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I’ve found lots of opportunity to respond to dead faith professing Christians who teach contrary to the gospel. One of them once claimed that “the Holy Spirit is not in a believer”  if he “adds” verbs to the gospel, like “baptize” or “repent”, or if he confesses his faith with his mouth.

But let’s see if Jesus or the apostles commanded any of these things he called “adding” to the gospel:

Repentance:

Mat 4:17 From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
Mar 1:14 Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God,
15 And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.
 
Mar 6:7 And he (Jesus) called unto him the twelve, and began to send them forth by two and two; and gave them power over unclean spirits;
11 And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.
12 And they went out, and preached that men should repent.

Here we see that it will be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah on judgment day, than for a person who rejects Christ’s command to repent.

Luk 13:2 And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galileans were sinners above all the Galileans, because they suffered such things?
3 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
4 Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem?
5 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.

Luk 5:32 I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

Luk 15:7 I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.

Luk 24:47 Repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

Water Baptism

Mat 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Mar 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

The gospel of the Kingdom of God/Heaven/Christ is for people of ALL nations, not just for Jews!
 
16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

John 3:22 After these things came Jesus and his disciples into the land of Judea; and there he tarried with them, and baptized.

John 4:1 The Lord knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John

Luk 7:30 But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of him.

Well, we see Jesus many times said to repent and to be baptized, and that the hypocrites rejected His command to be baptized. Did He say men should say their faith aloud?

Confession with one’s mouth

Mat 10:32 Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.

Mat 16:13 Jesus asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?
14 And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.
15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?
16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.

Jesus isn’t content with only a private, non-verbal faith.

Rom 10:6 But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise… that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

So we see from the above that confession with one’s mouth is part of saving faith.
So are they saved who will only say that Jesus is a “good man”, or a “prophet”? Don’t Muslims say that? They deny Jesus is the Messiah.

1Jn 2:22 Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.
Were there some that would not confess Jesus as the Messiah?

John 12:42 Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue:
43 For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.

Now let’s see if the apostles continued preaching repent and be baptized and confess Jesus is Lord AFTER Jesus rose from the dead:

The apostles taught all men to
Repent and be Baptized:

Act 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

(Remember, Paul, in Rom 8:9, said anyone who doesn’t have the Spirit of Christ doesn’t belong to Christ. Peter, in Acts 5:32 said God gives the Holy Ghost to all who OBEY Him. In John 14:15-24, Jesus said that the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, comes and lives in those who KEEP His commandments. God TOOK His Spirit from King Saul because of his willful disobedience 1Sam 16:14; 2Sam 7:15, and we’re warned to take heed lest we too depart from God and get rejected like Saul, Esau, and others did in Heb 3:12-14, 1Cor 10:1-12; Matt 5:13, 2Pet 2:20-22; Rom 11:20-22; Heb 12:15-17; 1Tim 4:1; Matt 24:4,23,24; Eph 5:6)

Act 2:41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.

Here’s Peter again:

Act 3:19 Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord

Act 8:35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture (Is 53), and preached unto (the eunuch) Jesus.
36 And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? (Who hinders water baptism, today? Acts 13:9-10)
37 And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
38 And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.
39 And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing.

We see from the previous passage that believing in Jesus CAUSED the eunuch to desire water baptism.

Act 8:13 Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done.

But Peter said this to Simon after Simon was baptized:

Act 8:22 Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.
23 For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity.

Act 10:47 Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?
48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord.

Act 16:15 And when (Lydia, who worshipped God and heard Paul’s gospel, and obeyed) was baptized, and her household, she besought us, saying, If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there. And she constrained us.

This faithful woman Lydia had no problem asking Paul to JUDGE her faith and invite him to stay a while! Only the lukewarm will whine “You shouldn’t judge other people’s faith”… and that’s because they know in their own heart that they are not faithful, and can’t endure sound judgment.
Act 16:29 Then (the jailer) called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas, (why didn’t Paul tell him to stop trembling?)

Act 16:30 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?

Why didn’t Paul give him the council that most pastors give inquirers today: “There’s nothing you can do; Jesus did it all”?

31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.
32 And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house.
Act 16:33 And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway.

This jailer believed the gospel Paul preached, so he and his whole family got baptized that same hour of the NIGHT! Had Paul preached the same gospel that most preach today, this man would NOT have gotten baptized! He would have been content with a dead faith!

Act 18:8 And Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his house; and many of the Corinthians hearing believed, and were baptized.

Believing in Jesus and getting baptized was then, and still is today, always synonymous.

Paul was baptized:

Act 22:16 (Ananias said to Paul) And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.
Act 9:18 And immediately there fell from his (Paul’s) eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized.

After Paul was baptized in water, did he preach the same gospel Peter preached? Did Paul say God requires repentance like Peter did?

