“Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from deeds of the law.” – Romans 3:28
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There are some verses in the Bible that are taken out of context to teach false doctrines that a person can be saved by faith only. We are justified by faith, as Romans 3:28 tells us and not by the Old Law. Paul was writing to the church at Rome explaining to them about what place the Law had in the new Christian’s life.
Many of the members of the early church were still trying to keep the Law of Moses. But Christ nailed the old Law to the cross (Col. 2:14), and when He did, His will and testament came into force (Heb. 9:16). The church at Rome needed to hear that to know what purpose the Law had in their lives as Christians.
Paul was emphasizing to them faith in Christ over works of the Law. He never says that we are justified by faith only, as some teach. We are not saved by faith only. There are several other passages in the New Testament that teach us that there is more to salvation than faith in Christ.
In fact, the only verse of scripture where you will see the phrase “faith only” is in James 2:24. It says: “You see that a man is justified by works, and not faith only.” James goes on to say, “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also” (James 2:26).
You can’t have faith without actions that demonstrate your faith, and you can’t have actions towards the Lord without faith in Him. You must have both faith and actions as evidence of that faith in Christ.
For example, a person may say that they believe in God, but their actions show riotous and sinful living. They say they have faith but they have not done the works worthy of the name of Christ. That “faith” means nothing.
In the same way, people can do good deeds for others, be servants, and give of their time and resources to help others, but not have any faith in Christ. Those works and good deeds will not count for the case towards heaven.
Jesus said, not everyone who says to Him “Lord, Lord” will enter into the kingdom of heaven, but the person who does the will of the Father (Matt. 7:21). We actually have to do what He says for our works and our faith to count.
A person cannot be saved by faith only. The Bible is clear about that. Jesus said: “He that believes and is baptized shall be saved” (Mark 16:16). One must believe and one must be baptized in order to be saved.
Jesus also said, “Unless you repent, you will all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3). One must repent of their sins – meaning, have a change of heart and mind that causes a change in living.
A person must also confess Christ before others in order to be saved. Jesus made the following statement: “Therefore, whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven” (Matt 10:32-33).
Then we know that we must be faithful until death in order to receive a crown of life (Rev. 2:10). There’s no such thing from the scriptures as “once saved always saved.” We have to work out our salvation with fear and trembling.
Belief or faith in Christ is not enough. Even devils believe in Him and tremble (James 2:19).
“Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” – James 2:17
Unfortunately, the teaching that a person can be saved by faith only is not true. It’s unfortunate because many people teach it unknowingly. Faith without works is dead, and repentance is a work; baptism is a work; confession is a work, and; living faithful until death is a work. Obedience to God is a work.
Will you obey the Lord today, friend? You cannot be saved by faith only. If you believe in Him, put some work behind your faith in Christ and be obedient to His will, today.
“But someone will say, ‘You have faith, and I have works.’ Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” – James 2:18
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