If you're...

This article attempts to cover all of those questions and more. Please take your time while reading as the information covered can become quite complex: due the fact the majority of these mis-quoted verses are not for salvation but for post-salvation or other contexts.


Salvation is not...

First and foremost:

1. Salvation is not... a 'process' comprised of multiple steps
2. Salvation is not... something that can be lost, in any circumstance (even if you stop believing)
3. Salvation is not... something requiring 'works'
4. Salvation is not... something obtained by a long and confusing prayer (you can only 'pray' after you are saved)
5. Salvation is not... something that transforms your life instantly (change takes time, so does learning the Bible)
6. Salvation is not... an experience that you can feel (people often get emotional, but everything that happens is independent of biology)
7. Salvation is not... something where you will hear God physically talk or see visions

Keep reading and we'll cover why each is the case.

How to be Saved (the first and only step)

Step #1 believe that Christ paid for your sins. Done. That's the first and last step.

Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace are you saved through faith belief; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, in case any man should boast.

Acts 16:27-31 And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep and seeing the prison doors open; he drew out his sword and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled. But Paul cried with a loud voice saying: 'do yourself no harm: for we are all here'. Then he called for a light and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas and brought them out and said: "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" And they said: "believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved and your house".

Romans 4:3 For what does the Scripture say? Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him for righteousness.

Galatians 3:6 Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.

James 2:23 And the scripture was fulfilled which says: Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness, and he was called the Friend of God.

You are saved by a second of belief; and once you are saved you cannot become 'un-saved' even if you stop believing, give up or have problems understanding it.

When we believe Christ paid for our sins we get His righteousness-- that's how the mechanic was set up because we have no righteousness of our own. That's the whole point. If ANYTHING has to be done other than 'belief' to get Christ's righteousness for salvation, there is no point of His death. This is also why 'our' righteousenss is equal to one another's, for we all share Christ's and it is not of our own doing:

Romans 3:22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference

Salvation by ZERO

This diagram illustrates the relationship of belief and anything else. Since belief is the absolute 'lowest', absolutely nothing can be added otherwise Salvation isn't free, and Christ is no longer responsible for the work: which is a problem as that's what the Cross was for.

If someone 'feels' that belief is NOT enough, they won't be saved as they aren't BELIEVING that CHRIST paid for their sins, they are voiding it with Belief + something else. As we'll see later, the people in Matthew 7:21-23 never 'believed' that Christ paid for their sins-- perfectly explaining this relationship.

Of course the predominant idea in Christianity is that salvation is still by 'faith through grace', but spun around 180 degrees stating it must be authentic / genuine and contain works (which is still the same as saying works are required in a more subtle way).

The faith that saves is not alone? (word games)

A common and incorrect introduction to salvation is the following statement: "you're saved by faith alone BUT the faith that saves is not alone". This is a word game to keep the statement "faith alone" but change the underlying meaning to also require works (belief + 1), and that without those works you cannot be saved with the cross alone. Next up faith is a poor synonym and doesn't always have the same connotation as 'belief', yet faith is always used in place of believing with people of this mentality.

The model generally explained of the 'faith that saves is not alone' is as follows:

faith = salvation + works

Since 'works' has been added to the equation it demands some kind of human effort: so this means that the cross is not enough. The counter argument is that there must be 'evidence' of your salvation; however this is still mandating some sort of human effort to be performed PRIOR to salvation (despite if they try to claim it isn't). Anything that happens AFTER salvation that's a result of salvation is still not required for salvation nor is there any such thing as 'sustaining your salvation'. Here's a diagram outlining this problem more in depth:

As you can see, before salvation we can have individual 'A' having no faith and having no works. But, individual 'B' could potentially have no faith AND works if we are to assume that faith and works must be done at the point of salvation via faith = salvation AND works. The problem here is that 'works' are not unique to the believer (but belief in Christ IS what's unique), anyone can do them. So WHY include them as a part of salvation? Again, someone could make the argument that they're from God and not yourself, but then if that's the case: A) why doesn't God tack on these "works" to everyone if we're not actually doing them and B) since they're REQUIRED for the point of salvation, that means you MUST be able to do them in a state just before your unbelief-- for you cannot have 'faith' without 'works' prior to salvation.

Here's the correct equation which follows the principle of belief + 0:

salvation = belief + nothing

The confusion with "your faith must have works for salvation" word games stems primarily from the inability to distinguish pre-salvation from post-salvation and from a misreading of James 2 (where James is addressing a congregation of already saved believers-- explained later on in the article in more detail).

Why Salvation is PERMANENT

We have the same 'A' and 'B'individuals as before, however individual 'C' (Matthew 7:21-23, explained later on in the article) is someone who does 'faith + works' voiding out faith; for they have not BELIEVED that Christ paid for their sins exclusively. This is one of the most dangerous types of individuals to be as you're role-playing what (you) think a "Christian" is, and yet avoiding grace entirely. In the center we have salvation which is belief + NO works. And then finally we have the three outcomes and the corresponding types Luke 8:11-6. We'll take a look at some verses as to why salvation is permanent and the four types of mental states (types) Christ outlines:

Luke 8:11 Now the parable is this: the seed is the Word of God.

Luke 8:12 (Type 1) Those by the road side are they that hear; then comes the devil, and takes away the Word out of their hearts, in case they should believe and be saved.

Luke 8:13 (Type 2) They on the rock are they which when they hear, receive the Word with joy; and these have no root which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.

Luke 8:14 (Type 3) And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.

Luke 8:15 (Type 4) But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.

