“To Him That Worketh Not”

By David J. Stewart
February 2007 | Updated September 2014

“But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.” —Romans 4:5

       What can you say to that? How can you argue with such plain and simple Words? The Word of God boldly proclaims that eternal life is obtained WITHOUT good works, i.e., works of self-righteousness. This Scripture silences the Lordship Salvationists. This Scripture silences the Pentecostals, like Wayman Mitchell, who teach that salvation can be lost if we do bad works. No sir, the Word of God does NOT teach any such lies. Jesus clearly stated in John 6:37, “...him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.”

What a wonderful statement... BUT TO HIM THAT WORKETH NOT! So many imposters today behind America's pulpits, like John MacArthur, deceitfully teach lost sinners that works must accompany faith. In John MacArthur’s 1988 book titled The Gospel According to Jesus, he clearly teaches Lordship Salvation!  MacArthur writes on page 173 that faith ‘encompasses obedience,’ and on page 174 that obedience is ‘an integral part of saving faith.’ Indeed, obedience is bound up in the very ‘definition of faith’ (page 171) being a ‘constitutive element in what it means to believe.’ 

Thus any ‘concept of faith that excludes obedience’ (page 174) must be rejected because obedience is ‘indivisibly wrapped up in the idea of believing’ (page 176). In fact, ‘the character of true faith’ is nothing less than the ‘higher righteousness’ of the Beatitudes of Matthew 5:3-11 (page 176). Mr. MacArthur is deathly wrong! He needs to ponder Romans 4:5 until it sinks in... But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.” Did you read that Mr. MacArthur... HIS FAITH IS COUNTED FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS!!!

Why do men make salvation difficult? Jesus said in John 10:9 that salvation is as easy as walking through a Door... “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.” What can you say to that?  Jesus said in John 4:10 that salvation is as easy as drinking a cup of water... “If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.” There is nothing hard or difficult about God's salvation. We just need to receive it through Jesus Christ, because He shed His blood to take away our sins. And by the way, no one can WORK their way into Heaven... “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us...” (Titus 3:5). 

Dr. John Rice (1895-1980), founder of the Sword of the Lord, makes the following excellent statements . . .

When you get saved, you get saved not because you deserve it, but because you simply let God save you and because you confess your own poor sinful state and your inability to save yourself.

SOURCE: Dr. Rice... Here is My Question, by Dr. John R. Rice, pg. 304; 1962, Sword of the Lord Publishers; ISBN: 0-87398-158-8

This is what the Bible teaches. Dr. Rice also states in his Gospel tract, What Must I Do To Be Saved...

“The change in your heart, sinner, is God's part and you may be sure He will attend to that. Your part is to simply believe in Him. Whatever else is necessary in your eternal salvation, the Lord attends to when you trust in Him, or believe in Him.”

SOURCE: What Must I DO To Be Saved, by Dr. John R. Rice

Dr. Rice is 100% correct!

Why do some ministers require lost sinners to walk an isle to be saved? Why can't people be saved right in their pew? The saving power of the Gospel should be presented to those in the pew as well. Why do some ministers require people to feel sorry for their sins to be saved? Why do some preachers tell lost sinners to “be willing to turn from sin” to be saved? This implies Lordship Salvation. If I say... “I'll lend you my car if you're willing to fill the gas tank” ... what am I really saying? Obviously, I expect you to fill my gas tank. Is not the same type of message placed in the minds of lost sinners when we require them to “be willing” to do anything. This is the false plan of salvation taught by artist Jack Chick.

Did Jesus require the adulterous woman in John 8 to “be willing to turn from sin” to be saved? No, Jesus saved her, and then simply told her to “go and sin no more.” When we come to Jesus Christ in repentance, realizing that we are hellbound sinners under the condemnation of God's Law, placing our faith in Christ's sacrifice on the cross for our sins, and His resurrection from the dead for our justification, then we are saved eternally. It is after we are saved that Jesus says to all of us... “Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more” (John 8:11). “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus...” (Romans 8:1). 

There are several favorite Scriptures that I cherish, but none greater than the precious truth of Romans 4:5... “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.”

Notice the precious words ...BUT TO HIM THAT WORKETH NOT!

We are saved by God's imputed righteousness by faith in Christ Jesus. Imputed simply means that Christ took our sins upon Himself on the cross, and the moment we trust Jesus as our Savior His righteousness is placed upon us. 2nd Corinthians 5:21, “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” What an awesome Savior! Praise God for the gift of His precious only begotten Son on the cross for my sins!!!

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