Is it possible to have Jesus Christ without his plan of salvation? If one is to believe the opinions of denominations and liberal minded brethren, yes. If one is to believe the bible, then the answer is no. Let us see why:
The Plan Alone
Peter declared that there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved (Acts 4:12). Salvation comes by believing in Jesus, (Jn. 20:31) and by repenting and being baptized in the name of Jesus Christ (Acts 2:38). Anyone who preaches any other gospel brings a curse upon himself (Gal. 1:6-9).
The Man Alone
Does God authorize men to preach Jesus without preaching baptism and the plan of salvation? Acts will give us the answer. When Peter preached Jesus in Acts 2, and the crowd asked what they should do, how did the apostle reply? “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (v. 38). In verse 41, Luke tells us that those who gladly received his word were baptized. Sounds like the plan and the man to me.
Perhaps Acts 8, dealing with the Samaritans and the Ethiopian treasurer, is the most instructive chapter on this subject. The text says that disciples preached the word (v. 4), and that expressly Philip preached Christ (v. 5), the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ (v. 12), and Jesus (v. 35). My question is this: In preaching the Man, as Philip obviously did, did he also preach the plan?
Let’s look at the case of the Samaritans first, specifically in verse 12: “But when they believed Philip as he preached the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were baptized.” Did Philip preach the plan? If not, why were these men and women baptized? If preaching the Man doesn’t include preaching the plan, how did the Samaritans hear about baptism?
Verse 35 says that Philip preached Jesus. The Ethiopian responded in verse 36 by saying, “See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?” If Philip preached only Jesus and not his plan of salvation, how did the treasurer learn about baptism?
The Man and the Plan
In truth, the preachers in Acts didn’t separate Jesus from his plan. Peter at the house of Cornelius preached Jesus and baptism (10:47,48). Baptism was commanded, it wasn’t optional.
When Paul and Silas spoke the word of the Lord to the jailer (16:32), they must have discussed baptism. Otherwise, we have no explanation for why he and his family were baptized (v. 33).
If Paul preached the Man not the plan, I understand why the Corinthians believed, but not why they were baptized (18:8).
Finally, Acts 22:16 reminds us that sinners who are baptized to wash away their sins (the plan) do so calling on the name of the Lord (the Man).
Conclusion: Preaching Jesus alone saves no one. Preaching the plan of salvation alone saves no one. When any preacher or teacher attempts to separate the two, he makes both worthless. No one can believe except they first hear about Jesus (Jn 8:24). No one can repent and be baptized except they first hear the plan of salvation (Acts2:38). Bottom line, you can’t accept the MAN (Jesus) without the PLAN (plan of salvation)!