Article - Belief Alone Will Never Save [Part 3]

People sometimes come to a passage in the Bible and quote only that passage to prove a doctrine. For example, Mormons will quote “other sheep I have” (John 10:16) to promote their view of Christ going to the Native Americans. Jehovah’s Witnesses will cite “You are My Witnesses” (Is. 43:10) to show that their name is ordained by God. As one examines both of these Scriptures in their context it is easy to determine they are being pulled out of context and greatly misused. This same principle of lifting Scriptures out of their immediate context and the context of the rest of the Bible applies directly to the “belief only” doctrine. Let me explain.

One can quote certain passages that teach belief is essential to salvation. Luke records for us, “And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household” (Acts 16:31). Jesus says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). A person can also quote certain passages that teach repentance is essential to salvation. Jesus says, “I tell you, no : but, except you repen t, you will all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3). Peter states, “Repent therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out… ” (Acts 3:19). One can also reference certain passages that teach confession is essential to salvation. Paul says, “…with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (Romans 10:10). Jesus says, “Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also befor e my Father who is in heaven ” (Matthew 10:32). A person can also see certain passages that teach baptism is essential to salvation. Peter commands, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38). Jesus says, “He that believes and is baptized shall be saved…” (Mark 16:16). All of these passages individually teach one point about salvation. All of these passages together give us the full picture of what a person must do to be saved. Why would a person pick one of these passages and exalt it above others that are just as important? We would not do that in other areas of life. Allow me to illustrate. If you were going to make a chocolate cake, you would get out your recipe book and look up the chocolate cake recipe. The recipe starts on the bottom half of one page and continues on to the next page. Imagine what it would be like if you only followed what was on the bottom half of the first page. The recipe might say something like, “Add eggs, flour, and chocolate.” On the next page the recipe would say, “Add sugar and butter.” If you just followed the front page only that would be one of the worst cakes you ever ate! Why? You did not follow the entire recipe. The Bible is a book that you must examine in its entirety to receive the proper plan. This is especially true on salvation, and it is why the “belief only” doctrine cannot stand up to a careful scrutiny of the Scriptures. I cannot just pick and choose passages here and there that I like or are comforting. I must take all of what the Bible says on a subject (Psalm 119:160).

Friend, do not let someone dupe you into thinking that all a person has to do to be saved is believe. Remember, James says “belief only” will never save anyone (Jass 2:24). The Bible teaches that to be saved a person must hear God’s Word (Romans 10:17), believe in Jesus as the Son of God (John 8:24), repent of past sins (Luke 13:3), confess Jesus (Romans 10:10), and be baptized in water for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38). May God help each of us to examine fully what the Scriptures teach!

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articleJoey FerrellSalvation