Saved By Faith But Not By Faith Only
One must believe Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, in order to be saved from his sins. The Bible 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). Jesus died for our sins, but unless we believe in Him, we cannot be saved. Jesus told the Jews “...if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins” (John ). When Jesus gave the Great Commission, He commanded: “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mark ,16).
How can one believe? Some teach that faith is a gift of God, which is put in the sinner’s heart by a miracle. But the Bible teaches: “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans ). Paul shows how faith comes when he says: “For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?” (Romans 10:13,14). It is necessary for the gospel of Christ to be preached so that sinners can believe and be saved. Where the gospel has not gone, people have not heard, and no one has been saved. This is the reason we must preach the gospel to every person, in every nation, in the whole world (Matthew 28:19, 20; Mark ,16; Luke 24:46, 47).
What does it mean to believe? Some teach that one is saved by faith alone
without any further acts of obedience. Is
this true according to the teaching of the Bible? Mark tells of Jesus preaching in a house in
James discusses the kind of faith which saves. He says, “...faith without works is dead” (James ). He also says that “a man is justified by works, and not by faith only” (James ). He concludes his discussion by writing: “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also” (James ).
Those who teach sinners are saved
by faith only often use the conversion of the Philippian jailor to prove their
doctrine (Acts -40).
Paul and Silas were preaching in
Let us sum up how the Philippian jailor and his family were saved: (1) He asked, “What must I do?” (2) He was told to “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ;” (3) Paul and Silas preached the Word to him and his family so that they could believe, (4) He washed the stripes he had inflicted on Paul and Silas the previous day. This shows he had repented; (5) He and his family were all baptized. Did the Philippian jailor think it was important that he be baptized? Obviously he did, for he did not even wait until the next morning. As soon as he knew he was lost and learned about the Saviour, he believed, repented, and was baptized. That is the way sinners are saved by faith in Jesus Christ. It is not by belief alone! Sinners are saved by faith which obeys. Paul described to the Galatian Christians the kind of faith we must have in order to please God: “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love” (Galatians 5:6).
Have you been saved from your sins? If not, you can be saved today. Believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only begotten Son who died to save you. Repent of your sins. Confess your faith in Christ. Be buried with Christ in baptism so that your sins will be washed away. Then serve Christ faithfully all the days of your life. You can die with a sure hope of going to Heaven (Acts ; Acts ; Acts ; Romans 6:3-5; Revelation ).
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