THE SALVATION BEFORE OBEDIENCE DOCTRINE

QUESTIONS LIBERALS NEED TO ANSWER BUT NEVER HAVE

Scripture tells us to be concerned about persons who have been drawn away from the truth and try gently to restore them. (Gal. 6:1, James 5:19-20 etc.) The Bible says this is done by “holding fast the faithful word and by sound doctrine to exhort and convict those who contradict.” (Titus 1:9) With the following Biblical facts we ask you to consider what the “Salvation before baptism” doctrine means.

1. SAVED OUTSIDE OF CHRIST? The Bible says several times that we are baptized into Christ. Romans 6:3, Gal. 3:27 etc. If baptism is how we get into Christ and we are saved without baptism then we are saved without getting into Christ.

2. SAVED APART FROM HIS DEATH? Romans 6:3 says we are baptized into His death and Colossians 2:12 says we are “buried with Him in baptism.” If baptism is how we participate in His death and we are saved without baptism then we are saved separate and apart from His death.

3.SAVED WITHOUT REMISSION OF SINS? Acts 2:38 says that baptism is “unto the remission of sins” and Acts 22:16 says that baptism is how sins are washed away. If baptism is how sins are washed way and we are saved without baptism then we are saved without our sins being remitted, or “washed away.”

4.SAVED WITHOUT BEING SAVED? Jesus said the Gospel should be preached in all the world and “He who believes and is baptized shall be saved, and he who does not believe will be condemned.” Mark 16:15-16. So if we are saved without being baptized then we are saved without having the salvation Jesus spoke about. The fact is Jesus said this is not possible. “Except a man is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” John 3:5.

Those who preach that we are saved first and then obey afterward need to face up honestly to these questions.

1. Is anyone unsaved? Will anyone be declared lost at the judgment? Yes or no.

2. If some are saved and some are lost, what will be the difference between the saved

and  the lost? If some are lost, what will be the reason they are lost?

3. If anyone is saved, when did he become saved? Was he saved before he did

anything or was he saved at the point where he did something, perhaps believed?

4. When the person did whatever it took to become saved, did he thereby earn salvation?

I suggest it is not logically possible to make the “saved before obedience” doctrine add up. It simply is not rational. It contradicts both the scriptures and common sense logic. Consider this. If that doctrine is true then if some are saved, whatever caused them to be saved could not have occurred after they were saved. If obedience is what one does after he is saved and is, as these men are saying, “the fruit of our salvation,” then at the point where a person is saved there can not have been a response to God in any way. Salvation cannot bear fruit until salvation itself happens. If the person believes, that would be obedience and therefore has to come after he is saved. If he repents, that is obedience and cannot precede salvation. If a person does anything to be saved, if he believes, or if he prays the sinner’s prayer, or obtains a rabbit’s foot, or whatever, does he thereby earn the salvation?

You say this is foolishness, nonsense? Yes! It certainly is. The Bible states the truth clearly on each of these points. Turning aside from Biblical truth is what Paul referred to as turning to “fables.” (2 Tim. 4:4) It makes no sense to turn aside from the clear word of God to such nonsense. It is not possible to accept what the Bible says on these questions and at the same time accept the assertions of men that contradict it. God said, “As the heavens are higher than the earth so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isa. 55:9) We would be wise to keep this in mind, just accept what God said, and make a reasonable effort to conform to His way.

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