BY GRACE ALONE (PART 14)
Most ‘churches’ believe a person to be a Christian simply because they claim to be a Christian. Churchianity will welcome you with open arms as long as you say, ‘I love Jesus’. Pressure to maintain payments on their building, or buildings, payments to the ‘pastor’, payments of all sorts has surpassed the need to properly and accurately teach the whole Counsel of God, and to “…believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world” (1 Jn. 4:1). Most ‘churches’ simply accept a person based on what they claim to be, without even asking them what they actually believe. This is like accepting a complete stranger into your house simply because they want in, or including a person onto your football team simply based on their claim they know how to play the game. Anything less than a hearty welcome, they say, would be ‘unloving’. And, in this politically correct age which seeks to produce brain-dead people, none dare question a person’s salvation for fear of offending anyone. To teach people who come to them exactly Who God is, and who He is not, what He has done and for whom He has done it, how he saves and how He does not save; to distinguish the true God from all false gods; to teach the true and only Gospel of God, and expose the false gospels which simply cannot save, to judge saved and lost by the Gospel/gospel one believes, is deemed too confrontational and divisive. Certain doctrines like election and predestination are avoided at all costs. ‘We might frighten off people if we take a doctrinally rigid stance on what a person must believe. We must avoid doctrine and simply show them love’. Can you imagine two real Christians getting together and not talking about the glorious doctrines of the Gospel? Rather than accurately reflecting the doctrines of the Gospel of the grace of God, many slaves of organized, mainstream pseudo-Christianity are filled with compromise, a self-serving tolerance filled with excuses, which they have the unmitigated gall to call ‘Christian love’. But what kind of love is this that does not instruct and correct? Please tell me. What kind of love does not edify and build by truth? Please tell me. What kind of love does not warn and educate. Please tell me. What kind of love respects, but does not teach the truth of God. Please tell me. What kind of love is it that does not caress with truth, but instead pats one on the back with careless indifference. Please tell me!
The carnal mind of lost men can never understand the concept, and, therefore, will never accept the doctrine of salvation by grace alone. The flesh can never understand, and, therefore, acknowledge the fact that God saves His people only by the Righteousness of His Son Jesus, and not at all by anyone else’s righteousness. Christ’s Righteousness is charged to God’s people by grace, it is not earned by anything they have done. Christ’s Righteousness does not require any assistance from any man’s righteousness to save God’s elect, as the grace of God requires no work of man’s to save any of God’s chosen. A man is saved only by the Righteousness of one: Jesus Christ. The lost cannot understand the Biblical principle that if salvation is by grace then it can only be by God. Salvation by grace is the salvation of God’s chosen by the work of God, not man. If it is by grace it can only be by what God has done, and no other. Grace is God working, God saving, God redeeming, God justifying, etc. Grace is God doing everything in salvation, and, simultaneously, salvation by grace is a declaration that man is incapable of doing anything, “no man can come to Me”. No man can come because all men, by nature, are spiritually dead. If anything is added to grace then it is no longer grace, but a perversion. Versions, or more aptly, perversions of grace, litter the religious landscape, they veritably pollute the air that is breathed by those who have been deceived by it. True grace is the pure oxygen of salvation. If anything is added to grace so that a man may be saved, or is said to be necessary to maintain a man’s salvation, then it is no longer grace. Likewise, if any part of grace is removed then it is no longer grace, and you cannot be saved by it. Add anything to truth, or take away anything from truth, and it immediately ceases to be truth. The Gospel of God, the Gospel of salvation by God, is “…the Gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:24). Anything which is added to, or taken from grace leaves one without the Gospel of God, without the only Gospel that saves. The only thing that shuts out man, and gives all the glory to God, is grace. Grace is being saved by God, by what HE has done, and, therefore, by nothing you have done. Anything else, any doctrine which is added to this is nothing but leaven which leavens the whole lump (see Matt. 16:12 cf. Gal. 5:9). Believe that you are saved by the grace of God and anything else, and you remain a miserable lost sinner without the grace and mercy of God. Believing that you are saved by the grace of God and anything else is like saying you were saved by God and someone else, that it took more than God to save you, more than His grace to save you. To say, ‘grace and something else has saved me’, is like saying, ‘God and someone else has saved me’. You will die in your sins if you look to God and anyone, or anything, added to God and what He has done by grace to save. Even the act of believing is a gift. No one is saved because they believe, but they believe because they are saved. The gift comes first then the benefit. The cause comes first then the effect. The cause of a man’s believing is grace granting the gift of faith. The believing is the end result. Grace comes first, then salvation and believing. Believing is not a work of man’s, but a gift from God by grace. “…who, when he was come, helped them much which had believed through grace” (Acts 18:27). A saved man does not believe with his own faith, but with the gift of faith, the faith of the elect, given to him by God through grace. Believing is a gift given by the grace of God to believe that salvation is all of God. Believing is a work of God in the heart of man. To believe the Gospel, the Great News that God saves by His grace alone, is a gift which comes from Him. Believing what a man believes is a work; believing what God says, is a gift. All of salvation is all of grace.
