The Least Faith Saves
By David J. Stewart | July 2013 | Updated October 2015
Romans 10:13, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Jesus taught that salvation only requires the faith of a child to be saved. Adults have to figure everything out, they demand proof and complicate all things. Satan blinds people with secular wisdom, the rudiments (accepted principles) of the world (like evolution) and manmade traditions. Colossians 2:8-9, “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.”
The word “spoil” in Colossians 2:8 is the Greek word sulagogeo which means “to lead away as booty, that is, (figuratively) seduce.” Booty is goods or money obtained illegally. Hence, Satan wants to seduce us away from Jesus Christ through philosophy and vain deceit, through worldly established principles (such as humanism, psychology and evolution) and the traditions of men. Notice that the Bible directs us to Jesus Christ. Amen! We learn about Jesus in the Scriptures, which is exactly what Jesus said in John 5:39, “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.”
God is only looking for the least amount of genuine faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ. The vilest sinner who receives Christ's death upon the cross, His burial and bodily resurrection is saved. We are saved by acknowledging our sinnership in the eyes of a holy God for breaking His commandments, and accepting Christ's payment for our sins by faith. Here is a lengthy quote by Charles H. Spurgeon (1834-1892) concerning Biblical repentance...
You know there are degrees of faith, and yet the least faith saves; so there are degrees of repentance, and the least repentance will save the soul if it is sincere. The Bible says, "He that believeth shall be saved," and when it says that, it includes the very smallest degree of faith. So when it says, "Repent and be saved," it includes the man who has the lowest degree of real repentance. Repentance, moreover, is never perfect in any man in this mortal state. We never get perfect faith so as to be entirely free from doubting; and we never get repentance which is free from some hardness of heart. The most sincere penitent that you know will feel himself to be partially impenitent.
Repentance is also a continual life-long act. It will grow continually. I believe a Christian on his death-bed will more bitterly repent than ever he did before. It is a thing to be done all your life long. Sinning and repenting—sinning and repenting, make up a Christian's life. Repenting and believing in Jesus—repenting and believing in Jesus, make up the consummation of his happiness. You must not expect that you will be perfect in "repentance" before you are saved. No Christian can be perfect. "Repentance" is a grace. Some people preach it as a condition of salvation. Condition of nonsense! There are no conditions of salvation. [emphasis added]SOURCE: http://www.spurgeon.org/sermons/0044.htm (from a sermon preached at the New Park Street Chapel, Southwark, on September 23, 1855)
Amen! Charles Spurgeon is correct! Please don't misunderstand what Pastor Spurgeon is teaching about repentance and faith being continual life-long acts. He is simply teaching what the Bible teaches in Philippians 1:6, “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” We are saved by repentance and faith, which happen simultaneously at the time of salvation. Jesus exclaimed in Mark 1:15, “...repent ye, and believe the gospel.” The Greek word for “repent” here is METANOEO, which means, “to change one's mind.” Biblical repentance is a change of one's mind. Notice that believing the Gospel is the object of repentance, and not ceasing from sinful bad habits, forsaking the world, intent to reform or anything else. Eternal life is the free gift of God (Romans 6:23), paid for in full by Jesus' precious blood (1st Peter 1:18-19).
The Gospel is the object of true repentance, not ridding one's life of sin, which is what heretics like Ray Comfort, Aiden Tozer, Paul Washer and John MacArthur errantly teach. Mark 1:15 plainly teaches that believing the Gospel is the object of repentance. Men repent and believe the Gospel. That is salvation. Repentance and believing are not two separate steps to salvation; but rather, repentance is a change of mind that compels a man to believe the Gospel. They are two parts of one step. The man who has repented has believed, and the man who believes has repented. This is why the Gospel of John mentions the word “believe” and “believed” 85-times, but the word “repent” is never mentioned, not even once. You don't repent and then believe; but rather, they occur at the same time.
If you're taking a flight from Michigan to Texas, you don't board one plane to leave Michigan, and then afterwards get on a separate plane to go to Texas. No, rather, you are heading for Texas simultaneously (at the same time) as you are departing from Michigan. You're moving toward your destination at the same time you are leaving your origin. They happen together. Likewise, repentance and faith happen at the same time. You look up to a holy God in Heaven, realizing that you are a woefully guilty sinner, and at the same time turn by faith toward the precious Savior in your soul to be forgiven and washed of your sins.
Just As The Least Faith Saves; So Also Does Adding The Least Works Not Save
It is a false idea that a person must purpose in their soul to stop committing intentional sin (as a prerequisite to placing their faith in Christ Jesus), and only then will God receive their faith. Such unbiblical teaching negates “the simplicity that is in Christ” (2nd Corinthians 11:3-4). That is a false plan of salvation rooted in human effort (works). Such garbage theology is often called, “Lordship Salvation.” So we see that just as the LEAST FAITH SAVES, so we also see that ADDING EVEN THE LEAST WORKS DOESN'T SAVE. Works have no place in God's plan of salvation. God does all the saving, all of it!!!
