BY GRACE ALONE (PART 29)
Salvation is by God, through God, because of God. If salvation is in any way by the works of man, then it cannot be by grace at all, it cannot be by God at all. If, however, salvation is by the grace of God then it cannot in any way to any degree be based on, or include, an act, or acts of man as a necessary condition of salvation. What exactly is salvation? Salvation is being saved from something to something. Salvation is being saved from spiritual death by being made spiritually alive. It is a supernatural act, a miracle of God. NO WORK OF MAN’S CAN DO THIS. NO WORK OF MAN’S CAN COERCE GOD INTO SAVING HIM. SALVATION IS WHOLLY THE DOMAIN OF GOD, AND HE MAKES IT HAPPEN BY GRACE ALONE. No work of man’s can make him alive. Salvation is only by grace, for it is only grace that makes a man alive. If there is nothing a man can do, then guess what? Salvation can only be by grace alone, by what God alone does. Salvation could never be delegated, or dependent, on man, for it is grace alone that saves. Grace is God saving His people by what He does, not by what they do. Grace is the unequivocal and indispensable means to salvation. Salvation can only come as a gift, and if only by a gift then only by grace alone. Salvation is never deserved, therefore, it can only ever come by means of grace. The fact that grace is required shows that salvation is not conditioned on what a man does, for grace and works do not mix. Therefore, all of salvation is all conditioned on all of grace. Grace needs no assistance in its saving work, for it is by grace alone that a man is saved, and not by anything of the man done by the man. To be saved by grace and works is an oxymoron, an utter nonsense, for the very presence of grace rules out the need for works, and vice versa. If salvation is by works, then grace “No longer comes into manifestation as what it really is. It gives up (or loses) its specific character.” Man does not need to be enabled, he needs to be made alive. Man does not require assistance, he needs to be born again, he needs to be made a new creature in Christ. Grace does not enable. Grace makes alive. Man cannot be enabled, he needs much, much more than this, for he is dead in sins, and must be made alive. The only solution to spiritual death is spiritual life. The only solution to spiritual death is the grace of God that makes alive.
AN ELECT MAN DOES NOT NEED TO BE ENABLED, FOR HE HAS BEEN APPOINTED UNTO SALVATIONWHICH COMES BY MEANS OF GRACE ALONE. If the saved were appointed to salvation before the foundation of the world, then it is quite unnecessary for them to be enabled. IT IS THE POWER BEHIND THE APOINTMENT THAT QUALIFIES THEM FOR HEAVEN! A SAVED MAN IS MADE ALIVE BY GRACE, NOT ENABLED BY GRACE TO BECOME ALIVE BY WHAT HE DOES. Even grace cannot enable a dead man to do anything without first making him alive. Grace is a spiritual work of God, the very power of God, applied to His chosen to make that which was dead alive forevermore. Man thinking that he can do this by something he does is proof positive of his spiritual separation from the only true God. Only the blind follow the blind. Only the dead follow the dead. Once he is made alive by grace, a man is saved and needs no works whatsoever to assist in what has already been achieved purely by grace. Man’s needing to be made spiritually alive shows conclusively that he cannot be enabled to do anything before he is made alive. It would simply not matter what a man could do, even if he could do it, whilst in a state of spiritual death. A man must be made alive by God, by grace, to be saved. The key to salvation is being made alive by grace, according to the will of God. Salvation, therefore, is not about man doing, but of God doing to save His people from their sin-induced death. Salvation comes neither by works or enablement, but by grace and appointment. The elect are appointed to salvation, chosen unto salvation, and so they are saved by the grace of God which, prior to saving them, ordained them to be saved according to the will, love, purpose and mercy of God (see Acts 13:48). Once a man is made alive what need is there for him to do that which can allegedly make him alive. Alive by works is a fantasy. Alive by grace is the reality. Good works, works appointed by God for His children to perform, do not come before one is saved but only after one is saved. By this we see that works are not the way to salvation, for the only works that are acceptable to God always and only come because of God, and subsequent to salvation. Lazarus was told to come forth. He came alive not because he came forth, but because Jesus Christ made him alive. Lazarus was made alive before he came forth, so that he could come forth, all by God’s power. Prior to this, Lazarus could do nothing in his dead state. He was not made alive so that he could then remove his grave cloths, for this was done by others on Christ’s command. He did not call out to Jesus asking Him to make him alive. The One Who makes alive does so on His own initiative. Man needs to be made a new creature, and only grace can do this. Grace is God saving by what He has done. Grace is God saving you. Grace is God acting independently of everything outside of Himself in order to save His people from their sins. Grace does not enable anyone to do what must be done to get saved, for grace is the action of God saving by what He alone has done. Salvation does not require a work of man’s, but only the grace of God. Saving grace is not an enabler, nor an equipper, but that which alone saves: “…by grace ye are saved…” (Eph. 2:5). Grace does not get you to do something so that God can then do something to save you. Works do not qualify a man to be saved by grace. Works are not the prerequisite for grace. Nothing is required before grace, for grace is undeserved. Grace does not get you to do something so that God can then save you based on you having done that something. Salvation is always undeserved. The undeserved is given by that which is undeserved. Salvation is not deserved but is by grace alone. By GRACE ye are saved…by GRACE ye are saved…by GRACE ye are saved!
