Satan is at work today just like he’s always been. One of the most common attempts to fool others is often making simple changes to what God said. For Eve, all he to do was add the word “not” when he said, “You will NOT die” when God said she would die if she ate the forbidden fruit. In this episode we see a subtle lie told about faith.

ROBERT >> When you think of the devil, who do you think of? A little red creature with horns, a pointed tail, and a pitchfork in his hand? Is he just a fairy tale like the big bad wolf or the wicked old witch? Or is the old serpent, the devil, real? Yes, he’s real, and he’s still telling lies.

SINGING>> Speaking the truth, speaking the truth, speaking the truth, speaking the truth in love.

ROBERT >> I want to read to you this morning from Paul’s second letter to the church at Corinth, where Paul was afraid for the church there, that they might be deceived by the old serpent, the devil.

Notice what he says here in 2 Corinthians 11:3. “But I fear, lest somehow as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.”

You see, the apostle Paul here was afraid that they might be deceived just like Eve was deceived. He goes back to the beginning, where God made man in his image, male and female, and put them in the Garden of Eden, where they had everything that they needed. And he told them not to eat of that one tree in the garden, the knowledge of good and evil, saying that when they ate of that tree, they would surely die.

But you remember in Genesis chapter 3 where the old devil comes along, and he begins to tempt the woman. Here’s what the Bible says. “Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, Has God indeed said, You shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said to the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden, but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die. And then the serpent said to the woman, You will not surely die; for God knows in the day you eat of it, your eyes will be opened, and you’ll be like God, knowing good and evil. So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.”

Did you notice the cunning of the old serpent, how that he was able to quote what God had to say and how that he was also able to change the truth into a lie?

Did you notice how he made the woman question what God said?

Has God indeed said, he asked her. And did you notice how she was able to quote what God said?

She understood the truth. But then he comes in with this little word, not, and it changes the truth into a lie. The old serpent is still trying to deceive us in that very same way, just add a little here or take something out there, trying to get us to question what God has really said. After the old serpent tempted Eve here in the garden, God came to her, and he questioned her about what happened.

You’ll notice down in verse 13 of chapter 3, “And the Lord God said to the woman, What is this you have done? And the woman said, The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

Let’s be careful that we don’t let the old serpent deceive us and we do something in violation of God’s will. The old serpent wants us to sin. He wants to destroy our souls.

But Peter says in 1 Peter 5:8 “that we’re to be sober, to be vigilant because our adversary the devil walks about as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour.”

Yes, the old serpent is still trying to deceive us today. I want to begin this morning by looking at some of his most popular lies. One of those is this: Salvation is by faith only. You know how the people tell us, just believe. You know how that you hear that everywhere, and it sounds very good. So the most popular preachers in our society today are standing before thousands of people every week telling them, just believe. Just ask Jesus into your heart, or say this sinner’s prayer, and you can be saved.

Again, it sounds good, and we want to believe it; but it is a lie. All the old serpent had to do was add the word only.

Certainly we are saved by faith. The Bible teaches that. But where does the Bible say that we’re saved by faith only? The fact is the Bible tells us that we are saved by many things.

We’re saved by God, are we not?

John 3:16 the Bible tells us, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes on Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

Yes, God is necessary to our salvation. And so is Jesus Christ, of course. In Matthew 1:21 when Jesus was born into this world, his parents were told to call him Jesus. That name means God our savior. You shall call Him Jesus because He shall save His people from their sins. You see, the Lord God is our savior. And so God is our savior, Jesus Christ is our savior. They’re all involved in our salvation. The Holy Spirit is as well.

At John 3:5 the Bible tells us that, “Unless a man is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.”

And so the work of the Holy Spirit is also necessary in our coming to Christ, in our being saved. That’s not all. How about the gospel of Christ?

In Romans 1:16 the apostle Paul said, “I’m not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.”

Yes, we’re saved by faith, but we’re also saved by the gospel of Jesus Christ. There’s the power to save our souls.

We’re saved by the word of God according to James 1:21. “Receive with meekness the implanted word which is able to save your souls.”

And of course we’re saved by the blood of Christ.

In Revelation 1:5, “he washed us in his own blood.”

He washed our sins. He with his blood paid the price for those sins so that we could be forgiven. And we’re saved by the grace of God.

According to Titus 2:11, we learn that the grace of God has appeared unto all men, bringing salvation.

So we’re saved by all of these things: By God, by Christ, by the Holy Spirit, by the gospel, by the word of God, by the blood of Christ, by the grace of God, and not by faith only. But someone says, yes, I know that, but I mean on man’s part. You don’t have to do anything but believe. If you do anything else, it’s not of grace, it’s of works.

I think this misunderstanding comes from Romans 4:4, “where the apostle Paul says, Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace, but as debt.”

People also often quote Ephesians 2:8-9 right here, where the apostle Paul said, “For by grace are you saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.”

You see, if you look closely at these words and in their context that these verses are talking about those who think they can earn their salvation by works of merit. No, we could never pay for our sins. We could never make up for them no matter what we did.

