BY GRACE ALONE
REJOICING IN THE GRACE, MERCY AND GOODNESS OF THE SOVEREIGN
GOD IN THE SALVATION OF HIS PEOPLE
Two of the most precious words in existence are grace and mercy. Indeed, the very concept of grace and mercy in the salvation of sinners is too wonderful to have ever come from the mind of man. They transcend the sin-limited scope of man and his myopic, vain ideas, expressed in his plethora of religions, of how to reach God. The grace of God and the mercy of God are life-changing, they are destiny-changing. Grace and mercy diametrically change a man’s course of life from being on the broad way that leads to Hell, onto the narrow way that leads to Heaven. God changes things. Grace and mercy are words of hope, not of uncertain hope, not a hope based on what you do with them, not a flimsy, wishful thinking type hope, but a definite, reliable, trustworthy and promised hope. A covenant hope. A hope that can never disappoint. A hope that is sure and unwavering. A hope that is eternal. The Christian’s hope is in the God of grace. The Christian’s hope is not in the fact he has changed, but solely in the One Who has changed him. The Christian’s hope is in God and His grace, and not at all in himself and any of his works. The Christian’s hope is not in what he has done, but only in what God has done in him. “Now our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace” (2 Thess. 2:16). This "everlasting consolation" and "good hope" are given by God to His people through grace. There is no other way of receiving it than by being given it. God has loved and chosen His people according to His grace through sanctification of His Spirit and belief of His Gospel which reveals the saving grace of God that brings “everlasting consolation” and “good hope”. The "consolation" is everlasting, and the "hope" is good because they both come only "through grace", and are eternal. It is “…the grace of God that bringeth salvation…” (Titus 2:11). “But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth” (2 Thess. 2:13 cf. Jn. 17:17). “The reason why a Christian has eternal comfort and good hope is that his salvation is a great work of God. God elected, God called, God sanctifies, and God preserves His people for glory. This is the truth in which all Christians believe and rest. This is an eternal 'consolation' (comfort) and this is 'good hope' which come only 'through grace'.”
“God's plan of salvation, as portrayed in the Scriptures, originates in the grace of God from eternity-before the creation of this world. The grace of God in salvation is from eternity, yet it was revealed to His people in time by the manifestation of Jesus Christ (see 2 Tim. 1:9,10). Paul says in Ephesians 1:4 that God’s elect were chosen ‘in Him before the foundation of the world’. We can know God only because He has graciously planned from eternity past to reveal Himself to His people in time. He did it in a personal way, through Jesus Christ. God has desired this relationship with His chosen before they were born, before Christ came, before man sinned, and before the world was created. It is with this concept in mind that we begin to get a glimpse of the magnitude of God's grace toward His elect. God loved them and chose to save them already in the eternal ages past. There is nothing that we can do in time which would merit God's grace. Salvation is all of grace. Had God not chosen to extend grace to us, we would have been doomed for eternity by our sin. Salvation is ascribed to God's grace in the following Scriptures: ‘Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus’ (Rom. 3:24); ‘That being justified by His grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life’ (Titus 3:7); God, ‘Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved)’ (Eph. 2:5). ‘For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God’ (Eph. 2:8).” That most of the so-called evangelical church today has swallowed the Jesuit/Roman Catholic lie of co-operative salvation is a sign of the times (see Lk. 18:8). It shows that man’s religious pride is nothing but a revelation of his spiritual blindness in believing that a man who is dead in sins can actually assist in the revivification of his dead spirit. The ready acceptance and rise of Arminianism, which is nothing less than Roman Catholicism, over the past few centuries, coupled with the sheer hatred of the Doctrines of Grace that make up the only Gospel of God, is a sign of the immensity of man’s inherent loathing for, and natural enmity against the only true God.