Luke 8:16 No man, when he has lit a candle, covers it with a container, or puts it under a bed; but sets it on a candlestick, that they which enter in may see the light.

Christ has identified FOUR scenarios that occur when hearing the word of God for the first time and the end result of that hearing. I've labeled each one Type 1 through 4. Near the end there's a mention of 'see the light', we'll cover that later in the article to see how it ties everything to the 'big picture'. For now let's break down the meaning of each one:

Type 1: These individuals HEAR the Word, but they decide that they don't wish to believe. Not saved.

Type 2: These individuals HEAR the Word, but after awhile STOP believing (i.e. they no longer believe in Christ). Permanently saved.

Type 3: These individuals HEAR the word, and continue on to believing, but never mature in the Bible. Permanently saved.

Type 4: These individuals HEAR the word, continue on to believing, AND mature. Permanently saved.

When the Bible uses the word 'fruit', this is in relation to doctrine or knowledge. When translations typically use 'perfection' this is actually referring to maturity. Continuing with Christ's analogy of the seed and trees, only a mature tree can produce fruit. We can further see the use of this analogy in Hebrews 13:15, as well as with the lips which are not meant literally:

Hebrews 13:15 by Him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit (doctrine) of our lips giving thanks to His name.

To recap:

'fruit' (KARPOS) = Bible Doctrine / Knowledge

'perfect' (TELESPHOREO) = to maturity, ripe

It's worth noting that only Luke 8:14 uses TELESPHOREO for maturity specifically, it's not used anywhere else in the Bible (even though similar words are used in its place).

One could argue that salvation is still obtained by works without believing or works AND believing. But works are never mentioned in Christ's parable (as pointed out, FRUIT does not equal WORKS). Also if we were to assume that salvation had to be earned (with works), the four types of individuals Christ identified would lose the unique dynamics: in that we would only have Type 4 being saved-- the other three types would considered to be 'unsaved' therefore redundant and no point to explain the file details. Whereas, soon as we understand that it's actually Type 2, 3 and 4 that are saved, we can 'see' the variances of what will happen to each believer.

Here is another clarification on 'fruits':

Matthew 7:20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.

In context Christ is referring to pastors or teachers. Because a 'mature' believer's fruit is their Bible knowledge. And this also coincides with the ANALOGY in and of itself... a mature tree produces fruit! A mature believer produces... Bible Doctrine! This also helps understand why 'fruit' is used specifically and not 'works'. So we would read it as such:

Matthew 7:20 Therefore (teachers) by their fruits (doctrines) you will know them.

Notice now we can place the concept of being able to determine a 'teacher' by what they teach.

If someone were to make the argument that this is not the case, and it indeed refers to 'works', it wouldn't make sense as a tree that is not mature cannot produce fruit, breaking the analogy. The next problem we have is that not all verses stating fruit can easily have their context changed to works (unlike Matthew 7:20). And the final problem entirely different words are being used in the underlying Greek: English speakers get too comfortable from combinding vocabulary together.

Invite Jesus into your heart?

You'll often hear the statement 'invite Jesus into your heart' and you'll be saved. Now this statement is nowhere to be found in the Bible but is typically rationalized from Revelation 3:20:

Revelation 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear my voice and open the door; I will come in to him, and will sup (DEIPNEO) with him and he with me.

There are a few questions we need to ask and few things we have to know beforehand. Firstly, what is the 'door' (why is Christ knocking on it) and what does the 'supping' mean and why was that term chosen specifically? Next up it's important to know Christ was addressing this to the Laodiceans.

One missing piece of the puzzle is we need to know the dynamics behind 'carnality' (Greek is SARX and SARKIKOS). Paul writes:

Romans 7:14 For we know that the law (NOMOS) is spiritual (PNEUMATIKOS): but I am carnal (SARKIKOS), sold under sin.

Rather surprising to see Paul write about being carnal and sold under sin. But what does it mean? Well after salvation you get the Holy Spirit:

Ephesians 1:13 In whom you also trusted, after that you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that you believed, you were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise

...but you still have the ability to sin after salvation (since sin is part of the human biology and NO ONE is "perfect"). So what exactly happens when you sin after you're saved? Well the analogy the Bible uses is a 'house' or a 'temple'.

1 Corinthians 6:19 What? Don't you know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit which is in you, which you have of God, and you are not your own?

The Holy Spirit dwells in the 'house' or 'temple', but soon as you sin, the Holy Spirit comes out-- requiring another 'filling'.

Ephesians 5:18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit

How are you re-filled? By stating you've sinned and then (optionally) stating what you've done for self-diagnostics to keep track of where you're going wrong:

1 John 1:9 If we confess STATE our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse purify us from all unrighteousness.

Psalm 32:5 I acknowledged my sin to you, and my iniquity I have not hid. I said, I will confess name my transgressions to the LORD; and you forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah.

One problem to this is that if you DON'T utilize the 1 John 1:9 mechanic, you won't be in fellowship with God and thus carnal, going straight back to what Paul was explaining on. So, if you're not in fellowship with God lacking the re-filling, God also won't "hear" your prayers as a result:

Psalm 66:18 If I regard iniquity in my heart (mind), the Lord will not hear me

This system solves a lot of un-explained problems / verses and acts as a cohesive to many other systems explained in the Bible, including: sinning after salvation, explanations to Christ's analogies, Paul's statements regarding carnality, etc. It's also highly observable in those who are carnal, as carnal Christians start to behave oddly as they try to digest spiritual information without the Holy Spirit (saved but lacking a re-filling).