A man who claims his works are a necessary element in salvation immediately forfeits any right to appeal to the grace of God. A man who appeals to his works is a man who does not want grace. The man who appeals to the grace of God has no need for his own works, and will never turn to them for comfort and assurance that he is saved. A man who appeals to the grace of God as the only means to salvation will not claim any of his own works as the means, or reason, for his salvation at all. “I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in Him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the Righteousness which is of God by faith” (Phil. 3:8,9). “Not only the things before mentioned, but anything, and everything else but Christ, or that stood in competition with Him.” Works are in competition with Christ. A man’s righteousness is always at variance with the Righteousness of Christ. Anything and everything a person wants to bring with them expecting them to gain him entrance into Heaven, is that which stands eternally opposed to the Lord Jesus Christ—everything He is and everything He has done in establishing the perfect Righteousness, the only Righteousness which saves. Knowing that Christ was his all in all, His Saviour and God and Redeemer and Justifier, etc., Paul wanted nothing at all to do with anything he was, or did, prior to God saving him by His grace. And every true Christian stands with the apostle in looking only to God, and not themselves, or to anything they have done—prior to, or during their, salvation. Paul, “…dropped all confidence in his carnal privileges, and civil, ceremonial, and moral righteousness, for Christ and His Righteousness; he parted with all for this pearl of great price; he lost his good name, credit, and reputation among men, and suffered afflictions and persecutions in various shapes; he lost the comforts of life, being often in cold and nakedness, in hunger and thirst, and was ready to suffer the loss of life itself for professing and preaching Christ”. Paul “…esteemed his carnal descent; his form and sect of religion, and zeal in it; his ceremonial and moral righteousness before and after conversion; and everything of the creature, or what was his own, and but flesh as dung; being of the same opinion with the church of old, who reckoned her righteousnesses, the best, and the whole of them, as ‘filthy rags’.”
People may argue, ‘Why can’t salvation be by grace and a man’s works?’, when the real question should be, ‘Why would the grace that saves require anything to be done by man?’ Or, ‘How can that which is undeserved require something to deserve it’. To say, ‘Why can’t salvation be by grace and works?’, is like saying, ‘Why can’t salvation be by that which is underserved and deserved’. It is sheer nonsense. This is one of the reasons why Paul unequivocally declared salvation to be by grace, and, therefore, not by any works at all. Election did not require a man’s works, for election is of grace, so why would salvation require a man’s works before it could become operational when a man is saved by grace not works? Election by grace, and salvation by works simply does not make any sense. Why would election before the foundation of the world according to the grace of God, require something to be done by man. The elect of God are appointed by grace to be saved by grace. Man’s insatiable lust for a role in his salvation insists that God elected certain ones based on His foreseeing they would be good people who would, of their own free will, choose Him. The Word of God is diametrically opposed to such thinking: “(For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;)… 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 9:11,15,16). If salvation is by the works, or acts, of a man, then there is no need for grace. By the same token, if salvation is by the grace of God, then there is no need for works. The two cannot exist in the same Gospel. Men, naturally, try to order their lives into subjection and subservience to some form of abstinent, disciplined and reformed lifestyle in an effort to become acceptable to whichever god they worship. But if compliance is the road to Heaven, how would any of us know whether we had ever been obedient enough? The fact that no one can answer that question, or provide any concrete Scriptural support for any answer they may have, has subsequently given rise to what most people have come to accept in the matter of salvation: the idea that doing one’s best in life will be enough to get them into Heaven, no matter who God really is, or which doctrines they believe, for who can do more than their best. Who can go beyond their sincerity in doing good? Who can exceed their very best deeds? This is man’s conclusion, this is man’s religion. The Word of God holds all this in utter disdain: “…every man at his best state is altogether vanity…every man is vanity…all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags…” (Psa. 39:5,11; Isa. 64:6).