When God does anything for His people it is always and purely by grace. A Christian is what he is, and continues to be what he was made to be by the grace of God (see 1 Cor. 15:10). Nothing which the elect of God have is of themselves, and nothing they have, or will have, is because of what they have done. Ergo, no act on the part of man is necessary unto salvation, for “…what hast thou that thou didst not receive?…” (1 Cor. 4:7 cf. Jn. 3:27; 2 Pet. 1:3,4). This means that there is nothing a man has done that was not given to him. “Who distinguisheth thee above another? Not thyself, but God. There is nothing then in us by nature that is worthy of commendation: but all that we have, we have it of grace.” What part of a saved man, and what a saved man does is not by the grace of God? Man does not earn salvation, he is given salvation. This Biblical fact alone does away with any need for any man to do anything in order to get saved or remain saved. It is all by grace, or all by works. It is either one or the other, you cannot have both. How silly does it sound to say, ‘I was given salvation because I earned salvation’. Freedom is just another word for salvation. Salvation is freedom from trying to establish a righteousness of one’s own, for God’s people are chosen to be saved by the Righteousness of Christ Jesus the Lord. The salvation God gives is free. It is not based on what a man does, but on what God wants to do and has done. Salvation cannot/does not include any boasting by man for anything he has done, “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, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them” (Eph. 2:8-10). The original Greek states that God’s people are saved by grace ‘through the belief and this NOT OUT OF YOU OF God…NOT OUT OF ACTS THAT NO ANY SHOULD BE BOASTING’. Clearly, no act of man is responsible for his salvation. Only that which God does saves. “To declare, I say, at this time His Righteousness: that He might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith WITHOUT the deeds of the law” (Rom. 3:26-28). A saved man is justified by nothing he has done, therefore, it is all by grace. A man saying he was saved after he obeyed, is a man saying ‘Salvation is of myself, it is of works, therefore, I do have something to boast of’. Conversely, the Word of God says salvation is a gift, it is not of man, it is not of works lest any man should boast. The boasting being talked about here is anything a man has done which he attributes to either getting himself saved, or keeping himself saved. Salvation is not by any works a man has done, but totally by all that God has done. Salvation is God saving His people from their sins by grace through faith in the Righteousness of His Son the Lord Jesus Christ. No one can be saved without this Righteousness, without the perfect Righteousness of God. “…their Righteousness is of Me, saith the Lord” (Isa. 54:17). All the glory for salvation rightly belongs to God alone, therefore, there are no works, there is literally nothing in which a man can boast of that he has done to earn any part, or any degree, of salvation. Salvation is not by anything a man does, but all and only by what God does, for it is not mans’ righteousness—the sum total of his deeds—that saves him, but the Righteousness of God. A man can only boast about what he has done. Ephesians 2 states emphatically that in the matter of salvation, one is saved by the gift of grace through the gift of faith. No one can rightly boast about something which they have been given, but only in the Giver Himself.
There is no room in the Gospel of salvation by grace for a man to boast, FOR THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING HE CAN BOAST OF! There is no boasting of works in the Gospel which teaches salvation by grace alone. There is no room for works in the Gospel of salvation by grace. The reality is that the false gospels which teach salvation by works have no room for Scriptural grace. Salvation is not of works, for if it was, man would legitimately have something to boast about, something that he has done which did not come as a gift from God, but a deed done from within, by a man’s own efforts. If there is something a man can boast of in his salvation, it shows that some part of salvation is conditioned on him, and not solely on God. In saying that salvation is not by man, not by any works of his own, God is teaching that man has nothing to boast of, for he has done nothing. Salvation can only be by grace. A saved man is entirely the result of the workmanship of God. God has, when His chosen were still dead in sins, MADE THEM ALIVE IN CHRIST BY GRACE! “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. 