Here is a diagram outlining the process from the point of salvation to being re-filled:

Taking a look back at Revelation 3:20, Christ was telling the Laodiceans-- who were carnal / unfilled-- to GET re-filled. The 'knocking' is the reminder for 1 John 1:9, once done then Christ's in and you're in fellowship, or "supping". The supping is going straight to 1 Corinthians 10:21 in which when you're re-filled you're drinking from the Lord's cup, when you're un-filled you're drinking from the demons' cup. This is also why Paul makes a drinking reference in Ephesians 5:18 as a 'physical' play on the drinking analogy.

1 Corinthians 10:21 You cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of demons: you cannot be partakers of the Lord's table, and of the table of demons.

Therefore you cannot be re-filled or un-filled at the same time, only one or the other at any given moment. In the case of Revelation 3:20 Christ wanted the Laodiceans to drink "from the cup of the Lord". As we can see, there's no 'inviting' (you have no business to "invite" Christ anywhere) and there's no 'heart' involved with Revelation 3:20.

For a more complete in-depth explanation on the re-filling mechanic, please click here and read the 1 John 1:9 article.

Light vs. Darkness

Now let's elaborate more on what Christ (and many other verses) mean when they are using the analogies of light vs. darkness; simply because Christians will say if you're 'in the darkness' you're not saved.

Let's go all the way back to Luke 8:16:

Luke 8:16 No man, when he has lit a candle, covers it with a container, or puts it under a bed; but sets it on a candlestick, that they which enter in may see the light.

When you're not 're-filled' you won't be able to see the light, or rather the light of doctrine. Referring back to Luke 8, individuals in categories Type 2 and Type 3 stopped being re-filled with the Holy Spirit (so they entered from light into darkness--from having doctrine to not being able to discern doctrine). This caused Type 2 to eventually stop believing, and caused Type 3 to not continue or grow. Which is why if we read Luke 8:14 again:

Luke 8:14 (Type 3) And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit (Bible doctrine) to perfection (maturity).

They had no Bible in their minds, therefore no maturity. Can't mature if you're not thinking on the Word (aka 'the Seed' in the parable). And that's why the whole 'plant' analogy was used. Here's a chart outlining the two differences when being re-filled / un-filled, and the corresponding analogies of light and darkness annexed:

To recap:

Being in the light means you can discern doctrine per being re-filled. Being in darkness means you CANNOT discern doctrine per being un-filled.

Faith without works is dead?

A common phrase used in conjunction with salvation is "faith without works is dead", and it is derived from James 2:17:

James 2:17 Even so faith belief, if it has no (divine) works, is dead being alone.

However, this verse doesn't directly have anything to do with salvation, it's post-salvation. Here are the corresponding Greek words highlighted:

James 2:17 οὕτως καὶ ἡ πίστις, ἐὰν μὴ ἔργα, νεκρά ἐστιν καθ᾽ ἑαυτήν.

Monadic = uniqueness, Anarthrous = quality

Monadic means that the word has its appropriate article (per conjugation), Anarthrous means that the word is MISSING its article. The word 'ergon' in James 2:17 does not have the appropriate article that it's supposed to. This assigns a 'divine' quality to the word, so that would equate to divine works. One could argue that the missing articles mean nothing; but in terms of *context* it makes sense for every single article that James removes on which words he wants to assign a divine quality or stress the uniqueness. Not to mention James appropriately adds articles where they need to be, only in these unique areas is this done-- which coincidentally are the very verses Christians misuse.

So then, belief without God's DIVINE work is dead-- because you're not re-filled, and therefore aren't in God's system-- which again has nothing to do with salvation, this is entirely post-salvation. If we were to consider the "faith without works is dead and therefore salvation is lost" argument, here are a few problems:

#1 James is addressing this to believers the whole time. He's not telling them on how to 'get saved', but that they were 'standby' believers not doing anything-- remaining in a carnal / unfilled state:

James 2:1 My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons.

#2 The 'works' mentioned in James 2:17 refer to God's DIVINE work in your post-salvation-- this can only function when you're re-filled per 1 John 1:9. If this was something required for salvation, it would be impossible to achieve for you can only have divine works AFTER you're saved and AFTER you've believed.

#3 Works still have nothing to do with salvation. Just because your belief is in a dead state or you're a standby believer does not mean you've lost your salvation-- or that you're not saved.

Paul brushes on the same problem James was talking about:

2 Corinthians 13:5 Examine yourselves, whether you're in the faith Word; prove your ownselves. Don't you know yourselves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except if you're reprobates castaways (ADOKIMOS)?

The 'examining' is to do basic diagnostics (1 John 1:9) to ensure you're re-filled. Which is why Paul emphasizes Christ being IN you (re-filled) versus being a castaway on standby per the Greek word Adokimos (un-filled). The believers James was addressing were un-filled claiming their own works had merit and didn't understand that it wasn't about the works, but about the believing and God's divine work as a result of said belief-- which again, has nothing to do with *salvation*.

Note: the KJV uses the more appropriate translation 'castaway' in 1 Corinthians 9:27 for ADOKIMOS, since a host of translators worked on the translation, we ended up with inconsistent word choices: reprobrate is not the proper word since it has too much religious connotation, someone who is 'adokimos' is not 'damned'. Castaway is more fitting as being un-filled places you at a distance from God (Psalm 66:18).

Please read the: James 1 'faith without works' and James 2 'faith without works' articles. Due to the sheer amount of information and the fact you need James 1 to further understand James 2, it cannot be covered thoroughly here.

The demons believe also?

Yet another argument made is that if the demons 'believe' then belief is not enough and that you also must have works. Here is the verse:

James 2:19 You believe that God is one; you do well: the demons also believe (God is one) and tremble.

