BY GRACE ALONE (PART 25)
Where grace is required works are excluded. WHERE GRACE IS REQUIRED WORKS WILL NEVER DO. How can a dead man do anything to make himself alive? No work of man’s can ever make him alive, which is why in salvation only a work of God by grace will suffice. Spiritually dead men can only perform dead works, unprofitable works, vain works which will gain them nothing with God. Salvation is by grace alone because it cannot be by works at all. Salvation is by God because it cannot be by man. Salvation is by God so it cannot be by man. The Holy Spirit of God makes a man alive because “the flesh profiteth nothing”. A man can do nothing before he is born, and in the spiritual sense, he can do nothing before he is born again. A man needs to be made alive, so, obviously, what he does when he is dead in sins cannot help him. Everyone who is trusting in anything they have done before salvation in order to get themselves, or keep themselves saved, is trusting in that which will profit them absolutely nothing. Again, “the flesh profiteth nothing”. Man must be made a new creature, a new creation, and the only Creator is God. Salvation is not about what the old creation with all its sinfulness does, but being made a new creation in Christ by grace. This is why salvation cannot come by what a man does, but only what God, by grace, has created him to be. “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature. And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God” (Gal. 6:15). The new creature in Christ “…designs not an outward reformation of life and manners, but an inward principle of grace, which is a creature, a creation work, and so not man's, but God's; and in which man is purely passive, as he was in his first creation; and this is a new creature, or a new man, in opposition to, and distinction from the old man, the corruption of nature; and because it is something anew implanted in the soul, which never was there before; it is not a working upon, and an improvement of the old principles of nature, but an implantation of new principles of grace and holiness; here is a new heart, and a new spirit, and in them new light and life, new affections and desires, new delights and joys; here are new eyes to see with, new ears to hear with, new feet to walk, and new hands to work and act with. 'As many as walk according to this rule', for whatever is contrary to that article of faith cannot be true: or else the rule delivered in the preceding verse, declaring circumcision and uncircumcision to be of no avail in salvation, but a new creature; and to walk according to this rule, is to renounce all trust in, and dependence upon any outward things; to believe alone in Christ, for righteousness and life; to live by faith upon Him, and to walk in newness of life, under the influences of His Spirit and grace.” It is as simple as this: a lost man lives by trusting in himself, or in a christ of his imagination and himself. The saved man trusts only in the God Who saves His people by His grace alone. No other so-called god can save by grace alone, for they all require man’s help.
A lost man remains dead in his sins right up to the point of his being saved by the grace of God. Nothing a man does can attract grace to him, for grace comes only by the will of God. Free gifts can only come because of the gift giver. Grace comes undeserved, it cannot be preceded by any act of man’s, nor can it, therefore, be earned by any act of man. Nothing can be done by spiritual decedents, therefore, salvation only comes by, because of and from the Living God, and is given exclusively by grace. God giving grace to whomsoever He wills to give it to proves conclusively that salvation is not an offer, but an unmeritable gift. It comes because of God’s will, not a man’s works. God is gracious and merciful according to His will and purpose for those He has elected before the world began. There are no works that can get a man saved, and there are no works that can keep a man saved. It is all done by grace. It is all done only by what God can do, and all to the glory of God. Salvation requires no human assistance, for it is all of grace. The fact that no man can do anything to aid in his salvation is clearly taught in the following verses from John 3. The only way he can be born again is by the power of the Holy Spirit of God Who alone makes alive. “…Except a man be born again, he CANNOT see the Kingdom of God” (Jn. 3:3); “…Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God” (Jn. 3:5). “Except a man be born again”, meaning before, or without a man being born again, he is not saved. The only prerequisite for salvation is a man must be born again, and he cannot be born again without the grace of God. “…by grace are ye saved…” (Eph. 2:8), clearly means that without grace you cannot be saved. “…we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved…” (Acts 15:11 cf. Rom. 3:24). Grace makes alive. Salvation is not about what a man does, but what is done to him. He must be made a new creature by God in Christ by grace. Without a man’s being made alive by God, he can never see the Kingdom of God. “That's clear isn't it? Jesus said that a pre-requisite, a necessary condition, must be met before someone can enter the Kingdom of God, and that condition is that they must be born again.” THE CONDITION THAT MUST BE MET CANNOT BE MET BY MAN! IT MUST BE, AND CAN ONLY BE, MET BY GOD. The saved man is a new creation, created by the grace of God. Salvation is of the Lord, for it is solely conditioned on His will (see Jn. 1:13). “Of His own will begat He us with the Word of truth…” (Jas. 1:18).
