THE IMPORTANCE OF GRACE Part 5. WE ARE NOT SAVED BY GRACE ALONE The difficulty most people have with the doctrine of Grace is assuming that we are saved by Grace alone!. The doctrine of "Salvation by Grace Alone” cannot be found in the Scriptures.
WE ARE NOT SAVED BY GRACE ALONE
The difficulty most people have with the doctrine of Grace is assuming that we are saved by Grace alone!
The doctrine of "Salvation by Grace Alone” cannot be found in the Scriptures.
Not one verse can be found in all the scriptures that teaches that one is saved solely by Grace.
If we are saved by GRACE alone: Then what about Faith? What about Repentance?
Any time someone declares that we are saved "solely" by one thing, then they exclude all other things.
If we are saved by Grace alone, then we do not have to have any faith, neither do we have to repent of any sin.
Grace is only one principle of our salvation. Its presence, alone, cannot save.
We are also saved by the PREACHING OF THE GOSPEL.
Without the preaching of the Gospel of Christ, how could anyone know what Christ has done for their salvation?
The logic of such a doctrine fails with simple logic.
The scriptures teach that we are saved by a combination of several principles.
Not one principle exclusively saves.
We are saved when we combine ALL of the essential principles that are outlined in the New Testament.
Only then, can we obtain salvation.
We ARE saved by GRACE.
Our principal text proves this fact.
Salvation comes through the Gift of God, which was the sacrifice of His Son. Through the resurrection of Christ we now have hope.
Grace alone - Faith is involved - HOW?
a. If saved by Grace ALONE - ALL WILL BE SAVED because God wants no one to perish. Titus 2:11-14
b) God's grace is UNLIMITED in its outreach
Hebrews 2:9; John 3:16; 17:20-21; 6:33; 1 John 2:1-2; Matthew 28:18-20; 11:28-30; Mark 16:15-16;
Luke 24:45-49; John 20:23; Acts 10:34-35,43;
This shows that there is no such FALSE doctrine in the bible as LIMITED ATONEMENT – that is the idea that God has decided who is going to be saved – They say it is not up to you to choose salvation God will choose some and reject others.
Rather the Bible teaches that God's outreach is for everyone and it is personal, dealing with the individual. 2 Corinthians 12:9; 1 Corinthians 15:10
God's grace is ACTIVE not passive.
Everything in the scheme of man's redemption is affected by Grace.
That is one of the reasons Peter in 1 Peter 5:10 talks of "The God of all Grace"
Here are some passages that speak of the grace of God
a. CHRIST - Romans 5:15; Ephesians 2:7; 2 Timothy 1:9-10; John 1:17;
b. The BIBLE - Acts 14:3; 20:24,32; Ephesians 3:1-11; Romans 6:14;
c. The CHURCH - Ephesians 3:1-12;
d. The HOPE of Heaven - 1 Peter 1:9-10,13;
2 Thessalonians 2:16;
Paul taught that the Corinthians were saved by the preaching of the gospel.
"Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.“ (1 Corinthians 15:1-2)
Paul preached the gospel.
They received, or obeyed that gospel message. They were currently faithful to that gospel.
Paul clearly says, "by which also you are saved.” Saved by what?
The gospel that they had responded to.
We are also saved by our obedience to that gospel message.
Paul's letter to the Romans begins and ends with the idea of obedience.
From the beginning to the end of that letter obedience is stressed.
Paul suggest that we either obey sin, which yields death, or we obey righteousness, which yields eternal life.
Don't you realise that you can choose your own master? You can choose sin (with death) or else obedience (with acquittal).
The one to whom you offer yourself--he will take you and be your master and you will be his slave. “Thank God that though you once chose to be slaves of sin, now you have obeyed with all your heart the teaching to which God has committed you”. Romans 6:16-18 16.
(The form of doctrine was the death, burial and resurrection of Christ, cf. vs. 3-6).
We are saved by our faith in Christ (Ephesians 2:8).
We are saved by our repentance (2 Corinthians 7:10).
We are saved by the combination of several principles.
The ultimate or climatic principle that saves us is the Blood of Christ.
Without the shedding of His blood, and His resurrection from the dead, we could not have any salvation.
It is through the shed blood of Christ that we have redemption.
Ephesians 1:7 "In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace;"
Revelation 1:5 "And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood."
When we are saved by Grace, it is a gift from God.
Because Grace is a gift, SOME believe that we do not earn that gift by any action on our part.
This is true, yet we need to know what is implied by the idea of a gift.
I have a gift for you. I want you to have this gift, and it is yours free of charge.
Yet, as long as I am in possession of that gift, you cannot receive the benefits of that gift.
Before a gift can be of any value to anyone, that person must take possession of the gift.
Without possession, a gift does not possess any value to the one for whom it was intended.
Possession is the key.
THROUGH FAITH same idea found-
John 3:16,36; 20:30-31; 8:21,24; Acts 10:43; 16:31; Romans 5:1;
a. Biblical definitions of faith are found in Hebrews 11:1-6; Romans 4:20-22;
Thayer says that there are three inherent ideas in faith.