Man has no part in his own salvation. Notice carefully Philippians 2:12, “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” Notice that the Bible doesn't say to work out God's salvation. Rather, it says to “work out YOUR OWN salvation.” In other words, God has saved us from Hell. He has given to us the awesome indwelling Holy Spirit to live in our body 24/7 everywhere we go. I love that about God, He wanted to be with me continually, and I want to be with Him likewise. I have God the Father and God the Son both living inside of my body in the form of God the Holy Spirit (1st Corinthians 3:16-17; Romans 8:9). I love the Godhead so dear!!! I love the Holy Spirit. To me, the greatest part of being a Christian, the greatest joy, is having God's Holy Spirit continually living in me, never to depart for even two seconds for any reason. The Holy Spirit is my friend, and I am His. God never leaves us alone, not for a second (Hebrews 13:5). When I read the Holy Bible, the Holy Spirit speaks to my heart and teaches me wondrous truths.
Working out our own salvation simply means that we each have a customized walk with God. Everybody's life is different. Our talents, gifts and abilities are different. Our personalities are different. I have no part in the salvation of my eternal soul, but I do have a part in the salvation of my earthly life. We must work out our own salvation with FEAR and TREMBLING, knowing that we must one day give account at the Judgment Seat Of Christ. Please read, “WORK OUT YOUR OWN SALVATION,” by Pastor Jack Hyles. We must live the life which God has graciously given us to life. We have no part in God's salvation, that's His department. Our part was to BELIEVE the Gospel, and we did (if you are saved); God's part is to take care of everything else. Our part is to obey the Lord day-by-day, being renewed in the spirit of our mind, walking in the Holy Spirit Who indwells us.
Here below is a wonderful rebuttal (video) exposing the heresy of Lordship Salvation by Pastor Marc Monte (please watch)...
LORDSHIP SALVATION: SATAN'S BEST LOOKING HERESY EVER (by Pastor Marc Monte)
Repentance is a change of mind, and not a change of lifestyle. Whatever changes God wants to make in a new convert's life is His department, and you can be assured that He will tend to that matter in His own way and time by His Spirit. Our part is to simply believe the gospel to be saved. Then as a new believer we are taught in 1st Peter 2:2-3, “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.” This is why Spurgeon said that no one can be perfect in faith and repentance at the time of salvation. Although there are degrees of faith and repentance (which require time to grow into as born-again believers), God only requires THE LEAST FAITH and THE LEAST REPENTANCE to be saved. Simple childlike repentance and faith saves!
There is NO controversy if you believe the Bible. The FACT is that the Bible never uses the phrases “repent of your sins” or “turn from your sins” in regards to salvation. Salvation is a free gift of God—not of works—and relies totally upon God's mercy through the LITERAL blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ (Hebrews 9:12); not forsaking one's sinful lifestyle (Titus 3:5, Ephesians 2:8,9). “Repent” in regards to salvation does not mean "stop living in sin.” It means to “change one's mind.” Carefully notice in Mark 1:15 what Jesus said... “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.” Notice that Jesus DIDN'T say “repent ye, and forsake your sins.” No, rather, Jesus said, “repent ye, and believe the gospel.”
Unsaved people love their sins and; therefore, will not come to the light to be saved, lest their deeds be reproved. John 3:19-20, “And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.” When a sinner has even the least amount of repentance (change of mind) that compels them to turn to Christ by faith to be saved by the gospel, they receive forgiveness and eternal life immediately and irrevocably.
Dr. Jack Hyles 100% correctly and Biblically states concerning repentance...
“Repentance is not some little silly, 'I'm sorry.' Repentance is not simply a fear of God. Repentance is not a monk fasting and afflicting his body in a monastery. Repentance is not remorse because of sin's consequences. Repentance is not penance performed before the pope as you kiss his toe... Repentance is not being sorry for what I've done wrong. It is not confessing one's sins to a priest. It is not just conviction of sin. It is not the signing of a pledge of abstinence. Repentance is that thing when you come before God and see yourself as you are, and see Him as he is, and say with Isaiah 'Woe is me, for I am unclean!'” —Pastor Jack Hyles (1926-2001), a quote from the timeless MP3 sermon, THE GOODNESS OF GOD LEADETH TO REPENTANCE!
No man could ever point a finger at anything and call it “evil” unless there was first a divine standard of righteousness by which to compare it. Our holy God and His holy Word are that standard. This is the exact purpose of God's law in the Old Testament. It is through God's law that we are silenced from all self-righteous boasting. It is through God's law that we become guilty sinners before God...
Romans 3:19, “Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.”
