“Is the answer 5?” Daphne asked.
“No. Try again,” I said.
“No. Just look at those two numbers, what are they?”
“3 and another 3,” she said.
“And when you add them, what do you get?”
“I dunno. Why can’t it be 7?”
“Because there’s only one answer!”
Daphne will be starting kindergarten this September. We’ve been going through a Math-U-See book. At first, Daphne was a little frustrated with the addition. But then she started using some counting blocks and it helped her visualize what it means to add one number to another. She’s learning there’s only one right answer to these questions. When you add 3+3, you get 6. Not 5. Not 4. The only answer is 6.
In my experience, people also have a hard time understanding that eternal life only has one answer.
Every week, if not every day, someone calls or writes to challenge us on the one condition of salvation. (Sometimes the challenges come from within Free Grace circles!) What is the one condition to be saved? There’s only one right answer: believe.
“Well, you obviously have to be a good person to be saved,” they’ll say. “Faith plus works.”
“No, it’s just by faith,” I’ll answer.
“Sure, you must believe. But you also have to be sorry for sinning.”
“No, you don’t. It’s by faith alone. Not by faith plus feeling sorry. You might happen to feel sorry, or you might feel happy or relieved at hearing the saving message. Whatever you happen to feel, the only condition to be born-again is to believe.”
“But you have to want to change your life, if you’re going to be saved. Otherwise, why believe?”
“You might want to change. That might be the thing that leads you to faith in Christ. But that isn’t the reason why you’re born again. You are born again by faith apart from anything else.”
“But you also need—
“No, you don’t!”
Is GES fanatical about the one condition of salvation? Do we overemphasize it? Are we too strict about it? Shouldn’t we have looser standards?
Well, is a math teacher fanatical for insisting that 3+3=6 and does not equal 5, or 7, or 6.5?
Of course not.
If there’s only one right answer, there’s only one right answer. The fanaticism is in constantly denying the right answer!
When it comes to the saving message, accept no additions!