BY GRACE ALONE (PART 13)

From God’s will comes grace, mercy and salvation, and He gives these things to whomsoever HE wills to receive them, not to those who ‘choose’ to receive. This receiving is not about man’s reception of grace, but of his being given it. Salvation is received because it is given, not because, or after, it has been accepted. God’s will does not await your acceptance of it, for God’s will always has its way. The grace, mercy and salvation from God always succeed in what they were sent to do. As with God’s Word, saving grace and mercy never return to Him void. They cannot be repelled or resisted, for then the will of God Himself would ultimately be subject to the will of man. God would not be Almighty if His will could be resisted. Man would be God, and God would be reduced to having a will that could be easily thwarted by a man’s sinful will. God’s choice of His elect ensures their salvation. Grace is the guarantee that God will save His people from their sins. The resurrection of Christ Jesus the Saviour has made sure of that. God’s will determines God’s choice, and in turn, God’s choice determines the eternal destiny of the one chosen. The Divine choice is unto eternal salvation. People are saved because of God’s will, not their own. Grace, mercy, faith and salvation are given because no man can choose them. God’s grace, mercy, faith and salvation are given, for they cannot be refused. With the will of God to give comes the will of God to receive. God gives these things to whomsoever He wills because none can choose to receive them. Receiving cannot occur when one is dead, but only after one has been made alive by the grace of God. It is all a work of God.

 

“For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of Righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ” (Rom. 5:17 cf. 1 Cor. 15:21). The receiving is because of grace. The receiving is not a work of man’s, but the gift of God. A man receiving is a man being given the gift of salvation, etc. Spiritual life comes after God gives, not when a man has chosen, for no choice can be made before life is given. Receiving from God is part and parcel of God’s making His people alive. Receiving, like faith, is a gift given to the elect by the grace of God. THE DEAD CANNOT CHOOSE LIFE, FOR IT IS ONLY LIFE THAT CHOOSES THEM! The dead cannot receive life, for before they are made alive they can do nothing. Again, the whole point of salvation is to make a man spiritually alive. This can neither be chosen, or received, by the dead. This is how God operates, this is how God has mercifully dealt with those He has chosen from the nation of Israel in the Old Testament, to the Church of Christ, made up of Jew and Gentile alike, in the New. “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord; and the people whom He hath chosen for His own inheritance” (Psa. 33:12). An inheritance is not chosen by the beneficiaries, but given by the Benefactor. Those who are to receive the inheritance do not choose to be the beneficiaries, but are instead chosen by the Benefactor. The people whom God has chosen are “not Israel only, but the Gentiles also; not all mankind, but a peculiar people, whom the Lord has chosen out of the world to be His possession, and who are His jewels and peculiar treasure; these are happy, being the Lord's portion, and the lot of His inheritance; and He chooses an inheritance for them, adopts and begets them unto it, and makes them meet (qualifies them) to be partakers of it”. “And this spake he not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation; And not for that nation only, but that also He should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad” (Jn. 11:51,52).

 

It is the grace of God that BRINGS salvation, it does not empower anyone to do that which will ultimately procure salvation (see Titus 2:11 cf. Rom. 3:24-27; Eph. 2:8). Man cannot get saved, for he can only BE saved by another. To ‘get’ saved implies something can and must be done to earn salvation, whereas, to ‘be’ saved reveals salvation as that which can only be given, provided, by Another. The issue is not what a man must do, but that he can do nothing to get saved. SALVATION IS NOT BY WHAT A MAN DOES, BUT ONLY BY WHAT GOD DOES, THAT IS WHY SALVATION IS ONLY BY GRACE, AND NOT AT ALL BY WORKS. Grace is God doing because there is nothing a man can do. All the glory for salvation belongs solely to God showing that all of salvation is by grace, and not by works. Salvation does not result from the actions of the dead, but comes from the Source of all Life: Almighty God. The Lord Jesus said “No man can come to Me…” If no man can come, then there is nothing man must do to come, there is nothing for lost, sinful man to do, which reveals in no uncertain terms that salvation is not at all conditioned on man, it is not at all dependent on the works of hopeless man, but solely upon God, and, therefore, totally upon grace. “No man can come to Me, EXCEPT the Father which hath sent Me draw him…” (Jn. 6:44). No man can come to the Lord Jesus except by the grace of the Father. “…Who then can be saved?...Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible” (Matt. 19:25,26). If God does not act, no one can be saved. If the Father does not draw a man to Him, then NO MAN CAN COME. If salvation is impossible with man how can any part of salvation be conditioned on man? These verses show that works are not the way to God. It is not what a man does, but what God Himself does that saves a man. The only way a man can come to Jesus is the Father, therefore, all of salvation is conditioned on God alone. “No man can come to Me, except the Father which hath sent Me draw him…” (Jn. 6:44). Take the Father out of the picture and all you are left with is “no man can come. Take God out of the picture and all that remains is the cold hard fact that with man salvation is “impossible”. What can a man do to get saved if salvation is impossible by what a man does? If the Father does not draw him how can a man come? If God does not act how can a man be saved? What is there for a man to do when there is nothing a man can do! The Lord Jesus said: “…no man can come unto Me, EXCEPT it were GIVEN unto him of My Father” (Jn. 6:65). Again we see salvation as something quite impossible if not for the Father. Unless it is given to a man to come, “no man can come”. This clearly teaches that coming to the Lord can only be by way of a gift from the Lord. Salvation can only be given. God must act, God must give if any are to be saved. This giving, this making a man come, is done by God through His grace, not a man’s works. Salvation is by that which is intrinsic to God, not man. How can any aspect of salvation be conditioned on a man, if no man can come to the Lord Jesus unless it is given to him of the Father, unless God makes a man willing and causes him to approach? It is assuredly true that “No man can come” leaves absolutely no room for the possibility of a man doing anything to come, so how, pray tell, could any part of election, or salvation be conditioned, dependent, upon what a man does! SALVATION IS BY GRACE, WHICH REVEALS IT IS NOT BY ANYTHING A MAN MUST DO, FOR NO MAN CAN DO ANYTHING. It must be grace alone that saves, for man can do nothing. He is in a lifeless, hopeless state prior to salvation. “No man can” means all men are spiritually dead in their trespasses and sins.

