SALVATION BY FAITH ONLY
1. Of all known false teaching today, salvation by "faith only" must occupy the No. 1 position!
2. And to hear our denominational friends speak on the subject, you would think that this devastating error was actually supported by the Scriptures and even continually substantiated on just about every other page of the Bible!...And yet the only time the phrase "faith only" is ever used in the Bible (Jas. 2:24) it is condemned as a plan of salvation!
3. No Bible-believing person ever denies the scriptural necessity of faith in God and His will for us as revealed through Jesus Christ! (Heb. 11:6; Jno. 8:24)...But what is under consideration in this lesson is: "Is it possible to believe and still go to hell?" ...and if so, how? (Jas. 2:19 vs. Mk. 16:16).
I. REAL MEANING OF SALVATION BY FAITH!
A. In spite of the title and text of this lesson, we often underestimate the very important role of faith in our lives (2 Cor. 5:7).
1. Therefore, let's notice several Bible examples where absolute faith in God is required, if God's help and approval was to be enjoyed:
B. Naaman (2 Kgs. 5:10-15); Children of Israel (Num. 21:4-9); Joshua (Jos. 6:1-5); Blind man (Jno. 9:4-7); All of us (Rom. 3:23; Mk. 16:16).
C. Notice in all cases cited above that:
1. Ridiculous solutions were given (according to man's wisdom (Isa. 55:8,9; 1 Cor. 1:25,21,18).
2. The cures never worked for anyone else.
3. The desired results always followed complete obedience.
4. Therefore, not "water salvation" and more than "snake salvation", "blowing salvation", "spit salvation", etc.
II. USELESSNESS AND ABSURDITY OF "FAITH ONLY"!
A. If uselessness can be seen, then absurdity becomes obvious also!
1. Then hopefully many who have been deceived by such error can still be salvaged!
2. We are taught in the Scriptures that many things are combined to bring about our salvation:
a. Faith (Mk. 9:23; Jno. 1:12); Grace (Eph. 2:5,8-10); Hope (Rom. 8:24); Repentance (Lk. 13:3); Confession (Rom. 10: 10); Baptism (1 Pet. 3;21); Continued faithfulness (Rev. 2: 10); Works (Jas. 2:14,26; Jno. 6:29); Obedience (Heb. 5:8, 9; etc.).
1) Yet none of these alone can save!
C. Who do we think we are to dictate to God Almighty what we will or will not accept in regard to His terms of pardon?!!
1. After all God has done for us are we still so proud? (2 Pet. 3: 9; Matt. 25:41).
2. Hell was never planned for us, but if we wish, it can still be our eternal abode! (2 Thes. 1:7-10). Which will it be for you?
III. THE CHOICE IS ENTIRELY YOURS!
A. Certainly, no one wants to believe and yet still go to hell!
1. But that's exactly what will happen unless you and I are motivated by an active faith (Matt. 7:21; Heb. 5:9; Jno. 14:15; Eccl. 12:13).
B. So please, don't waste your faith! But rather use it to carry you all the way to heaven! (Jno. 8:24; Lk. 13:3; Rom. 10:10; Acts 2:38; Gal. 3;27; 1 Cor. 12:13; Eph. 1:22,23,3; Rev. 2;10).
C. I cannot be baptized for you nor live your life for you!...Any more than Joshua could do the same for the people of his day (Jos. 24:15,18).
1. They (for themselves) decided to serve God! What will your decision be?
D. REMEMBER: It takes no effort to go to hell ("faith only" will do just fine) but it takes determination to go to heaven!
By Eric Reed
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