Become A Christian
Obeying The Gospel
Baptized Into Christ
Holy Spirit Baptism
What About The Thief
The Great Commission
Works of God
The Baptist Church
A Baptist Sermon
Calvinism vs. the Bible
Faith Only - Is Faith All We Need For Salvation?
Many people believe that faith is all we need to be saved and enter into heaven when we leave this earth. They believe faith alone will save us. Although most of these people will agree that we must hear, repent, and some believe confess our sins (not confess Jesus as Lord), they will all leave out baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
This is typically labeled as "faith only" or "faith alone" and is a false doctrine.
If "faith" is all that saves us, then what does God's grace do?
If "faith" is all we need then why did Jesus and the apostles even bother teaching all those passages that I have pointed out in the previous pages. Exactly... it would not make a bit of sense.
Can you find a passage in the Bible that tells us "faith only" saves us? Nope! As a matter of fact, the only time you will find those two words together is in the following passage...
James 2:24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.
That's right... we are not justified by "faith only".
Therefore, anyone that tells you this will have to explain away this Scripture. They can explain away with the most sincere intentions but the verse is still going to prove that we are not justified by "faith only" when they are done wasting their breath.
Not only are they going to have to explain away this verse but they are going to have to twist, malign, distort, and explain away a host of other passages, including all the ones I have mentioned above. They will have to call Jesus and the apostles liars and they will practically have to rewrite the Bible, which they are not authorized to do such a thing.
The instructions on how to be saved have not changed since the days of Jesus and the apostles. The only changes made are by uninspired men, and doctrines of men, not by God. God has not authorized any changes.
Faith is a very important element in our salvation, without faith, we cannot be saved. However, if faith is all you have then it is all you will have, you will not have salvation.
So you believe that you have faith... well that is wonderful, but keep in mind that even the devils believe. Do you think devils and demons are going to be in heaven?
The bottom line is faith without the works of God is no good... it is dead and if it is dead then it can not save us...
James 2:17-26 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works. Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way? For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
As I explained earlier in WORKS OF MAN vs. WORKS OF GOD, these works are not works of our own merit, they are works of God. God commanded the works to the men of the OT days, just as He commands works for us today. These are His works, not works of ourselves. This is explained in Ephesians... works not our ourself but works of God...
Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.
If it were works of ourself then we could boast about it. Do you think Noah boasted when we worked to build the ark? No... it was a work of God and it saved him. Yes, he had to work to build the ark, but it was a work that God commanded him to do, therefore it was a work of God. This is the same with baptism... it is not a work of our own righteousness... it is a work of God...
Titus 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
Perhaps you may consider "faith only" based of what Jesus said to the thief on the cross. Perhaps you may feel like you can be saved in the same way the thief on the cross was saved.
We must remember, the thief on the cross was living under the Old Testament Law... the Law of Moses... Jesus had not died, been buried, and risen. The thief on the cross was not under the covenant of the New Testament. I cannot imagine anyone wanting to be saved like the thief on the cross was saved anyway... he was crucified and hung on a cross and suffered much pain and agony. No sane individual would ever want to be saved like that.
There was no way to be baptized into Christ for the forgiveness of sins under the Old Testament Law.
No one under the Old Testament Law could have been buried and raised in the likeness of Christ.
Consider this story I once heard during a Gospel Meeting... Abraham Lincoln never paid one dime in income taxes. Let's suppose you write a letter to the IRS telling them that you are not going to pay anymore income taxes because Abraham Lincoln never paid one dime in income taxes. You advise them that they have received your last check. No doubt you will receive a swift letter back from the IRS informing you that in view of the fact that Abraham Lincoln was never under an income tax law... in view of the fact that he lived and died before there ever was an income tax law... he could not have paid income taxes had he wanted to pay income taxes. We will be expecting your check by return mail.
If we can understand this analogy then we ought not to have any problem understanding why the thief on the cross did not have to be baptized under the baptism of the Great Commission. The thief on the cross lived prior to the Great Commission while we live under the Great Commission. The thief on the cross lived before the consummation of the gospel of Christ... there is no possible way he could have obeyed the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ even had he wanted to.
We live under the covenant of the New Testament... this is the new covenant God has made with us. In order for the New Testament to be in force, the testator must die. Jesus was the testator. Once He died, was buried, and raised on the third day, He then gave the commandments for salvation for us to adhere to. This is the covenant by which we must live...
Hebrews 9:12-17 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance. For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth.
The Old Covenant was replaced by the New Covenant upon the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ... Jesus gave the commandment to be baptized after His resurrection... the thief on the cross was dead before Jesus was resurrected.
There is no possible way we can be saved in any likeness of the thief on the cross... the door is nailed shut on that suggested theory.
Do not forget that Jesus had the power to forgive people of their sins while He was here on this earth...
Matthew 9:6 But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins." Then he said to the paralyzed man, "Get up, pick up your stretcher, and go home!"
Jesus forgave many people of their sins and saved many people before He died. He had that authority... but Jesus is not "on earth" now... He is at the right hand of God.
We can read through the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, and read of numerous times Jesus saved people before He was crucified.
Maybe you have faith... maybe you believed and repented many years ago... now I ask have you confessed that Jesus Christ is the Son of God? Have you been baptized for the forgiveness of sins?
If you have not, I beg you... for your own soul... do the will of God and "save yourselves from this untoward generation"... "work out your own salvation with fear and trembling." and do the works of God... perfect your faith...
Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.
Philippians 2:11-13 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
God Bless You!
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