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11-14-2017         “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.

#believe, #confession, #faith-only

Burton Coffman quote on “faith only”

Any person familiar with the meaning of ordinary words must know that salvation “by faith alone” means salvation without obeying the Christians ordinances, without holiness, without moral conduct, without respect for any Christian duty, without the church and without the new birth or anything else. Such is the meaning of the word “alone” or its equivalent “only.” The only religious error ever known which rivals that of so-called salvation “by faith only” is the Christian Science proposition that there is no pain, sickness or death!

(James Burton Coffman New Testament Commentaries: Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians, Volume VIII, P. 14, Paragraph 3, ©1977, A.C.U. Press)

#faith-alone, #faith-only, #quote

Unpopular conclusion but popular translation

James 2:26 isn’t a very popular verse with advocates of the faith-only doctrine. But regardless of how translators may feel about the conclusion (to their detriment), none have the nerve (to their credit) to change what it says. As a matter of fact, nearly all major (and minor) translations say the same thing when it comes to the verse in question.

Per Bible Hub, here is how 25 translations handle James 2:26: Continue reading

#bible-translations, #faith-alone, #faith-only, #james

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6-7-2017 Faith Without Works

The Bible makes it clear that, “faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead” (James 2:17 NKJV). Nowhere in the entire Bible has God blessed a person’s faith without the obedient works which God specified! James 2 makes that very point: verses 14-18 say that without works of benevolence to a “brother or sister” in need is “dead” faith; verses 19-20 show that “demons” believe truth about God, but without obedient works, their faith is “dead;” verses 21-24 show that even Abraham’s faith was “justified by works,” “and not by faith only;” verse 25 shows “Rahab the harlot” was “justified by works;” verse 26 says “faith without works is dead” like a “body without the spirit.” “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38 NKJV). Have you faith or faith only?

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

#faith, #faith-only

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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.

#faith-only, #gospel, #obeyed

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 >>

#apologetics-press, #baptism, #calvinism, #errors-of-denominationalism, #faith-only, #grace-only, #plan-of-salvation, #salvation, #salvation-before-baptism, #sinners-prayer, #thief-on-the-cross, #works-that-merit

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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.

#faith-only, #resurrection

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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.

#believed, #confess, #faith-only, #praise-of-god, #praise-of-men

On the day of Pentecost when Peter’s preaching…

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.

#faith-only, #just-a-minute, #repent-and-be-baptized

The apostle Paul says “whoever calls on the…

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.

#faith-only, #just-a-minute, #sinners-prayer

The Bible says “with the heart one believes…

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.

#confession, #faith-only, #just-a-minute

The apostle Paul wrote “with the mouth confession…

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.

#confession, #faith-only, #just-a-minute, #obey

Jesus said “whoever believes in me will never…

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.

#faith-alone, #faith-only, #just-a-minute, #obedience

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.

#faith-only, #resurrection, #salvation, #thief-on-the-cross

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)

#faith, #faith-only, #false-doctine, #gospel-of-john, #religion, #salvation, #sinners-prayer