Faith, salvation and common biblical passages false converts use to steal your assurance.
The first chapter of my book that I am writing, completely free. God bless!
I will begin this book by writing about the most important topic: salvation. It will lay the foundation for the rest of the book. If you are confused about the simplicity of Christ and His message of salvation, you will be confused about the entire Bible. You will twist scripture to fit your own doctrines instead of reading the Bible for what it says. I encourage all who read this book to lay aside any and all preconceived ideas about what you think you might know about salvation, instead simply humble your heart, pray to God to show you the truth and be vigilant about your thoughts as you read this book.
The Bible is clear to tell us that salvation is by faith alone, without the doing of the law (works).
Paul has warned us about the danger of remaining a spiritual baby and a carnal Christian. And some passages are often misunderstood especially the ones in Hebrews. False preachers often say that these passages teach a person could lose salvation or that they never had salvation and that’s not the point of the apostle at all. The point is that it is possible for saved people to pass a point in time and become a spiritual shipwreck, they cannot lose salvation, but they can lose many other things and they can come under severe chastisement for their arrogant rebellion against God.
Another passage that is used by this crowd that likes to teach you can lose salvation or that if you don’t live a holy enough life and an obedient enough life, then your faith wasn’t real and you never really were saved. The book of James chapter 2 and that’s a gross misunderstanding of the Bible; of course that’s really big in the legalistic churches and in the Lordship salvation crowd. They often say “faith without works is dead” and they don’t understand what the apostle James is talking about, he’s not talking about the faith that saves from eternal punishment or faith that saves from the penalty of sin, that’s what the apostle Paul was talking about when Paul writes his epistles.
Paul is talking about the faith that God sees, the faith that saves from hell, the faith that saves from the penalty of sin, the faith that saves from eternal judgment. When James is writing, he’s not contradicting Paul and he’s not adding anything to Paul, he is just revealing something very simple, he’s talking about the perfecting and the maturing and the growth of faith, that without works faith will never to come to full maturity. And he’s talking about how we have to add works to faith, if you want to be delivered from the power of sin, not the penalty of sin. And he’s talking about that if you want to be delivered from chastisement, what I call temporal judgment of God you need to add works to your faith, you need to become a doer of the word. Because if not, you will remain carnal and you will end up backslidden and you will come under severe chastisement. So, you know these passages of Scripture that were going over have been abused by supposed Godly men and that’s the sad thing. Great men are not always wise the Scripture say in Job 32:9 – Great men are not always wise: neither do the aged understand judgment.
There are no contradictions in the Bible, Paul is very clear that we are saved by faith alone in Christ alone. Faith plus nothing. When you’re studying the word of God you have to study it in its context and you have to compare Scripture with Scripture to rightly divide the word of God. That takes a lot of effort and a lot of time and there are a lot of superficial preaches who would just assume one thing and take what somebody else said about a passage and just propagate it without putting in the time and the effort that it takes to rightly divide the word of truth. When used in context and when we compare Scripture with Scripture you have to understand and ask yourself, how does this passage fit into the whole revelation that God has given? You should never take an obscure verse to explain something over a clear verse. If God says salvation is by faith alone, without works, then He cannot contradict Himself in James 2 by then writing “Faith without works is dead, being alone”. And notice how it says “being alone” meaning you still have the very thing that is required for salvation, it’s just not profitable for anyone else. Most Christians so called, do not study the Bible themselves, they just listen to other people or they decide they need to add or remove or change God’s word. They have no faith in God preserving His eternal word and I might write a book on that in the future, about the validity of the King James Bible and how we can be absolutely certain it’s the only book God preserved for us today.
In the Gospel of John over 90 times, John talks about how men are saved and uses one word to describe it; believe or faith. That’s all that’s required and what is faith? Faith is trust. To have faith in something you require some knowledge, you need to know something, your faith has to be in something. Faith is knowledge and ascent. its knowledge and then ascent, accepting it, it’s receiving the testimony of God as being true. What God says is true, I believe it, I trust it, that’s what faith is. Hebrews 11:1 – Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
It’s not obedience, it’s not surrender, it’s not sacrifice. Those things are part of discipleship they have nothing to do it faith. Faith is very simple, the Greek speakers of the ancient world, read that in the Greek language and would’ve understood faith exactly the same way you and I would have, simple belief, conviction that what God has said is true.
