No Pre-Requisites for Saving Faith


He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”                                                                                                                               (John 3:36)


      Self-righteousness is like the pesty mole. Drive it out of one hole, and it will quickly find another in which to make its den. We have fairly well beaten it out of the den of good works as a ground of hope before God. But it has found another hiding place.


      The dark den where self-righteousness hides with little possibility of detection is called by many names: “Fitness for Faith,” “Conditions of Conversion,” “Suitability for Salvation,” “Qualifications for Grace,” and “Saving Knowledge.”


      No matter what name you hang over the hole, it is a den of iniquity. It teaches sinners that in order to have true faith in Christ there are certain conditions that must be met. The doctrine goes like this: “Salvation is by grace alone. It is not what you do, but what Christ has done that saves you. But before you can truly trust Christ and be saved, you must be terrified with conviction, you must weep and mourn over your sin, you must desire holiness, you must repent, you must long for Christ, you must come to see yourself as a lost sinner, you must earnestly seek the Lord, or you must acquire a certain measure of doctrinal knowledge. Then, once you’re qualified, once you’ve met the required conditions, you may trust Christ.”


      Such doctrine may sound good on the surface to those who are not taught of God, but it is only a round-about way of preaching salvation by works. —— Anything set by men between Christ and the sinner (works, feelings, experience, knowledge, anything!) is damning doctrine. It is not to be tolerated.


      There are no pre-requisites, no conditions, no qualifications to be met by sinners before they trust Christ. The gospel of Christ is addressed to sinners as sinners, not awakened sinners, not sensible sinners, not convicted sinners, not lost sinners, not repentant sinners, just sinners!


      God does not command sinners to feel a certain way, experience something, to acquire a certain level of knowledge, or come to realize something about themselves. God commands sinners to believe on his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.


      The moment a preacher places any condition or qualification of any kind upon the sinner before he can trust Christ and be saved, he ceases to preach a gospel of pure grace. Repentance, conviction of sin, lamentation and sorrow over sin are not prerequisites for coming to Christ and trusting him. These things do not precede faith. They are the results of faith (Zechariah 12:l0; John 16:7-14). — “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”


      “Dost thou believe on the Son of God?” No other question is relevant. “Dost thou believe on the Son of God?” May God the Holy Spirit give you grace to believe!








Don Fortner



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