Act 17:22 Then Paul said…
30 For a time God winked at ignorance; but now commands all men everywhere to repent
Act 20:20 And how I (Paul) kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publicly, and from house to house,
21 Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.

Was repentance only for the Jews, but faith alone for the Gentiles?

Paul preached the same gospel to both the Jews and the Gentiles!

Paul heard Jesus tell him to go preach the gospel (not a distinctly new gospel that no one had before preached), and he was not disobedient:

Act 26:20 But I showed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.

Even John the Baptist preached the gospel of repentance and water baptism!

Paul found some believers in Jesus who had not been baptized in Jesus’ name…

Act 19:4 Then said Paul, “John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus”.
5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.

Act 8:12 But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.

So we see that believers needed to both repent and be baptized in Jesus’ name by faith in Jesus to be accepted of God.

Paul personally baptized some people:

1Co 1:16 And I baptized also the household of Stephanas: besides, I know not whether I baptized any other.

…but his main mission was to preach the gospel while others performed the baptisms. Jesus did the same thing:

Joh 4:2 (Though Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples,)

Rom 2:4 Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?

2Co 7:9 Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner…
10 For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.

2Ti 2:25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;
26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.

A time to repent is granted by God to all men, so we must take advantage of it while it’s still available. Remember Lot’s wife.

2Pe 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

We see from this next verse in Hebrews that repentance is part of the FOUNDATION of faith toward God:

Heb 6:1 Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God

Even Jesus, after His resurrection and ascent to Heaven, commands further repentance from believers.
Rev 2:4 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.

Rev 2:5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.
21 And I gave her (Jezebel, a falsed prophtess) space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.
22 Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.
23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.
14 But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam…
15 So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.
16 Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.
17 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches

Rev 3:1b I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.
2 Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God.
3 Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.
4 Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy.
5 He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.
6 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

So we see that repenting as needed is required in order to overcome and not to be blotted out.

1. Confess with the mouth:

Php 2:10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Rom 15:9 And that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy; as it is written, For this cause I will confess to thee among the Gentiles, and sing unto thy name.

1Jn 4:15 Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.

2Jn 1:7 For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.

“Jesus” means “he shall save his people from their sins”. So actually, “Jesus” means “messiah”, for that was to be what the Messiah would come to do.

Mat 1:21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.

Jesus is the Christ. An antichrist will not confess that the Christ is come as the man Jesus.

Remember we read that Jesus said that whosoever would confess him before men, He would confess them before his Father and before His angels? He also said:

Rev 3:5 He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.

This verse compliments Matt 10:32, showing that to confess Jesus is partially how a person overcomes so he doesn’t get his name blotted out of the book of life.

Did Paul deny that believers must confess their faith with their mouth?

Rom 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

It appears Paul did not deny it. So from what both Jesus and Paul said, confessing one’s faith with mouth aloud is part of believing.

“Once saved always saved”?

Many (like Charles Stanley, David Jeremiah, D. James Kennedy, John MacArthur, Billy Graham, Adrian Rogers, ), insist that “the gospel” teaches eternal security from the point one “believes in Jesus”. Does the Bible teach this? Is confessing Jesus as Lord with one’s mouth alone sufficient to save a person?

Mat 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

Because Jesus said “I never knew you”, many say that these workers of iniquity had never been saved. Some who have cast out devils, done many mighty works, and prophesied in Christ’s name have never been saved, since many who do such things have never obeyed the gospel which they claim to believe. But a close examination of parallel verses shows that even those who had once known Jesus are warned that the same can be said to them as will be said to those who were never saved, if they fail to ABIDE in Christ:

Luke 13:23 Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them,
24 Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.
25 When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are:
26 Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets.
27 But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity.

Note that Jesus, in Matt 25, will say to the foolish virgins “I know you not” rather than “I never knew you”, but their end will be the same as the goats – the lake of fire.
 
Mat 25:10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.
11 Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.
12 But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.
13 Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.

If we are “once saved ALWAYS saved”, by a mere moment of past faith, as many insist, then what need would there be to “watch”, or to “strive to enter in at the straight gate”, or to “overcome”, or to “resist the devil” or to “take heed” to anything Jesus said? Doesn’t the teaching which assures a person that he can’t lose salvation if he had once believed in Jesus (even for a mere moment) actually encourage him to sin and not to worry about it, since, they say, he won’t go to the lake of fire but only “lose rewards” in heaven? Who (that doesn’t love Jesus with all his/her heart) really cares about “losing rewards” so long as they make it into heaven, anyway?

Mat 7:24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:
27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and that house fell: and great was the fall of it.
 
Jos 6:18 And ye, in any wise keep yourselves from the accursed thing, lest ye make yourselves accursed, when ye take of the accursed thing, and make the camp of Israel a curse, and trouble it.
 
Jud 1:20 But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost,
21 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.

1Jn 5:21 Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.

See also “What’s wrong with the gospel?” by Keith Green, and “What’s wrong with today’s gospel?” by Dan Corner.

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