“The way to be right with God in every religion is by earning your way. It is based on works, not grace. Christianity is different from every religion in this aspect: all religions (including Roman Catholicism, Mormonism, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism) state that you must earn the right to be reconciled with God. It is by what you do in this life (good deeds or bad deeds) that determines your eternal destiny. Christianity is completely different from this. It is not religion. My high school American Literature Teacher, (who wasn’t a Christian) described it this way: ‘The difference between Christianity and every other faith in the world is that all other religions are about man trying to reach up to God. Christianity is about God reaching down to man.’ This is a very important distinction…Religion is a system of beliefs or a code of moral conduct that judges (qualifies or disqualifies) a person based on their adherence and obedience to certain codes, rules, laws, traditions, or the performance of required acts. Religion (almost universally) is enforced by those in power in an attempt to maintain, increase, or abuse their power over others. Religion is the creation of man and is not the intention or design of God. A modern day example (taken from the movie ‘Footloose’), is a preacher who believes that dancing leads to promiscuity and destructive behavior. He uses (abuses) his influence and his position of authority to convince his congregation that dancing is evil and forbids it. He sets up rules that are not in the Bible and adds additional beliefs that Jesus never endorsed. He is trying to control the people, using their trust of his authority to force them to believe his version of the truth. He adds rules that don’t exist in the Bible. In this example, he even has good motives, but he is still being religious and this ‘religion’ is not from God. This is so very common. People have used Jesus to justify adding so many ‘requirements’ to being a Christian.” Someone once asked, “Do we earn salvation or accept God’s grace?” The answer is, neither! Salvation is wholly by grace, it cannot be earned, and it does not await a person’s acceptance, or permission, before it can have its way. If grace had to be ‘accepted’ before a man could be saved, then salvation would be by works through grace, for it would ultimately depend on what the man did. The elect of God do not accept grace, for it is grace that makes them acceptable (see Eph. 1:5,6). Grace makes spiritually dead people, chosen by God according to His will and grace, alive. Those who claim to believe salvation is by grace, and all that needs to happen now is for each individual to accept this gift, have added works to grace. They make that ‘final requirement’ for salvation contingent on what they do. They say ‘It is man’s act of acceptance that allows God to proceed with the act of salvation’. The problem with such thinking is that it conditions salvation on what a man does. It is the basis for all religion, for it comes only from the carnal mind of lost men who are dead in their sins. They say everything is by grace except that last final act upon which they make the whole of salvation dependent. It is not the saved who must accept God, but God Almighty Who has made them accepted by His grace. Salvation by grace is God making accepted those He wills to save. “According as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, To the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He hath made us accepted in the Beloved” (Eph. 1:4-6).
The whole of religion is predicated on one lie. This lie was first expressed by Satan to Eve in the Garden of Eden, and it continues to deceive the world to this day. Satan said “…Ye shall not surely die” (Gen. 3:4). Prior to this, God had warned Adam: “…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). Subsequent to Adam and Eve having eaten the fruit, Satan’s words have morphed into ‘You are not dead’, and God’s words have become ‘You are dead’. Those who believe that salvation cannot come unless a man does something—works—say man is not dead. Those who believe man can do nothing say man is dead, and requires grace to be saved. Religion is based on man doing. Religion says a man must do or he will die, while the Word of God says, man cannot do, for he is already dead. Religion bases salvation on works. True Christianity bases salvation entirely on grace. Religion believes Satan’s words, Christianity believes only God’s Word. Anyone who claims man must do something is grounded in the very heart of Satanic philosophy, ‘ye are not dead’. Religion says you must, the Word of God says “no man can” (Jn. 6:44,65). Paul the apostle stated that he did not receive his Gospel from man, but as a revelation from the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ (see Gal. 1:11,12). Immediately prior to this, Paul had written of the spiritual condition of all those who believed in the gospels which do come from men, which all differ from the one Gospel he had received from God Himself: “But though we, or an angel from Heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed” (Gal. 1:8,9). Paul singled out his Gospel, the Gospel which Jesus Christ revealed to him as God’s only Gospel, as the only Gospel that saves. Grouping all other gospels together—all the gospels which come from man—Paul said those who believe in any one of them are accursed. Clearly, the salvation Plan revealed in God’s Gospel is salvation by grace alone through faith without works. Man’s gospels are all predicated on man’s works without which, they say, man has no hope of Heaven.
You cannot compromise truth and still have truth. For the moment one compromises the truth, one no longer has truth! You either have truth, or have compromised truth. “Compromised truth is a lie.” You can either believe the truth, or disbelieve it. You either welcome truth, or you reject truth. You either know the truth, are able to recognize the truth, or you are ignorant of the truth. You either accept the reality of truth, or your own edited version of it. Nothing else can be done with it. Being indecisive concerning truth, or a fence-sitter, is tantamount to disbelief. If you add anything to truth, or take away anything from truth, you no longer have the truth. For example, 2 + 2 = 4 is truth, but 2 + 2 = 4½ is a lie. Even though this lie is mostly made up of truth, what is added to truth changes its entire makeup. You have done away with truth if you either add to it, or take away from it, for all that remains is a lie. A changed truth is an absolute lie. Watered down versions of the Gospel of God, or lukewarm versions of it, can never save anyone. Ye shall not surely die is a violation of Thou shalt surely die. Man is not spiritually dead contravenes the Biblical REALITY that man is surely spiritually dead. Death and life cannot mix, they cannot be merged so as to render a man both dead and alive. One is either dead or alive. Whether referring to the physical realm or spiritual, a man can only be alive or dead, there is no middle state. You cannot merge a lie with truth and still have the truth. Anything which differs from the truth is a lie. Something is either true, or a lie. If it is truth it is not a lie, and if it is a lie it cannot be truth. Satan’s lie that man is not dead paves the way for salvation by works. If man is not dead then not only can he do something to get saved, he must do something to get saved. His obligation is to works, not to praising God for grace. The fact that man is dead in sins proves that man can do nothing, and must be saved by grace alone. To compromise grace with works is a lie from Hell, and anyone believing that the only true God saves by grace and works is currently bound for Hell. There is no middle ground between truth and a lie. If you do not believe the unadulterated truth, you have embraced a lie. Truth cannot tolerate a lie, and a lie can only corrupt truth. The rejection of truth is the embracing of a lie.
