We all have differing spiritual I.Q.s because our abilities and opportunities vary. However, if we are doing our best with the I.Q. we have, and the opportunities we are given, we can be assured salvation. The bible is so easy to understand that even those with less than an average I.Q. can understand the basic principles of the oracles of God. In fact, God opens up the understanding of the simple, and confuses the understanding of the wise and prudent. (Mt 11:25)
Actually, the scriptures come down to obedience. If we are willing to obey and submit to the commandments of God, we shall be saved. However, most don’t want to submit to the authority of Christ and His apostles. Thus, they intermingle the old testament and the new testament, combined with the doctrines and commandments of men in order to establish their own dogmas. Notice the words of the apostle Paul, “For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.” (Rom 10:3) This he spoke about the Jews who continued to follow the Mosaic Law, and rejected the Law of Christ. To this Paul said, “ For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believes.” (Rom 10:4)
God, who is the author of the Bible, did not make his written word too hard for anyone to understand. On the contrary. We are told in various places, in many ways, that the old covenant, (or testament), was nailed to the cross and faded away. (Col 2:14 f; Heb 8:13) Therefore, we are now left with the new testament which Jesus died to establish. What is the use of the old testament? It is for our learning, not to do the things Israel did to God. (Rom 15:4 f; 1 Cor 10:5-11)
Contained in the new testament is the gospel of our salvation, the word of truth. (Eph 1:13) No, God did not make the new testament hard to comprehend. The gospels, Matthew through John are the acts of Jesus and his disciples. The book of Acts are the acts of the apostles. Then we have the letters of Paul. Finally, we have the epistles of Peter, Jude and John.
There are 39 books in the old testament but only 27 in the new testament. The entire bible has 1189 chapters, 31,102 verses, and 783,137 words. The old testament contains 929 chapters, 23,145 verses, and 602,585 words. However, in the new testament, there are only 260 chapters, 7,957 verses, and 180,552 words. In short, the new testament is about one third the size of the old testament. Thus, far less is demanded of mankind in the new as opposed to the old. There are 613 commandments in the old testament, but in the new only a few commandments were ever given. What was commanded of man in the new testament?
Obey The Gospel Of Christ
God the Father gave his only begotten son to die on the cross in order to save mankind. (Jn 3:16) Jesus verily came, died on the cross, was buried, and arose from the dead as we commanded of him of the Father. (1 Cor 15:1-4) Did this save man without man having to do anything? No! Jesus said that he died for his friends and his friends were they who did whatsoever he commanded of them. (Jn 15:13,14) What did Jesus command us to do? He commanded his apostles after his death to go into all the world and preach the gospel to everyone. He that believes and is baptized shall be saved. He that believes not shall be condemned. (Mk 16:15,16) Why would those who believe not be condemned? Because, if we believe not, all else is worthless. It is impossible to please God without faith. (Heb 11:6) Is belief all we need to do in order to be saved? No! Did not Jesus command all believers to be baptized? Yes He did! Is this all we must do? Basically, but not specifically. Let the scriptures explain. Verily, one is to believe that Jesus is the Christ and that he was raised from the dead by God the Father, but this belief is in the heart. God wants us to confess this belief hidden in our hearts before men. (Rom 10:9,10) Verily, one is to be baptized, but until one repents of their sins they can’t be washed away by baptism. (Acts 2:38 f; Acts 22:16)
Added To The Church of Christ
All those who obey the gospel are added to the Lord’s church by Jesus Christ. (Acts 2:47) Jesus said he would build his church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. (Mt 16:18) This one church was headed by Christ and all baptized believers would be members of it. (Col 1:18 f; 1 Cor 12:13,27) To know the name of the church which Christ built is not hard to obtain. It was called the church(s) of God 11 times. It was called the churches of Christ and the church of the first born one time. (Rom 1:16 f; Heb 12:23) Make no mistake about it, the church bore the name of its builder, Jesus Christ. He built it, died for it and is the head of it. Even in the name “church of God”, Acts 20:28 lets us know that Jesus was the God who purchased the church with his own blood.
Acts Of Worship
The church which Christ built has only a few acts of worship. We know that they met on Sunday. We know that they preached the Word. We know that they took the Lord’s supper. (Acts 20:7) We know that they gave of their means in order to do the work of the church. (1 Cor 16:1-3) We know that they sang without the use of instruments. (Eph 5:19) We know that they prayed. (1 Tim 2:8) These were the only acts of worship the new testament mentioned that were done by the apostles of Jesus Christ. The local churches were headed by qualified apostles and aided by qualified deacons. (1 Tim 3:1-13)
Live A Moral Life
All else that one is commanded to do is to live a godly life. This means in part, but not in whole, to not commit adultery, fornication or engage in homosexual acts. Christians are to avoid all sinful acts and to do good unto all men, especially fellow Christians. (Gal 5:19-21 f; Gal 6:10) Christian men are to preach the Word of God in and out of season. (2 Tim 2:2 f; 2 Tim 4:2-5) Christian women are to love and obey their husband, love and train their children, and to be chaste keepers at home. (1 Tim 2:15 ff; Tit 2:4,5; Eph 6:1)
Conclusion: The bible is a simple book and easy to understand. However, one must love the Word of God enough to study it and rightly divide it. (2 Tim 2:15) Truly, one must believe that the bible emanated directly from God, and was written by inspired men. (2 Tim 3:16,17 ff; Jn 16:13; 2 Pet 1:21) One must learn from the old testament not to do the sins Israel did, while obeying the gospel of the new testament in order to be saved. (Rom 11:22 f; Mk 16:16) If one remains faithful unto death to these simple commandments, they shall be saved. (Jn 8:31 f; Rev 2:10) You shall know the truth, and it shall make you free! (Jn 8:32)