BY GRACE ALONE (PART 33)
Salvation is of God, for it is by His mercy, and, therefore, not our choice. You cannot choose, or oblige another to be merciful to you. The choice is by God through His gift of grace, and not by our decision at all. The foundational problem with those who believe they must choose God, is their unbelief of, and closed-mindedness toward the fact that man by nature is dead in sins, and, therefore hopeless, for he is without the ability to choose God because he is without God. It takes the grace of God to save a man. Salvation is by the action taken by God through grace alone, not by man through works at all. If man is not dead, then salvation would be determined by a man’s choice. However, if man is dead in sins, which is what the Word of God clearly teaches, then the choice is God’s—it is the will of God which determines each and every man’s eternal future by the giving, or withholding of grace. Salvation is by the grace of God, not the choice of man. Salvation does not come by human choice, but only because of Divine grace. Any effort to get saved by what you do repudiates the spiritual death of mankind and the Scriptures’ testament to that fact. A man is saved by the grace of God which is always something undeserved, therefore, a man is saved by what God does, and not by what a man must do: Saved by grace not works. Salvation is dependent upon the work of God, not a work of man's. Salvation is not dependent on man and how he ‘reacts’ to God, but on whether or not God acts with grace toward the man. Salvation is, therefore, by the will of God, and not at all by the will of man. Man is dead in sins, so if any are to be saved it must be, for it can ONLY be, done by grace. Salvation/eternal life is a free gift, not a free offer, therefore, it cannot be by anything a man has done, and so it cannot be deserved. Salvation is by God’s free favour, and not by something which can be merited. Salvation is by mercy not merit. Salvation is by grace not good works. As God’s love for a man comes long before the man’s love for God, how can a man choose God, when God has chosen to love and save the man before the world began. How can a man choose God when the only way a man loves the only true God is by God loving the man first! If God loved first, then He obviously chose first. God is the only one Who has made a choice, and all His elect ones—those whom He has chosen to love—are the chosen of God not the choosers of God (see 1 Pet. 2:9).
Man does not move God, but it is God Who moves the man making him willing in the day of grace. God’s Kingdom has been promised to all those who love God (see Jas. 2:5), and the only way anyone can love the True God is by His having chosen to love them first (see 1 Jn. 4:19). God does not love a man, or choose a man because the man chose to love Him first. If it were necessary for man to choose God it would show that man is spiritually alive before he makes that choice. How can one do anything physical without physical life, likewise, how can anyone do anything spiritual without spiritual life? And why pray tell, if man by nature is not dead, but spiritually alive, do the Scriptures refer to man in his natural state as being "...DEAD in trespasses and sins" (Eph. 2:1), thus highlighting the fact that a man must be made alive by God unto God (see Eph. 2:5), and that he can only be made alive unto God by grace alone. Man is naturally dead in sins and dead to the only true God. Men are, by nature, dead to the God that chooses, but not to the false gods they choose. For those who remain unconvinced concerning man’s spiritual death, what else would they call being without God, without Christ, and without hope in the world, but death! Look at the facts dear people: man is without God, without the Messiah and without hope. What other word on earth could properly describe this state of being other than the word DEAD! Man can do nothing without God, without the Messiah and without hope. Man is without life, and can only be brought to life by God via His grace alone.
TRUTH AND ITS CONSEQUENCES NEVER CHANGE. Such Scriptures as 2 Corinthians 4:3 utterly obliterate the false Arminian view that, though seriously affected by the Fall, man has not been rendered totally helpless by it. “But if our Gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost” (2 Cor. 4:3). If a man does not believe the true Gospel it is because he is lost and without God, not merely wrong but saved regardless. No matter what a man does, or does not do, he is lost if he does not believe the Gospel of God. Such is the state of all men, by nature. How else could all this be referred to other than by spiritual death! The only way a man can savingly, exclusively, believe the Gospel of God is by the grace of God, that very thing which makes a man alive to God. If all the Biblical evidence presented here does not teach spiritual death what else could it be called and what else could it be teaching? What else could it be describing? These are questions which those who deny spiritual death must answer, not to me, but to themselves. They must face the truth if they are to ever see the truth. Man can do nothing, he is spiritually dead and cannot come to God. Man is without God and without Christ, for he is without LIFE! Spiritual death IS being without God, without Christ and without hope. No man by nature is a new creature in Christ, therefore, all men by nature are outside of Christ, separated from Christ, dead to Christ. ONLY when a man is born again, born of God, born of His Word, the Gospel, born of His will by His grace does he become a seeker of, one who desires and follows after, the True God. Only when God acts does a man believe. Only when God acts is a man made alive to Him. Only when God acts is a man made a new creature in Christ. Only when a man has been made alive to God by God through grace does he crave, desire and love the only True God. Prior to this, the Scriptures say that “…There is none Righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God” (Rom. 3:10,11). One can almost hear the crickets chirping. A man must be born to see the light of day, likewise, a man must be born again to see the Light of God. Only THEN, only after a work of creation by God may a sinner rightly be called a Righteous man, a saved man, a man of God. Only then can a man, only then does a man, ‘search out’, ‘investigate’, ‘crave’, ‘require’, ‘demand’ and ‘worship’ the True God. Only when a man is made alive again to God by His Holy Spirit, and given the gift of Faith to believe God's Gospel of salvation by grace can a man be said to be spiritually alive unto God. Man without God can only seek after false gods. He can only seek after that which he believes is God, but in reality is nothing but a worthless counterfeit which finds its origin in the carnal, chaotic minds and imaginations of lost men. Though a man without the only true God calls many of these false gods jesus, and God, they remain false gods recognizable by the doctrines used to identify them. Lost man's imagination always forms and follows the god he wants. Man, according to his sinful fallen nature, can only seek after his imagined gods that appeal to the flesh. The born again man, the man who has been made alive to the True God, seeks only after Him and loves only Him as He is revealed in His Gospel. The apostle Paul declared: “I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the Righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith” (Rom. 1:16,17 cf. Hab. 2:4).