James 2:19 σὺ πιστεύεις ὅτι εἷς ἐστιν ὁ θεός, καλῶς ποιεῖς: καὶ τὰ δαιμόνια πιστεύουσιν καὶ φρίσσουσιν.

Notice however that in context it simply refers to that the demons believe in the doctrine that God is one (trinity). It does NOT state the demons also 'believe' that Christ paid for their sins. For the sake of argument, let's say the demons DID believe that Christ paid for their sins, it would not be any more difficult for them to do "works", and in fact, demons are the most vehement on works:

2 Corinthians 11:14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.

As an 'angel of light', Satan plays the good guy-- doing works left right and centre. The thing he WON'T do of course, is believe that Christ paid for his sins-- as it stands, belief is still the only unique facet between someone with unbelief and belief. ANYONE can do works. What James was getting at specifically was when the Israelites were repeating 'God is one' endlessly, but they didn't believe it-- they just mouthed it thinking that the action of mouthing it had merit isntead of... believing the concept and utilizing it:

Deuteronomy 6:4 Hear, Oh Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD

Deuteronomy 6:4 שְׁמַ֖ע יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל יְהוָ֥ה אֱלֹהֵ֖ינוּ יְהוָ֥ה׀ אֶחָֽד׃

To recap: James was emphasizing divine works (being re-filled) over human works (useless and indicative of being un-filled). Believers were [A] not being re-filled (drinking with demons), and [B] considering their own works to be of divine quality (walking in darkness); anyone who claims their works are the doing of God or have merit cannot discern the truth. That's the whole point.

One could make an argument that the 'works' needed for salvation with your 'faith' *are* the divine works mentioned, but we still run into problems:

#1 The Bible still distinguishes those who are saved & un-filled:

2 Timothy 3:5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

#2 We would have to forcefully disregard all of the verses in Luke 8:11-16 to being all monolithic (in that everyone 'wasn't saved' making the distinguishings between the four redundant).

#3 Works (divine or not) are still not stipulated to be required for salvation anywhere in the Bible.

#4 Divine works cannot occur if you believe in the faith + works model, because that very school of thought is carnal.

Not everyone that says Lord Lord shall ENTER into heaven?

Another common argument presented is 'not everyone who says lord lord will enter' into heaven. However, there's a few key terms that are skipped, namely, what IS the will of the father? And why are the people who are rejected specifically ones claiming to have done all of these amazing 'powerful' works? That doesn't sound like someone who does Belief + 0. Let's take a look:

Matthew 7:21 Not every one that says to me, "Lord, Lord," will enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven.

Matthew 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, "Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name? And in your name have cast out demons? And in your name done many wonderful works?"

Matthew 7:23 And then will I state to them, "I never knew you: depart from me, you that work iniquity."

In order to find out what the 'Will of the Father' is, we'll have to jump over to John where Christ explains it and also reiterates on some of the key phrases terms at in Matthew 7-21-23:

John 6:40 And this is the will of Him that sent me, that everyone which sees the Son, and believes on Him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.

And there we have our answer right in John 6:40. The 'Will of the Father' is to simply BELIEVE. So jumping back to Matthew 7:21, we have individuals who did NOT believe (failed to do the Will of the Father) yet are claiming to have done all of these amazing works under God's name instead.

John 6:37 All that the Father gives me shall come to me; and him that comes to me I will in no wise cast out.

The unrighteous will not INHERIT the kingdom of God?

Very often 1 Corinthians 6:9 will be brought up to show that if you 'sin' you can't enter into heaven, well let's take a look:

1 Corinthians 6:9 Don't you know that the unrighteous will not inherit (KLERONOMEO) the kingdom of God? Don't be deceived: neither fornicators, or idolaters, or adulterers, or effeminate, or abusers of themselves with mankind,

1 Corinthians 6:10 Or thieves, or covetous, or drunkards, or revilers, or extortioners will inherit (KLERONOMEO) the kingdom of God.

Alright, let's take a quick dip back to our good friend Matthew 7:23 yet again:

Matthew 7:21 Not every one that says to me, "Lord, Lord," will enter (EISERCHOMAI) into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven."

At this point it's very clear that *inherit* (KLERONOMEO) and *enter* (EISERCHOMAI) are two completely different words in both English and Greek. So what does inherit mean then? Let's take a look at some more verses for clarification:

Colossians 3:24 Knowing that of the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance (KLERONOMIA): for you serve the Lord Christ.

Colossians 1:12 Giving thanks to the Father, which has made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance (KLERONOMIA) of the saints in light

So the 'inheritances' are based upon how much maturity and Bible Doctrine you get in your mind. This also is a post-salvation subject not pertaining to salvation itself.

And now we have another reference back to the 'light'. The reason why the believers (translated as saints) in heaven had the degree of inheritances that they did, is because they-- studied the Bible. So, again we see tie-back to Luke 8:15 and Luke 8:16. Let's bring them up again:

Luke 8:14 (Type 3) And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.

Luke 8:15 (Type 4) But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.

Luke 8:16 No man, when he has lit a candle, covers it with a container, or puts it under a bed; but sets it on a candlestick, that they which enter in may see the light.

Therefore 'light' (Bible Doctrine / Knowledge) equates to maturity and the inheritances. 'no light' (no doctrine) 'no inheritances', well there's varying degrees of inheritances but the Bible clarifies the differences in other passages.