The Bible does not distinguish between intellectual faith and heart faith, your intellect is your heart. Proverbs 23:7 – For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: There is only one kind of faith, the Bible does distinguish between belief and unbelief, not between intellectual faith and heart faith, because what they’ll say is to look at a person who may not be living a faithful Christian life, but who professes faith in Jesus Christ and the legalist, lordship salvationist will say “all they had was intellectual faith they didn’t have heart faith, because if they had heart faith they would be living a holy life.”
But that is not true, they just need to grow and who can judge another person heart? God alone does that, not you nor I. 1 Samuel 16:7 – for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart. So every single time you look at how someone lives their life instead of their profession of faith and judge them, you’re putting yourself in the position of God. You know who else does that? Satan. You’re blaspheming God and you don’t even realize it.
This Lordship salvation doctrine is a legalistic teaching and is nothing more than self-righteous, arrogant, pharisee, elitism that set men up as God to look into someone else’s heart and judge whether they have faith or not. None of us can do that, anyone who professes faith in Jesus Christ I receive as my brother and sister, even if they are sinning like the devil and stumbling. They just need to grow, let God deal with it, pray for them.
Obviously if someone says they’re a Christian and they deny that Christ is the son of God or if they say that salvation is by works, then obviously we know they are a false convert and are headed for hell. Those I do not receive as my brother or sister, but instead I rebuke them for their false teaching. Most people however, do not listen, they love to cling to their false doctrine and it will only send them straight to hell. They call me evil and wicked for giving them the truth. Proverbs 12:1 – Whoso loveth instruction loveth knowledge: but he that hateth reproof is brutish.
Romans 3:24-28 – Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.
Now let’s continue and look at Romans 4:1-5 – What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found? For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.
Grace is absolutely free, you don’t earn it. What could be simpler? You don’t work but you believe and you’re declared righteous before God.
Religion says man by his own goodness and works can do something to earn God’s acceptance. Christianity is not religion, Christianity is a personal relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ. Christianity is God coming down to man and doing for man, what man can’t do for himself. We can’t be good enough, we can’t do enough works to save ourselves, so God sends his son to the cross to provide for us we could never provide for ourselves. The only question is, will you receive it by faith? Galatians 3:24 – Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. In other words, the law was there to teach us that we can’t stop sinning, that we can’t keep the law, that we’re doomed. Only when you realize you’re absolutely stuck and you humble yourself and admit it, will you see the truth which is Jesus Christ. He did it all, He could do it, He finished it, He took your payment, He died for you, and He declared, if you simply trust that simple fact, not with your muscle that pumps blood through your body, but with your heart (the mind, mental ascent) you’re declared righteous forever.
Romans 5:1 – Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
What’s the result of being declared righteous by faith? We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, we are no longer condemned, we are no longer headed for hell. Once you believe in Jesus Christ as your Savior, God is not at war with you and so many Christians think “I believe in Jesus but I sinned and I failed, I believe in Jesus but I’m so aware of my failures, my sins, God must be upset with me, God must be angry with me” that’s just ignorance. It’s sad and it’s not understanding God’s grace, complete forgiveness, it’s really not understanding the cross because were told that the moment we believe in him by faith we had declared righteous and we have peace with God. That means God is never ever again going to be angry at us for our sins, even though we sin and fail still. What a wonderful thing to know that today when I stumble and fall in thought, word or deed, I still have peace with my God. So why do I have peace? Because those sins were judged on the cross, God took his anger and wrath out on Jesus. I will never be the object of his anger and wrath.
Galatians 2:16 – Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
Here we’re told with absolute clarity you can’t be declared righteous before God by your works because to do that you have to be 100% perfect and guess what? You’re not. Romans 3:23 – For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
James 2:10 – For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.
Galatians 2:21 – I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.
In other words if there was something that a man could do to make a man acceptable before God and righteous before God then there was no reason for Christ to go to the cross. So those who are trying to earn God’s acceptance by saying “I have to do this work, I have to do this work ,I have to do this work” and if I do these works then God will accept me all they’re doing is frustrating what God did at the cross. You are insulting God, you’re saying Jesus wasn’t enough or could not do something but you can. That is blasphemy, it is heresy, it leads people straight to hell and you don’t want to go to hell. You’ll stay there forever, all of eternity, you will be without purpose, there will be no end to your pain and suffering and misery, you will have no future, you will never feel joy, the wind on your face, the grass beneath your feet, you will never have a conversation with Jesus on the new heaven and the new earth. And why? Because you thought you had something to do with your own salvation, it’s sad and it’s so simple to get saved. 2 Corinthians 11:3 – But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.
