Most Christians have been
conditioned to believe that FAITH =
SALVATION + NOTHING. Salvation is a
relationship with Jesus
Christ, not a biblical "formula." However, if salvation could be reduced
to a formula for the sake of illustration, it would be this: FAITH
in the Lord Jesus Christ of the Holy Bible + NOTHING = SALVATION PLUS
We can do
nothing to merit or be worthy of salvation. Nothing. That is why it is
faith in the real Lord Jesus Christ of the Holy Bible plus
nothing that saves
us from our sins.
The FAITH + NOTHING that is
false is the nothing (or bad fruit) that continues after one has
has placed his faith in the
living Lord Jesus Christ for his soul's salvation.
In India, the scenario of salvation often goes like this:
The one who hears about Jesus Christ places trust in Him for
his soul's salvation in addition to his other gods. Later
on, as he learns more of the Bible, he turns away from his
other gods (and stops serving them...to him there is no such
thing as having a god and not serving it) and places his faith
in the Lord Jesus Christ only for his soul's salvation. He
then serves the one who has saved Him with His very own blood.
This is when he truly sees the Lord Jesus Christ is THE Saviour and not one of many saviours; He is not one more god
to add to the list. This is the point when he has been turned
from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God.
At this point he knows whom he has believed. He has been fully
In the United States we have
been tricked by Satan into thinking that Jesus can be added onto
our present life, and when one mentions all the teachings of
Paul about how a genuinely saved person will live (or desire
to live) this person will shout, "Works!"
Christ the Lord take the sinner as he is? Yes. The sinner is
spiritually dead and is helplessly entrapped by sin and Satan.
Does the Lord Jesus Christ leave the sinner as he is? No. He
brings him step by step from glory to glory as he willingly
walks in newness of life. God has graciously placed in His
Word many verses that will help us to examine
ourselves to see if we are in the faith. Why? Because faith is
not a tangible thing that the human eye can see (although God
can "see" it). Also the human heart is desperately
wicked. Who can know it? (Besides God?) Yes, the "Spirit
itself beareth witness with our spirit that we are children of
God", but we must test that spirit with the Word of God.
The Holy Spirit will not bear witness that we are children of
God if we violate the Word of God in our daily lives.
God placed in his Word instructions, yes, commands, for
the believer to obey as he serves the one who paid for his
soul with His own blood. This believer doesn't need to depend on
the deceitfulness of his heart to see whether he is in the
faith, because he has the objective Word of God to measure
himself by. God does everything to ensure that we not be
deceived about this most important matter.
Satan, through his
workers, which have heavily
infiltrated the church, promotes
the anti-obedience lie:
If a Christian believes
that God requires him to
serve and obey the Lord Jesus Christ who redeemed him with His blood, he is
trying to purchase his salvation with his own works.
The anti-obedience lie is
not what the Apostle Paul taught and not what I believe although people
often attempt to "do away" with this scriptural
truth by this argument. Testifying that the new creature will
live like the new creation he that is, is not novel, but what
Paul spent much of his time preaching about.
We now have a
Falling Away church that is
counting on a moment in faith in time which has resulted in a
lifestyle that denies that faith. We are saved by faith, yes.
But we stand by faith as well. Living a life serving self
first and foremost in not standing in faith, but rather falling
away from it.
life of faith begins with that moment in time when we place
in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, but the life of faith continues
until death or He returns. Faith is not just for a moment in
time years ago, faith must continue. God is not locked into saving us in our faithlessness.
What does "continue in his goodness mean?"
(Romans 11:22) It means continuing in
faith . . . continuing in our relationship by faith with the risen
Lord Jesus Christ (this faith isn't just for a moment but will
continue for a lifetime) and believing what he told us about
living the Christian life as well as becoming a Christian.
What we really believe, we will do, and it is
because we believe God's Word.
A little note to add on to discussing what happened
"back then" regarding salvation. Just like the
person in India who "tacked on" faith in Christ to
his faith in other gods, its not what happened at the outset
of his interest in Christ that matters the most, but what
happened at the end. I think people can be on their way to
being saved, saved, or opposed to being saved. If people stay
focused on what happened "back then" they aren't
looking at the here and now of their faith in Christ, and Paul
wrote many ways this faith must be "examined."
Working out your salvation is simply living the Christian
life. This life was given to the believer by God, and living
for him is only possible because he has this new life from
God. Since Jesus paid the price for your soul's salvation and
then sent the Holy Ghost to indwell the believer, then why is
there such contention about actually living for God? We have
the capability and desire to obey God because the Holy Spirit
lives within. So why does everyone feel the freedom to NOT do this? Is it so
that grace will abound?
We know what Paul wrote in response to that. (No!)
Paul explained that God will render to every man according
to his deeds: "To them who by patient continuance in well
doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:
But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth,
but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, Tribulation
and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the
Jew first, and also of the Gentile; But glory, honour, and
peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and
also to the Gentile: For there is no respect of persons with
Those who have faith in Christ for their soul's salvation
will patiently continue in well doing; they will obey the truth
because they are saved -- this is the character of one who is
saved. Those who do evil (who are not saved or fall
away from the faith) will have
tribulation and anguish; these obey unrighteousness.
Paul did not teach that you can continue to practice sin as long
as you "believe" in Christ, but if you are
practicing sin and don't believe in Christ you will go to
hell. Jesus' words to Paul when he sent him to the Gentiles
were: "To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness
to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may
receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which
are sanctified by faith that is in me."-Acts 26:18
Those who have turned from darkness to light and from the power of
Satan unto God obey the truth, and those still in darkness and
under the power of Satan obey unrighteousness.
True Gospel Vs False Gospel