And now we can more fully analyze the Type 4 and Type 3 groups of people Christ mentioned:

Type 4 = 'believed' for salvation + 're-filling' of the Holy Spirit + fruit = maturity = 'in the light' = inheritances

Type 3 = 'believed' for salvation + 'no-filling' of the Holy Spirit + no fruit = no maturity = 'in the darkness' = no inheritances

Paul clarifies further on the 'inheritance' mechanic and says a physical body can't 'inherit' the Kingdom of God either (due to the fact physical biology can't withstand the environment). And then makes a slight joke that corruption cannot inherit corruption in that they both cancel themselves out:

1 Corinthians 15:50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit (KLERONOMEO) the kingdom of God; neither does corruption inherit incorruption.

Due to the depth of this topic (inheritances), it cannot fully be covered in a single paragraph. Please see the Royal Priesthood - Training as Kings page for more information on how it all branches off even more deeply.

Many are called, but few are chosen?

Matthew 22:13 Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Matthew 22:14 For many are called, but few are chosen.

This is actually again a reference partly to the inheritances-- in that only some will be chosen as 'kings'. It's not a salvation passage and no where does the context state this has anything to do with salvation (for starters salvation passages are never in parables). For a more in-depth coverage please see the Royal Parables. In regards to the parable's statement on 'outer darkness' and 'gnashing of teeth', it's not a hell reference; when people isolate themselves it's almost a form of outer darkness, and gnashing of teeth is indicative of nervousness.

Repent from sin?

Christians may say that you must 'repent', or more commonly 'repent from sin'. First let's take a look at repent and what it means in conjunction with salvation, then we'll anaylze the phrase 'repent from sin'. Here are a few verses to start out with:

Luke 13:3 I tell you, no: but except you repent, you will all likewise die.

Acts 3:19 Therefore repent, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord

The Greek word, METANOIA, translated to repent-- is a conditioner inferring to change your state of mind (as it's also a deritivative of nous). So changing your mind from unbelief TO belief-- in the case of salvation. So in Luke 13:3 if we were to say except you CHANGE YOUR STATE OF MIND (from unbelief to belief), you'll die, figuratively. Or, change your state of mind (from unbelief to belief) so that your sins may be blotted out-- it starts to make a lot more sense... but does 'repent FROM SIN' exist as a statement? Well if we look at Acts 3:19, the act of changing your state of mind from unbelief TO belief is what causes your sins to be wiped away. But repent *from sin* does not exist anywhere; as that would mean changing your mind from sinfulness to sinlessness: the flesh always sins. And even if this were the case, it would violate a lot verses: especially since *believing* is the key, not an action that's indepent from Christ's death on the cross, and also due to the fact METANOIA between people who *already* believe and are Christians.

Taking a look at Mark 1:15 we can see where METANOIA-- changing your state of mind -- is combined with to BELIEVE (and again the phrase 'repent from sin' is nonexistent):

Mark 1:15 And saying: "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent, and believe the gospel".

Here we can see the meaning of 'changing your state of mind' clearly:

Luke 17:3 Take heed to yourselves: If your brother trespasses against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him.

So if your brother CHANGES THE STATE OF HIS MIND, then you can forgive him. Of course as previously stated, this is a post-salvation scenario-- so it wouldn't make sense for the context of 'repent from sin', you're not repenting, you're changing your mind and naming your sins *to God*.

Finally we can see how 'repent' (METANOIA) is used when it refers to God Himself:

Hebrews 7:21 (For those priests were made without an oath; but this with an oath by him that said to him: "The Lord sware and will not repent, you are a priest forever after the order of Melchisedec")

IS *GOD* to 'repent from sin'? Obviously God does not 'repent' since... He was the one who died on the Cross. There's no other way but to interpret it as God 'will not change the state of His mind' in that context.

To conclude, the word 'repent' is an English word that carries a lot of religious meanings not associated to the original Greek word METANOIA (which is actually neutral). Therefore, we shouldn't use statements that do not exist anywhere in the Bible (even in translation!) Repent from sin is not biblical, not even the English word 'repent' (penace).

Genuine Repentance?

You'll often hear the statement "you need to have signs of a GENUINE repentance", accompanied by a long list of various items which varies from Christian to Christian. The phrase 'genuine repentance' is nonexistent in the Bible and has been created for those who 'feel' believing is not enough. Let's review some of the common things Christians say you are to do for 'genuine repentance':

#1 "Grieveing / feeling sorry for your sin" (emotion!) - this has nothing to do with salvation, doesn't exist anywhere in the Bible, and playing with your emotions has no effect over what Christ did on the cross for you.
#2 "Changing your ways" - change (potentially) comes AFTER salvation. It does not affect whether you are saved or not. Furthermore, all of our righteousness is the same as we have Christ's: if we had to forcefully change our life by ourselves and accredit it to God, we would have variating righteousness. The work that God does in your life is INDEPENDENT from what YOU do, and will only occur through belief.
#3 "Admitting you've sinned" - this is a clever distortion of 1 John 1:9. It waters down the 'state your sin' aspect by instead of making you just admit you have 'sinned', and makes it a one-time action. So you'll never name your sins after that point: which means perpetual carnality.
#4 "Evidence of your Salvation" - nowhere in the Bible does it state we must have external 'evidence' of our salvation. In fact, the opposite is true in Matthew 23:5, the Pharisees and legalistic individuals outwardly showed "their salvation" (what they thought was salvation). And this is also brushing on 2 Corinthians 11:14 again; Satan is one of the first to play the 'outward Christian' instead of focusing on the Bible itself and learning it. The "Angel of Light" wants to trap you in what you THINK is 'the light', and people always respond the eaisest to outward works and emotion.
#5 "Changing your lifestyle" - again this has nothing to do with *salvation*, it does have a lot to do with the quality of your life. But not salvation.