 

If coming to the Lord is something given to a man—that is, something which does not come from, or originate, within man, but must be given to him from without—then how can salvation be conditioned upon man? Some will say, ‘But man must believe, even Paul said that to the man who asked what must I do to be saved’ (see Acts 16:30,31). Quite true. However, the following verse from the Book of  Acts reveals the order of things: “And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the Word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed” (Acts 13:48). A man must be appointed to believe so that he will believe. Salvation is not by a man believing, and then being ordained to eternal life. A man’s believing does not start the ball rolling as it were. The precursor to faith is being appointed by the Sovereign God according to His will and purpose to believe the Gospel of the grace of God. Those who foolishly claim that believing is a work of their own, show just how Scripturally illiterate they are, and how empty of the grace of God they continue to be. Believing, faith, is a gift from God not a work of man. How can a man savingly believe if he has not been given the gift of faith by the grace of God? “…by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God” (Eph. 2:8). Salvation is a gift, grace is a gift and faith is a gift. No man comes to the Son unless the Father GIVES. Yes, believing is what a man must do, but the only way he can believe is if he has been appointed to believe, if he is given faith by grace to believe. Grace means God first. There is nothing a man can do which is necessary to his salvation so that God can then bless him with eternal life. That is nothing but phony works salvation. TRUE CHRISTIANITY KNOWS NOTHING OF THE ‘DO THIS AND GOD WILL SAVE YOU’ THEOLOGY! If a man must first do, it is a false gospel that is being presented. Grace is always first, and it is grace that ordains a man to believe and provides the faith with which to believe in the Gospel of grace alone. God first appoints a  man to eternal life, and then at the appointed time, the man will believe. Grace does not empower or enable a man to get saved, FOR IT IS GRACE THAT DOES THE SAVING! “By grace are ye saved”. Get it? The gift of grace saves through the gift of faith. There is nothing within man, by nature, that would ever prompt him to choose God. There is no natural love in man for the only true God. A man must believe, but he cannot believe unless faith is given to him by grace, just like no man can come to the Lord Jesus except it be given to him by the Father (see Jn. 6:65). Without faith a man cannot please God. The only faith which does please God is the faith He gives to all His chosen, the faith of the elect (see Titus 1:1). Man is dead in sins. Man by nature is nothing but utter corruption, and his best deeds are nothing but filthy rags. Even the best of men are at their best nothing but vanity. This is one reason why salvation can never be a reward, because there is nothing a man could ever do to earn it via his filthy-rag-righteousness, or any of his vain deeds.