The Christian is a servant of God who maintains and upholds the truth of God by preaching the Gospel of Christ to every creature. The false Christian has tempered the truth, tampered with it by adding, or unknowingly accepting false doctrine, thus cancelling out the truth, and stands as a perpetual enemy of God. The minute you tamper with truth is the moment you no longer have the truth. The minute you add works to grace you no longer have the Gospel of God. Those who settle for another gospel literally cannot handle the truth. “Truth is treason in an empire of lies.” Truth is the only thing which will not be tolerated in a world filled with an insatiable lust for that which is not real. You cannot compromise God’s Gospel as long as you stay within the parameter of truth. One can only compromise the Gospel of God by overstepping the boundary of its truth. Once you do this you are no longer dealing purely with truth, but have walked right into the satanic realm of fiction and fantasy. The only thing one can compromise God’s Gospel with is that which is not of God’s Gospel. The only way you can compromise God’s Gospel of grace, is by adding your works to it. Anytime one attempts to combine lies with truth, the result will always be one big lie. “Add thou not unto His words, lest He reprove thee, and thou be found a liar” (Prov. 30:6). Try adding to, or taking away from, any correct answer to a mathematical equation, and you will see what I mean. Adding anything to truth is much like color-change chemistry. When a particular chemical is added to another the whole is changed into a different color, and the original color just disappears. Anything added to the Gospel of God changes it into another gospel. The same occurs when you try to add a man’s works to God’s grace (see Rom. 11:6). To compromise the truth is to temper, to neutralize, or counterbalance, it with something that is totally foreign to it. To compromise the only Gospel of God is to temper, to neutralize, or counterbalance, it with something that is totally foreign to it. To compromise the Gospel is to believe something other than the Gospel, something other than God’s truth.
What the Gospel of God is, is not a matter of give and take by two opposing parties. It cannot be arrived at by compromise. What the Gospel of God is, is not found somewhere in the middle, but is solely found on truth’s property. “Basically, there’s nothing wrong with compromising under the right circumstances, but a huge problem arises when TRUTH is compromised. Once compromised, truth will never be the same.” You cannot take a little truth and a little error, mix them together and expect to have a greater truth! “Truth cannot stand compromise. If 2+2=4, it can never equal anything but 4 and still be the truth. If someone comes along and insists 2+2=6, and someone else insists 2+2=4, both cannot possibly be correct. One is right and one is wrong.” You cannot take a little bit from the 6 and a little bit from the 4 and expect to arrive at the truth. “If the two compromise and agree to state that 2+2=5, they have not changed the ‘absolute truth’ of the matter.” They have ignored the truth, they have by-passed the truth, and agreed to settle for something that in no way even resembles the truth. One may be able to circumvent the truth, or choose to look the other way, but no one has, or can ever, escape its consequences. Compromise is for the weak, those who either do not want the truth, do not have the boldness to claim the truth, or cannot recognize the truth for what it is. If salvation is by grace, then it can never be by works and simultaneously still be by grace. If a compromise is made, and agreement has been reached saying that salvation is by grace and works, the absolute truth that salvation is by grace alone stands unaffected. Just as a man cannot be spiritually dead and not spiritually dead, so too, salvation cannot be by both grace and works.
The truth is the truth no matter what anybody says, or thinks it is. The truth is the truth even if no one believed it. Truth is not defined by its popularity, but in the fact it is truth. “If people could somehow convince everyone in the world to agree that 2+2=5, then 2+2=5 will become an ‘accepted truth’. However, it will not change the absolute truth because 2+2 will always equal 4. Absolute truth can never be compromised.” God’s Gospel is not defined by compromise, by establishing a middle path that will satisfy all, but is simply what God says it is. The truth does not comply with people’s opinions. It is people who must comply and conform to the truth, or all is lost. Most people do not want to believe anything they do not want to believe. The truth of God is seldom what people want, but always what they need. Those who believe the Gospel will be saved, and those who do not believe it will be damned (see Mk. 16:15). That is the reality that people need to meet head on, and stop trying to create hybrid gospels in an effort to satisfy the desires of all for the sake of some lame, unrealistic peace and fake unity. People who compromise the truth do not love the truth. People can be deceived into thinking they are Christian. The proof of this pudding is seen in what they believe. True Christians only believe God’s Gospel of salvation by grace alone. Those who believe a different gospel—one which compromises grace by teaching works, or grace and works—are false Christians. False gospels can only produce false Christians. Lies do not produce believers in truth. The Gospel of grace alone is not what man believes it to be, but only what God says it is. Any gospel which conditions salvation on anything a man does, or must do, whether it is claimed it can only be done with the assistance of grace, or not, is an absolute nonsense. It would be like saying, ‘God saves, but only through something done by someone else’.