Here's the 'genuine repentance' model paired against the belief + nothing else model:

As we can see, there's no consistency with the 'genuine repentance' model, random tasks and actions are randomly thrown-- and it's never clear just how far you have to go with what, and at what point you 'lose' salvation, at what point you 'get' salvation and so forth. Another problem is that all of these 'required' actions vary from Christian to Christian, so it's complete chaos-- this is expected as the Bible never mentions any of these odd steps and stages for salvation, so naturally those who parrot these statements randomly mix them up in a blender and there's no consistency. In the model to the right we see that BELIEF is the point of salvation, and anything afterwards is accredited to POST-Salvation (and does NOT affect salvation; sure it affects your life, but never your salvation). It's insane to bring yourself down and "feel sorry", or to enforce that you're unworthy. This can lead to depression and causes Christ's work on the cross to be ignored while you're focused 'being sorry' for something that's ALREADY paid for.

You must have "evidence" of your salvation / Genuine saving faith?

Moving back to 2 Corinthians 13:5 (again), this verse is misconstrued to infer that you must have evidence for your authentic faith:

2 Corinthians 13:5 Examine yourselves, whether you're in the faith Word; prove your ownselves. Don't you know yourselves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except if you're reprobates castaways (ADOKIMOS)?

As we already know, this verse is referring to being re-filled (Christ in you), as opposed to being a castaway who is un-filled. Again, nothing about 'repentance' or 'authentic' faith; and of course nothing about salvation, either.

An argument against this might be "well Paul is explicitly stating this as a present and not past event". That's correct, since salvation is ALREADY done (through belief), the present (post-salvation) mechanic is that you have to diagnose yourself so that you know you're re-filled and not un-filled (ADOKIMOS). Since this has nothing to do with pre-salvation, it SHOULD NOT be a past event, and it isn't.

With that out of the way, for a case scenario-- what happened if you DID need signs and outward 'evidence' that you needed to show off for salvation? Let's review what the Pharisees were doing:

Matthew 23:1-2 Then spoke Jesus to the multitude and to his disciples saying: "the scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat:

Matthew 23:3 All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not you after their works: for they say and do not.

Matthew 23:4 For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.

Matthew 23:5 But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they broaden their phylacteries (torah boxes), and enlarge the borders of their garments,

Matthew 23:6 And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues,

Matthew 23:7 And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, "Rabbi, Rabbi".

Matthew 23:8 But don't be called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all of you are brethren.

Matthew 23:9 And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.

Matthew 23:10 Neither be you called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ."

#1 They were placing heavy burdens on people (can be physical or mental)
#2 They were ensuring they had 'evidence' of their works (publicly displaying them to others)
#3 They had a title which placed a mental importance on them isntead of Christ

Well what the Pharisees were doing follows the fatalities that Christian denominations suffer from. So why are we saying that you NEED "evidence" and why do we have priests with fancy titles so that people place a mental importance on the priest instead of Christ? Divine works from God are done behind the scenes contoured to each believer: which makes it UNIQUE from the 'evidence' works that Christians (and Pharisees) get confused in.

Matthew 23:33 You serpents, you generation of vipers, how can you escape the damnation of hell?

And why was Christ questioning the fact if they could escape hell or not? Let's take a look earlier in Matthew:

Matthew 5:20 For I say to you, that except your righteousness will exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

In other words they didn't have Christ's righteousness through believing, and that brings us back to:

Romans 3:22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith belief of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference

Romans 10:3-4 For they being ignorant of God's righteousness and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believes.

Someone might argue that the scenario of the Pharisees doesn't apply to them because the Pharisees 'believed in salvation through the Law' or some other excuse. However, the same mental state of 'works salvation' is linked to that (belief + 1), believing in the law for salvation is no different from believing in works for salvation.

The "Fruit" of Repentance?

Followed by Christians stating you must "repent" or have a "genuine repentance", they'll also say you must have "fruits worthy of repentance", which is generally taken from this verse:

Luke 3:8 Therefore bring forth fruits worthy of repentance the changed state of your mind

Woah, wait a second-- that's not the full verse. Let's read everything in context instead of cherry picking:

Luke 3:2 Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests, the word of God came to John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness.

Luke 3:3 And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance changing the state of your mind for the remission of sins;

Luke 3:4 As it is written in the book of the words of Esaias the prophet saying: "the voice of one crying in the wilderness, prepare you the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.

Luke 3:5 Every valley will be filled, and every mountain and hill will be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways will be made smooth;

Luke 3:6 And all flesh shall see the salvation of God".

Luke 3:7 Then he said to the multitude that came forth to be baptized of him: "Oh generation of vipers, who has warned you to flee from the wrath to come?

Luke 3:8 Therefore bring forth fruits (doctrines) worthy of repentance the changed state of your mind, and do not begin to say within yourselves: "We have Abraham to our father", for I say to you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children to Abraham".

John was communicating this specifically to those who were either Pharisees (generation of vipers) or playing the legalistic game placing Abraham above Christ. This is why John was specifying 'fruits' (doctrines) of their changed mind: saying that "we have Abraham to our father" is NOT a fruit (doctrine) from a changed mind.

This is not some sort of weird 'repent' command to believers required for their 'genuine repentance'. Also this (again) has nothing to do with salvation, neither the audience or the context of this whole passage.