 

A man dead in sins cannot love and choose, but can only be loved and chosen, if God has elected to do so (see Rom. 5:8). Grace makes the man come, it does not give him a choice to come. A man does not choose God and cause himself to come to God, but must be chosen of God and caused by God to approach Him. “Blessed is the man whom Thou choosest, and causest to approach unto Thee…” (Psa. 65:4). There is no choice for a man to make whom God has made willing and caused to approach Him. God is the chooser, God is the Causer = salvation is by grace. The irony of spiritually dead men insisting they have a free will, is not lost. It is by grace that a man is saved. Not by his choice, but by God’s choice according to His will by grace. Grace is God’s Testimony that man can do nothing. Grace does the work. Grace is God choosing, “Ye have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you…” (Jn. 15:16). The chosen man is drawn by grace, he is given grace to come. No man can come to God except by grace. Grace is salvation. Grace = salvation. God saving is grace saving, not man saving, not God and man saving, not grace and works saving, but God ALONE saving. God alone is the Saviour, and grace alone is the only means to salvation. Grace comes only by what God does. The grace of God belongs to God, and at no time is it given to a man to enable him to perform such an act as to get himself saved, or to place him in a better position to be saved. If salvation is conditioned on man, then it cannot be by grace at all. If a man can come, then it is not the Father that draws him. If a man can come then it is not something which is given to him, but something he has earned by what he has done. This is the only Scripturally logical teaching that can be drawn from the Word of God when it comes to what actually saves a man, and what does not save a man.

 

Paul the apostle wrote to the believers at Ephesus and Rome: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are HIS workmanship…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” (Eph. 2:8-10 & Rom. 11:6). It is by grace ye are saved…not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works…” (Eph. 2:5 & Eph. 2:8,9). If a man is saved by a gift then it cannot be by a reward. Salvation is not a reward for something, anything, a man has done. Salvation is a gift, not a prize, it is by the grace of God not by a work of man’s. If a man is saved by a reward then it cannot be said he is saved by a gift. If it is not by works, then it is not by man. If it is by grace alone then it is all by God. A man’s act does not save him, but only God’s grace. Salvation comes only by grace. Only by what God has done. Salvation comes only by the will of God, and by what God alone has done, not by what a man does. Notice the contrast shown by Paul in Romans 11 and Ephesians 2 between grace and works. Paul states that one is saved by the gift of the grace of God, and immediately contrasts this with work. He says it is “not of works, lest any man should boast” (Eph. 2:9). The apostle also declares: “if by grace, then is it no more of works” (Rom. 11:6). A man can boast in works, but salvation is not a matter of works, but only of grace. No room to boast makes it evidently and eminently clear that salvation is all of God by grace alone. Salvation is by what God alone has done, and not at all by anything a man must do. A man is saved by what God’s grace does, not by what a man does by his works. The Christian is a God-made man, not a self-made man, “we are His workmanship” and not our own.

 

If salvation is by grace then it is not of works, never was of works, because it cannot be of works. If salvation is by grace then it cannot be by ANYTHING else. It, therefore, stands to Biblical reason that salvation is, and can only be, by grace alone. God is the only Saviour, therefore, how God saves is the only way to be saved: “…by GRACE are ye saved…” (Eph. 2:8). Grace rules out the remotest possibility of any perquisite to salvation that must be met by man. Salvation is conditioned on God alone, not man. Salvation is conditioned only on that by which a man is saved. “by grace are ye saved” (Eph. 2:8). Salvation is, therefore, conditioned only on grace. “by grace are ye saved…not of yourselves…not of works…” (Eph. 2:8,9), therefore, salvation is not conditioned on man, or on anything a man must do. Grace does not need the works of man to assist it in saving anyone. Salvation is conditioned on what a man cannot do, otherwise, it would be legitimate for a man to boast. If man has to do something then salvation would in part be conditioned on man, and, therefore, there would be reason for man to boast in something he had done, he would be entitled to share in the glory of salvation. The Scripture would then need to be changed to ‘by grace and works are ye saved’. Scripture clearly excludes all works as well as anything to do with the personhood of man that is necessary to his being saved. There is nothing in man, of man or by man by which he is saved. Salvation is, therefore, by grace alone. Not only does Ephesians 2:8,9 reveal what a man is saved by, but it simultaneously, equally and just as loudly proclaims what a man is not, and cannot, be saved by. “by GRACE are ye saved…NOT of YOURSELVES…NOT of WORKS…” In other words, ‘You cannot by saved by yourselves; you cannot be saved by anything you do’.

 

