In Eph. 1:13 the Apostle Paul declares that men are saved and sealed by hearing and believing “the Word of truth, the gospel of your salvation.” This declaration is substantiated by many other passages of Scripture. Our Lord said: “He that heareth… and believeth… hath everlasting life” (John 5:24). This at a time when sacrifices and baptism were still required for the remission of sins. Even then men had to hear and believe to be saved, for “faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God” (Rom. 10:17).
Now, however, salvation is received by hearing and believing alone. Works for salvation are not merely unnecessary; they are forbidden. Today salvation is “to him that worketh not, but believeth” (Rom. 4:5). “For by grace are ye saved, through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast” (Eph. 2:8,9).
God has changed His dealings with men from time to time down through the ages, teaching one lesson at a time. This is why it is so important to note the dispensational distinctions in Scripture, “rightly dividing the Word of truth.”
Once the works of the Law were required for salvation: “But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested” (Rom. 3:21) and men are saved solely by faith in Christ, “being justified freely by [God’s] grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 3:24). We are saved, then, as we hear and believe what Paul calls, “the Word of truth, the gospel of your salvation” (Eph. 1:13), and we are established in the faith as we obey II Tim. 2:15: “rightly dividing the Word of truth.”
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.