Thursday, March 14, 2024

We Are Saved By Faith Without Works

Romans 4:4-7, “Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.”

A favorite device of the Devil is to have men look to their works for their salvation instead of looking to Jesus Christ. He leads some to trust in their morality, some to depend upon lodge membership, some to depend upon confessions to priests; some he leads to trust in water baptism. These are fatal mistakes.

The unanimous voice of all the Scripture is that lost people are saved by simple faith in Jesus Christ, without any act of self-righteousness, and water baptism is never mentioned as a part of God's simple plan of salvation. Water baptism is an act of righteousness, for Jesus said in Matthew 3:15, "Thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness." Titus 3:5 says that such acts of righteousness do not save us:
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.”
The phrase “washing of regeneration” refers to the new birth, being regenerated. It means having Jesus (He who is the beginning - Revelation 1:8) born in us. The phrase “renewing of the Holy Ghost” refers to being “renovated (which is the Greek meaning of the word renewing). Put simply, God saves us and then the gift of the indwelling Holy Spirit begins His work to change us. This is in direct contradiction to the heresy of Lordship Salvation.

In a false gospel, the sinner is required to reform his or her own life either to obtain, keep or prove that they are saved; but in true salvation, a sinner doesn't have to change (nor even be willing to change) anything to be saved, the Holy Spirit lives the Christian life through us, which is exactly what Galatians 2:20 teaches, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” Do you see the important difference friend? A false gospel mandates that YOU change your own life to get to Heaven; whereas trusting in the true Gospel saves you, and then it is CHRIST who lives through you (which is the fruit of the indwelling Holy Spirit according to Galatians 5:22-25).

Baptism is certainly a good work, but Ephesians 2:8-9 likewise says plainly that salvation is altogether a matter of God's mercy and not of our works:
“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.” [emphasis added]
Salvation is a free gift of God which is not deserved, is not bought, and cannot be paid for. No church, nor preacher, nor the individual saved has any right to claim credit when a soul is saved. 1st Corinthians 3:7, “So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.”

In fact, we are told again and again in the Bible that the man who trusts in Christ has everlasting life immediately. John 3:36 says:
“He that believeth on the Son HATH everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”
"Hath" means has, present tense, in modern English. Likewise, John 5:24 says:
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, HATH everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation: but IS PASSED from death unto life.”
The same teaching is given in John 6:47...
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me HATH everlasting life.”
In the Bible, we find it clear that people believed first and then were water baptized. According to these statements from God's inspired Word, they were already saved before they were baptized. A man who trusts in Christ is saved instantly, before he could possibly get to the baptistery waters. It does not take baptism to save someone.

By the way, nearly every pseudo-Christian cult (e.g., Mormons, Seventh-Day Adventists, Lutherans, Jehovah's Witnesses, Church of Christ, et cetera) all sinfully require being baptized in water to get to Heaven. Tragically, they are all hellbound false teachers.


In Acts 2:38, the term "for the remission of sins" is used as follows:
“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.”
Some people think that this passage contradicts the dozens of other plain statements in the Bible, that a man is saved by faith alone, and saved immediately when he believes. But when you use the word “for in this passage, just as it is used so many times in every-day conversation, you will see what Peter meant. A man is arrested FOR stealing; one is grateful FOR a favor; one is blamed FOR carelessness; one is commended FOR bravery. The word for here does not mean in order to secure remission of sins; and it is not rendered that way in any translation of the Bible that we know of anywhere. When one repents (i.e., changes his mind) to trust in Christ, he receives the remission of his sins.

What Peter means is that people ought to repent and then, after their sins are forgiven, they should be baptized as evidence of that. Baptism is our public profession of faith. Baptism is an outward snapshot of what has happened inwardly. That is, we have put our trust in Jesus' death, burial and resurrection from the dead. This is what water baptism represents. That is exactly what people ought to be baptized for, that is, to show the remission of their sins. That Scripture, then, does not mean that people ought to be baptized in order to be saved.

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