BY GRACE ALONE (PART 10)
Grace is God making His people accepted because of what He has done, not by who they are, or by anything which they have done. It is God’s grace by which God has made His people accepted in Jesus Christ His Son. The Christian has obtained, because he has been predestinated to obtain, solely by grace. The praise for all this is to the glory of God’s grace, and nothing else. “In Whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of Him…” (Eph. 1:11). Salvation is by grace. It is God’s will and purpose to save His people from their sins. Salvation is of God given to the people chosen by God. The saved are not those who have worked hard at establishing a righteousness of their own, but those to whom God has imputed the Righteousness of His Son. It is by the Work of His Son that His people are saved. The saved are not those who have worked, but who have been imputed with the Righteousness of Jesus by grace alone. The saved are not those who have worked, but those who by grace have been given the faith of the elect which trusts solely in the Work of Christ. They are not saved by works, but by God Who has elected to be gracious, merciful and compassionate toward them. Predestination is God’s grace in action! Election is God’s grace in action! Salvation is God’s grace in action! Predestination is a most beautiful thing, for without it no man could ever have been elected and saved. Predestination, election and salvation come from the love of God for His people. If man was a neutral creature, if he was neither for God or against God by nature, then surely salvation would have been conditioned on who would choose God. However, seeing that man, by nature, is a sinful creature, not neutral at all, but totally at enmity against the true God and His only way of salvation, it is transparently obvious that the only way a man can be saved is if salvation is conditioned on God alone and His choice alone, by grace alone. Man’s opposition to the only true God and salvation by grace alone, is seen in the insistence of all the over 4,000 man-made religions that man must do to be saved. It is only an evil pride-filled heart that loathes the God of predestination and election, and sees Him as evil, preferring to believe that it is man who has control over the reins of salvation. For lost man, salvation is not by the will of God, but by the will of man. The lost believe God cannot save without a man’s works. The saved know that God saves only by His grace alone. No man could ever have chosen God, which is one reason why God had to do the predestinating, the choosing, if any were to be saved. God has not chosen some for Heaven because of their good works, and others for Hell because of their evil works, for ALL are deserving of nothing but death. God’s choosing to love and save His people was before the foundation of the world, not based on any man’s good deeds or lack of them, but SOLELY according to the good pleasure of GOD’S WILL to act with grace and mercy, in order to save His chosen from their sins.
Turning to Romans 9 again, the fact that God chose to love Jacob and hate Esau before either one was born, before either one had done any good or evil, is immediately met with the kind of virulent protestation that the apostle was no doubt very familiar with. “…Is there unrighteousness with God?...” (Rom. 9:14), Paul asks. The apostle answers this ludicrous accusation by informing his readers that in answer to Moses’ appeal for God to show him His glory, God replied: “I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion” (Rom. 9:15). “This is produced, in favour of special, particular, and personal election, and to clear it from any charge of unrighteousness; and by it, it appears, that God bestows His grace and mercy in time, on such persons He has willed and determined from all eternity to bestow it; this, is clear from hence, for since all this is dependent on His will, it must be as this was His will from eternity, seeing no new will can possibly arise in God, God wills nothing in time, but what He willed before time; that this grace and mercy are shown only to some persons, and that the only reason of this is His Sovereign will and pleasure, and not the works and merits of men; wherefore since this grace and mercy rise out of His own free good will and pleasure, and are by no means the creature's due, it most clearly follows, that God in determining to bestow His grace and mercy, and in the actual doing of it, whilst He determines to deny it, and does deny it to others, cannot possibly be chargeable with any unrighteousness.” This clearly shows that a Divine act of mercy and compassion can in no way ever be rightly construed as something unrighteous.
