Assurance of Salvation

Salvation is a work of God.1 More than that, salvation is solely a work of God. Assurance of salvation is possible only if salvation is a work of God alone. If salvation depended upon man’s ability, assurance of salvation would require answering two questions:

  1. What works are necessary to meet God’s approval for righteousness?
  2. How many works are necessary?

No one can answer the above questions. We have no information that will answer them. Therefore, assurance of salvation is impossible if salvation depends in any part on a person’s works or good deeds. However, if salvation depends on the work of God, one can have assurance of salvation.

The Scriptures make it clear it is impossible for man to gain the approval of God and attain His righteousness by doing good works. Isaiah wrote, “For all of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment” (Isaiah 64.6). This is the Old Testament witness of man’s righteousness before God. Paul summed up the problem when he wrote, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3.23). Only one righteous man has ever lived–Jesus Christ. Only His works satisfied God. The proof of Jesus’ righteousness and the approval of His work on the cross for our sins was His resurrection from the dead (Romans 1.4). Because of Jesus’ death on the cross and his resurrection we can have assurance of salvation (1 Corinthians 15.1-4).

Paul declared this fact in Romans:

21 But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 22 even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction; 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus;25 whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed; 26 for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. 27 Where then is boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? Of works? No, but by a law of faith. 28 For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law (Romans 3.21-28).

Continuing a few verses later, Paul wrote,

What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, has found? For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. For what does the Scripture say? “ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS CREDITED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS.” Now to the one who works, his wage is not credited as a favor, but as what is due. But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness  (Romans 4.1-5).

Surely this Scripture is the greatest statement of hope and comfort ever written. It declares divine righteousness is a gift–we cannot work for it. It is for the one who does not work. It is for the one who believes.

To the Galatians, Paul wrote,

“Nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we may be justified by faith in Christ, and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law shall no flesh be justified ” (Galatians 2.16).

“I do not nullify the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly” (Galatians 2.21).

Is this clear? Salvation and God’s righteousness are available through trusting Christ–believing He died for you and rose from the dead (1 Corinthians 15.1-4). Each of us has sinned and is unrighteous before God. Only by exercising faith in Christ’s work (His death and resurrection) can one be justified before God. No amount of good works can achieve this. It does not matter if you have all the good deeds of a Mother Teresa or an Albert Schweitzer. None of these works merit God’s approval for salvation. The only way to God is through trusting the work of His Son, Jesus Christ.

God desires that all who have put their faith in Christ know that they have eternal life. The Bible declares that “no condemnation” exists for the believer in Christ (Romans 8.1). The most important thing is to be saved and the second most important thing is to know it. The one who has trusted in Christ can be as certain he will be in heaven as Christ is. Is this arrogance? No. It is obeying God. It is believing what He has said. Is it presumptuous to depend on Christ’s righteousness? Is is arrogant to believe Christ’s work satisfied the just demands of a holy God to pay the penalty for our sins? Paul wrote the Ephesians,

In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace (Ephesians 1.7).

Notice his wording. “we have redemption.” God’s redemption and forgiveness of our sins is not something in the future or something hoped for. It is a present possession of the believer. Salvation does not begin when one dies. Salvation begins when one believes the gospel (1 Corinthians 15.1-4).  Paul wrote similar words to the Colossians:

13 For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins (Colossians 1.13-14).

Again, notice the past tense. Rescued from the domain of darkness, transferred to the kingdom of His Son, redemption, and forgiveness are past actions which become present possessions of the believer. They are not future hopes but actions God did in the past when one believed the gospel.

In the same way, eternal life is a present possession for the believer (Romans 5.21, 6.22-23; 2 Thessalonians 2.16; 1 Timothy 1.16; Titus 1.2, 3.7). Eternal life does not begin when a believer dies. It begins when he believes. Those who put their trust in Christ have–not will have, but have eternal life. Can eternal life be lost? If you have eternal life, how long does eternal life last?

Further testimony to these truths are the following Scriptures:

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast (Ephesians 2.8-9).

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him (Romans 5.8-9).

Donald Grey Barnhouse recounted the following story of assurance of salvation of an old Scottish lady:

“The story goes that a young minister came to visit in the home of an aged woman who was dying. He was recently out of theological seminary and had more theology than Bible in his head, and had not known much of the experimental joys of long and close living with the Saviour in the knowledge and power of the divine love. He was somewhat appalled at the apparent joy and certainty of the patient and began to counsel her to give diligence to make her calling and election sure. But the dear old saint had been walking with the Lord for many a year and was long past the stage of learning the ABC’s of the gospel. She gave a testimony so clear that the young man was frightened and pressed her to go back and be less presumptuous with God. She answered, ‘Young man, if I should nae be in Heaven the guid Lord would lose more that I cauld ever lose.’ This amazed him more than her first attitude, and he broke out at once, asking for an explanation. The old lady answered, “If I should nae be in Heaven all that I could lose would be my own soul, for that is all I have to lose. But if I should nae be in Heaven the guide Lord would lose His name and honor, for He has promised to save them to the uttermost that come to Him by Christ, and that is the way which I have come.”2

One English hymn, which expresses a believer’s security and relationship to God, reads,

Near, so near am I to God,
Nearer I cannot be;
For in the Person of His Son,
I’m just as near as He.

Dear, so dear am I to God,
Dearer I cannot be;
The love wherewith He loved His Son,
Such is His love for me.

This is hope! Once a person exercises faith in Christ and his work a new relationship begins. He becomes a child of God with direct access to Him. This new relationship was illustrated by Dr. Barnhouse in the following story:

“During student days in France, I was the pastor of a little Evangelical Reformed Church in the French Alps. Once a week I went to a neighboring village for an instruction class for its children. En route, I passed the local priest who was on a similar errand in the opposite direction. We became good friends, and often stopped to chat. Once he asked why we do not pray to the saints. I replied by asking why we should pray to the saints. He launched into an explanation that involved an illustration of how one might get an interview with the president of the French Republic. One could go to the ministry of agriculture, or through the departments of war or finance etc. and any one of the cabinet members might succeed in opening the door of the president’s office. He smiled with an air of triumph, as though to say that the simplicity and clarity of his argument would preclude any rebuttal. At that time Raymond Poincaré was President of France and lived in the Palace of the Elysée in Paris. I said, “But Monsieur le curé, suppose that I were the son of Monsieur Poincaré? I live in the Elysée with him. I get up from the breakfast table and kiss him goodbye as he goes to his office. Then I go down to the ministry of finance, for example, and ask the fourth secretary of the second assistant if it is possible for me to see the minister of finance. If I do succeed in reaching his office my request is for an interview with papa.” My friend appeared thunderstruck, and I went on to say that I am a child of God, heir of God and joint-heir with Christ, that I have been saved through the death of the Savior and thus as a son I have immediate access to the Father.”3

We begin new life in Christ through trusting in Him and Him alone. No amount of good deeds can approve us to God. Trusting in Christ is believing what God says. The Bible says that Christ died for your sins and was raised from the dead (1 Corinthians 15.1-4). This is the gospel. Will you believe it? Will you trust your life to what it says?

Some confuse the simple matter of trusting in Christ with unscriptural appeals to “invite Christ into your heart” or “accept Christ as your Savior.” Such appeals, while well-intentioned, are not the gospel. One is saved by trusting in the person and work of Jesus on the cross for us and in his resurrection–not by “inviting Christ into one’s heart.”

Is your trust in the Christ who died for you and was raised for you? Do you trust in Christ’s death and resurrection on your behalf? If the answer is “yes”, then you have God’s own word and faithfulness that you have eternal life and will spend eternity with Christ. Furthermore, salvation is not something that can be “lost” because you sin. Jesus’ death solved the sin problem forever. What you do or do not do has no effect on your salvation because it is Christ’s work that is sufficient before God. To believe that you can commit some sin and “lose” your salvation is to believe that your sin is greater than Christ’s work on the cross and the power of his resurrection. Such belief strikes at the very heart of Christ’s work and insults the integrity of God. The only possible way one can “lose” salvation is to reject the work of Christ.

Salvation is the deliverance from the penalty, power, and presence of sin. This work is both immediate, ongoing, and future. These three aspects of salvation are expressed by theologians as justification, sanctification, and glorification. The moment one believes the gospel (1 Corinthians 15.1-4) one is delivered from the penalty of sin. God imputes his own righteousness and judicially declares the believer to be righteous in his sight (Romans 3.26, 28, 30, 4.5, 5.1). The believer is given a new nature which is alive to God. When one believes he is immediately baptized by the Holy Spirit into the body of Christ (cf. 1 Corinthians 12.13) and God gives him the Holy Spirit as a deposit or down payment (ἀρραβών), 2 Corinthians 1.22, 5.5; Ephesians 1.14) for the hopeful expectation of being delivered from the power and presence of sin. The process of being delivered from the power of sin while we live on this earth is known as sanctification. The final stage of salvation is being delivered from the presence of sin and is known as glorification. This occurs when the believer receives a new, resurrection body (1 Corinthians 15.50-56).
Barnhouse, Donald Grey, Romans, Eerdmans, 1959, Book 3, God’s Remedy, p. 66.
Ibid., Book 4, God’s River, pp. 27-28.

©1998 Don Samdahl. Anyone is free to reproduce this material and distribute it, but it may not be sold.

Updated, August 26, 2015

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301 thoughts on “Assurance of Salvation

  1. Peter

    dear brother in Christ, I simply cannot go without expressing my gratitude to you for your clarity and bible informed explanations of doctrine, it has helped me so much in my studies , thanks, Peter

  2. Derek

    Dear Brother in Christ,
    Thank you so much for your clear explanation of salvation and how we can have assurance. My wife and I have struggled with assurance of salvation for several years but now have peace and assurance resting in Christ alone and His finished work through reading your material. Not that we thought we merited salvation, on the contrary, we thought as we had let God down so often there was no hope left for us at times.
    God bless you and your ministry and we pray that many others who may be plagued by guilt and doubt may find peace and assurance in Christ alone by grace through faith.

  3. Matt

    Don – Wow! I truly appreciate you taking the time to share such profound insight on some matters that seem to be so misunderstood in the church these days. I’ve enjoyed bouncing around on some of your teachings and am inspired by your insight.

    I would like your insight/feedback on some questions I have on some of the statements that were made in this post.

    1) I’ve always took the “controversial” difference between Paul (salvation is by faith alone) and James (salvation is by faith plus works) to mean that there is no amount of works you can do to earn salvation (salvation is by faith alone), but the fruit of salvation should be good works (salvation is by faith plus works). In other words, if you truly have faith, works will happen as a result of your faith because faith without works is dead.

    2) If salvation can’t be lost, why does the Bible warn about many people falling away from the faith? How can you fall away from something that you never had? I don’t think that contradicts us losing something that is eternal. My understanding of us receiving eternal life is that we are believing that eternity is in our hearts which means that we know where we will spend eternity. It does not mean that once we receive eternal life that it is with us for all eternity. It means that the gift of eternal life is with us for as long as we choose to believe.

    3) Similar to the first two questions, I am hesitant to believe that all we have to do to be saved is believe and no amount of sin in our life can take the eternal life away from us. This is basically the same as saying the sinner’s prayer once and then regardless of how you live the rest of your life on earth you are secure in heaven. The Bible is clear that when we believe in God we become a new creation and our old self is literally dead. The idea of our flesh being put to death and us now living by the Spirit is all over the new testament teachings of Paul, specifically the book of Romans. If we were crucified with Christ and it is no longer us who live but Christ who lives through us, how can I continue sinning when my whole life should be occupied by the Spirit living through me? I’m not saying that there is a number of sins that you can commit to lose your eternal life/salvation, but I think we truly reject the work of Christ when we believe that a true believer of God will tolerate sin in their life. What are your thoughts?

    Thanks Don! I look forward to hearing back from you.


    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      Thank you for your kind words. 1) Salvation until Paul was always faith plus works (with exceptions, e.g., Abraham). Read Acts 15 carefully. Also see The Great Hinge article. 2) Are the warnings to which you refer warnings against losing eternal life? Read how Paul dealt with sin in 1 Corinthians 5.1-5. 3) The work of salvation was accomplished wholly by the Lord Jesus Christ. All we can do is accept His gift. Read Romans 3.21-4.5. To answer the question of sinning after one believes the gospel, see Romans 7 (Paul’s personal account of the struggle of his old nature vs. his new nature (cf. Galatians 5.16-26)).

    2. Lav White

      “…James is dealing with people who profess to be Christians, and yet they don’t evidence the reality of their faith by their works [deeds]. Over, and over again… people will say they have faith and they don’t have works, and James is saying that real faith always produces works as a result… The question is, ‘A man may say that he has faith, but will that faith justify him?’ If it is just a ‘said’ faith”—no, it won’t!”

      1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

        Good works naturally follow true belief (Ephesians 2.8-10) but James wrote to believing Jews (James 1.1) under the Mosaic Law while Paul wrote to Christians not under the Law (Romans 6.14). James knew nothing of salvation by faith alone when he wrote his letter. This is evident from Acts 15. James understood faith + works for salvation, not faith + 0 as Paul taught.

        1. Randall


          I would have to disagree with you. While I do agree that James is writing to Jewish believers He is not teaching Faith + works is salvation. He is teaching that faith + works is evidence to fellow man that one is saved. God already knows weither or not one is saved. Plus if all scripture is inspired by God then you cannot make the claim that James knew nothing of salvation by faith alone when he wrote this letter. That would make his letter not inspired of God. I believe Paul and James are both on the same page here although I think that Paul is teaching Justification and James is hitting more on Sanctification. IMHO.

          1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

            Salvation by faith alone is a doctrine taught by Paul alone. It did not exist before Paul. The Jews had no idea of this. Before Paul salvation was faith + works which is what James taught. This is precisely why Paul and James butted heads at the Council of Jerusalem. Acts 15 makes this quite clear.

            1. Randall


              I truly respect your opinion and will have to do some more research. Thank you for taking the time to put this all together.

              Your Brother in Christ,

              1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

                Thank you. This is not easy to come to grips with because for 2,000 years Paul has been read into the gospels and the gospels into Paul. What has been taught is that Paul’s doctrine of salvation by faith alone has always been the way of salvation. However, if you read the OT and the Gospels this is just not the case. This is why Paul’s doctrines were so difficult. Paul is for Christianity what Abraham and Moses were for Judaism. Abraham was the father of the Jewish people and Moses gave them their doctrine. Paul was both the founder of Christianity and gave the doctrine. The doctrines Paul taught came by direct revelation from the ascended Lord. Most of what we call Christianity, i.e., the Church as the body of Christ, believers not being under the Mosaic Law, the Rapture, the blinding of national Israel, salvation by faith alone, etc., is found only in Paul. The other writers knew nothing of these things until Paul. Once you see this everything makes sense.

            2. Randall

              Ok so after studying Acts 15 I have to disagree with you. There are some key things that if you overlook one could come to the conclusion that you mentioned. v.1 says “SOME MEN came down from Judea and began teaching the brethern.” Who were these “some men?”

              In verse 5 it reads. “But some of the sect of the PHARISEES who believed stood up saying, “It is necessary to circumcise them and to direct them to observe the Law of Moses.”” You see it was NOT the apostles saying this.

              The apostles and the elders looked into the matter. The council was not formed to change the gospel but to reaffirm that it is by faith alone.

              As you see in verse 7-11 Peter affirms that salvation is by faith alone.

              James also affirms this in verse 15 ” With this the words of the Prophets agree, just as it is written.”

              Acts 15 in my opinion actually affirms the apostles stand on faith + 0 = salvation. Now in james he is not talking about the “Law of Moses” He is talking about the Law of Liberty. Or basiclly our sanctification. Naturally one who is saved will produce works. But no where in scripture is one saved based on works. If it was then one would be able to stand before a holy God and demand his salvation based off of what he did.

              Now someone responding to the faith they have is a work. But that work cannot save you. The only thing that can save you is Gods Grace. OT and NT. OT Saints looked toward to the promises made by God. NT Saints look back to the work Christ did on the Cross.

              I urge you to reread Acts 15 and please show me where Peter and Paul were butting heads on this issue. I just dont see it there. Just because there was debate does not mean it was between Peter or Paul or James for that matter. I honestly think the debate was amoung the Pharisees who believed vs. the Apostles. And the true reason for the council was to affirm the false teaching seeping into the congregations.

              1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

                Luke’s account does not say Peter and Paul butted heads. It appears Peter was silent. After much arguing he finally spoke up and said Paul was right. This was the primary reason God had sent him to Cornelius’ house. God had to show Peter that one could be saved apart from the Mosaic Law for He knew Paul would face a crisis from the 12 regarding faith + 0 in a future day. The entire OT record from the Law of Moses forward is that salvation was by faith and works. This is what Jesus taught throughout His ministry. This is what James taught in his letter. One of Christendom’s greatest theological problems is that Paul’s doctrine of faith + 0 has been read back into the gospels and the OT. But it’s nowhere there. The “some men” were representatives from the assembly at Jerusalem–representatives of James and the apostles. Even after the Council James continued to be zealous for the Mosaic Law (Acts 21.20-21). While they had made an agreement, the Jews could not get away from the Law. This is why Paul wrote Galatians. After the Council he had to defend faith + 0 against both unbelieving and believing Jews. My article “The Great Hinge” may be helpful.

  4. Doug

    How do you reconcile the above with Matthew 25:34-46, which implies that those who ignore those in need will … go away into everlasting punishment…?

    This sounds like a doctrine of a requirement for “works” to attain salvation.

    I don’t have an answer to this question that comes up frequently.

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      Before Paul, works were required for salvation. What did Jesus tell the rich young ruler? In the content of the passage it seems the Lord was referring to actions during the Tribulation. Salvation during this period will again be on the basis of believing who Jesus is and remaining faithful in that belief. This is what Jesus declared in Matthew 24.12-13 and Revelation 2-3. See my articles Faith and Works in James: Resolving the Problem and Understanding the Book of Revelation for more information.

  5. servant of Jesus

    Can you please explain Philippians 3:10-11 verse meaning and salvation work relation (How Saint Paul explain that he will attain resurrection by his death or How I should )
    take this verse)
    And also please explain,
    Narrow gate parable told by our Lord Jesus christ.
    thanks in christ

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      In Philippians 3.10, Paul used the word ἀνάστασις for resurrection and referred to the new life in Christ he wrote about in Romans 6-8. In Philippians 3.11, he used the word ἐξανάστασις for resurrection. This is the only occurrence of the term in the NT. Why the change? Paul used ἀνάστασις many times for resurrection as well as ἐγείρω for raised. Literally, ἐξανάστασις is “out resurrection” (ἐκ + ἀνάστασις). I think Paul used this term to refer to the Rapture, which is the “out resurrection.” Paul thought the Lord would return in his lifetime and expressed this hope to the Philippians. The narrow gate (Matthew 7.13-14) means few come to know the Lord. Very sobering words.