Surely a man must be made alive by grace, for he cannot come alive by performing dead works. Works cannot do what only grace can do. Man cannot do what only Almighty God can do. Salvation is conditioned on God, not man. How can any part of salvation by conditioned on a spiritually dead-in-trespasses-and-sins man? To assume that man must in some way be involved in the salvation process belies a total ignorance of Who God is, and how God saves His people from their sins. The prerequisite, the necessary condition that must be met for a man to be saved, is that a man must be made spiritually alive, and this can only be done by God through grace. There is no other place you can find this teaching but in the doctrines of “…the Gospel of the grace of God" (Acts 20:24). A man is not saved by ‘choosing Christ’, for how can a man choose Christ, indeed do anything at all to come to Christ, before he is born again? How can a man see the Kingdom of God before being made born again? (see Jn. 3:3-5). How can a man choose Christ when Jesus Himself said, “No man can come unto Me…” Anyone who says, ‘I came to God’, or ‘I found God’ denies the truth spoken by God Himself that "…no man can come unto Me…" (Jn. 6:65). No man can come to Him because all men are by nature dead in sins and need to be made alive by Him. If a man could choose Christ, or do anything to come to Him, what need would there be for him to be born again? Why need anything after you have done something that has brought you to God? This shows how works do away with the need for grace, in other words, the need for God in salvation. “…if it be of works, then is it no more grace…” (Rom. 11:6). God not only saves His people, He is the cause of their salvation. He is the whole reason why they are saved. It is not by their works, but His grace, and if it is by His grace, then salvation cannot be by a man’s works, “And if by grace, then is it no more of works” (Rom. 11:6). Once a man is born again, once he has been made alive, it is clear that Christ has chosen him. “…NO MAN CAN COME UNTO Me, except it were given unto him of My Father” (Jn. 6:65). No man can come unto Him by works, therefore, he can only come by God acting in accord with His grace alone. Salvation is by the gift of God, not a work of man. I mean, if salvation/election are not by works, THEN OBVIOUSLY BOTH CAN ONLY BE BY GRACE ALONE!! A man choosing Christ before he is saved, so that he can be saved, is like saying God loves His people because they first loved him. If salvation were by works, what a man can do, there would be nothing wrong with this. However, salvation is not by works, but by grace alone, for God’s people all love Him only BECAUSE HE LOVED THEM FIRST! (see 1 Jn. 4:19). That is grace. The essence of grace is God loving first. Grace is God loving the unlovable, and saving the undeserving.
Man can do nothing to save himself. God saves not by grace through works, but by grace through God-given faith—faith in what Christ has done, not a trusting in what works can do, but in what He has done, for “…flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption” (1 Cor. 15:50). A man is not born again by works, but by grace. “…the word inherit in both clauses shows, that the heavenly glory is an inheritance, and belongs to children only; '…Thy blessing is upon Thy people' (Psa. 3:8), it is their heavenly Father's bequest unto them; it is not bought or acquired by anything of theirs; and is what they enter into and upon, in virtue and consequence of the death of the testator, Christ.” This is why a man can only be saved by grace. No act performed by man in an effort to get saved can save him. If there is nothing man can do, then there is nothing required of man to do. If “no man can”, then salvation cannot be by works. No part of salvation can be conditioned on man, for there is nothing that man can do which will profit him at all. Therefore, it is ALL by grace. God is the Saviour, and He saves only by what He can do: grace. God saves those whom He chooses to save, He has grace toward those whom He chooses to be gracious toward, and He has mercy toward those whom He chooses to be merciful toward. If man can do nothing, then salvation is by everything that only God can do. Nothing that man can see, or do, can ever bring him into the Kingdom of God. It takes God to make a man alive to Him; it takes God to make a man born again. A man who is asleep is not awake, and he can do nothing to make himself awake. After a man is awoken, there is nothing he can do, or, more to the point needs to do, to awaken. Before God has acted, there is nothing a man can do, and, after God has acted by grace, there is nothing a man needs to do, for he has been saved by grace alone.
Without God’s miraculous act of salvation by grace alone, no man is, or can be, saved. Turn to John 6 and you will see an explanation of John 3:3 in Jesus’ own words, “No man can come to Me, except the Father…no man can come unto Me, except it were given unto him of My Father” (Jn. 6:44,65; cf. Jn. 8:43). “…which is the same, as to be drawn by the Father; for faith in Christ is the gift of God, and coming to Him, is owing to efficacious grace (there is no other kind), and is not the produce of man's power and freewill.” A man cannot have saving faith, unless it is given to him as a gift by grace. A man cannot summon this faith, he cannot make himself believe, for this faith is not in him by nature, therefore, it must, and can only come, as a gift by the means of grace alone. Faith is not our work, it is GOD’S GIFT. If salvation is by Christ alone, then it is by grace alone. If salvation is by the Righteousness of Christ alone, then it can only be by grace alone, for who ever heard of a man earning the Righteousness of Christ. “…what men, in conversion, are drawn off from and to, from their beloved lusts and darling righteousness, to look unto and rely upon Christ alone for salvation; from that which was before so very agreeable, to that which, previous to this work on their souls, was so very disagreeable; to what else can this be ascribed, but to unfrustrable and insuperable grace? but though this act of drawing is an act of power, yet not of force; God in drawing of unwilling, makes willing in the day of His power: He enlightens the understanding, bends the will, gives an heart of flesh, sweetly allures by the power of His grace, and engages the soul to come to Christ, and give up itself to Him; He draws with the bands of love (see Jer. 31:3).” This is not grace enabling a man, but grace at work in man. “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure” (Phil. 2:13). No man can be saved unless the Father gives. No man can be saved unless the Father does. That which is “given” is not a reward, but a gift, seeing that no man can come to the Father unless it is given to him to come, unless he is made willing to come. The grace of God is irresistible because it is always efficacious. The grace of God is an extension, an expression of God’s will to save His people from their sins. Salvation simply cannot be, Jesus said, “Except a man be born again…Except the Father…draw him…except it were given unto him of My Father” (Jn. 3:3; 6:44,45). Unless God saves by grace there can be no salvation. It is all the work of God. Clearly, unless the Father makes a man alive, causes the man to be born again, draws him by love and gives him the will to come to Him, none could or would ever come to Him, or the Son. No man can come to God unless God draws the man to Him. Salvation is completely dependent upon God, not man, for, “…there is none that seeketh after God” (Rom. 3:11).
