Matthew 16 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
Pharisees Test Jesus
16 The Pharisees and Sadducees came up, and testing Jesus, they asked Him to show them a [a]sign from heaven. 2 But He replied to them, “[b]When it is evening, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.’ 3 And in the morning, ‘There will be a storm today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ Do you know how to discern the [c]appearance of the sky, but cannot discern the signs of the times? 4 An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a [d]sign; and a [e]sign will not be given it, except the sign of Jonah.” And He left them and went away.
Salvation only through Jesus Christ
We believe that, owing to universal death through sin, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless born again; and that no degree of reformation however great, no attainments in morality, however high, no culture however attractive, no baptism or other ordinance however administered, can help the sinner to take even one step toward heaven; but a new nature imparted from above, a new life implanted by the Holy Spirit through the Word, is absolutely essential to salvation, and only those thus saved are sons of God. We believe also that our redemption has been accomplished solely by the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, who was made to be sin and was made a curse for us, dying in our room and stead; and that no repentance, no feeling, no faith, no good resolutions, no sincere efforts, no submission to the rules and regulations of any church, nor all the churches that have existed since the days of the Apostles, can add in the very least degree to the value of the blood or to the merit of the finished work wrought for us by Him who united in His person true and proper deity with perfect and sinless humanity. (Leviticus 17:11; Isaiah 64:6; Matthew 26:28; John 3:7-18; Romans 5:6-9; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Galatians 3:13; 6:15; Ephesians 1:7; Philippians 3:4-9; Titus 3:5; James 1:18; 1 Peter 1:18-19, 23.)
We believe that the new birth of the believer comes only through faith in Christ and that repentance is a vital part of believing, and is no way in itself a separate and independent condition of salvation; nor are any other acts, such as confession, baptism, prayer, or faithful service, to be added to believing as a condition of salvation. (John 1:12; 3:16, 18, 36; 5:24; 6:29; Acts 13:39; 16:31; Romans 1:16-17; 3:22, 26; 4:5; 10:4; Galatians 3:22.)
The Extent of Salvation
We believe that when an unregenerate person exercises that faith in Christ which is illustrated and described as such in the New Testament, he passes immediately out of spiritual death into spiritual life and from the old creation into the new; being justified from all things, accepted before the Father according as Christ His Son is accepted, loved as Christ is loved, having his place and portion as linked to Him and one with Him forever. Though the saved one may have occasion to grow in the realization of his blessings and to know a fuller measure of divine power through the yielding of his life more fully to God, he is, as soon as he is saved, in possession of every spiritual blessing and absolutely complete in Christ, and is therefore in no way required by God to seek a so-called “second blessing” or a “second work of grace.” (John 5:24; 17:23; Acts 13:39; Romans 5:1; 1 Corinthians 3:21-23; Ephesians 1:3; Colossians 2:10; 1 John 4:17; 5:11-12.)