(American Standard Version)
1 And it came to pass, on one of the days, as he was teaching the people in the temple, and preaching the gospel, there came upon him the chief priests and the scribes with the elders;
2 and they spake, saying unto him, Tell us: By what authority doest thou these things? or who is he that gave thee this authority?
3 And he answered and said unto them, I also will ask you a question; and tell me:
4 The baptism of John, was it from heaven, or from men?
5 And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say, Why did ye not believe him?
6 But if we shall say, From men; all the people will stone us: for they are persuaded that John was a prophet.
7 And they answered, that they knew not whence it was.
8 And Jesus said unto them, Neither tell I you by what authority I do these things.
9 And he began to speak unto the people this parable: A man planted a vineyard, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into another country for a long time.
10 And at the season he sent unto the husbandmen a servant, that they should give him of the fruit of the vineyard: but the husbandmen beat him, and sent him away empty.
11 And he sent yet another servant: and him also they beat, and handled him shamefully, and sent him away empty.
12 And he sent yet a third: and him also they wounded, and cast him forth.
13 And the lord of the vineyard said, What shall I do? I will send my beloved son; it may be they will reverence him.
14 But when the husbandmen saw him, they reasoned one with another, saying, This is the heir; let us kill him, that the inheritance may be ours.
15 And they cast him forth out of the vineyard, and killed him. What therefore will the lord of the vineyard do unto them?
16 He will come and destroy these husbandmen, and will give the vineyard unto others. And when they heard it, they said, God forbid.
17 But he looked upon them, and said, What then is this that is written, The stone which the builders rejected, The same was made the head of the corner?
18 Every one that falleth on that stone shall be broken to pieces; but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will scatter him as dust.
19 And the scribes and the chief priests sought to lay hands on him in that very hour; and they feared the people: for they perceived that he spake this parable against them.
20 And they watched him, and sent forth spies, who feigned themselves to be righteous, that they might take hold of his speech, so as to deliver him up to the rule and to the authority of the governor.
21 And they asked him, saying, Teacher, we know that thou sayest and teachest rightly, and acceptest not the person of any, but of a truth teachest the way of God:
22 Is it lawful for us to give tribute unto Caesar, or not?
23 But he perceived their craftiness, and said unto them,
24 Show me a denarius. Whose image and superscription hath it? And they said, Caesar's.
25 And he said unto them, Then render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's.
26 And they were not able to take hold of the saying before the people: and they marvelled at his answer, and held their peace.
27 And there came to him certain of the Sadducees, they that say that there is no resurrection;
28 and they asked him, saying, Teacher, Moses wrote unto us, that if a man's brother die, having a wife, and he be childless, his brother should take the wife, and raise up seed unto his brother.
29 There were therefore seven brethren: and the first took a wife, and died childless;
30 and the second:
31 and the third took her; and likewise the seven also left no children, and died.
32 Afterward the woman also died.
33 In the resurrection therefore whose wife of them shall she be? for the seven had her to wife.
34 And Jesus said unto them, The sons of this world marry, and are given in marriage:
35 but they that are accounted worthy to attain to that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage:
36 for neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection.
37 But that the dead are raised, even Moses showed, in the place concerning the Bush, when he calleth the Lord the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.
38 Now he is not the God of the dead, but of the living: for all live unto him.
39 And certain of the scribes answering said, Teacher, thou hast well said.
40 For they durst not any more ask him any question.
41 And he said unto them, How say they that the Christ is David's son?
42 For David himself saith in the book of Psalms, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand,
43 Till I make thine enemies the footstool of thy feet.
44 David therefore calleth him Lord, and how is he his son?
45 And in the hearing of all the people he said unto his disciples,
46 Beware of the scribes, who desire to walk in long robes, and love salutations in the marketplaces, and chief seats in the synagogues, and chief places at feasts;
47 who devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayers: these shall receive greater condemnation.
God's Plan of Salvation
You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)
You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)
You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel.
(2 Thess. 1:8)
You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)
Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!
Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)