Scripture expressly declares that GOD has blessed His people according to the fact HE has chosen them to be holy and not because they were in any way holy. “…He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy…” (Eph. 1:4). GOD has predestined His people “…according to the good pleasure of HIS will (not their will), To the praise of THE GLORY OF HIS GRACE (not their works), wherein He hath made us accepted in the Beloved” (Eph. 1:5,6 cf. Rom. 15:7). God is not praised because of what He has enabled a man to do to get saved, but because of His grace alone by which His people are saved. God has predestinated His people according to the good pleasure of His will, not their will, to the praise of the glory of HIS GRACE, not their works! Salvation is not about man fulfilling a condition thus making himself acceptable, or saveable, to God. The Word of God clearly states that GOD makes His chosen accepted, HE qualifies them for salvation by what HE does not by what they do. True Christians rejoice in the fact that “…He hath chosen us…He hath made us accepted…” (Eph. 1:4,6), THAT is grace. “by grace ye are saved” is saying ‘by works ye are NOT saved’; and, “not of works” (Eph. 2:9), is saying, ‘the grace of God is the only way you can be saved’. Salvation is to the praise of the glory of God’s grace, not man’s works. God’s will and grace are perpetually connected. God makes His people accepted by His grace, and not by anything they do with it. “The grace of God manifestly appears in the predestination of men to adoption; in that God had no need of sons, He having a dear and well beloved One; in Whom He is well pleased; and in that those He adopts are so unworthy of the relation; and in that men, and not angels, should be taken by Him into His family; and that some, and not others of the same race; and that this should be before the world was; and in providing Christ as a Redeemer, to open the way for the reception of this grace and happiness; and in appointing the grace of faith to be the receiver of it: and the glory of the grace of God appears herein; the glory of God is the supreme end of all He does; and the glory of His grace, and not His power, or other perfections of His, and the manifestative glory of that is here intended; yea, the ‘praise’ of that glory: and this end is answered, when the children of God ascribe their adoption to the free grace of God.”

 

Election and predestination are to the praise of the glory of God’s grace alone, and not acts which warrant any false accusations of unfairness. What exactly is so unfair about God choosing and predestinating some people to become His people out of a mass of people who had no possible way of choosing Him! Election and predestination, are nothing less than salvation by God’s choice (grace), and not a man’s choice (works). Election and predestination were necessary because of man’s spiritual death. No one sinned, in fact, no one even existed when God elected those He would save, and predestinated them to eternal life, because He knew that sinful man would never, could never want to, come to Him. Election, predestination and salvation could never be things which a spiritually dead man could ever choose of his own will, therefore, the choice as to who would be saved had to be done by God prior to their being created. This was to show that all of election, all of predestination and all of salvation is, and could only have been, by grace alone. The fact a man must be made alive, is proof positive that there is nothing a man can do to come to the only true God. Those who claim that God has chosen His people based on His foreseeing who would perform good works, and want Him, are labouring under a vile misapprehension. Their failure lies in their inability to discern the things of God, nor understand and accept the fact that nothing can be done by any man prior to salvation that will get him saved. Nothing was ‘foreseen’ by God, because salvation by man is quite impossible. Salvation is not of himself, it is not by works, but only by God through grace alone. Prior to salvation there are only dead works performed by spiritually dead men. Therefore, the only way a man can be saved is by a work of God, and that work is GRACE. The saved man, the born again man, the GRACED man is the “…workmanship of God, created in Christ Jesus unto good works…” (Eph. 2:10), NOT because of good works. CLEARLY, THIS MEANS ANY GOOD WORKS, FORESEEN OR OTHERWISE! Just as Noah and his family were kept safe by God in the Ark from the waters of Judgement, so too, the Christian is in Christ because of God, not accompanied by his works, but without his works, not with his own righteousness, but only with the Righteousness of Jesus Christ. God’s saved ones are exclusively clothed in the works of Christ.

 

Salvation comes after and because of the grace of God, not after, or because of, a work of man’s. A saved man is not a self-made man. A saved man is not a product of his own works, but of the grace of God. A saved man is the result of the workmanship of God alone. In other words a man is a new creature because of God and what He has done, and only after what He has done. Grace makes a man complete, requiring nothing of his own, no works or will of his own to get saved. Grace makes completely alive that which previously had been completely dead. God makes His people, who were dead in sins, alive through the supernatural act of grace. Grace does not enable a man to become alive, grace makes a man alive. Grace does not merely make eternal life possible, grace makes eternal life HAPPEN! Grace does not merely bring the potentiality of life, grace makes life a REALITY! Grace is exclusively responsible for the new creature created in Christ Jesus the Lord (see Eph. 2:8-10). Salvation by grace is God speaking a new creature into existence. How can something be given to a man to enable him to do anything, when all a man is before he is made alive is D-E-A-D: DEAD! There is no point in giving a physically dead man an oxygen tank, just as there is no point in giving a spiritually dead man grace expecting him to make use of it. Grace is not acted upon by a spiritually dead man to make himself alive. Grace has to do it all, grace does do all to save a man and keep him saved. Spiritually dead men cannot do anything with grace to make themselves alive, for it is grace alone that makes a dead man alive again. Salvation is being made alive to God through what God alone has done. By grace, man is made a recipient of salvation, and, therefore, he cannot in any way be a co-worker with God in that salvation. The reason for grace is that prior to salvation man is dead. The reason that the Saviour saves by His grace and not through a man’s works, is prior to life there is only death. God saves by that which makes alive, not by anything the dead do. Is it any wonder that before a man is born again, his works are referred to as “dead works” (see (Heb. 6:1; 9:14). What else can a dead man produce other than that which is equally as dead as he is. “…that is, ‘from the works of sin’, as the Ethiopic version renders it; which are performed by dead men, separate and alienated from the life of God, are the cause of the death of the soul, and expose to eternal death, and are like dead carcasses, nauseous and infectious; and even duties themselves, performed without God-given faith and love, are dead works; nor can they procure life, and being depended on, issue only in death.” Dead works are sinful works. No one is saved by sin, but only from sin, by grace alone.