NO ONE HAS ANY RIGHT TO COMPLAIN THEY WERE NOT GIVEN SOMETHING WHICH THEY DID NOT DESERVE. Equally, no one has any right to complain they were given something they rightly deserved. In fact, a man who believes his works are indispensable to salvation, seeks not a salvation by what is undeserved, God’s Grace, but by that which is deserved, man’s works. God having mercy and compassion upon whom He wills to be merciful and compassionate toward IS NOT A SIN! But this is precisely the accusation which the enemies of the cross are making. Simultaneously, the need for God’s mercy and compassion in the salvation of any, shows that both election and salvation are “…not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy” (Rom. 9:16). The Mercy of God, and not the alleged religious efforts of a man, is key to salvation. The Word of God declares a man cannot be saved via his will or works, but only by God Who shows mercy. A man is not saved, and cannot be saved by his works, but only WITHOUT HIS works (see Rom. 4:6 & 5:19). The only way a man can be saved is if God is merciful and compassionate toward him. God saving a person is the only way they can be saved. Far from being an unrighteous act, election unto salvation is the supreme act of grace and mercy which do nothing but highlight the glorious goodness of God, and the utter evil of mankind which cannot be saved by what they do. And this is what God-haters around the world see as unrighteous!! Guilty man HAS NO RIGHT to complain that God has not saved all. Instead, why does the guilty man not ask himself, ‘Why should God have saved any?’ Why does not the guilty man attempt to make a Scriptural case that God should have saved all, or at least more than He has chosen to save? GIVE ME THE SCRIPTURES THAT SAY GRACE AND MERCY ALONE ARE NOT THE ONLY WAY! Give me the Scriptures that say God has ever been, or is in any way unrighteous.
Grace and mercy in election and salvation immediately silence any protest that God should have saved all, or more than He has saved, because both grace and mercy prove that God was under no obligation whatsoever to elect, or save, ANY! Try and make a case that is in accord with the Word of God as to why God should have saved even ONE person, and you will quickly see that you do not have a leg to stand on. Never mind all the ranting and raving about the alleged unfairness of election and predestination, etc., but try and prove from the Scriptures that God was obligated to save even one person. Whichever verse you use must match perfectly with Ephesians 2:8-10. Any obligation to save on God’s part, would immediately rule out grace and mercy as the only way to salvation, for an obligation is ‘a duty, or commitment, a debt of gratitude’ for something done. The Biblical reality is that man is dead in sins and can do nothing, therefore, God is under no obligation to save any. The only obligation God is under is to Himself and what He wills to do. If God should have saved all, then there must be some ground on why He should have saved all, but the Scriptures speak not a word concerning this fallacious drivel. To think that God should have saved all because the Bible says God is love, or because His mercy is everlasting, etc., is to completely misconstrue the nature of God and what He testifies of Himself in the Scriptures. Love and mercy are covenant words, and God loves His people, and He is merciful to them because they are made new creatures in Christ by His grace. Seeing that no man can make himself deserving of salvation,—which is one reason why election and salvation can only be by grace—it is right and proper that God is at liberty to save those whom He wills to save, for there is no other basis on why God should save any, other than His will and purpose. Man always goes on about his rights, even rights he assumes he has with God, but what about God’s rights! Cannot God, the only Perfect, Righteous Being Who has ever existed do as He pleases! Or is this Awesome God the only being who has no right to do as He wills? Election and Salvation are to the glory of the grace of God. There is no unrighteousness in salvation, nor in the fact that God has not chosen all to be saved. All of mankind being dead in sins disqualifies any man’s ‘right’ to be saved, thus God is under no obligation to save any, but rather to condemn all. Therefore, the fact that God does save some is an AWESOME act, demonstrating His grace, mercy and goodness which in turn, are acts that are to be lauded and not frowned upon. Only if God was obligated in some way to save all could He be rightly accused of committing an unrighteous act by choosing only some. Mankind lost any and all rights when it sinned in the Garden of Eden. In trying to gain eternal life by what he did, man only procured eternal death, and lost God forever. Man, today, vainly persists in doing to gain eternal life.
God has chosen His people by His grace. God did not choose His people according to their works. This means any works, done, foreseen, thought of, or otherwise. Those who talk in a “highly enthusiastic and effusive way” about election being based on foreseen works fail to come to terms with the Biblical fact that election is not according to ANY works—actual or foreseen—because foreseen works would one day become actual works which election simply cannot be according to, and still qualify as God’s “…election of grace” (Rom. 11:5), for “…if by grace, then…no more of works…but if it be of works, then is it no more grace…” (Rom. 11:6). “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us…” (Titus 3:5 cf. Rom. 3:20). Not by works, means NO works whatsoever. God does not save His people by their works of righteousness. God saves His people according to His mercy, not by any works which they have done. God saves His people by what He has done, not by what they do. One of the greatest Scriptures which deals with grace and works is found in Paul's second Letter to Timothy. Speaking of God, Paul says: "Who hath saved us, and called us with an Holy calling, NOT ACCORDING TO OUR WORKS, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began" (2 Tim. 1:9 cf. Gal. 2:21). The Gospel of the apostle Paul did not include within it any preaching of works as part of God's salvation plan. To include works as part of what saves, or keeps a man saved, is to put an end to grace. It is to reject the competency of grace alone to save anyone. To reject grace is to reject God. To join a man's works to the Grace of God is also a rejection of grace which is nothing less than a rejection of the true God. Believing that a man must perform any work before he can be saved, is to reject the only way God saves: Grace. Where, and with whom, does your trust lie: you and your works, or God and His grace?
