Category Archives: works

What Do You Do With An Old Year?

In a few short days, this year will be put down in the books. The deeds you have done will be recorded in God’s book of remembrance and they all, but for one exception, cannot be erased. It is truly amazing, almost to the point of being breathtaking, how time seems to fly, especially as you get older! When you are young, you think you have forever, but as you get older time seems to speed up. Because of that, you may have many years under your belt. But what good is an old year anyway? What can you do with it?

First, I suggest, you can be thankful for it. Many people did not make it through last year. The odds are, you probably know someone very close to you who did not make it through the end of the year. The wise man said, “Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth” (Prov. 27:1). James, likewise, says we know not what shall be on the morrow (James 4:13-16). We don’t have the promise of tomorrow; this night our souls might be required of us (Luke 12:20). Our own experience should teach us this. As we are thankful in everything, let us not forget to give thanks for the passing year (I Thess. 5:18).

Another very important thing we can do with the old year is to learn from it. We know that sacred history was written for our learning (I Cor. 10:6,11; Rom. 15:4). Our own history can also be instructive as we face the new year, if we are willing to learn it’s lessons. The old saying is, those who forget the past are doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past. Only a fool would refuse to learn from experience (Prov. 1:5-9). The new year will be far more pleasant for us if we allow ourselves to learn from the old.

In the third place, while we should learn from the past, we should also learn to forget some of the past. Paul wrote that in his efforts to live the Christian life, he tried diligently to forget those things which are behind and to press forward to those things which are before (Phil. 3:13). The emphasis should be upon things eternal. Some people live in the past, which, in and of itself is not a bad thing. But living in the past to the exclusion of the here and now and of the future can be detrimental. The children of Israel looked back to Egypt and lot’s wife looked back to Sodom. Lest s not make the same mistake. Jesus said no man, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God (Luke 9:62). In order to plow a straight line, we cannot look back, but we must look to the Author and Finisher of our Faith (Heb. 12:1,2).

In the fourth place, however, I would suggest remembering the good times you enjoyed and the blessings you received this past year. Paul said that we should think on whatsoever things were true, honest, just, pure, lovely, and of good report (Philippians 4:8). If you enjoyed a special moment with family or friends, cherish it. The time may come when you will not have those opportunities. Paul said he affectionately called to remembrance the unfeigned faith which dwelt in Timothy’s mother and grandmother (II Tim. 1:5). These moments we make together here in this life are the real treasures that are lasting!

Fifth, accept what you have done in the past year but don’t let it define you. If you have failed in some way in the past in your life or in your service to the Lord, come to terms with it. Peter had denied the Lord. Paul persecuted and killed Christians. Many New Testament Christians had previously engaged in the things of this world–adultery, fornication, effeminacy, thievery, drunkenness, etc.–but they had changed. Paul said “such were some of you” (I Cor. 6:9-11). They did not deny that they had done some these things, but they were not going to let those things define who they were. Jesus said if there were hindrances in the past, we should deal with them and move on (Matt. 5:23,24).

I mentioned earlier that all our deeds are recorded in God’s book of remembrance and cannot be removed, albeit with one exception. Our past can be removed if we submit ourselves to God’s will and accept His offer of pardon. Then, and only then, will He remove our record from His book of remembrance. He promises that when we obey His will, then our sins and our iniquities will He remember no more (Heb. 8:12). If we as Christians sin, the record of that transgression will be permanently removed if we confess our sins (I John 1:7-9; Acts 8:22). It is only in Christ that we truly can start anew. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (II Corinthians 5:17).

We come to the close of another year. Be thankful for it and use it to make the next year an even better one. It is my prayer that this year was a good one for you. If you have suffered in some way, I pray that you might find comfort in the days ahead. May the next year find you receiving abundant blessings from God.

Eric L. Padgett

That’s Really Frustrating

“I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain” (Galatians 2:21).

