The Easy believism gospel says that faith is to believe in Jesus Christ. So according to them you must have an intellectual assent to the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and accept him as your personal savior. By doing this act through a “sinner’s prayer” you then become a Christian.
The Lordship Salvation gospel says, that repentance precedes faith in Jesus Christ. One must be sorry for his personal sins and acknowledge that he has broken God’s law. Then in order to be saved he must take up his cross and do good works in order to keep his salvation.
Both of these are false ways. They are not the true gospel of Jesus Christ but rather are very subtle Christian cults. I will show you why and then share with you the true gospel of Jesus Christ.
First of all, faith is not simply believing in something. The book of James tells us that even the devils believe. They believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross and rose again. They believe that God sent Jesus to show the way of salvation through the cross. They will even preach it! Just because one witnesses miracles, signs, and wonders and believes in Jesus does not make him saved! Simon the sorcerer witnessed many miracles and so did Judas and all the Jews who came to him for healing, even the Pharisees who all later denied him. Even Peter denied Christ, before he was converted.
Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. James 2:19
Then Simon himself BELIEVED also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done. Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost. And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money, Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost. But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God. Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee. For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity. Then answered Simon, and said, Pray ye to the Lord for me, that none of these things which ye have spoken come upon me. Acts 8:13-24
And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying: The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation. And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour. Acts 16:16-18
So as you can see, believing and seeing miracles will not bring salvation. The problem is that when we read the bible we interpret it through the English language but the bible was not written in English so we must look at the meanings of words in the original Greek and Hebrew languages.
What then is faith you may ask? According to the Greek language, Pistevo, means to have faith (in, upon, or with respect to, a person or thing), i.e. credit; by implication, to entrust, (especially one’s spiritual well-being to Christ.) believe, commit, (to trust), put in trust with. “Pistevo” comes from the Greek noun “pistis” which means: persuasion, i.e., credence; moral conviction (of religious truth, or the truthfulness of God or a religious teacher), especially reliance upon Christ for salvation.
Jesus said to her, I am the Resurrection and the Life. Whoever believes in (adheres to, trusts in, relies on) Me, although he may die, yet he shall live John 11:25
Faith is quite simply a gift from God. It is an impartation of the divine nature of the Holy Spirit into the heart and making that heart born again, alive unto God! You are saved by grace through faith that not of yourselves…..not from your own ability. You are enabled to believe with the HEART (SPIRIT WHICH IS BORN AGAIN) UNTO SALVTION.
Faith comes by HEARING (akoē-instruction ,preaching, report) and HEARING by the word( rhēma- that which is or has been uttered by the living voice, thing spoken, word ) of God. Notice that hearing comes from rhema (the translation is rhema) and not logos. Logos is the written word or the law, while rhema is the living word. The logos must be made alive through revelation of the Holy Spirit to an individual before he can become a Christian.
Rehma – that which is or has been uttered by the living voice, thing spoken, word.
Unless one has rehma spoken to his heart he cannot be saved. For example Jesus said in Matthew 13:15, …. this peoples heart is waxed gross (pachynō-make stupid) and their ears are dull ( bareōs – heavily, with difficulty )of hearing and their eyes have they closed lest at any time they should see(eidō- perceive, notice, discern, discover) with their eyes and hear(akouō- understand, perceive the sense of what is said) with their ears and should understand(syniēmi- to put (as it were) the perception with the thing perceived) with their heart (kardia- the centre of all physical and spiritual life, understanding, the faculty and seat of the intelligence, of THE WILL and character, passions, desires, appetites, affections, purposes, endeavours soul and spirit) and should be converted(epistrephō- to turn to, to the worship of the true God, to cause to return, to bring back,) and I should heal(iaomai- to make whole,to free from errors and sins, to bring about (one’s) salvation)
So we can see that GRACE (God’s unmerited, undeserved mercy) comes through FAITH and FAITH comes by hearing (perceiving and understanding through conversion) God’s word spoken and made alive in one’s spirit ( heart) )
Parents, do you spend time teaching your children the Bible? Have you shared the gospel of Jesus Christ with your children? Have you spent time sharing the gospel with children in your neighborhood. Sharing the gospel in foreign lands is great, yet one of the greatest mission fields in the world today is children. Children can understand the gospel. And there are great tracts and web resources available. For example, the website Let the Little Children Come
Unless God grants faith to an individual there is no Grace. Grace means to show clemency, like a king does to a convicted criminal, and without the holy Spirit giving faith by his word, grace does not apply to an individual.(They remain under condemnation and God’s wrath) Therefore, based on the bible, grace and faith are attributes of God and are gifts bestowed upon individuals. These gifts do not come by works or by simply having an intellectual man made belief.
According to Mark 4 Jesus said that unto his disciples (those he chose out of the world…remember “You have not chosen me but I have chosen you”) was it given to understand the word of God but to others it was not. “And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables: That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.”
