Saved By Faith – Evan Bartholomew

 Saved By Faith

Purpose:  This study was created to address a very destructive teaching that has become more and more popular in recent years. That is, that one must have faith, repent and live like a disciple, and then be baptized; but believe they are saved by faith (or, at the point of faith) before their baptism, and only get baptized because the Bible says to. Although it would seem logical that one can’t repent before fully obeying God – which would include baptism – more teaching is often needed to convince those who are usually genuinely trying to live like disciples, but are misguided.

Introduction: Matthew 3:13-17

  1. Jesus didn’t need to be baptized.
    1. Baptism is for the forgiveness of sin. (Acts 2:38)
    2. Jesus had no sin. (II Corinthians 5:21)
  2. To set an example: “It is proper for US to do this to fulfill all righteousness.”
  3. Righteousness means one is morally right or justified before God.

Reasons For Confusion:

  1. Abraham’s Faith
    1. Galatians 3:5-14

      1. Abraham was made righteous by his faith.
        • He believed God and it was credited as righteousness. (Genesis 15:6)
        • Faith covenant established through circumcision. (Genesis 17:10)
      2. Jews entered Abraham’s covenant when they were circumcised.
    1. Galatians 3:15-29
      1. Become sons of God through faith when we are baptized.
      2. Baptism is modern-day circumcision. (Colossians 2:9-12)
      3. At the point of baptism, we become heirs to the promise.
  1. Faith vs. Works
    1. Semantics (I Timothy 6:3-5)
      1. We are saved by grace through faith and not by works. (Ephesians 2:8-9)
      2. Can’t be saved without works. (James 2:14-19)
      3. Like unwrapping a present – didn’t earn the present through work.
    1. What are the “works” that Paul is talking about in Ephesians?
      1. Baptism is never called a work in the Bible.
      2. Ironically, believing is called a work. (John 6:29)
      3. The “works” Paul was talking about is Old Testament circumcision and strict adherence to the Old Covenant Law. (Ephesians 2:11-18)
  1. Jesus is the Chief Cornerstone (Ephesians 2:19-22)
    1. Jesus’ teachings are the basis for His church.
      1. Foundation of the Prophets = Old Testament
      2. Foundation of the Apostles = New Testament
      3. Chief Cornerstone = Jesus’ teachings as recorded in the gospels.

Cheif Cornerstone

    1. II Peter 3:15-16 – Apostles teachings can be distorted if NOT used to support Jesus’ teachings.
  1. Human Logic – “What if someone dies on the way to being baptized?”
    1. Can’t play God. Don’t know what God would do. (Isaiah 55:8-9)
    2. God gives everyone a chance to seek Him and find Him. (Acts 17:26-27)

Conclusion: “Saved By Who?”

An elderly woman (Mrs. Sinner) was walking across a busy street. As she began to walk, a car driven by a teenage boy (Grace) began to close in on her without slowing down. However, before his car could hit her, a business man (Faith) who had been let out early for lunch that day by his boss (Mr. Baptism) lunged out into the busy street an pushed Mrs. Sinner to safety. At the same time, Grace slammed on his brakes just barely missing Mrs. Sinner and Faith. Luckily, the day before, Grace took his car to a specialized mechanic (Works) to get his brakes replaced. If it weren’t for the new brake pads, Mrs. Sinner would have been done for.

The next day, the papers were having a hard time figuring out who the hero who saved Mrs. Sinner was. Was it Grace? If he hadn’t slammed on his brakes at just the right time, she would have been hit. Was it Grace’s mechanic, Works? If he hadn’t fixed the brakes, Mrs. Sinner would’ve still been hit. Was it the business man’s boss, Mr. Baptism? If he hadn’t let Faith out early for lunch, Mrs. Sinner wouldn’t have been pushed out of the way. Or was it Faith, who was the one who dared to lunge into the busy intersection to save Mrs. Sinner? They concluded that all of these people played a role in saving Mrs. Sinner, (Grace, Baptism, Works, and Faith) but the headline read – Mrs. Sinner was saved by Faith.