Only through His grace and mercy does God provide the exclusive and only certain source of genuine sure hope which nothing and no one can interfere with. The giving of grace ensures salvation. Being saved by grace, by what God has done, is being saved eternally. No one can lose what grace has done – no one can change what God has done. God’s will is always done, none can interfere with it, make any alterations to it, or stop it, nor does the will of God require anyone’s permission or acceptance before it can take place. This would suggest a will superior to God’s will. A will that can effectively interfere with God’s will, that can stop it, that can force the Almighty God to make contingency plans, to refer to ‘plan B’, etc. If God wills it, none can stop it. “And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and He doeth according to His will in the army of Heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay His hand, or say unto Him, What doest Thou?” (Dan. 4:35). In order to accurately understand the grace and mercy of the Almighty and Sovereign God, and the need for them, one must first understand and come to terms with the Biblical reality of the spiritual state of mankind. A demonstrably inaccurate discernment, a wilful, or otherwise, ignorant assessment of man’s natural spiritual state, will always leave one with an erroneous understanding of grace and mercy, the purpose they serve, the reason they are required, why they are essential to a man’s salvation and why no work of man’s can ever be joined to them. Grace only saves when unassisted. Grace is only grace when it stands alone. Salvation is surely by grace alone. Anything added to grace immediately cancels out grace (see Rom.11:6). Any attempt to add a work of man’s to the grace of God is to usurp its rightful and unique place in the salvation of God’s elect. Grace can only be given so that it can do what only it can do. If grace was a reward, it could never bring an undeserved and unconditional salvation.
God saves His people through the means of His grace and mercy. Mercy comes by grace. God saves only through that which is His, that which is within Him, that which is of Him, that which is from Him. “…Salvation is of the Lord” (Jon. 2:9); “Salvation belongeth unto the Lord…” (Psa. 3:8); “…from Him cometh my salvation” (Psa. 62:1). An incorrect understanding of grace, mercy and the spiritual condition of mankind can only come from, and lead to, a false understanding of who God is and what God is like. Ignorance of Who God is and what God is like, consequently leads only to a flawed understanding of how a person is saved, why they are saved and who exactly is responsible for their salvation. False gospels carry the corrupted seed which poisons the mind of lost men into accepting false gods. “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever…And this is the word which by the Gospel is preached unto you” (1 Pet.1:23,25); “…flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption” (1 Cor. 15:50 cf. Jn. 3:3,6). A flawed understanding of how a person is saved will always betray an incorrect, therefore, unscriptural interpretation of grace and how God exactly saves His people from their sins. “Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son” (2 Jn. 9). The man who does not understand, acknowledge, live and judge according to the Gospel of Jesus Christ does not have the only true God. Only the Christian, the man blessed by God, is the one who understands, acknowledges, lives and judges according to the only Gospel God has ever Authored. It is only the saved-by-grace man who believes in the Gospel of God, that has both the Father and the Son. Erroneous understanding is blasphemous understanding, a heretical understanding which is a work of the flesh and can never lead to the true answer, but only and always to that which is false, to that which is not of God. To believe erroneously concerning Who God is, what God is like and how God saves, is to worship an idol. What a man believes is what a man trusts in. Who a man believes is who a man trusts in. If you are trusting in that which is not true you cannot be trusting in the God of truth. If the doctrines which make up the gospel you believe in are not an accurate reflection of Who God is and how God saves, then all you have is a false god and a counterfeit salvation.
It must be made perfectly clear from the outset that if a man believes and has placed his trust in wrong information, inaccurate teaching, then what he trusts in simply will be of no benefit to him. GOD DOES NOT SAVE ANYONE THROUGH THE MEANS OF A FALSE GOSPEL. No one who has been chosen to be saved is sanctified through the Holy Spirit and the belief of lies, but only through the Spirit of Truth and belief of the truth. Writing to the church of the Thessalonians, Paul said: “…because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth” (2 Thess. 2:13). When this Scripture changes, God’s way of salvation will change. Belief in a false gospel is no sign that a person is saved, but rather confirmation of their lostness. In this topsy-turvy world where ignorance is interpreted as intelligence, where black is often seen as white and fake news rules the day, “Those who do not listen are uninformed, and those who do listen are quite often misinformed. The real extent of this state of misinformation is known only to those who know the truth of the only true God.” To have been given the truth by grace is to believe exclusively in God’s only Gospel through the gift of faith. It cannot be over emphasized that a false understanding of God’s truth can only work to increase a person’s ignorance of Who the true God is, and exactly how the true God saves. If one’s picture of God is not in accord with the image portrayed in the doctrines He teaches in His Gospel, then one has nothing but a distorted image, a false image of the true God, another god, another gospel and only the illusion of salvation. An illusion of salvation is that which is only supported by feelings, experiences, erroneous teaching and a spurious understanding of Who God is and how God saves. False doctrines can only ever portray images of false gods, and of ways to salvation that can never save.