Any gospel which teaches works as an indispensable element in getting or remaining saved is indeed a violation of the truth of God. It is an abomination against God. Salvation by works gospels are only believed in by the accursed. No one is right in believing an error, no one is saved believing a lie. Works salvation is opposed to Who God is and what He has done to save His people from their sins by His grace alone. Gospels which teach works as essential to salvation are thoroughly opposed to the true God and the fact He saves by grace alone. The reason why grace cannot be offered is because grace is not something chosen by man, but given to a man chosen by God. Grace can only be given, not chosen. That which is undeserved can never be chosen, therefore, it is something which can never be offered. Salvation can never be by any works, but only by grace alone. God will be merciful to whom He will be merciful. As mercy is something chosen by God for His elect, so too, grace is something which comes from God according to His will, and no other’s. 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 cf. Rom. 9:15,16). God’s grace comes not by what a man chooses, but via the will of God through the love of God for His chosen. Grace is God doing, so anytime anyone conditions salvation, or any part of it, on what a man must do, they frustrate, or nullify, the grace of God, and do away with any need for the mercy of God. Once you nullify grace by what you believe, you declare another god as your god. Your god is the god of works, not the God of grace. You cannot condition grace on what a man must do, when grace only comes according to the will of God. God gives grace, He does not offer it. God gives grace, you cannot earn it. Grace is never subject to a man’s will, but only God’s will. If grace came any other way, it would no longer be grace. Something either comes because of what you have done, or by something someone else has done. Something is either free, or you must do something to earn it. Likewise, you cannot condition salvation on that which God enables a man to do, for you would then have salvation dependent on man. Anytime you have salvation dependent on man, you have a salvation dependent on works, not grace. Salvation coming only after a man doing something would mean ‘by works are ye saved through grace’. Salvation via a grace that merely opens a door, but which only a man’s will can get him to walk through it, is an expressway to Hell. Those who insist that God enables a man by grace to do what is necessary to be saved have made a fatal error. This satanic concept of salvation has it depending on what a man ultimately does regardless of the fact he cannot do it unless by way of enabling grace. Sadly, this subtle twisting of truth is the enormous lie accepted by most who believe themselves to be Christian.
A man is not saved by what he is enabled by grace to do, for Scripture makes it transparently clear that a man is actually saved by the act of grace. A man is saved by what grace does, not by what he does. The Scriptures say “…by grace are ye saved…” True Christians have no problem seeing and believing that. If the Word of God declared ‘by works are ye saved’, then I am sure no one would have any difficulty seeing and understanding such a simple statement, and anyone who opposed this concept would be rightly ridiculed. No one could possibly misinterpret such a statement to include grace in the salvation process. However, when it comes to “…by grace ye are saved…”, suddenly we are told, inconceivably, that works is an indispensable part of the saving process which is solely according to that which is wholly undeserved! It is grace which saves, and grace is a supernatural act of God. Grace is the power of God to save His people from their sins by Himself. God says, “I, even I, am the Lord; and beside Me there is no Saviour” (Isa. 43:11). As God alone is the Saviour, He saves by His grace alone. “…Salvation is of the Lord” (Jon. 2:9), therefore, salvation is by what the Lord does. No one can do anything to draw salvation to them, for salvation comes only by that which is undeserved. You cannot do anything to make grace come. Salvation is not by anything God enables, or empowers a person to do, but solely by what HE has done. That is grace. Grace is the love of God in action toward His people in order that they be saved. Those who believe they must do before salvation can occur, cannot justifiably appeal to God’s grace, for if grace could be attracted to a man by what a man did, it would no longer be God’s grace. Grace is undeserved favour, and so, nothing can be done to attract it in any way. Grace cannot be lured, only given. Grace hears only God’s Voice. Salvation is a creation of God, and it is His to give to whomsoever He wants, only by His grace. Salvation is conceived by God, it is given life by God, and it is distributed by God to His chosen people at the appointed time according to His will. Salvation obeys only the Voice of God, and is not subject to any man’s will. Salvation has only one Master. The concept of salvation is not governed by pluralism, but solely by the pre-determining will of the one and only God and the means He has ordered. “…Salvation is of the Lord…by grace…through faith…” (Jon. 2:9 & Eph. 2:8 cf. Jn. 1:13). “…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). Grace saves only those whom God has chosen, not those who claim to have chosen Him. Grace only ever travels on the road of God’s love. It is a one-way road that goes from God’s heart to the lives of all His chosen.
