By Larry Pasley
A huge dam had cracked and was starting to flood a small town in its path. As people were alerted to the impending flood, one elderly woman refused to evacuate.
The would-be rescuer told her that if she would just get in the boat, he could take her to higher ground. She replied that the Lord was her savior and if she needed help He would save her with a miracle. The man left. As the water rose the woman had to move to the upstairs to avoid the floodwaters.
As she sat at her window a man came by in another boat. "Get in," he said, "and I'll take you to higher ground." The woman shook her head and said she would trust in the Lord to save her. He left.
As the waters rose the woman moved to the roof of her house. A helicopter came overhead and the man said that she should climb the ladder and he would take her to safety. "I will trust in the Lord to save me." The man left.
As the waters rose again the woman drowned. When the woman went to heaven she had occasion to speak with the Lord, and she asked Him why He hadn't saved her from the flood after showing such strong faith in Him. The Lord said, "I sent two boats and a helicopter and you sent them all away."
<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>Many in Christian religions today are much like the woman above. They believe God will save them but they are ignoring God’s way of salvation.
Many believe that ‘faith only’ or “faith alone” will save them and that their works have nothing to do with their salvation.
Yet the Bible uses the words, “faith only,” only once and it says just the opposite of that common belief.
What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? CAN FAITH SAVE HIM? 15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, "Depart in peace, be warmed and filled," but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? 17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. 18 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. 19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe--and tremble! 20 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that FAITH WITHOUT WORKS IS DEAD? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? 22 Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and BY WORKS FAITH WAS MADE PERFECT? 23 And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, "Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness." And he was called the friend of God. 24 You see then that a MAN IS JUSTIFIED BY WORKS, AND NOT BY FAITH ONLY. 25 Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way? 26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so FAITH WITHOUT WORKS IS DEAD also" (James 2:14-26).
This section of scripture alone shows that the doctrine of faith only will not save us but there are other scriptures which show that also.
- Hebrews 5:9 says that Jesus saves those who obey Him. “And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him,”
- 2 Thessalonians 1:8 says that God will take vengeance on those who do not obey the gospel. “In flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
- 2 Corinthians 5:10 says we will be judged by our works not our faith. ‘For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.”
May we always strive to serve God on His terms not ours.
- Larry Pasley serves as a minister with the Jackson Street Church of Christ in Alexandria, LA. He may be contacted through the congregation's website at http://www.JacksonStAlex.com