Basically, all religion teaches that man must do or he will die. That there can be no salvation without a man’s best efforts at pleasing God. Consequently we see that all religion presupposes that man is capable of assisting God in saving him, that he has the ability to please God to the point where God saves not by grace alone, but only when each individual’s will and works are joined to grace. To harbour an understanding of how a man is saved, by believing man must, therefore, can do that which salvation requires, is to immediately expunge the Biblical concept that man is dead in sins, spiritually dead to the true God, without hope and with no way of escaping this eternal dilemma. Religion teaches man must do or he will die, while the Word of God teaches that man cannot do, for he is already dead. “…as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” (Rom. 5:12 cf. 2 Cor. 5:14). Even Christians prior to being saved were dead in sins and children of Wrath. Being saved is to be made alive by grace. Writing to fellow believers at Ephesus, the apostle Paul stated: “And you hath He quickened (made alive), who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of Wrath, even as others. But God, Who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)” (Eph. 2:1-5). The false gospels of religion promote works, and by doing so, at the very least, diminish the pre-eminent and exclusive role of grace in salvation. The false gospels of religion bypass the doctrine which teaches man, by nature, is dead in trespasses and sins, and replace it with the lie that a man must earn his salvation by his own personal obedience.
Allow me to make it perfectly clear from the outset that when talking about religion we are including all that calls itself Christianity which does not base salvation on grace alone. Only a proper Biblical appraisal of the spiritual state of mankind will lead to the only possible way a man can be born again, or brought back to spiritual life and a real relationship with the only God there is. Grace alone is the only Way to real salvation. Once a man is brought to a proper understanding that there is nothing anyone can do to get saved, one will soon realise that salvation can only come by grace alone. If no part of salvation is of man, then it must be all of God. God is the Saviour and He has laid out His salvation plan in His one and only Gospel of grace for all to see. It is not called the Gospel of grace and works, but of grace alone. Paul wrote, “…I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the Gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:24 cf. Gal. 1:6; Phil. 1:7). There would be no Good News were it not for the grace of God. God’s Plan is salvation by Him, and no other. God’s Plan is salvation by grace, not works. God’s salvation plan is uniquely according to grace—what God does—and not works—that which a man performs. Truth can only be believed or rejected. You cannot be for truth and for lies. You cannot be for truth and simultaneously believe in anything which contradicts it. You cannot be for grace and for works. You cannot believe in salvation by grace alone and in anything which contradicts it. You can only be for truth and against error, for grace and against works. Those who truly believe in salvation by grace do not believe in works as a means to salvation, or as a way of remaining saved. Anyone who does not believe God’s Gospel of grace is disbelieving, rejecting, the only true God and His Mighty plan of salvation for all His chosen. If you do not believe the Gospel of God, then all that remains is unbelief. If you believe in works you do not believe in grace, and, if you savingly believe in grace you will not believe that works are in any way necessary to getting, being or remaining saved. If you do not believe the Gospel of grace alone, you will always believe that man must do before he can be saved and/or that he must do to maintain his alleged salvation. If you do not believe the Gospel of grace alone, you are lost: “But if our Gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost” (2 Cor. 4:3). If you cannot see that salvation can only be by grace alone, you are at this moment dead in your sins. A rejection of God’s plan of salvation is a rejection of God, a rejection of His Testimony of Grace and Mercy. A rejection of God’s Gospel—which is the only Gospel that reveals the only true God, His Grace, His Righteousness, His Son, the hopeless state of man and the only way God saves: by His grace and by His mercy—is a rejection of the only God Who saves His people from their sins by His grace alone.