Paul the apostle states, "...there is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one...there is no fear of God before their eyes" (Rom. 3:10-12,18; cf. Psa. 14:3; Psa. 53:1-3). One would be hard-pressed to find a better, clearer, description of what it is to be spiritually dead to God, and without free will, than this passage from the Word of God. Moreover, one would find it an impossible task to honestly come from reading these Scriptures and conclude that a man can do something to get saved, that there is even one man that is righteous, that there is even one man that understands, that there is even one man who seeks after God, that there is even one man who did not go out of the way, that is not unprofitable, that there is even one man who does good and that there is even one man that fears God. No man prior to being made alive by the grace of God, can do anything to bear fruit unto God. As the Lord Jesus says: “…the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine…He that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit; for without Me ye can do nothing” (Jn. 15:4,5). Man, by nature, is “…without Christ…having no hope, and without God in the world” (Eph. 2:12). To be saved by works, is to say a branch which does not abide in the vine can bear fruit. To abide in Jesus is to abide in the Doctrine of Christ: “Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son” (2 Jn. 9). Prior to salvation, Jesus said, “…no man can come unto Me, except it were given unto him of My Father” Jn. 6:65). A man lost in his sins CANNOT bear fruit. Without Jesus man CAN DO NOTHING. NO MAN CAN COME UNTO HIM, without it being given to him by God through grace.
Salvation is not about man coming to God, but God coming to man. Salvation is not about man loving God, but God loving the man first. Forgetting, for a moment, the fact that the word die means utter spiritual death, what possible life toward God could there be in man who, by nature, is: not righteous; does not understand, cannot come to God, cannot bear fruit unto God, does not abide in the doctrine of Christ, is without God, without Christ, does not seek after the True God, and has no hope? What life could have remained in man who has gone out of the way and has become utterly unprofitable, or, useless. What life could have remained in man who does no good and in whose eyes there exists no fear of the only true God? PLEASE, SOMEBODY FIND ME EVEN A HINT OF SPIRITUAL LIFE REMAINING IN A MAN WHO IS DEAD IN SINS! FIND ME A MAN, WHOM JESUS SAID CAN DO NOTHING (see Jn. 15:4,6), THAT CAN COME TO GOD BY HIS OWN ‘FREE WILL’! Who are these super humans that say they have come to God first? Who are these extraordinary humans that have loved God first? Who are these super humans that have done something to save themselves, or have increased their chances of being saved by what they have done! Man is not righteous and cannot make himself righteous. No man understands the things of God, and, cannot ever do so with his natural, carnal mind: “…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). A man, by nature, thinks the Gospel of salvation by the grace of God alone is foolishness! He does not think the gospels of the world’s multitude of religions are foolishness, but he does think God’s unique Gospel is. The reason for this is man is spiritually dead, and so, cannot possibly discern the things of the Spirit of God. Man cannot discern the truth with his carnal mind, but only sees it as foolishness. The preaching of the cross is also foolishness to the carnal mind of man, “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God” (1 Cor. 1:18 cf. Rom. 1:16,17). Those who perish think the cross of Christ, the death of Christ for the sins of His people, and the Righteousness of Christ imputed unto His people, is foolishness. But for those who are saved, those who do discern the things of the Spirit of God because they have been made spiritually alive by the grace of God, know that the preaching of the cross of Jesus Christ IS THE POWER OF GOD UNTO SALVATION! Prior to salvation man can do nothing. Prior to salvation there is only death. Prior to salvation man cannot discern the truth about Who the only true God is, what He has done and for whom He has done it. Prior to salvation lost man cannot differentiate between false gods and the only true God. To believe that a person is saved before, or without, belief in the Gospel of God is to believe in salvation without God and without grace.
