Tag Archives: faith

Pseudo-Faith

From Our Bulletin – August 14, 2011

It is ironic that those who talk the most about faith and salvation by faith oftentimes reject what the Bible actually says about faith. The faith only about which they speak might appropriately be called a pseudo-faith. It certainly is not the full faith in Christ described in God’s word.

The faith of which Paul writes in the Book of Romans and by which he says we are justified is not faith alone but rather an obedient faith. He both opens and closes that book speaking of the “obedience of faith.” (Romans 1:5; Romans 16:26) In the heart of the book he makes it clear that we are made free from sin and become the servants of righteousness when we obey from the heart that form of doctrine. (Romans 6:17-18)

In the Book of Galatians Paul writes, “Ye are all children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:26) But this is not faith without baptism as the next verse clearly shows. “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” (Galatians 3:27) Does anyone really believe that a person can be a child of God without being in Christ? But it is through baptism that we come into Christ. Later in this same book we learn that the faith which avails in Christ is not faith alone but rather “faith which worketh by love” (Galatians 5:6)

There is one book in the Bible that discusses “faith only” – the Book of James. And it makes it clear that man’s justification is “not by faith only.” (James 2:24) Earlier in the same chapter the question is raised: “What doeth it profit, my brethren, though a man says he hath faith, and have not works? Can faith save him? ” (James 2:14) Then the rest of the chapter is spent saying that he cannot be saved by faith alone. Three times he says: “Faith without works is dead.” (See James 2:17, 20, 26)

 Claude

Yes, Faithfulness Is Required

It is certainly true that we are saved by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8) but it is also true that something is required of us.  One such thing is faithfulness.

Jesus in the parable of the talents commended two of the servants in these words, “Well done, thou good and faithful servants,” then by way of contrast He said to a third servant, “thou wicked and slothful servant.”  This third servant then was cast into outer darkness. (Matthew 25:15-30)  Jesus offered no middle ground—either “good and faithful” or “wicked and slothful.”

Paul in his letter to the church at Corinth wrote:  “It is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.” (1 Corinthians 4:2)  We might ask, “faithful in what?”  In whatever our Lord asks:  morals, business, family, worship, etc.  In the message to the church at Smyrna, Jesus said, “Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.” (Revelations 2:10)  These passages leave little doubt—faithfulness is not optional.

Robert Shank in his book, Life In The Son, entitled the second chapter:  “The High Cost of a Free Gift” and it is certainly true that our salvation comes at a high cost.  There is the divine cost—it cost God the gift of His son, it cost Jesus His blood.  But there is also the human cost—it costs our faithfulness.  As we said at the outset, salvation is by grace through faith.  But we must also remember that there is no “cheap grace.”  FAITHFULNESS IS REQUIRED.

Claude