The principle issue people must understand, must acknowledge and must accept, is the fact that man is a sinner who is “dead in trespasses and sins” (Eph. 2:1). Man’s status of being dead in trespasses and sins, is perhaps the most overlooked, ignored, Biblical reality in all of God’s Holy Word. One of the dire consequences of such ignorance is disbelief in regards to the Biblical fact a man can only be saved by grace alone through the gift of faith alone in the Righteousness of Christ alone. No one can be saved by what they do. One cannot overemphasize the seriousness of sin, and the life-ending consequence of it. By sin, man has been corrupted and eternally separated from the Holy God. This separation is so severe that no man, by nature, now seeks the only true God, “There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God” (Rom. 3:11). By becoming a sinner, man is now spiritually dead, dead to God and His Christ, dead in sins and with no hope of ever extricating himself out of his eternal nightmare by anything he does, for he is without God, and, therefore, without any life. God warned Adam of what would befall him if he ate of the forbidden fruit: “…in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely DIE” (Gen. 2:17). Adam’s having chosen to disobey God, immediately and automatically erected an impenetrable wall of partition between mankind and God, making contact impossible. Any man's inability to see the blatantly obvious when it comes to the spiritual state of man—both before and after the Fall—lends powerful support to the existence, and is a compelling demonstration, of what spiritual death involves. ONLY the spiritually dead could be deceived into not seeing the simplicity and clear teaching of the doctrinal and spiritual truth that man, though once alive to God, is now, in his natural state, spiritually dead to God, eternally separated from God because of sin. In this corrupted state man has attempted to form innumerous ways to ‘get back with God’. All of these bizarre, twisted, and utterly profitless ways to salvation include at their epicentre the teaching that a man must, therefore, that he can, do something to make himself right with God, in order to restore a right relationship with Him. In other words, man’s ‘ways to salvation’ are all predicated on the lie that man is not dead, and that he can work his way back to God by his own will and effort. This thinking comes straight from the blasphemous lie of Satan, when in reply to God’s warning that eating the fruit would surely bring about death, the Devil told Eve: “…Ye shall not surely die” (Gen. 3:4). Do and live, has been Satan’s lie from the very beginning. What exactly man must do varies depending on whom one asks. From making a simple decision to accept God, to living a lifetime of ‘good works’, what a man must do exactly in order to get saved, and/or stay saved, is vigorously debated among equally deluded people. All are agreed, however, that the key to salvation is man must do something, implying that without a man’s action, or positive response he can never be saved. Man must do, he must accept, he must choose, he must act, he must comply, he must give his consent, etc., for salvation cannot occur without man.
According to religion, everything hinges not on what God has done, but on how a man responds, in other words, everything depends on man. This is the lie of Satan “which deceiveth the whole world” (Rev. 12:9). As one man has wisely stated, “Everyone thinks they are saved, before they are saved until they are saved”. Only the saved can see the deception which has hoodwinked the whole world. Only the fish that has been taken out of the water knows there is a whole lot more to life than water. Only the saved man knows that grace alone, and not works, is a man’s only real hope of salvation. Only the man who has been made alive by the grace of God knows and sees clearly that prior to being made alive, a man was nothing more than spiritually dead in sins. The sincerity with which the spiritually dead trust, in one, or more, of the various false ways of religion which can never lead to the only true God, only serves to doubly condemn those who have placed their trust in false gospels, and in false gods who ‘save’ according to your works. Those who adhere to gospels of works which all ultimately condition salvation on what a man must do, are lost. Such delusion—that a man can do to get saved—lies in the fact that by insisting a man must do, subscribers to false gospels all ignore the Biblical truth that a man cannot do based on the reality that man is dead in sins. The Gospel of God’s grace is not a gospel of works at all, for it is the Gospel of grace alone. Religion says man must do or he will die, while true Christianity teaches man cannot do, for he is already dead. The fact man can do nothing to get saved shows that it is only what God can do BY GRACE that saves a man. Salvation is only by grace alone and not by any works at all.
