Article - Belief Alone Will Never Save [Part 2]
As I watch various preachers on television or radio, they will often bring their sermon to a climax by saying, “To become a child of God today all you have to do is believe in Jesus, and you are saved.” Is this what the Bible teaches? This week we are going to notice two more examples of people who believed in Jesus but were still lost.
Remember, to prove that “belief only” is not a Scriptural plan of salvation, we must show clear cases where people believed in Jesus and were still lost. Let us do just that. In John 8:30 we are told, “As he spoke these words, many believed on him.” It is evident from this text these people had “faith only” in Jesus. Yet, in the same context Jesus said of these same people, “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do” (John 8:44). What a powerful point! Some of the same people who had had “faith only” in Jesus are called children of the Devil. What do we learn from this text? A person can have “faith only” in Jesus and still be a child of the Devil!
Another text that teaches a person can believe in Jesus and still be lost is Acts 9 & 22. This is the account of the Apostle Paul’s conversion. In response to the blinding presence of Jesus, in Acts 9:6 Paul said, “Lord, what would thou have me to do?” It is evident by Paul’s usage of the word “Lord” he had “faith only” in Jesus. He was now convinced he had been doing wrong and that Jesus was truly Lord and Master. Yet, we learn from this same account of Paul’s conversion in Acts 22 that he was not saved at the point of “faith only.” In response to Paul’s question of Acts 9:6, Paul is now told “Arise and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on the Lord’s name” (Acts 22:16). What do we learn from this verse? Paul, who already had “faith only” in Jesus was not saved until he washed away his sins through baptism (Mark 16:16). Thus, “belief only” did not save Paul and it will not save anyone today.
May we be reminded of the word of James 2:24, “Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.” While faith is important to salvation, the only time the phrase “faith only” occurs in the Bible God says it will not save. 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). We hope that you will read our next article in which we will look at certain passages people use to teach “faith only” as we examine what the Scriptures really teach.
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