Ephesians 2:8-9 – For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.
Could anything be more clear than these simple verses? A child understands them. A sinner is put right with God by faith alone without anyone works. Titus 3:5 – Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
So we’re saved by this new birth not by our works, no works of righteousness involved. I want to go through carefully so that there will never be any misunderstanding, because there will always be that Roman Catholic or the legalist or that lordship salvationist that will say “faith without works is not enough to be saved”, “faith without works is dead is not real faith.” And that’s not what James is talking about when he says faith without works is dead he saying your faith is not producing anything practical in your life. And then the legalist, catholic, lordship salvationist will say “the devils believe and they tremble” and everybody thinks “oh look faith alone is not enough, because the Devils believe and they’re not saved.” And that is not what he’s talking about. First of all, demons are not offered salvation, they cannot get saved, Jesus became a human being and died for humans. Second of all, what he’s trying to say is there are situations in life with faith alone cannot save you from something. For example, faith alone cannot save you from the power of sin, you have to learn God’s word and obey it if you want to be delivered from the power of sin. Faith alone cannot save you from divine discipline if you’ve got bitterness in your heart, if you have bitterness against a brother or sister or unforgiveness in your heart, you’re going to come under chastisement. The Scripture says just having faith in God is not going to deliver you from what the chastisement of God for the unforgiveness and bitterness in your heart. You’ve got to add works to your faith to be delivered, you have to go to your brother like the Scripture says and reconcile and forgive and make the peace and then you’ll be delivered from the chastisement, that’s what he’s talking about.
There are plenty of situations in life with faith alone is not going to save you from that consequence, and that’s what he’s talking about. And this word “save” it’s always being used as if it only refers to being saved from hell and the Bible uses “saved” in many ways. Saved from false doctrine, saved from problems, saved from the power of sin. There is a lot of different uses to the word saved. We have to read the Bible in context, this is extremely important. You cannot start reading the Bible, while at the same time having the voice of a pastor in your head already telling you what it means. Stop trusting people and start trusting God. Paul has said so forcefully and so clearly over and over again and of course the Gospel of John backs it up, as well as the book of acts and the Gospels, that men are saved by faith alone without any works faith plus nothing equals everything.
So a lordship salvationist is going to come along and quote James out of context “if you don’t have works your faith is dead” and everybody thinks James is contradicting Paul and of course God’s word cannot contradict itself so an honest Christian says no, but legalistic “Christian” will say “no, he’s just trying to show you what kind of faith saves, it’s a kind of faith that produces works”
Here’s the problem with that, nowhere in the Bible does it say there are different types of faith. There is only one type of faith (trust). You cannot trust someone in different ways, you either trust someone or you don’t. You either have faith or you don’t, you’re either saved or you’re not. The second problem is, how many works do I have to do? what kinds of works? And for how long do I have to do these works to prove that I have real faith? You see what you open the door to when you do that? A never ending treadmill where you can never find peace and assurance and rest about your final salvation and that’s why these lordship salvationists live in such constant tension, in misery about their eternal destiny. Because of superficial Bible teaching and a lack of understanding Scripture, they’re now brought into bondage and the devil loves it; the devil loves unprepared pastors who don’t study in depth, because that keeps people ignorant and in bondage and it sends them straight to hell. Yet what does the scriptures say about fear and confusion?
1 Corinthians 14:33 – For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.
2 Timothy 1:7 – For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
What do these two verses tell you, if you’re confused about the Bible and you’re scared and lack assurance? It’s not from God. So who is it from? Satan, and all the wolves in sheep’s clothing. So if it’s not from God and you believe you must keep doing works to be saved but you’re confused about it and scared you’re going to hell and you lack the power and love and the sound mind that comes with simply trusting Christ did all the work for you and you can now rest, what must you change? Stop believing in yourself, if you say Jesus did all the work and then you turn around and say “but if I sin willfully I am going to hell” you’re not saved and you’re believing in a lie, works, you’re trusting in your own ability to stop sinning for salvation.