The Ancient Path
You landed on this page because you are seeking information about the rich and wonderful salvation that God offers those who seek Him.
You certainly will ask, "What is required of man in order for him to be saved?"
Scripture is very clear that no one is saved by attempting to perform a good act in his own power. In fact, no one on his own is capable of an act that is righteous in God’s eyes
They have all turned aside, together they have become corrupt; There is no one who does good, not even one. (NASB)
It is certainly doubtful that even Adam, before the Fall, totally on his own without any divine enablement was capable of performing any act of moral good in God’s eyes.
When Adam did act on his own, he committed the first sin (Genesis chapter 3). Not only is it futile to attempt to gain salvation by good works in general, but as Scripture teaches clearly even complete adherence to the Mosaic law (difficult as that would be) would not justify anyone.
nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified.
Now that no one is justified by the Law before God is evident; for, “THE RIGHTEOUS MAN SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.”
Performance of religious rites simply for the sake of the rite will not save anyone, for God desires something else.
According to Scripture, the sole requirement for salvation is that men and women exercise faith in the provision that God has revealed.
Faith is not to be considered a meritorious work on the person's part, for Scripture affirms everywhere that faith, as all of salvation, is God’s gift to mankind.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
There is no question that faith is clearly taught as the sole requirement for salvation in the Old and New Testament of the Bible.
The ultimate object of faith in any and every age is God Himself. The ultimate issue at any time in history is whether a man or woman, boy or girl, will take God at His word and exercise faith in the provision for salvation which God reveals.
Clearly, whatever religious rites, good works, and so on a person might begin or resume, and whatever promises they might reaffirm, the repentant sinner was ultimately turning or returning to God. In all times, they are the ultimate object of faith. Even today when we ask individuals to believe in Jesus Christ as their personal savior, we are asking for an ultimate commitment to God. He is the one who has revealed that salvation is available through faith in Christ. Moreover, a rejection of Christ constitutes a refusal to believe God’s word about Christ; it is a rejection of God Himself.
What about obedience following belief? The specific expression of faith confronts the believer as they contemplate how they are to live out the salvation they have already been given. It is his way of responding to God in obedience as evidence that they have already believed. So therefore works are a matter of response to God for the wonderful gift of salvation based upon faith.
This brief edited document is based upon the fine writing of John S. Feinberg, “Salvation in the Old Testament” Tradition and Testament. Essays in Honor of Charles Lee Feinberg. Chicago: Moody Press, 1981. Hbk. ISBN: 0802425445. pp.39-77.
JOHN S. FEINBERG (M.A., Ph.D., University of Chicago; M. Div., Talbot Theological Seminary: Th.M., Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) is professor of systematic theology at Liberty Baptist Seminary, Lynchburg, Virginia.