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  • John T. Polk II 2:24 pm on 2017-03-04 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: faith only, , obeyed   

    2-28-2017 Believe And Obey The Truth 

    “But what do you think? A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, ‘Son, go, work today in my vineyard.’ He answered and said, ‘I will not,’ but afterward he regretted it and went. Then he came to the second and said likewise. And he answered and said, ‘I go, sir,’ but he did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father? They said to Him, ‘The first’” (Matthew 21:28-31 NKJV).  Jesus shows the difference between saved and lost. The first son refused to do his father’s will at first, but “regretted” his decision, changed his mind and obeyed. The second son represents sinners who say they believe, and may even claim they have obeyed, but actually have a “faith only” attitude: without works! Which son has obeyed?  “He who believes and is baptized will be saved” (Mark 16:16 NKJV).

    This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

  • TFRStaff 6:49 am on 2016-07-08 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , faith only, , , , , , , works that merit   

    13 Objections to Baptism by Dave Miller, Ph.D. 

    Some churches historically have taught that water immersion is the dividing line between the lost and the saved. This means that a penitent believer remains unforgiven of sin until buried in the waters of baptism (Romans 6:4). Much of the denominational world disagrees with this analysis of Bible teaching, holding instead that one is saved at the point of “belief,” before and without water baptism. Consider some of the points that are advanced in an effort to minimize the essentiality of baptism for salvation. Read >>

  • John T. Polk II 5:58 pm on 2016-03-24 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: faith only,   

    3-25-2016 Does He Have To Repeat It? 

    Doing good for the poor brings a blessing, “for you shall be repaid at the resurrection of the just” (Luke 14:14 NKJV). There will not be two resurrections, because one time, Jesus said, “all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth–those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation” (John 5:28-29 NKJV). A familiar verse says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16 NKJV). No one can be saved by faith only, however, for the resurrected Jesus said, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved” (Mark 16:16 NKJV). Denying the necessity of baptism denies Jesus’ resurrection. If not, why not?

    This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

  • John T. Polk II 2:49 pm on 2015-03-18 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , faith only, praise of God, praise of men   

    3-16-2015 “Faith Only” Doesn’t Confess Christ 

    John 12:42-43: “Nevertheless even among the rulers many believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue; 43 for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.” “Many” “rulers” among the Jews “believed in” Jesus as the Christ, but “did not confess Him,” though Jesus made it clear about confession. “Also I say to you, whoever confesses Me before men, him the Son of Man also will confess before the angels of God. But he who denies Me before men will be denied before the angels of God” (Luke 12:8-9 NKJV). Faith only, without confession, receives “the praise of men,” but not the “praise of God.” It’s pitiful to see people whose faith does not obey.

    This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

  • Ed Boggess 9:19 am on 2015-03-06 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: faith only, , repent and be baptized   

    On the day of Pentecost, when Peter’s preaching moved the people to ask, what must we do? Peter replied, “repent and be baptized for the remission of your sins.” That sounds to me like baptism is a necessary part of salvation. But say that and the “faith alone” crowd will object and moan. They will say the word “for” there means because of, not “unto”. Not only do Greek Dictionaries disagree with them, their contention is impossible. Why? Because Peter mentioned two things “repent and be baptized”, they are both “for the remission of sins.” The “faith onlys” teach correctly that repentance refers to the change of will at the point one believes. Thus they believe and teach repentance is necessary to salvation. But look, whatever repentance is for, baptism is equally for. This is Just-A-Minute.

  • Ed Boggess 10:06 am on 2015-03-05 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: faith only, ,   

    The apostle Paul says, “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved”. A lot of the “faith alone” folks interpret this as referring to a Sinner’s Prayer. But that is not what Paul was talking about. There was no such thing as a Sinners Prayer in Paul’s day. Nor is it found in scripture. A few verses later Paul says, “but they have not all obeyed the gospel.” Some call on the name of the Lord and others obey not the gospel. Paul knew calling on the name of the Lord involved obedience. Why? When lost, Jesus told him to go to Damascus and he would be told what he must do. He did and Ananias found him praying and told him “Arise, be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.” In Paul’s case, calling on the name of the Lord involved being baptized. So you “faith alone” folks can have your Sinners Prayer, I’m going to go Paul’s way. This is Just-A-Minute.