One can never Scripturally change grace or works into grace and works. Salvation is by either one or the other (see Rom. 11:5,6; cf. Rom. 9:11). Man’s corrupt nature is what lies behind the religions of the world which place a man’s works at the forefront of salvation doing away with the essentiality, and exclusivity, of salvation being by grace alone. World religions all make salvation dependent on works in some way to some degree. The only true God only saves His chosen people by grace alone. He saves those who were dead and makes them alive forevermore. To attempt to join works with grace is to go against the grain of Scripture. It is to be an enemy of grace. It is to say that grace is not enough, and needs the addendum of a man’s works before it can save. Obviously, those who say righteousness comes by what they do, which takes in all those who say man must do before he can be saved, frustrate the grace of God, and have put their faith in a saviour who has died in vain (see Gal. 5:2,4). Works abolish grace. The apostle Paul phrased it thusly: "And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work" (Rom. 11:6 cf. Gal. 2:21). Contrary to what man is naturally drawn to in his thinking, a man is, and can only be, saved purely by what God does, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). “This is the general character of all mankind; all have sinned in Adam, are guilty by his sin, polluted with it, and condemned for it; all are sinners in themselves, and by their own actual transgressions; this is the case of the whole world, and of all the men in it; not only of the Gentiles, but of the Jews, and the more righteous among them: hence there is no difference in the state and condition of men by nature; nor is there any reason from and in themselves, why God saves one and not another; nor any room to despair of the grace and Righteousness of Christ, on account of persons being, in their own view, the worst of sinners: and hence it is, that they are all ‘come short of the glory of God’; either of glorifying of God; man was made for this purpose, and was capable of it, though now through sin incapable.” A man’s efforts to get saved or stay ‘saved’, are as beneficial to him as if he had never performed them. Works mean nothing, for grace is everything. Anything in addition to grace is a denial that what God does to save a man is enough. A salvation which requires a man to do anything in order to get saved, or stay saved, is a salvation which requires man to assist God before, and so that, God can realise the fulfilment of His will. The Scriptures know nothing of a God Who requires anyone, but Himself, to fulfil His own will. “…what His soul desireth, even that He doeth. For He performeth the thing that is appointed for me…” (Job 23:13,14 cf. Psa. 115:3; 135:6; Isa. 14:24-27).
Again, the apostle Paul did not nullify grace at all because of any leaning upon his works of obedience to help get, and keep him, saved, for he said: “I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if Righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain” (Gal. 2:21 cf. 2:16). Anyone who claims salvation is in any way to any degree dependent upon works, is a subscriber to the lie that Christ’s efforts to save His people, including His sacrificial death, was nothing but vanity. Grace cannot be appealed to, Christ the Messiah cannot be claimed as one’s Saviour if one’s reliance for salvation is not completely on the Righteousness which the Lord Jesus has established for His people. Do not expect to go to Christ with a legitimate claim to anything He has done, if you look to, or have any confidence in, what you do, or have done, as something which is supplementally essential to your salvation. All Jesus will say to you is: “…I never knew you: depart from Me, ye that work iniquity” (Matt. 7:23). Looking to what you do is adding to what Christ has done, it is adding to Christ’s finished work of atonement and redemption. It is adding to grace that which grace does not need, nor salvation require. Salvation by grace is something which is independent of all that a man is, and all that a man can do. Grace does not work with man to get him saved, for it is only the grace of God which has access to salvation, thus providing it as a gift, and not awarding it as a prize, or paying it as a wage. Only the key of grace can open the door to salvation. There are no conditions for salvation because no conditions could ever be met by any man. The glorious news is that salvation is by grace alone, therefore, there are no conditions that are to be met based upon our works. Salvation is according to God’s will, love, purpose, grace and mercy. That’s what it takes to save a man, not works. God’s people did not choose Him, for they could never have done so being dead in trespasses and sins.