 

Man’s receiving salvation is a gift of grace from God. Man’s receiving is not a work of his, but solely a gift from God. The receiver is made so by the grace of the Giver. Receiving salvation is not something done by man, it is a gift of the grace of God. No saved man accepts the grace of God, or accepts Christ, or accepts salvation. The saved man is made to realise he is a saved man, by being made alive by God, evidenced in the man becoming a believer in the Gospel of God by the grace which grants the faith to believe it. A man’s receiving grace is not his fulfilling some prerequisite before he can be saved. Salvation is by grace, therefore, it is not conditioned on anything a man does. Receiving salvation is not a different coin to being given salvation. The giving and receiving are both gifts from God. To receive is to be given. A man receives salvation because he was given salvation. The receiving comes with the saving. Receiving something is to be given something. The receiving of grace and faith is being given grace and faith, not some conscious act of the will. Grace and faith do not depend on a man’s reception, they are dependent on absolutely nothing but the will and grace of God. Receiving is being given a thing, presented with it. Man’s receiving grace is a man being given grace. The receiving is the result of the giving. A man receives the gift because he has been given the gift. If receiving grace meant grace was dependent upon a man’s decision to accept, or reject it, then salvation would ultimately be conditioned upon a man’s will, and not God’s will. Seeing that salvation is by grace—that which is completely undeserved—then it stands to Biblical reason that receiving grace is not something which is reliant upon a man’s will, but solely on the will of God. The saved man is a receiver, a vessel of mercy, because of the grace and mercy of God, not by some saintly work on man’s part. A  saved man is a receiver by choice: GOD’S choice. God does not save by being accepted, He saves by making a man spiritually alive by grace. A decision which is made solely by God according to His will and purpose. A saved man is the workmanship of God alone, therefore, he is saved by what God alone has done.

 

Most who call themselves Christian believe that God offers salvation, and a man is saved only if he receives, or accepts, this offer. However, in stating that salvation is a gift which God gives to His people chosen before the world began, the Bible clearly teaches that salvation is not an offer, therefore, it does not require anything apart from grace for it to take effect in a man’s life. There is no decision for a spiritually dead man to make, before he can be made alive. Paul did not decide to see the Light, He was shown the Light. Man does not make a decision to be saved, man is saved by the grace of God. A spiritually dead man can make no decision for life, which is why he must be made alive if he is to see life. PAUL, THE APOSTLE NEVER, EVER SAW THE LIGHT BEFORE HE WAS SHOWN THE LIGHT!  All of salvation is a gift, as is grace, as is faith. Grace needs nothing added to it so that it can save. Grace needs nothing done by man before it can save him. Grace sent of God is under the clear directive of God to save whomsoever He has sent it to. Saving grace most assuredly saves every single person it is sent to save. Salvation needs no approbation of man’s, for it comes according to the will of God by grace. What does a man need to do after God has made him willing and caused him to approach him. God does everything in salvation. Salvation is the work of grace according to the will of God for His people. Grace is the means God uses to save His people from their sins. Grace is the key to salvation, it’s what God uses to save His chosen from their sins. Salvation has no trigger which can be squeezed by man. Grace is the trigger, and only God by His will and purpose can squeeze it. Grace does not come by the works of man, but only by the will of God. Grace does not enable one to perform works in order to get saved, for it is grace itself that saves. Salvation is of the Lord by grace, therefore, salvation is by what the Lord does, and not because of anything a man does. Salvation by grace is not because of man, but despite what a man is, does and cannot do. If election, or salvation, were in any way influenced by the efforts—an act, or acts—of a man, including that of believing, then salvation could not possibly be something unmerited, or undeserved, and, therefore, by grace alone. Salvation would not be consequent to the will of God, but only to, or as well as, the will and effort of a man. Salvation, rather than being a free gift, would be God’s response to what a  man has done, and so, salvation would be a cooperative effort based on the will of God and the will of man: God wanting to save, but salvation only being  sanctioned after an act of man’s. The dual keys of will, God’s will and man’s will—the master key and the individual’s key—would be required to unlock the door of salvation. The problem with this unsubstantiated premise lies in the fact that THE DOOR TO HEAVEN CAN ONLY BE OPENED FROM THE INSIDE! Salvation by grace allows for no door knob which a man can turn, and no key hole in which to insert the key of  his will, or works. Grace is God’s choice, salvation is from above, and for whomsoever God has chosen.

