Saved by Faith Study

By Evan Bartholomew, Lead Minister.

“I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: ‘The righteous will live by faith.’” Romans 1:16-17 NIV.

Trever is baptized by the brothers household! Trever is their roommate! (photo by Kelly Bartholomew)

(Note: This study was created to address the needs of specific individuals that live the lifestyle of a disciple, but still believe that one is saved at the point of faith and not at the point of baptism. There are also many modern false teachings that stem from scriptures that teach we are saved through faith, or justified by faith. These scriptures are absolutely true – as they are in the Bible – but are often misunderstood, taken out of context, or misquoted. To solidify our own convictions, and also help those who are confused by the Bible’s seemingly contradictory paradox, “we are not saved by works, but we can’t be saved without works,” the Saved By Faith study will help us clarify some of these by-faith-alone misconceptions.)


1. Matthew 3:13-17 ~ Example of Jesus

A. Jesus was baptized – Didn’t need to be baptized (no sin)
[v. 15] – “…proper to fulfill all righteousness.”

B. Jesus was showing us the way to be righteous

Opening Story: “Old Lady Crossing Road”
One day, there was an old lady crossing the road. Her body, old and frail, moved sluggishly across the intersection in an attempt to get to the other side. About mid way through, her attention was grabbed by a little snail that had also sluggishly wandered into the middle of the road. As she was distracted, the signal to cross through the crosswalk changed from “WALK” to a lit red hand – meaning “Don’t walk.” Simultaneously, a car driven by a teenage boy was bearing down on the not-so-busy intersection. With loud music, he looked up at the traffic signal and saw a green light. Not aware of the old lady in the intersection, he kept his foot on the peddle as he was getting closer. This was not going to be good. Luckily, a pretty fit-looking business man happened to be on the other side of the road, waiting for his chance to cross. He saw the little old lady, distracted by the snail. He saw the car driven by the teenager, bearing down fast on the old lady with loud music playing. He made a quick decision. He rushed into the intersection just before the car got there, and dove at the old lady. At the same time, the teenager driving the car saw him, and slammed on his breaks. He grabbed her just in time. The old lady got up, and in gratitude for her life spared, kept on thanking the business man.

Question: Who saved the old lady?
—Teenager ~ Slammed on his breaks
— Business man’s personal trainer ~ Helped the business man be athletic enough
— Teenager’s mechanic ~ Fixed the breaks to make them stop faster
— Business man’s boss ~ Let the business man off a little early so he could be there
—Business man ~ The one who physically went and did the deed
Answer: We credit the business man! But without everyone else, she wouldn’t have been saved…

Saved By Faith:

2. Ephesians 2:8-9

Q: According to this scripture what saves us? (Grace, Faith, or Works)
Grace saves us through faith

3. James 2:14-17
Q: According to this scripture what saves us? (Grace, Faith, or Works)

A. Saved by faith that produces works.

B. Scriptures can’t contradict (II Timothy 3:16-17)
Q: Can you be saved without faith? (No) Without works? (No) Without grace? (No)
All are necessary for salvation! Ex. Rubik’s Cube.

(l-r) Robbie, Jordan, Trever, Marley and Stefano are fired up after Trever’s baptism! (photo by Kelly Bartholomew)

4. Romans 3:21-26, Ch. 4:16-17

A. We are justified by faith

B. Father of the promise = Abraham

C. Abraham’s offspring = Those who enter into a faith covenant with God
Q: How do we do that?

5. Galatians 3:26-29

A. The point in time we enter into a faith covenant with God = Baptism

B. We are baptized into Christ (Romans 2-4) ~ Saved at baptism
Q: How does faith fit into that?

6. Colossians 2:12

A. Faith goes along with baptism

B. Baptism is not a work – It is an act of faith
Ex. $1,000,000 Check

C. We are saved by faith, but at the point of baptism (Acts 2:38)
1. Our sins are forgiven
2. Holy Spirit comes into life

Proclamations of Faith:

7. Romans 10:9, 13

A. Paul is not saying that all you have to do is confess “Jesus is Lord.” (Matthew 7:21)

B. Read context:

1. Emphasis is not on “WHAT” had to be done to be saved, but “WHO” can be saved…
2. Jews believed salvation was an exclusive privilege for them alone
3. Paul ~ “Everyone” who calls on the name of the Lord… Jew and Gentile!
Q: How can we know that Paul isn’t teaching us to make a profession of faith?

8. Acts 22:10-16

A. Paul himself called on the name of the Lord at baptism!

B. Baptism is when Paul’s sins were washed away ~ He confess Jesus as Lord earlier… [v. 10]

Chris’s dad visits all the way from Guam! (photo by Kelly Bartholomew)

The Chief Cornerstone:

9. Ephesians 2:19-20

A. Church must be based on teachings of the prophets, the apostles, with Jesus as chief cornerstone:
1. Prophets = Old Testament
2. Apostles = New Testament
3. Chief Cornerstone = Gospels (Teachings of Jesus)

B. Must base our theology first and foremost on Jesus’ teachings ~ Paul’s teachings should support what Jesus taught

10. II Peter 3:15-16

A. Paul’s teachings are hard to understand.

B. People distort: Almost all of modern false doctrines come from the teachings of Paul…. 

C. Doesn’t mean we don’t listen to teachings of Paul ~ We just have to compare them to what Jesus taught and then look at what they mean!


—We are saved by faith at the point of baptism
—Calling on the name of the Lord happens at baptism
—Jesus must be chief cornerstone!

11. Acts 22:16 ~ “What are you waiting for?”