If man in his spiritually dead state can choose God of his own free will, what possible reason could there be, indeed, what possible need would there be, for a man to be made alive? Why would the Scriptures bother to teach that a man must be made alive by God to His truth, His Gospel, if before that very life is given, man can somehow manage to desire and choose God Whom he does not, and cannot, even seek! This is all nothing but salvation by works and makes up a gospel which does not even slightly resemble the true and only Gospel, and is in no way authored by Almighty God. God only testifies of His Son through His only Gospel, “He that believeth on the Son of God hath the Witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made Him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of His Son. And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life” (1 Jn. 5:10-12 cf. Jn. 17:2,3; 1 Tim. 6:16; 2 Jn. 9). The record that God has given of His Son is expounded in, and by, His Holy Gospel (see Rom. 1:16,17 cf. Gal. 1:8,9). It is also said that human nature was seriously affected by the Fall damaging relations with God, but not eternally. Many of the cords which bound man to God have been broken, they say, but man has not been completely cut off from God, for there still remains a spiritual thread linking us to God. WHERE IS THEIR PROOF! Where is the proof, the Scriptural evidence for such boasting, for there is NO RECORD in all of Scripture which shows a spiritually dead man choosing God? There is NO RECORD in all of Scripture which indicates that man by nature is not spiritually dead, does not need to be made spiritually alive and can come to God of his own accord. There is NO RECORD in all of Scripture which goes against the Biblical fact that any man to whom the Gospel of God is hid is lost. Where is the proof that man by nature can come to God by good works and does not require grace or mercy? If grace and mercy are not required, then Christ was not required, the Holy Spirit was not required and God the Father was not required in the salvation of any man. Death cuts off all ties! Death is the ultimate in separation. Sin, and the unavoidable consequence of both physical and spiritual death, is the great separator, the great divider, the great KILLER! Sin is the great separator between man and God which has driven the wedge of death between them leaving no way back. Sin kills. “…the wages of sin is death…” (Rom. 6:23 cf. Rom. 7:5).
Sin leaves a man dead, on his own and completely cut off from God. Sin steals away all hope. Where sin is there can be no hope. It brings nothing but ruination leaving a man completely without God. When we die physically, our bodies are eternally separated from all life, and when man died spiritually he became utterly and irrevocably separated from God, from the life of God, and life in God. “Just as physical death is the separation of the soul from the body, so spiritual death is the separation of the spirit from God.” Man must be born again spiritually, he must be made spiritually alive to God, by God, not so that man can then choose God, but in being made alive to God, by God, a man is made to realise that it is God Who has chosen him. The spiritual link between man and God must be re-connected, and the reconnection can only be made by God making a man a new creature in Christ by grace alone. NO desire, NO understanding, NO seeking, NO worshipping, NO craving for and NO fear of, the True God is hardly the kind of evidence that would suggest the presence of any degree of spiritual life. The reality is that there is no Biblical proof to substantiate any Arminian lie, except that which exists in a spiritually dead man's delusionary, carnal understanding of the Word of God. Arminianism, and all those who assert man is not spiritually dead, says man has hope; the Word of God declares man is “WITHOUT HOPE”. Arminianism, and all those who assert man is not spiritually dead, says a man does have hope, that he can choose God; The Word of God states man is “WITHOUT GOD”. Arminianism says all a man needs to do is accept Christ; the Word of God proclaims man is “WITHOUT CHRIST”. The Word of God proclaims no man has any hope, no man by nature has or worships the true God, and no man worships or has the true 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 cf. Jn. 5:24; 14:23,24; 15:6). All a man does have is himself, his sin, false gospels, spiritual death and ABSOLUTELY NO HOPE!
