FAITH THAT SAVES

Many are familiar with Romans 6:23:

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

This verse is often extracted from its context and interpreted as salvation is a gift that comes through a – one time believing experience – and therefore we are saved from the punishment of sin, namely hell.

Here is the flow of thought that Romans 6:23 belongs to:

17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.

18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.

19 I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.

20 For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness.

21 What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death.

22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.

23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6:17-23)

Notice the progression:

(1) you obeyed the doctrine delivered to you: that’s the gospel

(2) you were made free from sin

(3) you became servants to God and righteousness

(4) you have fruit unto holiness

(5) the end of these is eternal life.

In much the same way that Romans 6;23 is often extracted from its context, 1 Peter 1:5 is also often extracted from its context:

Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

Those who would extract these words from the flow of thought in 1 Peter, use the phrase “kept by the power of God” to advocate that they are kept by the power of God based on a one time believing experience, and how they live has no bearing on their being kept. Hence a person who has believed at one point can turn away from Christ and live in egregious sin.

This is foreign to the context. Here is the context and flow of thought that 1 Peter 1:5 above belongs too:

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,

Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:

That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:

Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:

Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.

It is not “a one time believing experience” that bares no fruit for Christ that will be rewarded with salvation at the coming of Christ. It is faith that has withstood testing and trials that will be found unto praise, honor, and glory.

It is the end of your faith, which has endured for Christ, which will be rewarded.

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