Monday, March 15, 2021

Obtaining Eternal Salvation

By Ron Thomas

    On MeWe (social media platform), a post was made that gave attention to How Do We Obtain Eternal Salvation? There was a list of things that do not contribute to one’s salvation, a long list. A friend of mine on the platform shared this, so I asked her about it. Here are four list-items that I asked her about when it said:
    (1) “Not by water baptism” - but I encouraged her to look at 1 Peter 3:21 in any translation. (2) “Not by repenting of / turning away from your sin” - but I encouraged her to look at Acts 11:18 and Luke 13:3, 5. (3) “Not by confessing your sins” - but I encouraged her to look at Romans 10:9-10. (4) Finally, in the concluding paragraph, it says, but, "Only by believing on the Lord Jesus Christ alone..." - then I encouraged her to take her concord
ance and see where "believe" (or faith) and "only" are put together in relation to one’s salvation. The New Testament passages used in the post to support “faith only” are Acts 16 and 1 Corinthians 15. I wrote, “It's not in the passages alluded to in Acts 16 and 1 Cor. 15.”
    When I saw the list, I knew exactly the direction the list was trending; it is a belief that many have in the denominational religious world that one is saved by faith only. This is NOT a doctrine of the Bible, but a doctrine of man, which meets, precisely, the words of the Lord in Matthew 15:9. While Jesus had a concern for the traditions of the Jewish community, in our day, we have concern for those who set aside the Lord’s express will for a Reformation (a religious movement that began in the 16th century and is active in our day) doctrine of man.
    Faith only is not taught in the New Testament in relation to one’s salvation. There is a difference between “justified by faith” and “justified by faith only.” One is in the Old and New Testament alike, but the other is nowhere to be found. To say one is justified by faith only is to say one is saved by belief without identifying with the Lord Jesus in His death burial and resurrection, as Paul spelled out it’ essential nature in Romans 6:3-7. This illustrates the importance of knowing the Lord’s revealed will, as stated in the New Testament. Faith only is a false teaching of man and needs to be opposed with firm and gentle reliance on the Lord as He taught in the New Testament. 

- Ron Thomas preacher for the Sunrush Church of Christ, Chillicothe, OH. He may be contacted through the congregation's website.

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