God draws a man to Him by His love for the man. The man then comes, not by his own energy, but because he is energized by the grace of Almighty God. He is made alive by the grace of God motivated by the love of God according to the Sovereign will of God. Grace acts on the love of God—grace is the love of God in action. The saved man is made alive because God loved him first. God is motivated by His love, not man’s love, for man’s love for God comes only because of, and after, God loved the man first. The Lord Jesus declared, "No man can come to Me, except the Father which hath sent Me draw him..." (Jn. 6:44). A man coming to God is in actual fact God drawing the man by grace. Man does not draw God to himself, but it is God Who draws the man, for God’s love comes first and is the only way a man can love God and come to God. God, God’s love and God’s grace, does it all. What kind of person would oppose such teaching? The unsaved person in bondage to the lie that teaches man must do something if he is to be saved, that’s who! We have just seen, in Jesus’ own words, no less, that no man can come to God EXCEPT or WITHOUT God drawing the man to Him! A man coming to God is the grace of God in action, not a work of man’s in progress. Left to his own devices, no man can come. Only when God draws the man will the man come to Him. This is grace. Man loves God because God loved the man first, man comes to God because God out of His great and eternal love for His people came to the man first. A man’s love is because of God loving, a man coming is because of God’s drawing which is by His glorious grace. God is the chooser, so it is in accord with Biblical reason that man comes because he has been chosen to come. Man’s coming to God has been given to him through grace. Man comes to God because God wants him to come. Man’s coming to God is prompted solely by the Sovereign will of God. A man’s ‘willingness’ to come is because of the power of grace.
“All that the Father giveth Me SHALL come to Me…” (Jn. 6:37). No question about it. There is absolutely no chance whatsoever that anyone whom the Father has not given to the Son will want to, or ever can come to Him. There is absolutely no chance whatsoever that anyone whom God has given to Christ will not come to Him. Nothing can interfere with the will of God. “Consider the work of God: for who can make that straight, which He hath made crooked?” (Eccl. 7:13 cf. Job 12:14; Dan. 4:35). A man comes to Christ because God has made him willing by the power of grace. Those who come to Jesus do so because the Father draws them. All God has chosen will come. So from this we see that salvation is not dependent on a man’s decision for God, but on whether or not God has chosen him. This is the God Whom most people, even self-labelled ‘Christians’ literally hate. Salvation does not depend on a man and what He does, but exclusively on Almighty God and what He has done. Every single individual that God has chosen and given to His Son WILL COME because of what the Father has done: chosen him, drawn him and given him to His Son Who died for him, all by grace through faith not works. All this is the fulfilment of God loving a man and saving him by His grace. God is the One Who has the power to draw and the power to save. Man has no power, he has no hope, for he is without God, and without His Christ. Man has no hope of believing before he is saved. God does not bring about an opportunity for all to get saved, for MAN IS DEAD TO GOD and can do nothing, in and of himself, to respond to God or even desire to seek the True God. The entire Arminian teaching that salvation is offered to all, that Christ died for all is predicated on the lie that all are not dead, a lie which originated in the bowels of Satan who claimed: “…Ye shalt not surely die” (Gen. 3:4). Man does not merely need help, something to aid him as he attempts to will and work his way to Heaven, man needs to be made a new creature, for the old is dead. MAN NEEDS PRECISELY THAT WHICH HE CANNOT DO. Man needs to be made alive, for he is by nature spiritually dead. Man needs a new beginning which only the supernatural act of being born again can bring. All this is God’s choice. All this is chosen for a man by God through grace alone, for all men are dead in sins.