The clear message here is that no one who has not been made spiritually alive by God can possibly understand the things of God, or believe in the Gospel of God, for they are dead and utterly devoid of the ability to reason according to the Word of God. No one who is spiritually dead can, whilst in that state, ever rightly discern the truth of God from the lies of men. Such people’s attempts to reason from the Scriptures is merely a reasoning which is only in accord with what their carnal minds understand, which is nothing! “…there is no light in them” (Isa. 8:20 cf. 1 Tim. 6:3-5). The dead-in-sins carnal thinking man cannot rightly discern the things of God, “‘neither can he know them’ as a natural man, and whilst he is such, nor by the help and mere light of nature only; his understanding, which is shut unto them, must be opened by a Divine power, and a superior spiritual light must be thrown into it; at most he can only know the literal and grammatical sense of them, or only in the theory, notionally and speculatively, not experimentally, spiritually, and savingly: 'because they are spiritually discerned' in a spiritual manner, by a spiritual light, and under the influence, and by the assistance of the Spirit of God. There must be a natural visive discerning faculty, suited to the object; as there must be a natural visive faculty to see and discern natural things, so there must be a spiritual one, to see, discern, judge, and approve of spiritual things; and which only a spiritual, and not a natural man has.” Without a supernatural “visive discerning faculty” to rightly discern the things of God, no man has any proof he is born again. Without spiritual life, there is no spiritual ability. Without spiritual life there can be no spiritual understanding, and, therefore, no proper discernment.
No man, by nature, actually seeks after the True God. No man prior to salvation seeks after the only true God. Despite his boastings of having found God, Scripture clearly states that no man even seeks God, so how can any man ever find the only true God. Man is altogether unprofitable. Man at his best is nothing but vanity. No man does good in the sight of God. And, there is no fear of the True God in any man by nature. In light of these Scripture truths only a spiritually dead man could conclude that man can choose God. Those who believe that ‘man can’, stand in contradiction with the Biblical principle that, “NO MAN CAN”, thus revealing their deadness to the truth of God. NO MAN CAN BECAUSE ALL MEN ARE DEAD. They show their utter inability to discern the truth of God from the lies of the Devil. How else could any man describe spiritual death than by these very words of God. By nature, man is NOT in right standing with God; Man does NOT understand God, he does NOT understand nor believe the Gospel of God; Man does NOT seek after the True God, he does NOT want the True God, for he does NOT understand, or recognize, the True God as God. Man does NOT do any good in the sight of God, for he is separated from God. Man has NOT the fear of God before his eyes. Man is blind to the True God. He cannot see Him, and he cannot recognize Him. He can do no good, and, therefore, he cannot please the True God. He does NOT seek because he does NOT want the True God. He does NOT seek because he does NOT understand, and, therefore, cannot recognize the True God, which subsequently proves that no man, by nature—that is, in his natural spiritual condition—knows, or can know, the True God. Man MUST be made alive! If all this does not equate to spiritual death how else could it possibly be described. What word would you use for it, and it still make sense in light of other Scriptures which deal with man's sinful state, etc. Romans 3 as well as Ephesians 2 covers it all and reveals, in no uncertain terms, man's deplorable and hopeless spiritual condition before God. “And you hath He quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;…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;)…That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world” (Eph. 1:1,4,5,12).
“The key difference between the Gospel and the free-will anti-gospel is the object of the glory for salvation. God is deserving of all the glory for salvation, and He will not share His glory with anyone or anything. God says ‘I am the Lord: that is My name: and My glory will I not give to another, neither My praise to graven images’ (Isa. 42:8 cf. Lk 2:14).” To believe in the only true God is neither an intellectual exercise, or that which a man can will to do. No man is saved because of what he does, but only because of what God does. That is grace. Believing is caused by a revelation of God from God. Believing is a gift which comes by grace: “…by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God…” (Eph. 2:8). Grace brings salvation and causes a man to believe. “The crux of the issue is the source of saving faith. The anti-gospel of Satan contends that the source of that faith is man; that man has the free will to choose to believe in God. The Gospel of Jesus Christ, however, unequivocally states that God is the source of saving faith: ‘But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh (the flesh profiteth nothing – Jn. 6:63), nor of the will of man, but of God’ (Jn. 1:12,13).” Who are they who receive Him? Jesus prayed to the Father: “As Thou hast given Him power over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as Thou hast given Him” (Jn. 17:2). Those who are given eternal life are the ones the Father has given to the Son. Those who receive Him are given Him. Receiving is not a work of mans, but a gift from God. Who shall come to Jesus? Those who choose Him? NO! Jesus Himself states clearly: “All that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me…” (Jn. 6:37). A few verses later, the Lord Jesus states: "...no man can come unto Me, except it were given unto him of My Father" (Jn. 6:65). The only ones who can come, who will come, are those to whom it has been given to come. These are the exclusive ones, the chosen ones, whom the Father has given to the Son. The word received, in John 1 does not mean an act performed by the one who is receiving, but refers to those to whom He is given. They received Him—they were given Him. The ones who receive Him are they whom the Father has given to the Son for the Son to give them eternal life (see Jn. 17:2). They received Him because of Grace. They came into possession of Him by His giving Himself to them. They were given Him because of grace, not because of their accepting Him. Anyone who has God does not have Him because of anything done by them, but only by what has been done for them and given to them. They receive Him not by themselves, or because of themselves, not by their own power, or works, but because God loved them first and gave Himself to them by the power of grace. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God” (Eph. 2:8). Just as a man loves God because God loved the man first, so too, a man receives God because God has given Himself to the man. Man can do nothing before grace. God is a saved man’s Inheritance. Only the chosen inherit Him. No man has chosen God, for God has chosen those whom He would love and reveal Himself to before the world began. No man has chosen to inherit the only true God. People do not go about choosing other people to leave them an inheritance, so too, no one chooses whom God will leave His inheritance to, but God. God bequeathes Himself to His chosen people. Those who receive are those to whom He has been given.