 

Salvation is not a responsive act, whether it be God’s response to what a man does, or as the result of a man’s response to what God does. Salvation is not the birth child of response, but an offspring which comes only from the womb of the will of God according to His purpose. Salvation is a planned act, a predestinated act, and is according to the predetermined will of God. If it was required of man to do anything before grace could impart salvation to him, then salvation would be by a cooperative, collaborative, combined effort on the part of God and man. But the Word of God teaches that salvation flows only from the will of God to those He has predestinated unto eternal life, “Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, To the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He hath made us accepted in the Beloved” (Eph. 1:5,6). God does not wait for man, grace does not wait for man to do anything, for it has been delegated by God to save His people according to His will. Grace does not wait for a man to do anything, for if it did, if grace had to wait for a man to make a decision for God, or perform an act of obedience toward God, then salvation would no longer be a free gift, but an obligation on the part of God, something demanded of Him which He would be impelled to provide. It would be a reward, or a wage, and a wage is never given unless it has been earned: “Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt” (Rom. 4:4). Salvation is not a debt which God owes to any man, for it comes only by grace which is the child of God’s will and purpose. Salvation is not an obligation which God must meet, but is a free gift which God gives to those He loves. God is not compelled to provide salvation, for it is something He gives by grace only according to His will. Salvation is no “debt of gratitude” on God’s part, but is a gift freely given according to His good pleasure. Grace is the exclusive servant of God. It hears no one else’s voice but His, and, therefore, comes only at His command.

 

Grace needs no supplementation by man through his works before the act of salvation can take place. Grace brings with it the gift of faith so that a man will believe he is saved by God alone. No saved person believes they were saved by anything they have done, for the elect of God have all been given the same faith, which the Word of God calls “…the faith of God’s elect…” (Titus 1:1), “…the faith of the Gospel” (Phil. 1:27), that only comes by grace. The Christian praises God for what GOD has done, and not for what God and the man have allegedly performed in unison. God saves, and He saves by His grace alone, and not by any positive act of man’s toward it, or because of it. The bottle plays no part in its being filled with water other than the fact it is a bottle, but it can also make no boast whatsoever that it is a bottle, for it was made by someone outside of itself. The glass used to make the bottle had no will of its own, nor the bottle as to what would be poured into it. At no point in its existence, or in the existence of the bare elements required to make a bottle, did the bottle ever have a will to be, much less to be a bottle. The bottle did not will itself to be, nor did it choose to be a bottle, for it was made entirely by the will and work of its creator. So too, a man cannot will himself to be saved—he cannot even choose to be a man, he cannot choose to be a Christian—but is made a new creature in Christ exclusively according to the will and workmanship of God. There is simply no other means to salvation other than by the grace of God through the gift of faith. “Salvation is by grace through faith and not works.” There is the clincher. Salvation is by the gift of grace through the gift of faith. No work of man’s can ever find a foothold, let alone a place in how a man is saved. Grace covers everything that needed to be done, and the gift of faith is given so that one believes that God has done it all through His grace and not through even one of man’s works. Grace requires no assistance from man, no augmentation, no permission, for it is by grace alone that a man is saved. The erroneous interpretation of John 3:16 completely obliterates the Biblical teaching of salvation by grace, for it champions the lie that salvation is based on an individual’s free-will decision, rather than the Sovereignty of Almighty God, on man’s choosing God rather than God’s choosing man.

 

What all those who subscribe to the universally accepted false interpretation of John 3:16, need to realise is how the basic principle of grace in salvation is shattered when a mistaken understanding of John 3:16 is accepted. If God loves everyone, and Christ was sent to die as an atoning sacrifice for everyone, then one can only rationally conclude that salvation is ultimately not according to the unilateral will and grace of God, for not all are saved, but instead finds itself dependent on the will and works of the individual who chooses to be saved, or not. Moreover, the premise of God loving all and Christ dying for all, also reduces God’s love to a mere sentimental emotion without the power to exceed wishful thinking, for there would be no power attached to that love, no purpose, and no will behind it that would, or could, affect anything. It would be a meaningless love belonging to an impotent god who could do nothing about what he wants to occur. The adherents of loves all and died for all promote a salvation by man’s will, and not God’s will. According to such false doctrines God’s will carries no more weight than a sinful man’s will, considerably less in fact, for those who hold to such tenets maintain that it is man’s will which ultimately determines whether he is saved, or not. If God’s love and Christ’s death are for all, then it is not God Who makes the difference between a saved man and a lost man, but solely the will and ‘choice’ of each individual. Such people believe in salvation by works through grace, rather than by grace through faith. If God’s love and Christ’s death are for all, and not all are saved, it becomes clear that such beliefs promote the lie that it is an individual’s decision that makes the difference between saved and lost. This is precisely the lie that underpins every false gospel. Such contrariety to the general principle of Scripture which makes it perfectly clear that God is Almighty, that the true God cannot only do whatsoever He wills, but He actually, and always, does whatsoever He wills, is clearly evidenced. God is not a can-do God, but one Who has donedoes do and will do all that He willsNothing is impossible to Him, nothing is too hard for Him, for He does whatsoever He wills whenever He wills to do it: “For with God nothing shall be impossible” (Lk. 1:37), and “Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for Me?” (Jer. 32:27). “…our God is in the heavens: He hath done whatsoever He hath pleased” (Psa. 115:3). It is God Who makes a saved man to differ from a lost man (see 1 Cor. 4:7). GRACE IS THE DIFFERENCE MAKER. The most fundamental rule of salvation is the key to unlocking the mystery of who will be saved, and who will not: God says, “…I…will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy” (Ex. 33:19). Clearly this is done according to God’s will and purpose, and is not in any way subject to a spiritually dead man’s will. None can be saved but by the will, mercy and grace of God. A refutation of this primary principle of grace in salvation makes sense only in the minds of lost men who know not God.

