Galatians 5:6 “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love.”
There is faith. There is faith working. There is faith working through love. Only the latter can save our souls.
Faith is necessary for our salvation. If we do not believe we cannot be saved (John 8:4). If we truly believe we will trust (2 Corinthians 1:9-10; 3:4; 1 Timothy 4:10; 6:17; Hebrews 2:14) and obey (Acts 5:29, 32; Romans 2:8; 6:16-17; 10:16; Galatians 3:1; Philippians 2:12; 2 Thessalonians 1:8; Hebrews 5:9; 11:6, 8; 1 Peter 4:17).
Faith working is necessary for our salvation. Faith without works cannot save; it is unprofitable (James 2:14-16). Faith by itself is dead (v. 17). Faith is made perfect by works (v. 22). We are justified by works, not by faith alone (v. 24). It is not our own works that save us (Ephesians 2:8-10; Titus 3:3-8) but the work of faith (1 Thessalonians 1:3; 2 Thessalonians 1:11), the obedience of faith (Romans 1:5; 16:26).
Faith working through love is necessary for salvation. We cannot be saved unless we receive the love of the truth (2 Thessalonians 2:10). Salvation is for those who love the Lord (1 Corinthians 2:9; 16:22; James 1:12; 2:5) and the brethren (1 John 3:10, 14). Anyone who does not love does not know God (1 John 4:7-8). If anyone does not love the Lord, he will be accursed (1 Corinthians 16:22). If we leave our love for the Lord, we will lose our place with Him (Revelation 2:4-5).
What kind of faith do you have?
King Saul did not obey God but sought to appease Him by offering sacrifices to Him (1 Samuel 15:22-23). God did not and does not accept such offerings from those who are disobedient (Micah 6:6-8). In fact, He abhors such hypocritical worship and service. God wants us to obey Him from our hearts.
When David sinned with Bathsheba, God did not want more offerings from David (Psalms 51:16-17). He wanted David to realize, acknowledge, confess, mourn over and repent of his sin. God accepts us when we bring to Him a broken and contrite heart; a humble heart ready to listen and obey Him in everything.
“Just believe. Ask Jesus into your heart. Say the sinner’s prayer. You will be saved, and it is impossible to lose your salvation.”
Those words are popular, but are they true? If we just believe for salvation, why are we told to then ask and pray? What is it, just believe or ask and pray?
Where does the Bible say to “just believe” for salvation? It certainly teaches us to believe, but where does it say to just believe? Doesn’t the Bible teach us that it is only a convicted, trusting, obedient, working faith that saves? Doesn’t the Bible teach us to repent of our sins for salvation? Doesn’t the Bible teach us to confess our faith in Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God, for salvation? Doesn’t the Bible teach us to be baptized for salvation?
Robert Dodson is the Preaching Minister for the Northwest Church of Christ.
6059 Azle Avenue
Fort Worth, TX 76135