By Dr. Hank Lindstrom
What is “Easy Believism”? Usually the phrase “easy-believism” is a slam against those who teach that salvation is not by human works, but by faith in Jesus Christ alone. It is clear from the Scriptures that salvation is received by faith only in the finished work of Jesus Christ. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works lest any man should boast (Ephesians 2:8,9).”
“Easy Believism” is a way of saying that salvation by faith in Jesus Christ alone is just too easy. “It is too simple,” they say. Those who use the phrase “easy believism” are saying that there must be more to salvation than just faith in Jesus Christ.
The Bible tells us that Satan uses the fact that the Gospel message is so simple to deceive people. II Corinthians 11:3 says, “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.” One of the most common objections to the true gospel message is that “it is too simple”.
Satan changes the true gospel into a counterfeit message by addition and subtraction. In other words, Satan adds human works or effort to the plan of salvation in order to make the message of none effect (I Corinthians 1:17). Satan used phrases like “easy believism” and “it is too simple” to ridicule the true message of faith only (Romans 3:28).
To not believe the record as God gave it makes it null and void. “He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son (I John 5:10).” To add one human work to the plan of salvation would place a person before God without grace. Romans 11:6 says, “And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.”
When we talk about believing, we are not talking about mental assent to a historical fact. We are talking about a personal trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as the One who gave His life on the cross of Calvary, was buried and then rose again from the dead. The word “believe” comes from the Greek word “pisteuo”, which means to trust, to rely upon, to place one’s weight upon, etc. When a person puts his trust in Jesus Christ alone as his Saviour, he is saved.
Christ died-that is history. Christ died for me-that is salvation. The fact that Jesus Christ died is a historical fact. Accepting that truth about Jesus Christ’s death as a historical fact does not save. But the personal acceptance of Jesus Christ as a risen Saviour, who died for me does save.
This conflict over grace vs. works has been going on ever since Cain and Abel. Even the apostle Paul was slandered when he preached the gospel of the grace of God. Romans 3:8 says, “And not rather, (as we be slanderously reported, and as some affirm that we say,) Let us do evil, that good may come? whose damnation is just.” Some people were affirming that the apostle Paul taught that salvation by faith only was a license to sin. “Let us do evil, that good may come (Romans 3:8).”
We have now seen the two major objections to the true gospel. 1) “It is too simple”, and 2) “easy believism” means that I could live as I please and still go to heaven.
Amazingly, when a person is saved, he is saved forever and cannot be lost. Jesus Christ gave His word in John 6:37 and 39, that “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.” If one person were ever lost that was ever saved, then Jesus Christ would be a liar (John 6:39).
Therefore, it is true that no matter what a person does after he is saved that person is still saved. What the person can lose by living as he pleases is not his salvation, but rewards, joy, fellowship, power, testimony, etc. The things related to the Christian life and eternal rewards can be lost but not one’s salvation. This can also include the Lord taking a Christian home to heaven early. Many of the Corinthian believers were taken home to heaven early according to I Corinthians 11:30 which says, “For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.” Also, I Corinthians 10:8 tells of 23,000 that the Lord took home to heaven in one day. It is clear that there are numerous illustrations throughout the Bible that God sometimes will take a Christian home before his time. God will not cast the delinquent Christian out, but God might take him home to heaven early.
Concerning the saved, God says in I Corinthians 11:32, “When we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.” God deals with His children as a loving father would correct his erring child. God is interested in our welfare and wishes for us to live a life that He can bless and reward. (See Hebrews 12:6-11).
So the Christian does not have a license to sin when he accepts Jesus Christ as his Saviour, even though the person is saved eternally and cannot be lost. Again, salvation is by faith in Jesus Christ alone. Romans 4:5 says, “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.”
To add works to the plan of salvation would be heresy and would mean no salvation at all. Ephesians 2:8,9 says “For grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” I would hate to stand before God having no grace (mercy). To anyone who adds works to God’s grace, they will have no grace (mercy) according to Ephesians 2:8,9.
In conclusion, those who say “easy-believism” are rejecting the true gospel of grace (Ephesians 2:8,9), by saying “it is too simple” and “it is a license to sin”. Remember the true gospel is simple (II Corinthians 11:3), and God corrects (chastens) those that are truly saved (Hebrew 12:6).
We pray that you can say as the Apostle Paul said, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek (Roman 1:16).”