Salvation Vs. Discipleship

As I read it in my Bible, it looks to me like there’s a huge difference between Salvation (getting saved) and Sanctification (discipleship).

I’ve mentioned it before, but confusing the two is one of the biggest errors in Christianity. It’s so impacting that every cult (every one of them) confuseds this issue.

Under salvation, one expects to see a list of verses such as John 3:16, Romans 6:23, etc.

One should not see verses on discipleship under that list, such as Matt. 10:32-39, James 2:14, etc.

The Bible tends to group messages and commandments under different categories. That’s a helpful Bible study, by the way. The Passage List function in Logos are GREAT ways to store categories of verses. Maybe on one of your 4 read throughs of the Bible this year, you could dedicate one three month period to creating those!

The Bible speaks to the sinner about getting saved… John 3 for example, or Acts 16:30. The unsaved sinner is simply going to make an absolute mess of the Bible, because all it’s going to teach him is about salvation.

Once you’re saved, the Holy Spirit begins opening and revealing the verses of Discipleship. How you live, what you are to do. The book of James is speaking to SAVED people, and that’s really where a lot of people get things confused. 18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. James 2:18 (KJV) is a completely confused verse to most heretics and cults. Here’s how we unpack this verse…

14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? James 2:14 (KJV)

First, by reading it in context, we see “my bretheren”. It’s talking to Christians. So it has nothing to do with salvation, because Christians are… already saved. If you’re not saved, you’re not a Christian. This is why I don’t call Roman Catholics, Seventh Day Adventists and Mormons Christians. You have to be saved to be a Christian.

Next… we see about the poor man in hte congregation, who is starving and homeless, wearing only the clothes on his back.

15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, 16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? James 2:15-16 (KJV)

NOW look at verse 14! EVerything’s going to be VERY clear.

I’m starving. homeless. Someone says, “be well, be warm, be filled…” and gives me no food, no shelter. I walk out of the church, and die that night in an alleyway.

What could have saved me?

A little food. Letting me sleep on your sofa.

14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? James 2:14 (KJV)

READ verses in context! It expalins a lot.

verses on discipleship teach us a lot – when you make the distinction between discipleship and salvation.

34 And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. Mark 8:34 (KJV)

THat’s not about getting saved! THat’s about being a disciple.

38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. Matthew 10:38 (KJV)

compare scripture with scripture! God does not reward the lazy. Matthew 10:38 us talking about the same thing Mark 8 is talking about. Discipleship!

ἄξιος worthy in that verse means suitable, prepared, ready. I have not been made ready, suitable for the Lord, is what that means.

putting your hand to the plow and looking back is a discipleship verse. It means you haven’t allowed yourself to be made ready for the Lord.

So, what then must you do? Have you lost your salvation? No, of course not. It’s not yours to lose.

So what must you do?

Make yourself ready!!!


Author: philipdean2013

Seminary graduate with a Ba. in Theology/Pastoral Studies, Happily married, Independent Baptist. I can't keep silent about what I see going on in Christianity any longer! Apostasy reigns around us, churches are sliding into worldiness, a whitewashed Gospel is preached everywhere... "Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein. Jeremiah 6:16 (KJV) So, I'm speaking out. ...Why aren't you???

4 thoughts on “Salvation Vs. Discipleship”

  1. Reblogged this on Valiancy is the Key and commented:
    Excellent post that I wanted to write, but thankfully someone else took it on to discuss the difference between salvation and discipleship. I couldn’t have done it any better! Praise God!


  2. Thank you so much for posting this! It grieves my heart that most of the church does not understand this and roll the two together. Thank you for a correct, biblical exposition of James 2. I don’t understand why more people don’t get what that passage is saying.


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