  • Ed Boggess 8:48 am on 2015-03-04 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , faith only,   

    The Bible says, “with the heart one believes unto righteousness and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” That is two things, not one. The first is made with the heart and the second is made with the mouth. Where does that leave the “faith only” folks? It leaves them begging. The next verse continues, “for the scriptures says, whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” In other words, believing involves more than one’s mental or heart choice, it also involves confessing. Confession is part of “believe and you will be saved.” But not only that, a verse or two later, we learn “calling on the Lord” is also involved. Thus, faith involves more than just “faith alone”; it involves actions that must follow is salvation is to be realized. This is Just-A-Minute.

  • Ed Boggess 8:58 am on 2015-03-03 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , faith only, ,   

    The apostle Paul wrote, “with the mouth confession is made unto salvation”. Was Paul right or are “faith only” folks right? They can’t be both right! How so? The “faith onlys” say that one is saved at the moment you believe; that is before one has confessed his faith. But the apostle says confession is still “unto” or “towards” salvation. Furthermore, a few verses later, Paul mentions, “they have not all obeyed the gospel.” In another place he said that God will punish those “who do not know God, and those who do not obey the gospel”. Where does this leave the “faith onlys”? It leaves them wanting! If God is going to punish those who obey not the gospel, then I choose to “confess unto salvation” and “repent and be baptized for the remission of sins”. It may not be the most popular, but it is the most sure. This is Just-A-Minute.

  • Ed Boggess 9:08 am on 2015-02-28 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , faith only, ,   

    Jesus said, “whoever believes in me, will never perish, but have everlasting life.” I believe that. But I also know that there were two ways of understanding it. One is the “faith only” way. Believe and with nothing else you are saved regardless. Another is that believe not only includes mental acceptance but other things that Jesus also included in the word “believe” and connected with salvation. For instance, the scriptures also say Jesus is the author of salvation to all who obey Him. Is obedience necessary? This verse seems to say so. Jesus also says, he who endures to the end shall be saved. What of those who believe but do not endure to the end? Taking John 3:16 by itself could mean either one, but when compared to all Jesus taught, I believe it includes much more. This is Just-A-Minute.

  • Ron Thomas 10:00 am on 2014-10-02 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: faith only, , ,   

    The Resurrection and the Thief on the Cross 

    There are many in the denominational world who quickly go to the “thief on the cross” to negate what the Lord said with regard to the importance/necessity of baptism in water for salvation. That we might have in front of us what the Scripture teaches, note what Peter said: “Baptism, the counterpart of that, saves you to-day (not the mere washing of dirt from the flesh but the prayer for a clean conscience before God) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 3:21, Moffat’s Translation).

    We see the godly importance of water baptism. Many deny this, however. What is normally asserted by those with a taught disposition against the Lord’s command is that baptism (in water) is a “figure” (KJV), and not really actual. In other words, baptism for salvation is figurative, not actual. To support this assertion, the remark will be made concerning the thief on the cross: “He was not baptized, but asked the Lord to remember him when he went into paradise. That means that one does not have to be baptized in order to be saved.” (cf. Luke 23:39-43)

    This is, sadly, a mistaken way of thinking. The Lord said that baptism saved, and shall we listen to anyone who speaks contrary to this? Some do, and they feel justified with that which they have been taught regarding the thief on the cross.

    Consider what Paul said about salvation, and how this applies to the thief. “…because if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9, NET). There are two things required by Paul in this passage. First, one must confess that Jesus is Lord; that is, acknowledge His “Lordship” over one’s personal life. Second, one must believe in the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. Looking at Luke 23:42, one might easily agree that the thief on the cross did confess Christ, but what about the second requirement the Holy Spirit puts forth for salvation? Could the thief have believed that? Hardly!

    What this goes to point out is that the thief on the cross was not amenable (accountable) to what the New Testament teaches for salvation.

    • Randal 6:29 pm on 2014-10-02 Permalink | Reply

      Excellent, Ron.

