Is Faith Enough to Save? Part 3 -- By: William Walden Howard

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 099:393 (Jan 1942)
Article: Is Faith Enough to Save? Part 3
Author: William Walden Howard


Is Faith Enough to Save?
Part 3

William Walden Howard

(Concluded from the October-December Number, 1941)

{Editor’s note: Footnotes in the original printed edition were numbered 16–25, but in this electronic edition are numbered 1–10 respectively.}

An Examination of Confusing Issues

No discussion of the solitary importance of faith in the saving act could be complete without taking into consideration those few Scripture references which seem to intrude some other condition. It is apparent to the writer, and I hope to the reader as well, that the confusion of the simple obligation of believing has arisen from a failure to grasp the importance of the three issues that have already been presented: the overwhelming insistence of the Scriptures on faith almost to the exclusion of all else, the finished character of God’s gracious salvation, and the adequate character of the faith upon which salvation is conditioned. Failure to grasp this great scheme which underlies the presentation of the gospel throughout the New Testament epistles is very likely to lead a hasty thinker to snatch at some isolated text which seems to demand some other thing than faith, and to construct upon it a way of salvation that can only impede men from entering in at the gate of faith in Christ’s completed work.

It would be impossible to discuss every twist and turn that men have given the Scriptures in this regard, but it is possible to group their objections in five compartments that comprise all that effect any prominence. The examination of these five confusing elements may add nothing positive to our proposition, but should serve as a vindication of the claims we have made.

I. Confession.

There is abundant commendation in Scripture for the

“good confession” of a Christian life, and testimony by word and deed is urged as the imperative duty of every believer. Jesus said, “Ye shall be witnesses unto me” (Acts 1:8), and throughout the epistles we are exhorted to bear testimony to others of His saving grace.

A life that bears no confession may justly face the searching question of the reality of its faith; yet confession itself is not a condition of salvation. There are three passages of Scripture in this connection upon which much misunderstanding has arisen. The first has to do with the confession of sin, the others with the confession of Christ.

1. The Confession of Sin. Within the personal family-letter which we designate The First Epistle of John, and which the elderly apostle addressed to the children of God, there are many trut...

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