It is through the law that we are taught we are dirty sinners, being shown in the Scriptures that we absolutely cannot save ourselves with human effort, and then we are brought to Christ Who CAN save us! ...
Galatians 3:24-26, “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.”
The Bible is very clear that salvation is a new birth (a spiritual, second, birth). A birth cannot be unborn, or undone. Jesus said, “YE MUST BE BORN AGAIN” (John 3:7). If saved, always saved! I hear some skeptics claiming that “they used to be” a Christian. What they really mean is that they once ascribed to the belief system of Christianity, but they were never born-again by the Holy Spirit of God. They had churchianity without Christianity. Reformation is not salvation. Education through philosophy is not salvation. Adopting a set of religious dogmas is not salvation. Keeping sacraments is not salvation. Salvation is neither legislation, nor rehabilitation, nor reformation, nor education; but only REGENERATION! “YE MUST BE BORN AGAIN” (John 3:7). You must have He (Jesus) Who is from above, born in you. Salvation is being born again by receiving the gospel as full payment for your sins!
Mark 10:15, “Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.”
The Bible likens faith to the mustard seed. The tiny black mustard seed is one of the smallest seeds in the world, but it grows into giant stalks 8 feet tall. Here we see the Lord teaching that even the least amount of faith can move heaven and earth...
Luke 17:6, “And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you.”
Jesus said that by faith ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE...
Mark 9:23-24, “Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.”
Jesus told the afflicted boy's father that all things were possible if he only believed. The father had much unbelief, but he cried out... “Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.” What did you say? I said, “help thou mind unbelief.” No, before that? I said, “I believe.” I believe Jesus exclaimed in His heart... FAITH!!! Hebrews 11:6 teaches that without faith it is IMPOSSIBLE to please God. Despite the man's unbelief, all that God was interested in was his belief. In other words, it's ok to have a bunch of doubt, just so long as you believe enough to obey God.
Romans 10:13 says, "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." If you have JUST ENOUGH faith to call upon the name of Jesus (that is, appeal, rely, trust) upon the name of Jesus, then you will be saved immediately! Religious people all over the world are trying to impress God without faith, through self-righteous works; but God is not impressed. In fact, He's angry with the wicked every day (Psalms 7:11; John 3:36). They are the enemies of the cross of Christ.
The Chair Illustration Of Faith
I love the illustration of standing on a chair to change a lightbulb. Even if I am 99% sure that the chair is too shaky and won't be able to support my entire weight, it is still nothing less than 100% faith if I stand upon the chair. Of course, in reality no one in their right mind would stand upon a shaky looking chair that they were convinced wouldn't support them. Albeit, it would still be 100% faith if I did choose to stand upon the chair unaided by a helper, rope or something to cling to in case I fall.
Please understand that optimism (a positive outlook) is NOT faith. I could stand there all day proclaiming how much I believe the chair will hold me up if I were to stand upon it. I can say loud and confidently, “I believe! Boy, brother, you've just got to believe! I believe that this chair can hold me up!” But that is NOT faith at all, not even in the least, because I am not standing upon the chair. So even in the presence of great optimism, I can have no faith at all. That's what Modernists and Roman Catholics have, that is, they really think they're going to Heaven, but they've never trusted Christ. Catholics instead trust their church and the seven sacraments to save them. Modernists trust their humanism, self-righteous works and new age spiritism.
In sharp contrast, the Biblical Christian rests completely in the finished redemptive work of Jesus Christ, standing upon the chair (which pictures Christ in our example). Saying you believe that Christ can save you is not faith, anymore than saying you think the chair can support your weight is trust in the chair. Even if you have 99% doubt in the Bible, God will save you if you'll believe the gospel. That is, if you'll personally receive Christ's death upon the cross, His burial and bodily resurrection from the dead as payment for your sins, you will be saved.
All mankind are sinners. As such we are all under the condemnation of God's law. There is a price for sin that we all owe to God. That price is spending eternity burning in the Lake of Fire! Consequently, we need to find someone who doesn't owe that price, someone who is not condemned, someone who can pay that price for us. Blessed be the name of the Lord, Jesus is the Christ Who paid the price for our sins with His own blood! Jesus was miraculously born of a virgin, lived a totally sinless life, and was accepted by God the Father as a well-pleasing sacrifice for the sins of the world. JESUS PAID THE PRICE!
Romans 4:5-6, “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works.” Notice that we just read a man's “faith is counted for righteousness.” That is so important to understand. It means that all the heretics requiring intent to reform as part of salvation are liars, wrong and false prophets! This includes Aiden Tozer, John MacArthur, Jack Chick, David Cloud, William Lane Craig, Ray Comfort, Kirk Cameron, Benny Hinn, Eric Hovind, Paul Taylor and thousands more. Jesus is Lord, you don't make Him Lord! You simply trust Jesus to be saved.
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