      • Ron Thomas 6:36 pm on 2014-10-02 Permalink | Reply

        You are very kind, Randal. Your words are very meaningful.

        On Thu, Oct 2, 2014 at 6:29 PM, The Fellowship Room wrote:


    • Richard Mansel 8:07 pm on 2014-10-02 Permalink | Reply

      This is great work, Ron. But diligent students usually produce quality fruit.

      • Ron Thomas 8:13 pm on 2014-10-02 Permalink | Reply

        Appreciate your encouragement, Richard. Thank you

        On Thu, Oct 2, 2014 at 8:07 PM, The Fellowship Room wrote:


    • Lance Mosher 8:49 pm on 2014-10-02 Permalink | Reply

      Thank you, Ron. This was well put. Also consider how 1 Peter 3:21 says baptism is an appeal “by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” The thief could not have made this appeal, just as he was unable to confess and believe it. Similarly, Paul says that rising out of the grave of baptism is “as Christ was raised from the dead” (Romans 6:1-7). The thief could not have been saved in this same manner.
      When people asked Jesus about eternal life before the Cross, He referred them to the Law (Matthew 19:16ff). After the resurrection, He pointed to belief and baptism (Mark 16:16). Hebrews 8:6-13; 9:15-17.
      Keep serving Him!

    • Gary Knuckles 8:49 pm on 2014-10-02 Permalink | Reply

      A very good point to make! Good job, Ron.

    • Janice Horne 10:08 pm on 2014-10-02 Permalink | Reply

      Excellent! Thanks for this concise explanation. The religious world is mistaken about a number of points of doctrine because they do not rightly divide the word of truth. Knowledge and understanding result in wisdom. Keep up the good work!

    • sandirog 11:43 pm on 2014-10-02 Permalink | Reply

      Very good post. Thank you. 🙂

      • Ron Thomas 12:54 pm on 2014-10-03 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you. I would identify you by name, but I am afraid to. Is it Sandi, Sandy, or sandirog?

    • Allen Dutton 9:49 am on 2014-10-03 Permalink | Reply

      Thank you Ron for your article. We encounter the same arguments here in Brazil. Jesus was still alive when He said those words to thief on the cross. The Old Law was still the law. No baptism for salvation under the Old Law. We live under the New Law where baptism for salvation is the law. Compare 1 Peter 3. 21 with Acts 2. 38 for example. God bless you.

    • Effiong, Y.E 4:15 pm on 2014-10-03 Permalink | Reply

      I love it when we talk about the Baptism as one of the tools to salvation.God bless you immensely

    • Weylan Deaver 11:03 am on 2014-10-04 Permalink | Reply

      Good point!

    • Jim Key 8:03 am on 2014-10-06 Permalink | Reply

      Brother Marshal Keeble, one of the brilliant preachers of my parents generation said that in denying baptism one in effect changes the very words of Jesus in Mark 16:16 from: “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved…” to “he that believeth and is NOT baptized shall be saved.”

      Interesting word, “NOT.”

      Satan made very effective use of the exact same tactic in Gen 3:4. (From NRSV) Gen 3:3 Eve’s statement: “but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the garden, nor shall you touch it, or you shall die.'”

      Satan’s reply in Gen 3:4: “But the serpent said to the woman, “You will NOT die…”

      Ron’s thoughts lead directly into Paul’s discussion in Romans 6.

      Rom 6:3-4
      Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?

      At the time of the thief’s confession, could he have been baptized into the death of Jesus before Jesus died?

      Rom 6:4
      Therefore we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.

      At the time of the thief’s confession could he have been buried with Christ by baptism before Jesus had been buried?

      Could the thief have been raised to walk in newness of life before Christ has been raised from the dead by the glory of the Father?

      A question to the individual who denies (opposes) baptism.

      If they were there 2000 years ago on the day of Pentecost preaching to the crowd and hundreds of voices cried out, “…what shall we do?” How would those that deny baptism have answered?

      Peter said: “Repent Ye, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ unto the remission of your sins; and Ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

      The denier? ” ‘Repent Ye, and [fill in in the blank: call on the name of Jesus, confess Jesus as the Son of God, let Him into your heart, …]; and Ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

      Suppose you had been one of those individuals in the crowd that day that heard Peter’s message, how would you have responded?