2:4,5). It is not those who were dead in sins that did this, but solely the grace of God. By grace they were saved, not enabled to get saved. By grace they were made alive, not enabled to come alive. How do you enable a dead person to make themselves come alive, spiritually or physically? The dead can do nothing. Nothing can possibly result from equipping a dead person. If man must do something then there is reason for him to boast. The fact that man cannot boast about anything he believes he has done to get saved or remain saved, shows conclusively that salvation is wholly and exclusively by grace alone. Salvation comes not after a work of man, not after a man makes himself alive, but after grace makes him alive. Anything and everything to do with salvation is a 100% gift. There is nothing of man that can participate in, or that can contribute to, his own salvation, for before he is saved, man is nothing but DEAD! Nothing is expected of man because nothing can be done by man. Salvation is only by grace, salvation can only be by grace, for no man can come to the Lord except the Father draws him by grace. No man can reach God by works, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). THE FACT THAT SALVATION IS BY GRACE IS INCONTROVERTIBLE EVIDENCE THAT IT CAN BE BY NO OTHER MEANS! Those who claim works are an integral part of being saved by grace, are saying: ‘Saved by Grace, but I must do something’. ‘Saved by God but I must do something’. ‘Saved by a gift but I must do something to earn it’. ‘Saved by what someone else has done, but also by what I have done’. In other words, ‘saved by grace yes, but no’. How more insane can lost man’s ‘reasoning’ possibly become! The grace is God’s, and the faith with which a saved man believes is also of God. God gives it to His people, for it is His to give. It is God Who is in possession of it. It is God Who gives it to hearts made willing. The saved man does not choose to believe, he is MADE to believe. EVERY NEW CREATURE CREATED IN CHRIST JESUS BELIEVES! Salvation is a gift, therefore, there can be nothing which a man has done or can do that merits any boasting on his part. Once made a new creature a man is saved. He cannot make himself saved, or do anything by which he can be saved. IT IS CREATION THAT GIVES LIFE!!! Man is kept saved by the power of grace which saved him in the first place. A saved man is not made perfect by the flesh, but only by that which saved him. God making you a new creature, is God making you a child of His own. A born again man is a created being. What does a saved man have except that which has been given him!
Regardless of what the world believes, no man can make up for his sins by his own deeds. No amount of reparations can ever make amends for one’s sin, so too, no amount of good works or committed religious lifestyle can ever redress, or reverse, error, or sin’s curse of death. Paul the apostle makes this all perfectly clear in his Letter to the Christians at Rome. “Whom God hath set forth (Jesus) to be a propitiation through faith in His blood, to declare His Righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time His Righteousness: that He might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law” (Rom. 3:25-28 cf. 1 Cor. 1:27-31). There is no such thing as a man justified by what he has done. There is no such thing as a man who is justified by faith and by the deeds of the law. There is no such thing as a man saved by grace and works. The remission of sins is caused by the Righteousness of Christ and no other, by grace. The believer in Jesus—made so by the grace of God—is justified by the Righteousness of Christ. There is nothing of which a man can boast, for, it is evident, a man is justified WITHOUT his obedience to any law, without anything he can personally boast about. Does obedience then not matter? Of course it matters, but not when it comes to a man being saved, for this is done by grace based on the Righteousness of Another. Obedience comes after salvation because of grace. The Christian seeks to live a life of obedience, all the while fully acknowledging the fact that it is only by Christ’s obedience that they are Righteous (see Rom. 5:19; Eph. 4:1). “…as He which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, ‘Be ye holy; for I am holy” (1 Pet. 1:15,16). “He that saith he abideth in Him ought himself also so to walk, even as He walked” (1 Jn. 2:6). Men are chosen unto salvation TO BE obedient, TO BE holy, not because they were/are obedient or holy. Even a millisecond prior to a man’s being made alive, he was nothing but dead in his sins, otherwise, what on earth was he made alive from. God makes His people alive while they were yet dead in their sins. Christ died for the ungodly, not the godly (see Rom. 5:6,8). Lost people do not believe, and are then saved. Only saved people believe the Gospel of grace alone. “And you hath He quickened (made alive), who were dead in trespasses and sins” (Eph. 2:1). Before life there was only the silence and stillness of death.