“Faith comes to the believer as a gift from God. It is not something that individuals are capable of mustering up on their own. Were faith a work of man's own doing, man would be in a position to take partial credit for his redemption. But such a concept is foreign to the writers of Scripture. Paul anticipated that men would tend to boast of their part in salvation when he wrote that faith (one of many components of salvation) ‘is the gift of God...that no one should boast’ (Eph. 2:8,9). Faith comes as a result of the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit—He quickens our hearts to believe.” Man cannot believe whilst he remains dead in sins, therefore, believing comes as a gift given by grace. “Apart from the new birth, there can be no true faith. Therefore, faith, though it manifests itself in action, comes as a result of God's work in us. God grants us faith and that faith is evidenced by our believing the Gospel (and no other) and walking in the good works that ‘God hath before ordained that we should walk in them’ (Eph. 2:10).” Receiving manifests itself in action, though it is the result of God giving Himself by grace to His chosen ones. Yes, God enables His people to perform the works that He has preordained for them to perform, but the point so many are blind to is the fact that these works are performed AFTER salvation, and not before it. The pre-ordained works are not the evidence of a man’s attempt to induce God to reward him with salvation, but evidence that they are saved. The good works come after one is saved and not before. “By grace are ye saved” means ‘YOU ARE SAVED BY THAT WHICH YOU DID NOT DO’. If you point to anything you have done, you are not saved by grace, but remain dead in sins. “The Bible says that if we believe on the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved. However, the Bible does not present faith as simply a ‘mental assent to the facts of the Gospel’. True saving faith involves repentance from one's sin, an exclusive belief in the only Gospel of God, and a complete trust in the work of Christ to save from sin and make one Righteous. True faith recognises and acknowledges the claims of the Gospel of grace as truth, acknowledgment of their truthfulness and exact correspondence to man's spiritual need, and a personal commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ Who, by virtue of His death, provides the only sufficient sacrifice for the sins of all His people. Any one of these three aspects of faith, taken by themselves, is insufficient to meet the biblical definition of saving faith. However, the presence of all three components together evidences saving faith. In other words, saving faith consists of mental, emotional, and volitional elements. Saving faith involves both the mind and the will.” Grace gives salvation, it gives repentance, it gives faith in the Gospel and it gives that 100% trust in the Person and Work of the Lord Jesus Christ. God’s people are made willing in the day of the power of His grace.
Question: How much glory for salvation belongs to God? Doubtless there are few, if any, who lay claim to being Christian who would answer this question with any other word than ALL. God is deserving of all the glory for salvation. When it comes to the matter of how much glory, how much praise God is worthy of in the salvation of a human being, all who claim to be Christian should have no hesitation in saying that God deserves all the glory. He deserves all the praise for the salvation of a person because He has done everything necessary to save a man, AND keep him saved. Salvation is totally by grace. Be they ‘Calvinist’, ‘Arminian’, true believers in God’s Gospel, or any who profess to believe, none would dare say that God is not deserving of all the glory for every bit of salvation. Q. Why? Why does God alone deserve all the glory for salvation? Why should all the praise for salvation belong to God alone? Why is it not partly shared with man? Those who assert that man plays an active part in his own salvation by choosing to come to God out of their own free will, claim that God alone is worthy of all praise and glory for salvation. But how can they justify this when they also say that without man—by his independent free-will no less—making a decision to come to God, God would be without any saved souls, and His Kingdom would be without a people. Many try and counter this by saying that they do give God all the glory, for they say that without His grace present none could choose Him. However, what such people fail to come to terms with is the Biblical fact that the very presence of grace gives testament to the irrepressible truth that GOD is the one Who has done the choosing! God says: “I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy” (Ex. 33:19); “For He saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy” (Rom. 9:15,16). “…with respect to grace and mercy, as displayed in Christ to sinful men; it is not in proportion to their deserts, but according to the purpose and good will of God, and that not unto all, but unto some whom He has appointed, not unto Wrath, but unto salvation by Jesus Christ, and which is to the glory of His grace; and the more enlarged view men have of this, the more clearly and fully does the goodness and glory of God pass before them.” Everything to do with salvation hinges on God. Salvation is derived from the grace, mercy and compassion of God Who expresses His will to save His chosen people through His being gracious, merciful and compassionate toward them. All depends on God’s choice. That is grace. His graciousness, His mercy and His compassion. Salvation is for the undeserving. Salvation does not await those who believe they have done something to deserve it, nor for those who believe grace has helped them make the move which prompted God to save them. All such people fail to realise that anything done by man, anything motivated by his own so-called ‘free will’, constitutes a meritable act. Whether they believe they were aided to perform it by grace, or not, choosing God would be something that deserves glory and to which God is obliged to respond. Such an act, were it possible, denies any need for grace. If salvation comes after you have done something, then it can only come as something you deserve, therefore, it cannot come by that which you do not deserve, which is the grace, mercy and compassion of God.