In fact, Jesus said in Luke 17:10 that “when we’ve done all that we have been commanded to do, we’re but unprofitable servants.”

No, we could never earn it, we could never merit it. But this doesn’t mean that we don’t have to do anything to be saved.

Did you know that even believing is a work? According to John 6:29 it is the work of God that we believe.

Baptism, did you know that baptism is also the work of God?

In Colossians 2:12 the Bible tells us that we’re buried with Christ in baptism and we’re raised with him through faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead. You see, the same power that raised Jesus from the dead will raise us up out of the waters of baptism to new life. Baptism is the work of God, just as faith is the work of God.

Do you remember Philippians 2:12-13, where Paul talks about how we are to work out our own salvation, but also that it is God who works in us? As we work out, God works in us, all this towards our salvation. Notice also the Bible speaks of the obedience of faith.

In Romans 1:5, the very beginning of that book, and in Romans 16:26, at the end of that book, we see this little phrase, the obedience of faith. And that’s why the apostle Paul wrote the book of Romans, to teach us that the faith that saves is a faith that obeys. He explains for us in great detail the obedience of faith in the very middle of that book in Romans chapter 6, describing for us the act of baptism as an act of faith. You see, there is the works of merit by which we earn our salvation, but there are also the works of faith. When Paul wrote to the church at Thessalonica in 1 Thessalonians 1:3, he spoke of their work of faith. He spoke of their labor of love. He spoke of their patience of hope. That work that comes out of faith, that labor that comes out of love and that patience or that perseverance, that steadfastness that comes from having a certain hope in Jesus Christ. These things are certainly not works of merit by which we earn our salvation, but they are works of faith. Look with me in James the 2nd chapter, because James has a great deal to say about what we’re talking about this morning. In James chapter 2 he emphasizes the necessity for not only faith, but the works of faith.

He asked this question in James 2:14, “What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith, but does not have works?”

And can faith save him?

And of course, the answer to this is without works, no, there cannot be any salvation. We cannot say we have faith if we don’t have works, and we can’t think that we’re saved by faith only.

He goes on to say in verse 17, “Thus also faith by itself, faith alone, if it does not have works, is dead.”

And so it cannot profit us towards our salvation. He says further in verse 22,” Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect?”

Faith is completed when it is demonstrated by our works. And so he concludes in verse 24, “You see then that a man is justified by works, or made right with God by works, and not by faith only.”

Yes, this is just another lie of the devil. And all he had to do was add that little word, only. The fact is that we’re justified by works, works of faith, and not by faith only. Saving faith is a working, living, active faith. You see this illustrated in Hebrews the 11th chapter.

If you’ll back up just a little bit with me in your Bibles to Hebrews chapter 11, I want you to notice this with me. He begins in verse 6 making this statement: “But without faith it impossible to please Him; for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”

Rewarded faith is a faith that diligently seeks God. We must believe that he is, but we must also believe that he’ll reward those who diligently seek him. And you see how this is illustrated throughout this chapter. Let me just look at a few examples with you.

In Hebrews 11:4, concerning Abel, the Bible says, “By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, and through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it he being dead still speaks.”

Abel had faith, and it was by faith that he pleased God. But by faith, you remember it says, Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice. It’s when faith acted upon the commandments of God that faith was rewarded.

We look in Hebrews 11:7, where the Bible speaks of Noah. “By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world, became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.”

How did Noah obtain that righteousness that comes by faith?

When by faith he prepared an ark for the saving of his house. He did what God told him to do.

Look at it in verse 8 concerning Abraham. “By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance, and he went out not knowing where he was going.”

By faith Abraham obeyed. He went out just as God asked him to do. You see, Abel and Noah and Abraham were all saved by faith. They obtained the righteousness that comes by faith when their faith obeyed. Look at it a little bit further down here in verse 29.

In verse 29 we read about the faith of the Israelite nation as they crossed the Red Sea. It says, “By faith they passed through the Red Sea as by dry land, whereas the Egyptians who attempted to do so were drowned.”

They had to go on across the Red Sea. That was an act of faith. That was the work of faith by which they were saved. That sea closed up, destroyed the Egyptians behind them, and they found themselves safe on the other side.

And then one more example in verse 30, “By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they were encircled for seven days.”

When did the walls fall down?

When Israel believed they would?

No, when Israel believed enough to do what God told them to do. They marched around those walls, and ultimately the walls fell down. You see, faith is rewarded when it obeys. Faith saves when faith obeys.

Hebrews 5:8-9, the Bible tells us that Jesus is indeed the author of eternal salvation, but it says to those who obey him.

There is this very strong warning from Paul in 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10, when he speaks of Christ coming with his holy angels in flaming fire, rendering vengeance on those who know not God and who obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, who he goes on to say shall suffer punishment, even eternal destruction from the presence of the Lord.

