Tag Archives: Faith Only

Christian Duty

October 24, 2013

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I have mentioned previously a brief outline of Romans. Since Paul seemed satisfied with the Roman church, the letter to Rome seems to be a comprehensive study of the foundation of Christianity for the Gentiles. (Romans 15:14-15) The book is laid out so we can see the Plan of Salvation at work:

  • We sin (Romans 3:23)
  • We need salvation (Romans 1:18-32, 2:1-3:20)
  • Christ made it possible (Romans 3:21-8:39)
  • Through obedient faith we join his body (Romans 6:3-4, 11, 17-18, 23, 12:4-5)
  • Through our gratitude we serve him (Romans 12-15)

When Paul talks about justification through faith, he never even once hinted that it was done through some sort of “faith only” event that cannot be rescinded. He laid out plainly that we have the duty to serve continuously. Romans 12-15 lists those duties out for us as a guide to helping God maintain a healthy church. We have a duty to:

  • God (Romans 12:2)
  • ourselves (Romans 12:3)
  • the church (Romans 12:4-8)
  • other Christians (Romans 12:9-13)
  • even our enemies (Romans 12:14-21)
  • the government (Romans 13:1-7)
  • our neighbor (Romans 13:8-14)
  • weaker brethren (Romans 14:1-15:13)

Our baptism for the remission of our sin (Act 2:38) is only the first step – the step where the old man is buried with Christ. (Romans 6:3-4) No matter what this earthly life throws at us, we have to remain faithful and diligent in his service. (Revelation 2:10) Christianity is a lot of hard work – it is no wonder that Jesus said to count the cost of following him!

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The Faith of Jesus Christ

October 9, 2013

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Today I am still looking closely at Romans 3. Continuing with the notes I previously posted about segmenting what is written to wrest meaning that isn’t in the Scriptures, I am going to capture some additional points about it. This way I have the thoughts recorded so I can remember them later. I apologize in advance for it looking more like a rough draft than a finished devotional.

In addition to breaking up Romans 3:22b-25 into chunks to make the argument for a “faith only” salvation, there is another problem that can be seen when one consults an older commentary, such as Adam Clark, with something newer from someone who teaches faith only. Several verses through the New Testament have been changed in newer versions to talk about faith in Christ instead of the faith of Christ!


Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference – Romans 3:22 KJV


the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: – Romans 3:22 ESV

This little tweak to the Scriptures gives the faith only teacher the basis to use Romans 3:28 as support for their error. The biggest question I have for them, is how does the faith of a sinful person give him salvation when compared to the perfect faith of Jesus Christ? And then, if our own faith alone is sufficient, why was Jesus’ perfect faith not enough to save us? He also had to be obedient to God to complete the plan!

Some other Scriptures that have this same problem between versions:

  • Galatians 3:22 KJV – Galatians 3:22 ESV
  • Ephesians 3:12 KJV – Ephesians 3:12 ESV
  • Philippians 3:9 KJV – Philippians 3:9 ESV
  • Galatians 2:16 KJV – Galatians 2:16 ESV
  • Galatians 2:20 KJV – Galatians 2:20 ESV

(For those reading in email, these references are linked for easy comparison.)

Daily Bible reading for October 9

Psalm 69
1 Kings 4
Ezekiel 31
Romans 3:21-31


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Faith Only: A Complete Listing

August 3, 2013

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Here is an exhaustive listing of the places in the Bible that mention “faith only” (Or “faith alone” depending on your version)

Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. – James 2:24 KJV

Yes that’s it. The complete and unabridged list.

Faith is a Milestone

While faith is a very important milestone on the path to salvation, the path doesn’t end there. As I have outlined on my Gospel Plan of Salvation page, faith comes very early on that journey, but at this point, the seeker is only beginning to see the goal in the distance. God has never accepted a person’s faith by merely taking his word for it.

In my post, But, What Do You Do By Faith?, I listed off a few points for consideration when discussing “faith only” salvation vs. the requirement to be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) With those points (and even more) we can quickly determine that we need a deeper study of the word if we have taken any passage and tried to prove “faith only.”

The Heroes of Faith didn’t get away with Faith Only

Relying on "faith only" and not obeying God will bar one from salvation

Moses Striking The Rock – Pieter de Grebber, 1620

One of the points in the But, What Do You Do By Faith? post looks to Hebrews 11 as proof that God requires more than just believing or “accepting” God. Each and every one in that chapter had to go do something:

  • Faith led Abel to offer the correct sacrifice (Hebrews 11:4)
  • Faith led Enoch to actively please God (Hebrews 11:5)
  • Faith led Noah to build the ark (Hebrews 11:7)
  • Faith led Abraham to pack up and move his family (Hebrews 11:8-10)
  • Abraham and Sarah had innumerable descendants through their faith (Hebrews 11:11-12)
  • Abraham knew that God could raise Isaac after he sacrificed him (Hebrews 11:17-19)

…and the list goes on. We know that we need faith to please him, (Hebrews 11:6) but we can also see that if any one of these folks in Hebrews 11 had failed to act on God’s command, the outcome would have been very different for them. (See: Moses Strikes the Rock)

God has a complete plan for us. It is up to us to complete the plan.

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But, What Do You Do By Faith?

April 27, 2013

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God never accepted faith only from his people

Sacrifice of Isaac – Caravaggio – 1603

Ephesians 2:8-9 is the corner stone for those who build a case for salvation by faith only. The whole idea of “salvation through faith only” was started by Martin Luther, who was born in 1483. Since there is no evidence of the concept prior to that, we might say it is a “new” idea. But you see, Luther had a problem with his theory. The problem was the book of James. He insulted James and tried to cast doubt as to whether it was even a book of the Bible. James 2:24 says that man is not justified by faith alone. (This is also the only place in the Bible where the words “faith” and “alone” or “only” appear side by side!) James also says that faith without works is dead. (James 2:26)

Five Points that Counter “Faith Only” Doctrine

I just want to leave here a list of things to think about if you have need to debate the Gospel’s plan of salvation vs. the invented “faith only” route to salvation. These thoughts should be sufficient for negating Ephesians 2:8-9 as the proof text for “faith only” doctrine

  1. In Ephesians, the works Paul mentioned were words of the Law of Moses.
  2. In James’ letter, he is talking about works of faith.
  3. John 6:29 shows us that faith is a work
  4. Romans 2:6 is very clear that the judgment will include an account of our deeds.
  5. In Hebrews 11, a list of faithful men had to act on their faith to please God.

Faith is a necessity of salvation, to be sure. It is also a necessity to teach and follow the whole counsel of God. (Acts 20:26-27)

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What the Bible says about “Faith Only”

April 27, 2013

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Here is an exhaustive listing of the places in the Bible that mention “faith only” (Or “faith alone” depending on your version)

  1. Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. – James 2:24 KJV

Yes that’s it. The complete and unabridged list. While faith is a very important part of salvation, is it not the only part.

Please see my page on the Gospel Plan of Salvation for more.

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