What would be the point in offering a lovely meal to a dead creature? He cannot see it, he does not recognize it for what it is, let alone appreciate and partake of it. In light of the fact that man, by nature, is spiritually dead, salvation can never, logically, be that which is offered, or earned, but only what can be given. It is not offered to all, but only given to some. Salvation by grace shows that no one is worthy of salvation, and it is precisely that unworthiness which supports the Biblical fact that no man can do anything to gain salvation prior to being made alive by grace alone. Salvation cannot be earned by, or offered to, dead people, it can only be given to those whom God has made alive. But the grace that brings salvation is much more than something which is merely given, it is something which makes a man spiritually alive. Saving grace is not something given to a man for the man to do something with, or by, for by nature all men are dead. Grace is that which comes to do the will of God: to save a man, to make him alive to God and His truth. There is no point in giving a dead man anything, unless what you are giving him makes him alive. “…by grace are ye saved…” (Eph. 2:8 cf. Eph. 2:5). Who would be fool enough to offer anything to a dead man, or even give a dead man anything expecting, hoping, that he will do something with it! Man is not only naturally without hope, he is dead to hope. Dead to God. Not merely blind to God, deaf to God, but utterly DEAD to God! Offer a dead man life itself and it will do him no good, for he is dead: dead to hope, dead to life and dead to your offer. Lazarus was not offered life, he was made alive. Spiritually dead people chosen by God to be saved are not offered life, they are made alive by grace. “Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)” (Eph. 2:5). The Gospel of God is not some incentive plan designed to motivate people to do, or decide for God so that God can then save them, but is a proclamation of the promised salvation which is based solely on the grace of God for all those He has chosen before the foundation of the world, and given to His Son, the Lamb Who was slain from the foundation of the world for all His people (see Rev. 13:8; Isa. 53:8). Salvation is a promise made to those who are not of the world, not an offer to those who are of the world (see Jn. 17:16). Any ‘offer’ made to a dead man is not an offer at all, but a downright insult. It is not a genuine offer, but a mockery of the dead man’s state. Dead men can do nothing with anything they are given. The power to bring life lies in the gift itself, not in the person who receives it. A gift is never offered, therefore, the gift of eternal life is not something which can be offered, but only given. “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom. 6:23). A man saved is a man given the gift of life.
Eternal life is NOT an offer, but a command of God, the Gift of God. Eternal life is given, it is decreed, not offered. Eternal life is not an offer, it is something to which a man is appointed. Eternal life is ordained for those whom the Father has given to the Son. Eternal life is not an offer which is dependent upon a man’s choice to receive it, but is a gift given to those whom the Father has chosen and given to His dear Son. Eternal life is in God’s possession, and only He can give it. The only way to get it is by God giving it according to His will and grace alone. God gives eternal life as a free gift to all His chosen based upon His grace not their works. The Lord Jesus makes this perfectly clear: “These words spake Jesus, and lifted up His eyes to Heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify Thy Son, that Thy Son also may glorify Thee: As Thou hast given Him power over all flesh, THAT HE SHOULD GIVE ETERNAL LIFE TO AS MANY AS THOU HAST GIVEN HIM. And this is life eternal, that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, Whom Thou hast sent” (Jn. 17:1-3). Salvation is wholly a matter of giving not choosing. Salvation is about God giving to His chosen, not rewarding choosers. The Lord Jesus GIVES eternal life to those whom the Father has given Him, He does not offer it to all in the hope that some may choose to receive it. Eternal life is not given to as many as choose Him, but only to those whom the Father has given to the Saviour. Writing to believers, the apostle John states: “…this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life” (1 Jn. 5:11,12 cf. 1 Tim. 6:16; 2 Tim. 1:1; Heb. 2:13). The whole of salvation depends upon God giving eternal life which is in His only begotten Son to whomsoever He wills to be gracious and merciful. A gift is given to the one who is loved, it is based on the giver’s love and not anyone else’s love. A gift is not offered indiscriminately in the hope someone will accept it, but is given to specific predetermined, or predestinated people to receive it. Thus, eternal life is given to some—those whom the Father has loved and given to the Son—and not offered to all in the hope some will be nice enough, or good enough, to accept it. Again, 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 only comes according to the will of God. Grace comes by God’s choice, not man’s. God is only gracious to those whom He wills to be gracious (see Ex. 33:19; Rom 9:15,16). Salvation is not something you choose, but what God, by grace, chooses for you.
