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  • Writer's pictureKent Brandenburg

Faith and Grace Are Not Works, But Baptism Is a Work

Scripture says salvation or justification is not “of works,” “by works,” or “by the deeds of the law,” and instead “without the deeds of the law” or “without works” (Rom 3:27-28, 4:2, 6, 9:11, 11:6, Eph 2:9, Titus 3:5). Romans 4:5 says, “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness." Hebrews 4:10 says, “For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works.” “Rest” is speaking of salvation.

Since we are not saved by works, what are works? Or, what is a work? Is “faith” or “belief” a work? It isn’t, which explains why we’re saved by faith and not by works. Faith is not a work. 2 Peter 1:1 says: “to them that have obtained like precious faith with us.” Faith is obtained. It is not something we do. It is something we are given. Paul writes in Philippians 1:29, “For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake.” It is given unto you to believe on Christ. Given. Romans 12:3 says, “God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.” Whatever faith a man possesses, God dealt it to him.

“Grace” by definition is a gift, but the Bible also states that it is (Rom 1:5, 12:3, 6, 1 Cor 1:4, 3:10, Eph 3:2, 4:7, James 4:6, 1 Pet 5:5). Romans 4:16 says, “Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace.” If it is of faith, then it is of grace. Faith can’t be a work.

Even as scripture says faith isn’t a work, nothing in the Bible says baptism isn’t a work. Unlike faith, baptism is a work. True water baptism occurs after justification by faith as an obedient work of an already saved person.

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