One of the favorite doctrines of the denominational world is salvation by grace alone. Hiscox’s Standard Baptist Manual states, “We believe the Scriptures teach that the salvation of sinners is wholly of grace” (1903, p. 61). Many in the religious world argue that we are saved by grace to the exclusion of any works on our part, especially baptism, since, they say, it is something we do. One of the passages often advanced to prove this point is Ephesians 2:8,9: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Does this passage, or any other, teach we are saved by grace alone?

First, it should be mentioned that the same volume mentioned above also states, just one page later, that the “gift of eternal life . . . is bestowed, not in consideration of any works of righteousness which we have done, but solely through faith in Christ” (p. 62). These two concepts, “wholly of grace” and “solely through faith” are logically mutually exclusive. Both cannot be true, in the same way and same sense. Now, it may be partly through grace and partly through faith, but not both.

Second, the passage in Ephesians comes with a context. In the first verse of the second chapter, Paul contrasts two periods of time and two lifestyles. At one time the brethren in Ephesus were dead in sins, but now they are alive. To be dead in sin is to be living in sin and thus spiritually dead to God. Sin separates us from God (Is. 59:2). But sin is the transgression of the law (I John 3:4). So when they were living in sin they were acting in a way contrary to God’s law or His will. Now, he says, they are not dead in sin, but alive to God, meaning they are acting in a way that is in harmony with or obedience to God’s will. This language plainly speaks of works, of things done in one’s life.

In verses two and three he continues to describe the distinction between these two times and lifestyles. The former time and lifestyle were lived in the world. John tells us that this is the moral sphere of human conduct satisfying the lusts of the flesh, the lusts of the eye and the pride of life (I John 2:15-17). In verse three Paul says that these Ephesian brethren had previously fulfilled the lusts of the flesh and of mind, but now they are not. Fulfilling these desires requires activity or works. Paul, in fact, describes them as “works” of the flesh (Gal. 5:19,20).

Furthermore, Paul said that they were the children of disobedience (2:2) and deserving of wrath (2:3). Paul elsewhere said that wrath is deserved by those who “are contentious and do not obey the truth” (Rom. 2:28). If, in their former life, they were disobedient, but now they are no longer so, that means they now must be obedient. That is, they are doing acts that God had commanded. This is works! Paul is describing how at one point in time they were disobedient, but now are obeying God.

Paul describes exactly when this time was. Paul said they were quickened and raised up together (2:5,6). When does this quickening and raising up occur? Paul wrote to the Colossian brethren, an epistle written at about the same time as the Ephesian epistle, that they were “buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead” (Col. 2:12). They were buried and raised with him in the act of baptism.

Again, Paul wrote “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life” (Rom. 6:3-4). Just as Christ was raised from the dead, they were (and we are) raised from the watery grave of baptism to walk in newness of life. That new life came at the point in time when they were raised from the waters of baptism. That is when and where the change occurred, for them and also for us.

Furthermore, Paul says we are raised to sit in heavenly places in Christ (6). It is in Christ “in heavenly places” where all spiritual blessings are, including salvation (Eph. 1:3; II Tim. 2:10). How do we get in Christ? We get into Christ by baptism Rom. 6:1-4; Gal. 3:26,27). Thus, the point at which the change occurred was in the act of baptism, when baptism is preceded by the appropriate moral conditions.

This is borne out in the historical account of the establishment of the church at Ephesus. Paul stated of the Ephesians that they trusted in Christ after they heard the word and were sealed with the Holy Spirit after they believed (Eph. 1:13). When did this occur? In Luke’s account in Acts the people of Ephesus heard the word which Paul preached to them and were baptized in the name of the Lord (Acts 19:4,5). After this Paul laid his hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit, and thus were sealed (Acts 19:6; Eph. 1:13). Thus, the point at which they were quickened and raised was when they were baptized for the remission of sins.

Paul further points out in the Ephesian letter’s context that God loved us even when we sinners (2:4). Paul said even while we were dead in sins God quickened us (2:5). What is being spoken of here? Paul tells us that even when we were sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:6-10). There is the manifestation of God’s grace! We, though undeserving, were the recipients of God’s favor through Jesus Christ’s death. Paul states that in our being saved it shows “the exceeding riches of his grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus” (Eph. 2:7).