The enormously significant connection between God’s giving, and God’s loving is undeniable, and, therefore, unavoidable. The Lord gives to those whom He loves, and He loves those to whom He gives. The apostle Paul speaks of the Son of God “…Who loved me, and gave Himself for me” (Gal. 2:20). He also writes of the Saviour to the saints at Ephesus, “…Christ also hath loved us, and hath given Himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God…” (Eph. 5:2). Notice that the Lord Jesus does not offer Himself to men, but offered His sacrifice to God. Jesus gave Himself for His people as an offering and a sacrifice to God. God is the one Who has accepted Christ and His Sacrifice, and by Him saves the ones He gave to Jesus to make His sacrifice for. Further on in his Letter to the Ephesian believers, Paul writes: “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the Church, and gave Himself for it” (Eph.5:25; see also vv 25-27). The apostle, writing to the church of the Thessalonians, says: “Now our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work” (2 Thess. 2:16). God does not offer, but always gives to those He loves. John writes: “Hereby perceive we the LOVE of God, because He LAID DOWN HIS LIFE for us…” (1 Jn. 3:16 cf. 1 Jn. 4:10; Rev. 1:5). God the Son laid down His life for His people, which reminds us of the angel’s words “…He shall save His people from their sins” (Matt.1:21). “But God commendeth His love toward us, in that…Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8 cf. Jn. 15:13; 1 Jn. 4:9,10). There is no escaping the fact that Christ died for the people God loved. These are the people God gave unto His Son. They are not all without exception, but all whom the Father loved. Writing to the believers at Ephesus, Paul declared: “But God, Who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us…hath quickened us together with Christ…” (Eph. 2:4,5). God loves and gives; God loves and does. God makes alive those whom He loves. Christ gave His life for those whom His Father loved. Jesus Christ did not lay down His life for the world—every individual ever born—He does not even pray for the world, but exclusively for those given to Him by the Father, “…I pray not for the world, but for them which Thou hast given Me; for they are Thine” (Jn.17:9 cf. Jn. 17:20). In other words, Jesus literally said, ‘I pray not for every individual ever born, but exclusively for those whom Thou hast given Me’. ‘I pray not for everyone, but only for the ones whom You love’. The love of God is expressed in, and manifested by, Christ's laying down His life, giving Himself a ransom, for all those whom the Father loved—the Church, the ones He has called out of the world—and given to Him. God gives to the people He loves, and He loves the people He has chosen to give to His Son.
Something which has been grossly overlooked by most is the fact that if salvation is by grace, it is because it could only have ever been by grace. If something is given by grace, then it cannot be procured by works. If something is undeserved it can never be deserved. If something is, by its very nature, intrinsically unearnable, then there is nothing in existence that can be done to deserve it, or be the motivation behind it. If salvation is given by God through grace it was never something that could ever have been obtained by man through works. Grace is always undeservedly given. If the ground for salvation is the Righteousness of Christ, then it cannot be the works of men. Salvation by grace means salvation by nothing else, just as salvation by God means salvation by no one else. God is the only Saviour and grace is His only means to the salvation of His chosen people. Likewise, if it is the Son Who gives eternal life to those whom the Father has given Him, it is because eternal life is that which can only ever be given, and not at all offered or earned. Salvation is not offered to an indeterminate number of people, it is given to a very specific predetermined number of people. Eternal life cannot be offered to, and chosen by, man, for it is given by grace alone only to those chosen by God. Salvation is only given by God to His chosen, it is not something offered in the hope that it will induce some to choose God. Only those whom the Father has given to His Son will come to Him, therefore, only the chosen will come, only those which grace alone saves will come. Those who come to Jesus have been chosen by God and given to Him. Saving grace is given to God’s chosen people, not offered to all people. “…A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from Heaven” (Jn. 3:27). "...no man can come unto Me, except it were given unto him of My Father" (Jn. 6:65). Get the picture? Salvation is not based on a man’s decision, but on his being given it based on God’s choice. “If grace is not given, then grace is illusionary.”
Those who believe that salvation comes after they have obeyed, or made a decision, or choice, are living in a fantasy world if they contend they have been saved by grace. IF YOU ARE NOT SAVED BY GRACE ALONE, YOU ARE NOT SAVED AT ALL. Those who trust in their works cannot be trusting in grace. The grace of God does not enable a man to do what needs to be done, but grace actually brings salvation. Grace does not bring you the tools so you can start building the house, IT BRINGS YOU THE HOUSE! Grace does not enable, it presents. Grace is the gift of God which brings salvation. Grace does not enable you to come alive, IT MAKE YOU ALIVE! ‘Saved’ after works is not salvation by grace, and, salvation by grace is never something which comes after any act of man’s. The essence, the intrinsic nature of saving grace teaches that it cannot be earned, nor can it, therefore, be offered. If no one can do anything to deserve to be saved, or deserve the grace that saves, then what would be the point of offering salvation to people who can do nothing to accept it. A man is not saved by his will and works, but only by the will and grace of God. No one presents themselves to the gift-giver and waits for a gift to be given him, for the one who is given the gift had no idea he was going to be given a gift in the first place. He never expected the gift because there is nothing a man can do to induce anyone to give him a gift. You cannot work for a gift. If any act by anyone has persuaded the gift giver to give his gift, then it ceases to be a gift. If any act by another has caused you to give them anything, it most assuredly can be no gift, but only a reward. A GIFT CAN ONLY BE GIVEN WHEN NOTHING HAS BEEN DONE TO EARN IT. No one has ever said to anyone else, ‘Do this, and I will then give you something for free’. A true gift—something which no one has done anything to earn, nor could do anything to earn—is something which cannot be worked for, it cannot even be anticipated, for it is completely undeserved, therefore, unexpected. A gift can only be given by the gift giver to whomever they want to give the gift, and whenever they choose to give it. Saving Grace can only be given, and given to those who have been preordained to receive it. Eternal life is that which can only be given by the Son to those whom the Father has given Him. Therefore, eternal life can only come by grace and it is given to whomsoever God wills to grant it. This completely destroys the absurd notion that eternal life is something which is offered to all, or can be earned by any, and that it can be chosen by anyone at any time according to their perceived free will.
