So Many "Saved-Bys"
Rom. 3:23 tells us, “All have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God.” However, the Bible teaches there are many things working together to save individuals from sin. I have never looked in a concordance to count all of the “saved-bys” in the Bible, but I can list several that I know are there. The Bible shows we are saved by “grace” (Titus 2:11-14), saved by “faith”(Rom.5:1), saved by “hearing” (Rom. 10:17), saved by “repentance” (Acts 2:38), saved by “confessing” (Rom. 10:9,10), saved by “baptism” (1 Peter 3:21), saved by “obedience” (Heb. 5:8,9), saved by “prayer” (James 5:14,15), saved by “hope” (Rom. 8:24,25), saved by the “gospel” (1Cor. 15:1,2), saved by “love” (John 3:16), saved by “mercy” (Titus 3:5), saved by the blood of Jesus (Rom. 5:9), saved by “walking in the light” (1 John 1:7-9), and we are saved by “words” (Acts 11:14). There are more, but these serve to make my point. God shows us in His Word, the Bible, that there are many things that work together to save us from the sin that we have brought into the world.
Question: Is there any one of these things listed that can be left out when it comes to being saved by Jesus from our sins? If so, then which one(s)? And by whose authority can we leave it out? Can we leave out the gospel? How about repentance? Absolutely not. It would be wrong for me to announce that we can pick and choose our favorite “saved-bys” to be saved by and added to the church that Jesus built (Matt. 16:18; Eph. 2:20; 5:23). It would be wrong for me, or anybody else, to say we can leave out baptism “for forgiveness of sins”. (Mark 16:16; John 3:3-6; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Rom. 6:3,4; 1 Cor. 12:13; Gal. 3:26-29; Eph. 5:25,26; etc.).
When we OBEY the Bible’s teaching that has come to us by the GRACE OF GOD, to REPENT of our sins, CONFESS that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, to be BAPTIZED FOR THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS out of LOVE for the Lord because He first LOVED us (1 John 4:19), we obtain His MERCY, and are saved by the BLOOD OF JESUS as the Lord adds us to His body, the church. The blood is in His body just as our blood is in our bodies. His body is the church (Eph. 5:23; 1 Cor. 12:13). As we WALK IN THE LIGHT of His Word (Psalm 119:105), the blood of Jesus continues to cleanse us as we CONFESS our sins, and PRAY for forgiveness, and HOPE of salvation is our anchor (Heb. 6:19). These are the WORDS that save (Acts 11:14) in the GOSPEL.
Read Acts 8:26-39 for just one of the examples in Acts of a man becoming a Christian. First of all, he reads the Scriptures and they are explained to him by Philip, one of the evangelists from the Jerusalem church (Acts 6:3-6). Beginning with the prophecies of Isaiah 53, Philip preached Jesus to the man. The man responded to the gospel with obedience. He repented of his sins and asked to be baptized. He confessed his faith in Jesus Christ, went down into the water with Philip so he could be immersed, came up out of the water rejoicing in hope because he had been saved by the blood of Jesus, and the Word of God’s mercy and His love. All these things work together to make and keep one a child of God, and none of them can, or will be left out.
Timothy Sundlie Evangelist for the La Crosse church of Christ