Red Letter/Black Letter Plan of Salvation
By Monte Dearth
Weekly Study Archives

Now that we have learned that Jesus is the Prophet that we must heed, what is it, He has to say. He spoke a lot of words in His three and one half years of His ministry (red letter). And he preached and continues to preach a lot of words from heaven as well (black letter). If there are any questions on this point, please see the previous study entitled: The Heavenly Prophet. We know that we have to take the whole Bible as the word of God. Deuteronomy 4:2 says "You shall not add to the word which I am commanding you, nor take away from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you." And also "I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God shall add to him the plagues which are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book." (Revelation 22:18-19). So with that in mind, let’s take a look at what He has to say about His plan of salvation.

Well we are going to start out with the most recognized verse in the entire bible. "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life." (John 3:16). It is interesting here that Jesus cannot even say the golden verse in the Bible without mentioning the subject of Hell (perish). It is also very interesting to find out when Jesus was begotten. Because the begotten-ness of Jesus actually occurred during his ascension to heaven which makes this a very prophetic statement. So Jesus actually said that we need to believe or we shall perish.

"Now on the same occasion there were some present who reported to Him about the Galileans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And He answered and said to them, ‘Do you suppose that these Galileans were greater sinners than all other Galileans, because they suffered this fate? I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Or do you suppose that those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, were worse culprits than all the men who live in Jerusalem? I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.’" (Luke 13:1-5). So Jesus actually said that we need to repent or we shall perish.

"Everyone therefore who shall confess Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever shall deny Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven." (Matthew 10:32-33). Jesus said in one other place: "For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world, and loses or forfeits himself? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when He comes in His glory, and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels." (Luke 9:25-26). I guess He thinks His words are pretty important. I guess we should to. So Jesus actually said that we need to confess Him before men or we shall perish.

"And He said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned.’" (Mark 16:15-16). So Jesus actually said that we need to be baptized (immersed) or we shall perish.

So Jesus’ red letter plan of salvation is:

  1. Believe
  2. Repent
  3. Confess
  4. Immersion

So what about the black letter plan of salvation – the plan that is spoken from Heaven by Jesus Himself.

"And he called for lights and rushed in and, trembling with fear, he fell down before Paul and Silas, and after he brought them out, he said, ‘Sirs, what must I do to be saved?’ And they said, ‘Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you shall be saved, you and your household.’ And they spoke the word of the Lord to him together with all who were in his house." (Acts 16:29-32). So Jesus speaking from Heaven actually said that we need to believe or we shall perish.

"Repent therefore and return, that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord." (Acts 3:19). Most churches today are setup with the supermarket pattern – to get as many people through the door as possible. The churches go with the old adage that "the customer is always right" and they pattern their programs to fit the needs of the people so they have a pleasurable shopping experience. However the Bible (Jesus) teaches that the "customer is always wrong" and that in order to be a part of the kingdom of heaven or church, you are going to have to repent (change). You are going to change or perish. Customers will not like hearing that premise. So Jesus speaking from Heaven actually said that we need to repent or we shall perish.

Well what else did he say? "And Philip opened his mouth, and beginning from this Scripture he preached Jesus to him. And as they went along the road they came to some water; and the eunuch said, ‘Look! Water! What prevents me from being baptized?’ [And Philip said, ‘If you believe with all your heart, you may.’ And he answered and said, ‘I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.’] And he ordered the chariot to stop; and they both went down into the water, Philip as well as the eunuch; and he baptized him." (Acts 8:35-38). So Jesus speaking from Heaven actually said that we need to confess Him before men or we shall perish.

On the day of Pentecost of 30 AD, Peter preached the first gospel message ever. He preached Jesus’ life, death, burial, resurrection and ascension to throne. And at the conclusion of the message he said "Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ - this Jesus whom you crucified. Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, ‘Brethren, what shall we do?’ And Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and your children, and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God shall call to Himself. And with many other words he solemnly testified and kept on exhorting them, saying, ‘Be saved from this perverse generation!’ So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and there were added that day about three thousand souls." (Acts 2:36-42). So Jesus who speaks from Heaven actually said that we need to be baptized (immersed) for the forgiveness of sins or we shall perish.

So Jesus’ black letter plan of salvation is:

  1. Believe
  2. Repent
  3. Confess
  4. Immersion

Jesus Christ said "Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me.’" (John 14:6). And he also said in one other place "For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son, in order that all may honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him. Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life." (John 5:22-24). We are to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ by Obey the words the He spoke both from earth and from heaven.

Most ministers today, like Billy Graham, will teach a plan of salvation very different from the one listed. But who are we going to believe: Billy or Jesus? I think Jesus is more of an authority. I think we should probably take His word for it. "Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide, and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and many are those who enter by it. For the gate is small, and the way is narrow that leads to life, and few are those who find it." (Matthew 7:13-14).