If grace alone could save, then all would be saved for God’s grace has appeared to all (Tit. 2:11). But there is a hell and it is prepared for and will be populated by those whose works did not qualify them to be recorded in the Lamb’s book of life (Rev. 20:11-15). We are not saved by grace alone, or faith alone or works alone, but by all three (Rom. 1:5).

It is in this context that we are to read Eph. 2:8,9. We are saved by God’s grace, by His kindness shown toward us in the sacrifice of His Son. That part is God’s part for we could not save ourselves. We certainly are not saved by works of merit or works of the law of Moses, but we are saved by works of obedience (Rom. 16:26; I Thess. 1:3; Heb. 5:8,9). If we try to be saved by our own merit, or by the works of the law of Moses, then we frustrate (atheteo) the grace of God (Gal. 2:20). But we violate or frustrate (atheteo) God’s command if we suggest we can be saved by grace alone (Mark 7:9; Rom. 6:1). Either of these two views is really frustrating to salvation.

“What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness” (Rom. 6:15-18).

Eric L. Padgett

I Know Thy Works

Every one of us draws conclusions about other people we meet and even about people whom we have only minimal knowledge. We get a first impression of others when we first meet them or learn of them. We base our conclusions about others on clues that we get from their personality, statements, clothing, behavior, acquaintances, beliefs, etc. (Matt. 7:20). Sometimes our judgements are valid, and some times they are flawed. Sometimes the conclusions we draw at first blush have to be revised, either for better or for worse, when we learn more. The Lord, however, is never mistaken about what He knows of us.

In the letters to the seven churches of Asia (Rev. 2,3), one of the statements the Lord repeatedly makes is “I know thy works.” In fact, He repeats this seven times, showing His perfect knowledge of the condition, not only of these congregations, but of the church all over the world at all times. The Lord knew them better than they knew themselves. He also knows us better than we know ourselves.

To take just one example, to the angel of the church at Ephesus, the Lord said, “I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars” (Rev. 2:2). The Lord knew and approved of the vigilance for doctrinal purity of the Ephesus church of Christ. Some brethren today, however, would not approve of the Lord’s approval of those who “try” false teachers and certainly would not approve of calling them liars. But this is what the church at Ephesus did and the Lord approved of them.

They also did not faint or give up on the Lord or the truth when the times were tough. One of the hardest things for us to do as Christians is to stay the course when everything seems to be going against us. It takes tremendous courage and confidence to stay the course when everyone else is telling you that you are wrong or ridiculing you. Noah, having been a preacher of righteousness, may have faced this kind of opposition building a massive boat where no rain had fallen (II Pet. 2:5). But he worked anyway and finished his work and was saved from destruction. Nehemiah faced enemies who wanted to get him to quit the Lord’s work and meet on the plains of Ono but he said,”Oh no! I am doing a great work so that I cannot come down” (Neh. 6:1-9). The wall was built and the work completed. These men did not faint nor fail. Neither should we.

But what the brethren at Ephesus missed was they had lost the zeal with which thy had once served the Lord. The Lord said, “Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. [5] Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent” (Rev. 2:4-5). While they were doctrinally sound, they apparently lost their love for the Lord which affected their works. Their works were no longer appropriately motivated.

What the Lord required them to do was to repent and start all over and do the “first works.” When we find ourselves in a similar situation, we must also heed the Lord’s warning. When we first obey the Lord, we generally have great zeal and enthusiasm that motivates us to want to be doctrinally correct, wherever that may lead us, and to do more. But as we face opposition and the harsh realities of hardened hearts, we often loose our own enthusiasm and become more like the nay sayers and often compromise the truth to be accepted. We can restore the zeal we once had by doing the things we once did when we had that zeal.