According to the Lordship Salvationists, one must repent of individual sins first to become a Christian. While this is part true, the error is that the Lordship Salvationists interpret repentance to mean give up your sins first and then get saved. Again, according to the word of God, the bible, both conversion as I have shown you and repentance are gifts bestowed by God, they are not earned. God does command repentance which means to turn to God, it does not mean give up sins.
Repentance- metanoia- a change of mind, of a purpose he has formed or of something he has done
The bible says to have repentance towards God, turn back to him, and he will forgive, he will heal, he will deliver. Be converted and God will heal. It does not work the other way around. If you were able to stop sinning by obeying the law then Jesus would not have needed to come and die on the cross to save people out of their sins. Jesus fulfilled all the righteous requirements of the law. Only God can ever keep the law in its entirety and if one breaks one law according to the bible he has broken them all. It is futile to try to obey the law in your human nature.
What does God require then? Answer: A restored relationship. The fall of Adam broke the relationship God had with man. No sin can enter his presence. (All have Adams imputed sin nature)Therefore sin must be removed. How is that done? Not by obedience to laws, even the 10 commandments but by the restoration miracle of God through the shed blood of Jesus AND his resurrection. The atonement must be applied to an individual and the righteousness of Jesus Christ imputed to them. How is this done?
Answer: By being born again, born of God, made into a new creature by the Holy Spirit. This miracle working phenomena is A GIFT…NOT EARNED IN ANY WAY but simply bestowed by the giver. So where does mans cooperation come in if Grace is a gift, faith is a gift, conversion is a gift, repentance is a gift, being born of God is a gift? THERE IS NONE! By grace (mercy) are you saved(from the sin nature) THROUGH FAITH (God’s enabling through perceiving by the Holy Spirit the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ) and NOT OF YOURSELVES…….not of your own ability, NOT OF WORKS….no good deeds no obedience to laws.
When a person becomes a born of God he/she will not because they cannot continue to live a lifestyle of sin like before salvation because of being born of God’s incorruptible seed the word of the living God. If you have been granted repentance by God you will produce fruit, in fact Jesus said he has ordained you to produce fruit! God calls his sheep, he calls them to repentance and what God has purposed will be done!
YE HAVE NOT CHOSEN ME, but I HAVE CHOSE YOU, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you. John 15:16
Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin. Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother. 1 John 3: 4-10
And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning. Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost. Forasmuch then as God gave them the like gift as he did unto us, who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ; what was I, that I could withstand God? When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles GRANTED REPENTANCE unto life. Acts 11:15-18
Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for TO GIVE REPENTACE to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. Acts 5:31
In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will GIVE THEM REPENTANCE to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will. 2 TIMOTHY 2:25, 26
Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of REPENTANCE FROM DEAD WORKS AND OF FAITH TOWARD GOD. Hebrews 6: 1
One becomes born again by the dumanis (power, capability, strength, or force) power of the Holy Spirit. Read the book of Acts to see how people got saved according to the bible. That is the salvation experience and if the Holy Spirit has not fallen on you and made you a new creature in Christ like demonstrated in the bible, then you have only intellectual believe and not saving faith. If you do not have 100% assurance of being saved then you have only intellectual belief. If you are trying to please God by your behavior to get saved or remain saved then you have only intellectual belief.
Jesus said YOU MUST BE BORN AGAIN TO INHERIT THE KINGDOM OF GOD (READ John chapter 3)
What must I do to be saved? Believe (have saving faith which justifies) on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved. How can I have this saving faith….good question, the answer is CALL UPON THE LORD AND YOU WILL BE SAVED…SEEK AFTER HIM, CRY OUT TO HIM, OFFER NO WORKS BUT COME AS A HUMBLE SINNER AND CRY OUT FOR HIS MERCY !
Only a person that God is calling and drawing to himself would do that, Cry out and keep crying out until he comes and rains his mercy on you!
When he saves you, you will know it and you will be so assured that you have met the risen Savior that nothing in hell or on this earth will convince you other wise !
“Faith, however, is something that God effects in us. It changes us and we are reborn from God. Faith puts the old Adam to death and makes us quite different men in heart, in mind and in all our powers. And it is accompanied by the Holy Spirit. Oh, when it comes to faith, what a living creative active powerful thing it is. It cannot do other than good at all times. It never waits to ask whether there is some good work to do, rather before the question is raised, it has done the deed and keeps on doing it. A man not active in this way is a man without faith. He is groping about for faith and searching for good works but knows neither what faith is nor what good works are. Nevertheless he keeps on talking nonsense about faith and good works. It is impossible indeed to separate works from faith just as it is impossible to separate heat and light from fire,” Martin Luther
Martin Luther’s Commentary on Romans, he wrote this, “Faith is not something dreamed, a human illusion although this is what many people understand by the term. Whenever they see that it is not followed either by an improvement in morals or by good works, while much is still being said about faith, they fall into the error of declaring that faith is not enough, that we must do works if we are to become upright and attain salvation. The reason is that when they hear the gospel they miss the point. In their hearts and out of their own resources they conjure up an idea which they call belief which they treat as genuine faith. All the same, it is but a human fabrication, an idea without a corresponding experience in the depths of the heart. It is therefore ineffective and not followed by a better kind of life,”