I saw a billboard recently that said "Truck Wash" at the top and "Hand Wash" at the bottom.
My first thought was about what was being washed was that it was neat that you could wash whatever you wanted from your truck (the biggest thing on the road) to just your hands.
After I realized that the sign was probably referring to how the trucks were washed, it also occurred to me that some people want to worship God on their own terms. Some even prefer to attend a "whatever you want" church where all beliefs are equally acceptable.
Jesus said that he is the way and the truth and the life and that no one could come to God except through him (John 14:6).
God also said he is the only god and he owns everything and we are not to devise any other gods in addition to him (Deuteronomy 32:39; 5:7-8; Psalm 24:1-2; Genesis 1:1).
That fairly excludes all other religions as offering equal hope for eternal life as a reward.
Jesus' statement also narrows down the mechanism of salvation to only one. Nonetheless, there are a plethora of denominations giving out different information about how one becomes a Christian – saved – born again – and a child of God.
This may happen largely because the Biblically described steps to salvation are not specifically found in one place and only selected passages are used as the basis for their teaching. Individual components of salvation are sub-grouped in several places so that if the whole counsel of God is studied and taught, one can find them all and realize the necessity of each part (Acts 20:20-21, 26-27; Galatians 1:6-10; Matthew 28:18-20; 7:21-23).
Romans 10:9-17 mentions or implies all of what is necessary for salvation. Faith comes by hearing the truth. Someone who knows God's will must explain the process when interest is expressed by a seeker (Acts 8:30-31; 1 Corinthians 2:14).
The explanation can only be correctly presented based on personal experience and that's actually the best way, but only if that was in accordance with the directions in God's word. Saving faith leads to repentance that causes the Christian to change their lifestyle by putting to death their life in sin and live in such a way that might cause people to become interested (Acts 3:19; 2:38-39; 19:1-5; Romans 6:3-11; 1 Peter 3:15-16).
Another necessary component of salvation is confession with the mouth, which also helps others understand the reason for the hope we have and is an initial action on the part of the Christian-to-be. Calling on the name of the Lord (Romans 10:13) takes place at baptism (Acts 22:16).
Some car washes advertise a "hands-off" technique, but when it comes to salvation, the process is very hands-on. Still, although the hands of men are necessary to perform the baptism, it is God who does the work (John 4:1-2; Colossians 2:9-12; 1 Peter 3:21; Hebrews 10:22).
Have you have the hands-on experience that leads to internal cleansing?
Leonard Lauriault is a member of the Church of Christ in Logan. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org