We must get back to the basics, because the Lord knows our works. He knows our hearts. He does not make mistakes. May we be able to say at the end of our days, “I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do” (John 17:4).

“Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: [24] And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139:23-24)

Eric L. Padgett

Labor Day

One of the reasons work is so important for us is that God is a worker and we are made in His image (Gen. 1:26)! We normally don’t associate the idea of “work” with God. After all, God is omnipotent. Job said, “I know that Thou canst do every thing and that no thought can be withholden from Thee” (Job 42:2). Luke informs us that with God, “nothing shall be impossible” (Luke 1:37). In Moses’ inspired creation account, God simply speaks the world into existence (Gen. 1:3, 6, 9, 14, etc.). He spoke, and it was done, as the Psalmist states (Ps. 33:9). The Lord asked the question of Abraham, “Is any thing too hard for the Lord?” (Gen. 18:14).

And yet, the Bible speaks of God working in bringing about the creation. Notice, Genesis 2:1-3: “Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. [2] And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. [3] And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.” The Bible clearly says three times that God worked (cf. also Ps. 8:3,6). We normally associate “work” with the idea of effort or activity in which one exerts strength or faculties to do or perform something (Webster). Since God is omnipotent, and nothing is too hard for Him, how is God said to work?

For me or you to move or lift a hundred pounds takes a certain amount of effort and energy. It takes God just as much effort and energy to move that hundred pounds! The difference is that He is unlimited in His power and can exercise that power for as long as He has a mind to do it while you and I are limited in power and can only exercise such power for the limited time our bodies will allow it. But it was work for God to bring about the creation. If you don’t think it was, then you try it yourself!

Creating the world, then, was work even for an omnipotent God. It did not fatigue God in any way because He is of unlimited power. His ceasing work on the seventh day was to provide us who are limited in power and ability a chance to rest (Deut. 5:14). It would also be used as a type of Heaven, the eternal rest (Heb. 4:9). But we must work in order to enter into that rest (Heb. 4:11).

God also worked when He performed miracles in bringing out the children of Israel from Egyptian bondage. Moses calls the defeat of the Egyptian armies in the Red Sea “that great work” (Ex. 14:31). The defeat of an enemy army is no easy task, but God did it with just a “blast of His nostrils” (Ex. 15:8). God is spoken of as working when He hewed out the tables of stone upon which the Ten Commandments were to be written. “The tables were the work of God” said Moses (Ex. 32:16). We should always remember to magnify His work because He exalts His power (Job 36:22-24).

Because God works and we are made in His image, it is necessary that we also work. We should work with our hands to have to be able to give them that are in need (Eph. 4:28). In fact, if we do not work, then neither should we eat (II Thess. 3:10). Jesus, leaving us an example that we should follow in His steps, said, “I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work” (John 9:4). Therefore, when we understand God’s word, we should be doers of the work and not hearers only (James. 1:25). We are to be ready to every good work (Tit. 3:1) because God knows our works (Rev. 2:) and every man’s work shall be made manifest (I Cor. 3:13-15). “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord” (I Cor. 15:58).

For the Christian, every day is Labor Day.

Eric L. Padgett

Noah, Saved by Grace!

The Bible teaches us that Noah was saved by grace. “And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them. But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord” (Gen. 6:7,8). Those who deny this surely must be counted as those who deny the scriptures.

Yet, equally undeniable is the fact that if Noah had not built the ark as God had commanded he would have drowned in the waters of the flood just as surely as the rest of sinful humanity did (Heb. 11:7). Could Noah have conceived by himself and built of his own volition an ark that could have saved himself and his family if God had not authorized it? No. But neither could he be saved if he had not obeyed God’s commands and followed His instructions implicitly. The Lord is telling us in this account that being saved by grace of necessity involves works of obedience.

What many do not want to acknowledge, or at least fail to understand, is that all works are not works of merit. Did Noah earn his salvation? Certainly not. But did Noah have to work in order to be saved? Absolutely! Noah’s works were not works of merit but works of obedience.

