Which Of The Following Are True? Which Of The Following Save One?

By Kenneth E. Thomas

  • Man is saved by hope.
  • Man is saved by grace.
  • Man is saved by faith.
  • Man is saved by mercy.
  • Man is saved by works.
  • Man is saved by baptism.
  • Man is saved by the word.
  • Man is saved by the truth.
  • Man is saved by obedience.
  • Man is saved by the gospel.
  • Man is saved by knowledge of the truth.
  • Man is saved by belief and baptism.
  • Man is saved by belief and confession.
  • Man is saved by calling on the name of the Lord.
  • Man is saved by the washing of regeneration.
  • Man is saved by being born of the water and the Spirit.
  • Man is saved by being faithful unto death.
  • Man is saved by God.
  • Man is saved by Jesus Christ.
  • Man is saved by the Holy Spirit.
  • Man is saved by the blood of Jesus Christ.

Everyone who is a member of the body of Christ has seen or heard a lesson like this one time and time again. Sometimes we call it “the chain of salvation” as we attempt to get folks to realize that all of these things are essential to one’s salvation! We dare not isolate one or more of the things listed in these twenty-one (21) things to which salvation is attributed. If and when we do, we aren’t properly dividing the word of truth (2 Tim. 2:15). When we “twist the Scriptures, it is to our own destruction” (2 Pet. 3:16). The list could be lengthened of course, but this should suffice for our purpose in this article.

1. Yes, man is saved by hope — “For we are saved by hope . . .” (Rom. 8:24; Tit. 1:2).

2. Yes, man is saved by grace — “By grace ye are saved” (Eph. 2:5, 8; Tit. 2:11).

3. Yes, man is saved by faith — “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31; John 8:21-24; Heb. 10:36-39; 11:6).

4. Yes, man is saved by mercy — “according to His mercy He saved us” (Tit. 3:5).

5. Yes, man is saved by words — “Who shall tell thee words, whereby thou and all thy house shall be saved” (Acts 11:14).

6. Yes, man is saved by baptism — “The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us . . .” (1 Pet. 3:21).

7. Yes, man is saved by the word — “receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save our souls” (Jas. 1:21).

8. Yes, man is saved by the truth — “They received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved” and “ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free”(2 Thess. 2:10; John 8:32).

9. Yes, man is saved by obedience — “He became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey Him” (Heb. 5:9).

10.Yes, man is saved by the gospel — “I declare unto you the gospel . . . By which also ye are saved” (1 Cor. 15:1-2; Rom. 1:16-17).

11.Yes, man is saved by a knowledge of truth — “Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim. 2:4).

12.Yes, man is saved by belief and baptism — “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved . . .” (Mark 16:16).

13.Yes, man is saved by belief and confession of Jesus — “If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved” (Rom. 10:9; Acts 8:37; Matt. 10:32).

14.Yes, man is saved by calling on the name of the Lord — “. . . for whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Rom. 10:13; Acts 2:21).

15. Yes, man is saved by the washing of regeneration — “He saved us by the washing of regeneration . . .” (Tit. 3:5).

16.Yes, man is saved by being born of the water and of the Spirit — “Unless a man is born of the water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God” (John 3:3-5).

17.Yes, man is saved by being faithful unto death — “Be thou faithful unto death and ye shall receive the crown of life” (Rev. 2:10b).

18.Yes, man is saved by God — “God our Savior; who would have all men to be saved” (1 Tim. 2:3-4).

19.Yes, man is saved by Jesus Christ — “He shall save His people from their sins” (Matt. 1:21).

20.Yes, man is saved by the Holy Spirit through the agency of his word — “. . . chosen to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth” (2 Thess. 2:13-14).

21.Yes, man is saved by the blood of Jesus Christ —     “. . . without the shedding of blood, there is no remission of sins.” “This is my blood . . . shed for many for the remission of sins” (Heb. 10:9; Matt. 26:28; Rom. 5:9).

Why so many folks are guilty of believing what one pas- sage says about salvation while ignoring others is amazing to me! I have a tract in which I cite quotes by two Baptist scholars who wrote about Acts 2:38, a passage teaching that “baptism is for the remission of sins.” Each of them affirmed that it sounds as if that passage makes baptism necessary to one’s salvation from past sins, but said these two scholars, “We know it can’t mean that for salvation is by faith alone.” The fact is, baptism is for the very same reason that Jesus gave his life’s blood, “for the remission of sins.” In Matthew 26:28 as Jesus was instituting the Lord’s supper he took the cup and said exactly that, “This is My blood of the New Testament which is shed for many, for the remission of sins.”

There is no passage which teaches that man is saved by “faith alone,” or “at the point of faith.” Many passages say we are saved by faith and my brethren and I accept every one of them and believe them wholeheartedly. If there was a passage that taught faith alone saves man we would believe it, but it cannot be found. The closest one to saying such says it isn’t so. It reads; “You see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith alone” (Jas. 2:24). Notice it is “not by faith alone”! You see man cannot be saved by faith alone any more than man can be saved by baptism  only. Read carefully the list of things by which we are said to be saved. If you take one to the exclusion of others, you negate parts of the Bible’s teachings and cause the loss of your own precious soul.

When we look at the “Great Commission” given by Christ to his apostles found in Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:16-16; Luke 24:45-49, then follow closely the apostle’s application of this commission as well as early evangelist who went about “preaching Jesus,” it falls into a logical sequence of steps leading into Christ and into his blood bought body where all spiritual blessings reside (Eph. 1:3; 2:13-17). Those steps are this: the gospel was to be preached so folks could be made to believe in the crucified resurrected and exalted Savior, Jesus Christ. Believing him to be the Son of God Almighty who made salvation possible when they asked what they must do to be saved it always involved the following even though not always specified. Hearing the gospel, believing said message about the author of our salvation, repenting of past sin and error, confessing with the mouth the faith held in the heart, and then the final act of the “new birth of the water and of the Spirit” was and is immersion into Christ and into the one body for the remission of sins (Acts 2:22-38, 40-41, 47; Gal. 3:26-29; Rom. 6:3-6; Acts 22:16; 8:26-39).

Why not look at some of the cases of conversion in the Acts of the Apostles and compare them with the above as well as with the “Great Commission” as given by Christ to his chosen apostles.

  • Jews on Pentecost (Acts 2:22-38, 40-41, 47).
  • More Jews (Acts 3:14-19).
  • Samaritans (Acts 8:12-13).
  • Queen’s treasurer (Acts 8:26-39).
  • Saul of Tarsus (Acts 9:1-6; 22:16).
  • Cornelius (Acts 10:1-4; 47-48; Acts   11:14).
  • Lydia, a seller of Purple (Acts 16:12-15).
  • Philippian Jailer (Acts 16:25-34).

A Plea And An Admonition!

May I again insist that you must conclude if you honestly study this matter that a series of steps toward Christ are involved beginning with being taught the gospel or hearing; then believing; then repenting of sin and error; then confessing faith in Jesus as God’s Son. Then the final act which is a part of the “new birth” of water and Spirit, baptism, immersion, in order to have one’s sins remitted, and by this same process entering into the “one body” that cost Christ his shed blood, his church (Acts 2:38, 41; Gal. 3:26-29; Rom. 6:3-6; 1 Cor. 12:13; Eph. 2:13-17). This made folks simply and only Christians, children of God who now have Christ as their high priest and one intercessor between kingdom citizens and the Heavenly Father (Heb. 4:12-14; 1 Tim. 2:5-6).