The essential salvation principle of grace is found in Jesus’ own words as recorded in the Gospel of John: “Ye have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you…” (Jn. 15:16). “…His choice of them was entirely free, did not arise from any character, motive, or condition in them: the allusion is to a custom of the Jews, the reverse of which Christ acted; with whom it was usual for disciples to choose their own masters, and not masters their disciples…” There were not two choices made, ‘God choosing His people, and they choosing Him’. The whole reason the apostles followed Christ, as all His people do, is because they were chosen by Him. They are told to follow Him (see Matt. 4:19; 8:22; 9:9; 16:24; 19:21; Mk. 2:15; 8:34; 10:21; Lk. 5:27; 9:23; 9:59; 18:22; Jn. 1:43). The freedom God’s people have in following Him is because they were chosen by Him according to grace. Prior to being saved, all people were by nature children of Wrath who did not seek the only true God, but only gods of their imagination, some of whom they called ‘Jesus’ and ‘God’, but who were, by the doctrines that identified them, nothing but false gods. If God has done it, then it needed God to do it. Salvation is by grace because it could never have been by anything else. Just as Jesus Christ is the only Way, grace alone is the only means by which a man is saved. Salvation is not by a man’s choice, nor by a man’s works. Salvation is about God saving, not man doing to get saved. Salvation is about God giving, not man working. The saved do, but not to get saved, or remain saved, but because they ARE saved. If salvation is by grace then it is by God, and thus it could never have been attained by man. Salvation is not a matter of God choosing to save His way, rather than man’s way even though man’s efforts and will could just as equally have saved him. God saves by grace alone because THERE IS NO OTHER WAY! Salvation is not by a man’s works, not by a man’s will, but only by God’s grace. So many billions of people actually, literally trust in what they do. They believe that what they do will, at the very least, assist them in getting to Heaven. Such people are blind to the fact that the Word of God is clear in its teaching that salvation is not by any works at all, it is not in man to do anything to qualify himself for salvation, for all mankind is dead in sin. Salvation is wholly by the grace of God. The only people who do not trust in their own works, are those whom God has chosen to save only by His grace. To trust in your own works is to not trust in the God of grace. Salvation is not attainable, only giveable. Salvation is about grace not works. Salvation is about God not man. Salvation is about God and His grace, not man and his works.
If salvation is by grace alone then it can be by no other way. God is the Saviour, not man, therefore, God saves His way, by what He does, not by man and what he does. God saves by his grace not a man’s works. Since the Fall of mankind, sin is all any man has ever been, and all any man has ever done, so how could any of God’s chosen ever have chosen Him. How can a man choose God when the Scriptures say there are none who seek Him? How can a man, indeed, what can a man do to get saved, when the Word of God declares that a man is saved only by grace: the favour of God which cannot be earned? God the Saviour saves by what He does, not by what the ones He saves do. How can the dead do anything to come alive again, for they that are dead know not that they are dead. The dead sit in darkness comfortable in their dead state, oblivious to their need of a Saviour and what only the Saviour can do. As one man has wisely stated, “Everyone thinks they are saved, before they are saved, until they are saved”. Man by nature instinctively looks to reform his life, to do better in the hope this will save him. Though the Christian life is one of repentance, love, forgiveness, grace, mercy and compassion, these traits are not what his salvation is based on, for every Christian was born again by grace alone BEFORE they performed any good works; BEFORE any changes surfaced in their lives. The moment before physical death there is only life, and the moment before spiritual life there is only spiritual death. The Christian was just as much a 100% saved man the day he was created a new creature in Christ, as he is after years of being that new creature, and walking in the works God has ordained. Works do not get a lost man saved, nor do they keep a saved man saved. Salvation is all by the grace of God from its inception to final glory and beyond. Salvation responds only to grace. Only after a man is saved does he see the light of grace, and the fact that no man can be saved any other way.
There are no works, there is nothing a man can do to get saved, for all attempts at getting saved are an out and out denial that salvation comes only by the Sovereign grace of Almighty God. The man who has been made alive knows he is alive, and he also knows there is no need for him to do anything to come alive, or stay alive. He is a creature created and sustained by grace. He knows that he will perform good works that have been ordained for him to walk in, but he also knows that these works do not get him saved or keep him saved, but are present in his life because he is saved. They are gifts from God which he has been ordained to perform to the glory of God. The saved man is born again to be obedient, not because he was obedient. “Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience…” (1 Pet. 1:2). Salvation is conditioned solely upon the obedience of Christ (see Rom. 5:19). God is the One Who brings life, Who makes spiritually dead people alive. Their participation is not only not required, IT IS IMPOSSIBLE! Spiritual life is salvation. Salvation by grace alone brings spiritual life to spiritually dead people. The belief that any man did or could have done anything to come to the true God, or was enabled to cooperate in any way before he could be saved, is nothing but a satanic denial of the spiritual deadness of mankind, and of the need for the grace of God, the mercy of God and the goodness of God in predestinating some to be with Him in glory. Any opposition to the grace and mercy of God in election comes from the satanic lie that man would not die, and man’s subsequent belief that he is not dead. Any opposition to grace and mercy is mans’ shaking his fist at the Sovereign God and saying ‘I can choose to be saved, I am not dead’. Man’s prideful belligerence toward the true God is seen in the religions that have come out of the desperately wicked heart of man, in that each and every one of them state that man must do in order to get saved and/or stay saved. Man, in his desperately mad scramble to control his own destiny, actually dethrones the God he claims to worship. The goodness of God is seen in God having given everything, even His own Son, to those He has chosen by grace who deserved only His Wrath. God has given everything to those who could do nothing. That is grace. He has given everything to those who were once His enemies, and who could give Him nothing. “…God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8 cf. Rom. 5:10; Col. 1:21). Christ died for His people not because they were being good, but while they were still sinners!