      The record in God’s Word: “They then that received his word were baptized: and there were added (unto them) in that day about three thousand souls.” (Acts 2:4)

      The baptism denier: “”They then that received his word [fill in the blank: prayed the sinners prayer, confessed the name of Christ, said, “no need to be baptized”, …]

      And finally for those that would claim the name of Christian remember the Biblical definition of “Christian” as given in Acts 11:26, “… the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.”

      Disciple = Christian and Christian = Disciple. A disciple does not argue theology with the Master. A disciple does not twists or deny the words of the Master. A disciple does not question the wisdom of the Master.

      There are many that wear the name Christian, but are not true disciples. They want Jesus to be their friend and savior but deny Him as their Lord and Master. Based on the definition in Acts 11:26, these are simply admirers or perhaps fans of Jesus, but certainly not disciples and therefore not Christians.

      Matt 7:21 – “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father who is in heaven. “

  • Eugene Adkins 6:56 am on 2013-09-03 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , faith only, , , , ,   

    That Tricky Situation For “Faith Only” Advocates 

    “Want to be saved? Just believe! That’s all you have to do…well, maybe say the sinner’s prayer too; but other than that there’s nothing else to do…well, maybe repent, but that’s a work of the Holy Spirit and not you – so yeah, just believe because that’s all you have to do to be saved.”

    I’m not trying to be hateful or even funny when I say the above “quote” is a summation of the comments and thoughts that one will hear from those in religion today who propose the avenue of faith only when it comes to salvation.

    It’s unfortunate, but the doctrine of faith only has confused many people when it comes to their understanding of what faith is and does, and what a person must to do in response to the gospel of Jesus to be saved, and yet the doctrine of faith only is actually a very easy doctrine to correct when a person reads just a verse or two from John’s gospel.

    In John 12:42 you’ll find a tricky situation for faith only advocates. There the Bible says, “Nevertheless even among the rulers many believed in [Jesus], but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue;

    Now if a person is saved by faith alone then we must ask if these people were saved according to the gospel preached by Jesus himself. For according to the gospel preached by some men and women today they were indeed saved. Unfortunately for those who teach the doctrine of faith only and for those who failed to confess Jesus, the answer to the first question is an obvious no (Matthew 10:32-33).

    But they believed! They had faith! They had faith alone! And that’s the problem! They had faith that was alone!

    And faith alone is a dead faith – “Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” (James 2:17)

    Don’t get tricked by those who teach that all you have to do to be saved is believe, for I believe John had something to say about that when he wrote John 12:42.

    Then he called for a light, ran in, and fell down trembling before Paul and Silas. And he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.” Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their stripes. And immediately he and all his family were baptized.” (Acts 16:29-33)

    • doc 9:57 am on 2013-09-03 Permalink | Reply

      The modern lean toward “political correctness” will send many souls to Hell.

      • Eugene Adkins 6:10 pm on 2013-09-03 Permalink | Reply

        Spiritual correctness must be more important than any political correctness for politics come and go, but the word of God abides and lives forever (1 Peter 1:23-25).

        Thanks for commenting, Doc.

    • Joseph Richardson 2:21 pm on 2013-09-03 Permalink | Reply

      That’s very interesting. I had no idea that the Churches of Christ rejected sola fide (“faith alone”). And you teach baptismal regeneration. And many other of the same things for which folks call me a heretic.

      • Eugene Adkins 6:07 pm on 2013-09-03 Permalink | Reply

        Hi, Joseph. Been a while.

        We believe that faith is an essential part of a person’s salvation as Hebrews 11:6 teaches: “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

        But as far as faith alone is concerned, it never has and it never will save anyone. A faith that pleases God and saves mankind is a faith that acts on God’s word (see the rest of Hebrews 11).

        We do believe in baptismal regeneration as places such as Titus 3:5 teaches, but unlike the Catholic church, and akin to faith alone, we do not believe in baptism alone either (i.e. sacramental), for the person being baptized must have faith in the Gospel’s message to accompany it (Mark 16:15-16; Acts 8:36-37).