So, we see that no man elect of God was ever saved because of any righteous deed of his own. How could he have been when prior to salvation a man is dead in sins and altogether vanity at his best. A man is saved without his obedience, for right up to the final moment which preceded his salvation—his being made alive—he was dead in sins. A man is saved without his obedience because salvation is only by the Obedience of One: Jesus Christ. "…so by the obedience of ONE shall many be made Righteous", not by Christ and you, not by two but only by ONE; “…not by their own obedience; nor by their own obedience and Christ's together; but by His sole and single obedience to the law of God: and the persons made Righteous by it are not all the posterity of Adam, and yet not a few of them; but ‘many’, even all the elect of God, and seed of Christ; these are all made Righteous in the sight of God, are justified from all their sins, and entitled to eternal life and happiness.” The Lord is called “…The LORD our Righteousness” (Jer. 23:6). The Christian’s Righteousness is not made up of a single deed they have done, for their Righteousness is all of God. God Himself declares: “…their Righteousness is of Me…” (Isa. 54:17). The Righteousness of Christian’s comes from God by grace, and is charged to their account. The Christian looks not to himself and what he has done, but exclaims: “…in the Lord have I Righteousness…” (Isa. 45:24). It is from the Lord because it is of the Lord. It is His Righteousness alone that saves. Christians “…have a full and complete Righteousness in Him, and which serves for many; consisting of the holiness of His nature, the obedience of His life, and His sufferings of death; by which the law is honoured, justice satisfied, God is well pleased, and they are acquainted and discharged; and which is pure, perfect, and everlasting, is given them of grace, and entitles them to eternal life; and this they have in Christ as their Covenant Head and Representative, and which they come to have by being in Him by grace: it is not inherent in them, but is in Christ, by Whom it is wrought out, and becomes theirs by the imputation of it to them, and which they receive by grace through faith; and this is an act of faith concerning it here expressed, and which declares the certainty of it, and of interest in it, and excludes all other: for it may be rendered, ‘only in the Lord have I Righteousness’; and seems to be spoken with great joy, in an exulting way, and what may be said at all times; for this Righteousness is always in Christ, and strength likewise to enable them to exercise every grace; to do the will and work of God; to bear afflictions; to withstand Satan's temptations, and oppose their own corruptions; and to which they have not sufficient strength in themselves, but there is enough in Christ.” “For in Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are COMPLETE IN HIM, which is the head of all principality and power: In Whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: Buried with Him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with Him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised Him from the dead. And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath He quickened together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to His cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, He made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it” (Col. 2:9-15 cf. Eph. 2:1,15).
This Man Jesus was sent to save His people from their sins by what HE WOULD DO because obviously they could do nothing to save themselves. They needed a Saviour, for they could not save themselves. They needed what only the Saviour could and would do, for they could do nothing. Salvation is not by man, but is of the God-Man. A Saviour saves BY WHAT HE DOES, not by what anyone else does. Jesus Christ is the complete Saviour, and all those whom He saves are complete in Him. He has left nothing undone that needed to be done for His people. Christ Jesus has filled every requirement for the salvation of His people: “…He shall save His people from their sins…ye are complete in Him” (Matt. 1:21 & Col. 2:10). God’s chosen require nothing else to be done but what He has done. Saving grace does not enable a man to do anything, for all that had to be done has been done by the Mighty Saviour Jesus Christ. A saved man is complete in Christ because of Christ. God’s elect did not merely need help, they needed to be made alive, such was their miserable condition prior to salvation. They needed to be made new creatures in Christ Jesus, and to be given His Righteousness, for their righteousness was but filthy rags. They needed something supernatural to occur, to happen to them, they needed a miracle of God. Christ is the Saviour. His people were not merely shown the Way, they were GIVEN the Way by grace. The Lord Jesus Christ does not save by what others do, but only by what He does. Grace does not require anyone’s help or permission to save. Grace is God taking the responsibility upon Himself, the entire work, of saving His people from their sins, of making spiritually dead people alive again. Grace is God’s will in action, and the action of grace is to save His people. The grace of God is an operative of His will. There are no prerequisites before grace has its way other than the will of God. There is nothing grace must wait for apart from the will and timing of Almighty God.
The justifying faith which a man is given believes exclusively in the God of the Gospel of salvation by grace alone. The dead faith inherent in all men by nature believes only in any god, but the only true God. The saved man is called “…out of darkness into His marvellous light” (1 Pet. 2:9 cf. Col. 1:12-14; 2 Thess. 2:14). The justifying faith which a man is given is not a dead faith, the kind of faith which is inherent in every man by nature, but is rich with good works which the saved man has been appointed to perform. These works do not play any part in getting the man saved, for they are a product of the justifying faith that each elect member of God’s family is given by grace. Justification is by grace through faith without works. Justification is by grace through faith not works. Nothing a man does earns him salvation. Salvation from beginning to final glory is solely the domain of grace, it is not of works. It is not a reward, but a gift; it is not a wage, but a gift: “…the gift of God is eternal life…” (Rom. 6:23). Christians are saved and remain saved by grace not works. Christians are preserved by God through grace. “They glory not in their perseverance, but in Christ’s preserving them by His unchanging power and grace.” Those who are “sanctified by God the Father” are “preserved in Jesus Christ” (Jd. 1:1). “Nothing in God’s salvation depends on His people, the keeping of the sheep is the responsibility and glory of the Shepherd. It is His blood that cleanses them from all sin. THEIR CONTINUING IS NOT THE CONDITION OF THEIR SALVATION, BUT THE CONSEQUENCE OF IT!” The condition of salvation is the will of God and the grace of God. “These sinners, reconciled through the body of Christ’s death, will be presented holy and unblameable and unreproveable in His sight”, by and because of His grace. “And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath He reconciled In the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in His sight” (Col. 1:21,22).
