Larry Ray Hafley
In the book of Romans, salvation is ascribed and attributed to a number of items. One is saved:
1. By the gospel: "The gospel" is "the power of God unto salvation unto every one that believeth" (Rom. 1: 16).
2. By the Grace of God: "Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus" (Rom. 3:24).
3. By faith: "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ" (Rom. 5: 1).
4. By the blood of Christ: "Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him" (Rom. 5:9).
5. By obedience: "But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from smi, ye became the servants of righteousness" (Rom. 6:17, 18).
Are these five statements a mire and mixture of confusion and contradiction? Should we accept some and reject and refuse others? Should one acknowledge salvation by faith, obedience, and grace, and then say that the gospel and the blood are not essential? Or should one advocate salvation by the gospel, the blood, and obedience, and repudiate faith and grace? Certainly and absolutely not! We must receive and believe all that God says.
The question or issue is, "When were the Romans made free from sin? When did they become new creatures and begin to walk in newness of life in Christ Jesus?"
Answer: "Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life… ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness" (Rom. 6:3, 4, 17, 18).
Have you done as they did, or have you obeyed another form of doctrine?