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)