3. OBEDIENCE and sums these up like this
"A conviction full of joyful trust, that Jesus Christ is the Messiah - divinely appointed author of salvation in the kingdom of God, conjoined with obedience to Christ"
NOTE that this passage does NOT say we are saved by FAITH ALONE
Many people believe and teach faith only "We are accounted righteous before God ONLY for the merit of our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ, BY FAITH, and not for our own works or deserving's. wherefore, that we are justified by FAITH ONLY is a most wholesome doctrine and very full of comfort"
It may be wholesome and full of comfort but it is FALSE-and NOT FOUND IN THE SCRIPTURES.
If we were saved by FAITH ONLY we would be saved before
a. Becoming children of God John 1:11-12; Galatians 3:26-27;
b. Before calling on the Lord Romans 10:13-17; Acts 22:16;
c. Without confessing Christ John 12:42;
d. In direct conflict with the teaching of the bible James 2:24-26;
e. Before coming to God Hebrews 11:6;
f. When we are no better than demons James 2:19;
The Bible teaches that the FAITH THAT SAVES is a FAITH THAT OBEYS.
a. Hebrews 11:4,7,8,19-20; Galatians 5:6; Romans 1:5; 16:26;
As everything on the divine side of redemption was accomplished through GRACE so everything on the human side of redemption must be done by and based on our Faith Hebrews 11:6;
Faith must lead to
a. Repentance Acts 17:3; Luke 13:3;
b. Confessing Christ Romans 10:9-10;
c. Being baptised into Christ Acts 10:48; Romans 6:1-6;
Obedience in each of these is still salvation by faith, because faith is the reason for doing each of these Things.
Grace results in the Coming of Christ. the Bible, the Church, and Hope of heaven None of these can be eliminated from the divine plan of salvation.
So with the response of Faith. Repentance, confession and baptism, and living a faithful live cannot be eliminated from man's side of salvation. God's stipulations must be met.
‘ILLS’ a Father wanted his son to go to college in America but the son would not go so the father told him he had opened a bank account with 10,000 in His name the only stipulation was that the cheques must be made out to some university.
God has made out an account with our name on it in heaven, but His rules need to be applied
e) And that NOT of OURSELVES.
a. In the sense that Man did not originate, plan, prepare or perfect it.
b. Nor in the sense that man can earn or work for it.
1. Coal is a gift from God but we still need to dig for it.
2. The food we eat is a gift from God but we still need to plant it and nurture it and harvest it. Matthew 6:11;
3. Joshua 6:2; Jericho was a gift from God - but they still had to meet the conditions - march around the wall for 7 days - seven times on the seventh and blow the trumpet and shout
g) NOT OF WORKS Titus 3:5; 2 Timothy 1:9; The bible mentions several kinds of works
1. a. Works of God John 6:28-29; Acts 2:11;
b. Works of darkness Romans 13:12; Ephesians 5:11;
c. Works of the law Galatians 2:16;
d. Works of the flesh Galatians 5:19-21;
e. Works of wickedness Colossians 1:21;
f. Dead works Hebrews 6:1,9,14;
g. Works that perfect faith James 2:22; 1 Thessalonians 1:3;
h. Works of merit Ephesians 2:9; Revelation 14:13; 22:12;
2. When Paul says that salvation is not of works - He does not mean that all works are excluded Because
a. Faith is said to be a work John 6:28-29;
b. Repentance is said to be a work Matthew 12:41; Jonah 3:10;
In actual fact it would be more logical to say that faith and repentance should be excluded under a works concept because they are something the individual does, whereas baptism is something that gets done to you (you are passive not active) -
You do your own believing, and repenting but you cannot do your own baptising.
3. When Paul says Not of Works he is referring to the idea of works of merit, He has said already that salvation is NOT of yourselves, you cannot earn it, there is nothing that you can do that will put God under obligation or debt to you. Luke 17:10;
a. This is obviously not referring to acts of obedience.. but an idea of being able to work your way to heaven.
Like those who were building the tower of Babel if they had been able build that high they could have said that they worked there way to heaven by their own ingenuity and skill.
This would have been works of merit. and that is what is referred to here in Ephesians 2:8-10
b. In James 2:22; James talks about Works that perfect faith he is talking about our obedience to God's will.
Not because we have to but because we want to.
c. Not all Works and Grace are antagonistic for in 1 Corinthians 15:10; Grace and works of labour are found in the same passage
So what is our conclusion what can we learn from this statement salvation by Grace through Faith.
1.The passage was written to the Ephesians. Paul says That they are saved by Grace through faith. HOW?
a. Ephesians 1:3; They heard.
b. Ephesians 1:13; They believed.
c. Acts 19; They repented.
d. Acts 19: They were baptised.
e. Paul now encourages them to continue faithful unto death.
2. The principle seen in the Old Testament.
a. Hebrews 11:7; Noah saved by Grace through Faith but after he obeyed by building and ark.
b. Hebrews 11:29; Israel was saved from bondage by grace through faith. But after they had obeyed by crossing the red sea.
c. Hebrews 11:30; Jericho Fell by Grace through Faith - after they had obeyed by marching round the walls.
3. Most of the passages we have looked at so far have dealt with the alien sinner. but God's grace is also found to be continuing in the life of the saints - Christians.
a. Paul said 2 Corinthians 12:9; NOTE the following
1. My Grace - it is divine.
2. IS - it is positive.
3. Sufficient - It is adequate.
4. For you - It is personal.