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  Christianity
Salvation through Faith

 

Salvation is Received through Faith Alone

Faith is trust in Jesus.  In the seventh chapter of the Gospel of Matthew (Matthew 7:17, 20), Jesus compares the person who believes in Christ to a fruitful tree.  The fruit doesn't cause it to be a fruit tree. The fruit results spontaneously from its being a fruit tree.  In the same way, the good that we do as Christians doesn’t save us or add to our salvation. Fruits of faith are the result of God working in the lives of believers (Philippians 2:13, Ephesians 2:10); the fruit of a living faith in Christ (James 2:14, 18).   As the psalmist wrote: “He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season.” (Psalm 1:3).

 

Ladder theology is the idea that we ascend to God through our own will, emotions, intellect, and good works in order to draw closer to God. With the ladder/stairway, there will always be one more step to climb, one more good work to accomplish,with no assurance that one is good enough or has done enough.

There is no stairway to heaven (that was just a song). Unlike the slippery ladder/stairway of good works, faith in Jesus is the only way to heaven.  Jesus is our non-stop elevator to heaven.

 


John 3:16, 18a, 36   For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.…Whoever believes in him is not condemned, … Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him.

John 20:31  But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

Romans 1:16-17    I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.  For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.” (also see Habakkuk 2:4, Galatians 3:11, Hebrews 10:37-38)

Romans 4:5   However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness.   (also see: Romans 4:9-11, 16-17, 24)

Ephesians 2:8   For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God .  

Philippians 3:8-9   What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ — the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.  (also see: John 1:12, Acts 10:43, 13:39, 16:31, Romans 5:1-2

 

Salvation Received through Faith in Christ Alone
(Not Faith + Good Works)

Acts 13:39  Through him everyone who believes is justified from everything you could not be justified from by the law of Moses.

Romans 3:21, 28   But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. … For we maintain that a man is justifiedby faithapart from observing the law.

Romans 4:4-8    Now when a man works, his wages are NOT credited to him as a gift, BUT [lit. “on the contrary”] as an obligation.  However,to the man who does NOT work BUT trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness. David says the same thing when he speaks of the blessedness of the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works: “Blessed are they whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.   Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will never count against him.”

Romans 4:13-15    It was NOT through law that Abraham and his offspring received the promise that he would be heir of the world, BUT [lit. “on the contrary”] through the righteousness that comes by faith. For if those who live by law are heirs, faith has no value and the promise is worthless, because law brings wrath.  And where there is no law there is no transgression.

Romans 4:16-17, 23-24   Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham’s offspring--NOT only to those who are of the law BUT [lit. “on the contrary”] also to those who are of the faith of Abraham.  He is the father of us all.  As it is written:  “I have made you a father of many nations.”  He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed--the God who gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were. … The words “it was credited to him” were written NOT for him alone, BUT [lit. “on the contrary”] also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness--for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead,

Galatians 2:16  know that a man is NOT justified by observing the law, BUT by faith in Jesus Christ.  So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified BY faith in Christ and NOT BY observing the law, because by observing the law no one will be justified. … I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!

Galatians 3:2-3, 5, 10-12, 21-22   I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, OR by believing what you heard?   Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort? … Does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you because you observe the law, OR because you believe what you heard? … All who rely on observing the law are under a curse, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law."   Clearly NO ONE is justified before God by the law, BECAUSE, “The righteous will live by faith.”   The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, “The man who does these things will live by them.” … Is the law, therefore, opposed to the promises of God? Absolutely not! For IF a law had been given that could impart life, THEN righteousness would certainly have come by the law. BUT [lit. “on the contrary”] the Scripture declares that the whole world is a prisoner of sin, SO THAT what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe.

Ephesians 2:8-9   For it IS by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this NOT from yourselves, it IS the gift of God  NOT by works, so that no one can boast.

Philippians 3:8-9   What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish [lit. “menstrual rags”], that I may gain Christ and be found in him, NOT having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, BUT [lit. “on the contrary”] that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.

Why we are NOT saved by a combination of grace & faith + good works & reward

Our hope is NOT based on our Record - but in God NOT SEEING (erasing) our record (by Christ’s atonement)

Psalm 51:1,9   Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. … Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity.

Psalm 130:3-4 If you, O Lord, kept a record of sins, O Lord, who could stand?   But with you there is forgiveness; therefore you are feared. (also see: Psalm 103:10, 143:2, Daniel 9:18, Isaiah 1:18, 1 John 1:8-9)

Isaiah 6:7 (NRSV) The seraph touched my mouth with it and said: “Now that this has touched your lips, your guilt has departed and your sin is blotted out.”

Isaiah 43:25 “I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.

Isaiah 44:22 (KJV) I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I have redeemed thee. (Colossians 2:13-14 – (2:14 KJV: “blotting out the handwriting…”)

 

gift of salvation present

Salvation is not earned through Good Works

A gift that is earned is no longer a gift (is no  longer grace):

Ephesians 2:8
  For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.
Romans4:4  Now when a man works, his wages are not credited to him as a gift, but as an obligation.

 



 

Salvation by Faith Alone

Salvation through Faith (not faith plus works)

Salvation not earned
through good works