The doctrine of Salvation that is offered by God through Jesus Christ’s sacrifice on the cross is a fundamental tenet of the Christian faith, yet this beautiful concept is often misunderstood or, quite often, not fully developed in the minds of believers.
In an effort to broaden the understanding of this critical concept which carries eternal consequences, we look at what the Bible says about salvation and what God expects from believers in response to His precious and incalculable gift.
Some “easy believers” have said, “If you believe Jesus Christ is the son of God and died for our sins, you’re saved. The faith of a child is all it takes. Anything added to or taken away from that is heresy.”
But is that what the Bible says?
To be sure, salvation cannot be earned through good works. Salvation is a free gift that comes through God’s abundant grace. Romans 5:15-16 explains that as one man’s sin (Adam’s) condemned the world, One Man’s sacrifice (Jesus Christ’s) provided the way to salvation which has saved us from death and condemnation and rescued us from the wrath of God and His judgment on sin.
But the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many. The gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned; for on the one hand the judgment arose from one transgression resulting in condemnation, but on the other hand the free gift arose from many transgressions resulting in justification.
Unlike what the “easy believer” claims, “belief” is not enough. We must also believe that Jesus Christ is the Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 10:9-10 tells us, that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.
It is important that believers know with certainty that Jesus Christ is who He claims to be: “The Lord” (kurios in the Greek, which means “boss or master”). How could Jesus be the Son of God and not be Lord, the Boss, the Master?
Those who prefer a Jesus of their own making are wise to consider Galatians 1 in which the Apostle Paul writes to the churches of Galatia to warn believers about the false teachings of Judaizers who had preached to them a counterfeit gospel. He calls believers to task for embracing a different gospel.
“I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed! (Galatians 1:6-9).
If “easy believers” trust in “another Jesus” (Galatians 1), a “Jesus” of their own making who is not Lord, then does that “belief” alone save them? No.
To further explain, amen to the concept that “the faith of a child is all it takes,” but that cannot be in contradiction to Romans 10:9. Childlike faith does not in any way imply that we can come to Jesus with an understanding of Him being less than Lord.
Children know Jesus is Lord because it is written on their hearts. However, Romans 1 states that men (not children) can and do “suppress the truth in unrighteousness.”
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness (Romans 1:18).
A child does not have that ability; childlike faith is unhindered and stands in opposition to a grown man’s ability to rationalize away and suppress that which they know to be true in their heart. Children cannot suppress their conscience as easily as adults.
Better understanding the concept, “the faith of a child” cannot and does not suppress what is written on the child’s heart, and that he needs to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.
Consider the beliefs of those who embrace theological liberalism. The “Jesus” they believe in and teach about is not a Savior, He is not Lord, He is not the Christ. He’s a pal and a good example to follow. Theological liberals don’t believe man needs to be saved.
The Bible attests otherwise.
I interact with and minister to elected leaders in Washington, D.C. and some of them lean toward theological liberalism. They attest to “believing” in Jesus, but he is a Jesus of their own making.
And those who “believe” in a Jesus of their own making often vote in ways that are patently unbiblical.
It is up to the pastor, the evangelist, to declare to these believers that they are trusting in “another Jesus”—not the Lord Jesus Christ—just as Paul did in Galatians 1 to benefit those who went astray in his time.
There is no other way to get the cockroaches out of the building—and it is infested with them—unless you shine the light of the Lordship of Christ and declare that the Jesus of the Bible is Savior and Lord.
Otherwise, one day Jesus will say, “I never knew you.”
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’” (Matthew 7:21-23).
Like Paul said in Acts 20:27: For I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole purpose of God, I am committed to declaring the whole counsel of God to the unregenerate rather than allowing them to travel unchallenged in their deception by not clearly and consistently heralding that Jesus is Lord and that in order to be saved you need to bow the knee to Him.
The underlying theological problem in America and among some of our political leaders in Washington, D.C. is the concept of “easy believism” which is explored in the Bible study, “Will Jesus Say, “I Never Knew You.”
Are you trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ for your salvation?
President and Founder