“Man has no earning power with God.” Therefore, there can be no boasting on the part of a saved man, for he is saved by grace alone through faith alone by Christ alone. He is saved by these gifts from God and through nothing of himself. No sins are remitted by any act of man’s, and no perfect Righteousness is gained by what a man does. Man’s righteousness is profitless. Man at his best state is useless. At his utmost best man is nothing but sheer vanity. Man at his best along with his vain ‘good works’ are completely profitless, for he can do nothing about his sins, or his sinful state. Everything a man does is stained with sin, that is why nothing a man can do can gain him any ground with God. By nature, man is a stagnant creature immersed in sin who offers nothing more than filthy rags. No matter what a man does he remains spiritually lifeless. A man’s fundamental problem is not what he does, or does not do, but what he is. Man is not a sinner because he sins, he sins because is a sinner. Whether a man is at his worst, or at his best, he is altogether profitless and vain. His very existence is a stain on the universe. Man’s righteousnesses are nothing but filthy rags in the sight of the Holy God. Only perfect Righteousness, Christ’s Righteousness is declared by God to be that which could and has placed all the sins of all God’s people into permanent remission (see Rom. 3:25). So, the apostle asks, “Where is boasting then…?” (Rom. 3:27). This question is so revealing because it clearly and emphatically implies that there is NO boasting that can be entered into by any man concerning his salvation, for THERE IS NO ACT that man can do which can contribute even one iota to his salvation. If Christ has done it all, what is there for man to do? A man who cannot boast has done nothing to boast about.
Contrary to popular religious tradition, man does not have the deciding vote as to whether or not he will be saved. Man has no say in the matter, for man is dead in sins, and without God a man will remain without God, and dead in his sins forever. Salvation and damnation are according to God’s will. Salvation is all a work of God, it is all a gift from God, and He gives it to whomsoever HE wills. People say, ‘But the Bible says whosoever believes in Him will have eternal life’. This is true, but how a man goes from being a non-believer to a believer is clearly something which is wholly due to grace. Grace in election and grace in salvation. There is nothing of which a man can boast. A man believing is something which is totally a work of God (see 1 Pet. 1:21). If no man can come unto Jesus except it be given him, then surely no man can believe in Jesus unless it is given him to believe, by grace. No need of man’s can get him to believe in the true God. This is something which is a work of grace. Those saved are those whom God willed to save. They are nothing more than vessels of mercy. The saved creature, the new creature created in Christ Jesus is entirely God’s workmanship! Totally and completely God’s workmanship. The Christian is not a self-made man, but a God-made man, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus…” (Eph. 2:10). If all a man has is what has been given him, how can anything he has be attributed to what he has done? Every act is traced back to the grace of God. A saved man earns nothing, for he is given everything. “For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?” (1 Cor. 4:7 cf. Rom. 11:35; 2 Cor. 3:5; Job 41:11). You cannot boast in anything you have been freely given as if you did anything to deserve it. The glory for salvation belongs to God Who gives it, not in the man to whom it is given.
No man living, or who has ever lived, had/has anything because they deserved it, for all is given by God to fulfil His will and purpose. “Whatever mercies and blessings men enjoy, they have in a way of receiving, and from God the Father of all mercies: all natural and temporal mercies are received from Him; even such as respect the body, the make, form, and shape of it, perfection of limbs, health, strength, food, raiment, preservation of life, continuance in being, with all the comforts of it: and such as relate to the soul, its formation, which is by the Father of spirits, its powers and faculties, natural light, reason, and understanding, all its endowments, abilities, all natural parts, and sharpness of wit; so that no man ought to glory in his wisdom, as if it was owing to himself, when it is all of God. All supernatural and spiritual blessings are received from God; such as a justifying righteousness, sanctifying grace, remission of sin, the new name of adoption, strength to perform good works, to bear and suffer reproach and persecution for Christ, and to persevere to the end, with a right and title to eternal glory.” Grace is not a reward for what a man has done, but a gift given in spite of what he has done and cannot do. The glory is all God’s for life itself and everything in it. How much more so when it comes to salvation, that greatest of all God’s miracles which changes a man from a vessel of Wrath to one of mercy and grace. “Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the Kingdom of His dear Son: In Whom we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins” (Col. 1:12-14). “…who hath first given to Him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? For of Him, and through Him, and to Him, are all things: to Whom be glory for ever. Amen” (Rom. 11:35,36 cf. Jas. 1:17). “For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive?...” (1 Cor. 4:7). “No man can give God anything, which He has not first given him, or which He has not a prior right to, or a claim upon him for; Adam, in innocence, was not able to give God anything, nor are the angels in Heaven, much less sinful men on earth; their bodies and souls, and all their enjoyments, all that is good in them, or done by them, are from the Lord; men by all their good works, best duties and services, give nothing to God, nor lay Him under any manner of obligation to them: hence no man can merit anything at the hands of God, if he could, ‘it shall be recompensed to him again’; but it is impossible there should be merit in a creature, who has nothing but what he has from God, and does nothing but what he is obliged to do; and that not by his own strength, but by the grace and strength of God; and therefore there is no retribution (giving back what is due) made by God as of debt, but of grace: hence it follows, that God is indebted to, and obliged by none, and may do what He will with His own; love Jacob and hate Esau; choose one and not another; reject the Jews, and call the Gentiles; save and justify some, and not others; none can call Him to account, or say unto Him, ‘what dost Thou?’" (see Dan. 4:35). “…A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from Heaven” (Jn. 3:27).