God has made, or ‘cut’ a Diatheke Covenant. “The Greek word ‘diatheke’ is different from 'suntheke'. 'Diatheke' does not involve the action of two parties. It is the action of one party on behalf of another. It involves two parties in the sense that one is the benefactor the other is the beneficiary. It is natural to think of a covenant as a coming together of two active parties (i.e., marriage). Diatheke is not an agreement between two parties. Diatheke is made by one party on behalf of another. The benefactor has no involvement in the agreement except a willingness to receive it.” However, this willingness on the part of God’s chosen is a gift given to them by God through grace, “Thy people shall be willing in the day of Thy power…” (Psa. 110:3); “Blessed is the man whom Thou choosest, and causest to approach unto Thee…” (Psa. 65:4). “In this respect the ‘diatheke’ is like: 1) a testament or a will. 2) an inheritance. The covenant is 'all of God'.” That is grace. “But 'diatheke' is unlike a testament because a testament only comes into effect when the testator is dead. An inheritance distributes the wealth of a deceased person. The New Covenant 'diatheke' only came into being through the death and resurrection of Christ. If Christ had not risen then the New Covenant 'diatheke' would not exist. The New Covenant comes into being through the Resurrection of Christ. It is a Covenant of New Life. It is a Covenant of adoption being brought into the family of God by grace. It is a Covenant of an eternal inheritance in Christ. God’s chosen people are joint heirs with Christ. God alone was active in initiating the New Covenant ‘Diatheke’; God’s people enter into the New Covenant by grace through the gift of faith in the finished work of Christ on their behalf. The obligation of the New Covenant is to live in the ‘love of Christ’. To love one another as Christ loved us,” His people. You cannot love your neighbor as yourself, if you do not forgive your neighbor as Christ has forgiven you.
“One of the easiest ways of explaining the difference between conditional (suzerainty) and promissory (grant) covenants has been to treat the Old and New Testaments in terms of former and latter, respectively. If the New Testament writers wanted to retain the idea of ‘covenant’, they would have used the Greek word, syntheke rather than diatheke, since the former refers to a bilateral agreement. The New Testament writers jettisoned the Old Testament berit (covenant) altogether: diatheke is not actually a translation of berit, but an entirely different concept. A bilateral contract is made between two living parties, while a last will and testament is simply granted to the heirs upon the benefactor’s death. First, we should note that the scribes who translated the Hebrew Scriptures into Greek (Septuagint) already translated berit as diatheke before the appearance of Christ, and it is unlikely that they felt any great burden to surrender the idea of a bilateral covenant to a foreign concept associated not with the international treaties but with the disposition of property upon one`s death…Secondly, it is important to identify the covenants not in terms of mere appearance of the word (berit/diatheke), but in terms of the action taking place and the context on which is administered. A third contention is that the prophets themselves identify the fulfillment of God`s ancient promises as a ‘new covenant’ (see Isa. 59:21; Jer. 31:31-33; 32:40; 50:5; Ezek. 16:60,62; 20:37; 34:25; 37:26; Hos. 2:18) and that is the understanding of the New Testament writers (see 1 Cor. 11:25; 2 Cor. 3:6; Gal. 4:24; Heb. 7:22; 9:15)."
