinthians 15:58).