A gift is not offered to all, but only given to its intended, predetermined recipient. A gift is not offered at all, but is given to a specific one, or ones, for whom the gift is intended. Moreover, this principle of giving does not merely clash with what Arminians believe, it shows that Arminians do not believe the truth of God at all. Eternal life is clearly not an offer, for it is something which can be, and only ever has been, given by the Son to those whom the Father has given Him. Christ gives eternal life only to those whom the Father has given to Him: “…that He should give eternal to as many as Thou hast given Him” (Jn. 17:2 cf. Jn. 6:37). The water of life is not taken by whosoever chooses to drink it, for Christ speaks in terms of “…Whosoever drinketh of the water THAT I SHALL GIVE HIM…” (Jn. 4:14). These words of the Lord Jesus do not concern those who choose to drink, but those to whom Christ gives the water. Notice, also, Christ does not say ‘Whosoever drinks of the water that I offer to all’, or ‘Whosoever chooses to drink of the water that I offer to all’, for Christ is the one Who determines who the whosoever are that will drink the water that He specifically gives to them. People are so taken up with, and blinded by, the word whosoever, in this Scripture, they fail to see that the remainder of this verse clearly states those who will drink the water of life (see Rev. 21:6), are only those whom the Son specifically gives the water to. Any can choose to drink of the water after which they will again thirst, for it is readily available to all, (see Jn. 4:13), but the water which satiates all spiritual thirst is that which is specifically given by Christ to whomsoever the Father has chosen before the foundation of the world and given to His Son. “All that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me…” (Jn. 6:37), is the same as saying ‘All that the Father giveth Me shall drink of the water that I shall give him’. You will notice in John 6 that Jesus does not include man's doing anything to get to God, for it is God Who draws the man, and man's coming is something which is given to him, not something which originates from within him (see Jn. 6:44,65).
Man’s coming to God is the result of grace, not works. “…we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved…” (Acts 15:11). Salvation is the result of God acting, not man doing. Man’s coming to God is something which can never be without God’s drawing, and if salvation is not without God’s drawing a man to Him, then it can only be by grace. Just as no man ever loved God before God loved the man, so too, no one ever came to God before God came to them. Man's coming to God is not man's gift to God, but God's gift to man. God is the active one. God is the active Saviour, man is the passive recipient because of God’s grace. Without this drawing, without this gift, none can come to the Saviour. In other words, take God out of the picture, and all that remains is a helpless and hopeless man with whom salvation is impossible "...With men it (salvation) is impossible, but not with God..." (Mk. 10:27). Clearly, without God, a man is without hope. “No man can come, except the Father which hath sent Me draw him…” (Jn. 6:44). Take God out of the picture, and all that is left is: “No man can come…” God is a man’s only hope for salvation, and grace is the only way He saves. Man has an inbuilt hatred for the True God, and in no way desires Him. This hatred is seen in the fact that no one who believes in free will has ever chosen the True God, the Sovereign God, Who has predestinated all those whom He has chosen unto salvation. NOBODY HAS BEEN GIVEN AN OPPORTUNITY TO CHOOSE GOD BASED ON THEIR WILL, FOR ALL ARE DEAD TO GOD. No man has ever chosen the true God, for it is God Who has chosen His people. Grace makes nothing concerning salvation potential, but has everything to do with making salvation happen! When saving grace makes contact with one it has been given to, there is life everlasting. The concept of a dead man being offered anything—a doctrine which only lost men subscribe to—is ludicrous. If one were to offer a dead man anything, one would be waiting eternally for a response. A dead man’s only need is not to be offered anything, but to be made alive. The basis for salvation is not that a man become better, but that he be born again. The only thing that can be done with a dead man is for him to be tossed into the fire, or made alive. LIFE FROM GOD is what a lost man requires. Man cannot do, but must be made alive. The fact that a man needs to be made alive by God, immediately reveals the inescapable fact that there is nothing man can do to be born again. People have been fed, and what’s worse swallowed, the lie that a man needs to do this, or a man needs to do that to be saved, but the reality of the situation is that a man needs a great deal more. Man does not need to do, he needs something done to him. Spiritually dead man CANNOT do, therefore, he must be made alive by the grace of God. Anyone that has to be made alive MUST first be dead! Once alive, there is nothing for a man to do to get saved. Grace has done it all. Salvation needs God to do, for there is nothing a man can do. Once a dead man is made alive by grace, he needs not to be offered anything, for this grace has GIVEN him everything including life, eternal life, itself. God saves His people by His will. Salvation is God’s action through His grace.