“The outrageous grace of God is not a favor you can achieve by being good; it is the gift you receive by being among God’s chosen people. Outrageous grace is God’s goodness that comes looking for you when you have nothing to offer in return. Outrageous grace is a farmer paying a full day’s wages to a chosen crew of deadbeat day laborers with only a single hour punched on their time cards (see Matt. 20:1-16). Outrageous grace is a man marrying an abandoned woman and then refusing to forsake his covenant with her when she turns out to be a whore (see Ezek.16:8- 63; Hos. 1:1-3:5). Outrageous grace is the insanity of a shepherd who leaves ninety-nine sheep to rescue the single lamb that has strayed from the flock (Lk. 15:1-7). Outrageous grace is the love of a father who hands over a ring and the best robe to his son who has squandered his inheritance on drunken binges with his fair-weather friends (Lk. 15:11-32)…Grace calls you into the Kingdom not because you’ve been good, but because God has chosen you and made you His own.” Grace comes not because you’ve been good, but because God is Good. Grace does because of God’s love, not your love. Grace is given because God loves a person, and their love for Him is also and only by and because of His grace toward them. “Here’s what’s so amazing about God’s outrageous grace: This isn’t merely what God the Father would do; it’s what He has done. God could have chosen to save anyone, everyone, or no one from Adam’s fallen race.” But God did not choose no one, or just anyone, nor did He choose everyone to be saved. God chose those whom He willed to love, whom He willed to be His special people. God’s grace and love are not emotions, but declarations of commitment made by God toward those He has predestined to be His own people (see Deut. 7:6-8). God’s love is not some wishy-washy, aimless, purposeless emotion put on offer for those who will ‘accept’ Him. If I may use such coarse terminology, God does not prostitute Himself by making Himself available to anyone who will accept Him as long as they agree to His terms, for God has PROMISED Himself, in covenant love, to all His elect, His inheritance, and made them His betrothed. God’s love is not for those who exist outside His Covenant, but only for those who are part of His Covenant by grace. God’s love is a specific, particular, elective love directed, by grace, toward those whom God wills to be merciful to, and whom He has subsequently given to His Son.
God’s choosing is an expression of His willingness, displayed in His Loveliness, His Goodness, His Grace, His Mercy and His Love to save the ones He has chosen. Salvation is someone being saved by what the Saviour has done. Salvation is not by what a man has done, but by what someone else has done for him. Salvation is by the work of One. The hopeless being saved by the hope-Giver. The undeserving being saved by grace. The undeserving can only be saved by grace. If salvation is deserved, it cannot be by favour. The undeserving can only be saved by a gift, not a work, for salvation is something they could never earn. Salvation is by grace. Grace is God doing, not God enabling a man to do. Salvation is by the work of One, not two. Salvation is by the grace of God through the faith given by God to believe in God and what He has done to save His people from their sins. GOD IS THE SAVIOUR, AND HE ONLY SAVES BY WHAT HE DOES. Grace does not help a man to get saved, or to save himself, grace makes a man alive unto God. Grace is in no way limited in what it can do. The grace of God is not restricted in any way, for it is sent to save those whom God has chosen unto salvation. Grace is sent to express and fulfil the will of God. As man is dead in sins, grace is not, and cannot be, dependent upon anyone’s will other than the will of God to save those whom He has elected before the world was. Grace is by the will of God. Grace is how God wants to, and does, save His people from their sins. All the glory for salvation belongs to God alone, therefore, all of salvation is exclusively by God, by what HE has done. Grace is what God has done. The Scripture says “by grace ye are saved”, not ‘by grace ye are enabled to get saved’, or ‘by grace ye are enabled to save yourselves’. Grace is God doing first. Grace is God loving first. Grace is God saving by what He has done. Grace is God saving you. Grace is God acting independently of everything outside of Himself. Grace needs no assistance from man. Grace needs no augmentation from your works. Grace does not enable anyone to do what must be done for one to be saved, for grace is the action of God saving by what He has done. Grace is the will of God, the love of God in action saving His people by that which they did not deserve. Man cannot do what only grace can do. Saving grace is not an enabler, nor an equipper, for grace is that which saves: “…by grace ye are saved…” (Eph. 2:5). Grace plays second fiddle to nothing and no one.
The grace of God is wholly responsible for the salvation of His chosen ones. God must do everything necessary to save a man, for man is without hope, and so can do nothing to save himself. All of salvation must be by grace for God to receive all the glory for salvation. A lost man is a man without any hope, therefore, there is nothing he can do by which he can be saved. Salvation can only be by that which a man cannot do, therefore, all of salvation can only be by grace alone. Salvation must be all of God’s doing for Him to receive all the glory for it. God is the Saviour, the One Who saves, therefore, it is grace—the supernatural act of God—which saves. Salvation by grace is salvation by God. If salvation was subsequent to what a man did, if it was a consequence of something that a man did, it could no longer be by grace at all. Salvation by grace cannot come because it is deserved, but only because it cannot be deserved. Grace is God doing, and works is a man doing. A gift given is a task completed. Grace represents God doing, and works represent man doing. To join the two, to say that man does something after he has been blessed by God through grace to perform it, is something that can never be reconciled with, nor verified by, the Scriptures, for the principle of “…if by grace, then is it no more of works…But if it be of works, then is it no more grace…” (Rom. 11:6), stands eternal. Salvation by grace is salvation by God. Salvation by works is salvation by man. If any work is added to grace, even if it is claimed the work is done only because of grace, you no longer have grace, but works. “A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump” (Gal. 5:9 cf. 1 Cor. 5:6). There are many who have been deceived by the lie that grace does not itself save, but that it is the actions motivated by grace which save. Again, such doctrine bases salvation not on what God does by grace, but only on a man’s response to grace. This shifts the focus from grace to what a man does, therefore, it is not grace but works that save. Grace cannot enable anyone to do what only God can do. Grace does not delegate the responsibility of salvation to any man, for only grace itself is the power of God that saves. It is the Gospel of grace that is the power of God unto salvation (see Rom. 1:16). Saving God’s chosen is what grace does. Any time you add a work to grace you take away from grace, in fact, you take away grace completely, “…if it be of works, then is it no more grace…” (Rom. 11:6). Grace is God doing, so to add anything to it which a man must do, is to take away from what God has done. It is to reject what God has done preferring to trust in what you have done. God saving by enabling one to do that which then triggers salvation, is saying that God’s grace alone does not save, that it cannot save unless a man plays ‘his part’. This ‘prevenient grace’ is something which requires a man’s cooperation before it can allegedly save. If grace needs something other than the will of God to save, it is not saving grace. Any time you add a work to grace you are saying what God has done is not enough, and that part of the glory for salvation belongs to you. No work on man's part could ever Scripturally align with salvation by grace, for it would always detract from the work that saving grace does.
