Easy believism is described by evangelist Billy Graham, saying, "There is a mindset today that if people believe in God and do good works they are going to Heaven." The term "easy believism" has been used by many others as well to describe the negative concept of those who believe in the easy parts of Christianity but not the full message of the Gospel or biblical teachings. Some have also associated the phrase with the Free Grace movement, though this is not actually an accurate association.
Easy believism is certainly a concern, but is often one that is not well expressed. The Bible does declare that believing in Jesus Christ as Lord is not only "easy" but is available as a free gift (Ephesians 2:8-9). However, the Bible is also clear that those who believe in Jesus will have changed lives as a result. Scripture even teaches readers to examine themselves to make sure they are in the faith: "Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!" (2 Corinthians 13:5).
Instead, Peter encouraged those in the church to develop their spiritual life in a variety of specific ways, teaching, "For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ" (2 Peter 1:8). He continues by stating, "For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall" (2 Peter 1:9-10). Good works are not the source of salvation, but rather confirm a person's salvation.
The Book of James invests much emphasis on this area of faith in action. In fact, James goes so far as to claim that faith will lead to good works: "What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, 'Go in peace, be warmed and filled,' without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead" (James 2:14-17).
The Gospel is easy to believe in one sense, yet the call to follow Christ is difficult. In fact, Jesus taught, "If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me" (Matthew 16:24). Therefore, easy believism is not an accurate expression of the call to follow Jesus. The call to believe in Christ is one based on faith, yet a faith that leads to action and a changed life.
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