        All in all we don’t believe in faith alone because it’s not what the Bible teaches; not even close to the way some try to make it. Only faith in Jesus – yes! Only through the faith once and for all delivered to the saints – yes! Only if we have faith – yes! Faith alone – no!

        I’d say you’re right in saying that we probably have very many things in common that the religious world denies/promotes, at times vehemently; faith alone being one of them. I sincerely don’t mean to sound sarcastic when I say this (one of the draw backs to text without tone and expression) but perhaps you should get to know the church of Christ a little better and what we believe from the Bible, for anyone who has a little bit of knowledge about the churches of Christ would know that we do not come anything close to believers in sola fide. I did that very thing and that’s why I am where I am today.

        Good to hear from you.

        • Joseph Richardson 10:34 pm on 2013-09-03 Permalink | Reply

          As I think I mentioned when we went around and around a few times regarding infant baptism, the Catholic Church also believes that Baptism requires faith. But let’s not dig that up again. 🙂 I’ve been writing some more posts on Baptism in Scripture, but haven’t gotten back around to infant baptism again yet.

          And absolutely, we believe that we are saved through faith — since Paul says so again and again. But not faith alone — Scripture also says that again and again.

          I picked up a book not too long ago on the doctrines of the Churches of Christ — something I think someone gave my uncle when he visited one. And I do intend to read it to learn more about what y’all believe. Truthfully, I never knew very much about y’all growing up, only that you were the ones who didn’t believe in instrumental music. 😉 It was my assumption that all Protestants believe in sola fide, since it was one of the fundamental principles of the Reformation — and I know you don’t like the term “Protestant,” and I can see more and more why. If a label is necessary, I do think the Churches of Christ descend from the Protestants in terms of tradition and lineage, but I can see that they’ve pulled away from some of the core Protestant doctrines. And, the hardcore Protestants call you heretics for it (I googled), so we are in the same boat when it comes to those teachings. 🙂

          It’s good to hear from you, too. God bless you and peace be with you.

          • Eugene Adkins 6:53 am on 2013-09-04 Permalink | Reply

            The reason we do not refer to our selves as protestants in the “proper” or should I say the “popular” recognition of the word is because we in the churches of Christ, for the majority part, do not identify with the reformation movement, but rather with the restoration movement.

  • Eugene Adkins 7:18 am on 2013-02-27 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , faith only, , , , , Obeying the gospel,   

    It’s “Funny” Which “Works” Earn Salvation and Which “Works” Do Not In The Eyes of Some People 

    “Baptism isn’t needed for salvation because baptism is a work and if salvation is by works then it’s not by grace!”

    Ah, the old broken record that continuously repeats itself upon the same grove. It’s amazing what some people consider to be “works that earn salvation” while considering other “works that aren’t works” essential when it comes to being saved.

    For example:

    Grace. We all need it. It’s been shown to all, but all don’t want to see it. And all aren’t going to see it in the judgment. It’s the whole “blind before seeing” thing we sing about. Now, if a person wants to receive the gift of God’s grace they’re going to have to do something because if not, then everyone would be going to Heaven and there would be no need for a place called Hell. Simple enough to follow right? But no one wants to call this process “works” because they’re afraid it’ll stain the whole “saved by grace alone” theory. So which is it? Does a person have to respond to God’s grace to be saved or not? Of course they do! An individual person must willingly make a decision to follow God and accept the gift He offers through their own volition through Jesus, not be forced to accept it through something called irresistible grace. Responding to God’s grace is something we must do – responding is a work, an action needed on our behalf per say – but it no way earns the offer of God’s gift.

    Faith. We all need it…to be saved anyways. But everyone doesn’t have it because everyone doesn’t want it. Now some teach that we’re saved by grace alone through faith alone (amazing how you can two “alones” isn’t it???) and that anything else done is a work that makes a person earn his or her salvation. No works people proclaim – only grace and only faith, for works have no place in salvation. But here’s the secret that many people who proclaim this don’t want to hear – having, showing and responding to God’s gift of grace through Jesus is a work! It’s a work we’re responsible for, and it’s a work Jesus discussed with people in the past: “Then they said to Him, “What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?” Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.” (John 6:28-29). Jesus didn’t say anything about, “Oh, there’s nothing you must do, just simply believe and leave it up to grace because anything else would cause you to earn what I’m going to do.” No, Jesus said we have a responsibility to do something. We have a responsibility to follow God’s will and God’s commands and doing these things in no way places God in our debt and it no way earns the salvation that God offers.