 

Works is a man choosing God, grace is God choosing a man. Man's choosing God, even if that choosing is attributed to grace, would still be a work of man's, for salvation would depend upon it. It would be something which man had to do before salvation could take place. The problem with lost man is, he believes that he must do something before God can save him. At best, lost man thinks God gives him the ability, by grace, to do what he needs to do so that God can then save him. No matter how you look at, this ‘way’ of salvation ultimately depends on a man’s works. What the saved man knows is that salvation is all of God, it is all of grace, it is not by a man doing anything, but by God doing everything by grace. Only salvation which is totally dependent upon God, on His doing everything, is the salvation which Scripture testifies to. Any gospel which teaches salvation cannot occur without a man performing some act, is a false gospel, the belief of which has never, and will never save anyone. Trusting in a gospel that says man must do, is believing that God cannot save by grace alone, without a man playing his part. However, salvation by grace comes after an act of God, not after an act of man. Salvation is not earned, IT IS GIVEN. No one can earn their way to Heaven, for it is only grace that brings salvation according to God’s will. If a man is to rightly understand anything about salvation by grace, he must understand that believing is not a work of man's, but the fruit of saving grace. God's people are not a generation of choosers, but a chosen generation. Choosing implies something you must do; a decision you must make; being chosen according to grace explicitly refers to something done by, and according to, another's will not because of you, but for you. "...ye are a chosen generation..." (1 Pet. 2:9).

 

A saved man is elected by God, he is chosen by God. Christians are not the electors of God, but the elected ones. They are not the choosers, but the chosen, “Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God” (1 Thess. 1:4). “…He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world…” (Eph. 1:4 cf. 2 Tim. 1:9; Titus 1:2). “…ye are a chosen generation…” (1 Pet. 2:9). When someone turns on the light, you do not choose to see it, you just see it. Even if one shuts his eyes he can still see the light. You have been exposed to that which you cannot deny. God's salvation work upon a man causing him to believe in His only Gospel is grace in action. A man will see at the precise moment God is willing for him to see. “But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me by His grace, To reveal His Son in me…” (Gal. 1:15,16). “Here, the apostle begins his account of his conversion, and call to the ministry; all which he ascribes entirely to the Sovereign good pleasure, and free grace of God.” What happened to Paul happens to everyone saved by the Sovereign will and grace of God: “The God of our fathers hath chosen thee, that thou shouldest know His will, and see that Just One, and shouldest hear the voice of His mouth” (Acts 22:14 cf. Jn. 10:27). The apostle, “…was altogether a stranger, till now, to God's will, way, and method of saving sinners by Christ, of justifying them by His Righteousness, and of pardoning their sins through His blood, and of giving them eternal life by Him; and the knowledge of this he came at by the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, in consequence of his being chosen and called”There is no other way to salvation than by grace through faith in the true Son of the true God as He is revealed in God's one and only true Gospel. Grace is of God and believing is of God, “Who BY HIM do believe in God, that raised Him up from the dead, and gave Him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God” (1 Pet. 1:21). Faith is by Him, as grace is by Him, as all of salvation is by Him. “Christ, as God, is the object of faith; as Mediator, He is the Way to the Father, by which men come to Him, believe in Him and lay hold upon Him, as their covenant God and Father; and is also the Author of that faith (see Heb. 12:2 cf. Heb. 2:10), by which they believe in Him; and all their encouragement to believe is taken from Him; and such who do come to God by Christ, and stay themselves upon Him, trusting in Him, may know, and comfortably conclude, that Christ, Who was foreordained from all eternity to be the Redeemer of His people, was manifest in the flesh for their sakes, and to obtain eternal redemption for them, which He was sent to do, by Him.”

