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Charlottesville, VA 22901
"One Verse Only" Salvation
By Bill Hall
The following is an actual Bible discussion between two men searching for truth. Only slight variations exist. We hope that by printing it here we can bring our readers to a better understanding of Bible teaching concerning what to do to be saved.
Joe: The Bible tells exactly what one must do to be saved in Romans 10:9: ``That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
John: Yes, I believe that verse, but we must not isolate one verse and ignore other passages which give additional information on the subject.
Joe: But other verses confirm this teaching. The thief on the cross and the publican in the temple were both saved in this way. The publican just smote his breast and prayed, ``God be merciful to me a sinner,'' and then went down to his house justified.
John: Did the thief and the publican believe that God had raised Jesus from the dead?
Joe: Of course not, for Jesus had not died.
John: But Romans 10:9 says that one must believe ``that God hath raised him from the dead.'' So, in our acceptance of Romans 10:9 as being applicable to the sinner today, we rule out the thief and the publican as examples of how present day conversions take place.
Joe: I see what you're saying, but I still believe that Romans 10:9 contains the full plan of salvation, for it says ``Thou shalt be saved.''
John: But Romans 10:9 doesn't mention repentance. You believe that one must repent, don't you?
Joe: Yes, one must repent to be saved.
John: Then you acknowledge that to learn what one must do to be saved, a person must accept all that the scriptures say on the subject rather than simply rely on one verse, such as Romans 10:9, isolated from the rest of the Bible. But when we study further we learn of a penitent believer, Saul of Tarsus, who was instructed to, ``Arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord'' (Acts 22:16). We conclude, therefore, that in addition to doing those things mentioned in Romans 10:9, one must also repent and be baptized to be saved.
We urge our readers to study for themselves. The conversion of the 3,000 (Acts 2:22-41), the Samaritans (Acts 8:5-13), of the Ethiopian (Acts 8:35-39), of the Philippian jailer (Acts 16:25-34) ought to be carefully considered. Observe what each one did to be saved, and ``go, and do thou likewise.''
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