The Lord Jesus strikes down the insane teaching that says a man must do to get saved, by declaring, quite categorically, that as far as salvation is concerned, a man can do nothing. When asked by His disciples “…who then can be saved” (Matt. 19:25), Jesus replied: “…With men this (salvation) is impossible; but with God all things are possible” (Matt.19:26). Only by God can a man be saved. Only by what God does can a man be saved, therefore, only by grace is a man saved. According to the Lord Jesus Christ, there is nothing a man can do, for it is impossible for man to do anything to gain salvation. “…what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Mk. 8:37). “To deliver it out of its miserable state and condition; all the riches of the world, and the whole world itself, are not an equivalent to it, or a sufficient ransom for it; riches will not profit in the day of wrath, or deliver a soul from damnation, and ruin: wherefore, if he had the whole world, he could not redeem his soul with it; and he has nothing else to give for it, and therefore it is past all recovery.” Man is dead in sins, “And you hath He quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins” (Eph. 2:1). At his best state man is nothing but vanity, “…verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity” (Psa. 39:5). Vanity is the only product of sinful man who is naturally without God in the world. Salvation simply cannot be acquired by anything a man can do, for there is nothing any man can do. Jesus said: “No man can come to Me…” (Jn. 6:44). No man has the inherent ability to come to Jesus. This simple, yet profound, statement shuts down every man-made religion in existence, and reveals all their ways to salvation to be nothing but a collective sham. “No man can…” means no matter what a man does, he can never come to the true Jesus by what he, the man, does. No man can will himself to Jesus, no man can work his way to Jesus. No man, by nature, knows the Father or the Son, “…no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal Him” (Matt. 11:27 cf. Jn. 1:18). Whatever is necessary, whatever must be done for a man to come to the glorious Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, CANNOT be done by any man. Jesus continues in John 6:44 to reveal precisely what can bring a man to Him, by saying: “No man can come to Me, EXCEPT THE FATHER which hath sent Me draw him…” (Jn. 6:44). The whole of salvation is conditioned on the Father drawing whom He will to the Son! Anyone who tells you anything which dares to differ from this, which dares to condition salvation on man—thereby, saying that man CAN come to Jesus, is a liar and knows not the true God. God is the Saviour, means salvation can only come from God, therefore, only by what God does.
Clearly, the Word of God states that salvation is not something which can be attained by man through what he does. Salvation can only be given by grace. If a man cannot do, then salvation is something which can never be earned. It cannot be purchased, it cannot be obtained, it cannot be procured by man. The Biblical teaching that no man can do anything to come to God, includes the fact that no man can even will to come to God. “No man can…” means no man has the capacity to do anything, including willing his way to God. No man will because no man can. Man cannot work his way to God, man cannot will his way to God. “No man can…” means no man can do anything to come to God, he cannot will to do so, nor can he perform any work of obedience that will be pleasing to God. But man’s main problem is not that he cannot do anything to come to God, but that he does not know who the true God is. This is highlighted by the fact that all men by nature believe they can do to come to God. The meaning of Jesus’ words in John 6:44 goes far beyond a man not being able to do anything to come to Him, but perhaps His most profound statement in this particular verse is that no man can ever, by what he does or what we wills, come to the TRUE Jesus. Jesus is saying ‘You cannot come to ME, by what you do. You cannot come to Me because of who you are.The only way any man can come to Me is if the Father draws him.’ So the only way to God is not by what a man does, but solely by what GOD Himself does. Whichever god a man believes in by nature that will accept his sincerest efforts, is a false god who cannot save. No man can do anything to draw the true God to him, therefore, works as a way to Heaven are merely the nugatory religious activities of the spiritually dead as they travel the road to Hell. Salvation, then, can only come as a gift given by the grace of God. The reason why salvation is impossible by what a man does, why it cannot be by his will or works, is the irrevocable Biblical fact that man is spiritually dead and without hope. Sin has killed the will of man, and made his works completely useless. There is nothing a man can do. There is simply no point in man doing, for a man without hope is a man who can do nothing to gain Heaven, or please God.
