The largest segment of the organized Church has long opposed the teaching that salvation is by grace, through faith alone. She teaches that it is by grace, through faith and good works, protesting that we do not place the proper stress on good works, and that she does place as much emphasis upon grace and faith as we.
One advocate of this religious denomination agrees that men cannot be saved without Christ or faith or grace, but objects that the grace of God, accepted by faith in Christ, is not enough to save.
He says: “All men are born in original sin, and all must be cleansed by Baptism. In Baptism, Grace is implanted in the soul by God and confers the right to heaven.”
But what about the thief on the cross, who looked to Christ in his dying moments and never had an opportunity to be baptized? Was he not saved? (See Luke 23:42,43).
If, according to Heb. 10:4, it is not possible for the blood of bulls and of goats to take away sins (even though required by God), could this writer explain to us how any amount of water could possibly wash away one sin or right one moral wrong?
But one might gather from the above quotation that the baptized soul at least is safe and secure, since the grace implanted by God “confers the right to heaven.” But not so. “The Church” never gives her devotees true peace or assurance; never sets them free. “The right to heaven,” conferred upon the baptized person, is the right to strive for it! This writer goes on to say, “We worship God by the practice of our religious duties in order to obtain our salvation.”
How satisfying and reassuring is the Word of God itself on this subject:
“Now to him that worketh [i.e., for salvation] is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.
“BUT TO HIM THAT WORKETH NOT, BUT BELIEVETH ON HIM THAT JUSTIFIETH THE UNGODLY, HIS FAITH IS COUNTED FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS” (Rom. 4:4,5).
To the Reader:
Some of our Two Minutes articles were written many years ago by Pastor C. R. Stam for publication in newspapers. When many of these articles were later compiled in book form, Pastor Stam wrote this word of explanation in the Preface:
"It should be borne in mind that the newspaper column, Two Minutes With the Bible, has now been published for many years, so that local, national and international events are discussed as if they occurred only recently. Rather than rewrite or date such articles, we have left them just as they were when first published. This, we felt, would add to the interest, especially since our readers understand that they first appeared as newspaper articles."
To this we would add that the same is true for the articles written by others that we continue to add, on a regular basis, to the Two Minutes library. We hope that you'll agree that while some of the references in these articles are dated, the spiritual truths taught therein are timeless.