There are different kinds of works mentioned in the Bible. First, there are works of disobedience. Jesus will tell those who profess to do “many wonderful works” but who do not follow the Lord’s will that they “work iniquity” (Matt. 7:23). Others do works that “deny Him” (Tit. 1:16). These are all works, but they are works of disobedience. They will not save anyone but will cause one to be lost.

Second, there are the works of the law of Moses. These are the works that are generally referred to in the Bible when it is said that we are not saved by works. For instance, Paul wrote “Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified” (Galatians 2:16). The works of the law of Moses will not save because they are dead works (Heb. 6:1).

Third, there are also works of merit mentioned in the Bible. These are very closely related to the works of the law of Moses. Paul states we are not saved by works of boasting (Eph. 2:9). Such would, in effect, be to make our own gods and rejoice in the works of our own hands (Acts 7:41). We can never do enough to earn or merit our own salvation (Luke 17:10; Is. 64:6).

Finally, there are works of obedience. These are good works that glorify the Father in heaven (Matt. 5:16). When Jesus was asked “What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?” (John 6:28), Jesus responded by saying “This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent” (John 6:29). Jesus states here that belief, itself, is a work. A work of God that we may work. Who would have the audacity to say that working the works of God could cause one to be lost?

That is why the Bible is filled with references related to the importance of our works. For instance, Jesus commanded that we do good works that people may see them for the purpose of glorifying God (Matt. 5:16). Jesus said I have showed you many good works (John 10:32). Jesus said that he that believes on me will do greater works than I do (John 14:12). Paul preached that we should do works meet for repentance (Acts 26:20). We are created in Christ Jesus unto good works (Eph. 2:10). We shall all stand before the judgement seat of Christ to be judged according to our works (Matt. 16:26; Rev. 20:12).

Noah was indeed saved by grace. He found grace in the eyes of the Lord. But Noah was not saved by grace alone. Noah was a just man and was perfect in his generations (Gen. 6:9). His works of obedient faith and God’s grace worked together to bring about his salvation. It was the masses of people who did nothing, and were lost for it. Noah built the ark, obeying God’s commands, and was saved.

Eric L. Padgett

To Please God Must You Sin?

The denominational view of grace is, no doubt, sincere but, all too often, misguided. Often, even those in the Lord’s own church are mistaken about the nature of God’s grace. Grace is generally defined as “unmerited favor.” “Unmerited” means that it is not earned. There is nothing a person can do to merit or earn salvation. You can not be so good or so righteous that you could raise your fist to God and say “I deserve to be saved after what I have done.” Even when we have done all that we are commanded to do, we are still unprofitable servants (Luke17:10).

Because of this, those in the denominational world have concluded that, in obtaining salvation, works are excluded. Since we can’t do enough to earn salvation, they have concluded that works are not involved at all, that salvation comes solely through grace. Calvinists, in particular, because they want to emphasize God’s sovereignty in the universe, argue that we are so totally depraved that there is nothing anyone can do to “contribute one whit to his own salvation.” Some of our own brethren have made this claim. Consider the following heretical quotes:

  • “It is a scandalous and outrageous lie to teach that salvation arises from human activity. We do not contribute one whit to our salvation.” – Rubel Shelly, Lovelines, “Arbeit Macht Frei” Oct. 31, 1990.
  • “I believe deeply that the New Testament teaches that salvation is a free gift of God period. You are saved by grace alone.” – Randy Mayeux, 1989 Youth Minister’s Seminar.
    “Nobody has any right to preach anything other than the Gospel of pure grace. We are saved by grace plus nothing. You are saved by faith period. There is nothing you can do to be saved. There are no rules; there are no regulations in serving Jesus Christ.” – Glen Owen, 1982, Midtown church of Christ in Fort Worth, TX.
  • “Man’s salvation is based on God’s grace. Period. Man’s salvation is not a work of man in any way, shape, or form. We may extend our hand to receive salvation by believing in Christ and turning from our lives of sin to live lives for God and then being immersed, but this, in no way, puts God in our debt. Salvation is God’s work from beginning to end.” – Paul Woodhouse, What is Grace-Centeredness?, Rubel
  • “I, too, had believed that it was only when one’s faith led her to the point of being baptized for the remission of sins that she was saved. I no longer do…I would have been wrong. Heretically wrong. Without realizing it, in those days I had taken the salvation God by grace offers through faith and twisted it into the gift He offers through faithful obedience. Why is that so wrong? Because it violates the very principle of salvation by grace through faith.” – unnamed author, 2002, Grace Centered Magazine.