There is only one thing which illustrates hopelessness better than a man not able to do anything, and that is, the fact that there is nothing which can be done. There is nothing which any man can do which can bring him one inch closer to God than he is right at this moment. A man without hope is a man without anything to do. The only hope for salvation according to God the Son is God Himself. Only with God are all things possible, even the salvation of a man (see Matt. 19:26). Salvation is only possible with God by grace. “Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Pet. 1:13). The Christian’s hope is in the God of grace. Man and works are simply not the solution. That which is impossible with man IS only possible with God, and if salvation is only possible with God, then it is only possible by grace. Salvation is an utter impossibility when man tries to earn it by what he wills, and by what he does. Salvation is not possible with man, therefore, it is not possible by works. Salvation is only possible with God, therefore, only possible by grace. The Lord Jesus illustrates this point by making it succinctly and transparently clear that, “No man can come to Me…” (Jn. 6:44). This means no man has ever come to Him, or will ever come to Him by works of obedience. No man of his own will or works can come to the Saviour Jesus Christ. This teaching aligns perfectly with other Scriptures we will be studying which declare mankind to be dead in sins, without Christ, without God, and, therefore, without any hope of doing anything which will bring him closer to the only true God, let alone procure salvation. A man who is spiritually dead is a man without God is a man without any hope. “NO man can come”. Of his own will and of his own works, no man can come to God. Only by the will of God and the work of God, called the grace of God, does a man truly come to the only true God. No man is spiritually born “…of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” (Jn. 1:13). “No man can come to Me, except the Father which hath sent Me draw him…” (Jn. 6:44). God draws a man to Him by love-born grace. Man does not draw God to him by works. God is the Saviour. There is no hope for man without God.
That which always leaves room for doubt when attempted by man, is left in no doubt when done by God. The apostle Paul makes it definitively clear that, “…There is none Righteous, no, not one” (Rom. 3:10 cf. Psa. 143:2), so how, it may well be asked, can anyone who is not Righteous do anything that is Righteous in order to become Righteous? “…How should man be just with God?” (Job 9:2). Job went on to say: “If I justify myself, mine own mouth shall condemn me: if I say, I am perfect, it shall also prove me perverse” (Job 9:20). “Who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin?” (Prov. 20:9). “…there is none that doeth good, no, not one” (Rom. 3:12); “For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not” (Eccl. 7:20 cf. 9:3). Salvation, from beginning to final glory, is only possible with God, for it is only God Who can take a dead man and make him spiritually alive to Him, eternally. A saved man is a man born of God. God is Righteous, and He is the only one that can make a man Righteous in His sight. “…a man can only be just with God through the imputation of the Righteousness of Christ, accounting that to him, putting it upon him, and clothing him with it, and so reckoning and pronouncing him Righteous through it…” That which a man does, or believes he can do, can never restore spiritual life to him, or impress God. “…EVERY man AT HIS BEST state is altogether VANITY…surely every man IS vanity” (Psa. 39:5,11). Man at his best is completely without profit before God. Man’s innate ignorance of the true God is the manifestation of the spiritual alienation, the deadness and lostness of man. The only way to God is inherently unforeseeable and indiscernible to those who are dead to God. The ignorance of the fact that God has already done what needs to be done for a man to be saved, is clearly highlighted by the man who tries to do what only God has already done: establish a perfect Righteousness acceptable to God. No man by nature craves the God of election, but rather despises Him. “…there is none that seeketh after God” (Rom. 3:11).
There are none Righteous, though there are many religious. There are multitudes who do seek after false gods, gods that cannot save, but there are none by nature who seek after the only true God Who saves by grace alone through faith alone in the Righteousness of Christ alone. “Our being made spiritually alive, and God’s becoming 100% for us in Christ is: by God’s Grace alone, on the basis of Christ alone, received through the gift of faith alone, so that all things lead ultimately to the glory of God alone, with Scripture alone as the only final authority teaching these truths. These are The Five Solas of the Protestant Reformation.” Salvation by any works not only opposes grace, but is also a direct attack against the very Righteousness of Christ Himself. Believing that salvation is by personal obedience is to say that grace alone does not save. Denying grace alone is a rejection of the Biblical fact that salvation is grounded in the imputed Righteousness of Jesus Christ. It is a personal dismissal of the Person and Work of the Lord Jesus Christ. Saved people have no problem at all with salvation by grace alone through the gift of faith alone in the Righteousness of Christ alone. None whatsoever. Conversely, the grace of God and the Righteousness of the Saviour are not enough for the man who remains dead in sins and captive to his own carnal thoughts. The lost will never escape the bondage of works, unless it is by the grace of God alone. According to spiritually dead man, he must establish a righteousness of his own to be sure he will be saved. Such is the logic of religious madness. No man seeks the true God, for all men by nature are dead to the only true God who saves by grace alone. Every man by nature, as all of his religions attest, seeks only to establish a righteousness of his own. God saves only by His grace alone, through the gift of faith in the Righteousness of His Son, and all His people only believe this Gospel truth. The world by its wisdom does not know God, “…the world by wisdom knew not God…” (1 Cor. 1:21). Those who are of the world, who follow its wisdom, and plethora of religious ‘solutions’ are not saved. The world by wisdom knows not God, nor the only way to salvation. The world does know every way that will not lead one to salvation, but it does not recognize God’s only Way, grace alone, as the only way. No one who is not saved seeks the true God. Man is literally conceived in a state of utter hopelessness. David stated: “Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me” (Psa. 51:5 cf. Job 14:4; Psa. 58:3). Spiritually, all men are born dead in sins.