God has blessed His Covenant people eternally. He clothes them all with His Robe of Righteousness. “I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for He hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, He hath covered me with the Robe of Righteousness…” (Isa. 61:10 cf. Gen. 3:21; Zech. 3:4; Lk. 15:22). The Christian does not clothe himself with his works, but is clothed in the Covenantal Righteousness of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. The Christian does not bring his works into this Diatheke covenant, for he is clothed with the Righteousness of Almighty God. He is clothed with the Righteousness God has provided for him. Only those who are not in God’s Diatheke covenant clothe themselves with their own righteousness. Only the lost clothe themselves with their works and efforts, only the lost appeal to what they have done. Jesus said, “Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name? and in Thy name have cast out devils? and in Thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from Me, ye that work iniquity” (Matt. 7:22,23). Only the workers of iniquity appeal to what they have done expecting to be saved. The sandy foundation of the lost is their own righteousness; the sure Foundation of the saved is the Righteousness of Christ Jesus the Lord. God’s chosen people want only His Righteousness, what He has done, and not any righteousness of their own (see Phil. 3:8,9). The Christian greatly rejoices in God, FOR HE, GOD, has clothed the Christian with His, GOD’S, OWN RIGHTEOUSNESS! “No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and THEIR RIGHTEOUSNESS IS OF ME, saith the Lord” (Isa. 54:17 cf. Jer. 23:6). The Christian is saved not by or because of his own righteousness, but solely by and because of GOD’S OWN Righteousness. The Christian is not clothed in the filthy rags of his own righteousness, but in the pure white Robe of the Righteousness of Christ. The lost appeal to their works, while the true Christian rejects his works for God’s grace and Righteousness alone.
God has by His grace made His chosen ones, His loved ones, His Covenant beneficiaries acceptable to Him. Those who are “…partakers of the heavenly calling…are made partakers of Christ…” (Heb. 3:1,14). They are not partakers of the heavenly calling by anything they have done, but are partakers because of Him, because of His grace. A man saved by God alone is a man saved by grace alone. God makes His people partakers of Christ. “For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He did predestinate, them He also called: and whom He called, them He also justified: and whom He justified, them He also glorified” (Rom. 8:29,30). How could anything a man believes he has done find any room amongst all that God has done in saving His people from their sins? “…the Lord knoweth them that are His…” (2 Tim. 2:19 cf. Nah. 1:7). GOD predestinates them, GOD calls them. GOD justifies them. GOD glorifies all His chosen, and clothes them with His Righteousness. This is all done by grace alone. God has ceased His Wrath toward them for no other reason than the fact He chose to love them. There was nothing loveable about any of the elect, for all were by nature children of Wrath, enemies and sinners against God. Just as God had chosen to create man, He has chosen to save some, by making them new creatures in Christ by His grace, His mercy and His love. And, it is only because God loved them that His people now love Him (see 1 Jn. 4:19). All is because of Him, all is because of Grace and Mercy. Grace is giving what is not deserved, not earned, and mercy is not giving that which is deserved. God does not appoint any of His chosen for whom Christ died, to His Wrath, but only to salvation (see 1 Thess. 5:9,10) by His grace alone.
This book is entitled ‘By Grace Alone’, and for good reason. Salvation is all about God saving His people from their sins according to His grace, mercy and goodness. Salvation is according to God. God has chosen to love some of the fallen human race, to rescue some, to preserve some from His fiery Wrath and make them His children: the Children of His love, the children of His grace, the children who would only be given the grace of God, and not His Wrath; the children who would receive only the mercy of God, and not His Wrath. Salvation is all of God, for “Salvation is of the Lord”, and “Salvation belongeth unto the Lord…” and “…From Him cometh my salvation” (Jon. 2:9; Psa. 3:8; Psa. 62:1). Salvation is about celebrating the God of grace, mercy and goodness. God is the only Source of salvation, and He saves only according to His will, love, purpose, grace and mercy. No one can do anything to attain, or purchase, salvation, for it could only have been, and has already been, purchased by the precious blood of the Lord Jesus Christ the Son of God and God the Son. “…feed the Church of God, which He hath purchased with His own blood” (Acts 20:28 cf. 1 Cor. 6:19,20; 1 Cor. 7:23; Heb. 9:12; 13:12). “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of Him Who hath called you out of darkness into His marvellous light” (1 Pet. 2:9 cf. Ex. 19:5; Acts 20:28; Eph. 1:14). The word peculiar here, is “a purchased possession” or “a people acquired”. God’s chosen people are not a generation of choosers, nor are they the ones who have purchased, nor are they a people who have acquired. Christians are not people who have acquired salvation by their works, but a people whom God has acquired by His grace. Christians are chosen of God, they are a people who have been purchased by God, they are a people who are what they are, and where they are, because they have been acquired by God through His wondrous grace. Salvation is not for sale, nor is it on offer. Salvation can only be given to those whom the Father has chosen and given to His Son. “SALVATION CANNOT BE BOUGHT WITH THE CURRENCY OF OBEDIENCE; IT IS PURCHASED BY THE BLOOD OF THE SON OF GOD. Salvation is free, for no man has the necessary riches to contribute even one penny toward the cost of his own salvation. And to do so would be the height of blasphemy since it would deny the sufficiency of the sacrifice of God’s own Son (see Col. 2:14; Heb. 7:27; 9:12,28).” Salvation only comes through the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Christ died for His people securing their salvation for them. Salvation is not offered to them, it is given to them. Salvation is not offered to everyone, for it was secured only for God’s chosen. Jesus Christ has earned the salvation for all His people. The price for salvation was the blood of the Lord Jesus, and the beneficiaries of salvation are all those for whom He died. Who did Christ die for? “All that the Father giveth Me…” (Jn. 6:37); who are they whom the Father has given to the Son? All those whom the Son will give eternal life. Jesus, praying to the Father, says: “As Thou hast given Him power over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as Thou hast given Him” (Jn. 17:2). Salvation does not come because of any man’s attempts at obedience, but only through the obedience of One: Jesus Christ: “…by the obedience of One shall many be made Righteous” (Rom. 5:19).