SAVING GRACE DOES NOT HELP A MAN TO CHOOSE GOD, IT IS THE EVIDENCE THAT GOD HAS CHOSEN THE MAN! God does His saving by His grace. The House of God is built by grace. Grace is undeserved, therefore, how can it be something which comes after you have done something to deserve it? If you condition any part of salvation on man, then once he has complied with that condition he must surely be deserving of some of the glory for his being saved. People say that there is no glory for man because his meeting the condition for salvation is only made possible by God through grace. But because so much emphasis is placed on man choosing God—in fact the whole of salvation, according to lost man’s thinking, is dependent upon this one act of man, an act he must do before God can save him—then surely this means that the act of salvation is ultimately conditioned on what a man does. If salvation cannot be without a man’s work, then salvation hinges on man, and not God. If a man meets a condition then he is entitled to the glory he has merited. If salvation awaits what a man does, then salvation is conditioned on the works of a man, and not on the grace of God. If a condition has been met, then glory is deserved. Again, grace is not given so that a man can choose God, for salvation is by the will of God to save His chosen by His grace. Compliance implies dependence. Compliance cannot be required unless salvation is somehow conditioned on the one whose compliance must take place before salvation can occur. If there is compliance, a condition to be met by man, then salvation must be a collaborative work of man’s and God’s. If there is compliance, a condition to be met by man, then surely he is deserving of some glory for it, for after he has performed this act God is compelled to reward him with salvation. If salvation is conditioned on obedience then it cannot come other than by way of reward, and a reward is a recognition of effort, an honor awarded, and certainly no gift, therefore, not by grace. If salvation is a reward it is by man, if salvation is a gift it is by grace alone. The Arminian claims that man’s ‘decision’ is that which makes the difference between him and the one who chooses not to come to God. Such people place themselves in the same category as the Pharisee in Luke 18 who praised God for what he was like and for what he, the Pharisee, did, whom Jesus referred to as one who exalted himself and not God—the Pharisee went home an unjustified man, still dead in his sins (see Lk. 18:9-14), as do all those who believe that salvation is conditioned on a man’s free will to accept it. ‘Thank you god for what I have done’, is the refrain of the lost.
Anyone who claims that salvation is dependent upon an individual’s decision, immediately does away with grace. The moment you condition salvation on man, you no longer have salvation by grace. One lady I spoke with told me she "Can’t get away from the Scripture ‘Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world’” (Jn. 1:29). I replied, ‘Obviously this does not mean everyone is saved, so what makes the difference?’ She responded by saying, "One must decide for Christ". Upon hearing this I informed her that, ‘As soon as you condition salvation on what you do, you no longer have grace’. Upon hearing this she mumbled something incoherently, and said "We’ll talk again about this". It was approximately 12 months before she approached me again, this time saying she can see grace, she can see what I was saying. However, much to my disappointment she still insisted that Christ died for everyone. If Christ died for everyone then salvation is not conditioned on Who Jesus is and what He did, but on those who choose to accept what He did. That is not grace. If Christ died for everyone, and salvation is about a choice one must make, then no one is spiritually dead by nature. This woman, and many, many others just like her, has conditioned salvation not on Christ, but on a person’s positive reaction to Him. Those who condition salvation on what a man does have no regard for the Biblical fact that all men by nature are dead in trespasses and sins. That woman is still trapped within her world of religion, for she believes that what Christ has done failed to save all for whom He allegedly died. Grace saves all whom God is willing to save by it. God WILL be gracious to whomsoever HE WILL BE GRACIOUS TOWARD! There is no uncertainty about the success of salvation by grace. Salvation is promised for those for whom Christ died. The Father entrusted His chosen people to His glorious Son Who has died for them to ensure that they would all live with Him forever. That is grace my friend. Grace is salvation conditioned on God, for everyone whom God is gracious toward will be saved. “All that the Father giveth Me SHALL COME TO ME…” (Jn. 6:37). Those who have been given by the Father to the Son are the ones whom the Son laid down His life for: “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it” (Eph. 5:25). The Church is made up of the people Jesus gave Himself for and would "...sanctify and cleanse…with the washing of water by the Word” (Eph. 5:26). These are the people who will be given eternal life. The Father has given the Son, Jesus Christ, “…power over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as Thou (the Father) hast given Him (the Son)” (Jn. 17:2). One of the reasons why people hold on so white knuckle tight to the lie that salvation is conditioned on a man’s choice, is their iconic, flawed belief that Christ died for all. If one cannot see that Christ died exclusively for the people God gave Him, the people He chose from the foundation of the world (see Jn. 17), one will never understand or believe in the God of salvation Who saves all His chosen people by His grace alone. If you believe that Jesus died for everyone, you cannot believe in grace, for you have a gospel which conditions salvation on works, on what a man must do, instead of the Gospel of God which conditions salvation completely on grace.
