Vol. 8, No. 6
~ Page 9 ~
Salvation is by faith (John 3:16; Acts 10:43; 13:39; 16:31), but "not by faith only" (James 2:24): "The demons believe and tremble" (James 2:19); "Many among the rulers believed in him, but because of the Pharisees, they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue (John 12:42).
Salvation is by repentance (Acts 11:18), but not by repentance alone, for "if you do not believe [in Jesus], you will die in your sins" (John 8:24).
Salvation is by confession (Matthew 10:32; Acts 2:21), but not by confession alone: "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter into heaven's kingdom, but the one who does the will of my heavenly Father" (Matthew 7:21); "And unclean spirits, when they saw him, fell down before him, and cried, 'You are the Son of God'" (Mark 3:11).
Salvation is by baptism (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16), but not by baptism alone, for (1) if you do not believe [in Jesus], you will die in your sins" (John 8:24); and (2) "except you repent, you will all likewise perish" (Luke 13:3); and (3) "whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwells in him, and he in God" (1 John 4:15).
Should we follow "the whole counsel of God" (Acts 20:27) or only part of it?
It was written "in Moses' Law" that "If a woman conceive seed, and bear a man-child, then in the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised" (Leviticus 12:2-3). After Jesus had nailed Moses' Law to his cross (Colossians 2:14), now all people are under Christ's Law (1 Corinthians 9:21). Under Christ's Law, not male babies but all Christians, both men and women, are told: "You were circumcised by him without hands: Christ's circumcision strips off the sins of the flesh. You were buried with him in immersion, in which also you were raised with him through faith in the working of God who raised him from the dead" (Colossians 2:11-12).
Consequently, under Christ's Law, "circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God" (Romans 2:29). Under Christ's Law, Christians have been told to Beware of "...outward circumcision. We [Christians] are the circumcision, we who serve by the Spirit of God, and rejoice in Christ Jesus. We have no confidence in the flesh" (Philippians 3:2-3).