Man is without God because of his sin against God. Man is fully responsible for the fact he is a child of God’s Holy Wrath, deserving of nothing but eternal punishment and torment in Hell. Man is guilty in every respect with absolutely no recourse whatsoever. Man is a sinner and his sins are constant. Man has no redeeming feature, nor any right to appeal his eternal state of ruination, nor any Biblical right to deny it. Contrary to humanistic thinking, and the supposed dignity of mankind, man is the lowest of the low! The truth, and reality of man’s existence is that man is not even worthy enough for God to cast a momentary glance toward. “…the heavens are not clean in His sight. How much more abominable and filthy is man, which drinketh iniquity like water?” (Job 15:15,16 cf. Psa. 8:4; 144:3; Isa. 40:17; Jer. 17:9; Eccl. 9:3). “…What is man that Thou art mindful of him?...” (Heb. 2:6 cf. Job 7:17; Psa. 8:4). “Who is like unto the Lord our God, Who dwelleth on high, Who humbleth Himself to behold the things that are in Heaven, and in the earth!” (Psa. 113:5,6). Man is a worm, who, even at his best state, is nothing but vanity (see Job 25:6; Psa. 39:5,11). Vanity signifies “…sin, emptiness, folly, falsehood, and inconstancy; for man is a very sinful creature, empty of all that is good; foolish as to the knowledge of Divine things; he is deceiving and deceived, his heart is deceitful and desperately wicked (see Jer. 17:9); and he is unstable in all his ways; he is ‘all vanity’ as the words may be rendered; all that he has, or is, or is in him, is vanity”. It is incumbent upon every man to look at the Scriptures, and face the truth that all mankind has rebelled against God, “…all have sinned, and fallen short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23); that “…the heart of the sons of men is full of evil, and madness is in their heart while they live, and after that they go to the dead” (Eccl. 9:3); that man is a fallen, spiritually dead race rightly deserving of nothing less than the fierceness of the Wrath of God for all eternity, and that the only way anyone can escape this most dreadful of all destinies is through the will, grace and mercy of God.