  6. Michael

    Hi. I appreciate the work, knowledge of scripture, and opinions you share here. I have a few opinions of my own, and would like your feedback.

    Regarding this particular essay, it does indeed recognize and support a by grace alone, faith-based means of salvation. I don’t, however, feel it addresses enough of the scriptures that speak to this topic when it comes to the “once saved, always saved, just because I believe Jesus saved me and despite my continually sinning” position (I used quotes for clarification of the mentality I am describing obviously, not anything you actually said).

    Perhaps you just left out the possibility of a difference between willful and consistent sins and, (I suppose?) our natural tendency to commit sins in general, as Hebrews 10.26 differentiates by using the word “deliberately.” But to continue sinning, at least as we sinned before “we received the knowledge of truth” (receiving, believing, “knowing” Jesus Christ as our salvation), then “no sacrifice for our sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment…” Hebrews 10.26.

    Galatians 5.19-21 also supports a position that sinning, even after salvation, can prevent one from entering the kingdom of God.

    Other scripture, such as Romans 6 and Galatians 5.24 speak to how true salvation leads to the death, or our freedom from the nature that was responsible for our tendency to sin in the first place. If this were the case, it would certainly be easy to judge your full salvation by the criteria outlined in the Hebrews 10.26 and Galatians 5.19-21 scriptures previously noted.

    Finally, you yourself acknowledge that apostasy can lead to loss of salvation, as made clear in Hebrews.

    I believe there is a wealth of scripture that points to our ultimate salvation as being a struggle and a process that cannot be had except by the 100% pure grace of God, made real through the life, death, and resurrection of His only begotten Son.

    I believe, as you, that the gift of salvation can only be received by belief and 100% assurance in the saving power of Jesus Christ. But once we have received that gift, like the street person who was invited to the king’s wedding because the chosen guests all declined the invitation, I need to act appropriately lest I get tossed out.

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      The Lord Jesus Christ SOLVED the problem of sin (John 19.30). Paul stated our salvation and the assurance of it is based solely by trusting His work–believing Christ died for our sins and arose from the dead (1 Corinthians 15.1-4). We can DO nothing for salvation; Christ did it all. God will discipline disobedient believers (cf. 1 Corinthians 5.1-5) but never sever the relationship (cf. Romans 8.31-39).

    2. Derrick

      For what it’s worth, I believe the scripture verses that Don has given in his reply addresses your questions. Maybe another way of saying it so that the scripture takes root is this: For those who are truly saved, ALL your sins are already paid for at Calvary. All of them. But there is one thing that you can lose, and that is fellowship with our Lord.

      Here’s another illustration that may help: When I was a kid, I loved my dad. I tried very hard to obey him, though I was no where near 100% successful. I let him down plenty of times, but I never stopped trying. But when I failed him, he didn’t disown me. He gave me time and space to get it right and try again. How much more does God, our Heavenly Father, do the same for us? Sin breaks our fellowship with Him, and 1 John 1:9 restores it. But sin NEVER makes us stop being His child.

      1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

        One cautionary word. Paul, as the apostle of the Gentiles and the apostle of grace, did not write believers should “confess” their sins. He wrote they should repent, walk in the Spirit, and be filled with the Spirit. John wrote from the gospel of the kingdom perspective. Paul wrote our sins have been forgiven (Ephesians 1.7; Colossians 1.14). For Paul, forgiveness is a past, irrevocable act. No conditionality of forgiveness exists. Paul never wrote that believers should ask for forgiveness. One does ask for what one already has.

        1. Derrick

          Interestingly, in my reading since I posted this, I believe the Lord has shown me exactly what you’ve articulated … that John did indeed write from a kingdom perspective and Paul for us.

          And thank you, brother, for including Ephesians 1.7 and Colossians 1.14. Those verses are crystal clear and should prompt us to instead walk in repentance, while filled with the Holy Spirit. Amen!

          1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

            Thank you. You’ve made my day. I write so people will read and understand the Scriptures for themselves. God will bring enlightenment if one is willing. He is good.

  7. linda c

    Hi Doctrine! Thanks for this article. Very well put but I do have some questions that I have seen others talk about it and I don’t know how to understand them. Can you elaborate on the following please.
    Although we are saved through grace and not by works how come John 14 and 15 , 1 John 2,3 and John 8,31 and 32 say IF we keep the commandments, IF we continue in His word etc. What do you have to say about those things? Thanks

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      Until the Apostle Paul, salvation by faith alone did not exist (exception Abraham). See my article, Faith and Works in James. See also Jesus vs. Paul. When one understands Jesus’ mission and message (Romans 15.8) and the message and mission the Lord gave to Paul after he was glorified the confusion will cease.

      1. linda c

        Thank you so much for the quick reply I really appreciate it. I am still a new to the Word and sometimes I feel that there is so much for me to learn. I follow some people on facebook and all they do is make comments that probably confuse me more than anything. So let me ask you this, what about Luke 13:24 that someone posted today about striving to enter through the narrow door. Does that apply to us now or was that for the people before Jesus was resurrected? Thanks again!

        1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

          The point our Lord was making about the narrow door was that few enter it. See the companion warning in Matthew 7.13-14. The “narrow door” for us is Paul’s gospel, that Christ died for us and rose from the dead (1 Corinthians 15.1-4). The words Jesus spoke in the gospels were to Jews, not Gentiles. Everything in the gospels has to do with Israel, not the Church. See Romans 15.8. Church doctrine is found only in Paul for it was to Paul that the ascended Lord revealed the Church, the body of Christ. Before that time no one knew of it.

        2. Brian

          Hello Linda
          I would like to share the following to help you see the difference between the Gospel Jesus and the 12 (Kingdom Gospel) were preaching and Paul’s ‘Word of the Cross’ Gospel which was hidden in God and NEVER revealed to the OT prophets. Paul’s Gospel (our Gospel) was/is a new dispensation offering salvation to ALL, Jews & Gentiles alike, by faith and through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and we cannot add to what He has done for us. s free gift was offered to everyone after Israel rejected John the Baptist, Jesus & Stephen. 3 strike’s, you’re out! Israels earthly kingdom promised were set aside and are held in abeyance until God’s plan for building the Body of Christ is complete and removed (Raptured) from the earth and the members of Christ’s Body are glorified. Then Elijah (John the Baptist) will once again return to restore all things and all events described in the Book of Revelation will unfold. Please read the book: Things that Differ, by C. R. Stam for a better understanding of God’s plan and dispensations.

          This topic is dedica comparing the differences between the ‘Gospel of the Kingdom’ and our ‘Word of the Cross’ gospel message for today. My interpretation is that God gathers members to the Kingdom ‘Bride’ (John 3:29) through the first gospel described below and members to the Mystery ‘Body of Christ’ through Paul’s Gospel #2 below.

          This is NOT our gospel for today. Nobody has been saved by the Gospel of the Kingdom for almost 2000 years.

          I. Gospel of the Kingdom (Matt. 4:23, 9:35, 24:14, Acts 8:12). Gospel to the Circumcised. Galatians 2:7.

          1. The good news that the ‘kingdom of heaven’ is ‘at hand’ (Matt. 3:2, 4:17, 10:7). i.e.,‘preaching the kingdom.’ Acts 20:25.
          2. According to Prophecy; seen by the OT Prophets. Isaiah 40:3, Malachi 3:1.
          3. Obtain eternal life by keeping the commandments. Matt. 19:16-17.
          4. Water baptism (during confession) for the ‘forgiveness of sins.’ Mark 1:4, Acts 2:38. (John’s Baptism; Acts 19:3; name of the Father; John 1:6, 33, Matt. 28:19.)
          5. Baptism in the ‘name of the Lord Jesus’ (Acts 8:16, Acts 19:5), ‘name of the Son’ (Matt. 28:19 = my Baptisms Thread)
          6. Receive the Spirit through the baptism in the ‘name of the Holy Spirit’ (Matt. 28:19) through the laying of hands (Acts 8:17, Acts 19:6).
          7. Justified by ‘works and not by faith alone.’ James 2:20-24.
          8. Kingdom disciples are under Mosaic Law (Matt. 5:18, James 2:10).

          This is our gospel for today that many believe is the ‘only’ gospel of the New Testament with inclusions from Gospel #1. This gospel message was revealed to Paul through a ‘revelation of Jesus Christ’ (Gal. 1:11+12) AFTER his conversion in Acts 9. Note that Christ preached the ‘Gospel of God’ in Mark 1:14-15, which is gospel #1 above to begin His ministry and ‘before’ He shed one drop of blood for anyone.

          II. Paul’s “my gospel” (Linda’s Gospel) (Romans 2:16, 16:25, etc.). Gospel to the Uncircumcised. Galatians 2:7.

          1. The Gospel of the Grace of God. Acts 20:24.
          2. According to the revelation of the Mystery; NOT seen by the OT prophets. Romans 16:25.
          3. Saved by God’s grace through faith APART from works. Ephesians 2:8-9.
          4. Sins forgiven through the redemption IN Christ (Romans 3:24) and His shed blood (Ephesians 1:7).
          5. Our ‘one baptism’ (Ephesians 4:5) is done by the ‘one Spirit’(Ephesians 4:4) into the ‘one body’ (1Cor. 12:13), which is into “Christ’s body.” 1Cor. 12:27.
          6. We receive the Spirit when hearing (Romans 10:17*) and believing (Ephesians 1:13-14) Paul’s Gospel by ‘hearing with faith*.’ Galatians 3:2.
          7. We are justified by faith apart from works. Romans 4:4-6.
          8. We are under grace and not under law. Romans 6:14.


          Satan has given people a heavenly way to go straight to hell and into the lake of fire by deluding men (2Thes. 2:11) into mixing together the Two Gospels of the New Testament. Adding ‘works’ (James 2:20-24) to Paul’s ‘Gospel of the Grace of God’ (#2) makes ‘void’ (1Cor. 1:17) the power of the cross to save anyone; which amounts to distorting the ‘wisdom given him’ (Paul) to ‘your own destruction.’ 2Peter 3:14-16.

          1. George Joseph

            Dear Brian,

            Thank you for the precise interpretation on the difference between ‘Kingdom of God’ and ‘Gospel of the Grace of God’. I came across the below verse

            Acts 20:25 – “And now, behold, I know that ye all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, shall see my face no more.”

            This is a direct statement of Paul to the saints in Ephesus that he was actually preaching the ‘Kingdom of God’. Does it not contradict all the reference to the ‘Gospel of Grace’. would like to know your clarification on this. Let the Holy Spirit lead us to the whole truth. Amen

            1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

              The first thing to recognize is that Acts is not a doctrinal book, but a transitional book from God’s prophetic program with Israel to the Church, the body of Christ. Luke wrote Acts to explain to Jews why the kingdom of God did not come to earth. It is, therefore, written from a Jewish perspective. The other thing to realize is that when Paul used the phrase, “kingdom of God,” he meant the overall realm of God’s rule, not the earthly kingdom promised to Israel. A passage must be interpreted according to its context. See Romans 14:17; 1 Corinthians 4:20, 6:9-10, 15:50; Galatians 5:21; Colossians 4:11; 2 Thessalonians 1:5; Ephesians 5:5; 1 Thessalonians 2:12.

  8. Julian

    Thank you My Brother in Christ! Reading this has been so helpful to me, I was Struggling with this Subject for a Long time! God Bless you !

  9. bubay

    Wow!!! This is awesome and glorious. Great insight. I believe 101% of what u have said. Too-good-to-be-true gospel…. The narrow gate indeed. I wish all man will get to try to understand this and stop the arguments. Thank you Jesus. God bless ya doctrine.

  10. Costa Fotopoulos

    How about the comment Jesus makes to the rich man when he says, he will have treasure in heaven if he keeps the commandments. Wouldn’t this “treasure in heaven” be in the heavenly abode when he dies and not in the earthly realm?


    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      The “kingdom of heaven” taught in the gospels is a genitive of source. Thus, the source of the earthly kingdom is from heaven. In the same way, “treasure in heaven” is a dative of source. The treasure is reserved in heaven. Israel’s hopes were earthly. The Jews had no concept of dying and going to heaven. A heavenly destiny was a doctrine that the Lord revealed after His resurrection to Paul alone. Only in Paul’s writings do we find learn of this truth.

  11. Costa Fotopoulos

    OK, makes sense..I think. But how about Matthew 5:8-
    Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

    Surely, Christ was talking about the heavenly realm here, no?

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      Do a study. See if you can find any mention of Jews having a hope of heaven. What you will find is that they hoped for resurrection and an earthly kingdom. They knew God resided in heaven but their hopes were earthly, not heavenly. God made appearances to Jews from heaven (Moses, Jacob, Isaiah) but their hope was to see Christ on earth (cf. Zechariah 14.9; Luke 1.32.

  12. Costa Fotopoulos

    OK, will do that, thanks. I also see in your website that only Paul received special knowledge regarding the risen, glorified Christ, which was salvation by faith. My question was, why didn’t Christ reveal himself to Peter or another one of the apostles and reveal this secret knowledge to them also, or just to them, to avoid the dissension that occurred in the early Church between the apostles and Paul regarding which doctrine to preach?

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      My article, Paul: Chief of Sinners? might be helpful. Jesus commissioned the Twelve as apostles to Israel (Matthew 19.28). The OT prophesied Gentiles would be blessed through Israel. But God had revealed no plan to bless Gentiles apart from Israel. When Israel rejected the Messiah they also rejected the source of their blessings. Hence, they could not bless Gentiles. The next event on the prophetic timeline was the Day of the Lord, the Tribulation, which Peter spoke about quoting Joel on the day of Pentecost. But God in His mercy delayed this judgment. Instead, he saved Paul and commissioned him as the apostle of the Gentiles (Romans 11.13). In this way God could bless Gentiles apart from Israel’s rejection. In other words, this was a whole new plan, unrevealed in the OT. I cannot answer the question of WHY God did what He did. I can only answer what had been revealed and what He did. See also Paul’s “Mystery” for more on what the Lord revealed to Paul which was unknown to the Twelve.

  13. Randall


    True it does appear that Peter was silent, but Paul did not change Peters mind. Peter said and I quote from verse 7 ” Brethern, you know that in the early days God made a choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles would hear the word of the gospel and believe.” Now maybe the “hearing” is a work but I dont think so. Then he goes on to say in verse 10 “why do you put God to the test”. I have read this over and over and over. The claims you make that Paul introduced a different gospel hear is not solid. Now I do 100% agree with you on your stand of salvation. I just feel that with your interpretation it leads to a weak understanding of the true message James is delivering in his epistle. Now I understand we are splitting hairs here. I am proud to call you my brother I do appreciate the articles you have written. But, as for now until further research and studying on my part has been made I am going to have to respectfully disagree with you on this.

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      Peter went to Cornelius AFTER Paul was saved. Before this, God had not revealed salvation by faith alone. Upon uttering the words “everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins” the Holy Spirit came upon them. Peter was shocked at Cornelius’ salvation (Acts 10.45). Why? He was shocked because this was not at all what he preached at Pentecost. At Pentecost he had told the Jews that they had to repent and be baptized for salvation (Acts 2.36-38). This was wholly different and God used this experience so Peter could come to Paul’s aid nearly 20 years later. But from Pentecost to the Council the Twelve continued to preach faith + works for salvation. Try reading the text and hold in abeyance what Paul taught. You will find nothing in the OT, the gospels, and early Acts will lead to the conclusion of faith + 0 for salvation. We must be careful to know what the text says but also what it does not say. Some of this may be made more clear from my articles, Paul: Chief of Sinners and Paul’s “Mystery.”

  14. Sheila


    I agree with much of the things you write about, but, concerning sin and “faith + 0” it seems Paul warned the Corinthians about sinning “after” they were saved. It can’t be that all our sins past “and” future are forgiven based on what Paul warns them of.

    9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals,[a] nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.

    I believe what Paul meant was we are saved by faith without the works of the law of Moses. Not that we are saved and that’s it… Of course, having said that, I do understand that none of us are without sin and that is the constant battle of the Christian who has consciousness of his/her sin while striving to live a holy life. That’s not to say we are ever “righteous enough” to stand before a Just and Holy God, just to say that’s what should set us apart from the world–our desire to live for Jesus and be like Him. Otherwise, how do you answer the homosexual who believes they are saved without changing their lifestyle? It sounds like hyper-grace to me.

    I think faith without the works of the law of Moses does not mean faith + nothing.

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      Paul wrote, “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace” (Ephesians 1.7 cf. Colossians 1.14). To “have” is past tense. It has been accomplished and is a present possession. According to Paul’s gospel, we have only to believe it (1 Corinthians 15.1-4). Christ has done all the work. Paul constantly warned believers about sin but that is because God saved us not be sinful but to be holy. It is an issue of sanctification, not justification. In the passage you quoted, Paul wrote, “such were some of you.” He did not write, “such are some of you.” The Biblical response to a homosexual (or to anyone who engages in habitually sin and thinks he is free to do it) is that he has never experienced salvation. Paul had to deal with a serious sin problem in 1 Corinthians 5. Happily, the man repented and changed his behavior.

      1. drumbo

        I’m going to throw myself out there, and hopefully this helps…if not..I try…lol. When my faith began, I was a horrible drug addict..worst kind you can imagine. Also steeped in evil practices and sexual immorality…and I LIKED IT! Once I actually inclined my ear to the gospel and felt that Spirit break my heart into tiny pieces, and really believed…I began to kick the drugs, witchcraft, and began physical and spiritual recovery. It was my belief, and faith that I am forgiven, that began the change in my “works” ( behavior). It didn’t happen the other way. Without HIM I never would have made it this far. I still struggle every day with urges to return to that life, in my flesh. It’s a serious battle for me, and I have indeed fallen a few times, but the Spirit within me keeps me getting back up every time. If it had been my lot to get clean first, THEN go to the scriptures… I would be dead now. Faith is changing my works, which is indeed evident to everyone around me. But it isn’t the works that give me hope, it’s the faith I was given that started all of this. Faith alone moves me, because anyone can do good things for others, with pure evil intent…I know this from experience. Because of my faith..I WANT to be pleasing, and to do better, but I stumble many times. the Spirit within me teaches me that if I appreciate this gift, I’ll try to do better, but every time I crave drugs, or sex, I know that without that faith I would be “dead in the water” I also know that to continue my former course freely, under the assumption that it’s o.k. because I’m forgiven, is an affront to my Savior. Works without faith is entirely possible, so works can’t save me because my flesh reminds me that my works will ALWAYS be tainted by fleshly desire somehow. Faith alone produced changes in my ” works” So for me Paul’s words are true in a very serious sense, ( Roman 7: 21) because at any moment we can fall, which renders our works…useless. Love to you all! Thanks to our Father for this knowledge through Doc. Hope my little rant helped some.