The saved man is made eternally alive by God through grace, and this is also what keeps him eternally alive. Eternal life is given, and eternal life is maintained by God’s everlasting grace. The whole concept of eternal life had to be born out of grace, for it could never be earned. Man really blew it big time, to use the vernacular, when he sinned in the Garden of Eden. Death entered his life, and all hope was gone forever. Eternal life could never have been achieved by earned righteousness, but only given by imputed Righteousness. Eternal life is a gift that can only come by another gift: GRACE. Eternal life springs not from a man’s love for God, but from God’s love for those whom He has chosen to save. Trust in anything else but grace alone for eternal life, and you will be damned. The reason for this is the fact that not trusting in grace alone is not trusting in God’s Plan of salvation. Those who trust in grace alone show they are saved. Those who look to their works, in any way, are lost. A dead man is made alive not so that he can then choose to remain alive, but so that he will be alive forever. What madness is this which says God has given an opportunity to everyone to choose Him, WHEN SCRIPTURE STATES THERE IS NO ONE BY NATURE THAT EVEN SEEKS HIM!! God’s saving grace does not help people to do, it makes them alive. Grace is no accomplice to works, but is INSTEAD OF WORKS! Works do not work! Only the grace of God alone saves. Salvation is not brought about by the efforts of man, for the Righteousness that saves is WITHOUT works! (see Rom. 6:6). God’s people are a chosen people, chosen to be made alive to Him by Him. The change in man comes purely from God. The change that saves a born again man is that he has been MADE ALIVE by God, not that he has stopped smoking or drinking. True Christianity is not principally about lifestyle, but about salvation. True Christianity is all about a message—God’s Message: The Gospel of salvation by Sovereign grace alone. The fruit of salvation is loving God with all one’s being, and one’s neighbour as oneself. The difference between the born again man and the man who remains lost, is the fact the lost man remains dead in his sins, immune to the Gospel of grace alone and a slave to unbelief and works. The born again man, the one who has been made alive by God through grace alone, believes only God’s Gospel and rejects all others, he believes in salvation by grace alone and not works at all, for none but God’s Gospel reveal the Righteousness of Christ. There is no grace present in a lost man’s life, for he does not believe the only Gospel of God, and so trusts only in himself. Trusting in a false gospel is trusting in false gods of the imagination is one and the same thing as trusting in oneself. What madness is this which says that God has given an opportunity to everyone to choose Him, when it is God Himself Who has chosen those whom He wanted saved before the world began! Besides, what choice can a dead man make?
All those whom God has chosen, and for whom Jesus died, have been granted grace by God. At the appointed time they are drawn to God by the will and love of God, for they alone have been appointed by God to obtain salvation by their Lord Jesus Christ Who died for them, and thus they believe these and all other doctrines of the Gospel, and are saved. Notice, the Bible always speaks about God saving, about what God has done to save His people from their sins. Writing to the Church at Thessalonica the apostle Paul said: "For God hath not appointed us to Wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us..." (1 Thess. 5:9,10; cf. 1 Pet. 2:8,9). Salvation is not by a man’s choice, but by God’s appointing a man to be saved by Christ having died for him. The world—including all those who believe they are Christian, who resist the doctrine of Sovereign grace—cannot abide a God upon Whom salvation is totally dependent. They want a god who can be appeased by works and the sincere efforts of well-intentioned people, not the God Who has complete Sovereign control over the destiny of every single human being that has ever lived, or will live. Many respond by saying ‘If what you are saying is true, we are all robots’. No, we are not robots at all, but merely clay in the Potter’s hands. Paul says of God: “Therefore hath He mercy on whom He will have mercy, and whom He will He hardeneth” (Rom. 9:18 cf. Isa. 45:7). God’s will for His people is that they be saved by what He has done. There is no room in Paul’s words from 1 Thessalonians 5 for any choice of man’s. God has designated every man’s past, present and future. These verses clearly demonstrate the Sovereignty of God and that it is by His will, His predetermination to appoint His chosen ones to obtain salvation by the Lord Jesus Christ Who would specifically die for them, and to appoint all others to His deserved Wrath. Importantly, man’s being appointed to Wrath is not the fault of God, for it is because of sin that every man is born a child of God’s Wrath. God is not responsible for man’s guilt. Everyone in Adam is rightly condemned to Hell. By grace, God has saved a remnant for Himself.