The true Christian knows who it is that makes him to differ from the lost man: "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. Jn. 3:27). In other words, ‘Why do you glory as if it came from within you, from a work you have done, and not as a gift from God by grace’. Everything a believer is, and everything a believer has is given to him of God. In other words the salvation of a man, the fact that he is now a new creature in Christ, is solely due to God having given to the man that which man could never choose, work for, or come to of his own accord. Jesus said: “…no man can come unto Me, except it were given unto him of My Father” (Jn. 6:65). Question: If God deserves all the glory for every detail in the salvation of a man, what does this make the man, and how much glory should man receive? From start to finish God did everything necessary to save those whom He elected before the world was. God is the be all and end all of salvation. God is the Alpha and Omega of salvation. “Looking unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith…” (Heb. 12:2). “If Jesus is the author of our faith, then that precludes man from being the author through his free will decision. An author is ‘one that originates or creates’. There is no mention in the Bible of there being any co-authors of our faith, it is Jesus alone Who is the author of our faith. He originates and created faith in the believer. Jesus is also the finisher of our faith, that is, He completes and perfects it.” Jesus is also referred to as “…the Captain of their (His people’s) salvation…” (Heb. 2:10). The word Captain here means ‘Originator, founder, leader, chief, first’. Amazingly, the word for both captain and author in the original Greek is the very same word archegos! Jesus is the Initiator, or the Source, of the Faith with which a man believes the true God, and is the completer of salvation. Jesus is referred to in Hebrews 7:2 as “…King of Righteousness…” Jesus the Lord, “…is the Author or efficient cause of it; all men are by nature without it; it is not in the power of man to believe of himself; it is a work of Omnipotence; it is an instance of the exceeding greatness of the power of God; and it is the operation of Christ, by His Spirit…He gives Himself, and the blessings of His grace, to His people, to maintain and strengthen it…He carries on the work of faith, and will perform it with power; and brings to, and gives that which is the end of it, eternal life, or the salvation of the soul”. “Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform (perfect) it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Phil. 1:6 cf. Gal. 3:3). Christ is “…the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls” (1 Pet. 2:25). Grace is God taking it upon Himself, assuming the responsibility for the whole of salvation for each and every one of His elect, knowing that they could not even meet one of the requirements of salvation. The work of grace is begun by God, it is instigated at the behest of His will, and no others. The work of grace is for the eternal salvation of God’s people, thus salvation is something which is conditioned on, and ensured by, grace alone. A person who has been blessed with the grace of God unto salvation is not kept saved by their good works, and sincere heart, but by the very power of God (see 1 Pet. 1:3-5).
God did all the work, so then to Him alone belongs all the glory. “…the salvation of the Righteous is of the Lord…” (Psa. 37:39.) It is not works that make them righteous so that God can then save them, for God’s chosen people are all saved by a Righteousness that is WITHOUT their WORKS. Salvation is entirely not by works, but by grace alone. Saved sinners are made Righteous by God. They are made Righteous by what God has done. They are made Righteous by grace. They are all imputed with the Righteousness of God, for their own works could never save them. “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for Righteousness. Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth RIGHTEOUSNESS WITHOUT WORKS” (Rom. 4:5,6). God does not justify the righteous! God justifies the UNGODLY!! God justifies His people who can do nothing to justify themselves. God justifies the hopeless. If you think you have met some condition so that God can now save you, you are lost! You do not know God nor the Gospel of His grace. The blessed man is the one whom God has charged with His own Righteousness. The blessed man is not one who is justified because of his works, but because of imputed Righteousness by grace. God accepts His people not based on their works, but on the Righteousness of His Son imputed to them by grace. This is Who God is, and this is how God saves. “David pronounces the blessedness of the man unto whom the Lord imputeth Righteousness without works—whom, though void of all good works, He, nevertheless, regards and treats as Righteous”, because of God’s own Righteousness imputed to them. “But now the Righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessedthei by the law and the prophets” (Rom. 3:21). “Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin” (Rom. 4:8). Graciously, God will impute Righteousness by grace to the ones He has chosen to bless, and He will, mercifully, not impute sin to them. “The latter phrase well illustrates the former: in the latter, man has sin, but is treated as having it not; in the former he has not righteousness, but is treated as having it:—Righteousness is reckoned to him without his works’.” The Righteousness that saves, therefore, does not come by the works of a man, but solely by the grace of God, solely by the One Who imputes it to all His chosen people.