        1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

          Wonderful! Your story is the power of the gospel and the power of God. With Him nothing is impossible. May the Lord continue to work in your life and bless you.

      2. anonymous

        you said that the biblical response to a the homosexual or to anyone who engages in habitual sin and thinks he is free to do it that he has never experienced salvation what about the people who were getting drunk at the Lord’s Supper they didn’t repent of that sin and died in it and paul still said they were saved and I believe even if the fornicator in 1st Corinthians 5 would have continued in that fornication to his physical death without repenting of it. He still would have been saved I believe to teach otherwise is to teach salvation by works

          1. anonymous

            yes homosexuality is a sin my point is that a person can continue practicing it until the day they die or are raptured and they’re still saved but they will have no Eternal rewards and no rulership in the Kingdom of Christ and to teach otherwise is to teach salvation by works 1st Corinthians 1:8 1st Corinthians 3:15 Romans 11:29 Ephesians 4:30 and 2nd Timothy 2:13 make this clear

            1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

              I replied to you in February that one is saved solely by believing Paul’s gospel in response to your comment about Lordship salvation. My point is that one who continues in sin, has no conviction of sin, or has no desire to live a godly life has reason to doubt his salvation. God has called believers to holiness and continuing in sin is contrary to the indwelling Holy Spirit. See 1 Corinthians 6.9-20. I do not know why you have made an issue of this since almost every article I have written states one is saved by believing Paul’s gospel.

              1. anonymous

                so a person who has no desire to ever live for the Lord but still wants to be saved even though they don’t want Eternal Rewards or a ruling position in Christ Kingdom should doubt their salvation because of that. I believe that’s salvation by works to teach that a person either before or after they’re saved must have a desire to not continue in sin must desire two live a Godly life otherwise they’re not saved or they should question their salvation is to teach salvation by works a person is saved whether they ever live for the Lord or not Romans 11:29 2nd Timothy 2:13 makes this clear I think you’re the one who should question your salvaton

                1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

                  Are you saying your position is if a man who was a murderer or a thief says he has become a Christian but continues to murder and steal and has no remorse or desire to stop murderering or stealing has no reason to doubt his salvation? If this is your view, what has Christ saved him from? Did Christ die for us so we can continue to sin? Romans 11.29 concerns God’s covenant promises to Israel, not an individual’s salvation. It appears you have reacted against Lordship salvation to a position in which you believe the Holy Spirit has no power in a believer’s life and that God performs no work of sanctification. It is not salvation by works to believe that God has saved us to become holy and that God works within a believer’s heart to convict him of sin.

                  1. anonymous

                    a man who is a Christian that ends of continuing to murder or steal or whatever will suffer the consequences by going to jail or prison possibly even put being put to death or other consequences depending on the sin as well and they will lose all their Eternal rewards and the position to rule and reign with Christ but they are still saved and they don’t have to doubt their salvation and no Christ did not save us to continue in sin but to live holy lives as the book of Titus makes clear but we still have free will and God will not force a person to live for him it’s their choice to either live for them selves or him and the Holy Spirit has power in a believer’s life but they can choose to resist it their whole life even to the point of physical death or the Rapture and they’re still saved this happened many times in the Corinthian Church and Paul didn’t question their salvation or told them to doubt it

                    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

                      What you say is true and is what I have written in my articles. The Scriptural record of the believing Corinthians who sinned is they died or were delivered to Satan to die. My concern in my response on the question of homosexuality is the current attitude in Christendom that homosexuality is normal and acceptable behavior for a Christian. Those who say this have rejected the Scriptures and the Holy Spirit. One has to wonder about such a person’s salvation. Does one believe a man who says he loves his wife but beats her every day? Does believing the gospel and having the indwelling Holy Spirit have an effect for good?

                    2. anonymous

                      well I can agree with you that homosexuality is not a normal lifestyle and those who are Christian who are engaging in it claiming that it is normal either haven’t really read the scriptures enough or they are ignorant or they are willfully disobedient towards it but if we correct them on that attitude and they still want to consider it a normal lifestyle we should do what Paul said and let them remain ignorant concerning that and move on but we are not to tell them to question their salvation or doubt it cuz Paul never did

                    3. doctrinedoctrine Post author

                      Paul wrote the Corinthians, “Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you possess the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain” (1 Corinthians 15.1-2). Paul wrote the Corinthians as believers but did qualify their salvation according to whether they had truly believed.

                    4. anonymous

                      all those who have trusted Jesus Christ the CREATED virgin born Son of God and his death burial and Resurrection as who and what has declared them righteous and forgiven of all their sins and guaranteed them everlasting life are saved permanently even if they never live for the Lord until their physical death or the rapture 1 Corinthians 1:8 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 2 Corinthians 1:22 acts 13:38-39 acts 16:30-31 Ephesians 1:13-14 Ephesians 2:8-9 Ephesians 4:30 2nd Timothy 1:9 2nd Timothy 2:13 Titus 3:5 and if you delete this comment I know you believe in work salvation then since you deleted my other comment that says that a person can never lose their salvation or prove they never had it no matter how many habitual sins they commit they are still saved

                    5. doctrinedoctrine Post author

                      You seem determined to accuse someone of works salvation. I deleted one of your comment because it was redundant to your other comments which I answered. All my articles and comments concerning salvation state one is saved by faith alone in the death and resurrection of Christ. You seem to ignore warning passages such as 1 Corinthians 15.1-2 and 2 Corinthians 13.5. Do you recognize the difference between mental assent and Biblical faith? Where do the Scriptures state Jesus was “the CREATED virgin born Son of God?” If Christ was created, He is not God. Do you believe Christ is God?

                    6. anonymous

                      Isaiah 7:14 therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign behold the Virgin shall Conceive and bear a son and shall call his name Immanuel Matthew 1:20 but while he was thinking about these things look and Angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream saying Joseph son of David do not be afraid to favorably except marry your wife for that which is Conceived in her is by the Holy Spirit Luke 1:31 and look you will Conceive in your womb and give birth to a son and will call his name Jesus. Romans 1:3 concerning his son who was made of the seed of David according to the flesh these versus right here prove that Jesus was a created being by using the word conceived and the word made which are synonyms for procreated jesus is not God and those who believe in Jesus as being God are not saved the person who has given mental assent to the truth of the Gospel or believe the truth is saved even if they don’t keep it in memory you seem to be saying that a person has to continue to believe the truth otherwise they didn’t really believe it that’s salvation by works my friend and a person who is a Christian can disobey 1st Corinthians 13.5 and they’re still saved Paul didn’t say believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and love him and you will be saved he just said believe loving God is something we should do but even if we never do or we stopped doing it we’re still saved

                    7. doctrinedoctrine Post author

                      Jesus is the Creator, not a creature, not a created being. He created all things (John 1.1-3; 1 Corinthians 8.5-6; Colossians 1.13-17; Hebrews 1.1-2). He became a human being through birth. The word “conceived” does not mean “created.” The word κατέχω in 1 Corinthians 15.2 does not mean “keep in memory.” It means “possess.” It fits with “unless you believed in vain” that is, “unless you really did not believe.” It appears, since you did not answer my question, you do not believe Christ is God. God alone can forgive sin.

                    8. anonymous

                      no Jesus is not God he is only the son of God Merriam as well as every other dictionary I’ve looked at defines conceive as think up thank of dream up devise formulate design originate create develop hatch so according to Webster’s Dictionary and others conceived is another word for created which shows that word conceive or conceived does mean create or created Isaiah 7:14 Matthew1:20 Luke 1:31proves Jesus is not God you have to be blind not to see that or want to hold on to your false Trinity and Jesus being God tradition you’re not saved until you reject the trinity and the deity of Christ and put your trust in the real God and Jesus Christ and believing in vain only means to believe to no purpose it doesn’t mean to not really believe at all and I don’t speak or read Greek so you can stop speaking to me about that

                    9. doctrinedoctrine Post author

                      We’ve now have found the problem. You do not believe Jesus is God even though many verses state Jesus is God. You accept Scriptures you like and reject those you dislike. The conversation has come to a conclusion.

      3. Ja

        Hello Don, I am new to your website and learning a lot from your articles. Thank you. I have a question regarding sanctification. In 1 Cor. 1:2 in Paul’s greeting he says “to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus”. (Past tense) The Corinthian church was deep in sins and Paul even called them “babes in Christ”. Yet in 1 Cor 6:11 he told them that “they were washed, sanctified, and justified” (past tense) Then in 1 Cor. 1:30 it says “Christ who became for us wisdom from God- and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption,” Then in Heb.10:10 it says “we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” (Past tense) Then in Heb. 13:12 it says “that He might sanctify the people with His own blood”. In Acts 26:18 Jesus told Paul during his conversion experience that we are sanctified by faith. Lastly, Jude 1:1 says “To those who are called, sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ,” ( once again past tense). Our sanctification appears to be a work of God that happened when we came to faith in Christ just like justification and redemption. So in light of these verses, I’m confused why you say that sanctification is a life long process?

        1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

          These verse do speak of sanctification as a past event and this is true from God’s perspective. In the 1 Corinthians 6.11 passage Paul used washed, sanctified, and justified as synonyms, speaking of our salvation from God’s perspective. But in other passages Paul spoke of salvation in the present tense (1 Corinthians 1.18, 15.2). In other passages he spoke of believers being transformed (Romans 12.2) and changed into the image of Christ (2 Corinthians 3.18). So salvation is a past event with ongoing results. Theologians have generally taught the ongoing process is sanctification.

  15. matt c

    Good article on assurance of salvation. Do you believe that one must continue to believe in Christ to saved? If God gave us free will to choose him and be born again, do we still have free will after that point to reject our faith in Christ and be lost? What does I Cor. 15:2 to mean to believe in vain? Obviously it was a possibility. Also Paul told the Colossians in Ch1 vs 23 that we will be presented holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight if we continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel… , is this a conditional statement of salvation based on continued faith? One more verse, in 2 Tim 2:12 he says if we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us: if we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself . Some teach that the Holy Spirit will depart from a Christian if he through the process of hardening of the heart and deceitfulness of sins, rejects Christ and falls in unbelief. Others teach this passage actually confirms eternal security. I have gone back and forth on this issue. I believe strongly in the assurance of salvation, and have since I was saved. Yet eternal security seems to be conditioned on a continued faith in Christ throughout one’s life, and the possibility, though very scarce and rare, is there for a believer to end up apostatizing from the faith. I know it is possible in the kingdom scenario before and after Paul, why would it be different in this dispensation? Thanks a head of time for your response. I am learning alot from the articles on this form of teaching.

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      I do not think one who has truly placed his trust in the work of Christ will reject him. 1 Corinthians 15.2 is difficult but I would say it means “not really believed.” The texts you have cited are difficult and require more than a pat answer (maybe a future article). I don’t like to “fudge” but I also do not wish to state something I need to investigate more thoroughly. Thank you.

      1. matt c

        You said, “I do not think one who has truly placed his trust in the work of Christ will reject him.” I find it hard to believe that would happen as well. Thank you for your response.

    2. Bobbi

      Whenever I have a doubting moment or trial I like to read Romans 8 and John 17. When Jesus prays for His people , it is for ALL of them. John 17:20 “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word” . Vs11 “And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are one”. So we are in Gods hands. It’s God that will bring us home! To me that’s eternal security!

    3. Jafo

      Brother … I too have thought as you … I find comfort in Ephesians Chaper 1. Also think on the requirement of being born again .. can one be unborn? In my own heart I know .. if my salvation was based upon some requirement of me … I’m lost. For I know I’m a sinner I can’t possibly save myself. Also think on Romans … the gift of faith to believe in Jesus .. given by God the Father. It’s a gift … so none can boast! Jesus tells us the Father does not give as an earthly father. Would the Father give a gift that was insufficient?

      I struggle to my friend … every single day. I know I don’t deserve it. Don’t even understand why Jesus did what He did for us. But in my heart of hearts I believe it. Cling to it and keep it. For at the end of the day … it’s all I have.

        1. Bobbi

          This is an excellent article. I especially like the simplicity in his conclusion. Holy Spirit (God) draws people to himself, and waits for our response in faith. Upon our response God immediately imparts eternal life and we are sealed.

          In a nutshell. It is salvation that is the gift! Praise the Lord!

        2. Jafo

          I understand your point. Yet the gift of salvation is obtained only by accepting the gift of faith first.. see Eph 2:8

          You must have one to receive the other.. salvation is the gift it exists before we come to faith. But to get the salvation gift we require the acceptance of the gift of faith to believe.

          But I get it… if there was no gift of salvation … the faith alone would not mean anything.

          1. Jafo

            Hi Doctrine – I just read your article about Faith:SQN! You do a better job about faith and salvation Eph 2:8 than the article you gave me to read! So you need not respond then to other comments below my original. 😁❗️Just delete them as they confuse the issue.

            But between you and me… I still think how we get to the gift of salvation is from God! I like the Faith + 0 example❗️All the best … you keep me on my toes .. that’s for sure…

            1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

              I think what you are really arguing is that God has given us the gift of free will. Those who argue faith is a gift deny free will. These are categorical differences.

  16. George

    hi bro Don, to the best of your ability, please tell me how you view the intersecting ministries of the apostle John and Paul. was John and Mary at the church at Ephesus, that Paul started, was john reconciled to Paul’s gospel of grace, at that time? again please tell me why if you can why John in his writings offered assured present eternal life but at the same time switches to kingdom gospel intended for the Jews, Peter and the apostles you have made clear teach kingdom gospel, Paul grace, but John seems to be taking from Paul at times and applying it to the Jews or is he? some say that Jude also does this as Jude was aware of the common gospel but needs be that he preached to them the kingdom gospel, I am some what confused, like you to share your thoughts, thanks :)

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      Thank you. We have no evidence of interaction of John or Mary with Paul. From the record we have, Paul’s contact with those associated with Jesus in His earthly ministry was quite limited. The whole issue of assurance of salvation in the OT is quite murky–as is salvation itself. No clear cut message of the gospel exists compared to 1 Corinthians 15.1-4. As far as John and his writings, I need to study this more and when finished will do an article. How much the Twelve knew of Paul’s gospel and how they applied it is difficult to determine. What is clear is that until Acts 15 they were ignorant of salvation by faith alone. See my study, The Great Hinge for more on this.

      1. George

        thanks for your response and future effort on trying to figure out John, although you still have a solid foundation on rightly dividing, that I will use when studying.

        I forgot to ask you yesterday about the Priscilla Aquilla dynamic. We know that they were saved under the ministry of Paul’s grace gospel, as was sosthenes and crispus, Jewish leaders of synagogues, were these men after preaching Paul’s gospel of grace, and what about Apollos who was taught “the way”( which according to you is the kingdom gospel) more perfectly, by Aquilla and Priscilla, who were Paul’s converts of the gospel of grace also pastoring now at Rome. what exactly did they teach Apollos, was it the gospel of grace? I would appreciate your views on these passages, mY God bless you always :)

        1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

          Thanks. The difficultly of these questions is that we do not have specifics about the content and timing of Paul’s revelations. Paul preached the kingdom gospel immediately after he was saved (Acts 9.20). After he came back from Arabia he had received the gospel of grace. What/when the Lord revealed other truths is difficult to discern. Paul and his two great friends, Aquila and Priscilla, must have had some wonderful conversations while they made tents. Talk about a Bible study! Apollos certainly learned Paul’s gospel from them. This would have been about 52 A.D. You can see how long all this took. 1 and 2 Thessalonians were Paul’s earliest letters so Paul had learned of the Rapture early on.

  17. Mark

    Thank you Don. You rightly divide the Word of truth. So how should we view scriptures like John 3:16 (I’ve read the article on John 3:16) and the likes – like verses in 1 & 2 Peter and 1 & 2 John that’s consistent with the gospel of Paul? The problem I see is if you quoted a verse from them, it also makes the rest of the verses that are not consistent with the gospel valid. What do you think?

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      What verses did you have in mind from Peter and John? John 3.16 is historical. It is a record of Jesus’ conversation with Nicodemus. At that time the gospel of the kingdom was valid. Paul’s gospel had not been revealed.

  18. Mark

    Yea, I know…. Ok let me explain. In this article you quoted 1 John 5:11-13 which is consistent with the gospel of Paul. Good. But do you also know that someone can also argue with you from that same 1 John say 1 John 2:29 for example to counter your arguement of righteousness or something? If you say John was not written for the believers, they might say, “Hey! but you just quoted from that same 1 John yourself.” So can we still quote scriptures that’s not Paul’s or do we leave them out all together? What do you think?

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      The simplest and probably best answer is that John and other writers are fine in an applicational sense if understood in light of Paul. John is right: if you have the Son you have life. The essential thing is to know how one “has the Son.” Thus, with regard to “believe on the name,” this has to be through Paul’s gospel.

  19. Mark

    Wow! I got it now. I will start a bible study teaching tomorrow based on what I’ve learnt so far from you. Though we teach pure grace: faith in the works of Christ plus nothing (1 Corinthians 15:1-4 etc) but what I’ve learnt here would make our understanding a whole lot clearer. Thanx brother. You are the real Don.

  20. Kenneth

    Thank you for such a wonderful article concerning our assurance of salvation. Question, in it you deal somewhat with the whole “faith + works” versus “faith + O” but do any of your articles tackle the concept of Lordship Salvation specifically? It seems to fit within this arena if I understand it correctly and has become the current “flavor of the month” in many theological circles. Personally, I think it is a very unscriptural idea and to some degree still attaches man’s works to the salvation process. Thanks in advance for your input.

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      Thank you. I’ve written an article, Faith and Works in James. Those who ascribe to “Lordship Salvation” do not know the gospel. If they did, this would not be an issue.

  21. Sarah

    Hi there, I really appreciate this article especially. I have always been afraid deep down of doing “something” to make Jesus “go away” or to lose my salvation. But I have one question: what about those little phrases Paul always slips in here and there that sound like salvation is still uncertain?
    For example Romans 11:20,21

    Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear: For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee.

    and Col 1:23
    In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel…

    Those types of verses always make me nervous.


    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      Romans 11 deals with Israel and Gentiles, not individuals. See my article, The Olive Tree (Romans 11) for exposition. As for Colossians, Paul wrote that God “has reconciled” us (v. 22a). This action is irreversable. In verses 22b-23, I think he is speaking of our daily walk and future rewards, not salvation.