“Prevenient Grace” is a term that was used in the Remonstrance, a seventeenth-century document formulated by Jacobus Arminius and others, to protest the Calvinistic soteriology of the Reformers. The term itself simply means ‘grace that comes before’; but the Remonstrance cast it in terms of the grace of God given to all mankind without exception, which enables all men to respond to God's invitation and believe in the Gospel. Whether or not anyone in particular does believe in the Gospel, then, is conditioned upon whether the individual chooses to improve upon the grace which has been given indiscriminately to all. Prevenient grace, therefore, is not irresistible for the elect; it is merely persuasive and enabling, but may freely be accepted or rejected by the arbitrary choice of its subjects. However, the doctrine of prevenient grace, as it is explained in Arminian theology, finds no support from Scripture. It is true, of course, that the regenerating grace of God must come before faith, and so in that sense it is prevenient; however, this Biblical prevenient grace goes far beyond the Arminian conception; when God grants His quickening grace to unbelievers, it does not merely give them the option to be alive – it makes them alive (see Eph. 2:1-5; Ezek. 37:3-6,11-14; Jn. 1:11-13; 3:3-8; 5:21; Jas. 1:18; 1 Pet. 1:3; 1 Jn. 5:1); it does not merely grant them the ability to come – it irresistibly draws them all without exception (see Jn. 6:37-40,45; Psa. 65:4; Rom. 9:15); it does not merely make them able to choose good if they improve upon it – it causes them to walk in God's statutes (see Deut. 30:6; Ezek. 11:19,20; 36:26,27; Jer. 31:33; 32:40). Against the Arminian doctrine of prevenient grace, the Bible teaches that there are only two classes of people: those whom the Father has chosen and given to the Son, all of whom without exception will come to Him (see Jn. 6:37-40,45); and those whom the Father has not given to the Son, who are not of His sheep, and who therefore cannot believe (see Jn. 6:65; 10:26; 12:37-41). There is no room for a third class of people who have been given God's drawing grace but who do not improve upon it. Furthermore, the doctrine of prevenient grace is specifically argued against by the apostle in 1 Cor. 4:7, which asks rhetorically, ‘Who maketh thee to differ?’ Prevenient grace says that we make ourselves to differ from our unsaved neighbors, by choosing to improve upon the grace that God gave to us all without exception; hence, it is in manifest contradiction to this passage.” “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?...Or who hath first given to Him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again?” (1 Cor. 4:7 & Rom. 11:35).
You cannot be saved by God’s free gift and by what you have earned. In other words you cannot be saved by grace and works. This is why grace is something which is never commensurate with works, for the intrinsic message of salvation by grace is that salvation by God’s grace does not require a man’s works at all, for all of salvation is of God (see Rom. 11). Moreover, salvation by grace is a declaration that it cannot be by works. What man needs is far more than his being helped to do something. Man needs to be made alive, he needs to be born again, he needs to be miraculously made a new creature in Christ Jesus (see Eph. 2:1,5; Jn. 3:3; Eph. 2:10). Nothing a man can do, whether it is grace enabling him to do it, or not, could ever make the man spiritually alive. Nothing a man does can ever bring about the new birth, for the new birth is by grace, not works. The grace of God eclipses the works of man. Works nullify grace. Thus, the grace principle that all of salvation is, and must be, all of God is made perfectly clear. This is further evidence that no part of salvation is conditioned on the sinner, for in receiving all the glory for salvation it is made abundantly clear that all of salvation is conditioned and reliant upon God alone, and, therefore, grace alone. Grace is God alone saving because God saves by grace alone. SALVATION BY GRACE, IS THE ONLY SAVIOUR—JESUS CHRIST—SAVING BY GRACE ALONE. One of the reasons why Paul the apostle did not write ‘ye are saved by grace alone’, is because in saying “by grace ye are saved” it stands to Biblical reason that one is saved by nothing else. Paul was saying ‘This is what you are saved by: Grace. In saying “…not of yourselves…not of works…” (Eph. 2:8,9), the apostle was clearly stating that ‘You are not saved by anything you do, but by grace alone’. There is nothing outside of the grace of God that can save. Salvation does not come because of man, but because of God. Being saved by grace through faith is something which is not of man at all. Grace is God saving, and the gift of faith is given to a man to believe that salvation is by God only, through grace alone. In saying one is saved by grace, Paul was teaching that it is grace alone which saves. In saying one is saved by grace, Paul was teaching that no one is saved by works, that is, by something of themselves—anything done by them. No one is saved by anything which comes out of them. Salvation does not come because of any acts or works of man, but solely because of the grace of God. There is not even a hint in the entire Word of God that grace means God enabling a man to do before grace can save. That which is undeserved, grace, is not sent by God to enable anyone to do anything by which they can be deservedly saved. If salvation can only come after a man has done something to deserve it, then it means that grace is not that by which God saves. Salvation does not involve any works of men. How “by grace ye are saved” could possibly provoke thoughts of salvation being an impossibility without a man’s works simply boggles the mind. It would be like being told that a specific item is white, and then picturing that item as black. Ridiculous! The need for the grace of God shows that nothing can be done by the works of a man to cause salvation. The cause is God, the means is grace alone, and the result is salvation. It is grace that saves and nothing else.
