Jerry C. Brewer
Some preachers affirm that an alien sinner is saved at the point of faith, or at the very moment he believes in Christ. They usually quote such passages as John 3:16, attempting to prove their doctrine. But John 3:16 does not teach that one is saved at faith. It teaches that one is saved by faith and there’s a big difference between the two.
Man is saved by faith when his faith leads him to do what God commands for salvation. Faith without works is dead—as dead as a body without the spirit in it (Jas. 2:14- 26). Some people think they have been saved by a faith that is a dead corpse! Man is saved by faith, but he is not saved by faith without repenting of his sins (Acts 17:30). Neither is he saved without being baptized into Christ where Christ’s blood saves him (Acts 2:38; Rom. 6:3; Eph. 1:7). Even those who are Christians cannot be saved by faith alone from sins they commit. Their faith must lead them to confess their sins, repent of them, and pray the Father to forgive them (Acts 8:22; 1 John 1:9).
In His day, some folks had faith in Christ but refused to confess Him for fear of losing their positions of prestige (John 12:42). No one can be saved by that kind of faith. In every case of conversion in Acts, men were saved whose faith led them to repent and be baptized. That kind of faith is a living faith—not a corpse!