Death is the wage deservedly given to sinners for their sin. Eternal death is the only wage given to sinners who try to get to Heaven based on what they do (see Matt. 7:21-23). Salvation is only by the gift of grace alone. Salvation is solely by the blessing of grace at work in the soul of man. There is nothing that can stop a man believing salvation is by Sovereign grace alone, who has been given eyes to see that man by nature is spiritually dead, that he does not know the true God, and can, therefore, do nothing to come to Him. How can anyone believe in works, if they believe God’s words when He said “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. 2:17). The death of man included the death of works. From that day on no man could come to God unless they were drawn by God to Him. Were it not for grace no man would be saved. Salvation is by God's choosing according to the good pleasure of HIS will, and to the glory of His grace. Grace is that which makes a man accepted in Christ. Again, the fact that grace is what makes a man acceptable to God, is a clear and emphatic indication that nothing else can! No works, no ‘good’ deeds, not the strenuous efforts of man can ever make him right with God, for this can only be done by the power of grace. What a saved man has been given is solely according to the riches of God’s grace (see Eph. 1:4-7). What a saved man has been given is a Righteousness not made up of his works, but completely free of his works. A saved man’s Righteousness is of God. “…their Righteousness is of Me, saith the Lord” (Isa. 54:17). Grace is as simple as this: “…He hath chosen us…” and “…He hath made us accepted…” (Eph. 1:4,6). It is God’s Work—GRACE—that saves a man. Salvation is not according to, and, therefore, not by a man's will, “but of God”. Salvation is by God “To the praise of the glory of His GRACE…” (Eph. 1:6). Salvation is not because of, and, therefore, cannot be to the praise of a man’s works. Grace alone is how a man is saved, and it is also how a man believes. Salvation comes by means of God's appointing His chosen ones to obtain salvation through Christ Jesus the Lord Whose sacrificial atonement was made to God for them. Writing to believers, the apostle Paul stated: “…God hath not appointed us to Wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us…” (1 Thess. 5:9,10). They are chosen unto salvation, chosen to be saved by the grace of God through sanctification of the Spirit of God and belief of the truth of the doctrines of His Gospel. “…God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: Whereunto He called you by our Gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thess. 2:13,14).
A man is only saved by what God alone has done: grace. Saving Grace is given not to enable, but to save. By what other means is a man saved apart from grace? NOTHING! What needs to be added to what a man does not deserve in order for him to be fully saved? NOTHING! Does the apostle Paul add anything to grace in order for a man to be saved? No. What could possibly be added? God is the one Who makes the difference between saved and lost by grace alone. The saved are those God has chosen to be gracious and merciful towards. The essential need for grace and mercy reveals the complete futility of man doing anything to get saved. How can anyone do anything to receive that which cannot be deserved? Nothing can be done by anyone to deserve that which cannot be earned. How can anyone do anything to avert that which is deserved? Man can do nothing to deserve grace. Man at his best is sheer vanity. Nothing man does can ever deserve grace or mercy. Grace comes because of God not because of man. The reason why God will not punish His people for their sins is because Christ has taken their punishment upon Himself. This is the only way God can be merciful. It is not because of anything done by His chosen, but everything to do with what Christ Jesus the Lord has done for them. Neither grace or mercy are deserved in any way by anything done by men. Nothing needs to be added to what God has done to save a man eternally from his sins. Grace alone saves. Grace and anything added to it will not save. Just as nothing more than Christ’s atonement for His people’s sins was necessary to make atonement complete, to make their redemption complete, to pay in full the debt they owed, so too, nothing can be added to the grace of God that saves His people eternally. Jesus has already obtained redemption for all for whom He died. In the Letter to the believing Hebrews, the author wrote: “Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by His own blood He entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us” (Heb. 9:12). The sins of the elect have been paid in full by Christ, and His Righteousness is now charged to them by grace. Nothing a man can do could ever compliment what God has done by grace. Works do not compliment grace, works are a condemnation of grace and its ability to save God’s people from their sins with absolutely no assistance whatsoever from them. WHAT CAN A MAN ADD TO GOD’S GRACE AND RIGHTEOUSNESS WHICH GRACE AND RIGHTEOUSNESS HAVE ALLEGEDLY NOT ALREADY ACHIEVED? Grace says it all, which is why Paul wrote, “For by grace are ye saved”, and Peter declared “…we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved…” (Acts 15:11). GOD’S PEOPLE ARE SAVED ONLY BY THAT WHICH THEY HAVE DONE NOTHING TO DESERVE. GOD’S PEOPLE ARE SAVED ONLY BY THE RIGHTEOUSNESS THAT IS WITHOUT ANY WORKS OF THEIR OWN. What God has done in the eternal salvation of His people needs no supplementation by them. A man saved by grace is a man completely saved by grace alone.