    Repentance. Repent is a command. Repentance is action. Salvation will not be enjoyed without repentance. A change of mind seen through a change of actions. Both of which is something we’re responsible for doing. Repentance is not a work done on us or to us. Not one verse in the Bible teaches this, but many verses teach that repentance is something we must do – a work, an action – or we’ll perish in Hell. “…but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:3) Jesus didn’t say, “Well, I would tell you to repent but that would mean you’re earning your salvation, so….” That’s not what Jesus said. Jesus said we, as individuals, are responsible for following God’s command and repenting of our sins if we want to find the forgiveness of our sins. This in no way places God in our debt because it’s something that God requires us to do. He’s not offering wages if we repent – He’s offering His gift of salvation. But we must want to be saved – we must repent.

    Confessing Jesus. We should have a willingness to do so, but everyone doesn’t. Confessing Jesus is a must. It’s something we must do. It’s vital to salvation! It’s an action. It’s a work that we’re required to do. No, you say? I say…rather, I ask, have you not read the Bible? The Bible says, “that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” (Romans 10:9-10). I know many, many people who claim that a person is saved by grace alone through faith alone but for some reason they still teach that a person must confess Jesus to be saved…what happened to that just believing thing? Belief and confession are two separate things! Read Romans 10 again. The very verses used to teach grace alone by faith alone contradicts them both by saying confession on our behalf is essential! Confession is an action required by God on our behalf. It is something – a work – we must do. Confessing Jesus does not earn a person’s salvation because it submits to the offer of salvation made by God through Jesus.

    Baptism. “Now preacher, it’s true that we must have faith, that we must repent and that we must confess Jesus, but even though those are something we must do they’re not “works” that earn our salvation, but that baptism stuff…that’s where the line is drawn!” I hear it all the time. Who drew that line??? I’ll tell you where the line is – there’s a line between listening to God’s will and rejecting God’s will. There’s a line between being saved and being lost. There’s a line between the works of men and women and the work of God. It’s a line drawn in the waters of baptism where the blood of Jesus washes our sins away (Acts 22:16, Revelation 1:5). It’s a line where the old person is buried in the water and the new, born again person is raised out of the water (2 Corinthians 5:17, Romans 6:1-4). And until a person submits to God’s work that takes place during baptism then a person is defiantly relying upon their own works, their own system of salvation through faith, repentance and confession that balks at baptism of God instead of walking down in the water submissively and allowing God to remove sin from their heart and replace it with the Spirit of God. A person doesn’t have the Son without being baptized, and if they don’t have the Son they don’t have the Father or His promise of salvation (Galatians 3:26-29). Submitting to God’s will in baptism doesn’t earn a man or woman his or her salvation. Baptism for the remission of sins came from God. He designed it. He ordered it. He requires it. And to say that a person is saved before baptism on this side of the cross of Jesus because baptism is a “work of man” is to say that one does not have to do the works of God to be saved.

    There are works that earn, works that spurn and works that yearn, and no one can show how responding to God’s will and God’s commands to be saved causes God to be indebted to us; that’s because it doesn’t. Following the will of God never has, and never will place God in a person’s debt when it comes to being saved, but if we want to get rid of the debt of sin we need to respond to the offer of His gift. A gift that’s found through God’s will/grace, our faith, our willingness to repent, our willingness to confess Jesus, our willingness to be baptized and our willingness to live faithfully allowing the blood of Jesus to do what it was meant to do when it comes to the will of God – and that’s get us to Heaven.

    It’s “funny” how faith, repentance and confession (all things – works – we must do) doesn’t earn a person his or her salvation but baptism does??? Yeah, if you believe that you might want to stop working on that and start submitting to God’s will.

    • Morris 10:14 am on 2013-02-27 Permalink | Reply

      Looks like it may be the works they want to do that works.

