Faith Alone?

by Rocco T

Faith SignI know the title and even things I am about to say will shock, upset and get certain individuals angry. So let’s tackle an issue that has been on my mind for awhile. There are some out there that believe and teach that all you have to do in order to be saved is to believe Jesus died for your sins and after you believe that, you can never lose your salvation. In other words, that person who just believed in Jesus can now go out and live his life in however sinful way he can imagine and he is still saved.

Well, all I can say to that is, that belief is straight out of the devils mouth. He has so convinced people and even some Bible teachers that all you have to do is believe and your saved. Some people hold on to that belief and will let nothing shake that from them because it allows them to live any way they like and still have a clear conscience about God and Heaven. This could not be further from the truth.

I know there will be people who will quote certain passages of the Bible that seem on the surface to agree with this belief. The question is not whether you can find Bible verses that justify your position, because even Satan used Bible verses to tempt the Lord in the desert. The question is, Does your interpretation of these verses fit along side the rest of what the Bible teaches.

One of the standby verses that people use are

Ephesians 2:8-9 “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

I believe this verse is trying to say is that Yes, your actual salvation comes only by the Grace of our Lord Jesus alone lest any man boast. We all know you cannot earn your way to Heaven by works, otherwise Jesus death is in vain. Where people use this out of context is after you become a child of God, They use this verse to justify whatever lifestyle they live. They say “It doesn’t matter if I sin” because “I can’t earn my way to heaven anyway” and hey “Nobody is perfect”.

God saves us by his grace alone but he calls on us to come out of that previous life of sin, Paul says,

Ephesians 4:1 “As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received”.

Ephesians 4:17, 18 “So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts.”

Ephesians 4:22, 24 “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”

Ephesians 5:8 “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light”

All of these verses tell us that we are to live lives worthy of God and not by living them like we used to. That’s why I have to say that anybody who is living their life pleasing the old sinful nature will not lose their salvation because they never really had it to begin with. This is where the parable of the sower comes in.

Luke 8:5 starts it off by saying

“A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path; it was trampled on, and the birds of the air ate it up. Some fell on rock, and when it came up, the plants withered because they had no moisture. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up with it and choked the plants. still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown.”

Jesus explains the meaning of this parable by saying

“This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God. Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. Those on the rock are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away. The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature. But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.

  • The First seed is those people who you tell about the Lord that reject it outright and do not believe.
  • The Second seed is those people who hear the message and feel bad about their sin but not bad enough to repent of it, so they make that alter call or say a prayer asking God into their heart, but as soon as their desires come back into play or they get around their friends, they give up on God….because they truly were never committed in their heart to begin with.
  • The Third seed is Those people who we are talking about in this article, Who accept Jesus and put up a front of living for him but they never totally give up their sin and they never totally give up their desires. They allow sin to stay in their life, and just like a weed, sin kills any growth that they might have had, if they had put to death the sin in their life and had been led by the spirit. So Jesus is choked out of their life, but like the first two seeds, they never really had salvation to begin with.
  • The Fourth seed is the True Born Again believer, who puts to death their life of sin. They give up their desires and have a true desire in their heart to live for the Lord. They have counted the costs and understand that living God’s life will cost them, EVERYTHING. They willingly give EVERY part of their lives to Jesus which allows God to guide their lives as they grow in the Holy Spirit and he uses them for his purposes.

If everybody who just believed in Jesus were saved and on their way to Heaven, we would have no need for the two middle seeds. All we would have is the seed that took and the seed that didn’t.

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching” So let’s look at some more verses

James 1:22 “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.”

James 2:17 “In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.”

James 2:18, 19 “But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.

James 2:24 You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone.

James 2:26 As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.

These verses make it crystal clear that our faith alone is not enough to save us. We are saved by God’s free gift of salvation which is grace alone but in order to show that you are saved by grace, your faith needs to have some action attached to it otherwise it is a false faith. It is a dead faith.

You don’t earn your way to Heaven by your works, but your works Prove that you have true faith and are on your way there. You are not saved by living a certain way but you Prove you have a relationship with Jesus by allowing him control over your life and in turn you end up living a certain way, and not through any power of your own but when you make the choice of TOTAL denial, Jesus then gives you the strength to walk his new life, apart from your old life of sin.

Faith in God is not enough to save you because Faith that isn’t proven is not faith at all. You prove you have faith in God by living the way he asked you to, and the way he asked you to is apart from the practice of sin. I’m not talking about a mistake you made or a sin that you fell too. The key to all of this is repentance. It is a forgotten word in Churches today.

What I have talked about is not about a sin, it is about a lifestyle of sin. It is about the attitude of your heart. When you sin, does it drive you to serve God harder or do you make excuses for it.

Just because we have not reached perfection yet does not mean we should not strive for it. Perfection ought to be our goal even if we don’t reach it yet. Live Holy because God is Holy.

by Rocco T

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