      1. becky

        Hi Don,
        Romans 11 is dealing with Israel and Gentiles but he warns the Gentiles that if they fall into unbelief they can be broken off. Does Scripture say that it is impossible for us to fall into unbelief?

        1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

          In Romans 11, Paul wrote about groups, i.e., Israel, the nations, not individuals. An individual’s salvation is secure.

  22. becky

    I can see how Israel as a nation were unrepentant, as they started out with God. But how can the Gentiles as a “nation” or “people” be cut off because of unbelief when they start out as unbelieving, know what i mean?

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      The illustration of the olive tree was that of a place of special blessing. Beginning with Abraham, God established a special relationship with Himself. He gave them the covenant promises, the Word of God, and revealed Himself through the prophets. Not all of Israel was saved but they enjoyed this blessing with God. Because of unbelief God broke off the “natural” branches and grafted on “wild” branches (Gentiles) into the place of blessing. God will restore the natural branches when Israel repents and believes. See my article, The Olive Tree, for more.

  23. Ron G

    G’Day Don,
    I have a response in moderation in “Follow Paul” which I believe belongs here in this discussion.
    I agree 100% with all you have said in this article and think it is succinct and a great resource for helping those who struggle with assurance of their salvation.

    In my own studies I have however come across a few scriptures that are somewhat puzzling, and that in the surface “seem” to teach a works based salvation.
    The following one from 1 Timothy is difficult to interpret and I was wondering if you could provide some direction on how best to understand what Paul was saying.

    Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety. (‭1 Timothy‬ ‭2‬:‭15‬ KJV)

    Any enlightenment is this would be greatly appreciated.
    Your Brother in Christ,
    Ron G

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      I am unsettled on what Paul meant to convey here. We can be assured that this salvation, preservation, is not salvation from sin and death. Paul made it clear that salvation from sin is based upon believing the gospel–that Christ died for our sins and rose from the dead.

      1. Ron G

        G’Day Don,

        I came across the following in my research on this passage and thought it was a reasonable interpretation.

        “One of the most popular theories, however, is that Paul’s statement about Eve and about childbearing is Messianic in nature. Much significance is placed upon the Greek construction here. In the text we literally read: “But she will be saved through the childbirth” or “through the birth of a child” (singular). A great many commentators and biblical scholars see this as a clear reference to the birth of the Messiah, who ultimately would save Eve (and all others) from their many sins and transgressions. Thus, Paul speaks of the fall, of Eve’s transgression, and then states her salvation is through the birth of a child. That child, who did indeed descend from Adam and Eve [Luke 3:38], was Jesus, the seed of the woman, who would crush the head of the serpent of old [Gen. 3:15]. Frankly, I think this view has much to commend it, and it seems to fit the contexts of both Genesis 3 and 1 Timothy 2 better than the others. At present I tend to lean strongly toward this interpretation, although I am still open to further study on the matter.”

        What’s are your thoughts?
        Blessings in Him,
        Ron G

        1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

          I think it has merit. There are other interpretations that may also work. Like I said, I am unsettled at this point. Sometimes, we just have to live with, “I don’t know.”

          1. Ron G

            Thank you Don.
            I know we do ( just have to live with “I don’t know”) but I like to keep looking and praying and seeking the ideas of others in the hope I can settle on an understanding.
            Ron G

  24. Becky

    Hi Don,
    You state, The only possible way one can “lose” salvation is to reject the work of Christ. How would one reject the work of Christ?

      1. Becky

        Don, can you give me an example for the sake of understanding? What would “cause” a believer to “become” an unbeliever? Is it a result of a chain reaction? Thanks so much

        1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

          I think we’re writing at cross purposes. I was not speaking of a believer but an unbeliever. Believers cannot lose salvation. Maybe I need to clarify in the article. Christ has paid for the sins of every person. God has done all the work. All one need do to have salvation is believe the gospel. One “loses” salvation by unbelief.

  25. becky

    Oh, I see what you are saying. It isn’t so much that an unbeliever “loses” salvation, it is simply that he never attains unto it because of unbelief.

  26. GraceReceiver

    Thank you for the article!

    I do believe that we are eternally secure if we trust in the Lord Jesus’ blood for our sins, but as always there are verses that could, on their own, lead one to believe that we, as believers, can “cross a line” so to speak, which would deny us access into God’s kingdom. I understand these verses, such as I Cor. 6:9 and Eph. 5:5 to say that we are no longer these things (whoremongers, fornicators, idolator, etc.) because we are washed, sanctified (praise God!), etc. However, Paul’s choice of words, “be not deceived” are there for a reason. He says it in I Cor. 6:9 as well as Gal.6:7 concerning sin.

    What do you think that these believers were in danger of being deceived with?

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      The believer is eternally secure but there are consequences for sin in this life. God can remove him which was the threat in 1 Corinthians 5.

  27. Bruce W


    This was really an excellent treatise on Grace and OSAS. My belief in both has been reaffirmed by reading your article. It’s so unfortunate that Grace is Not a welcomed message in many so-called Christian circles.

    Now, what about people who supposedly come to a saving knowledge of Christ and as the parable of the seed, fall away yet years later return to the Lord. Was it they were either not saved in the 1st instance, or as the prodigal, came to their senses and returned to the Lord?

    I’ve been in many heated discussions with people who are in apostate Christianity including the Roman Catholic church, charismatics, Pentecostals, mainline Protestantism ,cults, Muslims, Hindus, pagans, et al. Besides false god’s, the common denominator with them all is works. Only true biblical Christianity preaches Salvation by Grace though Faith alone and OSAS.

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      Amen. So much confusion and deception exists while the truth of the gospel is so simple. People are told to invite Christ into their heart or accept Jesus as their personal Savior. Such appeals are not the gospel and only serve to confuse. The gospel is clear: Christ died for one’s sins, was buried, and rose from the dead. Will you trust in that work–His work? Faith + 0 is the only way.

  28. Vanessa

    Hi Don,

    What did Paul mean when he said be filled with the Spirit? Are we not aready filled with the Spirit when we get saved.

    Thank you.

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      We are indweldt by God the Holy Spirit after we believe the gospel. In Ephesians 5.18 the idea is of control. As too much alcohol can control one’s behavior, Paul encouraged believers to be controlled by the Spirit (cf. Ephesians 31.9; Colossians 1.9). When one is full of the Holy Spirit, the Adamic nature is constrained.

  29. Chuck Wehrheim


    Your question; Is is arrogant to believe that Christ’s work satisfied the just demands of a holy God to pay the penalty for our sins?

    John wrote regarding this matter,
    “And the witness is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, in order that you may know that you have eternal life” (1 John 5.11-13).

    Since John was only aware of Kingdom theology I must assume that John is referring to belief that Jesus was/is the Son of God, the Messiah. Is this not different than depending on Christ’s work for the forgiveness of our sins?


    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      Yes, John’s audience was Jewish believers saved through the gospel of the kingdom. But I would say John had learned (from Paul) something of the nature of Christ’s work and extent of God’s forgiveness. See 1 John 2.2, 12; John 3.16. Part of the problem is we don’t know when John wrote his gospel or letters. Most assume he wrote the late (even conservative scholars). I think he wrote them fairly early–certainly before Paul’s letters were complete (Colossians 1.25). His writings definitely include kingdom language (Law-keeping) yet he seems to understand the extent of the atonement. But he also has non-Pauline language about forgiveness, i.e., 1 John 1.9.

      1. Chuck Wehrheim

        The timing of John’s Gospel is irrelevant to me. John 3:16 is a recount of Jesus’ words therefore they could not be influenced by the Apostle Paul. My belief is solid that Jesus, as the Messiah, was fulfilling the Law and the prophets — The Gospel of the Kingdom.

        “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. (Matthew 5:17) (of course Nation Israel did not embrace the Messiah)

        As for the potential of Paul’s influencing the content of John’s letters? John’s writings probably present more grey area for me than any other writings. However, as you pointed out 1 John 1.9 also has non-Pauline language about forgiveness. Therefore I must discount the possibility of Pauline influence.

  30. Vanessa

    Yes yes yes wow I can witness with that. I have begun reading Stams book (Things that Differ) and now I am beginning to understand so much more. Vernon is busy reading his book on Acts and he too understand better.
    Don we are to very grateful and appreciate your time and effort in always replying to us. We can only say Thank you Lord for men of God like yourself.
    After sending you the question we realised what Paul was speaking of and just like that things began to fall into place. We had many OH WOW moments today.
    Thank you.

  31. Brian

    You cite John 3:16 as a verse that gives us assurance of salvation. However, in your article entitled IS JOHN 3:16 CHRISTIAN? you conclude, “Therefore, interpretively, in context, John 3:16 is not a Christian verse.” Please explain. Thank you.

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      Technically, John 3.16 applies to the kingdom program (maybe I should rewrite the Assurance article if this causes problems). John 3.16 does not contain Paul’s gospel that Christ died for our sins and rose from the dead (1 Corinthians 15.1-4). That is the Christian gospel and the basis for our salvation and assurance. John 3.16 was the salvation focused on Jews (Matthew 10.5-6)–but did include the possibility of Gentile salvation, e.g., the Canaanite woman (Matthew 15) and the Roman centurion (Matthew 8). The gospels are Old Testament. Nothing in them is Christian if we take Christian to mean one who is part of the Church, the body of Christ.

  32. SDN

    Hello Brothers,

    There is one illustration that James gave which i think would make us ponder or calculate the meaning of the illustration. ” For us the body without spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.” The body without spirit is dead. True or False? Another thing, to put conclusion on matters that is beyond our understanding and capacity is a form of judgement. Are we the judge to conclude this matter? Only Jesus knows who are his people. What the Bible says is to believe in Jesus that he is the Savior and obey, continue in his words.

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      Truly, the body with the spirit is dead and faith without works is dead. But the Scriptures also state that all who believe Paul’s gospel have salvation (Romans 1.16; Ephesians 1.13). James was probably the first NT book written and he wrote to believing Jews (James 1.1). It is questionable whether he knew about Paul’s gospel when he wrote his letter (cf. Acts 15). We can KNOW we have salvation if we believe Paul’s gospel.

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      When James wrote, the gospel of the kingdom was still most likely in effect. After Acts 15.11 only Paul’s gospel was valid (Galatians 1.6-9).

  33. Nick


    In Luke 10, a story of a Samaritan, Jesus explained of what is a genuine/living faith is all about.

    I have also read a OSAS doctrine, the writer said,”no amount of evil can loose our salvation.” Was he in right mind? Did he mean that because someone claims he has faith in Jesus, God would tolerate his evil doings?

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      True faith should produce good works, just as a good tree produces good fruit. We are saved by faith + 0 (Ephesians 2.8-9) for good works (Ephesians 2.10). But Paul made it clear that the true believer cannot lose his salvation (Romans 8.31-39). Salvation before Paul was not by faith alone. It required works. See my article, Faith vs. Works in James: Resolving the Problem.

  34. Nick

    Faith requires obedience. The work that we do out of faith is the evidence of our faith. For if God does not regard the works of man, then why the Scripture is teaching us to turn away from wickedness. Abraham believed in God and it was counted to him righteousness. How did Abraham believe? He obeyed to God and his faith was manifested.

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      Faith is obedience (Romans 16.26). Abraham believed God and it was accounted unto him for righteousness (Romans 4.3). No works were required. It was faith + 0. Any work for salvation negates it (Romans 4.4-5).

      1. Nick

        How did Abraham believe? He obeyed God when he was commanded by God to offer his con Isaac.

        If Abraham did not obey God, can we say that Abraham believed in God? It is clear that his action(work) to offer his son Isaac was the manifestation(obedience) of his faith.

        1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

          Abraham believed God when God told him to leave his homeland a go to a land He would show him. God declared Abraham righteous long before he offered Isaac as a sacrifice. His obedience there demonstrated the reality of his faith.

      2. Nick

        Paul contended with the Jews that their righteousness of the law was futile because they did not believe in Jesus. It’s a different story when a man believes in Jesus he must do righteousness that is the commandment of God, and that is work.

        Romans 3:31 Do we then make void the law trough faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law. See, the work accompanies faith.

  35. Nick

    To judge whether salvation can be lost or not is not in our capacity. Only God knows. Look what happened to Judas, Can we say that Judas was not saved by God? In fact Jesus chose him to be one of his disciples but because of his freewill to turn away from God, he was separated. Therefore, man has the knowledge to choose to follow or turn away from God. If man chooses to turn away from his faith, then he can be separated just like Judas.

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      Redemption and forgiveness are past acts (Ephesians 1.7; Colossians 1.13-14) and present possessions of one who believes Paul’s gospel (1 Corinthians 15.1-4). Salvation is a gift of God and cannot be earned. Since God in in charge of man’s salvation one cannot lose it. This is proven by what Paul wrote in Romans 8. Judas never believed Jesus was the Christ, the Son of God. He had no salvation to lose.

      1. Nick

        I would disagree with you saying Judas did not believe in Jesus. He believed that is why he followed Jesus. It was at the end that he chose money(evil tactics) and betrayed Jesus.

      2. Nick

        Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

        Notice the phrase, WHO WALK NOT AFTER THE FLESH, meaning the one who do righteousness. So if a man still in unrighteousness he is in danger of condemnation. Doing what is right, is a work. We cannot discredit work in faith.

          1. Nick

            Error in KJV version? The first English translation of the Bible is KJV and it’s translated by 50 fluent in hebrew and greek scholars. How about other versions of Bible like NIV which translated by 20 plus scholars. The famous saying goes like this, two heads are better than one. How about 50 heads than 20 plus heads? The KJV is the right translation.

            1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

              It’s not a issue of translation but of manuscripts. The KJV translators (most of the work was Tyndale’s who was the greatest scholar of the Reformation) were brilliant scholars but they did not have the larger dataset of manuscripts. Textual criticism is a gnarly, complex subject. We have many variant readings in the manuscripts. In this case, it appears a scribe appended text from verse 4 into verse 1. An article that explores the textual issues is

  36. Nick

    The work that referred to in the scripture is righteousness. In James teaching faith + work, meaning faith plus good works/righteousness.

    Paul taught righteousness. In the interpretation of faith+0, meaning faith without work/righteousness. So is that to say that it’s okay for a believer of Jesus to be an adulterer, drunkard, homosexual and other unrighteousness?

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      Read Paul. He constantly encouraged and admonished believers to live holy lives. Paul anticipated and answered your question in Romans 6.1-2.

  37. Brad

    James’ justification was justification before man/service for reward. It had nothing to do with salvation. When James says “How can that faith save you,” he was speaking to people who were already saved. He was not referring to salvation faith. Only saving faith before man. i.e. reputation as a believer. Paul’s justification was before God/salvation.

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      Such an argument does not change the fact that James believed both faith and works were required for salvation. We know this because of what Luke recorded in Acts 15. Before Paul, salvation by faith alone was unknown (Romans 16.25). Faith + 0 for salvation was a revelation Paul received from the risen Christ.

      1. Brad

        Salvation has always been by faith and faith alone. What part of “Gift” do you not understand? Eph 2:8-9 Jesus didn’t need our help on the cross. Since when did you work for a gift? Your belief attempts to disgrace His work on the cross.

        1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

          Criticism without knowledge is of no benefit. Please provide Scriptures to support your view. What Scriptures outside of Paul support the view that salvation has always been by faith alone? The fact that you have quoted Paul strengthens the case that salvation by faith alone was a Pauline doctrine. Paul had to go the Jerusalem to defend his gospel to the Twelve because they did not teach salvation by faith alone. See Acts 15.1, 5.

  38. Brad

    Gen 15:6 I don’t have time to go over all this and give you scripture after scripture. If you don’t think what Jesus did on the cross for all mankind (ALL sins) was enough, then you just don’t want to see it. Mark 4:12

    In Christ,

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      You are arguing against a straw man. My article, For Whom Did Christ Die, states Christ died for all and His death on the cross satifisfied the justice of God. This issue is how men are saved. You have provided no Scripture to support your claim that salvation has always been by faith alone. Salvation during Jesus’ ministry required repentance, faith, keeping the Law, and water baptism. See Mark 1.4, 16.16. What did Peter, on the day of Pentecost, tell his Jewish audience? He told them to repent, and be baptized for the forgiveness of sins. Abraham was saved by faith alone but he was an exception, which is why Paul used him as an example to support his doctrine of salvation by faith alone. How do you explain Acts 15? How do you explain Matthew 19.16-22? Salvation by faith alone was unrevealed before Paul. Do you think a Jew could be saved if he didn’t offer a sacrifice? Salvation by faith alone is how one is saved today. But that is because of Paul. The OT did not teach this, Jesus in His earthly ministry did not proclaim it, and the Twelve did not teach it. Paul received this doctrine from the ascended, glorified Christ (Galatians 1.11-12). That is why he called it, “my gospel.” The Twelve knew nothing of it. Study the Scriptures for yourself and you will see these things are so. My articles, The Great Hinge, and Paul’s “Mystery” may be helpful. Grace and peace.

  39. Brad

    You are blind and there is no use arguing with you. If you remain in this belief, you will be one of the very ones saying “Lord, Lord, did we not”… DO Matt 7:22. There is no DO in salvation. You are very pompous to think you helped Jesus out on the cross. Abraham was an example of ALL who believed in the promise. I’m done here.

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      You’re argumentative but ignorant. You have a choice: read the Bible or remain ignorant. If you choose the former you will discover salvation by faith alone was a Pauline doctrine. It is as important to understand not only what the Bible teaches but what it does not teach. See if you can find any Scriptures that proclaim salvation by faith alone before Paul (you won’t). Paul is the apostle of the Gentiles, the apostle of the gospel of the grace of God, and the apostle to whom the glorified Lord revealed secrets unknown to the prophets and the Twelve. When you understand this you will be able to begin to understand some theology.