There are only one of two things by which a man can be saved, and Paul covers both ‘options’ in his Letter to the Ephesians: “By GRACE are ye saved…NOT of yourselves, NOT of works…” (Eph. 2:8,9). Salvation is either by God, or by you. The clear contrast set out here in these verses, shows clearly that salvation is either by God, or by a man. It can never be both. Seeing that “salvation is of the Lord” and the sole means is grace, there is no other Biblical conclusion other than, ‘ye are saved by grace’ “not of yourselves, not of works”. You are not saved by anything you can boast of, therefore, you are not saved by anything you have done (see Eph. 2:9). The fact there is nothing a man can boast of is proof positive that salvation is by grace alone. If “by grace ye are saved…not of yourselves, not of works”, not of anything a man can boast of, does not convince a man that salvation is by grace alone, and not by works at all, there is absolutely no evidence whatsoever that that man is anything but dead in trespasses and sins. The works of a man are here contrasted with the grace of God. Paul makes it abundantly clear that a man is saved by God and His grace, not a man and his works. If someone had asked, or written to Paul, posing the question, ‘How is a man saved? Is it by something a man must do?’ Paul would have answered them with the same words he wrote to the Ephesians: “By GRACE are ye saved…NOT of yourselves, NOT of works…” (Eph. 2:8,9). Saved by grace, not saved by yourselves, saved by grace, not saved by works, is the Message of God. Saved by God not you; saved by what God does not by what you do. A man saved by grace, is a man saved by that which only God can boast of. If man were enabled by God to perform some work to get saved, then salvation would be dependent upon what man had to do, and his decision to do it, rather than on what God, by grace, has chosen to do for His elect. Whatever salvation is dependent on, THAT is what saves you. The Scriptures do not say, ‘You are saved by yourselves, by your works and not grace, not of God…’, but “Even when we were dead in sins, (God) hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come He might shew the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. 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. 2:5-10). These preordained works are performed AFTER one has been saved by grace alone. Whatever is done that immediately changes a man from lost to saved, from dead to alive, is precisely what salvation is dependent on. Being made alive to God is what saves a man, and this can only be done by the grace of God. If salvation depends on an act of man, then man would at least share in the glory for salvation. Nowhere in the Word of God will you find any support for such a God-dishonoring concept.
If salvation awaits what a man must do, then it is solely by works. “…if it be of works, then is it no more grace…” (Rom. 11:6). If salvation only awaits what God does, then it is solely by grace. “…if by grace, then is it no more of works…” (Rom. 11:6). If you are going to believe and teach that salvation comes only after something you do, then you cannot believe in the Biblical concept of grace, but only in works. You cannot be believing in the true God, the God of grace, if you believe that salvation cannot come without your works. Clearly one cannot have election, or salvation, by grace and works, therefore, it can only be by one or the other. And if by one then not the other. If salvation awaits what God does, then, and only then, is it a salvation purely by grace, purely by unmerited favor: “…if by grace, then is it no more of works…” (Rom. 11:6 cf. Rom. 9:31,32). The reason salvation can only be an act of God, why it must be by grace alone, is because prior to being made alive by God all mankind is dead in sins. There is nothing man can do about death, likewise, there is nothing a man can do whilst dead. Man can only do after he is made alive, and not before. A saved man’s works are the fruit of God’s saving grace, not the cause of his salvation. They are the result of salvation, not that which causes a man to be saved, or remain saved. GRACE SAVES DEAD PEOPLE, it makes them alive to God eternally. Grace is an eternal act of salvation. This is where the whole subject of how a man is saved always leads to: is man dead in sins, or is he not. Can a man aid God in salvation, or is any act before a man is made alive impossible. WORKS SIDE WITH SATAN, FOR THEY TEACH MAN IS ALIVE—ONLY SALVATION BY GRACE AGREES WITH GOD THAT MAN IS DEAD IN SINS.