Paul’s doctrine of salvation by faith without works is a fallacy.
Andrew Badejo went to church one Sunday morning. The pastor preached a fiery message about going to university which made a deep impression on him. He had always dreamed about going to university to get a degree in engineering but, alas, he had no interest whatsoever in studying. The pastor itemised different opportunities available to university graduates and, at the end of the sermon, he made an altar call. “All those who would like to go to the University of Lagos should come out.”
Andrew made a beeline for the altar with others. The pastor asked them to make a confession; then he declared: “You are hereby admitted as students of the University of Lagos.”
A deceptive grace
From that day, there was a new spring in Andrew’s steps. He was overjoyed at the prospects of being a university under-graduate. Nobody in his family or village had ever had that distinction. He day-dreamed about the different things he would do for his community when he graduates. He would send some people to school. He would sink a borehole in his father’s compound. He would make the world a better place.
Every time someone asked him about his future plans, he told them he would be studying Engineering at the University of Lagos in the coming academic session. Many were impressed with him. They never thought he had it in him. So Andrew would be going to the university. How wonderful!
Faith without works
This continued until one day, a gentleman pressed him further about his impending studies at the university. He wanted to know which courses were his favourites in school. But Andrew could not answer. Then the man asked Andrew which courses he took in his JAMB exams. But Andrew did not know what he was talking about. He had not taken any JAMB and did not even know what JAMB meant.
“So how did you secure a place in the university?” the man asked in astonishment. “I did not take any exam,” said Andrew, becoming a little confused and also getting irritated. “I answered an altar call.” “What altar-call?” his nemesis wanted to know.
“Three months ago, my pastor preached a message about going to the university. Then he made an altar-call and asked all those who wanted to go to the University of Lagos to come forward. I went forward with others and he prayed for us. He told us that from that day, we are all now students of the University of Lagos. So I plan to join the university at the beginning of the next academic session.”
“Tell me one thing,” the man probed Andrew further. “Is your pastor a lecturer at the University of Lagos?” “No he is not,” Andrew replied. “Is he the Vice-Chancellor of the university by any chance?” “No he is not,” Andrew replied again. “Is he a graduate of the university?” “No, he is not.” “So why do you believe him?” the man asked with incredulity.
“But I am not the only one,” Andrew responded defensively. “Everybody in our church is going to the University of Lagos in October.” “And are you all going to be studying Engineering?” “I don’t know. But I know we are all going.”
“But Andrew, you have not even taken the entrance exam. How do you expect to be admitted?” he asked. “Our pastor says people are admitted into the University by faith. He says Jesus has taken the exam for all of us. All we have to do in October is show up and we will be admitted.”
Blind leading the blind
At the beginning of the next academic session, Andrew showed up at the University. He was pleased to find members of his church there. But they could not find their names in the register. After a lot of arguing, they discovered they were not admitted into the University of Lagos. There was much weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matthew 8:12).
They all descended on the pastor’s house, undecided as to whether they should beat him up or even kill him. They discovered on getting there that he had been ejected from his house. All his belongings were lying on the sidewalk. The pastor looked at them despondently and shook his head. “I have been the victim of a cruel hoax,” he cried.
Paul says: “If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9). But Jesus warns: “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 7:21). Whose report do you believe?