  40. Brad

    Ok I read some of your articles… I guess you’re not as wacky as I thought. I thought you were a Calvinist at first. Your views still seem wacky, but a brother in Christ I guess. You contradict yourself all over the place. I believe in simple doctrine. 2 Cor 11:3 Your articles are overthought in my opinion. Call me a simple Simon, but if Paul used the example of Abraham, that’s enough for me. There’s your 1 scripture. You yourself just said he was an exception. He was also the father of all Jews, so that covers it for all Jews who believed in the promise as far as I’m concerned. If they believed in the coming Messiah, they will see heaven. Christ died for the sin of the world meaning their sins too, and he didn’t need THEIR help on the cross either. Could they be saved without making a sacrifice? Of course they could. I’m sure 100% of them missed something in that law. I’m sure somebody slept in one Sunday/Saturday morning and didn’t bring the sacrifice in. Come on man… just use your head. God gave us a brain AND the Bible. You said “James believed both faith and works were required for salvation.” Not from what I read in the Book of James. His wrote about justification before man for service. I think you’ve read too much scripture. Give it a rest. You’re all over the place. Salvation has always been by faith in Jesus. It’s implied all throughout the bible. It doesn’t have to be stated, and I run across so many wacky believers on these blogs, so don’t hold my attitude against me. I just got kicked off one because they felt that at the Judgment Seat of Christ, Jesus was going to rattle off everybody’s sins before they got rewards. Are you kidding me? It was like Christian purgatory with Santa and his naughty list. How dare I disagree with that wacky view? Good grief…

    In Christ,

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      No contradictions exist in Scripture. We know from what Jesus taught the rich young ruler that works had to accompany faith for salvation. Even the “Lord’s Prayer” states this. Jesus told His disciples that unless one forgave –a condition of salvation, God would not forgive their sins. Paul, however, stated that because God has forgiven we should forgive–no condition for salvation (cf. Matthew 6.14-15; Ephesians 4.32). Such statements are irreconcilable unless one understands that God’s prophetic, covenantal program to Israel was entirely different from the program of grace the ascended Lord gave to Paul. God created two separate programs with different revelations and rules. Water baptism was required for salvation in the prophetic program (Mark 1.4, 16.16). Peter did not tell his audience at Pentecost to believe Christ died for their sins. He told them to repent and be baptized for forgiveness. The faith part was to believe He was the Messiah. No one today is saved by believing Jesus is the Messiah. Peter had no idea at Pentecost that Christ’s death on the cross solved the sin problem. That was a truth he would learn from Paul. These different programs were the reason why there was the conflict at the Council of Jerusalem. Paul’s gospel was salvation by faith alone. When the Twelve learned this they went crazy. They sent people to Paul’s converts to tell them they were not saved. They told them they had to be circumcised and keep the Law to be saved. Did the Twelve not understand salvation? Were they not saved? Of course, they were. But they were saved under the prophetic program which required faith and works. They were not saved by Paul’s gospel (1 Corinthians 15.1-4) for they knew nothing of it. Most of believing Christendom believes as you do. I did. But such a view has no Scriptural support. It is the Christian Myth. Study the Scriptures for yourself and you will find what I have written is true. It will end the contradictions, confusion, and lead to joy. Grace and peace.

      1. James Staten

        Doc, I appreciate you more by the day. I keep posting your web-site as much as possible. I too was literally brought to tears in the last few days by the person who stated you brought forty years of confusion over the scriptures to rest, and now they can witness for Christ. Keep Fighting the Good Fight…Jimmy

  41. Brad

    No, sorry, repent means change of mind. It’s not a work. If Jesus died for “ALL” sins, then he didn’t need ANY help (works) from ANYBODY! Quit trying to reduce the mighty work that Jesus did on the cross for just the “church of Paul.” He did it for EVERYBODY!!! Amen.

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      You are not understanding the issue. The issue is not that Christ needed “help” or that He did not die for everyone. The issue is how God has saved men over time based up Christ’s work. How were Christ’s disciples saved? What did they believe? Did they believe Christ would die for them and be raised? Of course not. They had no clue about Christ’s work on the cross (Luke 18.31-34). They were saved by believing who He was. You continue to avoid the issue of Acts 15 and other passages that militate against your “men have always been saved by faith alone” position (Matthew 6, 19; Mark 1.4, 16.16; Acts 2.36-38, etc.) What you advocate is a theological opinion of the majority, which is not supported by the Scriptures. But the majority are ignorant of the Scriptures. Men and women have always been saved by faith (Hebrews 11). But until Paul they were not saved by faith alone. That is the important distinction. God began a new program with Paul as the apostle of the Gentiles, the apostle of grace.

  42. Brad

    “But until Paul they were not saved by faith alone.” Oh, so Jesus just needed a little help from them along with their faith? Hmm how much works plus faith did it take before the “church of Paul?” Faith plus One sacrifice? 1000 sacrifices? Baloney… Here’s some scriptures for you scripture boy. Galatians 3:11, Habakkuk 2:4, Galatians 3:24, Romans 4, Romans 4:3, Genesis 15:6, Romans 4:6-8, Romans 4:23-24,Isaiah 53, Romans 10:9-10, Galatians 3:8-9, Genesis 12:3, Matthew 1:21, Isaiah 53:5-6, Job 19:25, Acts 4:11-12, Psalm 118:22

    In Christ,

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      You continue to miss the point. I have repeatedly stated Christ’s work was sufficient. He needed no help. What is at stake is obedience. No one knew about salvation about faith alone until Paul. You can’t find anything to support salvation by faith alone before Paul. The passages you cite are all Paul. The non-Pauline passages you provide have nothing to do with salvation by faith alone. You continue to ignore the passages that state that salvation required other things besides faith. It appears you love your theology more than the Scriptures and ignore Scriptures that are against your view. But sound theology requires examination of all passages. Again, I would encourage you to read the Scriptures and find out what they state rather than rely on majority opinion. Grace and peace.

  43. Brad

    No my brain tells me that if Jesus died for ALL Jews ALL sin of the world, then if they (Jews) had to do works to help their salvation (faith +works), then Christ’s work wasn’t enough! It was enough for ALL! Jews AND GENTILES! NO Works required! I’m done… Mark 4:12

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      Your brain tells you one thing and the Scriptures state the opposite. What are we to conclude? Your brain is not lined up with Scripture. That’s the problem. I’ve given you many Scriptures which apparently you refuse to read. As long as you refuse the Scriptures and the Holy Spirit’s guidance you will remain confused and in error.

  44. Faith

    Brad it would also do you well to look at the historical context of Scripture. The idea/concept of “faith alone” did not register with the disciples (and some disciples probably never understood it completely) over night. Like anything in our own lives, spiritually, it takes time to grow and understand. With Paul, however, in Scripture, it is evident that he alone was the only one who received the mystery of the church. I was somewhat like you when I first entered this site- I always thought that the disciples and Paul were all on the same boat, but by going back and rereading and searching I found that what Doctrine said is true. When you look at context and how the disciples were not some superhumans that understood all that Christ did then you will realize that they were godly men who understood things from a Jewish mindset. That did not just go away over night. We tend to do that as Christian Americans because everything happens in a timetable so quick and “answers” are given to us in numerous books and sermons. We do not know how to just relax and be patient and allow God to work in our minds and spirit.

    1. Vanessa

      Faith I agree with what you have said. Hubby and I are on a new journey after 30 years of deception and now we are simply glued to the Bible tearing away at each word and sentence in search of the truth. How we never saw it before shocks us. We simply did not search the scriptures ourselves and Hubby was once a Pastor which makes it worse. I so wish everyone will see the light before the soon to be rapture. Take care.

  45. Brad

    Faith.. I never said that the disciples or old testament saints and followers of the promise knew about faith and faith alone. However, they were justified by faith for salvation just as Abraham was. Just because they didn’t understand it, didn’t mean they were not still justified by faith alone. Abraham didn’t understand that he was being justified by faith for salvation, but he was. Doctrine says he was the only exception. Good grief.. why would God only justify one person by faith alone in the old testament? Where is one scripture specifically showing that anybody was saved by faith + works? Works may seem to be implied in scriptures, but it’s always been faith+0 that saves people. Again, Jesus died for the sin of the world, and nobody helped Him.

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      You continue to miss the point and what is worse, to reject the Scriptures that clearly point out that men before Paul were not justified by faith alone. Peter told the Jews at Pentecost, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” Baptism is a WORK. Mark wrote, “John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.” Baptism is a WORK. Mark wrote, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” Baptism is a WORK. To be baptized for the forgiveness of sins was OBEDIENCE. Faith is believing and obeying what God has revealed. If God said that to be saved one must do three jumping jacks faith would respond by doing three jumping jacks. Jesus’ work on the cross was all-sufficient. But one must respond to God in accordance to what He has said. Before Paul that obedience was faith and works. After Paul, it was faith alone.

  46. Brad

    How wrong you are Doctrine. You.. miss the point. You insist on adding works to the gospel. Baptism was and always will be a reflection of saving faith not a required work. You notice Mark said believe and left baptism out the second time? John the baptist himself said Jesus would come and baptize with the HOLY SPIRIT and with fire. Fire meaning hell if you don’t believe. Baptism was a symbol of what was to come. God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow, and that includes the way of salvation. If it was No works (Romans 4:5) under Paul, then it’s always been No works. If there is one thing God doesn’t alter on is our way of salvation. He had the master plan from day one. These “works” are reflections of faith Not faith itself or a necessary response to faith. Say a man was going up to John to be baptized and he stroked out before he could make it. You think God would send him to hell? His FAITH would have saved him. But you would say.. oh but that would be an exception like Abraham… why is Abraham an exception? Baloney… Faith + nothing = salvation. Always has been; always will be.

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      No. It is not about adding works to the gospel. It is about obeying what God has revealed when He has revealed it. Paul’s revelation, Paul’s gospel was unknown (Romans 16.25) before Paul which is why Paul called it “my gospel” (Romans 2.16, 16.25; 2 Timothy 2.8). Salvation by faith alone was unknown. We KNOW this by the many Scriptures I have provided. We do not find salvation by faith alone in the OT and gospels. When you state baptism is not a work it reveals you do not understand the difference between faith and works. If a person says one can only be saved by believing Christ died for your sins and by water baptism are you going to say water baptism is not a work? In Luke’s account in Acts 15, Paul had to defend his gospel against believers of the Jerusalem assembly. Luke wrote: And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved (Acts 15.1, 5). They knew NOTHING about salvation by faith alone. Read the account. They had a tremendous argument. They told Paul his converts were not saved. In order to be saved they had to be circumcised and keep the Law. These were SAVED men who argued this. They had NOT been saved by faith alone. This is why they argued that faith and works were required and why they argued that Paul’s converts were not saved. They did not know about Paul’s gospel. And why should they? God had revealed this gospel to Paul–“my gospel”–not to them. Reading Paul into the gospels and OT and the gospels and OT into Paul results in confusion and contradiction. If you allow the Scriptures to mean what they say in context everything sorts out beautifully.

      1. Nick


        Since Jesus came Salvation is through Faith in his name. John 3:16 shows how man can be saved even the Jews. It is by Faith in Jesus name. The works that have done (e.g baptism, righteousness) are the fruits of faith since faith means obedience. It is not construed as Faith + work = salvation before Paul came. Salvation is always by Faith in Jesus since he came.

        The indignation of the Jews to the gentiles should be circumcised in order to be saved was caused by their custom. Jews and Gentiles have different customs. That is why Paul contended with Peter why he compelled the gentiles to live as do the Jews. But is does not mean that salvation to the Jews is faith + work. I it always by Faith alone.

        1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

          Faith in Jesus’ name was the gospel of the kingdom. Paul’s gospel of the grace of God was not faith in His name, i.e., in His identity as the Messiah-King of Israel, but faith in his work, that He died for our sins and rose from the dead. Peter did not proclaim this gospel at Pentecost. He didn’t know it. James wrote nothing in his letter that Christ died for our sins and rose from the dead. These were two, separate gospels by which men were saved. You can find no passage (except what Paul used of Abraham in Romans 4) in the Scriptures before Paul that teaches men were saved by faith alone. Many, many Scriptures, however, teach that salvation was by both faith and works. The notion that men have always been saved by faith alone is not Biblical. It has not one shred of Scriptural support.

          1. Nick


            You are wrong of saying that before Paul salvation was faith+work, and that faith alone is not Biblical. Jesus himself manifested that it is faith in him which saves man (Luke 7:50 And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.). Paul preached that salvation is through faith alone in Jesus (Romans 10:12-13) And Peter also preached just like as Paul’s preaching that salvation is through faith alone in Jesus(Acts 2:21 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call(means believe, has faith) on the name of the Lord shall be saved). So before Paul, the preaching of salvation has always been by faith alone in Jesus.

            1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

              The Scriptures do not support your view. See Matthew 6.14-15, 19.16-17; Mark 1.4, 16.16; Luke 10.15-28; Acts 2.38, 15.1, 5. The whole point of the Jerusalem Council was that Paul had to defend his faith + 0 gospel. The Jewish believers rejected Paul’s gospel. They declared Paul’s converts were not saved apart from works–circumcision and keeping the Mosaic Law. They did not proclaim Paul’s gospel. They proclaimed the gospel of the kingdom which required works. This was consistent with the Old Testament. Jews had to exercise faith (Hebrews 11) but they also had to perform works, e.g., bring a sacrifice for forgiveness. To force Acts 2.21 to mean faith alone is not sound interpretation in light of what Peter said just a few verses later (Acts 2.38). Please see my article, The Great Hinge, for more explanation.

    2. Nick


      There is always work in Faith. Faith + work is Faith. Faith + 0 is not faith. Paul teaches that a man must be careful to maintain good works (Titus 3:8), meaning to do good works. Isn’t it a work? In John 5:28-29, Jesus clearly regarded the work of man. Since Jesus came the gospel of salvation is through faith in his name. Why he regarded the works of man? Will we construe this as faith + work? No, it clearly shows what faith is all about. Faith means doing righteousness.

        1. AndrewA

          on a side note to what you said. I think Paul made it absolutely clear on faith+0 being saved with what he said in Romans 10 verse 8-11.

          Specifically verse 9 were Paul roughly says
          Confessing Lord Jesus with your mouth and believing in your heart God raising him from the dead.

          Their seems to be no work mentioned only faith and trust that it is true being the only requirement of being saved, nothing else is mentioned.

  47. Vanessa

    Hello Don,
    Just to give you an update on how our race is still going on. Fast and furious!!!!!We keep finding gems and I have lost count of how many “Of course” moments we have had. We have been told by a Charasmatic friend that we need to be stoned since leaving the movement. The gasps and side glances are obvious but we rejoice and love them all. Sadly those who we have tried to reach out too just don’t get it. Its as if their eyes of their understanding has been blinded, almost like the Jews. No matter how hard we try they wont accept that they have been following a Hybrid Gospel. They cling onto tongues yet lack love which is obvious when they verbally attack us. Thank you from our hearts for all your quick replies. Take care.

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      Thanks for the update. I’m saddened to hear this but understand what you write. It gives one some appreciation of what Paul went through. Some people love tradition and religion more than the Scriptures and this becomes manifest when confronted with the truth. I understand both your joy and frustration. Grace and peace.

  48. George

    Hi bro Don, if the kingdom of God is accesible on earth as is the kingdom of heaven in the millenium, then why does the passage say flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God?

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      Paul is writing to the Church, the body of Christ. Our destiny is heavenly. Resurrection bodies will not have blood (Matthew 24.3-39). Paul is not speaking her of the Millennial kingdom. Another sense is idiomatic “flesh and blood” for “human means” (cf. Matthew 16.17).

  49. Vanessa

    Hello Don, Just to give you another update. We have now begun a small home group with 4 ex Charasmatics and have given them your address. As you know we are new to the Gospel of Paul so we are learning as we progress but its so exciting to see these people have a paradim shift in their thinking. The home cell lasted for over 8 hours. You have been such a great help to us both and we say Thank you Don. We still have many questions and we told the small group that we dont have all the answers. We are so excited to be able to share the Gospel and see first hand how people responsed. Not all have responded kindly. Thank you and take care.

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      This is such wonderful news. I pray God will bless your time together. Nothing is sweeter than studying the Scriptures and having the light go on.

      1. Vanessa

        Sadly this same group dont have time to study and read the Gospel and have put it on hold till next year. I suppose really they did not see the truth and assumed we are lost so the gatherings have stopped. We were for a time hurt as we gave our all. All things work……

  50. Jack S.

    Hello Vanessa,

    My wife and I started a Tuesday night Bible study in our home 2 years ago and it has been very successful. We purchase reasonably priced DVD television programs and program transcript booklets from and show 2 30-minute TV shows each meeting. After the DVD’s we have discussion.

    Of course we comment on and discuss articles posted by Don and they are a great help. Also, Joel Finck’s book The Mystery is a good introductory book that your group might get a lot out of as far as 2 Tim 2:15 Rightly Dividing the word of truth, which is the key to eliminating apparent Bible confusion and contradictions.

    Your new group will be in our prayers.

    Jack S. Meridian, ID

    1. Vanessa

      Hello Jack, I am so sorry I did not reply to you but through you we did order the book. The Home Group is no more. One of the men was not prepared to see that tongues was not for today and we suspect he was the cause of the break up of the group. But coming back to the Book, indeed it was a treasure to read. Thank you for all your prayers. We have no contact with the people as they possibily regard us as deceived as the excuses are obvious. It was painful but we carry on regardless.

  51. Vanessa

    Hello Jack, Thank you for your prayers which blesses us knowing that some where in another part of this world The Brethren cares. We are in South Africa so getting our hands on these articles is not easy but we did purchase 2 copies of Joel Fincks books and have read them. We will be ordering more copies. As for Les Feldick we listen to his teachings every morning on the way to work which we obtained by downloading them through the internet which has been a blessing. We marvel at how God blesses us through a world made A Moral design called the internet. We also ordered a book called “Why so many churches” but sadly my credit card was debited twice for one order and the order was not received on the other side so I am cautious in ordering on the net. We have written many letters to this Baptist Organisation that sells the books but they don’t reply. Thank you for your love and prayers.

  52. Jackson

    The believing Jews Peter preached to from Pentecost where saved by faith and works, my question is how are they restored to salvation or fellowship if they sinned since their salvation was future acts 3vs19.

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      The Jews Peter addressed in Acts 3.19 were unbelievers. As far as believers were concerned, restoration to fellowship was on the basis of 1 John 1.9.

  53. Jackson

    but acts3vs 19 says” repent he therefore, and be converted, that your sins maybe blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the lord.” Please when is the times of refreshing when their sins will be blotted out. Secondly if they repented was their salvation assured from the text. Thirdly if thrie restoration to fellowship was based on 1 john1.9 what about if they refused or forget to confess the sins does that means the fellowship will not be restored, what is your take on that.

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      1. The times of refreshing refer to the coming earthly kingdom. 2. Yes. 3. They would be operating without the control of the Holy Spirit.

  54. Brian Tripp

    Hello & thank you for investing your time helping others.
    You wrote…

    “Paul, as the apostle of the Gentiles and the apostle of grace, did not write believers should “confess” their sins. He wrote they should repent.”

    I have never seen a verse in Paul’s epistles where he told his followers to repent. Please expound if you could help me.

    Thank you!

    Brian T

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      Paul’s use of “repentance” is minimal and with the exception of Romans 2.4 is reserved for believers: 2 Corinthians 7.9-10, 12.21; 2 Timothy 2.25. Paul’s focus was upon “believe.”

