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Easy Believism

EASY BELIEVISM

Pastor Michael D. O’Neal, Th.D.

What is easy believism?

That depends on who is doing the talking about the subject. The term is not found in scripture. It means, therefore, whatever the user wants it to mean.

The “easy believism” that does not bring salvation, in scripture, is found in the book of James:

James 2:19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.

Lost religionists (Church of Christ, Catholics, many others) use this verse to declare that a person is not saved by grace through faith ALONE. Some unlearned or unsaved Baptists do the same thing. However, the verse is not talking about believing on the Lord Jesus Christ and trusting Him who died for our sins according to the scriptures, was buried, and rose again the third day according to the scriptures. The verse is talking about believing “that there is one God.”

Faith that there is one God is not saving faith. God does not save through monotheism. Besides that, the statement is about devils. Christ didn’t die for devils, nor does He save devils.

However, there is (and always has been) differences of opinion about what it means to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and about what it means to repent. People who charge fundamentalists with easy believism usually mean that certain fundamentalists either 1. count someone saved who does a repeat-after-me sinner’s prayer and/or 2. encourage people to believe on Christ without requiring them to forsake their sin in order to be saved.

I do not claim to believe in “easy believism.” I believe in EFFORTLESS believism. If salvation were EASY, it is implied that there is SOME work that a sinner must do, just not MUCH. On the part of the sinner, salvation is not EASY. It is EFFORTLESS. The sinner can do NO work in order to be saved. The sinner MUST do NO work in order to be saved.

However, I plead guilty to point number 2. I do not require a person to forsake his sin in order to be saved. I encourage him to believe on the One who paid for his sins on the cross of Calvary. I encourage people to forsake their sins AFTER they are saved. I believe anything other than that is a perversion of the gospel.

The gospel is found in 1 Cor. 15:1-4. It is the fact that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures, that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the scriptures. Notice that the gospel says NOTHING about the work or of the responsibility of the sinner, but it says A LOT about the redemptive work of the Savior.

Church of Christ religionists will say, “You need to study what the Bible says about OBEDIENCE.” Well, we have. When it comes to being saved, the proper response, or obedience to the gospel, is FAITH. The Bible says in:

Romans 10:16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?

The quote from Isaiah is given to show what obedience to the gospel is. It is to believe the report.

The clearest instructions to an inquiring sinner are found in:

Acts 16:29-31 Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas, 30 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?  31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

To believe on the Lord Jesus Christ is equated with “faith” in Eph. 2:8-9 and “trust” in Eph. 1:12-13. That is, a person gets saved by putting faith in what Christ did for him on the cross of Calvary.

Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

AFTER a person is saved, I teach him Eph. 2:10 and Tit. 3:8. The Bible says there:

Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

Titus 3:8 This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.

However, those verses are talking about SERVICE, not SALVATION. Service FOLLOWS salvation. To mix those verses on service with the plan of salvation is to pervert the gospel.

For further information, see my two books:

WHAT IT MEANS TO BELIEVE ON CHRIST

REAL REPENTANCE

For an expose’ of the unscriptural tradition of the so-called “sinner’s prayer,” please see my book, called

THE SINNER’S PRAYER

You can order these books by going to this site: http://www.brothermike.com/study.html

Categories: Misc
  1. June 25, 2019 at 6:41 pm

    I don’t believe in cheap grace. I believe in the riches of God’s grace that provided redemption through Christ’s blood and not through my ability to forsake my sins or at least try really hard. I also understand that “cheap” puts much too high a price for the grace from my side of it, because my Bible says I am justified freely by God’s grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.
    The lordshippers may like to call that cheap grace, but God would take offense at that, considering that it cost the precious blood of His Son.

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