[Editor’s Note: This article is a follow-up to last week’s article.]
Last week we ran an article in which we urged against the notion of saying that we are saved by one thing, and one thing alone. While many religious people have no problem declaring faith alone, grace alone, or baptism alone to be the determining factor in our salvation, the Bible makes it clear that we are not saved by anything alone. As proof that there are several things at work in our salvation, please study this list compiled from Scripture:
- We are saved by grace (Ephesians 2:5).
- We are saved by faith (Ephesians 2:8).
- We are saved by baptism (1 Peter 3:21).
- We are saved by obedience (Hebrews 5:9).
- We are saved by confession (Romans 10:9, 10).
- We are saved by repentance (Luke 24:47).
- We are saved by belief and baptism (Mark 16:16).
- We are saved by repentance and baptism (Acts 2:38).
- We are saved by hope (Romans 8:24).
- We are saved by works (James 2:24).
- We are saved by mercy (Titus 3:5).
- We are saved by the washing of regeneration (Titus 3:5).
- We are saved by the renewing of the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:5).
- We are saved by calling on the name of the Lord (Rom. 10:13).
- We are saved by the gospel (1 Corinthians 15:1, 2).
Clearly, we err when we try to oversimplify the Scriptures by narrowing salvation down to one thing. That being said, some credit must be given here. When people assert we are saved by faith alone they can at least turn to Ephesians 2:8 as it appears to support their argument. This does not mean they are correct, but they at least attempted to use Scripture to defend their beliefs. The same could be said of those that would defend the doctrine regarding being saved by grace alone, because at least they can turn to a passage, in this case Ephesians 2:5, and make an attempt at using a portion of Scripture to defend their beliefs.
In short, one can understand why someone might hold to one of the doctrines enumerated above because they appear to come from Scripture. Again, this does not justify that belief but at least one can see why they might believe what they believe.
What is difficult to understand is how there are some that will say we are saved by things that are never connected to salvation or even found in the Bible. This happens all too often and is perplexing. Consider these two proposed means of salvation that have no biblical backing.
Who knows how many millions of people have been told to recite this prayer to accept Jesus in their hearts which will result in salvation. Yet, where is this prayer found in the Bible? The Bible I use contains a “model sinner’s prayer” in the back, but it is obvious it has been added by humans and was not a product of God’s inspiration.
Saul of Tarsus, before being saved from his sins, prayed for three days and was then told what he must do in order to be saved. Calling upon Jesus was necessary but notice in Acts 22:16 that it is connected to baptism.
Salvation through Mary
On pages 189, 254, 255 in Glories of Mary (official publication of the Roman Catholic Church) makes it clear that Mary, mother of Jesus is essential in the process of salvation of the human soul. Again we ask the question, where is the biblical proof of this?
Please understand that Mary was a special woman. We do well to call her blessed (Luke 1:48). But to place her on a pedestal which rightfully belongs to her Son is wrong. Verses such as John 14:6, Acts 4:12, and 1 Timothy 2:5 demonstrate that salvation comes from Jesus and Jesus alone. Furthermore, it is interesting to note that Mary is not once mentioned following Acts 1:14.
The question of how man is saved is an important question to answer, and as we have seen, one which is attempted to answer in many different ways. As we speak with others in regards to this question, let’s make sure our answer comes from the Scriptures and that they are used in the way in which God intended them to be used.