    2. Lee Hart

      Paul had no need to tell his readers to repent, or to preach to them, because he was writing to born-again believers: those who have already come to repentance and entered the Kingdom.

      If you have not been born again, you must read the Gospels and seek the Kingdom. If you are in the Kingdom, you may now read the Epistles as though they were written for you.

      1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

        One is saved by faith alone, by believing Paul’s gospel (1 Corinthians 15.1-4). Apart from this no salvation exists (Romans 3.20-22, 4.4-5).

  55. Ralph

    When you reference NIV etc as more proper than KJV on occasion. There pops Up for me a red flag. I did a lenghty study into Wescott and Hort where these other manuscripts were promoted and found a Roman Catholic/Jesuit agenda. John Nelson Darby also took the bait hook line and sinker. I have studied this for years and the more I learn the more cautious I have become. The OSAS issue and many other things were purposly distorted by these false manuscripts to confuse people. The real answeri in my view to this is that God is not limited by the time, space, matter dimensions as we are, He sees our beginning, now and end as one.
    ,space, matter dimensions as we are, He sees our beginning, now and end as one.

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      My point is that no translation is perfect. We have enough manuscript evidence to ensure a sound Bible. The KJV is based upon the “majority text,” mostly Byzantine manuscripts. Other translations (NASB, NIV, NET, etc.) rely more heavily on the “critical text,” composed mostly of Alexanderian and Western manuscripts. We cannot have a perfect translation but we have a sound Bible. Comparing Scripture with Scripture provides an additional check to ensure this. I have not examined W-H. When there is a textual variant I look at the MS evidence itself.

      1. Ralph

        Do you really think God would left His people with a faulty bible in English for 500 years? Please look into The origins of these so called better modern translations derived from the Jesuit planted manuscripts. If you would like I would be happy to forward you a great verse by verse comparison and the background of Wescott and Hort. Please know I am contending for the faith not being contentious.

  56. George

    Hi bro Don, can you please tell me that if grace can never be combined with works, how is it that in all dispensations grace was present. Take for instance Noah who found grace in the sight of the Lord, however Noahs faith was combined with a work( to build the ark ) in order to complete his salvation. So it seems that grace-faith-works were all involved, thus indicating that grace and works have some sort of connection, dont you think? Other examples could be Adam, Israel, trib saints- where evil increased GRACE. much more abounded.

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      It depends on what you mean. Grace and works have always worked hand in hand. In our day, justification is by faith alone. Works are a result. Before Paul, faith and works were required for justification. God has always been gracious for that is His nature. What is different today is that grace is the operational basis of foundation of spiritual life.

        1. GraceReceiver

          Me too, Vanessa! I am blessed not only by reading Don’s responses, but also by reading your posts, Vanessa. I have prayed for you on more than one occasion.

  57. Vanessa

    Thank you GraceReiver. Isnt this what the body of Christ is all about. Here we are millions of miles away, never met yet we have so much in common and that is Christ is the head and we are his body. Though I dont pretend to understand I accept in faith. One day God will explain this all to us. The Internet is run by the NWO (Satan meant it for bad, but God meant it for good.) We are so richly rewarded when reading other peoples comments and Dons site. Thank you for your many prayers. There is such comfort in knowing others are praying for us. May we meet soon in the rapture which is just around th corner. I hope you support a pre trib. More and more are deserting the truth of a pre trib rapture. They got tired of waiting and have gone back into Babylon. They are like Lots wife they miss their past. May we never ever become like is a prayer I often say to the lord. Nice chatting and take care.

  58. Lee Hart

    This article opens with two questions:

    1. What works are necessary to meet God’s approval for righteousness?
    2. How many works are necessary?

    You stated “No one can answer the above questions.”

    I can answer both.


    1. Everything the Lord Jesus commands
    2. All of them

    This is why the Bible says man is justified by works (James 2:24). Because if a man says he trusts Jesus but does not act in accordance with trust, then his trust is not genuine.

      1. Lee Hart

        Hello sir, God bless you for your website, and thank you for your question! :) I hope you will consider my answer seriously, with an open mind.

        I sincerely testify that since I was born again, whatever the Lord Jesus has commanded me to do, I have done it without question, because I trust Him and love Him and He is my Lord and Master!

        Just for example: He commanded me to be baptized, and so I did it! He commanded me to forgive my enemies, and so I did it! He commanded me to make Him first before all else, and so I did it! He commanded me to turn from all my sins, and so I did it!

        Sadly, most Christians will never do this because they like their lives and they like their sins! So really they don’t seek help, they just want their sins excused so they can carry on sinning! Rather like the dog returning to its own vomit (2 Peter 2:22).

        But those who have been truly convicted of sin by the Holy Spirit: they have come to understand that they stood condemned, and they were filled with shame. And they got on their knees and sought help, doing whatever it took to be made right, obeying Jesus Christ, and purging themselves of all sin.

        Now of course, turning away from sin would never be possible for a normal human being, since all humans were born in slavery to sin and no matter how hard they try they cannot ever change because they are born of the flesh, and utterly SLAVES to sin (see Romans 7).

        However, when we have truly repented, obeyed the Gospel, followed after Jesus, and been born of the Holy Spirit: then we are a New Creation, and set free from bondage to sin! Hallelujah! :) (Romans 8:2) And when you have been truly born of God, Jesus’ commands are not burdensome (1 John 5:3). And any Christian who do not keep His commands is a liar (1 John 2:4; 3:22-24; 5:2).

        Now when I tell people that I obey ALL of Jesus’ commands, many Christians conclude that I am a legalist, and putting myself under the Law. They ask me (sarcastically): “Are you able to perfectly keep all of the Commandments of the Law?” (which, I think is what your question may have implied).

        The simple answer is: no, I am not under the Law of Moses, or any Law at all!

        The Commandments of the Law were all part of the Moasic Covenant, and that Covenant has now been completely replaced with the Messianic Covenant (as was always foretold would happen).

        Now this doesn’t mean the Torah is now rendered completely irrelevant—far from it: the whole Torah speaks of God’s eternal, unchanging righteousness and also the whole Torah speaks of Jesus Christ! However, now that the Mosaic Covenant does mean that men can no longer be saved by the Mosaic Covenant.

        Paul makes very clear that Torah observance cannot save any man. This is because there is a whole New Covenant. Man cannot be made truly righteous with an outward Law written on tablets of stone; true righteousness comes about internally by the Holy Spirit. Now in these last days, God’s Law is being placed directly within the hearts of men.

        Therefore the Christian does not put himself under an outward written code of laws (whether it be the 613 commands of the Torah, or the Ten Commandments, or a set of ‘New Testament laws’). But that does not mean the Christian rejects God’s commands!

        The New Testament is not about laws at all. But it DOES contain MANY commands (approximately twice as many as the Law of Moses). The New Testament consistently charges us to forsake “Law”—while simultaneously charging us to obey God’s “commands”. Clearly, these are two different things!

        These commands in the New Testament are not ‘laws’; they are instructions. And there is a crucial difference which the Christian ought to understand!

        To illustrate the difference, let’s suppose that for some reason you got in a car after drinking a little too much and ended up breaking the speed limit, crashing the car, and being arrested by a police officer. Now if that officer held you accountable to the LAW then you would be in serious trouble!

        However, let’s suppose the police officer heard your please for mercy, and saw how sorry you were, and he exercised discretionary mercy, and decided not to report it and to let you go. But he gave you these COMMANDS: you are to make your way home on foot, to sober up, and to never to drink and drive ever again. (“Go, and sin no more” John 8:11).

        Now these instructions are not LAWS; they are COMMANDS. Moreover they are GOOD commands which, when followed, lead to safety, legal impunity, and good standing with the authorities! The grace shown by the police officer was honored, and he is pleased that he was able to see a drunken man reformed and healed, apart from the law.

        A wise man, having realized the seriousness of his mistake, and having received mercy from the authorities, will hear and follow the commands of the One who showed him mercy. The wise man will love the One who showed him mercy and be indebted to Him, and listen to Him and follow His commands.

        Matthew 7
        “24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
        25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
        26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:
        27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.”

        But please note that it is not our ‘final results’ by which our faith is measured, but by our obedience to please (see Matthew 21:28).

        I sum it all up like this:
        ‘Perfection’ (aka ‘sanctification’) = a GRADUAL PROCESS that is DONE TO us.
        ‘Genuine faith’ (aka ‘trust+loyalty’) = an IMMEDIATE ATTITUDE that is SHOWN BY us.

        1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

          This is interesting but what you wrote earlier was that to meet God’s approval for righteousness, i.e., salvation, required keeping all of Christ’s commands. You wrote one is justified by works. But Paul wrote one is saved by faith alone, by believing his gospel (1 Corinthians 15.1-4). Paul wrote one is justified by faith alone, and expressly declared, not by works (Romans 3.20-22, 4.4-5). You wrote the Lord commanded you to be baptized. I assumed you mean water baptism. Where do you find the Lord commanding this for you? Paul stated there was only one baptism (the baptism of the Holy Spirit) in Ephesians 4.5.

            1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

              I do not know a lot about the Jewish roots movement. However, they focus upon the OT and largely reject Paul. One who does that rejects Christianity and salvation by faith alone. Paul taught “no difference” exists between Jew and Gentile in Christ (Romans 10.12; Galatians 3.28) and rejected the Law of Moses as the administrator of Christian living. Paul taught believers of his gospel (1 Corinthians 15.1-4) are under grace under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

            2. Lee Hart

              I have nothing to do with the Hebrew roots movement. I am simply a believer in the Bible, which categorically states that man is justified by works, and gives many examples of this in Hebrews 11.

              1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

                The whole point of Hebrews 11 is to emphasize faith in bringing salvation. In the OT both faith and works were required for salvation. Today, faith alone saves.

          1. Lee Hart

            Well the Bible categorically states that men are saved by works:

            James 2:24
            “Ye see then how that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.”

            Paul never said anywhere that we are not saved by works, he only said that we are not saved by the works of the Law:

            Romans 3:20
            “For by works OF THE LAW no human being will be justified in his sight…”

            Other references to “works” in Romans and Galatians are clearly about the Law (that is, when taken in context, and not preached by in a Sunday morning church service by a corrupt preacher looking to make excuses for his sinful life).

            If works had no part in salvation then Jesus would be a heretic for commanding men to do works such as following Him, turning from their sin, forgiving their enemies, and many other things He commanded.

            The Scriptures attest that salvation comes by trusting Jesus. How can it be genuine if we say we trust Him but do not act in accordance with trust?

            If a man’s wife told her husband that she trusted him, she consistently disobeyed his instructions, would such a ‘trust’ be of any worth to the husband?

            1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

              James wrote to Jews. His letter has nothing to do with the Church, the body of Christ. James was a law-keeping Jew, not a member of the Church, the body of Christ. Jesus ministered to Jews under the Mosaic Law. He had nothing to do with Gentiles except on a couple of occasions (see Matthew 10.5-6; Romans 15.8). Beginning with the risen, glorified Lord’s instruction to Paul we learn about salvation by faith alone. To become a member of the body of Christ, works are forbidden. If one works for salvation he is lost. Anyone who works for salvation is without Christ, without hope, and without eternal life. The Scriptures explicitly state that to become a Christian, a member of the body of Christ, salvation is by faith alone, totally apart from works (Romans 4.4-5; Ephesians 2.8-9). To work for salvation is to reject Christ and disobey His instruction.

              1. Lee Hart

                Goodness, this is shocking teaching sir!

                You believe that James was a law-keeper, a man of the flesh, dead in sin, and not a born-again member of Christ’s body!?

                You believe that “salvation through faith in Christ” was not something that Jesus preached and it came later through Paul, intended only for the Gentiles?

                Forgive me for saying so, but this teaching is so, so terribly, terribly wrong and I have never heard anything like it before. It is so very sad that the owner of “” could have fallen foul to such heresy. So terribly sad. One is almost at a loss as to where to begin in rebuking it, and one almost wonders if attempting to rebuke it would be a waste of time since the Truth is so very far from this website.

                Everything Jesus the Jews taught ties in perfectly with everything Paul taught Gentiles. There is not a single contradiction. It is one Gospel.

                The Word of God declares that there are not two different ways to be saved, only one, through faith in Christ:

                Galatians 3
                “26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
                27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
                28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.”

                1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

                  The problem with comments such as yours is they have no Biblical support. The Twelve, James, etc. were saved but not by believing Christ died for their sins and rose from the dead. We know this because the Bible states it (Luke 18.31-34). Peter did not preach this gospel at Pentecost nor in his next sermon in Acts 3. They had been saved by believing the gospel of the kingdom, that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of God (Matthew 16, John 11). No one had told the Twelve not to keep the Law. They went to the Temple and continued in all things of the Law of Moses. They declared Paul’s Gentile converts were not saved by faith alone (Acts 15.1, 5, cf. Acts 21.18-20). The gospel of grace, salvation by faith alone, was a Pauline revelation he received directly from the risen Lord (1 Corinthians 15.1-4; Galatians 1.11-12). The Scriptures are explicit that no one knew this before Paul.

  59. Anthony

    Hi, I have tried to make contact with but been unsuccessful, so I thought I’d try this way. I want to use the material with your permission on this sight is this possible.

  60. nepthalie bihag

    Hi Don,
    I appreciate your biblical understanding that both Jews and gentles were saved and are saved by faith alone plus nothing since Paul’s time of ministry and onward today! What I understand is that rapture and resurrection is single event in 1 Thess 4:13-18. Jesus said 4 times in John 6:39, 40, 44 and 54 that resurrection at the last day. Therefore, there shall be no second chance for a Jew or gentle for salvation. Your input on this will be greatly appreciated!

    In Service,

  61. George

    Hello bro Don, can you please explain to me, in the book of Romans it seems that doing works whether it be in the age of grace or the age before the law or the age of the law ARE NOT required for salvation but RATHER faith and only faith. WORKS seem to be only a result of you having faith. However in the kingdom of the kingdom apart from the book of romans we see things as being blameless in the law, faith without works being dead, millenial works program, taking the mark a work the seals your doom, not helping the Jew in trib making you a goat. These are works and not clear of how many are required also that verse in Hebrews where you lose salvatiom and cannot get it back. How do you interpret Romans in the light of these works trumping faith only passages ?

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      Salvation in the Old Testament is hard to put one’s finger on. One had to offer animals sacrifices when possible. That was a work. Water baptism, a work, was required for salvation during Jesus’ earthy ministry and beyond (Mark 1.4, 16.16; Acts 2.38). The truth of salvation by faith alone as doctrine began with Paul. Those addressed in Hebrews 6 were Jews. Whether they had salvation or not is questionable. The point of this passage was if a Jew turned from Christ and all that had been experienced, i.e., the advent of the Holy Spirit, the witnesses miracles, etc. and went back to Judaism, it was impossible to renew them to repentance.

  62. Roger Spielmann

    I just finished reading the article and subsequent posts and I thought about something I’ve never heard about before. I hope you can help. Paul’s gospel is to believe (1) Jesus died for our sins, and (2) that God raised him from the dead.

    My question is: Why tack on the resurrection? Isn’t it enough to simply believe that Jesus died for our sins? Sure, it may be God’s stamp of approval or perhaps a way of saying “And this proves that he died for our sins,” but what does it have to do with salvation?

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      The resurrection of Christ is the proof of the effectiveness of His work on the cross. Without Christ’s resurrection, Christianity does not exist (1 Corinthians 15.14) and no sins have been forgiven (1 Corinthians 15.17). Christ’s resurrection is the center of gravity of Christianity. Read 1 Corinthians 15 for the full picture.

      1. Roger Spielmann

        Thank you. You don’t need to respond to this post, but I just don’t understand. You wrote, “The resurrection of Christ is the proof of the effectiveness of His work on the cross. Without Christ’s resurrection, Christianity does not exist (1 Corinthians 15.14) and no sins have been forgiven (1 Corinthians 15.17).”

        I believe in the resurrection, but it’s, as you wrote, the “proof” that he died for our sins. But I still don’t understand your claim that “Without the resurrection, Christianity does not exist,” or that “No sins have been forgiven.” I know Paul makes the same claim, but it doesn’t make sense to me. Thank you

        1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

          Had Christ not risen from the dead He would have remained dead. He would have failed. No sins would have been forgiven since the wages of sin is death. His resurrection demonstrated He overcame death, the penalty of sin, because He paid the penalty for all sins.

  63. Roger Spielmann

    In your last post you wrote, “Had Christ not risen from the dead He would have remained dead. He would have failed. No sins would have been forgiven…” I still don’t understand. Like, it’s nice to have the “proof” of the efficacy of the cross, but that “proof” has nothing to do with the act of sacrifice, as far as I can tell. Had he not been resurrected, would he not have gone directly (back) to heaven after his death? Most Christians, I imagine, believe in a literal bodily resurrection, but what was accomplished by the cross would certainly remain without the resurrection, wouldn’t you agree?

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      No. Had Jesus not been raised sin and death would have have won. God cannot die but man can. God would have returned to heaven but Jesus, the man, would have remained dead. All hope for the human race would have ended.

  64. Larry

    I agree wholeheartedly with your statement that salvation, my salvation, is based on a work by God and God alone; it is the work that Christ accomplished on the cross!
    But I’m a little confused by some of the verses you referenced for assurance, particularly, 1Cor 15:1-4, because verse 2 is a conditional statement based on “if you hold fast and keep firmly” (Amplified); it seems to be saying that the salvation referred to here is based on some work, the “holding fast,” by the reader; it seems to me that this salvation is not our initial salvation, but a reference to our future salvation of the soul spoken of in 1Pet 1:6-9; which is the same thing spoken of in the verses you mention about the “hope” that we have; we don’t hope for a gift that’s been given and received but for something in which the outcome is not sure, like the receiving of or loss of reward at the judgment seat of Christ; all this, to me, relates to Paul’s “my gospel” as you have written about; blessings…

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      The assumption in 1 Corinthians 15 is they truly believed. 1 Corinthians 15.1-4 is the clearest statement of Paul’s gospel and it by believing it that we are saved. That is why I cited it as a verse of assurance.

  65. Marcus

    Would it be helpful to distinguish between ‘Eternal’ salvation and ‘Temporal’ salvation? One ‘has’ eternal life, you are saved for eternity. This can be rejected but not lost. We ARE saved (Eternal), we are BEING saved (Temporal) and we WILL BE saved (Eternal)

    A work of transformation occurs in us;
    Philippians 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:
    Philippians 2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
    Ephesians 5:26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word.
    The work is all His, HE sanctifies and cleanses us BY the Holy Spirit as we do our part by desiring to please Him and walking according to His Word.
    Ephesians 6:10-18.

