Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
January 14, 1971

Qualify What You Say In Preaching

John W. Hedge

Recently I heard two of "our preachers" as they endeavored to preach the simple gospel of Christ. Both preachers in substance said: "Man cannot save himself — Christ is the Saviour of man. We are not saved by 'good works' " — and each one quoted Titus 3:5 and Eph. 2: 8-9 to prove it. Had a denominational preacher been in the audience and shouted his hearty "amen" to these statements, perhaps it would have aroused these preachers not to make such statements without due qualification. This leads me to say that it is better not to make such statements than to leave them in "mid-air," for such is misleading.

Anyone with a limited knowledge of the general teachings of the New Testament knows full well that man cannot save himself independent of Christ; and that his own personal 'good works' do not — cannot — save him. But does this prove — as the denominational preachers have taught it through the years — that Christ saves man independent of anything which he required of man as set forth in the gospel of Christ?

Doubtless the preachers in making these unqualified statements are desirous of emphasizing the Lord's part in the plan of salvation. But I recall that Peter, the first gospel preacher, presented "Christ and him crucified" first to the lost ones on pentecost; following which they asked what to do to be saved, and when Peter had given them this information, it was said: "And with many other words did he exhort them saying, save yourselves from the untoward generation." (See Acts 2:37-40.) Peter did not preach salvation through Christ apart from obedience to what the Lord required the people to do to be saved; he put the emphasis on what the Lord had done for them to the end that they might be saved, and then emphasized their duty in saving themselves by accepting what he had preached.

A sermon freighted with unqualified statements relative to the plan of salvation as taught in the New Testament should not be indulged in. Make it plain, brother preachers, for always there are those before you who know the way of life!

— 304 N. Glover Dr., Longview, Texas