Salvation is not by anything you have done, but by everything God has done. Salvation is by grace, it is not something which God was obliged to do; salvation is not some debt paid by God which He owed to a man. Salvation is not paying back, it is a gift given which comes because of what God wills. Salvation is not owed, but freely given. “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom. 6:23). A man can only earn death. Eternal life can only come as a gift. One is deserved, the other is undeserved. One is a wage, the other a gift. One is by what a man does, the other by what God gives. Everything is of God which is why He only is deserving of all glory. The glory for something is deserved only by the one who did it. If man could do anything to get saved, or remain ‘saved’ then all the glory for salvation would not belong to God. Even if a man could get saved, or remain saved by what he did, it would only be because of grace. But man being able to do is purely hypothetical, for there is nothing a dead-in-sins man can do, therefore, salvation can only, and is only, by the grace of God making a man alive. Grace is not sent to aid, but to save. Without grace man is lost. Without the gift of eternal life all a man has is the wages of death. Salvation comes because it is the will of God to save/rescue His people from their sinful, dead state. Grace is the reason for salvation. If salvation came after a man did something, God would have to share some of the glory with men, this, however, is something so alien to the Scriptures as to beggar belief that any could be so foolish as to believe in anything that takes away even part of the glory only God is deserving of, and attribute it to mere men. But lost people, those who are not familiar with the doctrines of the Gospel of grace, are blind to its truth, and so fester in some imagined parallel universe where man is convinced that the only way to get anything, including salvation, is by earning the right to it. “But if our Gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious Gospel of Christ, Who is the image of God, should shine unto them” (2 Cor. 4:3,4). If you do not believe that a man is saved only by the grace of God, you are a lost person. You will die in your sins if you do not believe in the Gospel of Sovereign grace, and abandon yourself and the belief that anything you have done has caused God to ‘save’ you. These are not things which must be done to get saved, but are the evidences of salvation. If a person is not a believer they are simply not saved. Only those “…not having (their) own righteousness…but the Righteousness which is of God by faith” shall enter Heaven (Phil. 3:9).
Obviously there are many things taught about grace and its ‘true meaning’ by those to whom the Gospel of grace is hid, which are extremely convoluted and contradictory. The worst, and most self-contradictory interpretation of grace is that which is believed by most who claim to be Christian: The erroneous teaching that God, by grace, enables you to do what needs to be done before God can actually save you. The meaning of the word grace has been changed by those who know not God, or His Gospel. SAVING GRACE IS NOT GIVEN SO YOU CAN DO, GRACE IS GIVEN BECAUSE YOU CANNOT DO! It is the work of Another that saves you. It is the choice of Another which saves you. Grace is not needed where works can be satisfactorily performed, likewise, there is no need, or place for works where grace is necessary. Grace is only necessary where works are ineffectual. Works are intrinsically devoid of all that salvation requires. Only grace, only that which a man cannot do, is what he is saved by. A man saved by grace is a man saved without works. If a man is saved by grace, it means he can be saved by no other means. A man is saved by grace because he can only be saved by grace, just like a man saved by God can only be saved by God. A man is saved by grace because works do not, cannot, save. Gifts do not come by works, but only by grace. Grace does not come at the beck and call of works, but is subservient only to the will of God. Salvation is by grace through faith, not by works through grace. Grace and works do not work hand in hand, for there is no correlation between them. To join grace with works is to destroy the very essence of what grace is: GOD DOING. The Scriptures make it quite clear that a man is saved by grace itself, not by what grace allegedly enables a man to do. The very need for grace and mercy completely rules out the remotest possibility that a man can do anything, or is required to do anything, to assist in his salvation. GRACE DOES IT ALL. “By grace are ye saved…not works”, means salvation comes only by what God does, and not at all by what you do. This includes anything which you claim to have done with the assistance of grace. If the gospel you believe is one which teaches you are saved by grace enabling you to do something, in other words, to meet a condition before God can save you, you have been fed a false gospel which cannot and never has saved anyone. Those who say ‘man must do’, are simply victims of sin which has taken their spiritual lives: “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Cor. 2:14 cf. 1 Cor. 2:9). There is no spiritual discernment in the natural man, for he is dead in sins and under the curse of believing that one’s own actions are essential to salvation. This is the crux of the problem confronting the lost who believe themselves to be saved by a grace which has enabled them to do. How can a man discern the things of God before that man is made alive. What grace actually is, is quite simple to understand. Grace comes from God’s love, and its motive is to save His people. The key to understanding grace is, grace saves, it does not enable anyone to do to get saved. “By grace are ye saved.” Period. Grace is something which gives a man that which he could never earn. Grace is something which gives, grace is that which is freely given. That which saves a man is not a reward, but a gift. Grace is the vehicle which brings salvation. Grace proceeds from the will of God, it is not drawn to action by the will or works of man.