      Another amazing thing is this: If you ask the works people what you can do to go to Heaven, they will give you a list – ask them if I do all these things can I know I am going to Heaven – and almost without fail they don’t know.

      Since Jesus paid it all we can rest assured that a person can go to Heaven by trusting His death and resurrection for their sins.

    • Trey Cauble 10:08 am on 2014-10-22 Permalink | Reply

      Good article Eugene. Those who teach “faith alone” always end up contradicting themselves. I have heard it said by them when asked about James 2:14-26 that, “James is saying faith without works is dead, because faith leads you to do good works. But the works that the faith drives you to do are not essential for salvation.” When asked if one can be saved with a dead faith they say “No.” It is like a dog chasing it’s tail.

      Other good Scripture that shows repentance is something we do is Jonah 3:6-10. “When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil way, God relented of the disaster that he had said he would do to them, and he did not do it” (v.10).

      I think R.L. Whiteside said it best when he said, “There is no grace when a man merits salvation. Works by which a man merits justification and commands which one must obey to be saved are distinct matters. It is unfortunate that many cannot, or will not, see this distinction. Because of this, they conclude that a sinner must do nothing in order to be saved; but a man has no real understanding of either works or grace if he thinks that a sinner’s complying with the terms of salvation causes him to merit it. Many things are of grace, and are yet conditional. Is anyone so simple as to think that Naaman’s healing from leprosy was any less a matter of grace because he had to dip seven times in the Jordan River? Is any so blind that he cannot see that Jesus’ giving sight to the man born blind was any less of grace because he was required to wash in the pool of Siloam?”

  • TFRStaff 6:42 am on 2013-01-29 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: faith only, , , , religious fables   

    Comforting Fiction (Hugh’s News & Views) 

    According to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary, the word fiction means “something invented by the imagination or feigned.” In other words, it is something that is not true or factual, something not rooted in reality.

    While the Bible does not use the English word “fiction,” it does warn of fables and teachings that are not true. The apostle Paul spoke of those who would “turn away their ears from the truth, and be turned aside to fables” (II Timothy 4:4). “Fables” is from a word that means “a tale, i.e., fiction” (Strong’s Greek Dictionary of the New Testament).

    Elsewhere Paul warned against “giving heed to Jewish fables and commandments of men who turn from the truth” (Titus 1:14). He urged Timothy to avoid “profane and vain babblings and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge” (I Timothy 6:20, italics and underlining mine for emphasis.) He alerted the Colossian Christians to

    “Beware lest anyone take you captive through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the traditions of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ” (Colossians 2:8).

    In spite of these sober warnings about being deceived by that which is false in religion, there are those who seemingly prefer the “comfort” of the fictitious over that which is factual.

    Consider, for example, the following:

    “Wherefore, that we are justified by faith, only, is a most wholesome doctrine, and very full of comfort” (The Book of Discipline of the United Methodist Church, Article IX, p. 61, 2008 Edition).

    But the fact is that one is not justified by faith only and it is fiction to teach and/or believe otherwise.

    James wrote, “You see then that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only” (James 2:24). Christ is “the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him” (Hebrews 5:9). One is made free from sin when he obeys “from the heart that form of doctrine to which he was delivered” (Romans 6:16-18). At His second coming Christ will take vengeance on those who “obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ” (II Thessalonians 1:6-10).

    Justified by faith? Absolutely! Justified by faith only? Absolutely not! We are justified by “faith working through love” (Galatians 5:6) — a faith that obeys! Don’t be deceived by the fiction!

    The notion that if a person lives a good, decent, and morally upright life he will go to heaven when he dies is another piece of religious fiction.

    We read in the New Testament of just such a man. His name was Cornelius. He was “a devout man and one who feared God with all his household, who gave alms generously to all the people, and prayed to God always” (Acts 10:1-2). In spite of these sterling moral qualities Cornelius nevertheless needed to be told “words by which you and all your household will be saved” (Acts 11:14). The apostle Peter went to Caesarea, preached the gospel to Cornelius and his family, and “commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord” (Acts 10:48). These were the words by which he could be saved! His moral uprightness was not sufficient to save him. (More …)

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