The Confused Christian's Vocabulary

As we've established, Christians who state that you need works (or anything) besides belief, use a bunch of religious words and tend to coagulate everything into a huge (confusing) mess-- nothing is ever clear. Let's take a better look at these words:

Repent: this word has obvious issues with the context of many verses when you replace it with METANOIA (to change the state of your mind, from one state to another). When most Christians use 'repent', they mean it in a state of penance and not whichever context the specified verse carries-- or in many cases they use repent as a stand-alone word and affix whatever term they 'feel' is necessary-- such as 'repent from sin'. Repent is not biblical and is an English word that rose to use largely from the Douay-Rheims translation and subsequently the KJV 1611. METANOIA is a *conditioner* describing your state of mind and isolated by itself has nothing to do with salvation. Why are we using 'repent' then as a stand-alone word which isn't neutral like METANOIA when its in a stand-alone form?
Evidence: not found anywhere in the Bible (i.e. 'you must have evidence'), it's just convenient 'go-to' vocabulary for those who believe in works salvation. Hebrews 11:1 does have 'evidence' (however this verse has absolutely nothing to do with salvation and may win the award for being the most mistranslated verse in the Bible).
Fruit: often used as a synonym for 'works', however in context (especially Luke 3:2-8 as previously seen) fruit refers to your biblical knowledge-- the doctrines you understand. And following Christ's analogy, only a mature tree produces fruit, therefore new believers will have none or next to no fruit.
Heart: Used extremely frequently to describe some sort of 'emotional' aura or ether by works salvation individuals, something that they can claim they 'feel'. The way the Bible uses KARDIA is to refer to a specific part of your mind (which you CANNOT feel). That's it. And in context this makes a lot more sense, since 'heart' when taken too far out of its figurative context starts to create nonsensical ideas. This word is a personal favourite with works salvation Christians.
Works: When used, divine vs. human works is never specified, and works shouldn't be used in context for salvation to begin with as we've established.
Commitment: Doesn't exist anywhere in the Bible: and is a horrible word to instill the notion that you have to 'do' something for God, despite the fact HE did everything on the cross already. This is an identifier of someone who is ADOKIMOS (un-filled). God bought your salvation, so why are YOU trying to give back something you've never had in the first place?
Authentic / Genuine: Prependisms that are tacked on to 'repent', 'fruit', 'faith', 'commitment' etc so works salvation Christians can artificially distinguish between two groups that don't exist in the first place ('authentic' Christians vs regular 'Christians').
Obedience: this one appears to slip into the vocabulary a lot but has no basis in original language text (or even English translations half of the time!). It's flawed because the old sin nature causes us to be unreliable, so we'll never be 100% "obedient" to Christ as long as we have our physical bodies. Furthermore, God doesn't want mindless drooling 'obedient puppies', He wants sons* that can think and know Bible Doctrine in the Greek and Hebrew, not English language.

*'sons' is not meant to take on a specific sex, it's just a call back to Genesis 1:26, for, we share what God has in that we're alive and can think with volition. It applies to both male and female.

Bad Salvation Volcabulary and Prependisms


Etymology 1

From pre- + (ap)pend, by analogy with append.


prepend (third-person singular simple present prepends, present participle prepending, simple past and past participle prepended)

1. (computing, linguistics, transitive) To attach (an expression, phrase, etc.) to another, as a prefix.


When you hear someone say that you must believe, they'll often say, "oh well you need to truly believe" or "you must have genuine faith". Other times they'll say you need a sincere confession, you need to earnestly pray, etc. Here's a rather complete list of some of the common prependisms:

1. Actual
2. Authentic
3. Earnestly
4. Genuine
5. Real
6. Sincere
7. True
8. Biblical

The problem with all of these words is that they are never used in conjunction with 'believe' or 'faith' (which should always be translated as believe-- translations will vary between the two even though the Greek word PISTIS remains the same).

Jesus never said you need to truly believe, sincerely believe... or have genuine faith. The issue is that Prependisms have been created when people feel that 'believing' is not enough; and that's a real issue as: believing + works does not equal believing-- because you're adding works and have not believed Christ PAID for your sins; rather you 'feel' that the extra works are still required for that payment.

Here are some words that some individuals use to replace 'believe' entirely:

1. Admit
2. Accept
3. Acknowledge
4. Commit
5. Invite
6. Trust

There's no such thing as: 'admitting' in Jesus for salvation, 'accepting' Jesus for salvation, 'acknowledging' Jesus for salvation, 'commiting' Jesus for salvation, 'inviting' Jesus for salvation, 'trusting' Jesus for salvation-- it's BELIEVING in Jesus for salvation.

An argument to this might be that Ephesians 1:13 lists 'trusted' (depending on your translation):

Ephesians 1:13 In whom you also trusted, after that you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in who also after that you believed, you were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise.

However, the text highlighted 'trusted, after that you heard' is a single verb AKOUO in the Greek. In other words, 'trusted' has been added in translation, it shouldn't be there.

Lukewarm Christianity?

--still in progress--

Revelation 3:15 I know your works, that you are neither cold or hot: I would you were cold or hot.

Revelation 3:16 So then because you are lukewarm, and neither cold or hot, I will spue you out of my mouth.

--still in progress--

Wrong Salvation Phrases (Review)

With all of the above in mind, let's review some very common phrases that are used for providing how to 'be saved':

1. "There must be evidence of your salvation"
2. "You must be sorry for your sins"
3. "Invite Jesus into your heart"
4. "Open your heart to Jesus"
5. "Jesus is knocking on your heart's door"
6. "pray this and mean it with all of your heart"
7. "Make Jesus the Lord of your life"
8. "Give your life to the Lord"
9. "You must make a commitment to God"
10. "Commit the rest of your life"
11. "Follow up on your commitment"
12. "You must show obedience"
13. "You must repent from sin"
14. "You must confess X Y Z"
15. "Work your way to heaven"

Would it surprise you to know that *every single* one of those statements is incorrect for salvation? None of them address the fact to just 'believe'. One phenomenon you'll notice is how they emphasize 'the self'; count how many times you see the words 'you' and 'your'. It's common for people in this mindset to place the emphasis and work of salvation on themselves instead of Christ.