Grace does not make salvation merely possible, for grace is what brings salvation not as some offer, but as a gift from God. Grace is God effectively saving His people from their sins. Grace is not some instrument which God gives to a man so that the man can then do what he needs to do to get saved. SALVATION IS THE HOUSE THAT GRACE BUILT. Grace IS what a man needs to be saved. Grace does the work. “…by grace ye are saved…” (Eph. 2:5). Saving grace is not something which a man must utilize in order to get saved, but is that by which a man is saved. God uses grace to save His people. Grace is the fulfilment of God’s will in the salvation of His chosen ones. Grace needs no augmentation to save, for it is grace alone that saves. You cannot help a master artist paint his masterpiece, so too, grace requires no help of man’s in salvation. A master artist must work alone, so too, salvation must be by God alone through grace alone. Grace needs nothing to assist it in that act of giving, and nothing can be done to make grace give, or to oblige God to give that by which a man is saved. Anything which interferes with grace, or attempts to add itself to grace so that grace can then save, is heretical in its nature, therefore, something which can only come from the mind of man or the lying heart of Satan. Grace is not something which waits to be earned, for it cannot be earned, only given. Grace does not wait upon man to take it, or accept it, but only upon God to give it. Grace does not wait upon the works of a man, but only upon the will of God. God saving by grace is God saving by HIS work, not a man’s works. Grace does not wait upon the behest of a man to give the go-ahead before it can save, for salvation is of the Lord and it comes when grace is given. Grace waits upon nothing but the will of the Almighty Sovereign God, and grace does nothing but save God’s people from their sins. The grace that saves is only conditioned on the will of God, for that which it saves is dead. That which is spiritually dead has no will or way to become spiritually alive. Grace brings life to the dead. Grace makes alive, the works of a man profit him nothing.
Salvation is something which is given not earned, therefore, no conditions must, or can, be met by man before it can be given, for grace is free. Salvation is not by works, but by grace. Grace is under no obligation to anyone or anything other than God and His will. Again, the key to understanding the truth about grace and how God saves is the spiritual death of mankind in the Garden of Eden. “And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die” (Gen. 2:16,17). Being dead is the sure guarantee that a man can do nothing, so why would God give a dead man an option to choose Him when all mankind lies dead in sins. All mankind is, by nature, unable to discern the truth because natural man does not understand, therefore, cannot receive the things of the Spirit of God. Grace makes alive. Grace does not give a man the option to come alive. How can a dead man choose life? In order for a dead man to make a choice would he not first need to be made alive by grace? If so, we would have the ridiculous situation, a situation unknown in the Scriptures, of God temporarily making a spiritually dead man alive, and that life being completely dependent on the man’s decision to accept life, or reject it. If a man chose against life he would then be returned to a state of death. Utter nonsense! Nothing of the kind is to be found anywhere in God’s Holy Word. Does God give samples of temporary spiritual life to men who can then reject this ‘offer’? Is a man given provisional spiritual life which is subject to the man’s wanting to have it permanently, or reject it outright? How perfectly absurd. Any gospel which makes salvation, or any part of salvation, conditional on what a person does, is NOT teaching grace. It is teaching a version of grace, a perversion which only makes sense in a lost man’s mind. True grace shows that salvation is not dependent on man, for then grace would not be required. Why the need for a salvation by grace, by that which cannot be earned, if a man has the wherewithal to earn it? Such teaching is of this world, and, therefore, wicked and deceptive at its core. It lies at the heart of every false gospel which says a man must play his part if he is to be saved and/or remain saved. True grace is that which gives glory only to God, it points only to God and what He has done, and, as we have seen, God is deserving of all glory for all things, not the least of which is salvation, all of salvation. God saves by grace alone, for the only thing outside of grace is works. God saves by what He does, not by what He allegedly enables a man to do.