Salvation only comes by the will, grace and mercy of God, therefore, it cannot possibly come by anything a man is, or by anything a man does. The Righteousness that saves a man does not come from man, it is not his righteousness, his obedience that saves, but only the Righteousness/Obedience of the Lord Jesus Christ. Man’s righteousness does not save, it is only the Righteousness of Jesus Christ that saves His people from their sins. The only Righteousness that saves comes by grace alone, not by works. It comes only from, and because of, God, not you. Christ’s Righteousness imputed by God’s grace is how God saves His people from their sins. He makes them as perfect as He is. Those who have been taught that salvation is conditioned on what they do, either independently of God, or in collaboration with God, have been lied to. They cannot appeal to grace while they attempt to either get saved or remain ‘saved’ by what they do, by their own righteousness. Grace and works do not mix, they do not work together, for they are the antithesis of each other, and, therefore, eternally opposed. Grace and works pull in opposite directions and thus lead to very different destinations. Grace and works are eternal enemies, for the one cancels out the other. Grace is instead of works and works are instead of grace. You cannot have both. Just as with death and life, grace and works can never be cohabitants in the same house. If there is death there is no life, if there is life there is no death. Likewise, if there are works there is no grace and if there is grace there are no works. There is absolutely no collusion possible between grace and works, for the Word of God says that it is “…by grace ye are saved” (Eph. 2:5). Salvation is by grace, not by ourselves, not by works, it is not by what we do, but solely by what God has done. As Paul the apostle emphasized in his Letter to the Christians at Rome: “And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work” (Rom. 11:6). THE ONLY WAY SALVATION CAN BE BY GRACE IS IF IT IS NOT BY ANY WORKS AT ALL.
If salvation is by grace alone, then it cannot be by any works at all. Why? Because it is by grace ALONE! Grace does not need your dead works to help save you. Grace saves by the Person and Work of Christ. Grace saves by what HE has done, not by enabling you to do. Grace produces works, but those works are not why a man is saved, or what a man is saved by. Salvation comes before any works are performed. The works a Christian is ordained to walk in are not given so God can save him after he has performed them, for that is not their purpose. If it was, they would have been given to him BEFORE salvation and not after! A MAN IS NOT MADE ALIVE BY WORKS, BUT SOLELY BY THE HOLY SPIRIT OF GOD THROUGH GRACE, “…for the flesh profiteth nothing…” (Jn. 6:63). Man has no right to grace, and attempting to work your way to Heaven will only get you to Hell. The works path is the broad way that leads only to Hell. Only the narrow way of grace leads to Heaven (see Matt. 7:13,14). Religion’s broad way is works, God’s only Way is grace. There is no profit in works, for salvation comes only by grace. Only by the work of grace—not by grace and works—is a man saved. The moment one adds anything done by man—whether it be his deeds, or his believing—to grace, one no longer has grace. “SALVATION IS ONLY BY GRACE THROUGH FAITH WITHOUT WORKS.” The flesh profits nothing. What can I do to get saved? NOTHING! It is only grace that saves. The person that works for their salvation will not be saved, for salvation is only by grace. “But to him that worketh not…his faith is counted for Righteousness” (Rom. 4:5). Righteousness is not imputed because of works, but “…without works” (Rom. 4:6). The man who works for salvation will receive nothing by grace. Abraham was NOT justified by works. Abraham has nothing to boast about before God. The faith Abraham was given by the grace of God, “…was counted unto him for Righteousness” (see Rom. 4:1-3 & Jas. 2:23). Salvation is not by what you do, but by everything God has done. “By grace are ye saved”, means that a man can be saved by nothing else. “BY grace are ye saved” is the same as saying ‘there is nothing else that saves but grace’. None of man’s religious ideas and concepts of works and sacrifice are worth a hill of beans when it comes to getting saved, being saved, or remaining saved. Only that which comes from God scores points with God. In salvation, grace means everything, grace is everything, while works are vanity, they achieve nothing when they are performed in an effort to get saved or stay saved. In such a context, works work against a man, and not for him.