What these men are saying is nothing less than what those in the denominational world have been saying for generations. They are teaching “grace only” and “faith only” (although the logical mind is hard pressed to conceive how both of those views can be true in the same way). And what they have done is to confuse “human activity” with works of merit. But, again, the logical mind recognizes that all “works of merit” are “human activities” but not all “human activities” are “works of merit.” The conflation of these two concepts is irrational. There are many human activities that are not “works of merit.” It is a scandalous and outrageous lie to teach otherwise.

As noted above, Glen Owen says first that “We are saved by grace plus nothing.” Then, with his irrationality fully and ingloriously displayed, he says, “You are saved by faith period.” “Grace plus nothing” excludes faith. “Faith period” excludes grace. It cannot be both of these hell-conceived, humanly contrived schemes. In truth, it is neither. Neither are Biblical concepts but have been conceived in the bosom of our adversary. They have been devised so as to cloud the truth that God demands obedience to become His children (I Pet. 1:22,23). God’s grace does not remove the obligation for obedience. Rather it increases the obligation (Tit. 2:11-15).

To illustrate, consider this example. Some parents require their children to do chores around the house (unfortunately, this was much more common in days of old than it is in our present culture). Now suppose these parents who required their children to do some chores decided, at some point in time, to give their children a weekly allowance. Would this not be an act of unmerited favor? An act of grace? The giving of the allowance was not based on the children meriting or earning the allowance, for they had been doing the chores all along without it, but it was entirely based upon the good graces of the parents. Now suppose that, if, when the parents notice the children are spending this allowance foolishly, they decide to withhold from the children the allowance, so as to teach them the value of money and personal responsibility, does this mean the allowance is no longer an act of grace? Can the child then justifiably lift up his fist into the face of the parents and say “You owe me!” The children, in fact, owed their parents obedience to begin with, whether or not they received the allowance. The parents can justifiably set doing the chores as a condition of receiving the allowance without the chores becoming works of merit.

Furthermore, if it is the case that obedience “violates the very principle of salvation by grace through faith,” then, according to this “logic,” in order to be pleasing to God one would have to be disobedient. The more disobedience, the more grace. The righteous recoil at the very thought! But Paul had already anticipated this line of “reasoning” when he wrote “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? God forbid!” (Rom. 6:1). According to this way of thinking, in order for the children to continue to receive the allowance, they would have to refuse to take out the trash or clean their rooms or do any chores required of them by their parents for that would constitute works because, according to Mayeux, there are no rules or regulations. Such thoughts do not find their origin in God’s word!

Consider the following contrasts. Shelley says, “We do not contribute one whit to our salvation.” But Paul says “work out your own salvation” (Phil. 2:12). Owen said “You are saved by faith period.” James says “Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only” (James 2:24). Mayeux says there are no rules or regulations but Mark said one must believe and repent in order to have salvation (Mark 16:15,16). Whoever wrote the article in Grace Centered Magazine says baptism for the remission of sins violates the principle of salvation by grace through faith, but Peter said “Repent and be baptized for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38). Paul Woodhouse may believe that “Man’s salvation is not a work of man in any way, shape, or form” but John recorded Jesus’ response to those who asked “What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?” as “This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent” (John 6:28-29). Now who do you believe?

The inspired writer of the Book of Hebrews made the matter as clear as a bell when he penned these words: “Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him” (Hebrews 5:8-9).

Eric L. Padgett