It is not God Who has created, or rendered, man hopeless, but man himself through sin. It is not God Who separated Himself, from and abandoned man, but man who has jettisoned God for love of sin. Man via his disobedience against God, has chosen to follow another way rather than God’s Way. He has chosen death rather than life. Salvation does not come by man doing (works = will and effort), but only by God doing (grace), for man can do nothing. “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom. 6:23). Both the secular, and religious worlds, say that man is basically good, but as we have seen, the Word of God paints an entirely different picture. “The belief that people are basically good is an ancient falsehood going back to the fourth-century AD. It was first propagated, at least in a theological sense, by a British monk called Pelagius. He fervently and persuasively argued against the Biblical doctrine of original sin—the belief that all of mankind has been morally corrupted through Adam’s fall. The Pelagian heresy was defeated at the Council of Ephesus in 431 AD. But Pelagius’ beliefs have been readily imbibed by most secular cultures and are alive and well in the present day. Atheism and Darwinism may have toned it down by embracing an anthropology of moral neutrality rather than goodness. But their worldview remains essentially Pelagian because they still deny the inherent sinfulness of man. In that sense, Pelagius still stalks the hallways of government, higher education, and the mainstream media.” In other words, the dead believe they are alive. In order to bring in other heresies such as works being essential to a man’s salvation, Pelagius had to begin at the beginning and attack the doctrine of original sin and the consequent spiritual deadness of mankind. Pelagius was like a messenger sent of Satan—who virulently denied man would die—for Pelagius and all his minions say man is not dead. “Most foreign policy disasters are connected to the naïve assumption that people are basically good. Welfare programs flounder because of beneficiaries who prefer to extort the system rather than behave ethically. Psychologists continue to exclude the possibility of a sinful nature from their study of the human experience. Behavioral experts relentlessly try to solve bad behavior with better education. And society at large is now burdened with a younger generation that identifies as victims rather than perpetrators, refusing to be held accountable for its actions.” Conversely, God says man is fundamentally, naturally, evil, for “…there is none that doeth good…” (Rom. 3:12), “…all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23 cf. Matt. 15:18,19; Mk. 7:20-23; Jer. 17:9), and, are, therefore, rightly deserving of nothing but God’s Wrath. All of mankind stands guilty before the Holy God. There is no neutrality in man, for every man is a sinner at enmity against God. The entire world has been deceived by Satan into thinking death is life and life is death from the beginning. The world has embraced the lie, sinned and spiritually died, and now faces the inescapable Judgement of God which is eternal death.
Scripture asks: "Shall mortal man be more just than God? shall a man be more pure than His Maker?" (Job 4:17). The Word of God says: MAN IS A WORM!!! “How then can man be justified with God? or how can he be clean that is born of a woman? Behold even to the moon, and it shineth not; yea, the stars are not pure in His sight. How much less man, that is a worm? and the son of man, which is a worm?” (Job 25:4-6). The Scriptures state clearly that man's “…heart is deceitful ABOVE ALL THINGS, and DESPERATELY wicked” (Jer. 17:9; cf. Gen. 6:5; Job 15:14-16; Psa. 51:5; 53:1-3). So much for man being basically good. “…the heart of the sons of men is full of evil, and madness is in their heart while they live, and after that they go to the dead” (Eccl. 9:3). THIS is reality my friends! THIS is how the inerrant, infallible Word of God describes man in his natural, sinful state! Man has no redeeming feature, for he is a mass of God-defying sinfulness. Not only is man helpless and hopeless but, by nature, he is a covetously aggressive and arrogant creature who is nothing but an enemy of God, and a child of His Wrath. There are no exceptions. Man, woman and child, all are by nature helpless, hopeless and without God. The sin of disobedience by man against God has utterly destroyed all communication with God, and all desire for the true God. Man does not seek the true God, but in surrounding himself with false gods, or distracting himself with thoughts that there is no God, seeks to hide himself from the only true God (see Gen. 3:8). “…There is NONE Righteous, no, NOT ONE: There is NONE that understandeth, there is NONE that seeketh after God. They are ALL gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is NONE that doeth good, no, NOT ONE” (Rom. 3:10-12). All men, even at their best, are nothing but vanity: “…verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity…every man is vanity” (Psa. 39:5,11). The best a man can be, and the best a man can do is utterly without profit to him. Moreover, a man at his best, doing the best he can do is seen as nothing but filthy rags by a Holy God: “…all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away” (Isa. 64:6). If even man’s righteousnesses, his ‘good’ deeds are seen as filthy rags by a Holy God, one can only imagine what our sins and sinfulness appear to Him as. One can readily see from these few verses that the very concept of a man doing anything to come to God is utterly ridiculous. The baseless, and palpably absurd notion that man can somehow make up for his sin fails to deal with the Biblical fact that man is, by nature, a sinner who is lost in sins, dead in sins, dead to God and utterly hopeless without Him. There is no worse condition than being dead and hopeless. Such is the spiritual state of mankind. Man can do nothing about the fact he is spiritually dead, because he is without hope, and man has no hope, for he is spiritually dead and without God. Man is by nature destitute of anything that can help him. He is, “…without Christ…having no hope, and without God in the world” (Eph. 2:12). Man has sinned against the Most Holy and Beautiful God. The sinfulness and selfishness of mankind knows no bounds, and has expeditiously and exponentially worsened throughout the centuries.