Yes, faith, when faith obeys, faith saves. Though there’s nothing we could ever do to pay for our sins or earn our salvation, we must receive it by meeting God’s conditions of salvation. Suppose I said to you who are listening today that I’d give you a million dollars just for calling in to our program. If you wanted a million dollars and you believed I would really give it to you, you’d call in to our program today. But you would not have earned that million dollars. It would be a gift from me to you. And still you had to call to get it. And so it is with salvation. God has said that he’ll save your soul, but you must call in.

Romans 10:13, the Bible says that “whoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

How do we do that?

Some say you just believe. But then they tell us, ask Jesus into our hearts, or they tell us, say the sinner’s prayer. But if you truly believe God for salvation, then you’ll turn from your sins as the Bible says in Acts 3:19, to “turn and repent that your sins may be blotted out.”

Or in 2 Corinthians 7:10, how that “godly sorrow works repentance that leads to salvation,” or Luke 13:3, where the Bible says “unless you repent, you shall all perish.”

You see, a decision must be made in our heart. If we truly are trusting Christ for our salvation, we must decide to turn away from sin to live for God. We must truly repent of our sins. Not only that, but we must confess with our mouth Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God.

In Matthew 10:32-33 Jesus tells us that “if you’ll deny me before men, I’ll deny you before my Father who is in heaven, but if you confess me before men, I’ll confess you before my Father who is in heaven.”

Yes, you see, “With the heart man believes unto righteousness, but with the mouth confession is made unto salvation,” Romans 10:9-10.

There must be a declaration of faith: I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Still, we must demonstrate our faith by giving ourself to him in baptism.

Jesus himself said, “He that believes and is baptized will be saved; he that disbelieves will be condemned.”

Peter said in Acts 2:38 to, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of your sins.”

In Acts 22:16 the Bible says, “Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.”

Peter says in 1 Peter 3:21 that, “Baptism also saves us; not the washing of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience towards God by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.”

In John 3:5 Jesus said, “Unless a man be born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.”

Yes, baptism is that demonstration of faith whereby we give ourself to the Lord for salvation. But that’s just the beginning. We must continue to live in faithfulness to him. As he said,” Whoever would come after Me, let him deny self, take up his cross daily, and follow Me.”

Jesus Christ expects us to strive to live for him every day of our lives. As Matthew 10:22 says, “He that endures to the end shall be saved.”

We must never give up, we must never turn our back on him and lose faith in him; but if we truly trust him, we must continue to follow him.

In Rev”elation 2:10 Jesus said, Be faithful unto death, and I’ll give you the crown of life.”

John says, If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another; and the blood of His Son cleanses us from all our sins.

If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. So yes, we must continue to strive sincerely to keep the commandments of Christ, being honest about our sins, but never in high hand rebellion turn against our Lord.

In Hebrews 10:26-27 the Bible tells us that, “If we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for our sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment and fierceness of fire.”

Yes, once we’ve put our faith in Jesus Christ, we must continue to keep faith with him or lose our souls. There is a devotion of faith that’s required of every Christian. This is what God says to do, not to earn salvation, but because you believe. This is true faith that comes by hearing the word of God, Romans 10:17.

If you trust him enough to do what he says to do to be saved, you will be. May God bless you as you make your decision for Jesus Christ today. And will you not let us here at The Truth In Love let us know how we can help you towards heaven?

SINGING>> Will your anchor hold in the storms of life when the clouds unfold their wings of strife?
When the strong tides lift and the cables strain, will your anchor drift or firm remain?
We have an anchor that keeps the soul steadfast and sure while the billows roll,
fastened to the rock which cannot move,
grounded firm and deep in the savior’s love.
It is safely moored, twill the storm withstand,
for tis well secured by the savior’s hand.
And the cables passed from his heart to mine
can defy the blast through strength divine.
We have an anchor that keeps the soul steadfast and sure while the billows roll,
fastened to the rock which cannot move,
grounded firm and deep in the savior’s love.

SINGING>> We place you on the highest place,
for you are the great high priest.
We place you high above all else,
all else, and we come to you and worship at your feet.
We place you on the highest place,
for you are the great high priest.
We place you high above all else,
all else, and we come to you and worship at your feet,
and we come to you and worship at your feet.

ROBERT >> I want to thank you so much for watching our program today. If you have any questions, comments, or requests, if you’d like a personal home Bible study or special prayers, if you would like more information about the lesson today, or if you’d like to order today’s lesson or any other lesson on CD, DVD, or in manuscript form, let me encourage you to write The Truth in Love at P.O. Box 865, Hurst, Texas 76053.

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Remember, all our materials and services are absolutely free of charge. We just want to do what we can to help us all towards heaven. So let us know how we can help you, and please join us next time right here on The Truth In Love.

SINGING>> Unto the hills around do I lift up my longing eyes.
Oh, whence for me shall my salvation come, from whence arise?
From God the Lord doth come my certain aid,
from God the Lord whom heaven and earth hath made.
From every evil shall he keep thy soul, from every sin.
Jehovah shall preserve thy going out, thy coming in.
Above thee watching, he whom we adore shall keep thee henceforth,
yea for evermore.

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