 

In writing to the Christians at Rome, the apostle Paul declared he was “…not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ: for it (the Gospel) is the power of God unto salvation…for therein is the Righteousness of God revealed…” (Rom. 1:16,17). God has by grace given His Gospel, the Good News of His Son Jesus, the Saviour of not only Jews, but people from every nation (see Jn. 11:51,52; Rev. 5:9). These chosen ones of God are saved by grace only, and they are kept by the power of grace only. This unique doctrine of grace alone, which no religion—blinded by the satanically driven humanist philosophy of works—encourages their followers to believe, is central to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The fact that God alone is the Sovereign Saviour, and that the Righteousness of Christ alone is the only righteousness by which a man is saved, is the principle teaching of God’s Gospel of salvation by grace alone. THIS is why God Almighty is to be loved and adored and worshipped forever, for He has changed His elect from being damnable wretches to new creatures, people who have been imputed with the very Righteousness of Christ, and made alive by His Holy Spirit through His grace alone. While those who debate and argue the matter of grace and mercy and exactly what they entail, those who are God’s elect REJOICE at the precious sound of grace, at the precious sound of mercy, for God has revealed Himself to them. He has revealed to them the stupendous, awesome, news that He has chosen to save them to the uttermost by His grace, that He has reconciled them all to Himself by His Son (see 2 Cor. 5:17,18). Salvation is a Promise based on grace, not an offer dependent on what a man does. The elect of God know that works and efforts to somehow get saved and stay saved are completely useless, and that the grace of God is their only hope. The fact that salvation is God making spiritually dead people spiritually alive shows that nothing could ever be done by them in their salvation. The true believer in grace has been caused by grace to utterly abandon himself and his perceived ‘good works’, in fact, everything religion has taught him, for they have been brought to God by the grace of God. Only those who have been made new creatures in Christ will see Heaven (see Jn. 3:3). They are saved not because of their own righteousness, but only because of the Righteousness of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Paul the apostle wanted absolutely nothing to do with his own righteousness, he said, “…that I may win Christ, And be found in Him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the Righteousness which is of God by faith” (Phil 3:8,9). Paul rejected everything he did for everything Christ has done on his behalf. “…the Righteousness which is of God by faith” is the only Righteousness that saves. A man trying to get to Heaven, or stay on what he believes is the road to Heaven, by his own righteousness, by what he does, is a FOOL!

 

The elect are saved to perform good works which they were appointed to perform, they were not saved because of any of those works, nor is their salvation maintained thereby. Salvation by grace is not obtainable, nor is it sustainable by ANY works. This is proven by the fact that a man is saved not by his own righteousness, as Paul makes clear, but only by the Righteousness of Christ (see 2 Cor. 5:21). The works God has ordained for His people to walk in do not get a man saved, nor do they keep a man saved. These good works are given to people that are already saved eternally by grace alone. A man is saved not by his own obedience, but only that perfect obedience of Christ alone (see Rom. 5:19). The works God’s chosen were appointed to perform are performed after grace has saved them. The works that please God are done by His people after they have been exclusively saved by the grace of God, and not before. The only works that please God are those good works which He has ordained His people to walk in (see Eph. 2:10). “Yes, we were created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. But when we abide in Christ, He is the one Who does them. ‘For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure’ (Phil. 2:13)." The chosen people of God are His workmanship, made new creatures, created in Christ and ordained to walk in the good works which God has prepared for them. Therefore, salvation is by grace and not by works. It is impossible to please God without the Faith He gives to all His elect. Faith is a gift which comes by grace, and that salvation cannot do without. Saving faith is not a work of man’s which obliges God to show grace and save anyone. Faith comes by grace, grace saves through given faith. “…by grace are ye saved through faith…”, may just as correctly be phrased, ‘By God are ye saved, through God’. God saves His people by Himself through what He Himself has done for them and given to them. Prior to salvation, all the elect, like the lost, had ever done was perform dead works, considered by God to be equal to dung and filthy rags. “Woe to the rebellious children, saith the Lord, that take counsel, but not of Me; and that cover with a covering, but not of My Spirit, that they may add sin to sin” (Isa. 30:1). Woe to those who “…do not consult the word and ministers of the Gospel, but flesh and blood, carnal sense and reason, and seek to cover themselves with the rags of their own righteousness, and not with the Robe of Christ's Righteousness, and garments of salvation, which the Spirit of God reveals and brings near; and so to their other sins they add that of trusting to their own righteousness, and not submitting to Christ's Righteousness”. Once saved, the elect rely on nothing and no one, but Almighty God and His glorious grace.

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