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      I think such terminology would not be helpful to most. Eternal life begins the moment one believes Paul’s gospel (1 Corinthians 15.1-4). This is justification in which God declares us righteous. Sanctification takes place during one’s life in which the believer experientially lives a holy life. Glorification (resurrection) takes place at the Rapture in which all members of the body of Christ receive resurrection bodies.

  66. Marcus

    Sure, the reason I use that terminology is because many (pro theologians included) see Philippians 2:12 and think (or teach) that we have to “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” not realizing that it is sanctification or ‘temporal’ salvation. I just felt whatever words we use we need to be clear as to the difference. Thank you.

  67. Phebe

    I completely agree that Salvation is by Faith alone and it is God’s free Gift to mankind.

    However I disagree that Salvation Gospel came only after Paul. This Gospel was preached in Old Testament times and Isaiah 53 is full proof. Lord Jesus -not only being the Messiah – King of Jews as the Jews misunderstood but as the “anointed one” (Verse 7-He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter,) to take away the sins of the world.
    In Isaiah 52:15 – Bible does not say about Israel but about many Nations -“So shall he sprinkle many nations; the kings shall shut their mouths at him: for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider.”

    Lord Jesus Salvation Gospel – which by itself means the “Good news of Love” was prophesied way back even before Isaiah.
    Genesis 12:3 – in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. – Abraham’s faith was the sample of God’s plan for Salvation to mankind, not to his family alone. (Jewish clan) but to ALL FAMILIES.
    A Gentile – Melchizedek, the king of Salem, who is a Canaanite and is remarkably called a priest of God Most High (Gen 14:18) This proves that Salvation to all not only Jews was through FAITH.
    The book of Jonah is dedicated to the salvation of a Gentile city – the people of Nineveh
    Did they see the God of Jacob or Israel- No it was pure FAITH.

    The real problem was in Jews not understanding the scripture in its right sense. They were waiting for a Messiah who will be King (in worldly manner) when Lord Yahwah always was trying to make them understand through many prophets that the King was to redeem them from internal sin by giving Spiritual eternal life.

    Even Lord Jesus was quite fed up with His disciples because even though they recognized that Jesus was the Messiah – they never understood the real concept of the coming of Messiah. Matthew 16:21, 17:23, 20:18 – 3 times Lord Jesus tried to explain HIS purpose of Kingly victory over death and Satan and to redeem Mankind to HIS fold. They never understood – even after Resurrection Lord Jesus explained in Luke 24:25,26,27 – Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken:…….. And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.
    Luke 24:46,47 – And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

    Lord Jesus said -TO ALL NATIONS beginning at Jerusalem.
    God longs for all of His creation to come to an intimate knowledge of Him and then advance His kingdom to the ends of the earth.
    No matter Christ explained all – the disciples/apostles could not digest the fact that God was wanting to include the Gentiles, they continued to preach among the Jews.

    The WILL/ Prophesy of GOD needs to accomplished – if the 12 apostles/disciples did not do it, then God in HIS great wisdom will raise another servant to fulfill HIS great wonderful prophesy and that is Apostle Paul. Saul was a faithful follower of MOSAIC LAW very strict in discipline to Yahwah commands and very learned……….so God choose him and revealed HIMSELF to Saul who became Paul. He was a quick decision maker and the moment he understood the revelation of the Scripture, he preached the Gospel the way God intended him to. Its that simple.

    So please do not say Lord Jesus Gospel is different from Paul – you will then be insulting Lord God HIMSELF.

    Of course Lord Jesus is coming again. First time HE came as the Lamb to conquer death and next as a Lion of Judah to put an end to Satan, does that mean Lord Jesus is not King of gentiles – NO. Its just a term used to say because He loved Abraham, Issac and Jacob.
    Acts 2:21 – And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

    Any individual who understand God’s love revealed through Lord Jesus and the reason why Lord Jesus died on the Cross of Calvary and anyone who call on HIM to attain Salvation will be saved. Its all Faith and Trust and Belief. Nothing more, so we do not take the Glory – Its God’s grace and mercy that we understand this wonderful love.

    Anyone who truly loves God because HE loved us first, will want to show the goodness of God’s character in our lives – “That is works”, when we live a Godly life it helps in other seeing Christ through us. What use we say we have faith in God and behave like any other pagan……how will we reveal the Glory of God in our life? When we continue in sin, we dishonor God and are bad witness to all unbeliever.

    Acts 4:33 – And with great power gave the apostles their witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.

    When we preach Christ to our friends and neighbor, we need to be good witness of Christ. They will love the God we preach by just seeing our lives, that is why James in his epistle said – what use you say you have faith when we cannot see it in your life. You are no different from us.
    This verse James 2:14 – What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?
    This does not talk about salvation of oneself, it talks about the witness of an individuals life that can make others to say NO to Christ because of our failure in the way we live(Works).
    Our preaching of faith will not help in saving another soul if our works are bad- this is more on sanctification of one’s own life to gain another soul to Christ.
    No use saying we have a God who loved us and forgives us sins – so all we need is to believe or have Faith that HE will save us – Why? even the devil believe there is God – are we preaching Gospel to make more devils?
    Gospel is not about simply making everyone to believe that God saves everyone through Lord Jesus……. it is also about following the Leader.

    First understand Why God’s called himself I AM – the YHWH (Jehovah is utterly wrong way of calling HIS Name) The meaning is I AM Love, I AM provider, I AM protector etc.. When Moses asked to see God’s Glory, God said – I will show you my Goodness – That is the attribute of God, and God expects some sort of obedience to HIS way of life. He saw much of that in Noah, Abraham, Moses, Daniel etc – they had faith and they proved their faith through their obedience. Now you are preaching – Faith is enough -without obedience (works) is OK – please be careful what you teach….. or you will be misguiding people.

    Of course we dont lose our salvation, but we will be the reason that others dont get saved. So dont go around saying works is not required – Yes Work is required if we want to spread the Gospel to all nations. If we are so selfish that its enough “I get saved, I dont care if others get saved or not” – continue this teaching. But you will be accountable to God. Of couse just like God used Paul to accomplish his prophesy to all nation, God will raise another person to reach out to all that are called, but where is our faithfulness to God. Our arrogance makes us say – God is faithful so I trust HIM, no matter i behave anyway HE will take me to heaven.

    There is only one GOSPEL – The Good news of God love. It was planned even before the foundation of the world. It just got accomplished 2016 years ago and much more prophesy is yet to be accomplished. May God great name be magnified.

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      The Jews had no understanding of Isaiah 53. Read what Peter told the Jews at Pentecost. Did he tell them Christ died for their sins and rose from the dead? No, he told them to repent and be baptized for salvation. The gospel Paul proclaimed (1 Corinthians 15.1-4) was unknown before God revealed it to Paul. The apostles at Jerusalem had no understanding of this gospel. This is evident from Acts 15. They told Paul’s converts they had to be circumcised and keep the Mosaic Law to be saved (Acts 15.1, 5). There is but one gospel today, but from the time Paul returned from Arabia (where he received the gospel of grace) until Acts 15.11, there were two valid gospels. See my article, The Great Hinge. Anyone who teaches Paul proclaimed the same gospel as the Twelve is teaching in opposition to the Scriptures. Paul received his gospel directly from the risen Lord (Galatians 1.11-12) and it is evident the Twelve had no understanding of it since there is no record they proclaimed this gospel. See also Luke 18.31-34. Paul is the founder of the Church through his commission from the Lord. The Twelve never had a ministry to Gentiles. They ministered to Jews only. Regarding Melchizedek, see my article, Melchizedek and the Most High God.

      1. Phebe

        Did Paul Repent – Did he get Baptised?
        Acts 9:17 – And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.
        18- And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized.
        20 – And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God.

        Lets read Acts Chapter 22 where Paul is making his own personal witness on the defense stand about Repentance and Baptism.

        Acts 22:13 – Came unto me, and stood, and said unto me, Brother Saul, receive thy sight. And the same hour I looked up upon him.
        16 – And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.

        1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

          Paul was saved under the Jewish program of the gospel of the kingdom. Water baptism was required under that program according to Mark 1.4, 16.16; Acts 2.36-38). The faith portion of that gospel was to believe Jesus was the Christ, the Son of God. This explains why Paul preached this in the synagogues immediately after his salvation. Paul did not believe that Christ died for his sins and rose from the dead for his justification. That was not known. Not a single verse will support this until the Lord revealed this gospel to Paul (Galatians 1.11-12). After this, that was all Paul preached.

  68. Phebe

    I will pray for you dear Brother because you cleverly removed the facts of the Holy word of God I posted twice proving every word that you wrote was wrong. Please preach the Bible – not what we understand of the Bible.

    Beware of wolf’s that come in sheeps clothings – ( unfortunately some of us can get carried away with some weird doctrine, but we can always come back and apologize when we understand better) hope God will enlighten you if not now – at least in a later stage – but always remember – you already have misled many away from the teaching’s of our Sweet Lord Jesus Christ and turned them to Paul who you think is better than Lord Jesus. I greatly feel sorry for you.

    In order not to mislead anymore people, I suggest you delete the entire doctrine in this website thinking it will benefit. At least others may not get mislead. There are many ways to handle a misguided doctrine, please take appropriate action to Glory God. Thereby we do not steal the Glory of God.

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      I answered your comments and gave you passages to consider. Apparently, you did not. I deleted your other extremely long comments because I have answered them in my articles and in responses to others who had written similar things. Your comments reveal you recognize the Lord’s earthly ministry, but not His heavenly ministry. In His heavenly ministry, the Lord gave Paul the doctrines of the Church, the body of Christ. The Lord gave Paul these doctrines, just as He gave the Law to Moses. Paul is not greater than His master. By rejecting Paul you dishonor Christ, just as a Jew who rejected the Law would have dishonored the God who gave Moses the Law. No one exalted Christ more than Paul. Only through Paul do we have the gospel by which one is saved (1 Corinthians 15.1-4). This gospel was unknown before Paul as is evident through many passages (see my article, The Great Hinge). If you will read your Bible instead of exalting tradition above the Scriptures, this will become clear. The Lord Jesus Christ will judge the world through Paul’s gospel (Romans 2.16). If you do not know Christ, I hope you will believe Paul’s gospel and be saved (1 Corinthians 15.1-4).

  69. Isaac

    Hi Doctrine,
    I commend you for the depth of scripture in you.

    Two questions in regards to the Once saved always saved
    i, Whats your take with the parable of the ten foolish/wise virgins. Doesn’t it mean there will be believers who wont inherit the kingdom of God/ Eternal Life with Christ? Matthew 25:1-13
    ii, If believers/Christians have an assurance of salvation, why then does scripture advise us to watch out for false prophets? Even if i take heed to their false doctrines yet trust that Jesus died for my sins and rose,, wont i be a partaker of the kingdom?

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      One must distinguish who is speaking and the context of the passage. The Lord in His earthly ministry spoke to Jews. He had one message: the kingdom. That kingdom was the one promised by the prophets (cf. Matthew 6.10). See my articles, The Kingdom of God. When the Beast appears, he will be the counterfeit Christ. That is why the Lord warned so much about not being deceived. This is what the book of Revelation is all about. Note especially the language the Lord gave to the 7 Jewish assemblies in Revelation 2-3. See my article, Understanding the Book of Revelation. When Paul spoke of the kingdom of God he usually meant the overall rule of God, not the kingdom on earth. We have no fear to being deceived by the Antichrist for we will not be here. The warnings we have are about not following Paul’s teachings. See my article, Follow Paul? See 2 Corinthians 11, Philippians 4.9. The warnings are not about losing salvation but in being led astray and compromising our walk with the Lord and potential rewards.

  70. Brother Mike

    Yoy are a extreme blessing to the Body of Christ!What is your stance on the once saved always saved debate?And what are your thoughts on a Pastor that is gives great sermons but never gives an invitation to become a believer but always asks people to come to the alter for prayer and does ask people to join the church (that he has planted or you know church where he is the Pastor).Ive expressed my concerns of he’s NOT fulfilling a very important part of the call for any Pastor or mature believer and he seems to suggest he doesnt do it because he councils individuals and thinks their not ready or seems to suggest he doesn’t because of the caliber of the people that go there.He did say he’d give me the responsibility at the end of a sermon,i think that would be great but also kind of odd being he had just brought the sermon,give me your honest thoughts,thanks!

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      Brother Mike,
      If one truly believes the gospel (1 Corinthians 15.1-4) one is saved. It is God who gives life, who has given promises. I think a pastor’s primary responsibility is to faithfully proclaim the gospel and teach the Word of God. If he does this, God the Holy Spirit will work on hearts and people will be saved and then grow in grace.

  71. Brother Mike

    Amen!But he’s not proclaiming the Gospel EVER but does ask people to become members of the church and does alter calls,ive shared my concerns and he seems to listen but keeps doing the same thing,should i just leave?Also do you think someone can lose their salvation?and last question i from studies DON’T think it applies to us but what is your stance on the tithe for the New Testament Church?Thanks for answering my questions brother,i HIGHLY respect your Biblically sound advice.

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      Brother Mike,
      Trust the Lord. He will guide you about staying or leaving. I’m afraid your pastor is putting the cart before the horse. If people get saved they will join without appeals. No true believer can lose his salvation. The tithe was part of the Mosaic Law and does not apply to us since we are under the administration of the Holy Spirit. As such, giving is a part of that administration. If pastors and churches are faithful people will give. See 2 Corinthans 9 about giving.

  72. Brother Mike

    Amen,Amen and Amen!thank you brother i i really appreciate it and everything you said lets me know my plublin/discernment is leading me the right way.Ive been part of 4 to 5 different ministries since God saved me in 2008 and its beginning to seem like the norm of the tithe being pressed in every one of them (and i believe in giving to the church in solid numbers as well as to the homeless,kids going without and more)but like you mentioned Pauls instructions to us as the church enlightened me,that tradition ive seen is HARD for most to let go of not to mention the Gospel to be believed and we’re saved NOT being preached!Most run to John 3:16 or just accept Him in you heart or they will preach half of the Gospel or better yet 1/3,they’ll mention His death but leave out His burial and resurrection!Les Feldick ive studied with a few years by way of the Holy Spirit first opened my eyes to the Truth and finding you on here i cant go to this website enough!and try to turn others on but in most cases they think im in left field.Thanks for your expedient response!i have a few mor questions.1)Why do you think God seemed so harsh in the Old Testament and they didnt have the indwelling Holy Spirit as we do?2)Why was multiple wives and concubines seemed to be accepted without swift and harsh punishment 3)Which ministry or ministies have you found or Pastor/Pastors very closely line up with the truth as God has blessed US to understand?4)did your gain further insight on a good question some had asked you a while ago about the “if you continue to believe”like one is found within the Scriptures of 1 Corinthians 15 :1-4. 5)where do i get the books you refer to people youve written? Last question,i understand how the Old Testament economy is to go,Acts is a transitional Book,from Romans to Philemon are for us Gentiles but please give me better understanding on how we should understand Hebrews,James,Peter,Jude,Revelation;its like i understand its to Jewish Christians but how are WE to understand it toward us as far as teachings we are to apply to US as Gentiles.Thank you VERY much brother!May God continue to bless you and your ministry,i thank God for brethren/teachers of His Word like you.Do you come anywhere close to the Omaha area to speak/Pastor or teach classes?there i go another question,lol.Pardon me if i can be a bit much i just LOVE God and His Word and highly desire to be very Biblically mature like you so i’ll better know His will so i can better live it out and witness correctly.Thanks again Doctrine may our True God bless you exceedingly and abundantly MORE than we can ask or think!In our Lord Jesus Christ Name,Amen!!!!!!!!

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      Brother Mike,
      I cannot answer your questions about harshness, multiple wives except to say that was the way God chose to deal with people during that time. An answer to this question would also be lengthy. As for the “if” of 1 Corinthians 15, this is a simple condition, a.k.a. a 1st class condition, with εἰ + the indicative (the mood of reality). Thus, it is assumed to be true. The verse would be better rendered “if you possess what I preached to you unless you believed in vain,” i.e., really did not believe. I would encourage you to read C. R. Stam’s commentary on Acts. It is essential. See The non-Pauline letters were written to Jewish believers, saved under the kingdom program. They are FOR us but not TO us (Romans 15.4; 1 Corinthians 10.11). Jesus becomes Lord of our lives as we allow the Holy Spirit to control us (Galatians 5.16-26). As for tongues, see my article, Sign Gifts: Valid Today? Grace and peace.

  73. Brother Mike

    Thanks very much for answering all the questions i had and being faithful in your teaching of God’s Word.There were 2 that were missed though;1)Which ministry or ministies online would you refer me to that preach a teach the truth as Godhas blessed us to understand.I attend church regularly and during the week i study the Word,read and study,study with Les Feldick and go to,J.Vernon Mcgee and Adrian Rodgers i listen to alot,also Robert Jeffries,any particular ministry you would point me to i can possibly listen to online to help me continue to grow in understanding God’s Word? 2)Do you travel and teach/Pastor?im in Omaha,Ne.I cant thank you enough brother for everything! 3)is there an address to send gifts or monetary gifts?God bless you brother and please continue to bless the Body of Christ and the lost with the gift God has blessed you with!Jesus Christ is Lord!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      Brother Mike,
      I recommend Les Feldick and also the Berean Bible Society. You might contact them for a church in your area. I do not travel or teach outside my local area as the Lord has not opened a door to do that. Thank you for your monetary gift offer but I do not accept them. Please send them to Les or the Bereans. Thank you for all your kind words and gracious encouragement.

  74. Brother Mike

    Anen bro!i will be praying for God to open doors for you to teach God willing not just around the US but worldwide!Your Biblical understanding is second to none and well needed throughout the Body of Christ.Im sure you’ll hear from me again soon,thanks again for sharing your time and gift with me.I thank God for brethren luke you who are helping to equip me to teach and minister to my family,,the Body of Christ and the lost and be confident in my understanding of God’s Awesome Word!

  75. George

    Hello, can u please explain this verse concerning eternal security for those of the body of Christ ” Romans 8:14 KJV
    [14] For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
    But what about those yhat are Not led by the Spirit of God, can they be called sons of God, if the opposite of this verse is true than those that are not led are not sons of God?! What do you think bro Don?

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      Paul’s statement here was not a test of salvation but simply to say that all sons of God have the Spirit of God. Sometimes believers are led by the Spirit of God and sometimes not but alll true believers are indwelt by Him. Paul’s encouragement is that we should live Spirit-controlled lives.

  76. GraceParadise

    For Mike who is thirsting for more, & for Doctrine: Have you heard of the site? They are also “Mid-Acts” & also have a great site w/many articles & sermon audios/videos, etc.