If the salvation of the righteous is of the Lord, then clearly all the glory for salvation belongs to the Lord, for “…salvation is of the Lord” (Jon. 2:9), “Salvation belongeth unto the Lord…” (Psa. 3:8). God saves only those to whom He has imputed His Righteousness according to His grace. God’s Righteousness cannot be charged to a man according to the man’s works. That would simply be ridiculous. The Righteousness of Christ cannot be charged to a man because of the man’s works, for a man only deserves his own righteousness, and not that of another. You cannot deserve the Righteousness of Christ, therefore, you can only be saved by grace. Saving Righteousness is not charged to a man according to his works, so obviously he could never earn the right to be charged with the very Righteousness of God. Scripture speaks of “…the blessedness of the man unto whom God imputeth (His) Righteousness without works” (Rom. 4:6). God states: “…their Righteousness IS OF ME…” (Isa. 54:17). God’s Righteousness is charged to a man based solely on the grace of God. Only undeserved Righteousness saves a man, and not that which any man has earned by his works of obedience. It is only imputed Righteousness that saves a man, not the righteousness which he has worked to establish, but one which has been given to him by grace. Righteousness according to grace, not works, is what saves a man. A man can only be saved by God’s Righteousness. A man cannot be saved by works. God says of Himself: “I, even I, am the Lord; and beside Me there is no Saviour” (Isa. 43:11). Now, if there is no other Saviour but the Lord, no one else who can save, or partly save, then it is God alone who does the work of salvation, therefore, to Him belongs all the glory for salvation. Salvation is only by the Lord through grace. If God is the only Saviour, then grace is the only way a man is saved. Moreover, if God is the only Saviour, and grace is the only way a man is saved, then it stands to Biblical reason that the only righteousness that saves is God’s Righteousness imputed. The only righteousness that saves is that Righteousness which can never be earned, but which can only be given by grace. What saves a man is God’s Righteousness by grace, not man’s righteousness by works. The Righteousness that saves is without any works of man’s because it is all by the grace of God. Man can do nothing, and so, has to be given everything to be saved. Every detail, right down to causing a man to come to Him, was prepared and fulfilled by God through grace. "Blessed is the man whom Thou choosest, and causest to approach unto Thee..." (Psa. 65:4). Unless God chooses, unless God causes man to come, no man can come. No man can come to God based on anything within the man, that which is by his own power: "Thy people shall be willing in the day of THY power..." (Psa. 110:3). No man can come to God unless he is saved by God. There is no power in the universe that can make a man willing, apart from the Sovereign power/grace of God. God chooses man. The saved are the chosen, not the choosers. Jesus says: “…Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto Me, except it were given unto him of My Father” (Jn. 6:65). The only ones who ever come to Jesus are those whom the Father gives to Him. Jesus said: “All that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me…” (Jn. 6:37). “Wherefore He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them” (Heb. 7:25). Those for whom Jesus makes intercession are those whom the Father has given Him: “I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which Thou hast given Me; for they are Thine” (Jn. 17:9 cf. Jn. 6:37; 14:6; 17:20; 1 Thess. 5:9,10; Heb. 9:15). They are not the ones who choose Him, but rather they whom the Father has called, chosen and given to His Son. This utterly destroys any idea of Jesus dying for all, and God wanting everyone saved. God wanting everyone saved is a myth born in the minds of the lost. It has nothing at all to do with Biblical reality.
God is not the one Who is chosen, but is the One Who chooses. He is the Sovereign Saviour. The Saviour saves those whom He chooses to save. The Christianity which is of the world pictures God cruelly choosing to save some amongst the drowning, while coldly leaving others to drown. This is pure fantasy born out of the lie that man is not dead in sins. The fact of the matter is that man is not drowning, but has drowned. Man is dead in sins, and God has graciously chosen to make alive all His elect. God comes to His chosen, for they cannot come to Him. God is the Saviour, and He saves by grace. Salvation does not involve man’s power, for he has none, but solely God’s power. God saves by Himself, by His love, by His choice, by His method and in His time according to His will and purpose by way of His grace and mercy. The truly saved man does not choose to believe the Gospel, for only by grace can he see it, and only by grace is he granted the Faith to believe it. A saved man believes because he has been given the gift to believe. He sees and believes because God has granted him eyes to see and the faith to believe. Salvation is more a case of a chosen vessel of God not being able to choose to disbelieve than one of his choosing to believe, for no one who has been given eyes to see, no one who has been made alive, can deny the Light, much less want to deny it. The converted ones are they to whom eyes have been given to see, ears have been given to hear and a heart has been given to understand (see Matt. 13:15; Mk. 4:12; Acts 28:27). God is the cause, or catalyst, behind a man coming to Him, and only in the day of God’s power shall a man be willing to come to Him. The Lord Jesus said, "No man CAN come to Me, except the Father which hath sent Me draw him..." (Jn. 6:44). By nature, man has nothing inherent within him that can draw him to God, or cause him to come to God. Salvation happens only because of God, only because of grace. The Lord by grace makes a man come, so then to whom belongs all the glory for this? God, of course. Man does not choose to come to God, man is drawn by God’s love according to His will and purpose. Man does not come to God because of his love for God, but because God loved the man first. A man does not find God, but is found of God. No one can find God because no one seeks the true God: “…there is none that seeketh after God” (Rom. 3:11); “Canst thou by searching find out God?...” (Job 11:7). “For thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I, even I, will both search My sheep, and seek them out. As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered; so will I seek out My sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day” (Ezek. 34:11,12). There is one verse, Deuteronomy 4:29, which speaks of finding God, but this is merely referring to the Jews who had already been found by God: “But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find Him, if thou seek Him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.” God is referring to His backslidden people, not to those who are not His own. Contrary to what the world, including pseudo-Christianity believes, God is not found, but is the One Who seeks and finds His sheep. “No man, Jew or Gentile, seeks for God (see Rom. 3:11; Psa. 14:2), so in order for the dispersed Jews in the latter days to seek for Him, God Himself (His Spirit) must put that desire in their heart.”