Let's review each one:

#1 - There are simply no verses that state you need 'evidence' of your salvation. God doesn't need your help to help him with your salvation. Generally this seems to be a confusion regarding the 'fruits' which we have seen are a metaphor for Bible Doctrine. And what good would 'evidence' be if God is already omnipotent? As already explained this brushes on Matthew 23:5

Matthew 23:5 But all their works they do for to be seen of men...

#2 - Being sorry and emotional about sinning does absolutely nothing (self-pity will actually affect you negatively). Christ did all of the work-- it is finished. Being sorry about anything won't change any given situation.

John 19:30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said: "it is finished", and he bowed his head and gave up the Spirit.

#3, 4, 5 - As we have already reviewed Jesus "knocking" is a reference to getting a re-filling of the Holy Spirit. The context and analogy fits in line with verses of the same nature. Opening your 'heart' to Jesus is still not believing. This statement is often repeated in a generic fashion when a person doesn't know how to precisely define salvation.

#6 - You cannot pray to God in post-salvation as you can only pray while being re-filled with the Holy Spirit.

#7 - Probably one of the more arrogant statements you'll come across. YOU can't MAKE Jesus do anything. And even if such a thing were possible, it conflicts with a lot of verses, including one we looked at previously (where we are God's and not our own-- in other words how can you make God the 'Lord of your Life' when you are already not your own):

1 Corinthians 6:19 What? Don't you know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit which is in you, which you have of God, and you are not your own?

#8 - Giving your 'life to the Lord' and not believing on Him will put you in the exact same situation in Matthew 7:22, it doesn't matter WHAT you do if you haven't believed that Christ paid for your sins without your own works:

Matthew 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, "Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name? And in your name have cast out demons? And in your name done many wonderful works?"

#9, 10, 11 - Making a commitment to God about what? That you'll do works and earn your salvation through various procedures? Jesus never said you had to make a commitment anywhere, It simply doesn't exist in the Bible. If we have trouble keeping our belief, how can we keep a commitment?

#12 - Forceful obedience is not found anywhere in the Bible, and especially not as a pre-requisite for salvation. That is why Christ had to die in the first place (our obedience means nothing for salvation):

Romans 5:19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.

#13 - As previously shown, 'repent from sin' is not a biblical term, nor is it found in the Bible for we will always sin, indefinitely while on earth:

1 John 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.

#14 - As previously covered, 'confession' (which is a very poor term) is simply stating your sins to be re-filled with the Holy Spirit.

#15 - Working your way to heaven... a statement not found anywhere in the Bible:

Romans 4:5 But to him that does no work, but believes on him that justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.

"I can do anything I want and still be saved?"

That's correct because you never HAD anything to 'offer' God in the first place. Offering God something He already created for worship or salvation is just giving back vanity.

Being a 'good person' also has no merit. ANYONE can be a 'good person' even someone who doesn't believe. It doesn't matter what you do as you'll keep doing it regardless until you mature which takes time. Anyone who claims change is instant proves that they can't read the Bible or comprehend basic logic. And change still isn't relevant for salvation. People who say they HAVE changed 'for' salvation simply altered their mindset to what THEY 'think' God wants them to do, or what they 'think' they're reading through their Bible.

#1 If you violate the PRIVACY of others (breaking into someone else's house, murder, stealing, etc), you're going to be a very unpleasant person (to say the least)-- and invoke intervention like the police or laws that we have established here. It will affect MANY things in your life, not salvation specifically, but it does affect your life.

#2 If you go head deep into a lot of things that common sense is against, God will judge you for it. You'll still have salvation, but we are ALL going to be judged for what we do. There's no way around it, salvation or not.

#3 Not staying [IN] the Holy Spirit with re-filling can affect your inheritances.

So yes, you can do anything you want and still be saved (even in the cases of very few people who take "doing anything" to the next level of extreme which is not many): with the 'potential' to screw up your life if you do things that people shouldn't do. This is primarily an argument of those who believe salvation requires upkeep; and they fail to realize that everyone sins so it's really an invalid point to bring up to begin with.


The dangers of works salvation include: depression, temporary 'emotional high' wanting to do change, wanting to be a part of a 'group' with like-minded people, damaging your relationship with others, isolating yourself from reality, using the Lord's name in vain (branding things YOU say that are supposedly 'Christ's' when they're not). Here's a quick overview of all of the concepts covered and the corresponding explanations:

* Salvation is through belief and nothing else added. Saying your belief (or faith) is not alone is adding to grace, nullifying it
* Fruit is not synonomous to works and is something that new believers do not yet have (for it takes time to digest the Bible)
* Walking in the light is not synonomous to 'salvation'; it means you can interpret Bible Doctrine as per being re-filled
* Walking in darkness is not synonomous to 'lacking salvation', it means you CANNOT interpret Bible Doctrine as per being un-filled
* METANOIA ("repent") is a caution to change the state of your mind (nous) from UNBELIEF to BELIEF. The English word 'repent' (a derivative of penance and related to flagellation) is NOT appropriate for METANOIA.
* Cup of the Lord: state of being re-filled
* Cup of demons: state of being un-filled (carnal)