  77. George

    Hello bro Don, if a body of Christ member commits a hineous crime against humanity, will he or she still be eternally secure? And what if the consequences in heaven as sin will not be judged at the judgement seat of Christ?

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      Believers cannot lose salvation. All sin was judged at the cross. Works are judged at the judgment seat of Christ. God can take out a believer who sins (see Paul’s decision regarding immorality in 1 Corinthians 5. Paul also stated those who abused the Lord’s supper were sick and some had died (1 Corinthians 11).

  78. George

    Hello Bro Don, your answers have been very helpful. I have another question for you, the IF of this verse seems to put eternal security at risk, “Colossians 1:23 KJV
    [23] If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister; how do you reconcile this statement via the colon. is it the he antecedent verse just before or a few verses upward where Paul
    Talks about walking the good walk, verse 10 ? Thank you!


    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      The Greek condition in Colossians is assumed to be true. A better translation would be, “21 And you, being once alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now he reconciled 22 In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: 23 since you are continuing in the faith grounded and settled, and not being moved away from the hope of the gospel, which you heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; which I Paul am beome a minister.” Note verbs, which I have translated literally.

  79. Brandon

    Hi Don,

    I am having some difficulties understanding 1 Thessalonians 4:8.

    Does it mean if you choose to sin, you are rejecting God’s gift of salvation?


    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      Paul was writing believers about sanctification. See the verses preceding 4.8. What Paul means here is that Paul’s admonishment is from God, not man. To despise it is to reject God’s command that we are to be holy. Paul’s mentions the Holy Spirit for He indwells us and we should be holy vessels because of this.

  80. Becky

    this is a reply to Anonymous regarding his post on July 6th (the reply button does not appear below his comment):

    2Co 13:5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?

  81. Becky

    If I may, could you please post this under Anonymous’ last post dated the 13th as the reply button does not appear.

    Anonymous, there is nothing in our natural minds that can explain “the Word became flesh”:
    Joh 1:14  And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. 

    1Co 2:14  But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 

    I pray that if you are truly searching, the Lord will open your eyes

  82. Becky

    I came across this verse this morning and thought of you

    Isa 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

  83. Kaitmo

    For what is worth Don here are my comments on the “if” in 1 Cor 15:2.

    It is interesting that Paul mentions this immediately after he has just declared the content of the Gospel message including the death, burial and especially the ressurection of Christ he states this;

    “if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.”

    What was it that they were not keeping in memory? I believe it was the Ressurection because that was was being challenged and would also challenge Paul’s preaching etc,.and thus their salvation.

    1Co 15:12  Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?
    1Co 15:13  But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen.
    1Co 15:14  And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.
    1Co 15:15  Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not.
    1Co 15:16  For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised:
    1Co 15:17  And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.
    Cf. 2Ti 2:17-18. 

    Rom 4:25  Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.

    That’s how I see it but open for comments. Thanks.

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      The “keep in memory” translation is poor. A better translation for κατέχω is “possess what I proclaimed to you.” This fits with Paul’s later statement, “unless you believed in vain” or better, “unless you really didn’t believe.”

      1. Bmariez

        I disagree with your definition/translation of “believed in vain” to “unless you really didn’t believe.” If you compare v.14, your definition doesn’t make sense. It has nothing to do with unbelief, but rather. believed in something that is baseless, basically “believed for nothing.”

        1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

          The contexts are different as are the words. In 1 Corinthians 15.2 Paul used the word εἰκῇ but in verse 14 he used κενὴ.

          1. Becky

            “In vain” in verse 2 doesnt translate into “never really,” as you said, at least not to my understanding of Strong’s word. Can you please expain the Greek word for “in vain”?

            Btw i sent you a question a couple times under Baptism, just wondering if you missed it, thanks

  84. Becky (Bmariez)

    Sorry, i misquoted you. You didn’t say “never really,” you actually said “unless you really didn’t believe.”
    With that said, Paul, in the context of the chapter, is not questioning their belief, but rather, what they believe. The temptaion they are facing is denying the resurrection. In verses 3 and 4, he explains what his gospel is: the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. He is telling them, If you leave out the resurrection, your belief is in vain because you can’t be saved if Jesus was not raised.

    Actually, v.2 takes me to Luk 8:13  They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.

    So again, Paul isn’t suggesting the possibility that they “really didn’t believe.” He is addressing the vanity of believing that the death and burial of Jesus without the resurrection can save them, and if they believe this, then their belief is truly “without cause” and they are still in their sins.

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      Paul wished to established the importance of the resurrection. To do that, he reminded them of his gospel by defining it: Christ died for our sins, was buried, and rose from the dead. Paul stated they were saved if they possessed what he proclaimed to them: Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection. Paul’s gospel is a package. There is no gospel that Christ died for our sins without His resurrection. Some of the Corinthians were questioning the resurrection (1 Corinthians 15.12). Thus, he asked if they had really believed his gospel for to believe it means to believe both things—Christ’s death for our sins and His resurrection. Paul then went on to elaborate the importance of the resurrection—if Christ was not raised, there is no salvation and no gospel. The word εἰκῇ in verse 2 means “without success”—that they had not in fact believed. This fits with κατέχω which means to “possess.” It is essentially a Hebraism, a parallel repetition.

  85. Sean

    Hi, I’m writing for clarification on this sentence: “Only one righteous man has ever lived–Jesus Christ.”

    Gen 15:6 and Romans 4:3;22 state that because Abraham was strong in faith, God credited to him [Abraham] as righteousness.

    Just trying to work out my understanding of this thanks!

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      God created Adam perfect. He sinned. All humans after him aside from Christ are sinners. He alone was/is sinless. Abraham’s righteousness was God’s righteousness. All righteousness men have is a gift of God, not on their merit or by their own nature.

  86. Bahati

    Dear Doctrine,
    Thank you for taking time and considering it worthwhile to respond despite your several other calls that seek your attention. Here Iam with some more observations.
    During our Bible study the day before, the following facts emerged; For many people,the requirements for attaining salvation sounds too easy for the hard task it has to accomplish.
    To the unsaved, they feel that a mare belief(faith) can’t cleanse them or free them from the effects of sin.
    Whereas to the saved, most feel that just by faith, they can’t be sustained spiritually. The task seems to tough to be resolved by a mare belief. As such they end up nullifying the Cross through seeking to add weight to the seemingly too simple . What a Loss?..
    As we were pondering on that, we even went as far as..asking “Does God make too simple a demand that people underestimate its effective power? Could people have had wanted a tougher procedure of meeting salvation?..

    God knows the end from the beginning. Ours is only thanks that He showed us what the wise of this world study and search in vain. Nevertheless we pray that God may enlighten others to acknowledge God’s sovereignty in everything including people’s thoughts.

    Your input would be highly appreciated.

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      God demonstrated His great love for us in sending Christ to die for our sins (Romans 5.8). When Christ went to the cross, He did all the work. He suffered God’s judgment for every person. Christ paid the penalty for sin. This is love. Salvation from the penalty of sin and death is God’s gift to all who will trust Him. This is the issue: will a person believe what God has said? God did what we cannot. God requires absolute holiness. Do any of those with you think they can be perfect and holy on their own? Can anyone stand before God with his own righteousness? But God gives the one who will trust Him His righteousness. That is what counts (Romans 3.26). God’s righteousness, eternal life is a gift (Romans 5.15-18, 6.23; Ephesians 2.8). So ask your people to do something really hard: believe God. Faith is the way of the Christian life. We live by faith, we trust God. This is the way of salvation and sanctification (Romans 6.11). Trust.

      1. Bobbi

        Bahati and Don,
        I had someone tell me that too…:( However… the scriptures speak for themselves.

        Ephesians 2:11 KJV — Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; 12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: 13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.

        This passage speaks of all men, at one time, being separated from God. “Without God”. This after much study shows we were actually “in captivity” ! And to darkness even!
        John 8:34 KJV — Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.
        Col. 1:12-15… says we were in captivity to the kingdom of darkness! This is a stunning and powerful statement!

        The thing is it is hard for a human to be honest and to know we can’t help ourselves… man seeks to justify ourselves by any possible means when we are (were) carnal.

        Proverbs 16:25 KJV — There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. (This speaks of captivity to a way that is not God’s way)
        Jeremiah 17:9 KJV — The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
        There is a thread of this evil captivity that runs all the way through the scriptures from the beginning… ! A good book I read on this was “Satan’s Plan of Evil”, by Keith Blades. Not a technical book but very clear and easy to read.

        I wonder if the understanding of how God sees us comes from him through the reading of scripture and Holy Spirit… I think it does:) Thus we can just read and keep studying the scriptures together, and let God work in the hearts of men! It’s wonderful you get to have a Bible study in your home Bahati!
        God bless you!

  87. Bahati

    Dear Don and Bobbi,
    Thank you for your enlightening and encouraging words. May God bless you.
    Wow, it’s interestingly amazing.
    So it’s a hard task “to believe God.” Its the idea that was at the farthest part of my brain. All this while I used to think that its so simple to just believe God for salvation as opposed to doing something for salvation. And its what many people advocate. They say its very easy to get saved… ‘Just believe’. They claim that it costs nothing. But in a short moment you will hear them demanding the members to do works of the law to show them or to prove that one has indeed been saved. But I have discovered that the opposite is true. To believe God is the hardest thing on earth man can manage to do. I now realise that many people prefer that God should demand that they do something to meet salvation and to stay in salvation. They fail to believe and accept that salvation has taken place in their spirit.
    So I have an observation concerning “Nullification of Jesus’ Death”.. .by those who seek justification by doing works.
    Galatians 2:21says..(I do not misapply God’s grace, for if righteousness comes about by doing what the Law requires, then the Messiah died for nothing,).
    Does the Bible categorise such people as saved or unsaved?
    Because its the main challenge with people whom I don’t doubt they believed the gospel but they are tempted to live not by faith alone. 1. Under what category are such people? 2. What is our role towards them?
    3. Are they working for Jesus or against Jesus?
    What does the Bible clearly say regarding this?
    Your input is highly anticipated.

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      Salvation in our age is faith + 0. One must rely solely on Christ’s death and resurrection apart from works for salvation. Works come as a result of salvation, not as its requirement. The great temptation of fallen man is to not believe what God has said. Man wants to “add to” or “delete from” what God has said. Proverbs warns, “There is a way which seems right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death (Proverbs 14.12). Paul wrote in Romans 1.16, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believes; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” He did not write, “to every one that believes and does good works.” It is just “believes.” Those who think they are Christians on the basis of faith and works are not Christians. They have disobeyed/not believed what God has revealed.

        1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

          God justifies the one who has faith in Jesus, the one who has believed Paul’s gospel. Believing in Jesus according to Paul is the one who believes Christ died for their sins and rose from the dead.

          1. Paxuh

            So you relay your faith on theories based on few passages like 1 Cor 15:1-4, instead of believing on having a personal belief and relationship with Jesus Christ? What I think Paul was trying to explain in this passage above, is that hearing about the gospel of grace, the message about the cross, Jesus Christ crucified will lead to personal relationship with Christ, living in heart by faith as Paul wrote. I think Ephesians 1:11-13 also substantiates that.

            1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

              If I understand you, you don’t believe one is saved by believing Christ died for your sins and rose from the dead. The Scriptures tell us to believe the gospel, not have a “personal relationship” with Christ.

    2. Bobbi

      Hi brethren …:)
      Paul speaks much of our gospel and doctrine. The best thing I believe we can do above all else is to know our doctrine and stand. The Lord is the judge and he knows those who are his.
      2 Timothy 2:19 KJV — Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.
      All will be to God’s glory when he comes for us.

      Our faith “stands” in the power of God. 1 Cor. 2:5
      Our gospel is wherein we “stand”. 1 Cor. 15:1
      We are to watch “stand fast” in the faith. 1Cor.16:13 both are military terms!
      By faith we “stand”. 2 Cor. 1:24
      Galatians 5:1 KJV — Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. (Christ alone saves!)
      Our armour of God, given us to “stand” in..Ephesians. 6:11-20.
      11 Corinthians 3:9 KJV — For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.
      (Any work we do when we are saved is fruit from God’s work:)

      The thing is it is God working in us! This is truly remarkable.
      Corinthians 3:9 KJV — For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.
      Colossians 1:29 KJV — Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.

      And this one is my favorite…:)
      1 Thessalonians 5:24 KJV — Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.

  88. Bahati

    Thank you very much for your easy -to -follow words. So people who believe in Jesus + works are boldly Non Christians…
    Sorry Don, I don’t mean to overpress you unto this but only seeking clarity…
    1. Are such people possibly saved but placed under some other category, like that of the early church, or yet unrevealed group?
    It seems their problem is to identify the category to which they belong. The Bible seems to expose more than one way of meeting salvation which are not clearly marked out as to the ones which are phased out.

    As such many people see no need to be very selectively observant as to which gospel could be non effective. Gal 1:8 could possibly had been directed to those who diverted\divert people’s faith from one gospel to another. Not perhaps that there stands no other revealed gospel effective to save. It’s just an observation, I don’t mean to interpret it so.

    My point is this…can there be a possibility that people are saved regardless of which Gospel (revealed in the Bible) they believe only that they end up being placed under their respective categories?
    I think about all this because it seems very overpowering to conclude that any other gospel believer is not saved apart from the latest revealed Gospel believer..( faith+0).
    Understand me. I don’t mean to lack a stand on these matters but it’s just a thought on what some people might be seeing things.
    So The First Question is..COULD THEY BE SAVED OR UNSAVED??
    Thank you

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      See my article, The Great Hinge. The gospel of the kingdom ended (until the Church is removed) at the Council of Jerusalem. The gospel of grace is faith + 0.

  89. Bahati

    I understand that what I need to do is to have a well established assembly for not only conducting Bible study but a full system of Worshipping God. I’m thinking of setting up a Faith Alone Church here, considering that there is no other Church of this nature. All the churches here are a mixture of faith plus works for salvation.
    What are some well stipulated doctrines that we as a FAITH ALONE Church should be going by as we live together and gather for encouragement?
    What I mean is that it seems sensible to me to have clear guidelines for conducting an Assembly of believers. Bearing in mind that here I have no other church of this nature. All the churches I know so far here are a mixture of faith + works = salvation; including my former Pentecostal church.
    I believe that you must have a Faith Alone Church wherein you gather together to worship God and encourage one another.
    I feel I should be attached to such and be getting encouraged and work together.
    This is so far I can say, I need your feedback.
    Thank you

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      I think a church named Faith Alone Church is tremendous. I’ve never seen a church so named. We are justified by faith alone and we live by faith alone. The whole Christian life is a walk of faith. This is the way of sanctification. Many churches have doctrinal statements of belief and this could be included in yours if you wished to write one. Here’s an example: You could have a statement such as, “We believe one is saved from sin and death by faith alone, by believing in the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ (1 Corinthians 15.1-4; Romans 1.16) and “We believe the believer in Christ is sanctified by faith alone, reckoning oneself dead to sin (Romans 6.11), guided by the indwelling Holy Spirit (Romans 8.1, 4; Galatians 5.16), and that the Christian life is to be lived under the administration of grace, not Law (Romans 6.14). God bless you.

  90. Bahati

    I now understand the real essence of this dispensation of Salvation by Grace through faith alone. I have learned a lot. I have managed to read almost all your articles including the comments.

    Thank you for the hard task that you are carrying on amidst great waves of opposition. Though I came across a gospel of faith alone for my salvation in 2002, my spirit was losing peace. This happened each time I was told to keep doing good works, like tithing, in order to maintain my salvation, or else,- they said- I had not been saved. This used to break my heart. My Spirit used to testify to me that I was saved therefore there was no need to yield to such demands for dead works.

    God’s hand directed me to your site which has helped establish and stablise my wondering mind.
    It hasn’t been easy to break off from my former Pentecostal church due to my active engagements within that church.

    Not only that, but I needed even to preach and teach to my wife and family about this hidden truth.
    Now the issue was how were we going to continue within that church that advocated the cross plus works for salvation?

    We had a resolution. Regardless of the fact that the Faith+0 idea is alien in all of our country, we have decided to stand by ourselves advocating the revealed truths of God.
    So now here we are, asking if there happens to be anywhere else, a church or churches that rightly divide the word of truth. We would like to merge with them for a spiritual walktogether.
    I believe that its our duty to preach this gospel to the lost world.
    May God bless you..

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      The wonderful news of God’s grace is that Christ has done everything for us to have forgiveness of sins and eternal life. All one need do is trust Him. No wonder Paul declared, “Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift” 2 Corinthians 9.15. May God strengthen you.

      1. Mikolaj

        I’m surprised that the Bible is so vague and difficult to interpret. If it were written in simple language, anyone could easily believe that salvation is by faith alone. Paradoxically, the only moment in the Bible when she uses the phrase “faith alone” is James 2:24, “You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone”

        1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

          Paul made it very clear salvation was by faith alone. Romans 1.16, 4.5. Paul never “adds to” faith in his statements. It is just “faith” in Christ’s death and resurrection which saves. Stay with Paul and the confusion will cease.

  91. Bahati

    Dear Don,
    What exactly did Paul mean as per Galatians 1:8-9? “As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed/condemned.” Does it mean that a saved person can be cursed/condemned?….by whom?..
    what is the exact meaning of the term ‘cursed/Condemned’, in this context?..Please help me.

    1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

      Paul wrote Galatians after the Jerusalem Council of 51 A.D. That meeting settled that only Paul’s gospel was valid from that point onward and that both Jew and Gentile had to be saved by that gospel (see my article, The Great Hinge). This was what Peter declared in Acts 15.11. So Paul was saying that anyone who proclaimed any other gospel than his was cursed by God (separated from Him). It is hard to imagine a true believer proclaiming a gospel different than Paul’s, else how could he be a believer? All who proclaim a gospel other than salvation by faith alone in the death and resurrection of Christ are lost and therefore, cursed—without Christ, without hope, and without eternal life. If by some chance a believer were to proclaim a false gospel, he would be under divine discipline, like the man in 1 Corinthians 5.

      1. Mikolaj

        for me, the doctrine “once saved always saved” is not necessary. Just believe that as long as we have faith we are saved, and when we lose it we have a problem.

        1. doctrinedoctrine Post author

          Such a view does not accommodate the Godward side of salvation. God the Holy Spirit baptizes the believer into Christ (1 Corinthians 12.13) and permanently indwells the believer (Ephesians 1.13; 2 Corinthians 1.22). Paul’s grammar show this is a past event which continues. Paul never wrote it was conditional, e.g., if, until, etc. God gives the believer eternal life (2 Thessalonians 2.16; 1 Timothy 1.16). Eternal life lasts eternally, not for as long as one believes.

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