“The Lord is my strength and song, and is become my salvation” (Psa. 118:14 cf. Ex. 15:2; Isa. 12:2). “…I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The Lord God is my strength…” (Hab. 3:18,19 cf. Psa. 38:22; 68:19). “He only is my Rock and my salvation…” (Psa. 62:6). “Behold, God is my salvation…” (Isa. 12:2 cf. Psa. 118:14,21). If salvation is by grace then it is by grace alone, if salvation is by grace alone, then it is not by any works at all. If salvation is by grace through faith it is through faith alone, and if salvation is by grace through faith alone it cannot be by any works of man. Grace and faith are gifts from God, and man is saved only by grace through faith, “…NOT…works, lest any man should boast” (Eph. 2:9). Salvation is by the gifts of grace through faith, and, therefore, cannot be by works. If salvation is by grace alone, then it is an utter disgrace to seek it any other way. If there is no room for boasting by man in salvation, then there is no room for a man to do anything in something that comes from, and is totally of, God’s doing. If there is no room for boasting by man in salvation, then there can be no works by which a man is saved. There is nothing more that can be added to a glass that is already full. Grace alone has filled the glass of salvation and served it to all God’s people. What justification does any man have to seek to add imperfection to perfection? Why would, and how could, anyone be so foolish as to seek to add a few brush strokes of their own to a masterpiece? Why would, and how could, anyone want to add anything to a glass which is already full? God’s not adding anything to grace shows that there is nothing which needs to be, nor indeed can be added to grace in order for salvation to take place. How can a man’s imperfect works possibly improve upon, or add to God’s perfect grace? HOW CAN ANYTHING IMPERFECT BE A NECESSARY ADDITIVE TO THAT WHICH IS PERFECT? What would be the reason to add anything to that which needs nothing? What would be the reason and purpose behind the notion to add anything to a glass of pure water filled to the brim, to make it any purer than what it already is? To make it more perfect? How can you add anything to perfection in order to make it more perfect. What can be added to the true answer to make it any truer?
Grace saves, nothing else saves. What does grace not do that a man must do? Remember, the faith that believes is given by God through the grace that saves. The reason for grace is that man cannot do anything to come to the only true God. To say that a man is saved by grace, but that a man must do this or that as well, is to make grace alone insufficient to save anyone. “By grace ye are saved” means grace does it all! No work of man’s can be added, for salvation is by nothing a man can boast of. Grace stands alone in its salvation work. Salvation needs nothing but the grace of God, for it responds only to the grace of God. Grace does not need anyone’s assistance to ensure salvation, “FOR BY GRACE”—AND NOTHING ELSE—“ARE YE SAVED”! God saves by grace alone. God saves by what He does not by what you do. Only the Gospel of God teaches salvation by grace alone, and only true Christians believe that salvation is by grace alone. All other gospels add to, thereby, take away from grace, diminishing its role in salvation by always supplanting it with what a man must do. Only the lost believe they must do something. You are not believing in grace if you still think what you do is essential to your getting saved or remaining ‘saved’. Again, there is no need for man to try and build for himself a righteousness which God will accept, for God is completely satisfied with the Righteousness established by His Son, by what only the Substitute for His people could do, and has done, on their behalf! “For in Him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are COMPLETE IN HIM, which is the Head of all principality and power” (Col. 2:9,10 cf. 1 Cor. 1:30,31). Christ is “…able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him…” (Heb. 7:25 cf. Jn. 14:6). “When salvation and blessings are said to be of grace it means that the recipient has met NO conditions to earn it or appropriate it and that he has no claim upon it by way of (personal) merit.” Why would salvation be completely by grace alone, if there were anything a man could do to attain it?