Salvation is of the Lord, therefore, it is a supernatural act, a miraculous act which only God can perform. I don’t know about you, but I cannot recall a time where God needed a man’s permission or assistance in order to perform a miracle. God alone is the Saviour, therefore, God alone saves. God only saves by grace alone. God saves by what He does: grace, not by what we do: works. God only saves by the grace He gives, not by the works we do. The Saviour saves, the saved do not save themselves. Being saved strongly implies being saved from something by someone. You cannot be saved by yourself, or by anything you do. Salvation is not by will and works, but only by the gifts of grace and faith. Salvation is not prompted, or achieved, by what a man does, for “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost” (Titus 3:5). A MAN IS NOT SAVED BY WHAT HE HAS DONE, BUT BY BEING MADE ALIVE. “(God) 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). God saving and calling His people is according to His purpose and grace, not their works. The stage was set for the salvation of all God’s chosen people before the world began, so how could it ever have been according to their works. If it is grace it is not works, and if it is works it is not grace. The saved talk about grace not works, while the lost who talk about works have no right at all to even mention the word grace. What was necessary in the salvation of each and every elect child of God WAS DONE BEFORE the world began!! A man’s works are performed after the world began; the components and causes of a man’s salvation were all performed prior to the world having begun. Salvation “…IS NOT BY WORKS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS WHICH WE HAVE DONE…” (Titus 3:5). How can one who is dead in sins ever perform a work of Righteousness? The Way God saves His people is ONLY in accordance with His mercy, His purpose and His grace. There is no other way especially by anything a man does. How can one ever expect a dead person to contribute to his being made alive by another? Imagine a doctor saying ‘I have done everything I can to make this dead person alive, now it’s up to them’! Spiritual death is just as real as physical death. “no man can”, is just as real as a physically dead man not being able to make himself alive. The Saviour does the work. What the above two Scriptures are clearly saying is that God saves His people by what HE does, and not at all by what they do. The need to be saved is the need to be made alive. That which saves comes under the heading: GRACE. Atonement, redemption, justification, the Righteousness of Christ, election, predestination, mercy, calling, salvation, etc., are all according to the will and grace of God. Whether one is referring to mercy or grace, one thing is certain, and that is God has saved His people, not by their righteous deeds, but only by that which is of Him and according to His purpose and will. God saves not by that which a man can do, but by that which only GOD can do.
Saved by grace means that a man is not saved after he has done something, but only after GOD has done something. God does not help man save himself, otherwise grace would not be grace. Grace is God doing. God does not cause His saving grace to tag along with Him to help someone help themselves, but to save His people from their sins. Grace enabling you to do is not the grace of God that saves. It is a false grace which saves none, for it is a counterfeit grace which depends upon you to do something before it can ‘save’. It is an impure and vile mixture which can never save anyone. If you believe that your trust is in God’s grace, but is also in your works, you are not saved, for your trust is not solely in God, therefore, cannot be from God. Your hope is not in the God of grace, but in a false god who claims to save by what you do. Your hope is not in the grace of God, but in lost man’s version of grace. When God says He is the Saviour and there is no other, He is saying He alone saves only by what He alone does. “I, even I, am the Lord; and beside Me there is no Saviour” (Isa. 43:11). No other Saviour but God, no other way to salvation but by the grace of God. No one else saves but God, nothing else saves but grace. The Scripture says “…by grace are ye saved…”, not by grace enabling you to do that which salvation awaits are ye saved. “…By grace are ye saved...” means you are saved by grace alone. Again, add anything to grace, any stipulation that you must fulfil before grace can save you, and you are no longer speaking of the grace of God, but a grace which is not grace at all, but works presented to look like grace. It is a ‘grace’ that awaits your will and not God’s will. “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). If you are talking about grace you cannot be talking about works, and, if you are talking about works, you cannot be referring to grace. Grace only saves without works, without your efforts or will. Works do not save anyone. If salvation is by God then it is not by you. If salvation is by grace then it is simply not by works. God saves, God’s mercy saves, God’s grace saves. Nothing you do saves. Salvation comes not because of any man’s works of righteousness, but only by God. Salvation comes not because of any man’s works of righteousness, BUT BY CHRIST’S IMPUTED RIGHTEOUSNESS through grace. Jesus the Messiah was sent of God to establish the Righteousness that no man ever could. The only Righteousness which saves, is the Righteousness that is by faith without works. Total and complete trust—which comes by grace alone—in Jesus Christ the Lord of lords and King of kings is the only way to eternal life. One’s own righteousness will never save, only the Righteousness of Christ imputed, or charged, to you by grace, will save you. It is HIS obedience, it is HIS life that saves His people. A man is saved by that which is foreign to him, by that which does not reside in him, but solely in God. God saves because of Christ’s Righteousness not yours. The Grace of God is the only means by which salvation comes. After all, how many people do you know that can change a sinner into a saint, that can make alive one who is dead, that can make a new creature in Christ.